Dance clothing and accessories are often intricately designed and therefore can be delicate or easily damaged. Dance tights, for example, can get runs, while ballet shoes can get worn out due to repeated use. To avoid having to replace dance wear or dance costume accessories frequently, certain maintenance and repair practices should be kept in mind.
Taking Care of Ballet and Gymnastics Clothes
Dance leotards are traditionally made of cotton, but are currently available in different kinds of spandex and nylon materials. Because they have to be tightly fitted to the user, they have to be washed and stored in such a way that they will not get loose or baggy. Leotards should be allowed to soak in cool water with soap for fifteen to twenty minutes before they are fully laundered. Stains on this article of dance clothing should be spot treated before the whole garment is washed. Leotards should never by wring-dried or hung by their straps.
Runs and holes on dance tights are very noticeable and tend to get worse when not attended to. To prevent damage to tights, they should always be kept in smooth storage bags so that they won’t get caught in pointed or rough surfaces. Dancers normally wear pants over tights before and after rehearsals to protect the leg garments. In case the tights get a run, putting clear nail polish on the edges of the hole can curb the damage. Like leotards, tights are best laundered by hand-washing instead of machine-washing.
Preserving Other Dance Clothes
Dance costumes without decorations such as sequins, feathers and rhinestones can still be damaged if machine-washed. Experts recommend sending them to the dry cleaners or hand-washing them in cool water with mild soap. Since they are also sensitive to heat and sunlight, sophisticated dance wear should not be dried under direct sunlight or ironed. Dance costumes with stones and other sewn-on materials are even more fragile. They should not be washed directly in water as much as possible, but if necessary, they can be laundered inside out. They are also sensitive to direct sunlight and hot ironing. To help these kinds of clothes get dry, a stand steamer may be used or they can be hanged in a steamy room like the bathroom.
Maintenance of Ballet and Other Dance Shoes
Dance shoes are cleaned in a variety of ways, depending on the kind of material they are made of. One home remedy is baking soda, which should be moderately used on ballet shoes. However, any random chemical could ruin dance shoes, so they should only be polished using cleaning products designed specifically for satin, leather or metallic shoes. Brushing shoes used in ballroom dancing is one good way to keep them in good condition. For ballet pointe shoes, drying is an effective maintenance measure because it hardens the glue inside the shoes, which is key to making the pair last longer. For all kinds of dance shoes, the best way to prolong life span is to never wear them outside the dance floor.
Dancewear takes time and money to make and acquire. Those in good quality may not be as affordable as substandard, easily worn-out pieces. Either way, dance clothes deserve adequate care and maintenance for the dancer’s own comfort.
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