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Unlock Your Pillow Perfection: A Guide to Inspired Pillow Design

When planning for pillows for your project the first things to consider are how many pillows are wanted, where will they be placed, and what fabrics and trims will you use.

Less is more! Currently, we are seeing fewer pillows being used on sofas, chairs, and bedding displays than in the past. Symmetry is not necessarily a goal anymore. A mix of sizes, shapes, and fabrics makes for an interesting pillow display.

Choosing your pillow size

Pillows are ordered by the flat width and height of the cover. Once the stuffed pillow form is inserted and the pillow becomes three dimensional the pillow appears shorter and narrower by about 3”. Boxed and cylinder pillows are ordered by the exact size needed as they are already three dimensional.

In this example the pillow is ordered as 22”x22”. When the insert is added the pillow now appears 19”x19”x3” deep.

There are no rules for choosing your pillow size, but here are a few examples of size and placement of pillows on sofas, chairs and beds. Larger pieces of furniture need larger pillows and shorter arms or backs need smaller pillows.

Sofa 22” square. Chair 18” square.

King Bed

Two 30”x20” Back rectangular pillows. One 48”x14”Front rectangular pillow.

Queen Bed

Two 26”x26” Back square pillows. One 30”x14” Front rectangular pillow.

Choosing Your Pillow Inserts

What you put inside a pillow cover greatly affects how you experience using the pillow.

Polyester fill is it goes flat over time and can not be fluffed back up. So this type of form needs to be replaced every few years. Feather/Down forms can be fluffed back up, so they last the pillows lifetime. Our favorite insert has a 50% down and 50% feather fill. These forms are supper soft and full and luxurious in appearance. A higher percentage of feathers will result in a firmer pillow.

For pillows to be used outdoors you will want a 100% special outdoor insert made with a quick drying, non matting polyester fiber that resists mildew.

Choosing Your Pillow Fabrics

Most fabrics can be used to make pillows. Here is a chance to let your creativity shine!

  • If pillows are to be used frequently and exposed to food spills and pets choose a performance fabric that is designed to be durable, stain resistant and easy to clean.
  • When using patterns first think about the scale of the pattern and the size of the pillow. If the pattern repeat is 27” and the pillow is 20” think about which 7” of the pattern would not show on the pillow and if it will work for your design.
  • Discuss pattern placement with your workroom to determine if you want a certain motif centered. Horizontal and vertical pattern repeats, fabric width, and if the repeat is a drop match or a straight match is all information your workroom needs to calculate yardage.
  • Adding fabric bands or color blocking creates pattern by mixing two or more fabrics.

Pillow Inspiration

Popular styles include knife edge, welted and flanged. Add trims such as tassel trim, brushed fringe, micro cords, leather cords, or saddle stitching. Place them picture framed, centered or asymmetrical vertical or horizontal stripes.

Personalize with monograms or add fretwork patterns.
Add boxed or cylinder shaped pillows for interest.

Drapery Design Techniques

Drapery Design pillows are high end luxury pillows. Here are some of our techniques for creating these special pillows.

The covers are fully lined with tightly woven pillow ticking. This gives a double barrier along with the pillow form cover so feathers do not escape.

The corners are tapered to avoid pointy ends. The inside edges are cleanly serged.

High quality 50% down/50% feather forms are used. These forms create a soft plump pillow that looks and feels astonishing better than your average pillow.

Invisible zippers are hidden in the bottom seam and color matched to the pillow fabric.

If you are interested in partnering with Drapery Design for your pillow needs you can click on this link to submit a Pillow Request for Quote.