For those who love hand made lace.
When questions arise about recommendations for tools and equipment. let's put them here.
Has anyone ever used petfresh paper bedding to stuff a pillow? It's like softish recycled paper fluff. I bought a ton of it on sale for my small animals and it seems to compact pretty well in the bags. (I'm nervous about using hay or saw dust due to allergies but I want something that is going to be around a longer time than foam)
The important thing about a pillow is 1. it must be easy to stick pins into it without the pins bending, and 2. it has to be hard enough that the pins don't wobble when you pull on the threads that the pins support.
So long as the stuffing material produces those 2 conditions, it is OK. I suspect that paper, when condensed enough to hold the pins firmly, would probably not be easy to stick pins into, and they would bend. I haven't tried paper, and haven't heard of anyone doing that. It might work.
I have a sawdust pillow that I made when I first started. It made lots of dust when I made it and it took more than a week to get all of it out of the air, even with several vacuuming sessions. I did get it pounded enough to be hard, but it weighs a ton. Carrying it to meetings is really not practical.
What shape pillow are you trying to make?
I have found that 100% wool fabric is good. It is easy to stick pins into and holds the pins well if it is stuffed really full. The major drawback is that new wool fabric is expensive. Wool roving would work, but I don't know about the cost. I do have instructions for making a roller insert pillow and a flat cookie pillow on my website. And for both I used a cut up old army blanket and some wool scraps. http://lynxlace.com/makeapillow.html
If you are allergic to wool I suggest foam, but not all foam. Ethafoam - poly ethylene - does work quite well, and does last a long time. I found some 8 inch cylindrical ethafoam 30 years ago and made a huge ethafoam pillow with the ethafoam roller. I use it for my widest laces. http://lynxlace.com/images/r12zzz.jpg
If you know an upholsterer, - get a horsehair filled pillow -- It is The Best!! I have a small 18 inch diameter one, and Love it!!
If you go for an ethafoam one - put some layers of felt or old wool blanket over the top - under the covering, as that holds the pins nicely, and stops any squeaks from the pins meeting the foam! It makes it all feel nicer on your hands too.