Traditional Lampshade Making - to line or not to line?
By Jane Warren, Jun 2 2016 11:00AM
When I teach students how to make the traditional hand sewn 'soft' lampshades, one of the big questions is: To line or not to line?
Lining a lampshade takes time but is necessary if you wish to hide the metal struts or if your fabric is thin. Like many things, there are pro's and cons, so here are some pointers:
Advantages of lining:
* the light ommited by the lampshade will be colour the bulb is next to - creamy coloured lining will give off a creamy warm light (if you don't line and you are using a bright red fabric - well the result will be bright red light in the room)
* your seams of the outer cover and the metal struts will all be hidden, important if you are using the shade as a ceiling or pendant lampshade - you look up into a lovely lining, not the metal workings
* it adds thickness to the outer fabric, so if your chosen fabric is thin (think Liberty Tana Lawns) then the bulb may glare through, whereas with one, the light will be softer
* perhaps the biggest advantage is that it looks more professional
Disadvantages of lining:
* time - it will literally take you twice the time to make the shade if lined as unlined
* cost - more materials to use
* your outer fabric pattern will be more muted - in the 1950's floral interiors style (think Sanderson) - the large standard lampshades were purposely not lined so that the roses positively become a floral fest in your living room when lit!
Perhaps one of the main reasons makers still line shades is to hide the lampshade tape that is woven around the rings before you start making it (the fabric is sewn through this to attach it to the frame) but I have devised a way to hide this anyway even if you are making an unlined shade - come to a class and find out how!