1960s vintage lampshade restoration…

Restoring a treasured lampshade for a client has to be one of the best things I get to do at gilhoolie.

Jules from Flackwell Heath had two 1960s, very unusual shaped lampshades that her mum had bought many years ago. They were looking very sorry for themselves but still in use by Jules.

The lampshades were originally made from silk fabric stitched to cardboard and then stitched again to a metal frame. I’ve never seen anything like them and totally understood why Jules wanted to revive them if at all possible. You certainly wouldn’t be able to find replacements in a high street shop!

The whole process started with Jules sending me photos and measurements of the two lampshades. As she isn’t far from Maidenhead we met up and talked about options for fabrics and I checked that the frames weren’t misshapen so that I could reuse them. All part of the service πŸ™‚ Jules sourced a beautiful orange silk fabric that would look amazing when the lampshades were lit. Most fabrics are fine; you just don’t want to choose anything too thick or fabric that frays really easily.

Here is one of the original lampshades – a bit torn and battered as you can see, but the frames were fine.

Original 1960s lampshade ready for gilhoolie restoration

The lampshades were taken apart so that I could use the cardboard as a template for cutting new PVC for the new silk fabric. What a lot of dust and quite a tricky operation to make sure it all came off in one piece – it was over 50 years old after all! You can see the panel goes round in a spiral but the two ends don’t meet so this had to be taken into account.

Very sad looking lampshade frame

Quite a lot of patient, careful work (and breath holding!) later and the lampshades came back to life. What a transformation! (Scroll down to see). Always exciting when I stand back and look, especially when I know how treasured they are.

Jules was really pleased with the result and said her mum would’ve been happy too. I love a happy customer! To top it all off she gave me an original 1960s lampshade book that was in her family as a thank you gift – what a lovely surprise. It’s the little things and gestures that can make your day!

You can see the lampshades below in my workshop, and then in Jules’ garden when she got home, on the original 1960s vintage glass bases.

If you have a lampshade you would like restoring just get in touch with photos and measurements and I’ll get back to you.

Shiny happy new lampshades
Looking even more happy on their original bases


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