Decorative pillows make great home decor accessories and come in a variety of designs and materials. The main types one will find are needlepoint, embroidered, hooked, silk, and Aubusson.
Needlepoint is a form of embroidery that covers the entire canvas rather than just being decorative handwork on top of a background. Needlepoint pillows are among the most popular of all decorative pillows and are available in all price ranges, sizes, and designs.
Embroidered Throw Pillows
The decorative needlework that embellishes many of the most beautiful accent cushions is often created by cross-stitch or crewelwork that is stitched entirely by hand.
Crewelwork and embroidery are considered among the most challenging and time-consuming of all the needle arts, the result of which is detail that can approximate a fine, painted canvas. Common materials for embroidery and crewelwork are silk, wool, and cotton.
Hooked Occasional Cushions
Hooked pillows, like rugs, are made from strands of woolen yarn hooked through a canvas backing to create a specific design or motif. Often considered less formal than needlework pillows, hooked cushions may showcase holiday or other themes, and many use humor and whimsy as well.
Using hooked pillows as accessories in home decorating is always a smart idea — and an economical one too — due to their affordability and familiar themes.
High-End Silk Pillows
Decorative silk pillows are made not only from silk, but also frequently have handcrafted silk patterns embroidered on them as well. The design might match the shade of the background so the pattern is discernible by its raised texture, or it may be in a matching shade so that you can see and feel the decoration.
Another exquisite type of handmade silk pillow to consider is one that has contrasting silk embroidery finely worked onto a solid background color.
Aubusson Accent Pillows
Throw cushions in the Aubusson style are named after an area in France that has been famous since the Renaissance period for its weavers and the woolen products they produced. Pillows made in the same tradition of highly intricate detailing using top quality yarns are still called Aubusson pillows today. Aubusson pillows are generally used in more formal settings due to their floral, regal, and antique French historical designs.
Despite being entirely handmade, decorative pillows are also remarkably durable. In fact, there are countless examples of pillows from the 18th and 19th centuries — Aubusson, needlepoint, embroidered, and more — still being used today. Proper storage and gentle spot-cleaning techniques will keep these home accessories looking new for years to come.