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Use Rustic Rawhide Lamp Shades to Go Western  

by Mission Del Rey, Craig Chambers

Go rustic with genuine rawhide lamp shades, the easiest way to develop a country or rustic style. Even if your current lamps and furniture are more traditional, create a warm western or southwest atmosphere in any room.

Rawhide replacement lamp shades and table lamp shades will set the tone of your space and bring the warm country or rustic flavor that creates such a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.

Rawhide chandelier lamp shades can create a natural focal point for your room and draw elements together as the eye finds rawhide table lamp shades and floor lamp shades around the room. Mini lamp shades or clip on lamp shades are also perfect for a candelabra style lamp or wall sconce.

If you have a unique lamp that requires a special shade, rawhide lamp shades can be custom fitted to meet your specific needs. Rawhide lampshades are perfect for a log home or cabin as well as country, ranch or rustic decor. There is no substitute for genuine rawhide "raw hide" lamp shades for southwestern lamps, antler lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers and home lighting and rustic western lamps. Rawhide shades for rustic lighting compliment cottage, lodge style, rustic chic and rustic furniture like nothing else can.

Buy Only Genuine Rawhide Lamp Shades

Genuine rawhide shades are affordable and redily available on the internet, so don't settle for faux or immitation shades. Genuine rawhide lamp shades are made by hand with old world craftsmanship. Skilled leather workers with years of experience carefully form and lace each shade with genuine rawhide. Rawhide lamp shades are crafted with sturdy welded frames. Premium quality goatskin rawhides are the desired hides because of their strength and translucency. Each hide is hand stretched, slowly sun dried, then hand stitched to add a sense of rustic beauty. When a lamp is turned on with a quality rawhide lamp shade in place, its translucent character comes to life. The shade allows light to emanate from within to create a natural atmosphere. Stretched rawhide lamp shades are works of art that will make a dramatic affect on your room and furnishings.

Southwest style rawhide lamp shades are made with bleached rawhide for a consistent color tone. A light creamy tan color, they are perfect for southwestern dcor and compliment other southwestern elements such as pottery, carved wooden bowls, Indian rugs and rustic furniture. Their light color opens up a room and provides excellent light and texture. They are excellent for table lamps, sconces and chandeliers, log homes, cabins and cottages.

Western style rawhide lamp shades are wonderful accessories for western lamps and dcor. Made with natural dark rawhide, they are a unique dark charcoal or smoked brown color and create a dark warm glow. Western rawhide varies more in tone from one hide to another with natural light and dark coloring visible in the hide. Western lampshades are perfect for log homes and cabins as well as ranch or lodge styles, complimenting dark wood tables, leather furniture, tack, floor lamps and cowboy accessories.

Country Style rawhide lamp shades are very unique, hosting rich warm colors and grain pattern. Using the same hides as southwestern or western, color is added to dye the rawhide to a variety of colors, the most popular being dark brown, red and green. Called country lamp shades because of their color, they actually look great with southwest and western decor as well as any country or rustic setting. Dark and rustic by day, they are warm and rich by night.

Rawhide Lamp Shade Care & Use

Rawhide lamp shades can easily last several years. Experience with rawhide lamp shades has identified various threats to shade life and techniques for care and use. Rawhide is "raw hide" constantly expanding and contracting with heat and humidity. When wet or humid it loosens and when heated or dry it tightens. Heat can cause the hide to tighten until it finally tears. Smaller chandelier lamp shades are at greater risk because of the close proximity of the bulb to the shade, while larger shades last longer because the heat can more easily escape. Usually it is a combination of things that can cause splitting, like too high of wattage bulb, or direct sunlight, extended use causing high heat or placement near a heat duct or not conditioning the hide or not frequently enough. By avoiding these pitfalls, shade life is greatly increased.

The best results are achieved by regularly conditioning the shades. Weekly or monthly applications may be needed during certain times of the year depending on the dryness of your location. Shades in Arizona and Colorado for example need more frequent conditioning. Air conditioning dries the air causing the same result as heat. Along with regular conditioning, using a compact fluorescent bulb rather than a traditional incandescent bulb is the single most important tip to prolong shade life. Modern fluorescent bulbs have very nice light and produce a fraction of the heat, while saving energy too. It is also important to realize that rawhide is animal skin and wears out sooner or later even with care. Most people who use rawhide shades do so because they like the rustic look and there is no equal for rawhide. So, we accept the fact that replacement will be a part of ownership and enjoying rawhide.

How to measure and order the right size rawhide lamp shade

The right rawhide lamp shade can make a perfect lamp. But the wrong size shade can make a beautiful lamp look out of balance. And ordering the wrong size lampshade is inconvenient and expensive. Follow this simple procedure to help make the right choice before you order.

First, we need to understand how lampshades are measured. You will need three measurements, bottom diameter, top diameter and height. The height of a shade should be measured straight up and down vertically...not along the slant.

Measuring Tip #1: The reason we measure height up and down, "vertically" is that the height measurement of you lamp from bulb socket base to top of harp is probably the minimum vertical height you will want to cover with your shade.

Measuring Tip #2: The height of your lamp can be adjusted with a shorter or taller harp to be able to use a standard lampshade rather than ordering custom rawhide lamp shades in many cases.

Now, here is the trick to ordering the right shade. You probably have an idea of the approximate size, so simply consult a list of rawhide lamp shades and select the one you are considering. Each shade's measurements should be listed as described above.

Next, make a simple two-dimensional "flat silhouette" pattern the size of the shade out of paper or cardboard. For example, use the lower edge of the cardboard for the base line. Measure up the height of the shade and draw a horizontal line parallel to the base line which will represent the top edge of the shade. Now draw a vertical line straight up and down from base line or to the top edge line. If you imagine the base line, vertical line and top edge line as the capital letter "I" you are on the right track.

Then, mark the top and bottom dimensions of the shade on your pattern so that you get the correct slant for the edge of the shade. From the center line measure and mark the top diameter of the shade. If the top diameter is 5" then measure to the left and right of the center line along the top edge line 2.5" on both sides and make a mark. Those points are the top corners of your pattern. Repeat along the baseline using the shade's bottom diameter. If it seems confusing, it's really not, but very simple and quick. Click on the image at the top of the page to enlarge the shade measuring graphic for a visual aid.

Finally, If you will cut out the pattern and have someone hold it in place over the lamp, you will be able to step back and look. Even though it is flat, you will be able to get a feel for how the shade will look on your lamp and order with confidence.

It's a quick and easy way to make sure that you are on the right track in your shade size selection. This simple idea has helped save a lot of aggravation and money over the years and we trust it will benefit you too as you enjoy mission del rey genuine rawhide lamp shades.

Order your own rawhide lamp shades today and enjoy creating your rustic space. You may help others by freely reprinting this article with active links to or for information email:

About the Author

Offers a full line of rawhide lamp shades & rustic lamps. This article may be freely reprinted with active link included.

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