Friendship can be celebrated any day of the year, by why not acknowledge your besties with a little extra flourish today 8 June because it’s Best Friends Day.
And what do you do when you are with a best friend? PILLOW FIGHT. Yes, in a strange twist it seems humans are designed to show friendship by bopping our besties with a pillow. Which got me to thinking about pillows. My husband recently bought the most expensive pillow in the bedding store because when you are a light sleeper like him, your pillow is your best friend.
A little digging led me to Hankering for History and the most illuminating piece “Pillows throughout Time” which shares that the earliest pillows date back over 9,000 years to Mesopotamia which we would now know as Iraq. These pillows were made from stone and the top was carved in a half-moon shape to support the neck. They were designed to keep the head off the ground and prevent insects from crawling into any convenient orifice – the mouth, the nose, and ears.
The Egyptians’ pillows reflected their belief that the head was an important spiritual and life centre for the body. So they created wooden headrests to hold and protect the heads of wealthy individuals. Not many wooden pillows for other folk. The Chinese created ornately decorated pillows from wood, stone, bamboo, porcelain, bronze, and even jade. They did create soft pillows, but were non too fussed with their invention because they thought the softie pillows stole energy and vitality from the body during sleep and were particularly useless at keeping demons away.
Ancient Greeks and Romans did use cloth filled with materials such as feathers or straw but by the Middle Ages pillows had fallen out of favour because the manly men viewed pillows as a sign of extreme weakness. Henry VIII banned the use of soft pillows with the exception of use by pregnant women. By the 16th Century the use of pillows had become increasingly commonplace but the stuffing had to be changed regularly to avoid mould or vermin infestation.
It took the Industrial Revolution to create a pillow revolution . Mass production of textiles meant many people could afford to sleep with a pillow at night and some could even afford decorative pillows for chairs and couches – luxury!
Today there are literally hundreds of different pillow options. I can distinctly remember the first time I saw a pillow menu in an upmarket hotel – it seemed both a good idea and vaguely absurd at the same time. This from the Benjamin in NYC (where I have stayed a few times) “From a top ten pillow selection categorized by sleep position to bedtime snacks under 200 calories from Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s The National, our Rest & Renew Menu presents our best sleep solutions curated by The Benjamin’s Sleep Consultant Rebecca Robbins. The menu is on the bedside table of each room and suite.”.Wow…Just think, I could choose from the Swedish Memory, the Lullaby, the Cloud 10 or the Sleep for Success Side Pillow.
Seems the material used for filling provides determines the level of support and the comfort level.You can go for your natural fillings such as down, feather, buckwheat, cotton, alpaca, or sheep wool or synthetic materials such as foam, latex and polyester.I won’t judge on the material you choose -it’s up to you, your neck and your allergies.
You can also go for the gift wrapped pillow box. These quirky little boxes have the look of pillows as their name suggests and are fabulous for presenting small things like jewellery, make up, gift cards or small mementos. There are a heap of patterns online that show you how to make pillow boxes, though I must confess that I prefer the manufactured ones with their crisp edges and curves and if you are savvy you can find some delightful ones at a really good price.
I have chosen a pillow box for a little gift for my best friend. My pillow has a beautiful floral pattern matched with a lovely little bow. It is just the right size for the piece of jewellry inside and it’s nicely protected so nothing happens in transit. Can’t wait to give it to her AND have a pillow fight.