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In Praise of Embroidered Pillowcases

All of a sudden I’m seeing embroidered pillowcases everywhere and I couldn’t be happier about it!

We received a set of embroidered pillowcases as a wedding gift over two decades ago. I can’t remember who gave them to me (sorry!) or if they were even handstitched. I always thought those embroidered pillowcases made my bedding look far fancier than it really was.

Unfortunately, fancy eventually turned into threadbare because we used those pillowcases so often.

I don’t know how many of you learned to hand embroider, but I’d venture to say it was a much more common skill if you go back a couple of generations.

Not to put an emphasis on her age, but my aunt used to go to the dime store and buy a set of pillowcases stamped with a pattern that she would then hand embroider.

While dime stores have gone away, you can still buy stamped pillowcases online for the purposes of embroidery. The ink from the stamp washes out after you’re done stitching the pattern. However, the ones I’ve seen online only come in a standard size and don’t have a super high thread count. If you’re sleeping on fancy sheets now, these pillowcases might feel a little scratchier than you are used to.

While embroidery machines have been around since the 1800s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that computerized embroidery machines hit the market. All the mass-marketed embroidered pillowcases that I’m drooling over today are because of computerized embroidery.

Here are some embroidered pillowcases that caught my eye recently.


These harvest-themed embroidered pillowcases from Lands’ End come in standard or king size.

This is a fun pattern for fall and could easily be added to existing bedding with blue, green, or neutral tones.

lands end embroidered pillowcases multi harvest

(shop the image: Lands’ End)


Serena & Lily used inspiration from a vintage print library to create these embroidered pillowcases.

Can you imagine doing a pattern like this by hand? It would take me three lifetimes.

Joking! You know I’d give up long before that!

serena and lily olympia embroidered pillowcases

(shop the image: Serena & Lily)

Serena & Lily also has an embroidered wave pillowcase and sheet set that I adore. It feels feminine to me without being overly fussy.

I just wish they weren’t so expensive!

serena and lily del ray wave embroidered pillowcases

(shop the image: Serena & Lily)


Aren’t these flamingo embroidered pillowcases from Wayfair fun?

They would look so cute and playful in a little girl’s room.

wayfair reagan flamingo embroidered pillowcases

(shop the image: Wayfair)


Want to keep it more simple? Pottery Barn has you covered. They have embroidered dot pillowcases that keep things streamlined, but special.

I’m showing you the spicy red version, but it comes in muted tans and blues too.

pottery barn pearl organic embroidered pillowcases

(shop the image: Pottery Barn)

As an aside, if you were to use a satin stitch to make all of those dots by hand, it would probably give you a hand cramp. Or worse, a brain cramp if even one of those dots was slightly out of alignment.


I like the sweet design on these embroidered pillowcases from Amazon. It reminds me of some of the vintage pillowcases I’ve seen.

shentao embroidered pillowcases amazon

(shop the image: Amazon)


Speaking of vintage, you can always go the actual vintage route with embroidered pillowcases too. Etsy has tons of shops that sell them and you can find them in thrift stores too.

While I’m showing you an example of a vintage embroidered pillowcase, I’m sure this particular set will be sold by the time you read this post. However, I’m linking an Etsy shop that seems to specialize in vintage pillowcases.

vintage embroidered pillowcase Mrs Petunia shop on Etsy
(shop the image: MrsPetunia via Etsy)

P.S. The top image in this post was also a vintage pillowcase from MrsPetunia’s shop on Etsy.


It feels a bit conflicting at times, but I value the time and craftsmanship it takes to hand embroider and I also appreciate the convenience of computerized embroidery.

Most of all, it makes me happy to see embroidered pillowcases becoming popular again. The splash of color and the special nature of an embroidered design can elevate the wow factor of even the most basic bedding.

What’s not to love about that?

Have you ever had embroidered pillowcases? Or do you have a set now? I’d love to know!


I appreciate that you spent a moment of your day with me. Here are some other posts in this series that you might enjoy.

In Praise of Ceramic Colanders

In Praise of Oil Lamps

In Praise of the Mansard Roof

In Praise of the Church Pew for Home Decor

 

*affiliate links in this blog post*

 

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