How are pillows made

Overview: History of the Pillow

"As you make your bed, so you lie." An old saying goes. Although this saying can be seen transferred, it can also be understood literally. A hard surface is anything but pleasant. A soft feather bed, on the other hand, makes a cozy place to sleep. The pillow is an essential part of sleeping comfort. Its history is closely linked to that of the bed - and at the same time relatively sketchy. When was the pillow made? How did it develop as a sleeping surface? This summary is intended to support the History of the pillow sketch.

The beginnings: pillows in the early days

Like all humans, the earliest humans certainly had places to sleep. It is largely unclear whether these offered the comfort of a blanket or a pillow. It is likely, however, that animal skins were used as blankets or beds from an early age. Possibly these were one too Pillow replacement. People should too Wood or stones as a support for the head have used. As long as people moved through the world primarily as nomads, however, there were no beds and thus no pillows in the modern sense. That changed later. Sleeping places were hollows and people put soft materials in them to make beds, support their heads and cover themselves.

Antiquity: pillows and bed frames

What is certain is that the Egyptian high culture at the latest knew real beds. The Egyptians were probably the first to make special items for sleeping at night. Metal frames that are very similar in shape to today's beds are known. One important difference, however, relates to the pillow. It was a metallic attachment with a round arch - a headrest. Some models were made of wood or even ivory. There was also this “pillow” made of stone. The Egyptians rested their heads on this arch. From today's perspective, the rigid position on the hard pillow arch was neither healthy nor comfortable.

The Greeks and Romans developed the Egyptian bed and thus the pillow significantly. It is certain that both cultures used animal skins, plants, linen and leather as the basis for blankets and pillows. For wealthy people, the camp already consisted of a real bed frame that was furnished with these things.

The Romans sometimes practiced a real cult around the bed. There were mattresses, blankets, ornate bed frames and of course pillows. The typical type of pillow was made of leather or fabric, each filled with plant debris, reeds, hay, feathers or other materials. In addition, the Romans already knew the marriage bed as well as the sick bed and the death bed for laying out.

Note: There are similar developments with and without a frame all over the world. For the development of pillows in Europe, the Roman sleeping quarters based on the Egyptian model are the driving force behind it.

Examples of the early pillow outside of Europe

In China and Japan, cushions made of porcelain, precious stones or wood were common for a long time. In Africa, some trunks built wooden structures so that they could rest their heads on them at night. So, you wanted to keep insects from getting into your ears and nose. It is known from northern South America that some Indian tribes used the skulls of their ancestors to rest their heads on when sleeping.

Middle Ages: pillows are typical furnishings for the bed

As in many other areas, the Dark Ages were a step backwards in Europe. Beds were straw beds for most of the population. Beds as timbered or forged frames were rare, especially in Central Europe, and then only reserved for high-ranking personalities. The gradations in between were fluid: a wooden box here, furs and carpets on the floor there. Often several people shared a bed. The Pillows at that time were similar to those of antiquity. Filled bags or fabrics. The content was straw, leaves, plant fibers or animal hair.

Info: The development was inconsistent. Ornate pillows with silk covers and four-poster beds were widespread early on in the rich cities of southern Europe. Large parts of Europe, however, were more backward.

Soft down pillows are becoming fashionable

In the 13th century, beds became more widespread. The frames with blankets, mattresses and pillows were largely reserved for wealthy people. The poor rural population continued to sleep in the familiar sleeping quarters. There has been an interesting development with the pillows. This continued the Roman tradition as well as the examples from the rich metropolises: Down and feathers were again fillings for nicely sewn, partly embroidered pillows. These pillows were a typical part of the bed and were called, depending on the sewing method Ear cushions designated. These head pads were the first “modern” feather pillows.

Industrial revolution makes feather pillows affordable

With the increasing prevalence of sleeping alcoves and four-poster beds, pillows played a much more important role. Like the blankets, these were often lavishly decorated and softly filled. In the course of industrialization, some entrepreneurs recognized the market opportunity of feather pillows and blankets from the 18th century. They produced these in large quantities. This enabled the workers to afford feather pillows and blankets. The feather bed grew to become the standard of sleeping.

Modern: pillows in all variations

The The history of the pillow is not complete. Cushions made of all types of synthetic fibers are a relatively new development that has only conquered beds for a few decades. Polyester, cold foam, latex, gel, camel hair, virgin wool, down and feathers or spelled and other plant materials: the selection of pillow fillings today apparently covers the entire history of the pillow's development. The focus is no longer on the fillings or appearance, but primarily on the ergonomic position of the head and neck on the pillow. New technologies will further improve the pillows and their fillings and optimize them according to the latest technical and health knowledge. The future will show how pillows will continue to change.

 


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