Consider what type of light source you want to create. Thicker, darker fabrics, such as our Angus Flint wool-covered Oliver shade or the Slate cotton-linen ones (available on Henry, Lucile, James and Oliver), will direct light in defined, up-and-down beams. These work well if you want to highlight an area or create a mood. Alternatively, paler, more translucent fabric covers are better for reading lamps and adding ambient light to the room.
Finally, how the fabric is applied will also impact on the finished look: smooth, tightly stretched fabric shades feel refined and contemporary; pleats are cosier and more traditional and look good paired with an antique-style base.