Choosing the Right Zipper

Jun. 10, 2022

Zippers are one of the most elemental but revolutionary inventions. They drastically changed both the fabric and fashion industries. The patent for the first prototype of the zipper was owned by the inventor of the sewing machine, Elias Howe, in 1851.


The standard modern zipper is weather-resistant, durable, and available in a variety of colors, materials, and sizes. Zippers are used on many different items including clothing, vehicle covers, bookbags, handbags, and more.


How Do Zippers Work?

A zipper track has a row of teeth on each side. These teeth all have a hook and hollow. The slide moves up and down the zipper track. The slide pushes the teeth together to close the zipper track. A high-quality zipper provides a very strong bond that is difficult to break without moving the slide in the opposite direction to separate the teeth. Zippers require all of the teeth to be exactly the same size for the mechanism to work correctly.

 Zipper Puller

 Zipper Puller


Choosing the Right Zipper

Zippers can be used just about anywhere. These fasteners make their way into boat covers, patio enclosures, cushions, recreational gear, and apparel. With so many variants, it can be difficult to decide which type is the best choice for a specific job.


To shed some light on this, we’ve broken down and explained some of the most common zipper components and types below.


Standard Zipper Parts

The elements (or “zipper chain”) refer to the teeth or coil that interlock with each other and run along the middle of the zipper.

The slider is the pulling mechanism that opens and closes the interlocking elements.

The zipper tape is the fabric attached to either side of the elements.

Top and bottom stops refer to the small pieces of metal or plastic placed at either end of the zipper to stop the slider from falling off the zipper chain.

Top and bottom extensions refer to the pieces of fabric at either end of the zipper unit.

The insertion pin is the small, straight piece of metal or plastic where the slider is led into the chain, while the retainer box is the square-shaped piece that stops the slider at the end of the chain and holds it in place.

Everything You Need to Know About Zipper Selection

 Zipper Sliders       

Types of Zippers

Zippers have a closure structure resembling “teeth.” They’re made of plastic teeth injected onto the tape. Stiffer than coil zippers, they typically work better for straight applications.


Zippers are often referred to as “coil” zippers because they have a closing structure where the teeth resemble “coiled” plastic. This coiling structure allows the zipper to bend well around curves. This makes them great for “smile” curtains, boat covers, cushions, or U-shaped openings in boat enclosures.


Metal zippers are commonly used in applications that don’t require weather capability.

Concealed zippers, also called “invisible zippers,” are designed so that the elements are hidden under the tape.

If you want to get more information about the handbag hardware, welcome to contact us today or request a quote. 

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