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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pssst...They're called squabs.

Squab cushions were originally used centuries ago to protect expensive hand-carved or caned seats, but over the years they have evolved into what we now refer to as the box cushion or chair pad and are used to provide padding or depth to a hard chair, ottoman or bench. These cushions are covered with fabric on both sides and are usually loose, although they may be partially attached and easily removed for cleaning or recovering. In the case of chairs with open frames, such as dining chairs, they may have ties along the back edge to secure them. Today they're also being made with Velcro fasteners, hooks or rubber bottoms to prevent slipping.


Squab in a Saarinen Tulip Chair
Squabs on both the Saarinen Womb Chair and matching ottoman
Squabs (box cushions) on a Scandinavian bench
Squab on a Bertoia Diamond Chair


  1. Very interesting and good to know. Before today, if someone would have ever told me to take a seat on their squab, I certainly wouldn't have pictured a chair cushion! haha

  2. I love it - you're always teaching me something new! SQUAB, added to my MCM vocabulary. ;)

  3. @Denise: haha I love it! Yes, I could see how that might warrant a slap (or at least a "Hmmmmf...I'm not that kind of girl") if you weren't familiar with the term.

  4. @Rhan: I don't know why I love finding these obscure, goofy terms. None of us will ever have an occasion to use any of them, but they sure are fun! :)

  5. The 'squabs' on that Saarinen chair are upholstery perfection...drool.

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