Custom Lampshades

custom lampshades

We’ve been making custom lampshades since 1977. (See Artisan’s Bio for more info.) We offer two basic types of lampshades: sewn shades (sometimes referred to as silk shades) and hardback shades. Our lampshades have been featured in a number of national and regional publications over the years, including Architectural Digest, Traditional Home, Romantic Homes, Santa Barbara Magazine, 805 Living, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Our sewn lampshades are made in the traditional way: completely hand sewn, true silk linings, and meticulous attention to detail. There are very few lampshade makers in the country who offer shades made in this way and of this quality. A huge variety of shapes, sizes, and design elements such as shirring, pleating, cuffs, fringes, etc., are available in our sewn shades. The fabrics that tend to work best for sewn shades are silks and linens because they tend to stretch well on the frame. Cottons can also work well for some designs.

Our hardback lampshades offer a modern look. We make them by laminating a custom fabric to a styrene backing, and wrapping the fabric around a top and bottom ring. Mass-produced hardbacks are stamped out of pre-laminated materials. A tape is applied at the top and bottom to attach the body of the shade to the rings, and an industrial taping machine is used to do the wrapping. One of the problems with this method is that the tape dries out over time, especially at the top, and this eventually causes the top of the shade to detach from the top ring, which sometimes creates a fire hazard. For our custom hardback shades we hand-laminate the fabric to the styrene, hand-trim the fabric leaving extra fabric at the top and bottom, and wrap the extra fabric around the rings by hand. This creates very clean edges that can either be left untrimmed or finished with self-trim or any other suitable trim. Linens, cottons, and some silks work best for hardbacks.


For both types of shades, we can either reproduce your existing shade or Mahna can create a totally new design for you. If Nevada City is accessible to you, we suggest making an appointment to come in to our store, where Mahna can draw on her 40+ years of experience and expertise in working with fabrics and colors to direct you to the perfect choices from hundreds of samples of designer and fine private label fabrics, as well as trims, fringes, etc. If you’re out of the area, Mahna will be happy to work with you by phone, fax, email, etc. to create a special design for you, including the option of using fabric that you supply (C.O.M.). Please call for more details about how the process works. We are happy to work directly with the customer or with interior designers.

We ship lampshades anywhere. They are notoriously difficult to pack, but over the years we have developed a very successful method of packing them for safe shipping.

Please note: In-store custom lampshade design appointments take place outside of normal store hours to allow Mahna to devote her complete attention to you.