Form & Function: The Decoration Of The Cylindrical “Bolster Pillow”

Cushions Of Distinction:  The Bolster Pillow
Cushions Of Distinction: The Bolster Pillow

The “Bolster Pillow”. Cylindrical cushioned style of comfort within the interior. The key to a “Bolster Pillow’s function is its name: to “Bolster” or support the user. Described as “A long, narrow pillow or cushion filled with cotton, down or fibre” that is usually “Firm for back or arm support or for decorative application”, this “Armrest to support your arm” while perched on a couch or settee is distinctive in its form. The decoration of the “Bolster Pillow” certainly supports an enduring appeal. Often this pillow of cyndrical form is referred to as “tube, neck or neck roll pillows”. Variations and evolutions within function, for certain. There is no standard size for this pillow of support and distinction yet the cushion that is round and long beckons our attention with its form and function. Found at the edge of sofas or daybeds or prominently on display within the assortment of pillows that may adorn a bed, the “Bolster Pillow” adds a distinct appeal to the setting with which it rests. A pillow or a prop? For certain, function and display are united together

The word “Bolster” is from the Middle English and from Old English’s “Belg Bag” from the 12th century. The history of these pillows that accessorize a room with their unique cylindrical shapes? “Bolster Pillows” are stated to have originated in the South and Southeast Asian countries (in particular Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malyasia, Signapore, Bangladesh and Thailand). Designed to be “Hugged” when sleeping, this pillow of cylindrical form holds various references including the “Hugging Pillow” which was also designed to be used for back support. In addition, these “Bolsters” were also used by the Chinese ( called a “Dakimakura” ) as end cushions for sleeping platforms. Of additional interest, in Japan it is referred to as “Jukbuin”. The tradition that follows is that the “Bolster Pillow”, hollow and formed out of bamboo, would be given by a wife to her husband when he traveled far from home to comfort him and keep him refreshingly cool during sleep due to air circulation within the bamboo form. “Juk” stands for “bamboo” and “Puin” stands for “wife”. Hence, the name “Bamboo wife” would result. Who knew? But alas, it is not a “Bolster Pillow” made of bamboo that I refer to. The form and the addition of luxurious fabrics that layered solid forms of cotton or down feathers is the “Bolster Pillow” that dwells within our interior spaces that gains my attention.

Function & Form:  The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow
Function & Form: The Decoration Of The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Style:   The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Style: The Bolster Pillow
The Bolster Pillow:  Firm & Stylish Support
The Bolster Pillow: Firm & Stylish Support
Cushions Of Support:  The Bolster Pillow
Cushions Of Support: The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Cushions:  The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow
Long & Narrow Cushions: The Appeal Of The Bolster Pillow

Consider the classic form of the “Bolster Pillow”. Comfort and visual interest united. Form and function. A decorative throw pillow? Perhaps, yet one with a distinctive visual in decoration paired with support. Comfort with versatile application. Whether custom cushions with limitless options for fabrics, colors and patterns or basic decorative accents available at-the-ready, consider the inviting appeal and comfort added with “Bolster Pillows”. Whether a “Bolster” sewn into a solid stitched form or a versatile pillow complete with zipper or hook and loop enclosure allowing for further versatility with changing display, the distinctive addition of its shape simultaneously compliments other fabrics and shapes within a room. Form and function with the cylindrical decoration of the “Bolster Pillow”, indeed…

Kristin

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