There are as many styles of pleated lampshades as there are styles and sizes of lampshades…too many to count! We are going to give you an overview of lampshade pleats – starting with silk lampshades and moving to the hardback shades.
The first general category of silk pleats is the Box Pleat, which seems to be growing in popularity in the last few years. So, what is a Box Pleat? A box pleat is created when you manipulate a piece of fabric such that a pleat or fold is formed on both sides of the fabric, and then the ends brought together underneath the flat piece of fabric where another fold or pleat is created at the point where the fabric meets; the remaining fabric on both sides then points outward – and so it goes around the perimeter of the lampshade frame.
There are several types of box pleats, and “over box pleats.” The most basic type of box pleat is one where you see a continuous flow of ½” to ¾” pleats. You can chose from a wide variety of fabrics to create your box pleat, but one of the more preferred fabrics is a soft linen. We have pared a custom designed (by M. Gabaree Lampshades) modified empire lampshade with a linen box pleat with one of our Ralph Lauren pierced celadon lamps; the effect is wonderful below:
The same type of basic box pleat can also be applied to different shapes of lampshades, as you can see from this beautifully pleated and trimmed hexagon and this silk coolie lampshade and finally this silk drum lampshade.
Another type of box pleat is the “Euro” or “English” style of box pleat wherein the a box pleat is followed by an open space of the same width, followed by another box pleat, open space, etc.
Yet another style of box pleat is the “open” box pleat. In this type of pleat, the pleats are adjacent to one another across the top of the lampshade, but they “open” up at the bottom. This type of pleat is most easily seen when the bottom of the lampshade is larger than the top of the lampshade as with a coolie lampshade or a larger imperial empire lampshade.
Ah – but the list of box pleats goes on – we will explore other box pleat styles next week!