Before and After: Cloth Corded Lamp

Often what holds up a project the longest (aside from epic procrastination) is finding the right materials for an appropriate restoration. The pieces and parts that give vintage items their charm are hard to find in today’s market. That was the case with this hanging counterweighted light fixture I purchased in the fall.

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When I bought this for the low, low price of ten bucks, it was hanging in a wood paneled room and looked devastatingly cool. It came home with me, but it did have some issues, chiefly a fraying rayon-wrapped electrical cord and an oddly placed power switch (probably installed at some point to repair a damaged cord). Although the wires inside were still safely insulated, the frayed cloth was unsightly. But I knew this lamp wouldn’t be the same without that cloth cord so I headed online to find what replacements were available.

IMG_7254Surprisingly there were several modern day options. Retailers like Color Cord, Snake Head Vintage and Sundial Wire offer myriad colors and styles of cloth-wrapped wiring for a variety of purposes. Hurray! I found the color and style I needed from Snake Head Vintage’s eBay store (free shipping, score!).

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I was unable to find three wire braided cord like the original in a suitable color, so I settled for a two wire twisted style in champagne gold. I also picked up a vintage-looking replacement plug. At about $1.50-1.75 per foot the wire isn’t exactly cheap, but it’s well worth the cost for the finished product. The lamp looks as good as new (note I also replaced the lamp socket for safety reasons).

IMG_7259It’s even more glorious installed.

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These resources not only give me some great options for projects that have just been sitting around collecting dust (including several retractable ceiling fixtures), but also ideas for dressing up other pieces like this swag lamp I found over the weekend.

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I’m always on the fence about swag lights because of the obnoxious chains and long lengths of electrical cord. But perhaps a shimmering gold or bronze cloth wire instead of boring brown vinyl will class that whole affair up a bit. I’m excited to find out.

 

 

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