Monday, February 3, 2014

Zipper Fix It Tips

One of the top requests I get from people is to repair zippers on coats and jackets and hoodies.
Zippers look daunting and impossible to repair to most people because well what do you do when they simply won't zip up? Before you take your coat or jacket into an alterations shop and spend unnecessary cash here are a couple of fix it yourself tips!

Inspect the zipper to find out what the problem is...

First - inspect the teeth. Are they all in good shape? Is there one particular spot where the zipper snags? This is often caused by a thread getting in the way. Unfortunately, if the problem is broken zipper teeth the zipper will have to be replaced.

Secondly ~ does the zipper appear to be in good shape but just won't lock together? This problem is often in the slider. Over time after pulling and pulling on a zipper slider it gradually starts to open up, if this is the case it won't close your zipper. (see top photo)

This is an easy fix. Grab a set of small pliers or needle nose pliers and gently squeeze the slider back together. Be careful not to squeeze it too tight! It's harder to open the slider than close it. Test your zipper. If this doesn't work....

Often a slider will come off or break apart. Go to your local fabric store and buy a slider, they're about $1.50 and come with a top stopper. Remove the existing stopper at the top of the teeth on the side that is getting the slider. The stopper is larger than the rest of the teeth. Slip the slider on the zipper from the top down and use your pliers to squeeze on the new stopper. Test your zipper.
Remember, if you do have to replace the zipper yourself the answer is in the pinning. Pin the zipper like crazy and you shouldn't have too much trouble, oh and use a zipper foot!

A zipper is defined as a popular device for temporarily joining to edges of fabric. It is used in clothing, luggage and other bags and other daily use items.

The bulk of a zipper consists of two strips of fabric tape, each stitched or glued to one of the two pieces to be joined, carrying specially shaped metal or plastic teeth. These teeth can be either individual or shaped from a continuous coil. The slider moves along the rows of teeth. Inside the slider is a Y-shaped channel that meshes together or separates the rows of teeth, depending on the direction of its movement.

Gideon Sundback, a swedish engineer, is credited with the invention of the zipper we use today. Even though Sundback was an American citizen, the zipper is considered a Canadian invention because Sundback had been president  of a Canadian-based company that was one of the earliest manufacturers of the zipper.

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