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Welcome to the Lampshade Loft Blog

My name is Jane Warren and I love interiors - especially how they are lit up and enhanced by lovely lampshades. I make shades and teach you how to as well, so sign up and learn how to make them in your own choice of fabric.

In my blog here I offer tips on how to make the best lampshades - oversized, using paper, if to line or not and other random subjects all to do with shades!

Please read about my collaborations and inspirations on this blog, and sign up to receive my newsletter to hear more news and tips!


By Jane Warren, Oct 3 2016 03:12PM

These days, you can line a lampshade with all kinds of colours - bang on trend right now are copper and shiny bright colours of blue and gold, red and green. The drum lampshade has had a resurgence in being a central feature to many a room in interior design blogs and glossy mags, being placed low over kitchen work stations and dining tables. The drums are often plain on the outside but inside has been adorned with industial looking metals, bright, shiny (even when unlit). Popular too are the vintage-look blulbs, elements showing in large globes, beautifully hung from cotton covered cable in all kinds of colours.

These though are design elements only - and when I teach shade making I ensure that we discuss the light you wish to achieve in your rooms. Do you actually want a copper (ie off brown/orange) light in your room? isnt red going to look suspect? and green - make you feel a bit ill?!

The fact is, that whatever colour you have INSIDE your lampshade, will be the colour light ommited in your room. The bulb, when lit, will reflect the colour it is next to, downwards, upwards and outwards! Personally I like rosy glows and so choose cream or an off white linen inside the shade. Or if I love the floral fabric on the outside, I leave it unlined (if a hand sewn shade) or use a clear laminate inner for a modern drum and then the warm summer flowers drench your room in a light to match. And those bulbs? beautiful - I am a true fan - but they dont offer much light, so keep them as side lights!

The cream laminate interior of this shade saves us all from a ghostly blue!
The cream laminate interior of this shade saves us all from a ghostly blue!

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!

By Jane Warren, Apr 14 2016 04:06PM

Making a lampshade by hand takes time - first you have to prep the frame itself, then bind it, then stretch and sew your outer fabric onto the frame, and then drop in a lining and hand sew that in to position too. But these carefully hand sewn stitiches will show along the top and base rings, and need to be covered. Usually the top ring's stitches are covered with some bias binding that you make yourself - and this both hides the stitches and also looks in place as it matches.

But what about the base ring? Although you can buy cheaply these days a whole variety of trims, to my mind they can look cheap too. So you have spent hours sewing and making your masterpiece and you are going to add a cheap silky fringe? well why not make your own? they are cheap too because the chances are you are using your face fabric, or buying some quality ribbon which isnt expensive either. And making trims by hand is satisfying, interesting and you are making something truly bespoke too. When you come to a class to learn how to make the traditional lampshade style, you will also be taught how to make these wonderful trims. As you can see from the image here, the different trims give your (int his case, plain) shade totally different looks! come and learn how to create these at one of my classes!

By Jane Warren, Apr 4 2016 07:22PM

There is one style of lampshade that is enjoying a resurgence in popularity - and that is the 'kitchen' lampshade. This has a removeable cover which is made up of a either just an outer fabric, or one that can be lined. According to Margaret Rourke (queen of lampshades as anyone knows) and her book published in 1961, they are ideal for 'any room where frequent washing of light fittings is essential'. Clearly this was before spotlights were invented! The point is, that this lampshade is made of a cover with elastic fitted in a casing at the top and base of the cover so that it can be easily removed. I think these days, we just think they look lovely and particuarly suit the country cottage style! You can now get these from our hand sewn shade shop, or contact me to make one for you in your own choice of fabric.

By Jane Warren, Feb 26 2016 08:22PM

I have been busy running lots of lampshade workshops from my home this winter and have dates booked in the spring and summer too. If you would like to learn either traditional or modern lampshade making, please do get in touch. I have some people who would prefer to learn in a group and they are waiting for others like you to get in touch with me! its a great way of meeting new people and learning a new skill, either for fun or for a serious professional offering. Please get in touch and ask for my flyers on both types of shade making to be emailed to you.

I look forward to meeting you!

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