Pillow Styling Guide – Part 3



Home Design and Decorating – Tips

Pillow Styling Guide


Part 3


Where to Buy Throw Pillows

Clarke and Clarke

There are quite a few good options for finding throw pillows, but we feel the best collection of handmade one-of-a-kind pieces is here at Pillows by Dwellissimo.

For over 20 years we have been motivated by our love of beautiful textiles.  We carry a variety of colors, fabrics, and styles to match any type of aesthetic. From traditional cotton to luxurious velvet and wool, to handcrafted pieces from textiles carefully made by artisans around the world.

If you’re like me, and you change cushions seasonally, consider investing in quality cushion inserts and purchasing new cushion covers when you’re ready to revamp.

There are loads of other places to source your pillow covers, but our customer service is second to none as our customer reviews will attest.  We offer Free Canada and US shipping. We also offer a Free Sample Service.  Our workroom produces skillfully sewn; long-lasting pillow covers from discerningly chosen fabric – all sewn right here in Canada!


Throw Pillow Buying Guide

Credit: Diana Paulson

You may not need a seriously high-end $300.00 custom throw pillow, but you may not want the disposable quality that comes with a cheap and cheerful one either. As with most things, there is a wide range of pricing and quality in decorative textiles.

Pricing is not always reflective of quality and workmanship.

Here are some of the things to look for:

All throw pillows should have a zipper to make the cover removable. You might be surprised at home many inexpensive pillows are filled with stuffing and sewn closed. Zippers may be concealed. The current trend for larger tooth brass zippers requires the zipper to be exposed. These zippers are slightly more expensive. Check the location of the zipper. To save on fabric requirements, some zippers are located in the middle or upper back. We recommend the zipper be at the bottom allowing for easy removal of the insert.

If you are purchasing a pillow cover, there are several insert options. The first is the filling.

100% Down (most expensive)

Down and Feather in varying percentages of each. The more down, the better the quality, and expect the price to increase with higher proportions of down. It is not unusual to find 90/95% feather to 10/5% down in most commonly sold inserts.

100% Goose Feather is the most affordable option.

Synthetic or Alternative Down Hypoallergenic, Washable, costing comparatively the same as goose feather/down. Look for Made In Canada with weighty fill. These inserts have the look and feel of feather and down and are fast replacing feather and down in our store.

Polyfill is The most inexpensive and least like down. Tends to become lumpy over time and has little give. We do not sell polyfill inserts and recommend them only for our extra large 19” x 52” lumbar. These lumbars are usually only decorative in nature and do not require expensive inserts.
If you like to take your frustrations out by giving your pillows a good “karate chop” then go for one of the first four choices.

The second consideration is the insert cover material.
Make sure your down/feather pillow insert has a good quality protective cover, or you may find the quills poking through the fabric.
Covers are best with the outer shell being cotton and having a minimum of 255 thread count.

We sew a variety of cover sizes, but for most decorating requirements we suggest starting with covers 20 to 26” square. When it comes to inserts for these sizes always purchase down/feather inserts at least 2” larger than the cover size. The trick to making synthetic down inserts look and feel like the real thing is to go even larger – at least 2” to 4” larger for these larger square pillows.

When it comes to layering pillows, you may want to add smaller sizes and shapes. Choose a filler with the same dimensions as smaller covers.

 Fabric - Pillows By Dwellissimo - Clarke and Clarke

When doing price comparisons, fabric makes a huge difference.  Check for content.  Is it all-natural fibers, blends, or man-made?    Do a little research as to the type of fabric which best suits your needs.

Many of the exquisite designer fabrics are produced in smaller quantities and only available through limited sources which reflects a higher price point.   That being said, many are available at very reasonable prices.

You may not find current colour trends and patterns in cheap alternatives.

Find a retailer offering a “Sample Service”.  Many will send fabric samples for the cost of postage; others may offer a free sample service in an effort to avoid returns.  Please remember that colours will display differently depending on your monitor or device so samples are a great way to confirm your fabric choices.


Nothing beats good workmanship.  Look for finished interior seams, pattern-matching alignment, and attention to detail.

Customer reviews say it all so check them out.  Even the best retailer may have an unfortunate review but look to see how the issue was resolved.