Before taking up your project, making the right selection of materials for the project should be considered.
The best way to getting the best zipper materials is to contact a zipper supplier who has much information about zippers and also ready to share this information with you. However, these few tips could do a lot to guide you to choosing the best zippers out there.
1. Zipper selection
There are different types of zippers with different lengths, different parts and material make-up, different shapes or designs. Making the right selection may pose a great challenge if there is little or no knowledge whatsoever about them. Before you can select a good zipper, having a good knowledge about all these will make it a lot easier to deal with.
2. Different types of zippers
- Coil zippers
The Coil Zippers are the most available type of zippers. Often, they are referred to as the Nylon Zippers because of the Nylon material make-up. Now, however, they are made of polyester but still retain their name “Nylon Zipper”. These zippers are heat resistant, light-weight and/or rustproof. Because they are readily available, they are often said to be the best zippers but that may not be true. Availability doesn’t necessarily indicate good quality.
- Separating zippers
The separating zippers are so designed to completely be separated after the installation of the zipper. The name “open-ended zippers” shouldn’t confuse you, it’s the same zipper. The separating zipper uses a box and pin mechanism and commonly is installed or used on coats, hoodies or sweatshirts.
- Invisible zippers
The coil on these zippers is located on the back of the zipper, installed such that it’s hidden or not visible. The best projects to use these zippers on are dresses and skirts. A perfect description for this zipper could be “a coil zipper with a tear drop- like pull”.
- Metal teeth zippers
This zipper has two lines of metal teeth, modeled and lined on each side of the zipper tape at regular intervals. The material make-up could be of nickel, aluminum, and brass. Commonly, they are used on hard case bags and in jeans wears.
- Plastic teeth zippers
The plastic zippers could be mistaken for Metal teeth Zipper. The only distinguishing fact is the plastic material they are made unlike the metal teeth zippers made of aluminum, brass, and nickel. They are also used on jeans wears and hard case bags but more prevalent on bags. They could be affected by heat so caution must be taken being used on projects especially on wears as ironing the dress may damage the zipper. This is the major reason they are commonly used on bags compared to jeans or wears. They are rustproof.
3. Zipper make up
Every zipper has three parts, the slider, teeth and the tape. The chain is formed when the two side-lined teeth are joined together by the slider. In separating zipper, you can also find the reinforcement film, insertion pin, and the retainer box.
4. Measuring zipper length
Zipper lengths are measured from teeth to teeth or metal to metal. If measuring a closed bottom zipper, start your measurement from the top stop and measure down to the bottom stopper. But, if measuring a separating zipper, start measurement from the top stopper and measure down to the end of the retainer box.
It shouldn’t be confusing seeing or hearing measurement lengths of zippers. The numbers in a zipper label simply refer to the width of the chain. For instance, a zipper indicated as #3 has a chain measuring 3mm and a zipper indicated as #5 has a chain measuring 5mm. A closer look at the zipper slider will reveal the number of chain measurement.
However the length measurement of zippers which are of different varieties, there could still be a need to shorten the zipper length to meet accurate usage. This, of course, shouldn’t be a big problem or challenge. The easiest way to have this done is simply stitching over the coils where you desire to create a stop. Trip out the lower end of the zipper after getting your accurate zipper length for your production. Where to create the stop either at the top or bottom depends solely on what you are using the zipper for or its position on the production and it’s your choice to make. However, it’s better to shorten the zipper from the top when it’s been used on the waistband of skirts or pants. If used on pockets or the necklines, it’s better to shorten from the bottom.
When sewing a zipper into the waistband of pants or a skirt zippers should be shortened from the top. Shorten from the bottom for pockets and necklines.
5. Zipper care tips
- If zippers ever get stuck, use a liquid soap help get if freed.
- Either metal teeth or plastic teeth zipper, make sure to cover the zipper with fabrics when ironing, keep it closed and the slider fixed.
- When laundering, ensure to launder with the zipper closed so as not to damage the teeth and slider.