Ballet dancers are without a say creatures of habit. Any change on our daily routine, like on our morning exercises or our usual hairstyle or that lucky leotard that we will never get rid of…any change on that isn’t very welcome. Never the less from time to time we are willing to incorporate new things to our meticulous routine, like any amazing new trick that a friend may share or something that you may find on the internet and just simply want to give a go. But what if I told you that there’s a way better option than your regular classic satin ribbons, and to be more specific…would you change them for an ELASTIC ribbon?
First time I heard about this new ribbons I was kind of petrified with the simple thought of replacing the very wonderful satin ribbons that I have wore my entire ballet life. Well… spoiler alert, I DID CHANGE THEM and it’s s been one of the best moves that I have done in a very long time.
It all started with a tiny little pain on my Achilles tendon, but nothing serious. Like every week I visited my physiotherapist for our usual appointment and she pointed out that I shouldn’t tight my ribbons that much because this puts a lot of stress right on the Achilles. In a way I already new that I was a little to excessive on the pressure with my ribbons because it wasn’t the first time that I search for other options such as the famous Bloch’s Ribbons. I’m sure you are familiar with them, but they consist of two ribbons and they were made of satin except for a little section that was elastic. My issue with this ribbons and the main reason why I never used them was that the elastic part never landed on my Achilles, as well as the fact that they were quite expensive. My next experiment was coming out with a DIY version of the Bloch satin-elastic ribbons, but I quickly realized that it required way too much time and effort to sew by hand every ribbon…which made me always gravitate towards the classic satin ribbon.
All until I found out about the Elastic Ribbons just a couple years ago, while talking to my colleges in the middle of a show. The conversation was centre in the fact that we all hated how the the end of the ribbons, once tight up, will pop out unexpectedly in the middle of a show. Some say that hairspray was the solution while others praised for resin… until one of the girls said that hers where elastic and that she never had that problem.
In today’s blog I want to share with you the difference between the Elastic Ribbons that are available in the market, as well as walking you trough the characteristics of the ribbons so that you know which one will adapt best to your preferences and needs. Let’s get started!
1 | Characteristics of an Elastic Ribbon
- The material of the ribbon: the satin ribbons are quite soft and almost slippery while the cotton ones have more of a grip. With the elastic ribbons happens kind of the same, meaning that some will be more slippery that others. Personally, I lean towards the softer one just because the look in my opinion a lot nicer and they feel better on my skin (in those times at rehearsal when my tights aren’t covering my feet). The downside of it its that they are a little slippery, but nothing that a little resin can’t fix. If on the other you prefer a more sturdy feel I would absolutely choose a stronger material.
- Elasticity of the ribbon: this is the most important aspect of an elastic ribbon since this determines how well they are going to stay on your ankle. This changes quite a bit from one brand to another. In this case I have no doubt that picking one with a strong resistance is the way to go. There’s two main reasons for that… the first been that I have chosen a softer material (previous point) therefor I have to compensate with the strength. And secondly they last longer, since the elastic fibers are more dense and built together. You will be able to reuse them and to pop them into your washing machine without a worry. The downside to this kind of ribbon is that it runs on the more expensive side, but it’s worth it since you’ll be able to use them many more times.
- Colour and finish of the ribbon: the variety of colours aren’t really special, and same goes to the finish. I have never found the colour to be an issue because I tent to simply paint them when ever it’s necessary (and store them for the next time). The finish on these ribbons runs on the MATE side. If you prefer a shiny option maybe elastic ribbons aren’t for you just yet.
2 | Top elastic ribbons on the market
This are the main brands as well as their characteristics:
- Freed: the Freed bulk ballet pointe shoe elastic ribbon. This are my absolute favourite and the one that I personally always use. This ribbons are soft on the skin but very sturdy at the same time giving me the perfect hold. The colour is pale pink and they are mostly mate.
- Bloch: Stretch Satin Ribbon Roll 22mm. This ribbons are rougher to the touch, which offers a better grip. The strength on the elastic runs a little weaker. The colour is pale pink and the finish looks more shiny than the Freed but still more mate than the classic satin ribbons.
- Bunheads: Stretch Ribbon. This are very soft, with a medium strength. The colour is pink-salmon and the finish is surprisingly shiny. Its important to mention that this ribbons are sold in small packages which makes it a more expensive option than the brands mentioned above.
That’s all! Now you have all the basic information to give a go to this amazing ribbons. I hope that you enjoyed the blog post and that it cleared out any doubt that you may have had with this product. Never the less do not hesitate to write me down below if you have any other question and I will try my best to reply to. I will see you on my next blog post, bye!
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