Silk lampshades with either shirred pleats or side pleats are the two oldest styles of pleats. While today we do see customers a bit more interested in the box pleats, there are many wonderful “looks” that can be accomplished with either a shirred pleat or a side pleat.
Silk shirred lampshades are made by loosely gathering or bunching a relatively sheer fabric – sometimes silk, sometimes another type of lightweight fabric. The most simple shirred silk lampshade is an empire shade with a white shirred fabric.
But, by selecting unique fabrics, the shirred lampshade can take on a totally different character! This is a shirred lampshade made with a blue and white fabric for the store by M. Gabaree Lampshades – a wonderful look for a simple bedroom lamp.
And, these small chandelier shades are also created with shirring – but what wonderful fabrics! And, the addition of a “rouched” trim, gives an even different look! Of course, shirring can also be applied to different shaped shade frames, as you can see from this small hexagonal chandelier lampshade.
Another general type of pleating is the side pleat. The side pleat is a straight tailored fold, created by doubling the fabric back on itself; the width of each pleat is consistent around the entire lampshade. In the image below, of an oval drum lampshade, the width of each pleat is relatively small – perhaps ¾”.
The side pleating on this silk coolie lampshade are wider – 1.25”. When a lampshade with side pleats is lit, you will see uniformly separated light and relatively darker areas.
Side pleats can also be applied to lampshades in very creative and wonderful ways. In this silk hexagonal lampshade, the result is alternating sides of side pleats, and then stretched fabric.
Depending upon the fabric selected and the type of pleating used, the result can be a lampshade that uniquely applies a wonderfully finished look to your room!