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Saving your pointe shoes! September 02, 2004 5:29 PM

Toe shoe darning-an old technique... This method greatly strenghtens shoes-the darning goes right through the shoe, creating a slightly raised ridge that serves as a reinforcement for the front of the shoe and also as kind of a platform to enhance balance. The process is simple, but time-consuming(around an hour and a half for one pair of pointe shoes). What follows are the nine steps for this process: 1. Start with a large darning needle and 100% cotton thread(beige, pink, white(whatever color you think would look best with your pointe shoes). Remove satin from toe of shoe and start with shoes that are slightly broken in-and molded to the shape of your foot. 2. Thread your needle with double strands with a small knot at the end. Lay down four double rows of thread, parallel, across 'face'(box) of your shoe's pointe. 3. Lay down another double row right below the pointe of the shoe, on the sole-close on top of the 'pleats' in the material. 4. Begin connecting two sets of rows at a time on the face of the shoe using a slip-knot embroidery stitch.(If you do not know how to make a slip knot-or are having other problems regarding these directions, please post your questions on here, and I will answer them) 5. Stitch last row and row near pleats together to form a 'ridge' right on the edge of the pointe. 6. Lay another double row on top of shoe(side that your foot goes into), very close to the edge. Stitch together with next row down(first row on face of pointe) to form ridge right on edge of top. 7.Lay down rows on each side. Stitch with slip knot embroidery stitch. 8. Go around edge of shoe face once more, making one continuous ridge. Hurray, you are finished! 9. Tips: Be sure to coat thread evenly. also, the 'ridge' needs balance and stability for pirouettes. I hope this was helpful-and I would love to hear any tips that you have about shoe brands, manufacturers, sizing tips, reinforcement tips, or anything else that pertains to the subject of dance shoes. I would also love to hear about other types of shoes, not just ballet, so feel free to post. i look forward to hearing from you all...WisechildWonders  [ send green star]
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