Packing & Shipping Materials & Techniques
A variety of materials can be used for packing and shipping museum objects:
- Ethafoam® shock absorbent polyethylene foam planks and ring mounts can be easily cut to suit the shape of items being shipped.
- Volara® shock absorbent polyethylene foam sheets are an excellent choice when lining boxes.
- Glassine is a great primary covering layer for paintings and prints.
- Unbleached muslin is excellent for wrapping textiles and sculptures.
- Tissue is a convenient way to wrap items such as textiles, porcelain and metals.
- Archival polyester provides good protection for works on paper that are not made with charcoal or pastel.
- Barrier board, corrugated board, and corrugated polypropylene sheets can be cut to make folders to protect unframed, unmatted prints and documents.
The package-within-a-package (or box-within-a-box) technique is optimal for safely shipping museum objects. Wrap and cushion the object or cut out a cavity for the object between two layers of foam, and place within a cardboard box. Then place the cardboard box within an outer protective shipping crate to provide a safe, stable environment. It is important to support objects properly at their strongest point and to protect them against vibration and temperature and RH changes. Always inspect and document an object's condition before packing.