Gallery of London Shades

This gallery is not meant to be a portfolio, rather, a collection of mostly workroom shots of London shades to illustrate variables and how they can be manipulated.

This is a classic London shade, in what to my eye are the most pleasing proportions- a shade about 36" wide.

Usually the side sections are between 5 and 7 inches wide, depending on the width of the window.  A rule of thumb for pleat allowance is 12", but that is very flexible- some factors to consider are available fabric, seam placement, fullness desired.

This shade has very little fabric in the pleats, creating a very gentle silhouette. 

To me, this shade is about as wide as a London shade should be- no more than about 45".  The fabric is a heavy wool and droops rather deeply.  I wouldn't want it any wider than this.

This one is about 63" wide and I think that is too wide for this style. It looks massive, and can't be drawn up to less than 30" in the middle.

It is possible to divide the center of a wide shade into sections.  We made a pair of interlined London shades out of a puckered silk- this is a double London.....   

 ........and here is the single section version.

A very attractive hybrid is created by dividing the center into sections but not adding fullness- no center pleat.   The side sections are wider than usual so that the seams could be hidden in the pleats.

Here's another double London, using a cute applique fabric for a girl's room. 

When does a multiple-section London simply become a balloon shade with tails?  I think the relatively narrow sections take this larger shade out of the London category.

Pretty aqua inserts give depth to this otherwise plain off-white linen. 


Made with barely 1.3 times fullness, gathered Londons have the same silhouette as the classic pleated London, but look softer.  The shirring is ever so slightly fuller at the lift lines, somewhat less in the center. 

Here the fullness is at least double, probably more- and too much, in my opinion.  And the lift lines are set too far in.

For this cotton print, 1.25 times fullness was plenty.  Too much fullness results in the "droopy drawers" look.

The gathered style was effective for the double version, too.