The Traditional Pointe Shoe

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by KristinaCollette
Last updated 8 years ago

Health & Fitness

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The Traditional Pointe Shoe

The Traditional Pointe Shoe

Depending on the company's shoe style, their materials can look different. In the picture above, the each company has a different satin colour.

The raw materials required to manufacture pointe shoes are:-leather (not tanned)-satin-canvas-glue-cardboard-thread-cotton lining-nails


- Leather is made from cow skin, which is from China.- Satin is woven from cotton and silk. They are both materials from China.- The glue used for these shoes is mixed wheat flour and water. These are easily found in China.- Cardboard is from tree paper. Canada has a lot of trees.- Pointe shoe thread is woven from cotton, from China.- Cotton lining is from cotton, from China.- Nails are made from aluminum, also found in China.

From raw materials to the market:

- A cow's hide (skin) is skimmed off a dead farm cow in a Chinese farm. It is sent to a nearby leather factory by train, truck or ship.- The factory cures the skin so it doesn't rot. Then it is soaked for a few days. Liming removes the cow hair on the skin. Fleshy cow tissue is removed in a machine. Deliming changes the skin's pH (acidity and aklinity) so it doesn't deform. Batting is performed to flatten the skin. The tanning processed is skipped to make a soft, grey leather that will become the shoe's insole. The tanning process is done to form the shoe's outer sole.

- China is a command economy; the government takes control. - Leather (cow skin), satin (cotton and silk), glue (wheat flour and water), thread (cotton), cotton lining (cotton) and soft nails (aluminum) are raw materials that come from China.- Canada is a market economy; it is driven by profit. - Cardboard (tree paper) is a raw material that comes from Canada.

- (In China) Cotton is collected from a cotton farm. Silk is made by boiling silkworm cocoons, then spinning the cocoon thread into thicker threads. This is performed in a silk shop or factory. These materials are sent to a nearby fabric/satin factory by train, truck or ship.- Cotton and silk are weaved in a specific design, so the satin is very shiny. This is the shoe's outer cover.

- Cotton is collected from a Chinese cotton farm. It is sent to a Chinese hfabric/canvas factory by train, truck or ship.- Cotton is weaved in a certain, tight pattern. The fabric is called canvas. It is a material that makes up most of a pointe shoe.

- Wheat flour is grinded wheat. It is from China. It is shipped to a pointe shoe factory in Thailand. The glue used to "paper machee" the pointe shoe is mixed and made in the factory.- In the factory, they take water (from Thailand) and the wheat flour and mix very well until the mixture is a paste/glue.

- Cotton is harvested from a Chinese cotton farm. Then, it is sent to a thread shop/factory by train, truck or ship.- The cotton is spun using a spinner until is is very thin, then is is folded and spin again and again until it becomes a thin but strong string.

- Pine tree log bits are added to a pulp machine which converts the wood to tree pulp, and the pulp dries in a very shallow dish to make paper. The paper is corrugated and glued together. This is a thin cardboard. This will be part of the shoe's shank (between inner and outer soles so feet can bend without breaking).

- The cotton thread is used to weave into a cotton lining.

- Aluminum is extracted from an aluminum mine, usually in China. The aluminum is heated, bent and shaped into a nail shape.

All raw materials are shipped to a pointe shoe factory. Many are in Thailand. The Chinese materials are shipped to Thailand only with the Chinese government's command because their economy is a command economy. For Canada, it doesn't have to be the government's demand. It is the bussiness and consumers who decide. Thailand's economic system is mixed, so the shippers have to get Thailand's government's permission to ship to them.(The shoes are also packaged in plastic bags and boxes)

Watch the Freed companymake pointe shoes! This factory is in Britain. My shoes were made in Thailand. They are made in different places, then shipped to one or more destinations.Britain's systerm is a market economy, so it is up to the British company to receive theshoe's raw materials.

The import of the finished pointe shoe product is a benefit for the government, and business. Their economic system may benefit because the expensive shoes are in popular demand (material technology is always changing). A lot of money spent by the consumers go to the government but also go to the profit of the business.However, poor labour workers earn less money because other businesses earn more in market economies. Their conditions are worse. They also have to work harder and longer because more of the pointe shoes have to be made. Sometimes, child labour is involved (not in Canada).Other workers from other economic systems are effected a little more negetively than positively because of labour, too. The government has control over the workers (mixed and command economies, traditional is not involved with pointe shoe making), and they can control how much of a raw material they have to make.

The shoes are then (usually) shipped internationally. Thailand will have to have permission from its government to ship internationally because its economic systerm is a mixed economy. The pointe shoes are shipped to stores and ballet companies.- Ship to market economy: Permission from the bussiness and consumers.- Ship to traditional economy: Decisiona are based on community's customs, beliefs or religion.- Ship to mixed economy: Permission from government.- Shipe to command economy: Only the government's desicion.

Did you know? Not all pointe shoes are produced with the same materials and with the same steps. Gaynor Minden, a pointe shoe company, has shoes made with foams, plastics and sweat-wickering linings! They are materials providing extra comfort and stronger support, although the dancer has her own likes and dislikes. (Image left and above) The first known pointe shoe was from the 19th century. They were worn by Maria Taglioni. Her shoes were leather-soled slippers sewn to hold their shape.

The willie ghosts of Giselle.

Gaynor Minden

Romeo and Juliet Ballet


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