How to Darn Pointe Shoes

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8 Responses

  1. Hadassah says:

    I’ve seen girls use just regular sewing thread on their pointe shoes. This leaves less bulk, but you would have to sew them more often.

  2. Marisa says:

    Surely it would take ages to sew with regular thread? I can imagine it wouldn’t last long, either.

  3. Caron Jones says:

    My darning method creates a greater coverage and lasts forever, especially if you varnish or clear glue over it. Start with the left to right bars but then weave under and over the thread, like loom weaving and only attach at top side of platform in a curving formation.

    • Marisa says:

      So you’re not darning into the material on the crossways darn,just weaving between the threads? I can see how that would work,thanks for the tip.

  4. Caron Jones says:

    The weaving in and out method means you go into the satin far less. The thread is only attached at the sides when you create the “ladder” to weave under and over, and along the top edge of the platform. It is important, regardless of method, to take up the canvas underlying the satin with your needle. Some satin will not support the darn and will start to tear otherwise. I favour Mercer crochet thread shade 624 and because I’m not doing a lot of little stitches into the shoe, I use a strong straight needle. I have mentioned coating the darn in clear glue or varnish to make it durable. An alternative to this is to paint over the darn ( you can get a really good colour match using those little sample match pots of paint). This enables you to sponge the platform clean if necessary. Another note about the weaving method is that I weave very closely, effectively creating an extra (cushioning) layer, using double thread all the way. It’s quick. It takes me about an hour and a half to do both shoes. I start with a knot, close to the pleats and go across the sole slightly. As you weave, the thread pulls up into an arc that matches the contour of the sole. I tuck the original knot into a pleat or under the darn. If I come to the end of the thread when I’m darning in and out I go into the satin leaving a length to tie the new piece of thread onto with a knot. This knot will also be concealed under the darn and will flatten with wear. When you anchor your thread to the top edge, step you stitches to create a curve. If you go in a straight line in the satin you will almost certainly cause a hole in the satin even if you are taking up the canvas layer underneath. This method can be used around the sides and heel if required. Watch the tension around the heel, as it is easy to draw the fabric too tight and reduce the length of the shoe slightly.

    • Marisa says:

      Thank you so much Caron, I think your method will be very helpful to many dancers and you’ve described it very clearly. I’m going to update the main article to make sure people find your post!

      • Caron Jones says:

        I’m glad it was useful. I have quite a lot of useful tips. I was a pointe shoe fitter for 15 years and I’ve been wearing pointe shoes for over 40years. Not continuously, you understand!

        • Marisa says:

          I’d love to hear more of them! If you’d like to write some articles, send me a message on the Contact Me page (link in the footer) and I’d be happy to publish them here.

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