Another week, another guide on our favourite thing…cushions. Much like shoes, or salt & vinegar crisps on a hangover, you can never have enough cushions at home. They are the quickest way to help lift a room, adding print, pattern, texture and style. Last week in our post: Using Cushion Covers To Transform Your Home – The Ultimate Guide To Picking The Best Scatter Cushions Of 2018 we looked at an array of cushions ready to sit pretty in your home, from animal to geometric print, we discovered inspiration for different interior styles and how to experiment with cushion shape and size. But, what if you wanted something a little bit more bespoke? You might have found a dream fabric for your curtains that you’d like to match your cushions to. This week we provide a step by step guide to getting the fabric, texture, filling and finish to make sure that your bespoke cushions last the test of time.
The perfect finish:
Animal Print Fabric
So we’re not done with animal print yet, and we won’t ever be. It’s only just hit the mainstream again (sort of) as a chic print, rather than something Kat Slater would have draped across her sofa. Obviously we have animal print cushions in the shop here, but what if you’ve got a particular shaped cushion in mind but can’t find the right cover? A quick solution is to find the fabric and get them made / or make them yourself. Etsy is a great place to start a fabric hunt for your bespoke cushions. Printed Animal Fabric have a range of animal inspired textiles (mostly leopard) to choose from, you can request a specific size if needed. For something a little more luxe, Jole & Son fabrics have a fabulous collection of animal fabrics from zebra to tiger, in a range of colourways.
We like to look to interior designers like Kelly Wearstler for print inspiration, but getting your hands on designer fabrics can be a pricey experience. But the great thing about cushions is they don’t require a great amount of fabric, and the price point will be worth it to create something completely bespoke to your home. Ebay is a great trick for bidding on scraps of fabric, especially if you’re just making small cushions. Jane Clayton is also a great source of designer geometric fabric with nearly 100 brands to choose from, and you can purchase by the metre. Not that you have to go designer, there are a ton of prints and fabrics out there to choose from.
Here’s the cushion fabric in situ in this opulent living room, a perfect example of how to customise your interiors with a fabric of your choice for a truly unique finish:
Here’s another inspiration shot using fabric to create bespoke cushions for a wonderful window seat:
The same geometric fabric is used here to add a splash of monochrome to the sofa:
The cushion texture you go for should probably be determined by what you’re wrestling with at home, whether that’s a messy toddler, a very malty dog, or a clumsy husband. Some choose to go for style over practicality which can work if you’re keen to be strict with who sits where, or who’s allowed in the grown up room. Velvet is hard to clean and although plush and divinely tempting, it may not be the safest choice around children. But, despite it all we’ve included it here in our list because we’re willing to forgo the practicalities for the aesthetics.
A favourite of ours for layering texture and creating warmth, velvet is a sumptuous choice for cushions. When you’re designing your own sofa cushion covers, if you want to be a little more practical, a great idea is to choose velvet for just one side, i:e the back as a soft contrast to block print. A lot of animal print fabric does come in velvet so you’re ticking the style boxes there.
Velvet is also great to combine with other cushion fabric, shown here:
For something even more luxuriously cozy than velvet, sheepskin is an ideal choice, perhaps just to whip out in the winter months when your sofa or bed requires more warmth. You can buy sheepskin from most fabric shops, it just depends whether you want to go with faux fur cushions or the real deal. Real sheepskin can be bought at different hair lengths, and with different breeds of sheep, you have a choice of different textures.
Mongolian cushions (faux or real) will have a shaggy texture…
This little guide gives a quick overview on the different types of sheepskins to help you choose the right one for your sheepskin cushions. This kind of fabric also makes fabulous chair covers and we have a collection of sheepskin seat covers in the shop.
Ok, but if we really have to be practical perhaps we should consider washable cushion covers or even waterproof cushion covers. Choose washable fabrics when you’re finding fabrics for your cushions, a fabric you can unzip and throw in the washing machine easily. A sneaky idea is to choose outdoor fabrics for your sofa cushion covers. These are designed to be hardy and if they can weather a storm, they might just be able to handle Ribena here and there. Stoff & Still do a range of outdoor fabrics that are water repellent, in a small collection of colours and prints.
If you’ve ever wondered which size cushion cover you should buy or make for your cushion filling, then experts say to go one size up. But if you’re looking for plump cushions, you should always get an insert that is one size bigger than the cover. Take a look at this handy cushion size guide.
Feather Filled Cushions
A feather cushion filling is the ideal choice for most scatter and bolster cushions. Duck feather filled cushions are a popular filling, they give good support and comfort because of the small natural curl of the feather which acts like a small spring. For something a little more luxe, a feather & down cushion filling will give a softer more plump look than just duck feather pillows. They are a luxury combination of small duck feathers and pure duck down. They can last longer because of the down. But choose pure duck down if you wanted ultimate luxury and softness.
Hollowfibre Cushion Filling
For a faux choice, hollowfibre is a synthetic material, made of hollow strands that allow air to pass through. It creates a similar plump cushion to feather pillows (perhaps less soft) with a medium to firm feel. It’s also ideal for those who suffer from allergies.
Foam Cushion Filling
If you want a more defined shape, or you’re looking for more of a support cushion then a foam cushion filling is perfect. The foam wadding provides a dense plump finish, more than a loose feather filling.
For more filling types check out this little guide here
The Perfect Finish
It’s the detail that counts and there are several final touches you can make to your cushion seams that will add a unique touch to your cushions. Adding coloured piping, pom poms, fringing or tassels for example are just some of the features you can add. If you want to learn how to make your own cushions with piping then this blog post has a step by step guide using sumptuous House of Hackney fabric.
Fringing nods slightly to the 70’s and not only adds further texture but you can also use it as a pop of colour. This works particularly well with printed cushions. Tassel fringing is a particular favourite of ours:
How To Make Your Own Velvet Button Cushion
If you have a penchant for cute buttons then there are different ways to add them to cushions. This DIY video shows how to make a round velvet button cushion:
So that’s it, fabrics, textures, fillings and finishes covered, hopefully this post has given you some inspiration on sourcing your own fabrics or even making your own bespoke cushions if you’re feeling brave.
Next week for number 3 in our cushion series, we’ll be looking to the floor for inspiration on stylish floor cushions and putting our feet up on pouffes. We’ll go beyond interiors to the outdoors exploring how to create outdoor seating cushions for a lavish outdoor space.