FAQ Topics

You’re Tying Your Shoes Wrong

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Like so many other people, I discovered one day that I was tying my shoes all wrong. You may think that a tied shoe is a tied shoe so what difference does it make?  It actually makes two big differences.

Knot Security

Featured imageWhen tying shoes the wrong way the end result of the knot is a granny knot (which is how grain sacks were tied and not a reference to grandmothers BTW). Granny knots are less secure than the preferred square knot, so they are more likely to come untied. Often people will double tie knots in athletic shoes to prevent them from becoming untied because they’ve used granny knots. When wearing ribbon shoelaces, that double tying is not attractive, which brings me to the other difference.

Knot AppearanceFeatured imageSo here’s the question. When you tie your shoes, does your bow/knot look like the bow on the left or the right? If indeed you produce the bow on the left, you’re tying your shoes wrong. If you’re the visual type and want to see it done the right way, take a peek at this entertaining video: https://www.ted.com/talks/terry_moore_how_to_tie_your_shoes. If you do better reading your directions, just remember that right over left and left over right (or left over right and right over left would work too!) gives you the secure square knot. Basically if your bows look like the shoe on the left, just switch the way you make your first cross, and keep the second cross the same.

When wearing ribbon shoelaces, proper tying technique is a rather big deal. You’re not getting the best possible looking bow when the whole point of wearing ribbon shoelaces is to make your shoes look as good as possible. You’re also risking having them come untied, and in ribbons such as satin that have a smooth surface, that can be a real problem, or again, just an ugly situation if you solve the problem with a double tied bow.

Happy shoelace shopping! – Ann Louise

Shoelace Sites

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At the beginning of each month I like to add a post that doesn’t specifically highlight any shoelaces but rather highlights a related topic. Since I get questions about several different shoelace sites, this month I’d like to provide a little info to addresses these frequent questions.

Ian’s Shoelace Site™

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(Screenshot Copyright Ian W. Fieggen)

My favorite informational shoelace site is Ian’s Shoelace Site, and I’m definitely not alone. Customers often ask if I’ve seen this site, and I am indeed one of its millions of viewers. The site (i.e. Ian) examines every topic imaginable around shoelaces in an almost scientific manner. I’ve personally spent hours redrawing some of his lacing graphics for my own customers’ benefit, and the very first pair of shoelaces I ever made were based upon ideas and suggestions from Ian’s Shoelace Site. In addition to some of the more obvious topics, he covers everything from shoelaces in history to shoelaces in the news. Anyone who enjoys my Lost in Lace blog will surely enjoy Ian’s Shoelace Site, so check it out.

Lost in Lace™

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Another frequently asked question is where I  got the idea for Lost in Lace. I actually started with a jewelry shop on Etsy and added some shoelaces (like the ones I’d made from ideas at Ian’s site) largely to expand my listings, and before I knew it, shoelaces were outselling my jewelry. At that point I decided to open Lost in Lace, so it became my first shoelace shop. Lost in Lace is currently my only shoelace shop on Etsy, and it’s the site where I get to interact with my customers the most.

All About Shoelaces™

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The question I get on All About Shoelaces is why I would start another shoelace shop when I already have one on Etsy. That’s actually easy to explain.

Because Etsy likes to capitalize on the personal aspect of individual shop owners and how we make things by hand, I began hearing from customers who were a little uneasy about doing business in an artsy craftsy venue. They preferred the more professional facade of an independent website. From a selling standpoint, it’s also nice to have an independent site free of additional fees and restrictions. Since I had plenty of website design experience, I decided to create my vision of the optimal online shoelaces site, and my All About Shoelaces customers are simply fantastic.

Ribbon Shoelaces™

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Surely two shoelace site should be enough, right? Ribbon Shoelaces is based on requests from so many customers to see the shoelaces as they would appear laced in shoes rather than focusing on the ribbon itself. It simply suits a different type of customer better than my other two sites, and I love an excuse to design another website. 🙂

HueLaces™

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The question I get most frequently about HueLaces these days is “Where the heck did it go?”. HueLaces was created as a wholesale segment because I was receiving frequent requests from small fashion/shoe boutiques for discounts on bulk orders.  I needed to create a linesheet for the shoelaces that made sense to sell in bulk, and I needed a website put all of the information in one spot in a commercial buyer-friendly format rather than communicating with buyers through my retail shops.

With so many orders coming in through my retail sites, it was difficult to keep up with HueLaces’ customers, and I realized I  needed to make the wholesale process easier for myself. I am currently in the middle of recreating my wholesale concept, and admittedly it’s not been at the top of the priority list. HueLaces will eventually be back though.

So what’s next? At this point I’m hoping that any new ideas or frequent requests I get can be accommodated by making minor changes to my existing shoelace shops, so I have no plans at this stage to add to this set. Getting my sites into a mobile-friendly format and getting HueLaces up and running again should keep me from dreaming up any other shoelace site ideas for awhile. Should anyway… -Ann Louise

Shoelaces and Hair Ribbons – How to Find a Match

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As last month’s topic was about using shoelaces as an alternative to hair ribbons, the question has come up about knowing which hair ribbons match which shoelaces as shown in the the example I gave with the golf shoes below.

Matching 1/4″ Shoelaces to 7/8″ Hair Ribbons

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The one thing I’ve done across all of my shoelace shops as well as my hair ribbon shop is to provide consistent names to matching colors of ribbon/shoelaces for each fabric type. In the example above, the 1/4″ grosgrain shoelaces and the 7/8″ hair ribbon are both labeled as “Red”. I’ve done this for Satin, Organza and Grosgrain shoelaces and hair ribbons for all widths. The examples below show just how easy it is to match shoelaces to hair ribbons.

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5/8″ Satin Shoelaces

Featured image1.5″ Satin Hair Ribbons

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If you’d like to match 5/8″ shoelaces to 1/5″ hair ribbons, note the colors on the listing.  You’ll notice that each color is available for both the shoelaces and the hair ribbons, and no matter how they may appear on your screen, colors with the same names match, so while Spruce may appear darker on the shoelaces listing, it indeed matches the Spruce on the hair ribbon listing.

For purchasing these items, the hair ribbons are available at one shop, and the shoelaces are available at three shops.

HAIR RIBBONS

Hair Ye! Hair Ye! – https://www.etsy.com/listing/239115908

SHOELACES

Lost in Lace – https://www.etsy.com/listing/182308287

All About Shoelaces – http://allaboutshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/mediumwidesatin.htm

Ribbon Shoelaces – http://ribbonshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/WidesatinShoelaces.htm

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5/8″ Organza Shoelaces

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7/8″ Organza Hair Ribbons

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The same applies to the 5/8″ organza shoelaces and the 7/8″ organza hair ribbons. Note that there are colors in the hair ribbons (yellow, rust and lime), that don’t have a corresponding shoelace color, so always do a cross reference before purchasing to ensure there is a corresponding match in your color.

For purchasing these items, the hair ribbons are available at one shop, and the shoelaces are available at three shops.

HAIR RIBBONS

Hair Ye! Hair Ye! – https://www.etsy.com/listing/240162998

SHOELACES

Lost in Lace – https://www.etsy.com/listing/185808045

All About Shoelaces – http://allaboutshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/58organza.htm

Ribbon Shoelaces – http://ribbonshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/WideOrganzaShoelaces.htm

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5/8″ Grosgrain Shoelaces

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7/8″ Grosgrain Hair Ribbons

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And of course the same holds true for the example of 5/8″ grosgrain shoelaces and 7/8″ grosgrain hair ribbons. Note that similar colors that are not identical have been intentionally given different names, so you’ll know they are not an exact match (e.g. Tangerine vs. Orange, Golden vs. Gold, Daffodil vs. Yellow, etc.).

For purchasing these items, the hair ribbons are available at one shop, and the shoelaces are available at three shops.

HAIR RIBBONS

Hair Ye! Hair Ye! – https://www.etsy.com/listing/238088194

SHOELACES

Lost in Lace – https://www.etsy.com/listing/159816849

All About Shoelaces – http://allaboutshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/58grosgrain.htm

Ribbon Shoelaces – http://ribbonshoelaces.theboutiqueproject.com/WideGrosgrainShoelaces.htm

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If you’re trying to match colors across fabric types, say grosgrain shoelaces and a satin hair ribbon, matching color names do not imply those colors will match. If you’ve got a particular combo in mind, just contact me via the customer services option at the shop you’re in, and I can confirm whether your combo is a good match or not. Actually that’s a great thing to remember. While I plan to slowly but surely provide information in this blog to answer your most frequent questions, don’t ever hesitate to contact me with more questions. You can reach me at Questions@TheBoutiqueProject.com for questions about any items at The Boutique Project shops, and I’m always quick to respond. I love hearing from my customers! – Ann Louise

Tip Options for Custom Ribbon Shoelaces

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Part of the fun of designing your own ribbon shoelaces online is choosing the tips. When selecting the tips for your shoelaces, look for a style that will best accentuate the look you want as well as provide the functionality your shoes require to lace through their eyelets easily. The shops that belong to this blog offer a combination of plastic tips, metal tips and even a trim and seal option for certain types of ribbon.

Plastic Tips

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Plastic tips are heat sealed and glued in place to provide an easy way to lace shoes as well as protect the ends from fraying. They are form-fitting, so they adhere to the shape and texture of the ribbon underneath. For example, plastic tips on grosgrain shoelaces have those grosgrain ridges peaking through. Plastic tips can be very narrow when applied to narrow thin ribbons such as 1/4″ organza, and they can be quite wide when applied to wider bulky ribbons such as 7/8″ satin.

While clear plastic tips are by far the favorite choice of my customers, plastic tips do come in a full range of opaque colors as well – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Gray, Black, White and Brown. Colored tips can be used to add a nice custom touch to basic shoelaces such as putting black tips on black shoelaces, or they can bring out an accent color in shoelaces with multiple colors. They can even be mixed and matched in a Rainbow effect with a different color on each tip such as a Red, Yellow, Blue and Green combination.

Metal Tips

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Metal tips include wide crimp tips, long dangling tips and short dangling tips. All metal tips are available in either gold or silver colors.

Dangling tips are finished with a very narrow crimp with a loop on the end to add either a long (1″) dangling paddle tip or a short (3mm) dangling teardrop tip. The narrow crimps are often narrower than plastic tips when used on wider ribbons, although they don’t fit onto the really wide shoelaces such as 7/8″ satin or grosgrain. I specifically do not advise using the long dangling paddle tips for babies or toddlers, since they may pose a choking hazard.

Wide crimp tips are probably my favorite way to finish off a pair of shoelaces. Unfortunately at 3.5mm wide, they don’t fit through some eyelets. Women’s shoes can have very narrow eyelets (even just simple holes punched through leather), so I always recommend taking a close look at a shoe’s eyelets before adding the wide crimps. Whenever they fit though, I definitely think they are the way to go!

Trim and Seal

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Speaking of narrow eyelets, trim and seal tips are the best way to get ribbon shoelaces through any extremely tiny holes. Trim and seal tips are simply trimmed at an angle or in a forked shape, and then the raw edges are melted to resist fraying. For anyone who has their own ribbon on hand, trim and seal tips are also a fun DIY shoelace project. Trim and seal works best for heavier and solid ribbons such as grosgrain and satin. Thin and fragile ribbons, such as organza, simply don’t seal well and are inclined to fray anyway.

Be Creative

So the next time you’re looking at that drop-down box of tip options for your custom ribbon shoelaces, don’t just default to those clear tips. Add tips that show off those shoelaces a bit more with your own personal touch, and take full advantage of those custom possibilities! – Ann Louise