Cushion Pads Explained

Cushion pads are an important part of a cushion. These give structure and can be regarded as the "skeleton" to support the colourful outer covering. These also are what gives the comfort factor when using a cushion.

Some cushions such as scatter cushions or pillows are bought for their comfortability. These allow the person or pet to sink into their softness to rest their limbs or to give support to injured limbs.

Other types of cushions such as the base of a lounge chair or settee, need to be a little harder so their pads or inserts will be firmer.  These would also be used for wooden benches and chairs.

Types of filling use in Cushion Pads

Materials use to make cushion pads or inserts can be classed into the natural occurring ones and the synthetic or man made versions.

With all soft furnishings care must be taken where these are placed as these should not come into direct contact with a heat source.

The synthetic fibres of Acrylic and Polyester are regarded as fire resistant as they ignite at a higher temperature than other fibres.

Chemical sprays can be bought to treat these fillings so that the fire resistant quality can be enhanced.

Wool - is another type of filling that is natural. The wool would need to be washed and treated before it could be used but what a great alternative. 

Down and feathers are a natural filling for your cushions. Down is very fine and very good at insulating but  because of the high cost of a pure down cushion, it is usually mixed with feathers as well.

The mix is usually split 40% down to 60% feathers but you may find with this mix the cushion needs to be plumped up at regular intervals.

Foam blocks are usually used in making chair cushions as bases backs. Scatter cushions can be made with foam pieces as inserts. 

Polyester fibre is man-made, stable and very strong. It has many uses in today's world and is very popular in the choice for cushion inserts,

Wadding can be made from polyester or natural fibres such as wool and cotton. It is washable and the natural fibres tend to be more fire retardant mainly because of the natural qualities.

Another versatile filling for cushions is polystyrene beads. These are made up of small pieces of expanded polystyrene, which is widely used in industry for packaging as these will absorb any knocks or scrapes so keeping the item inside the box safe.

What cushions use these fillings.

Many years ago chair seats were either hard wood or if upholstered they would be filled with straw or horsehair but now these use softer materials. such as down and feathers, polyester fibre or wadding for many types of scatter or back cushions.

Choosing the type of filling for a cushion pad depends on what degree of support or comfort you are looking for:

This would be whether a cushion is needed to be soft or a more firm insert.

In some circumstances the type of filling used also dictates the fabric the inserts should be made out of. This is the case when using down and feathers or just feather inserts as the ends of the feathers can stick through most fabrics so feather proof ticking is used for these cushions or pillows.

Scatter cushions

Scatter cushions need to be soft and supple to let your body mould around them to make you comfortable and give you support.

Bean bags are made using polystyrene beads and this type of filling will allow your body to mould into the contours of the cushion so could be used for a scatter cushion.

Specialist outlets may be needed if your cushion is not of standard shape or size. These may have to be made to order.

Base cushions

Cushions for seat bases need to be firmer and are usually made with foam blocks. This foam cut into bits and pieces can also be used as a cushion filling but it tends to be a bit bulky.

You can also mix and match the different filling to get the degree of comfort that you would like. A feather topping could be added to a sturdier foam base if you would like the seat a bit softer.

Whatever design or shape you need and how large or small your cushion is, there will be some type of pad to go inside.

Different ready made Cushion pads can be bought from shops and online outlets. They come in lots of different sizes and have different fillings inside them.

When purchasing a cushion insert it is best to go for a size bigger than the size of your cushion cover. This way the cushion will look fuller as over time the filling will compact and reduce in volume.

There are lots of cushion inserts of different sizes available at Amazon to help you find what you are looking for.

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Please take care with any soft furnishing that it does not come into contact with any heat source. 

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