Lampshade Terminology – A Beginner’s Guide

Posted by root 29/07/2016 0 Comment(s)


If you’re buying a lampshade, it’s important you know what all of the terminology is referring to. Whether it’s the fringe to the fitter, there are quite a few different terms used to describe lampshades that you won’t have heard before, or that have a different meaning when it comes to lampshades. Keep reading for a glossary of some of the main terms you’ll need to know when you’re looking for a lampshade.

Base – this is the bottom part of the lamp, which holds the shade and bulb. On floor lamps it’s usually wide and flat, to support the height of the lamp.

Braid – on lampshades, the braid is a fabric decoration that usually sits around the top and bottom, but also around the edge of any scallops or crowns on more unusual frames. It’s an intricately sewn fabric accessory, that can add extra colour or contrast to a lampshade.

Drop – the distance between the top of the lampshade and the fitter, or the distance between the bottom of the lampshade and the fitter.

Fitter – a metal frame that attaches the lampshade to the lamp. The most common types of fitter are as follows:

Washer – a small circle with three arms reaching out to the top of the lampshade.

Clip – a metal loop clips over the bulb. Suitable only for small or light lampshades, because of the weight on the bulb.

Uno – a fitting that allows a shade to be screwed onto, or rest on the end of a light socket.

Fringe – the lampshade fringe is a trim that hangs from the bottom of a lampshade. It can be made with thin strands to make it delicate, or thicker strands making it sturdier.

Hardback – a lampshade which has a hard backing on the inside. It’s applied to the fabric during production and helps maintain the shape of the lampshade over time.

Lining – this is an additional layer beneath the outer lampshade, on the inside. It’s added to a lampshade to make it more opaque. It reflects or filters light, which can be useful to keep the lampshade’s colour, or to ensure all light passes out in the intended direction.

Piping – piping is an alternative to a braid. A simple fabric pipe borders the top and bottom of the lampshade.

Scallop – a scallop is a single shell of a lampshade’s frame. It’s identified by the bottom of the lampshade appearing like a scallop, with a series of curved endings forming its base. A double scallop lampshade has two of these rims, while a single scallop has one.

Professionally handmade lampshades

This short glossary is a great place to get started if you want to know more about lampshades before you browse or buy. If you’re looking for the perfect lampshade, take a look at our lampshade shop. You’ll find a choice of shapes, sizes, styles, patterns, fabrics and accessories. Watch this video to take a closer look…



For more information on this service, our lampshade repair service, or any of our products, give our friendly team of lampshade experts a call on 01204 414 366. Alternatively, you can fill in our quick and easy online enquiry form and we’ll get back to you.

We hope you enjoyed this blog post.