With so many types of zips available it's hard to know which zip you should use for your sewing project. Here I will discuss the most common zips and which project they are best suited to. From open and closed end zips to zips on a roll all will be revealed.
The first task is to decide if you should use a closed end zip or an open end zip.
Open End Zip
An open end zip is designed to open for example a zip used in a jacket or hoodie. The zip is visible in the garment. They are available in various lengths. Usually they are measured in inches or centimetres and can be nylon or cotton. The teeth are usually plastic or metal.
Closed End Zip
This is a zip that does not open all the way and is designed to stop at the end. This type of zip is mainly used in skirts, trousers, dresses, bags etc. This zip is also visible on the garment. They can be purchased in various lengths. They are usually measured in inches or centimetres and can be nylon or cotton. The teeth are usually plastic or metal.
An invisible zip is designed not to be visible on the garment and the only part that will show is the puller (the top part of the zip that you pull the zip up & down with) It is mainly used for dresses, trousers and cushions. They are available in various lengths and measured in inches or centimetres and can be nylon or cotton. The teeth are usually plastic.
Zip On A Roll / Continuous Zip
This type of zip is so handy for projects where you create your own length required for your project. You simply cut the length of zip you need and apply the puller. Then attach it to your project. The important thing to note about this type of zip is that there is nothing stopping the zip at the top and bottom because it is being cut directly from the roll. You must put a stitch at the top and bottom or work it into your project in order for the puller not to come off. It is super handy if you are working on large cushions etc as it can be difficult to get zips in long lengths. The zip is usually visible and can be nylon or cotton. The teeth are usually plastic. It is well worth a try and suitable for many projects. My number one tip for applying the puller is to make sure there is no stray fabric where you are putting on the puller and that both sides of the zip are side by side. We sell this type of zip by the metre.
Zips - Metal or Plastic Teeth?
If you are wondering what I mean by teeth it's basically the zip. Both open and closed are usually available with plastic or metal teeth. Plastic teeth are usually used for regular trousers, coats, cushions etc. There are also chunky plastic zips available that can be used if a stronger zip is required for your project. Metal teeth are a stronger type of zip usually used in jeans, heavy coats etc.
When we refer to nylon and cotton we are talking about the piece of fabric that the teeth are attached i.e. the piece of fabric on the zip that you attach to your project. Zips are usually nylon and I have used both and find both fine.
Thank you for reading & happy sewing!