How to Add a Little Pizzazz to Pillows and Cushions

When integrating decorative cushions and throw pillows into your home’s décor scheme, even the smallest touches can make the difference between a run of the mill room and one that’s elegant. These little touches are often the kind of things we don’t notice when they’re present, but are glaring by omission when they aren’t. Additions like cord welting and buttoning can add class and personalization to throw pillows, a pattern cushion, or any other furniture in the home.


Welting on cushions and pillows, also known as piping, is a thin rope of cotton or similar material wrapped in fabric to either match or compliment a cushion’s cover and sewn along an outer seam. This technique is often used as an attractive way to mask seams around the cushion inserts and is a simple way to add an extra touch of color or style. Welting is often done along the top and bottom seams of box cushions or around the outer edges of pinched-seam cushions and pillows, much like a frame. The box cushion welting, frequently seen on outdoor patio cushions, reinforces the profile of thicker cushions and also helps prevent the cover from sliding by giving the seam a little more rigidity.


While welting can create a crisp, contemporary look, buttoning on the other hand creates a tufted appearance for classic styling that goes well with antique furniture. Buttoning is done by running thread directly through the cushion and tying it off on both sides with a button. This tension creates a gentle bunching around the button, which gives the appearance of a fluffier cushion. Most tufted, button-style cushions feature a single button in the center, four buttons located near the corners of a cushion, or five buttons; one in each corner and another in the center.


If you’re after a small touch that makes a big difference, cord welting and buttoning are just what you’re looking for with your next cushion or pillow project.