Lampshades

There are numerous examples of lampshades I have made throughout my blog, but I thought now I’ve done a series of posts about how to make them it would be a good idea to add a Lampshade page.

A selection of lampshades are now for sale at the Alchemist Gallery in Dingwall, in the Highlands of Scotland. If you have bought one of the lampshades I hope you love it. My home is filled with them and given lampshades spend most of the day unlit, it’s nice to have a piece of art on display.

Below are some additional details about the lampshades, some examples and links to more detailed posts on how they are made.

The lampshade kits I use have the following details:

Specifications
Your lampshade can be used on European and the UK (includes adaptor ring), so if your lamp is from IKEA, for example, then you just remove the adaptor ring).

Lampholder Types
B22 Bayonet Cap Lampholders (UK) Adaptor Fitted
E14 Edison Screw Lampholders (EU) Adaptor Fitted
E27 Edison Screw Lampholders (EU) Adaptor Removed
E26 Edison Screw Lampholders (US) Adaptor Removed

Lampshade Assembled Size

The ones I mostly offer are:

20cm Diameter x 18cm High

25cm Diameter x 21cm High

(Other sizes can be made, but would increase the price as small kit orders from my supplier don’t have a discount and would obviously require more fibre/effort to make the felt. However, I’m happy to provide a quote for larger sizes, or sets.)

Lining Colour
White (some other colour options are available, but would require a special order and would increase the price).

Bulb Advice
The kit manufacturers recommend the use of low energy bulbs with your lampshades. They use less energy and are cool to the touch, avoiding the problem of scorching shades and ceilings.

Testing
The lampshade lining and wires have been tested by the manufacturer and passed the glow wire test carried out by the Lighting Association. Wool is naturally fire retardant, which is why it is used for fire blankets.

Visibility

When lit the landscape patterns may be less clear than when they are unlit. They will however show the textures and varying thicknesses in the fibres, that creates its own features.

The fibres I use are:

As far as possible I try to use wool from local/British sheep, rather than merino wool which is most often imported from Australia and New Zealand.

  1. Shetland wool pre-felt base
  2. The needle felted sheep are from a friend’s sheep. They live on the hills not far from Loch Ness
  3. Some contain North Ronaldsay wool, that I bought in the Orkney Isles and dyed myself. These sheep are famous for eating seaweed and living along the coast of North Ronaldsay (an Orkney Isle). This breed has some white and black thicker curly hairs that I have removed a lot by hand, but some will have slipped through.
  4. Some include wool from Corriedale cross sheep and other sheep breeds from a lady in Aberdeenshire who has her own sheep and sources fleeces from other locals.
  5. I have also dyed some merino, Corriedale and other wool fibres that are included in the lampshades
  6. The silks are often silk waste, left over from the manufacture of silk threads (throwster silk waste) and silk fabrics (sari silk waste).
  7. On the seascapes I often use some dyed flax fibre (the fibre used to make linen). I also use silk/flax waste mix for waves and sometimes silk/viscose waste. The pebbles are wool nepps.
  8. The angelina (sparkle) fibre is obviously manufactured rather than being natural, but sometimes it’s nice to do a lampshade that has a hint of sparkle!

Other things you may like to know:

  1. It is olive oil soap, not washing up liquid, that I use during the felting process.
  2. I do not use any sort of adapted sander or felting machine to do the felting, these are all felted using a lot of elbow grease!
  3. There’s a lot of work that goes into each lampshade. Not including the time spent cleaning fleeces, dyeing and blending fibres, they take a few days to make. There’s cutting the pre-felt, laying out the design, wet felting the shades, adding needle felted detail where applicable and then trimming and constructing the lampshades, then creating a label and wrapping in cellophane(100% biodegradable).
  4. I recommend using a low tack lint roller to clean the shades. I use these on material ones too, but not too often!

If you are interested in how I make them please check these posts.

Part 1 – Equipment & Supplies

Part 2 – Felting Process

Part 3 – Construction

Photo Gallery

Here’s a gallery of some of the styles I have made so far.  The majority are either 25cm or 20cm diameter.

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