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Currently Coveting: Festive Smocked Lampshades from London

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Currently Coveting: Festive Smocked Lampshades from London

November 24, 2023

Handkerchief-draped lamps. Burlap-shaded lamps. Lamps shrouded by napkins. Since we presented our Trend Alert on The Draped Cloth Light, we’ve seen all manner of fixtures with nonchalant fabric shades. The latest to delight us: lamps that look like they’re wearing old-fashioned little girl party frocks.

These new designs are a collaboration between UK design emporium Edit58 and Smock London, a small fashion line on a mission to revive hand-stitched smocking. The Elsie Collection, as its known, is captured here in Edit58 founder Lisa Mehydene’s Cotswolds barn.

described as &#8\2\20;skirt shades,&#8\2\2\1; the designs come with a h 12
Above: Described as “skirt shades,” the designs come with a hidden cardboard lampshade base that Edit58 describes as “the petticoat”: the smocking acts as a waistband holding the skirting in place. The shades are £165 for the maxi size, shown, and £115 for the mini, and are available from Edit 58 and Smock London (which also sells dresses and blouses to match).
weave is one of three cotton patterns in the collection, each with its own embr 13
Above: Weave is one of three cotton patterns in the collection, each with its own embroidered design. The shades work on all sorts of lighting, and though lamps aren’t included, most pictured here are available from Alfred Newall, which offers its line with UK, EU, and US plug fittings. This one is the Bamboo Lamp Base in dark oak; £230.
the shades are designed in london and hand pleated and stitched by fair trade w 14
Above: The shades are designed in London and hand pleated and stitched by Fair Trade women’s workshops in Vietnam. This one is the Weave Mini Skirt Shade; £115.
a maxi skirt shade in mink with smocking in a pattern called rosebud trellis; & 15
Above: A Maxi Skirt Shade in Mink with smocking in a pattern called Rosebud Trellis; £165. The skirt shades can be removed and machine washed on gentle.
a mini skirt shade in mink; £\1\15 on an alfred newell bobbin lamp base; & 16
Above: A Mini Skirt Shade in Mink; £115 on an Alfred Newell Bobbin Lamp Base; £230.
a weave mini skirt shade; £\1\15. 17
Above: A Weave Mini Skirt Shade; £115.

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Frequently asked questions

What are smocked lampshades?

Smocked lampshades are lampshades that feature a decorative fabric gathering technique called smocking. Smocking involves stitching together small folds of fabric to create a textured and gathered appearance.

What is cottage-core?

Cottage-core is a design and lifestyle aesthetic that romanticizes rural and traditional concepts. It often emphasizes nostalgic, cozy, and vintage elements to create a nostalgic and idyllic atmosphere.

What is granny chic?

Granny chic refers to a design style that embraces elements that are typically associated with a grandmother's home or an older generation. It often incorporates vintage and floral patterns, lace, frills, and retro furniture to create a charming and nostalgic ambiance.

Are smocked lampshades a cottage-core or granny chic trend?

Yes, smocked lampshades have become popular in both cottage-core and granny chic design trends. Their intricate and textured appearance adds a vintage and whimsical touch to a space, making them a perfect fit for these aesthetics.

Where can I find smocked lampshades?

Smocked lampshades can often be found at specialty lighting stores, home decor boutiques, or online marketplaces that offer unique and handmade items. They may also be available through individual artisans or designers who specialize in creating custom lampshades.

Can I make my own smocked lampshade?

Yes, if you have basic sewing skills, you can try making your own smocked lampshade. There are various tutorials and patterns available online that can guide you through the smocking process. It can be a fun and rewarding DIY project to add a personal touch to your home decor.

What types of lamps are suitable for smocked lampshades?

Smocked lampshades can be used with various types of lamps, including table lamps, floor lamps, and pendant lamps. The size and shape of the lampshade should complement the lamp base to ensure a cohesive and visually pleasing look.

Can I use a smocked lampshade in a modern or minimalist interior?

Certainly! Smocked lampshades can add an interesting and contrasting element to modern or minimalist interiors. The detailed texture and vintage vibe can create an intriguing focal point within an otherwise sleek and minimalistic space, adding warmth and character.

Do smocked lampshades provide adequate light diffusion?

Smocked lampshades typically offer a soft and diffused light rather than a strong direct illumination. The smocking gathers create gentle folds in the fabric that allow light to filter through, creating a warm and cozy ambiance. If you require brighter and more focused light, you may want to pair the smocked lampshade with a higher wattage bulb or consider using multiple lamps.

Are smocked lampshades easy to clean?

Cleaning methods may vary depending on the materials used for the lampshade. However, many smocked lampshades can be dusted or vacuumed gently using a soft brush or upholstery attachment. If necessary, some fabric lampshades can be spot cleaned with a mild detergent and water. It is always recommended to check the manufacturer's cleaning instructions or consult a professional if unsure.

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