Puzzled by Zippers? A guide to choosing a zipper

F43-600pixelsAre you totally confused when you stand in front of the zipper display?

Don’t be! the first thing you need to know is that there are different types of zippers and most can be divided into closed bottom like those used in dresses and skirts and separating for jackets and coats. From there they are grouped into types such as Heavy-weight jacket, Jeans Zippers, Sports Zippers and Invisible zippers.  In the display at the fabric store, the zippers in packages are arranged vertically by size from the smallest to the largest in each color.

If the exact length is not available in a color, choose the closest longer length. It can be shortened easily as shown in this video.Shortening a Zipper Directions are also on the package.

Zippers can be constructed with metal teeth, a polyester coil or Molded teeth.

Parts of a zipperThe chart below will help you select the correct zipper for your projects:

zipper chartTo see all of the colors, lengths and styles of zippers available from Coats, visit our product section.


15 thoughts on “Puzzled by Zippers? A guide to choosing a zipper

  1. Melody Ryan Reply

    I am very frustated in my purchase of the coats and Clark parka zippers from Joann Fabrics. I bought one 26 inch, 28inch and a 30 inch. The zipper from top stop to pin box for the 26 and 28 measure 26 inches! Why is that? I thought the zipper measurements are based on stop to pin box, not ribbon length. I called othe Joann stored and had then measure the 28 inch parka zipper. All are 26 inches. But, the 30 inch is correct. I can’t find the size I need.

    • lynnbrowne Post authorReply

      Melody, It sounds like we have some mislabeled zippers out there! We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact our consumer department at (800)648-1479 or click on the ‘contact us’ link so that we can help you with this.

  2. Diane Schwandt Reply

    I have a question. I have a 14″ sport zipper – can I use it in a pillow cover or should I use a polyester zipper? I bought a 12″ but it seems short. Thank you.

    • lynnbrowne Reply

      Diane, you can use the sport zipper in a pillow functionally, but it may seem a little bulky depending on the weight of the fabric.

  3. Marilla Reply

    I purchased and used a sport separating zipper, but within several washings, the enamel or paint chipped off of the zipper pull. Do you have any 12-14″ separating zippers that can withstand heavy washing? I am developing a product to sell and need a good quality zipper to use!

    • lynnbrowne Reply

      We are sorry that happened. We have a Heavy Duty Metal Separating zipper. It is available with brass or aluminum teeth and pull. The shortest length is 18″.

  4. Sherry Shultz Reply

    I am having a hard time finding a 30″ heavy duty metal zipper to use on a reversible jacket. Do I have to purchase a
    zipper and separate reversible slider, then attempt to change the slider on the purchased zipper?

  5. SusanK Reply

    I am looking for a replacement zipper for my dark purple parka. I want a 2-way zipper and I need on that is 24 inches to 28 inches. I prefer metal. Any help would be appreciated.

    • lynnbrowne Reply

      Our 2-way Parka zippers have plastic teeth. We have a light purple 30″ that could be shortened. CustomZips.com can create a zipper the style, length and color that you need.

  6. Jean Reply

    I asked this yesterday, but it disappeared. I am working a pattern for a bag that calls for a 4.5mm zipper, would that be the purse zipper, or some other option?

    • lynnbrowne Reply

      Hi Jean,
      The 4.5 refers to the measurement across the width of the coil or teeth. Our purse zipper is 4 mm, which should work nicely in your bag.

  7. Dianne Wykes Reply

    Can I change a closed end zipper into a open end zipper if so what is the best way

    • lynnbrowne Reply

      Dianne, Sorry but it isn’t possible to convert a closed end zipper to an open end or separating zipper.

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