Care and Maintenance of Ballet Pointe Shoes and sewing ribbons and elastics

Before we begin sewing ribbons and elastics on your newly bought pointe shoes, you must remember to....

Fold your ballet pointe shoes up properly after each class or rehearsal, winding the ribbons around each shoe.

Take the Pointe shoes out of your dance bag as soon as you get home, don't forget! (Important) Place the shoes somewhere so that they can dry out, but not in the oven. Yes, it has been known to put Pointe shoes in the oven to dry.

One dancer who was in a professional ballet company forgot her toe shoes when she went out to buy groceries. When she came back to her smoking appartment, not only were her ribbons and elastics burned, her toe shoes looked like burned pieces of wood stumps. Lucky for her the fire department didn't come.

Drying the shoes allows the glue inside the shoes to harden again. You didn't know that there is glue inside the ballet pointe shoes? That is the technical aspect of what and how the shoes are made. If you can, purchase two pair at a time. Rotate wearing them. The ballet pointe shoes will last longer as the glue in the shoes harden after each time your child wears them in class or rehearsal.

Feetfirst should always be not forgotten in regard to your child's feet when taking care of her pointe shoes.

DO Not!

Wear ballet point shoes outside on the street or get them wet.

Dry shoes in an oven (already mentioned) or in a microwave, unless you want to have cooked, baked or roasted shoes for a snack.

Burn fraying ends of ribbons with a match or lighter. Some dancers do it never try this without an adult!

Use any kind of chemicals to clean the pointe shoes and/or ribbons, or elastics.

Sewing Ribbons

Before you start sewing ribbons, make sure you have: Ribbon, Thread (white or Pink), Sewing Needle, Scissors, Measuring tape, pencil

1. Your ribbon usually comes in one long piece. Cut it onto four equal lengths before sewing ribbons on to your shoes.

2. Take the shoe and find the side seams. Measure 1/2 inch in back of this seam. Mark it with the pencil.

3. Take the end of one ribbon and fold it over by about 3/4 of an inch. Fold it over again. Now the cut edge is inside of the fold and will not fray.

4. Place this folded part of the ribbon on the inside of the shoe, where you marked it, shiny side facing out.

5. Using needle and thread sew the ribbon into the shoe. Make sure you sew small stitches all the way around the 4 edges of the ribbon, making a rectangle. If you know how to cross stitch, this is even better.

6. Repeat the process of sewing ribbons on the other side of the shoe. Do second ballet pointe shoe.

HINTS As you become more experienced sewing ribbons on Ballet Pointe Shoes you may decide to alter the placement of your ribbons. Some dancers like them further back. If you do this, look at your foot on pointe. Do you see the side of the shoe gaping at the instep? If yes. your ribbons are too far back. Always remember that sewing ribbons on pointe shoes provide an important function by holding the shoe in place at the instep.

To keep pointe shoe ribbons from wrinkling

Fold the part that covers the heel in, and fold the sides of the shoe on top of that and wrap the ribbons tightly around the shoe. That should do it!

There are different techniques to sewing ribbons on to pointe shoes. One web Site will tell you, My Way, the other Their Way. Which one to choose?

Let us go here for sewing ribbons.

Sewing Elastics

You need: 1/2 yard of pink elastic (You can find it at your local fabric or craft store if it is not provided with the Pointe Shoes). Obtain a 1/2 inch width of elastic. The primary purpose of the elastics is to keep the heel of the shoe from slipping off your foot. These should be placed at the heel of the shoe and not across the instep.

How to Measure and Sew:

1. Find the seam that runs down the heel of the shoe. Place one end of the elastic inside of the shoe just to one side of the back seam. Sew it in.

2. Put the shoe on. Stretch the elastic over and around your ankle until the two ends meet on either side of the back seam. Test the tightness by doing a demi-plie (French for knee bend) and some up and down movements with your ankle. The elastic should feel tight but not strangling your ankle. This is your desired length.

3. Cut the elastic to the desired length. Measure the second elastic to an equal length.

4. Finish sewing the other end of the first elastic on the other side of the back seam. Make sure you have not twisted the elastic by mistake. Your finished elastic now looks like a large loop at the end of the shoe. Now do the other ballet pointe shoe.

HINT Record the elastic length so that you don't have to repeat the measuring process every time you sew your Pointe Shoes.

Now that we have covered some, I repeat, some of the workings, problems(?) how-to of the pointe shoe, do not think for a moment that now I know all about pointe shoes.

There is much more information to be had about pointe shoes. And there are many other people who have written about the various aspects of these fantastically made shoes.

Do you remember who developed the first ballet pointe shoe? Hint. Italian ballet master named, who? Filippo Taglioni. The father of the great 19th century ballerina Maria Taglioni.

Thanks to both of them we now have the Ballet Pointe Shoe that is worn by thousands and thousands of dancers who are famous, not so famous, future famous and by your child who will some day become famous, no doubt.

This is not the all and end all of information given here about pointe shoes. As I said, there are many people who have written and expressed their opinions on the Who, What, Where, and When about the shoes. Still, there are some FAQ that can be included here.

If you are interested in dancers wearing pointe shoes or just dancers, famous dancers, search on...

For those who like to read about dance in general and for more info on ballet shoes, pointe shoes, health and wellness for dancers, and many more topics,

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