Monday, April 26, 2010

Making of Ballet Pointe Shoe

Have you ever make your old pointe shoe into soft shoe? I had a lot of fun, dismantling, pulling and taking out nails out of the old pointe shoe, while marveled at the anatomy of my pointe shoe, making into a wearable soft shoe.

Today's blog post, I want to share about the process of making a pointe shoe.

Here goes...
Step 1-2: Cutting, Sewing
The vamp section, quarter sections and linings that form the upper of the toe shoe are cut. After inspecting the fabric for imperfections, cutting room staffs do multicuts of yards of satin and lining material for stock shoes using hydraulic press to cut many layers at one time. Seamstresses at sewing machines join the fronts and backs (vamps and quarters) of the upper, and sew the satin and cotton lining sections of the upper together.

Step 3: Preparing the Insole, shank, and outer sole
The insole, shank, and outer sole are cut out of large pieces of leather to the shape needed by heavy mechanical presses.

Step 4: Pulling over
Pointe shoes are made on a straight last and have no right or left since this kind of "no-footed" construction gives better balance and a truer, straighter point.

Step 5-9: Blocking,The lasting steps, stitching and turning, insole insertion and Hammering out
Fabric, paper and special formula glue are used to build up the inside of the box.
The lasting step begins as the shoemaker pulls the uppers taut and uses his hands as well as various pushing and pulling instruments to mold the still soft block into its finished pointe shape, square, long, flat, oval, or curved.
He inserts the pleats by hand and pushes them into position with an awl-like instrument called the bone.
The pleats are stitched down with linen thread, and excess cloth is trimmed.
The insole and attached reinforcing shank are placed inside the shoe with glue and nails.

Step 10: Drying
Finished shoes are placed on a rack to dry for 2 to 4 days. At some factories, the shoes are baked in a hot-air oven.

Step 11: Inspection
Dried shoes are inspected for quality, and either stored until needed or prepared for shipment.