Let us show you how we Darn Pointe Shoes/ Soft Pointe Shoes
This picture shows how we darn pointe shoes. All the shoes are darned by hand. This is a skill that has been passed down through generations of dancers. I have spent time teaching my own daughter to darn pointe shoes.
Firstly we use a chain stitch to mark the area required for darning. This is the only stitching that is sewn into the satin. Then using a blanket stitch we start at the top of the pointe shoe. Working our way down over the pointe until we reach the leather underside. There are no knots used and the stitching has to be flat to the shoe.
This process takes around one hour per shoe. So a pair takes us at least two hours to darn. We use at least 20 metres of darning thread.
The stitching is very personal to the sewer. I personally can tell from the stitching which one of our team has darned your pointe shoes. For example my daughter Zoe works from right to left. I personally prefer to work from left to right. We double darn the blanket stitch. Meaning we use double thread. This makes the darning much stronger and will therefore last longer.
Why do we need to darn Pointe Shoes?
If you don’t darn your pointe shoes, the satin on the tip wears away quite quickly. A rather bald-looking area appears around the pointe and on the underside of the pointe shoe. Mainly where you use the floor to work through your demi-pointe.
If you have your pointe shoes darned properly with crochet thread, the darning will get dirty. The darning will protect the satin for a long time before it starts to wear away. Instead of the satin wearing away while you are dancing, the darning will wear away very slowly. How we darn helps to prolong the life of your pointe shoes!
The darning also serves as reinforcement so the platform stays firm for longer. It will give you more traction on the floor. The shiny satin on ballet shoes and pointe shoes is very shiny and can be very slippy. Having your pointe shoes darned provides extra grip and stability.
When the darning is getting holes in it, just send your shoes to be darned again and they will look like new!