You'd like your contemporary leather sofa to look sleek and sophisticated, but the intended effect is ruined if the pillows keep slip-sliding away. Unfortunately, the smooth texture that gives leather its lustrous look is particular about the pillows it keeps company with. To accessorize your leather sofa with pillows, you will need to create a little friction.
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Reacquaint yourself with your leather sofa and the pillows you've been trying to display on it. You may be overpowering your sofa with pillows that don't suit its style. If your sofa has plush seat and back cushions, it may only need a few decorative pillows for a pop of color. A low-profile modern sofa doesn't need to be cluttered with fussy pillows when elegant bolsters are all you need to create balance and contrast. Edit your pillow collection and find alternate homes for pieces that aren't compatible -- aesthetically or practically -- with your leather sofa.
The solution to your runaway pillow problem may be as simple as rethinking your pillow arrangement. Approach the issue scientifically, anchoring the display with pillows made from textured fabrics such as suede, linen and velvet. They'll create more friction with the leather and, therefore, stay in place better. The coarse-textured pillows also provide traction for a layer of pillows made from smoother fabrics. Depending on the grain of the leather and the texture of the anchor pillows, you may be able to get fine cotton and wool pillows into the mix. Limit the arrangement to two layers to keep pillows from sliding off the slippery seats.
Fill Them Up
Lightweight pillows are more likely to shift position than heavier ones. Swap out fluffy polyester fiberfill for a filling with more heft, such as feather down or even buckwheat hulls. If your pillows have inserts, replace them with heavier inserts of the same size. For pillows without inserts, use basic sewing skills to make the switch. Open a small portion of the pillow seam with a seam ripper, remove the existing filling, refill with new material and sew the seam closed. As an alternative to feathers or buckwheat, use polyester pellets to refill your pillows. They're lightweight, but they allow you to shape the pillow so it stays in place on the sofa.
If you don't want to give up on the collection of sleek pillows you've chosen for your sofa, add embellishments that give them more traction and staying power. Sew strips and geometric shapes cut from suede and leather -- real or faux -- on the pillows to create a pattern that's both decorative and functional. Decorate contemporary-style pillows with bands of anti-slip fabric, such as the material used on the soles of bedroom slippers. It's available in a range of colors and has a modern, industrial look. If you're reluctant to alter your pillows permanently, sew a band of nonslip material that fits snugly around the pillow and easily slips on and off.
Kathleen Berlew has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. Her work has appeared in "Crafts 'n Things," “KidsCrafts” and “Crayola Kids” magazines. Berlew’s proofreading and editing credits include the books “A Gardener’s Craft Companion,” “Christmas with Mary Engelbreit” and “The Embroidered Home.”