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Sewing Zippers

Zippers are commonly used in sewing projects as fasteners along open edges of fabric. They have two rows of interlocking teeth, which can be joined or separated using a slider and are used in a range of sewing projects, from bags to clothing. A variety of types are available for different uses.

What are the different types?

  • Coil:The "teeth" in these zippers are actually formed by the edges of two interlocking coils. These are made of polyester and are sometimes called polyester zippers. However, they were once made of nylon and are occasionally still known as nylon zippers.
  • Invisible:Also known as a concealed zipper, the teeth are hidden behind a tape, which makes them invisible from the outside. Usually, the fabric is a lighter material than other types of zippers. Invisible zippers are commonly used in garments, such as dresses and skirts.
  • Reverse Coil:These are similar to coil zippers, but the slider is on the flat side of the zipper, which is usually the bottom. Waterproof zippers, which are rubber or PVC-coated, are usually of this type so that the waterproof fabric can protect the stitching.
  • Metal:Metal zippers do not have coils, but individually shaped metal teeth. The teeth can be made of aluminum, brass, or nickel. They are often used for jeans.
  • Plastic-molded:These are formed like metal zippers, but with plastic teeth instead of metal teeth. They can be made of any color plastic to match your sewing project.
  • Open-ended:These can be any of the above types. They are often used when sewing jackets or coats. A box and pin mechanism holds the two ends in place so that two sides can be separated completely.
  • Two-way open-ended:Commonly used in long coats, these have two sliders, which can be opened from either end.
  • Two-way closed-ended:These are closed at either end and are usually found on bags or luggage.
  • Magnetic:Often used in sportswear, these allow for one-handed closure.

How to choose a zipper for your sewing project:

  • Size:Most sewing projects will include a supplies list, which should tell you the size you need in inches.
  • Color:Select a color that will match or coordinate with the rest of your supplies for the project, especially the fabric and thread.
  • Type:Choose the type of zipper based on the type of sewing project you need it for. Many dresses and skirts call for invisible zippers. A coat may need a metal zipper, while many bags use nylon or polyester ones.
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