Capezio Ballet shoes; William Skinner Nylon satin; 1946

Capezio Ballet shoes; William Skinner Nylon satin; 1946

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Usage conditions apply
Capezio Ballet shoes; William Skinner Nylon satin; 1946. Black nylon satin outer made as application of fabric T9665 with white twill canvas cotton inner lining. Leather soles produced by Capezio. Sold by Lord + Taylor. Size 5 1/2. Very stiff soles, non-flexible. Insole glued to shoe base. Leather sole glue to shoe. Nylon string drawn through bias tape around shoe opening to adjust sizing. Upper is four pieces, machine stitched with side seams on left and right sides of shoes. Sole is one piece. Fabric strip on center back exterior to conceal back seam. Interior of shoe is two pieces. Bias tape machine stitched. Nylon woven in Holyoke, MA. Dark marks and raised stains on left sole. Brown staining on internior left and right.
William Skinner emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1843, finding work as silk dyer. He eventually opened his own silk manufacturing company, the Unquomonk Silk Co., making silk threads and yarns for weaving and sewing. In 1874, the mill was destroyed when the Mill River Dam gave way. Skinner moved his company a few miles away, to Holyoke, Massachusetts, and rebuilt the mill, expanding production to include woven fabrics (Skinner satins were nationally famous) and silk braids. He ran the company until his death in 1902, and the firm stayed in the family, and remained in operation in Holyoke, until 1961, when his heirs sold it to Indian head Mills, which immediately closed the Holyoke operation.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Slippers, Ballet
date made
William Skinner and Sons
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Holyoke
United States: Massachusetts, Holyoke
Associated Place
United States: New Jersey, Allentown
United States: Massachusetts, Holyoke
Physical Description
nylon; leather; cotton (overall material)
Black (overall color)
satin weave (overall production method/technique)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 2 5/16 in x 8 3/4 in; 5.715 cm x 5.842 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of William Skinner and Sons
American Textile Industry
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Textiles
American Silks
American Textile Industry
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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