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Pointe Shoe Darning.


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Quick question, which is better darning pointe shoes or the stick on suede patches?

 

Does it make any difference at all?

 

Are there benefits to either system?

 

DD has so far only used the patches and am trying to decide whether it is worth spending the time bothering to learn how to do the darning and then teaching her.

 

Love to hear your experiences and opinions,thanks.

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Does her teacher have a preference? Some prefer one method over the other.

 

We have found that the darning method gives good grip, but my dd gets through pointe shoes so quickly that now we don't bother, and cut the satin out of the toes instead.

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Thanks taxi4ballet. Rather unhelpfully she has two teachers, one who prefers the darning method and one who says to use the patches!

 

Do you mean that rather than use a suede patch, you cut off the silk and just expose the box? Does this affect longevity?

 

Sorry to sound so dim, not a dancer myself!

 

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We've never tried the patches, dd's teacher hates them. I don't think cutting out the satin affects the longevity at all.

 

Have a look on youtube, there are several ways of darning (sorry I'm no good at links). Perhaps you could try with one pair, and see whether your dd prefers dancing with them or the patches, and go with what she likes best?

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I also think it depends how speedy you are at sewing (I'm very slow), what your teacher prefers, and how quickly your dd gets through shoes.

 

My dd's teachers have no preference, so we use the suede patches, particularly as dd is still growing so her pointes are only lasting a few months. It would take me that long to darn them! :-)

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My dd's teachers have no preference, so we use the suede patches, particularly as dd is still growing so her pointes are only lasting a few months. It would take me that long to darn them! :-)

 

You are so lucky - remember the shoes we got in an emergency for the EYB casting a fortnight ago? She wore them for that and three classes, and they've had it already! :blink:

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Yikes! :-/

 

Dd doesn't have particularly strong feet - although they're much stronger now than they were - so she doesn't tend to break shanks very quickly. Mind you, every so often her feet kept having growth spurts so she'd grow out of them before she'd break them! :-)

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I darned every pair I ever wore - that's 40 years of pointe shoes! It is the traditional (old fashioned) method of preparing pointe shoes.

 

I used three threads of matching embroidery yarn and a strong needle and an equally strong thimble. I got to the point (pun intended) where I could finish a pair in about 1/2 hr. I did them while waiting around in rehearsal or watching TV.

 

If you need some more detail let me know.

 

The darned area does have a good grip and picks up rosin much better than any other method. I never liked the look of cutting off the satin or putting on a patch. It's a personal choice.

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Hi thank you for all your comments much appreciated.

 

Her new pointes are very slightly different to her previous ones, so to see which she prefers I will do them the same as her current ones then when I know which of the two styles she prefers ( Freed Studios or Freed Studio 2) then the next pairs I shall try both suggestions to see what she likes best.

 

Glad you mentioned darning around the edges akh as I was wondering about fraying.

 

Anjuli_Bai if you have a particular method I would be delighted to hear what it is so I can try that next. Thanks

 

I

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Using the three threads, I ran a running stitch around - outlining - the area (platform of the shoe) to be darned. Then I filled the area in with short running stitches like a carpet. When it was all filled in, I then did X stitches all over the carpet. The idea is not to make it smooth but to make it rough so as to increase the grip and make spaces - X - for the resin to catch.

 

I always used a straight strong (but not too thick) needle. However, in the past others have mentioned using a curved needle to good effect. So, try both. Be sure to use a thimble.

 

When you sew, go through the satin and into the stuff under the satin as much as posssible.

 

I hope this all makes sense!

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Cut off the silk and darn round the edges - works fine and doesn't seem to affect longevity.

 

I darned my dds shoes for the first coupe of years then when she started getting through shoes quite quickly I did as the same as akh but now she sorts herself out I think she just uses superglue to stop the cut edges of the satin from fraying!

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I darned shoes when I was younger and had more time on my hands and it certainly helped grip :)

We sell the Just Darn Kit on our shiny new website www.justballet.co.uk, it has 100m of thread (which should last a lifetime) straight needles, curved needles and 3 sizes of thimbles - and a quick guide!

 

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DD's ballet teacher very much prefers shoes to be darned (including soft blocks) so I dutifully spent hours sewing both sets of shoes when she started there (she had Grishkos and they seemed very tough to darn, so there was much cursing :angry: ) However, when she danced in them she found the grip very difficult to get used to and slipped during point work. She says she felt very insecure with the darning. I had to unpick it all and we went back to the suede patches - teacher wasn't too impressed!

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  • 4 months later...

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I am considering trying to darn a pair of dd's pointes. She doesn't mind the suede patches, but has seen someone's shoes with the satin cut off the end, and darning round the edge, and says it makes the platform look flatter than one with suede patches.

 

Does this sound right? I can see what she means but I'm not sure whether the platform really is flatter or if it's just an optical illusion..

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I always darned my shoes but never cut away the satin.

 

If that were to make the platform look and/or seem flatter I'm not sure what that would accomplish. Is it a look or an actuality? But if that were actually true it would only be flatter by the lessening of the almost negligible depth of the satin cloth and the addition of the depth of darning thread. Both of which can't change the physical configeration (depth added to the outer edges of the platform) to any really discernible degree. But, if it is psychological thing - makes her more comfortable - go for it.

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Once you get the hang of it spannerandpony it's quite "relaxing"! I use a straight needle for the edges and curved needle for the centre of the platform - and of course a thimble! I've found leather needles the best for me as they have a specially shaped tip that powers thought the box without bending.

But I must confess sometimes I dont darn new shoes but then darn shoes once the satin has torn and they've become shiny with rosin, to give a little bit more life :)

Re suede patches, you can get them in different sizes so they can go over the whole platform.

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The important thing to remember is - you aren't darning for neatness here -smooth stitches. Precisely the opposite. I used to cover the area with running stiitches and then on top of that lots of X stitches for traction and to catch and hold the rosin.

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It really isn't that bad Spanner. DD's teacher always insisted on darned shoes and after the 1st pair when I was really worried about ruining the shoes, I did start to find it quite relaxing - the chance to sit still with some music on - lovely. I started off by using 3 strands of embroidery thread as Anjui mentions (as advised by our teacher) but now use the crochet/darn thread as I find it easier to use (listed as crochet ball on dancedirect). DD's teacher also expects that by their 2nd/3rd pair the girls should be trying to sew their shoes themselves. re the cutting the satin off and darning round the edges, DD tells me that a lot of the older girls at vocational school do that. In workshops with BRB dancers she was advised to cut the satin off and then stitch a drawstring from an old apair of pointe shoes over the edge to keep it in place and stop it fraying. That was certainly a new one for me. Good luck with the shoes.

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