They are useful for supporting the body when you are sleeping or sitting upright.
There are different types of pillows in the market with the most common ones being those that form part of your bedding.
The pillows that are used as a form of bedding is used in supporting the neck and head during sleep.
These can be used in supporting the back when one is sitting on couches or chairs.
Pillows are usually made up of filling material that is hemmed in a cover made out of fabric.
These covers that are made of cloth are usually known as a pillow cover or a pillow slip.
Over time, the pillow covers or slips have evolved into decorative ones that are called pillow shams.
What are pillow shams?
A pillow sham loosely means a pillow with a false front, learn more.
This was coined in the 1700s to refer to these decorative pillows that were made with removable pillowcases.
Pillowcases and pillow shams have a similar look but pillowcases are normally used to cover the pillows that are used for actual sleeping while pillow shams are used more for their decorative purposes.
A standard pillowcase usually has one side open all the time through which the pillow is inserted into the cover.
A pillow sham, on the other hand, has both sides closed while having a slit at the back through which the pillow is inserted.
Shams are made for decorative purposes.
Because of this, they are not made for sleeping on and therefore have to be removed when one is sleeping.
How do we decorate the bed?
Since we spend about a third of our day in bed, we ought to invest not only in the functional aspect of the bedding but also on the beauty of the bedroom.
Some people like to sit up in daybed while watching the television or reading a book.
The bed, therefore, needs to be an inviting place.
These can be made in different colors and designs to match with the color themes of the room and the beddings.
Most pillow shams are made to match the duvet, bed-covers or bed-sheets.
Some pillow shams can have simple knife-edge, cording, fringes or a flange to make it decorative.
The use of the pillow shams brings in not only different colors but also the texture.
To achieve an interesting look at your bed, you may want to consider mixing up your pillow shams using different colors and designs that depict the seasons.
These changes of colors and designs will keep your bedroom looking interesting all year round.
In case you are using an odd number of shams in decorating your bed, like three shams, you can have the middle sham in a different color from the other two.
As you continue with your decoration, it is important to understand that shams come in different shapes and sizes.
While most shams come in the standard pillow sizes, there are three common sizes of shams which are the standard sham, the king sham, and the Euro sham.
The king sham is the largest and is rectangular, the standard sham is also rectangular but smaller than the king sham while the Euro sham is square.
There are other sizes of shams like the boudoir that is much smaller than the standard pillow.
These different sizes have different ways of being arranged to achieve the desired look.
As for the pillows used for sleeping, they are arranged behind the sham pillows.
When decorating with the pillow shams, it is important to have a variety of colors, textures, sizes, and designs to have the desired decorative effect.
You need to explore the different designs and colors that are available in the market to decorate the bed and keep changing.
Also, for the desired change, you might need to invest in adding a few more pillows for a fuller effect in the bed.
Most duvets and duvet covers come with their matching sham pillowcases that would make it easier in the matching.
You may also explore investing in the bed sheets that come with matching pillowcases to set a theme for your bedroom.
A general rule is to consider the style and size of the bed when choosing the sham pillows that you need to use for your bed.
How do you arrange the sham pillows?
A general method of arranging the sham pillows is, to begin with, the normal sleeping pillows resting against the headboard.
These are followed by the king sham pillows then you can arrange the standard sham pillows.
The Euro pillows are then added as a layer after the standard pillows.
You can also use the boudoir sham pillows to create more variety.
Since sham pillows are used for their decorative purposes, they need to be full and fluffy to be able to stand upright on the bed.
You can add or reduce the number of pillows depending on your needs and the size of your bed.
Get more pillow arrangement ideas here.
Can I sleep on a pillow sham?
Well, yes you can technically sleep on your pillow sham although that is not its primary purpose.
They are designed for their decorative purposes but can also take the functional purpose of a pillow cover.
For most people, the sham pillows can be used to prop up while sitting on the bed reading or watching the television.
As a fact, some of the fabrics that are used in the making of sham pillows may be too coarse and both thus making them rather uncomfortable to sleep in.
For the sake of longevity, it would be good if you would save the pillows for their decorative purposes and not for sleeping.
The covers can always be changed for variety.