A guide to caring for your fabric lampshades to ensure they stay in top shape.


We love working with fabrics at Shady and the Lamp. Fabric lampshades can add colour, texture and personality to a room and we create shades using a range of different textiles, from silk and velvet to Irish linen and tweed. We’re often asked about lampshade care so below is a guide on how to clean and maintain your fabric lampshades.  



Fabric lampshades are lightweight and require a gentle touch so it’s important that you always handle them by their internal metal fitting, otherwise known as the Gimble. This will help prevent any indentations where your fingers might dent and/or stain the fabric. And while we’re on that note…make sure those hands are sparkling clean before handling the goods.



Begin by either unplugging your lamp or turning off the ceiling light at the switch and removing your lampshade. We know we’re stating the obvious here but don’t attempt to clean a lampshade while it’s still attached to…well…anything. You’ll also need to remove the light bulb so once that’s cooled down give it a dust with a microfiber cloth, you’ll be surprised by the difference this makes to the emission.

There are a few methods you can use to remove excess dust from a fabric lampshade. We recommend;


  • A sticky lint roller. We think lint rollers are the best as they’re the gentlest and the stickiness is great at lifting dust. Just roll gently over the shade while making sure you’re not pressing too hard. Masking tape will do if you’re in a pinch.


  • A hairdryer. Excess dust can be removed from lampshades using a hair dryer set to a high speed. Remember to use a cold setting and hold the dryer 20 - 30 centimetres away from the shade to avoid damaging it. Do not use the hot setting as you risk scorching the fabric and lining.


  • A make-up brush. These are very effective at removing dust from the little crevices and corners on a pleated lampshade.


  • A vacuum cleaner. We don’t love this method and it’s really only suitable to use with more robust, heavier weight fabrics like upholstery but if you must than use the brush attachment with a sock over the top as this can help to protect any delicate trims or beadwork.




  • Use with LED light bulbs only. We can’t stress this enough! LED bulbs use less power and produce less heat so they’re much less likely to damage your lampshade, and the environment. We use WARM WHITE bulbs with a lumen range of 400 – 800 with all our designs.


  • No direct sunlight, lampshades are kind of like vampires. Make sure you place your lamps away from windows and direct sunlight, they’ll be much happier in the shadows.