When choosing lampshades, one thing you will want to consider is whether you would prefer a softback or a hardback. If you do not have insider knowledge of the lamp industry, you may not know the difference. This article will tell you all you need to know so you can choose the shade that’s right for you.
What are Hardback Lampshades?
As the name suggests, hardback lampshades are more rigid than softbacks. They are precisely shaped and angular. They are available in the following designs:
- Drum lampshades
- Empire lampshades
- Euro lampshades
The shades are typically made with a stiff, plastic backing, usually a laminate. A large piece of material is laminated and then curved into a cylindrical or cone shape. Then an upper or lower metal ring is attached to help it maintain its shape.
The main advantage for choosing a hardback shade is that it offers several options when it comes to the materials that can be used. You can opt for a faux silk, linen, parchment, burlap and more. Anything that can be attached to the laminate is acceptable.
Other benefits a hardback shade offers include:
- Contemporary designs
- Clean, simple lines
- Versatile styles
- They often come with gold linings
- Less expensive than softback shades
What are Softback Lampshades?
Softback lampshades are more malleable than their hardback counterparts. They can be molded into several unique shapes. They can be pulled and stretched to create unique geometric designs. Examples include:
- Bell lampshades
- Curved lampshades
- Other lampshades that feature unique curved shapes
Softback lampshades are created by stretching a fabric over a metal frame. The material is trimmed down at either end and covered with another piece of fabric to finish the ends and bottom. The trims can be the same color as the lampshade, or a different color for a unique accenting effect.
Consumers should seek out softback lampshades if they are looking for pleats, tucks, gathers and other textured looks. These features are easier to add to more pliable materials as opposed to the unmalleable material of hardback lamps.
Softback shades are also made of thinner materials that let light through. This makes them ideal for dispersing a soft light throughout the room and creating more of an ambient effect.
Other benefits include:
- Tassels and other ornaments can be sewn on
- Versatile in terms of shape
- A more traditional look
- Fabric choices that may not be right for hardback lampshades
If you are looking for a new lampshade, hardback and softback options are available. If you bring your lamp into our A Lamp and Fixture location, we will ensure you find the one that’s perfect for your lamp. Contact us to get your lighting looking exactly as desired. Please give us a call at (773) 866-0220 or visit our website for consultation.