Safe Materials to Lamp Shades

When making or remaking a lampshade, the material you choose for the job matters immensely. Some fabrics may burn, melt or discolor when hot, so it’s important to choose materials that can withstand a heat without damage. The internal liner material, such as a pressure-sensitive styrene, is actually the component which can help safeguard the outer material from heat. The bulb is every bit as important — when the wattage is too large and you are utilizing an old incandescent bulb, it could pose a fire hazard.

Inner Liner Material

Inspect different lampshades at your house or in a store, and you will discover that the inside looks different in the outer lampshade covering. This internal lining helps provide a strong yet flexible arrangement for the lampshade material while at the same time protecting it from heat emitted by the bulb. Pressure-sensitive styrene, also referred to as glue styrene, is that the substance used for the inside of several lampshades. This type of styrene is available at many craft stores or through lampshade provide shops.

The Outer Fabric

The very best fabrics for making your own lampshades are those made from natural fibers such as cotton or linen. Pick a fabric which can be ironed; otherwise, it wo not look smooth once you adhere it to the styrene. Don’t use synthetic fabrics or some types of thin silk which can discolor in the warmth of the iron or even the warmth of the bulb.

Non-Traditional Shades

Rather than the normal fabric shade on a wire frame, just about any substance which will not melt, burn or overheat may be used, such as a kitchen colander, cheese grater or even panes of stained glass. Make your own artificial capiz shell chandelier shade from discs of wax paper attached to strands of ribbon, secured to a wire lampshade ring or embroidery hoop. Massive cans such as olive oil or even imported pasta sauce cans may also be used after punching holes in order to allow light through.

Bulb and Socket Factors

Ultimately, your colour is only as secure as the bulb and socket assembly paired using it on the lamp. Check the light socket for a tag which specifies that the maximum bulb wattage considered secure for the socket; choose a bulb of the exact same or a lower wattage than recommended on the label. The lower the wattage, the heat emitted by the bulb. If building a lampshade from materials such as rice paper which may burn high heat or if near a flame, then pick only low-wattage bulbs that emit only a small amount of lighting. Select an LED bulb as a low-wattage option to a traditional incandescent bulb for yet another safe choice.

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