There are two large categories of lampshades – hardback lampshades and silk or soft lampshades. There are two primary differences between a hardback lampshade and a silk lampshade: the inside composition of the lampshade and whether the shade is constructed with only a top ring and a bottom ring, or, alternatively, are the top and bottom rings connected by vertical wires thereby creating a 3-dimensional frame.
The distinction between hardback and silk or soft shade is important in determining whether a lampshade can be repaired, or whether the only alternative is a replacement. In general…..soft or silk shades can be repaired, and hardback lampshades cannot be repaired…… but, there are exceptions!
Silk Lampshade Repairs
We have repaired many silk shades. There are two primary problems that arise with silk shades.
- Inner Lining Damage
- Outer Fabric Damage
The inner lining of a silk lampshade can become very thin over time, and ultimately will tear and fall out. The solution for this occurrence is to reline the lampshade. The process to reline a lampshade involves removing the remaining lining material, loosening the outside fabric, creating a new pattern, prepping and cutting the lining fabric and then sewing the new lining into the shades, finishing with re-attaching the outer fabric. We do this type of work frequently, particularly for antique lampshades, or shades with unique shapes and outside fabrics. The following are some examples of shades that we have relined for our customers.
The only time we discourage relining a silk lampshade is when the shade frame is bent or broken. In the case of a bent or broken lampshade frame, we recommend replacement. Our lampshade frame manufacturers are adept at creating and matching existing lampshade frames. At this point, however, it is possible that we have entered the area of a custom lampshade, which, though usually remarkable, are also generally expensive.
Hardback Lampshade Repairs
Whereas most silk lampshades can generally be repaired, the same is not true of hardback lampshades. Instead, the only repair that is generally possible on a hardback lampshade is to re-attach a top or bottom ring that has come loose or fallen out. In this case, we can re-insert the original ring, or, we can replace the ring with a new ring and replace the binding tape and the decorative trim.