Pillow shams are the most elegant and stylish kinds of pillows. These beautiful pieces are designed for people who want to add a touch of elegance to their bedroom or living room. This article provides an outlook into pillow shams.
What Is a Pillow Sham?
A pillow sham is a decorative pillow cover often made from the same material as your sheeting. It's typically an envelope-style closure on one end, meaning that you put your pillow into said sham, then tuck the open end of the sham under the pillow itself. Commonly used on down or down alternative pillows, but can also be used for any pillow you have on hand!
The pillow sham is a specific type of case that has ties to keep it closed. It's traditionally built to fit one standard-sized pillow, whether it be square or rectangle in shape. The fabric may vary from very thin and plain to thick with patterns or prints. However, the purpose doesn't change much. It's simply to cover the pillow to keep it:
- Protected from dust or damage
- Giving it a pleasant and decorative finish when left open.
Pillow Sham vs. Pillowcase
The functionality is not entirely different - both pieces of fabric use ties to hold them in place on the pillow. But there are differences in the finished look of the pillow depending on which type is used. Here are some of the common differences between pillowcases and pillow shams:
- Pillow shams are typically bigger than your average pillowcase. Often, they measure twice the size of a traditional pillowcase. This means that if you have some oversized pillows or want to create extra fullness in your bedding, pillow shams are the way to go!
- A sham has a more tailored appearance due to the seams and closures - whereas it may be difficult to tell where one side ends, and another begins on a basic pillowcase. However, this is not always the case, as many pillowcases are made with similar details to a sham.
- The bigger difference is how the two look when they are open and used to sleep upon. The pillowcase, as its name implies, covers only the front of a standard-sized pillow. On the other hand, a sham envelops the entire thing from one side to another. This makes it possible for a bed to have several pillows with matching shams, even if they are different sizes.
How to Use Pillow Shams?
Once you understand what makes a sham different from other pillow types, choosing which one will work best on your bed is next.
If you plan to use your pillow shams for decorative purposes, you can choose any type that suits your tastes well. For instance, there are prints in modern designs as well as floral prints in traditional styles. The color is entirely up to the buyer, though white is one of the most common colors used, ivory coming in a close second.
The same goes for the fabric used to make the sham - there are many options available, including silk, cotton, linen, and even polyester. It's also worth noting that some types are machine-washable while others are not. If you are buying more than one pillow sham or expect to
There are a few ways one can use pillow shams. Here are the most obvious ways:
- Simply place the sham over a regular pillow tying it closed to protect that pillow from dirt or damage while also adding a decorative flourish to the bed.
- Another everyday use for a sham is to remove the pillow from the inside and toss it in the wash when it needs to be cleaned. This allows a person to have just the fabric sham as the only pillow on their bed without having to worry about finding time to take it into or out of a dry cleaner's store or paying extra fees to have it cleaned at a laundromat or similar place.
Types of Pillow Shams
There are a wide variety of pillow shams to choose from. The first step is determining which size best fits your bedding needs. Many types come in twin, queen, and king sizes. You can also find sham sets that come with more than one, including a matching set that includes two standard pillow shams and one king-size sham.
Dust ruffles are another common type of sham used for decorative purposes on top of the bedding only. It's only made to cover half of a pillow, but it can be tied closed just like any other sham.
There are also flat shams, which can be used as pillowcases or for decorative purposes depending on the type of flat sham one purchases. These do not go over a pillow and instead lay flat on top of it to provide another layer of cover and decoration all at once. Finally, you'll find bolsters that may look like a pillow to the untrained eye but are instead made to give support to your back or legs while you sit up in bed for reading or watching television.