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Whether you’re interested in restoring an old lamp or give your new lamps a cool, upscale finish, one of the ways to do it, is by adding a cloth wire to the mix. It could be twisted or flat, vibrant in color or monochrome, shiny or matte, this type of cord will conceal the wiring and rubber insulation, providing you with a flawless finish and great texture.
You might have already noticed some upscale designer lighting fixtures with cool fabric cords. The good news is that this type of supply can be used by DIY lamp makers too. And with great results.
Our favorite mix is wood plus color cloth covered wire, but there’s a lot more than just one great combo. In fact, to show you just how cool a cloth wire can make your lamp, we browsed Pinterest and Etsy and we found so many great lighting fixtures using fabric wire that it was hard to stop.
Check out the list below for 18 creative ideas to use fabric wire for DIY lamps, and scroll down to learn more about using rayon or cotton cloth wrapped wire.
This twisted fabric cord adds a serious vintage look to these minimalist pendants. Seen at Cox and Cox.
Different fabric cord colors will make a minimalist wood pendant light pop. Seen at Bright Sprout.
Match a bold light bulb design with a striking color cloth covered cord wire. Seen at Plumen.
Add an elegant touch to a walnut swing lamp with an earthy-tone of a cotton-wrapped cord. Seen at AttacusWorkshop.
A red fabric wire will make any lamp pop. In this case, it makes these 3D printed pendant lamps look so sophisticated. Designed by Samuel Bernier.
If you’re feeling the creative muse, combine different colors to create this beauty. Cable jewelry pendants by Volker Haug.
Red makes wood pop and gives a minimalist lamp a nice highlight. DIY wood table lamp seen at ZuccheSgusciate.
Strive for the natural, uber-minimalist look with a white fabric cord. DIY wood table lamp seen at ZuccheSgusciate.
Use vibrant fabric cords to customize pendant lampshades. These Macaron lamps were designed by Silvia Ceñal and inspired by a sweet meringue-based confection made with simple ingredients like eggs, icing sugar, granulated sugar and almond powder.
Use a twisted rayon cloth wire to give an upcycled lamp an added antique vintage look. Table lamp designed by JeanDeLaCitrouille.
This is a great idea to add a unique and joyful touch to a kid’s lamp. Giraffe wood lamp designed by Leanter.
Even concrete lamps could use a boost of coolness. Add a cotton fabric wrapped wire to the mix. Designed by Henry Wilson.
Color cords will make a white pendant pop really nice. Created by Cmmnwlth from Gypsum.
Sometimes, fabric wire comes in different patterns and braids. These are perfect for a lodge in the mountains. Designed by FRUSTRUM.
Boost the beautiful natural tone of birch with a vibrant color fabric cord. Silver birch table lamps by TangledTeasel.
Fabric wire comes in a wide variety of patterns and materials, making it all the easier to customize a lamp just the way you want it. For a natural look, choose earthy cotton fabric cords, for an antique-vintage touch, especially on upcycled items, go with darker, twisted rayon wire designs, and for modern, bold styles, choose electric, vibrant colors and textures.
One of the reasons we love cloth wire for DIY lamps is that it gives the maker a wide variety of customization options. This type of electric wire comes in different colors, different fabric, patterns, and styles. Here are a few colors and styles:
Replacing a lamp’s old cord with fabric wire can be accomplished by a novice maker too, provided they know about safety while working with lamps and wiring. We recommend having a very healthy respect for working with anything that conducts electricity. It can cause shocks, fires, and worse.
We have an eBook that includes information on wiring a lamp without electrocuting yourself which will teach you how to identify lamps that could pose a shock hazard, how to ensure the safety of your components, and all about electrical polarization. You can purchase your copy here. However, if you’re not feeling confident about taking this on yourself, better leave it to a professional.
To replace a lamp’s old cord with cloth covered wire you need a wire stripping tool. With this tool, cut both sides of the fabric cord with wire cutters, strip it, and attach it to your lamp’s socket on one end, and a plug on the other.
Our twisted rayon and cotton fabric-covered wires are 18-gauge with 2 conductors (known as 18/2 or 18-2), ideally suited for standard household lighting. Please note that there are different types of gauges and number of conductors available, and if you don’t know whether you need a two - or three - conductor wire for your project, you should definitely consult an electrician or building inspector.
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