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Cushion: makes a lounge or rug softer
Cushions: often found in piles

A cushion (from Old French coisson, coussin; from Latin culcita, a quilt) is a soft bag of some ornamental material, stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, polyester staple fiber, non-woven material, or even paper torn into fragments. It may be used for sitting or kneeling upon, or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch. Cushions and rugs can be used temporarily outside, to soften a hard ground. They can be placed on sunloungers and used to prevent annoyances from moist grass and biting insects. Some dialects of English use this word to refer to throw pillows as well.

The cushion is a very ancient article of furniture; the inventories of the contents of palaces and great houses in the early Middle Ages constantly made mention of them. Cushions were then often of great size, covered with leather, and firm enough to serve as a seat, but the steady tendency of all furniture has been to grow smaller with time.

Cushions were, indeed, used as seats at all events in France and Spain at a very much later period, and in Saint-Simon's time we find that in the Spanish court they were still regarded as a peculiarly honourable substitute for a chair. In France, the right to kneel upon a cushion in church behind the king was jealously guarded and strictly regulated, as we learn again from Saint-Simon. This type of cushion was called a carreau, or square. When seats were rude and hard, cushions may have been a necessity; they are now one of the minor luxuries of life.

See also

References


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CUSHION (from O. Fr. coisson, coussin; according to the New English Dict., from Lat. coxa, a hip; others say from Lat. culcita, a quilt), a soft bag of some ornamental material, stuffed with wool, hair, feathers, or even paper torn into fragments. It may be used for sitting or kneeling upon, or to soften the hardness or angularity of a chair or couch. It is a very ancient article of furniture, the inventories of the contents of palaces and great houses in the early middle ages constantly making mention of it. It was then often of great size, covered with leather, and firm enough to serve as a seat, but the steady tendency of all furniture has been to grow smaller. It was, indeed, used as a seat, at all events in France and Spain, at a very much later period, and in Saint-Simon's time we find that at the Spanish court it was still regarded as a peculiarly honourable substitute for a chair. In France the right to kneel upon a cushion in church behind the king was jealously guarded and strictly regulated, as we may learn again from Saint-Simon. This type of cushion was called a carreau or square. When seats were rude and hard the cushion may have been a necessity; it is now one of the minor luxuries of life.

The term "cushion" is given in architecture to the sides of the Ionic capital. It is also applied to an early and simple form of the Romanesque capitals of Germany and England, which consist of cubical masses, square at the top and rounded off at the four corners, so as to reduce the lower diameter to a circle of the same size as the shaft.


<< William Barker Cushing

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Simple English

A cushion is a soft bag of material, filled with wool, hair, feathers, or even paper in small pieces .[1] It may be used for sitting on to make a chair or couch more comfortable. Cushions can be used for body support. Cushions and rugs can be used outside, to make hard ground softer. Cushions can be used to decorate and make places prettier. Cushions can come in many different shapes and sizes. However, the most common shape of a cushion is a square or rectangle, like a pillow.

References

  1. "1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cushion - Wikisource". en.wikisource.org. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/1911_Encyclop%C3%A6dia_Britannica/Cushion. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 









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