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Help me buy a zipper
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Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Help me buy a zipper on 11/01/2009 17:08:02 MST Print View

I need a little help here. I want to buy the smallest/lightest zipper that is:

1) 36" long

2) Have a zipper that has 2 pulls on it (or a pull that can be accessed from both sides) so that it can be opened from the inside or the outside.

I looked at some websites but I can't figure out EXACTLY what is required. So, who can tell me where to go (website) and what to buy (product numbers) so I can get one of these things.

Do I need to buy a continuous coil zipper and cut it to length? If I cut it, how does it stay together? Do I buy the pull separately and then put it on myself?

Yeah, amateur questions. :)

terry a thompson
(terry588) - MLife

Locale: West
Re: Help me buy a zipper on 11/01/2009 17:31:06 MST Print View

thru-hiker should have the info you need, hope this helps.

Brian Kelly
(bkelly) - F
all depends on 11/01/2009 18:50:06 MST Print View

I guess my first question is, what are you using it for? If it's for a piece of clothing that you would want to fully open and seperate (jacket, vest), then you can buy a pre-made zipper with the sliders already attached and the special tip that allows it to seperate.

If you want it for a piece of gear, then you can go with a continuous coil zipper cut to the right length. Then it's just a matter of buying the sliders you need. For shelter and sleeping bag applications you would want a double slider (pull tab on both sides of the slider) to be able to operate the zipper from both in and outside of whatever it is you are making.

Lightest and smallest? Again depends on what you want it for, but #3 seems to be the happy medium between light enough and durable enough.

As far as where to buy, if you need a seperating zipper you could check the local sewing supply store (Hancock, JoAnn, etc.). Of course, the usual suspects for mail order MYOG supply will have seperating, and continuous coil and could probably advise you further.

Check for another breakdown of the FAQ on zippers including some more answers on some of your construction questions.

Edited by bkelly on 11/01/2009 18:51:17 MST.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Help me buy a zipper on 11/01/2009 19:25:00 MST Print View

Ahh, so I was on the right track...thanks for the help guys.

I should have been more specific, I want it for my bivy so it does not have to separate...first time buying a zipper and it's a daunting task ;)

So, if I buy 36" of #3 continous coil zipper, and a double pull slider, I'm good to go? I thought if I bought continuous zipper I would need to buy zipper stops or something...anyone care to verify this?

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Coil Zipper and Zipper Stops on 11/01/2009 22:19:15 MST Print View

Here’s my two cents worth based on modest experience.

Zipper stops are not necessary. How you finish the end of the zipper depends on weather the end needs to separate or not. A couple of examples of zippers that separate at just one end are the chest zip of a pullover top or the fly and ankle zips on pants.
Examples of zippers that don’t separate at either end are a pocket zipper or a cross-chest bivy zipper.

Assuming you don't need the zipper end to separate, one method to terminate the zipper is to sew it (already closed) directly into a perpendicular seam. If sewn into a flat felled seam, the end of the zipper will be exposed on the 'wrong' side of the seam. If sewn into a French seam, the end of the zipper can be enclosed within the seam. When sewing across the zipper, run across it three times (forward, backward, forward). Go slow over the coil so you don’t bend your needle.

Another method to terminate the zipper into a perpendicular seam is to add a fabric extension sleeve or wedge to the zipper. The sleeve or wedge can be folded while the zipper can not. The unfinished end of the extension or wedge can be folded and enclosed within both a flat felled seam and a French seam.

If the zipper end needs to separate, you can terminate it several ways so that the zipper pull doesn’t come off. A simple way is to bend the last ¼” to ½” of zipper laterally away from the zipper center line far enough to sew the coil securely behind the adjacent fabric. Zipper stops are another way. Commercial zipper stops are compact and look good. I’ve tried home made stops of fabric or grosgrain but they were bulky and not too pretty but they worked.

Hope this helps.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Coil Zipper and Zipper Stops on 11/02/2009 06:56:53 MST Print View

Thanks Lance - exactly the info I needed. Now, I'm off to buy some zipper!