Cotton Pillows: A Brief History
Pillows have been used by people to rest their heads and feet in a comfortable position for centuries. The cotton pillows that have become such common place items in our homes, actually have a rich and interesting history in many of the world’s cultures. Historically pillows have been constructed with materials ranging from wood and stone, to down feathers from ducks and geese, and in modern times synthetic materials are often employed.
It’s common today for people to have multiple pillows in throughout their home. As pillows are commonly used for resting ones head while sleeping, the bedroom is a common place for pillow to be found, though just as common a place for pillows to be used, is living areas such as on the couch. Constructed similarly to the cotton pillows in often used in for sleeping are referred to as throw pillows. Believe it or not, in some ancient civilizations pillows were considered a measurement of wealth, the more pillows one had, the wealthier they were considered. Often these pillows were adorned with detailed embroidery, and other fashionable decorations popular of the time period. In ancient Egypt, pillows were made specifically for the purpose of being buried with the dead, as it was thought the practice of propping up one’s head (thought to be the source of life) would keep the evil spirits at bay and protect the body for the afterlife.
Cotton Pillows: Modern Use
In modern times pillows do not hold the mystical or even cultural significance that they once did. Cotton pillows are commonplace in most homes throughout the world, strewn about bedrooms and living rooms, used for propping the head in a comfortable position when sleeping, for supporting one’s neck when traveling on trains and air planes, and resting one’s feet at the end of a long day. Though the term cotton pillows in commonly used when referring to all pillows, there are many different materials that are used for stuffing. The material that is used to stuff a pillow is actually very important for many reasons.
The obvious reason is that the stuffing inside the pillow determines how comfortable the pillow is for one to rest their head on. Other important and less obvious determinations to consider when constructing a pillow are how the material will hold up over time. As pillows are by their very nature being crushed on a regular basis, it is important that they will retain their integrity and return to their original shape after being used. Other considerations for choosing what material to stuff a pillow with concerns peoples allergies. Many people are allergic to different organic materials like cotton or down feathers, making the use of synthetic material very popular in modern times. One way that is used to ensure that people do not accidentally use a cotton pillow that has been constructed using a second material that they may be allergic to is the material tags that are required by law. These tags are required to list the materials used in construction, and must be on the pillow until such time it is sold to a consumer.