Studying the history of pillows is not easy, since it embraces the vast history of tapestry, needlework and other textiles. As utilitarian objects, pillows have been made for centuries. Wherever people have been civilized enough to desire more comfort than that of the floor or bare furniture, the pillow has a strong historical presence. In England, medieval references to pillows are sometimes found in illuminated manuscripts where they are shown arranged on benches and settles.
Chinese embroidered textiles often cause gasps among Western needle workers because their beauty and the obvious skill of their workmanship are simply astonishing.