The word "cushion" was used in writings as far back as the Middle Ages. Made of sackcloth or leather, filled with hair or wool and often embroidered, these large items were more like the floor pillows of today. In the U.S., the terms "pillow" and "cushion" can be interchangeable. In many other Western countries, a pillow is usually larger and for sleeping, while a cushion is used for lounging.Most standard cushions on the market are 17 by 17 inches square. This is because a standard roll of fabric is 54 inches wide. Allowing for seams, three 18-inch pieces of fabric can be cut, avoiding wastage. Custom-designed cushions may cost a little more, but they open up a world of possibilities.