When you are learning to sew, zippers can be a little daunting but with my 4 part zipper tutorial you will gain confidence and skills in no time. Part 1 teaches you the different types of zipper and how to measure zippers.
So let’s start with breaking down the different types of zipper.
Types of zipper
1. Nylon coil – these zips are flexible and are the zips most commonly used in clothing, bags and home wares.
2. Metal – Metal zippers have metal teeth (Is that a surprise?) The teeth generally come in different metallic colors such as brass, gold and nickle. They are mainly used in bags and jeans and trendy exposed zips for clothing.
3. Invisible – Invisible zips are also have nylon coil teeth but the teeth are at the back of the zip so that when you sew it in your garment, there are no teeth showing on the outside. Dresses, skirts and pants commonly use invisible zips.
Zips can be open ended or closed ended. Open-ended zips are used on jackets and sweatshirts where you need to separate the ends to open your jacket.
What are Zipper coil sizes
Zips come with different sized teeth called coils. The zipper coil width is measured across the actual teeth and not the fabric tape. Larger numbers mean larger teeth!
YKK zips which is one of the better-known brands, has coil sizes from 2 to 10. If you are sewing clothing or handbags you will usually use a size 3. Handbags and clutches use a size 3 or 5. The larger the coil size the wider the fabric tape on either side of the teeth.
How to measure the length of a zipper
The length of a zip is measured from the bottom stopper to the top stoppers. In other words, you measure the length of a zipper along the teeth. NOT the fabric tape.
Most sewing patterns don’t specify the width of the zipper tape needed but you will notice that the larger the teeth the wider the zipper tape.
Extra Zipper Tips
- Take care when pressing a garment with a zip. Use a pressing cloth on top of it to protect the teeth
- If your zip gets stuck, try rubbing the teeth with a graphite pencil.
- Be careful when sewing your zip that you don’t sew over any of the metal stopper pieces. These are bound to break a needle.
Next Week – How to sew a zippered cushion cover
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO SEW ZIPPERS