Do you ever get confused when shopping for pillows? what does all this terminology mean? Knife edge or flange? and what's a single-sided pillow? don't all pillows have two sides?
Not all terms are universal among workrooms and shops, which can make it even more confusing. We're defining all of these terms relative to our shop below to help make it easier when shopping our pillows so that you'll be able to customize your designer pillows more confidently.
Square: a pillow having all four sides measuring equal length.
You might see this notated as a 20x20 pillow to indicate height and width are the same. You may also see this notated as a simple 20" pillow, which indicates all sides are 20" to form a square.
Lumbar: a pillow having a height smaller than its width.
These are the "rectangle" shaped pillows. Standard lumbars in our shop are sized as a 13x19 or 13x35 (13" tall and 19" or 35" long respectively), but we can also customize other sizes at your request. These pillow cover sizes still use a standard insert similar to the square inserts - just rectangular in shape.
Bolster: a long, cylindrical shaped pillow.
Bolsters come in various diameters and lengths. Our standard is a 9" diameter which is ideal for bedding. We offer 3 different lengths: 24", 36", and 48". You'll see this notated as 9x24, 9x36, and 9x48.
Bolster inserts are included with purchase of a bolster. We offer a soft, poly-fil insert for a more plush cylindrical shape. Foam inserts are also available upon request for a more firm cylindrical shape.
Knife edge: describes a pillow without any trim sewn into the seams between the front and back fabrics.
Some workrooms use "knife edge" more generally. The term is sometimes used to describe any pillow where the front is sewn to the back without any boxing strips. In this case, a "knife edge" pillow means a standard pillow that is not constructed like a box cushion and that may or may not have additional trim sewn into the seams.
For our shop's purposes, know when you order a knife edge pillow, the front and back fabrics will meet directly at the seam without any trim sewn in between.
Cording: describes a pillow with a decorative cord sewn into the seams.
The decorative cord is made using fibers that are intertwined and then attached to a lip similar to twill tape for ease of application.
Welt: describes a pillow with a fabric covered cord sewn into the seams.
A self welt is made using the same fabric as the pillow. A contrast welt is made using a coordinating fabric different than the pillow.
Flange: describes a pillow with a flat strip of fabric sewn into the seams.
This trim can be applied in multiple different ways to add details to the corners. A simple flange is applied with no corner detailing. Other applications include mitering at the corners or adding pleats/folds at the corners for a more feminine touch.
Similar to welt, a self flange is made using the same fabric as the pillow. A contrast flange is made using a coordinating fabric different than the pillow.
Fringe: describes a pillow with loose threads or tassels sewn into the seams.
Fringe trim is made using loose threads looped together with a decorative heading. This heading becomes hidden when sewn into the seam so only the loose threads are visible.
Unsure which trim is best for your space? We shared more information on how to choose the right trim for your pillow on our blog here.
Single-sided: describes a pillow that has a different fabric on the back than what is used for the face of the pillow.
Our shop uses a natural linen-like fabric on the back that blends well with most other fabrics. You might also prefer a different color solid to coordinate with the front of the pillow. We can source other colors for a custom request!
Double-sided: describes a pillow that uses the same designer fabric on front and back.
This style offers the most professional and custom look. When the pattern repeat allows it, patterns are matched or aligned at the seams for a finish that is pleasing to the eye.