Making gathered and pleated lampshades
By Jane Warren, Jan 15 2018 02:36PM
There is a world of difference between making a pleated and a gathered lampshade - pleated shades are traditionally formal, with sharp knife pleats runnng from top to the base of the lampshade frame. Usually made using silk, which allows for crisp pleats, they add an elegance and formality to an room scheme. They need careful handling, with each pleat having the same width.
Gathered shades are more relaxed, the fabric is literally gathered by running stitch either by hand or using a sewing machine (using a ruffler foot) along the top and base edges of a length of fabric, pulled to fit the circumference of the shade, and then hand stitched in place. Right now, gathered shades are in vogue, and lovely they are too, adding a pop of colour and texture in both formal and relaxed room settings. They are being made using sari's, vintage textiles, modern block printed ikats and silks too. Both pleated and gathered shades really should be lined, otherwise you get some very odd reflections in the room when lit!
I rather like the look of having a shade with a formal pleat at the base and then the fabric pulled up and gathered at the top - best of both worlds!