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Fabric Lampshade Detailed Guide: What Type of Fabric Are Commonly Used in Fabric Lamps?

Fabric lamps are an essential component of home decor that can add warmth and character to any room. Nevertheless, the type of fabric used in fabric lamps can significantly impact their functionality, aesthetic value, durability, and safety.

This article will discuss the different fabrics commonly used in fabric lamps, their respective features and benefits, and important considerations when choosing fabric for fabric lamps.

fabric lamp shades to choose



Cotton is a natural fiber derived from the cotton plant and makes for an ideal fabric choice in various home decor items, including fabric lamps. Cotton is breathable, lightweight, and can be dyed in a variety of colors, making it a versatile choice.

Additionally, cotton is easy to maintain and can be machine washed. However, cotton can also wrinkle easily and may not be as durable as other fabrics. Some examples of fabric lamps made from cotton fabric include table lamps and floor lamps.


Silk is a luxurious fabric that adds beauty and elegance to fabric lamps. It is a natural protein fiber that is soft to the touch, making it a popular choice for decorative items such as lampshades. Silk fabric lamps transform the ambiance of any room by producing a warm glow of light that is both soothing and relaxing.

Silk fabric is a durable choice if appropriately maintained and is hypoallergenic, which make silk fabric lamps ideal for use in bedrooms. Despite its high-end appearance, silk fabric lamps may require special care and cleaning.


Linen is a lightweight, breathable fabric made from flax fibers that offer a unique aesthetic in fabric lamps. Linen fabric lamps usually have an excellent texture, which gives lamps a rustic, earthy appeal. Moreover, linen fabric lamps often come in neutral colors, making them an excellent option for any decor style.

Linen fabric is highly durable and strong, and its heat conductivity allows fabric lamps made from linen fabric to produce a calm, ambient light. However, because linen is sensitive to spills and stains, linen fabric lamps may require special care and attention.


Polyester fabric lamps have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability and affordability. Polyester fabric is a synthetic fiber made up of plastic polymers, which makes it resistant to wrinkles, shrinking, and fading.

Additionally, polyester mats well with other fabrics, making it an ideal choice for mixed media fabric lamps. Polyester fabric lamps may not have the same luxurious feel as other fabric lamps, but they offer a broad range of color options and ease of care.

Other Fabrics

Other fabrics commonly used in fabric lamps include rayon, nylon, and wool.

Rayon is a popular synthetic fabric due to its high absorbency and drape.

Nylon is a durable synthetic fabric that is often used in place of silk for its shine and stain resistance.

Wool is a natural fiber with excellent insulation properties that produce a warm and relaxing glow.

Considerations When Choosing Fabric for Fabric Lamps

When choosing fabric for fabric lamps, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure that the lamp looks beautiful and functions effectively. These considerations include:

1. Aesthetics

The fabric should match the overall decor and style of the room. Patterns, prints, and textures can add interest and depth to the lampshade. A lampshade made of a floral-patterned cotton fabric can create a soft and feminine ambiance in a room.

2. Light Transmission

Depending on the intended purpose of the lamp, the amount of light transmission required may vary. Consider the thickness, texture, and color of the fabric when selecting a material that will allow for optimal light transmission.

A lampshade made of a sheer fabric like organza will allow for maximum light transmission, making it ideal for task lighting.

3. Safety

The fabric used for the lampshade should be heat resistant and flame retardant to prevent accidents. Always look for fabrics specifically designed for lampshades or make sure to treat the fabric with a fire retardant spray before use.

A lampshade made of a heat-resistant fabric like Nomex or Kevlar will prevent the lamp from overheating and becoming a fire hazard.

4. Size

The size of the lampshade should be appropriate for the intended use and the lamp’s base. Larger lampshades can diffuse more light, while smaller lampshades can create a more focused light.

A larger lampshade made of a translucent fabric like parchment can create a soft, ambient light, ideal for a living room or bedroom.

5. Durability

The fabric used in the lampshade should be durable enough to withstand wear and tear, especially if the lamp is used frequently. Materials like cotton, linen, silk, and polyester are durable and long-lasting, making them good options for lampshades.

Cotton canvas fabric is a durable material that is often used for making lampshades. It is thick and stiff, which allows it to hold its shape, and can also be used in a variety of styles.

6. Translucency

The fabric used should be thin enough to allow light to pass through it, without being too thin that it becomes see-through or too thick that it blocks light. Materials like muslin, silk, or rice paper are often used for their translucency to filter light and create a soft, ambient glow.

Rice paper is a popular choice for Asian-inspired lampshades. It creates a diffused light that is both warm and gentle, perfect for bedrooms or meditation rooms.

7. Light Color

The color of the fabric will affect the color of the light that the lamp emits. Light fabrics in white or cream colors tend to produce warmer and softer lights compared to darker colors, which produce a cooler and sharper light.

For a romantic and soft ambiance, consider using a cream-colored silk fabric. The warm and inviting color will produce a warm glow ideal for reading or relaxing.

8. Style

The style of the lampshade should complement the overall style of the room. For a more traditional or classic style, materials like silk, damask, or cotton-linen blends can be used, while modern rooms can have lampshades made of colorful or textured fabrics like burlap, jute, or hemp.

For a boho chic look, a lampshade made of a natural fiber like jute or burlap can add texture and interest to a room.

9. Easy Maintenance

The fabric used for the lampshade should be easy to clean and maintain. Materials like cotton, polyester, and linen are washable and can be easily cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth.

A polyester or cotton-linen blend lampshade can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth to clean any dust, dirt, or stains that may accumulate over time.

In conclusion, when choosing a fabric for a fabric lamp, it’s crucial to consider aesthetics, light transmission, safety, durability, translucency, light color, style, and easy maintenance of the material, and size based on the intended purpose and the room’s decor and style. By taking these factors into account, you can ensure your lampshade functions effectively while providing an attractive and functional addition to any space.


In conclusion, the type of fabric used in fabric lamps can significantly impact both its functionality and aesthetic appeal. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a fabric that meets both the practical and visual needs of the lamp. When choosing the right fabric, consider factors such as aesthetics, durability, safety, cleaning, and light transmission. With minor consideration and care, fabric lamps will illuminate your home with beautiful and ambient light.