At NiX, we create products that help our customers to build bespoke interior schemes by layering colour, texture and pattern. One of the quickest ways to enhance the personality of a room is by adding a table lamp with a patterned lampshade, or by swapping out existing shades for something new. Our range of lampshades includes options for every kind of room, all made to the highest standards using expertly sourced materials and artisanal methods.
This article focuses on the story behind our Spotty Dotty batik paper lampshade, which is one of the pieces we like to use to bring some vibrancy to our interior schemes. Its playful polka-dot pattern is extremely versatile and provides just the right amount of character while complementing a wide range of decor styles.
We have produced the shades in different shapes and sizes that can be paired with table lamps, wall lights or task lights to elevate these classic fixtures. Each shade is made from handmade Lokta paper and is printed using a traditional batik technique that lends it a wonderful crafted feel. The Spotty Dotty lampshade is one of the core products in our new NiX collection and one that we expect to use over and over again in the coming years.
The power of pattern
“Lampshades are usually one of the last things I think about – alongside cushions – once the paint colours, wallpaper and fabric are all settled on,” says NiX founder and interior designer Nicola Harding. “They allow me to add whatever colour or feeling is missing; perhaps a punch of something bold or a gentle filler that quietly balances out the other pieces in the room.”
The NiX collection features plain and patterned lampshades in various colours that are a great way to create eye-catching highlights in a room. The Spotty Dotty lampshades feature a polka-dot pattern that is both playful and sophisticated. It’s a really simple design that is elevated by the traditional batik production method and the exquisite Lokta paper.
Why we love batik
“I included the Spotty Dotty batik lampshade in our collection because it has a subtle texture and playfulness that adds depth and interest to any interior scheme,” informs Nicola. “The handmade nature of the batik has a beautiful irregularity to it which lends it a particular softness, while the Lokta paper emits a lovely warm glow when the light is turned on.”
We chose to print the shades in some of Nicola’s favourite colours, which can be matched with a wide range of decor schemes.
“The ochre colour, for example, feels natural as well as being very calm and elegant, making it suitable for a more formal setting such as a living room or master bedroom,” she continues. “The pink and blue shades are more lively and playful so they would work really well in informal settings such as a kitchen, playroom or children’s bedroom.”
Crafting our Spotty Dotty lampshades
At NiX we love to support and celebrate traditional crafts and production methods. The Spotty Dotty lampshades are handmade in Nepal using an ancient wax-resist dyeing technique called batik. This process originated from the island of Java, Indonesia, and involves applying wax to the paper surface to mask areas so that when the piece is immersed or painted with dye, only the unwaxed areas absorb the colour. The wax is removed by boiling or scraping the surface, leaving the original colour behind on the areas treated with the resist.
Our Spotty Dotty pattern is a simple design featuring rows of spots in different sizes. The wax resist used to create the spots allows the raw paper surface to remain visible. The rest of the paper is dyed in a single colour. This handcrafted process means that every surface displays subtle differences. As a consequence, each lampshade is unique and brings a sophisticated sense of artisanship to the interior.
The art of making Lokta paper
Lokta paper is handmade in Nepal using fibres from the bark of the Daphne Cannabina plant. The bark is first harvested in an eco-friendly manner before being meticulously cleaned, boiled and beaten to create a pulp. The pulp is then hand-scooped onto a mesh frame and dried in the sun, resulting in a textured, durable end organic paper with an earthy tone that adds to the distinct aesthetic appeal of the lampshades.
“We chose to work with Lokta paper because it produces a lovely soft and warm glow when used as a lampshade,” explains Nicola. “The paper’s fibrous texture and earthy tone contribute to the gentle and diffused illumination, which is ideal for creating a cosy and soothing ambience in living rooms, bedrooms or any space where you want to unwind and relax.”
Lokta paper is an eco-conscious choice for lampshades as the Daphne Cannabina plant grows abundantly in the Himalayan region and is allowed to regenerate naturally. The paper is also manufactured without the use of harmful chemicals or bleaching agents, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional lampshade materials.
The process used to make Lokta papers has been passed down through generations and is part of Nepal’s rich cultural heritage. By integrating this product into our designs, we are supporting the livelihoods of talented artisans and preserving this ancient craft.
Made in the UK
Once the craftspeople in Nepal have completed the job of crafting the Lokta paper, it is shipped to our production facility in the UK, where the Spotty Dotty lampshades are assembled and finished by hand. As a result of the various artisan processes involved in their production, subtle variations can occur from one piece to the next. We celebrate the uniqueness of the products we create as this is what gives them their special character. We hope you’ll agree that our beautiful batik lampshades have a distinctive beauty and quality that is unmatched by mass-produced alternatives.