What is Zipper? | Different Types of Zippers

A zipper, zip, or zip is fastening device. It is a commonly used device for binding the edges of an opening of fabric or other flexible material, as on a garment or a bag.It is used in clothing (e.g., jackets and jeans), luggage and other bags, sporting goods, camping gear (e.g. tents and sleeping bags), and other items. Zipper, the tiny mechanical wonder, keeps so much of us and our possessions together. Without this sleek trim, it would be so difficult to manage our clothings, baggage and even footwear. This fabulous fashion accessory really deserves a well organized description.

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Eventually you will need to insert a zipper into a garment or a tote bag. With a bit of preparation, the task will be easier and the final results will be stunning! With so many choices, which zipper to choose? Check out the notions section of any sewing shop and you’ll find a rainbow of color choices. In addition to matching the zipper color to the fabric, it is important to choose the proper type to complement your project.

Types of Zipper:
Zippers come in a variety of lengths, types and materials, so always select the best zipper type and material to improve the appearance and durability of your sewing project. Zipper teeth are manufactured from three types of materials—metal, molded plastic chain and coil (nylon). Zippers also fall into three categories—tooth, coil and invisible. Zippers can be open at one or both ends, closed at both ends or invisible.
Different types of zippers
Fig: Different types of zippers (Image courtesy: http://www.instructables.com)
Different types of zipper are described below:

Metallic zippers: These zippers are generally made of stainless steel, zinc, brass, nickel or aluminium alloy and are mostly found in jeans. The metal pieces are shaped into the form of teeth and are positioned in a zipper tape at uniform intervals. The metal zippers could be coloured in a variety of colours to match the colour of the garment.

Tooth Zippers: Teeth are equally visible on both sides of the zipper tape. Every tooth is separate. They are perfect for most straight applications like jackets, garment bags and totes.

Coil Zippers (nylon): Flat on one side with teeth on the other. Each tooth is connected to the next and bend easily. Use for backpacks, sleeping bags and tents. Shorter lengths can be used in purses and totes.

Invisible Zippers: Hidden in a seam with only the pull tab showing. They are flexible and strong. Use an invisible zipper foot to insert. Use in skirts, blouses, dresses—anywhere you need an invisible closure with a smooth finish.

Plastic-molded zippers: Plastic zippers mostly use polyacetal resin, though other thermoplastic polymers are used as well, such as polyethylene.

Open-ended zippers: Open-ended zippers use a box and pin mechanism to lock the two sides of the zipper into place, often in jackets. Open-ended zippers can be of any of the above-described types.

Closed-ended zippers: These are closed at both ends; they are often used in luggage.

Magnetic zippers: These allow for one-handed closure and are used in sportswear.

  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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