How to sew a zipper in 6 steps

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Written By NewtonPatterson

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A zipper is a basic sewing skill that lets you add a secure closure on tote bags, pants and other clothing items.

What is a Zipper?

A zipper is a simple tool to close and bind open pieces of fabric. Zippers are a type of fastener or clasp that can be found on pants and jackets as well as purses and bags. To close a coat with a zipper, pull the zipper up and join the right and left sides.

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Five Components of a Zipper

There are many styles and materials available for zippers. But the most important components are:

Slider: This part of your zipper is what you hold and slide down to open and close your zipper. This rectangular, small slider is usually made of metal or plastic.

Bottom stop: This is the bottom of a zipper. When you pull the slider all the way down it stops at the bottom stop.

Top stop: These are the devices that attach to the top of the zipper to prevent the slider from coming off the chains. The top stops are tightened to secure the fabric and zipper as they close.

Zipper teeth: Also known as the zipper chains, the teeth are pieces of metal and plastic that fit into the grooves of each zipper to fasten when the slider is pulled towards the top stop.

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Tape: The tape that runs along the zipper teeth is called zipper tape. It can be found on either side of the zipper.

There are 5 types of zippers

There are several basic types of zippers. Below are the differences between each type of zipper.

Conventional zipper: This is the most popular type of zipper. It comes in a variety of colors and lengths. They can be as short as a few inches to as long at two feet. It can be used for many DIY sewing projects. Metal or plastic are the two options for conventional zippers.

Hidden zipper: This zipper is invisible because it has a coil underneath the tape. This slim zipper blends in with tape by having a thin pull that matches its color.

Separating zipper: These zippers can be found on jackets and hoodies. They open and close at both the top and bottom.

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Blue Jean Zipper: This zipper is available in a brass finish and the tape is made from denim to match your jeans.

Two-way zipper: This zipper is often found on heavier snow jackets. It offers two options for opening or closing clothing articles. You can open and close the zipper in any direction by using the two zipper pulls at the top or bottom. These are usually longer tape lengths that can be up to 4 feet.

Four Supplies to Sew a Zipper

You can sew zippers with a few items, such as:

Zipper feet: A zipper-foot is a common attachment for a sewing machine that allows you to sew close to the edge of your zipper fabric.

Fabric: To make a zip pouch out of fabric, you can attach a zipper or zipper to clothing or accessories.

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Thread: Make sure the thread matches the color of your fabric.

Fusible: To help your fabric retain its shape and firmness, apply fusible interfacing with an iron to the wrong side.