Rawhide lamp shades can be ruined in transportation and shipping or they can arrive in perfect condition, with the right handling techniques. Weather you use these tips for personal use or if you are one of our dealers on the road to trade shows or other stores, the valuable techniques we have pioneered come from personal experience in the school of hard knocks, a class we don't want you to have to attend. Each month, Mission Del Rey transports hundreds of rawhide lamp shades to our shipping center in El Paso, TX for shipping to destinations around the world. The 450 mile trip through the southwest desert has been our proving ground. Rawhide lamp shades have three enemies in transportation, heat, light, & air. Shades may be stacked together to save space but must be sealed to protect them from wind and sunlight and must be humidified to avoid being heated to the point of splitting. In our cargo trailer temperatures can soar to 150 degrees. In the early days, we lost dozens of rawhide shades. Now, we don't lose any. Packing for transportation.
First, the rawhide lampshades are separated by size into stacks that are manageable. Second, the stack is placed inside a large plastic bag and then the laced edges sprayed with water using a spray bottle, then the bag is sealed with packaging tape. Third, the humidified and sealed packages are padded from each other and covered with furniture blankets which act as insulation from sun, wind and heat. Finally, immediately upon arrival, the packages are unsealed and the rawhide lamp shades emerge intact. Note, it is very important not to leave the rawhide shades in the sealed packages as the moisture will ultimately rust the metal frames. Packing for UPS/Fed Ex shipping. If you have ever witnessed the handling procedure at one of the distribution centers you might say it is amazing. If one of the packages being handled is your rawhide lamp shade, the word scary might come to mind. Mountains of packages are thrown and climbed on in handling and sit every which way but up.
Rawhide lamp shades have sturdy welded steel frames. The laced edges are the part of the shade most susceptible to damage. Wrap the shade loosely in paper or plastic. Place a ring of bubble wrap or foam around the lower rim to protect both the side and bottom of the shade. Tape it in place. Cover the top of the shade with the same material. Select a box the size of the bottom diameter of your lamp shade. (ie. a 20" dia. Shade in a 20"x20" box) Seat the padded lampshade firmly into the base of the box and trim the box height so that it closes flush with the top of the shade. Use plenty of tape in different directions to seal the package and short of the delivery truck running over it, you should have good results and a perfect shade.