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Sewing YKK coil zippers
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Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 20:09:34 MST Print View

Coil zippers (not the waterproof kind) seem to have a side where the coils show and "protrude" out and another side where the zipper fabric covers most of the zipper coils so the zipper is kind of hidden.

Is there a prefered orientation for which side is on the outside and which on the inside? I'm taking a look at various gear items and clothing that use coil zippers and some have the visible side out and others have the hidden side out.

Wondering what the pros/cons of both methods are. Also, does the slider care which side of the zipper the slider tab is on? From what I can gather a double zipper with two tabs needs to be installed in a certain orientation but what about a single slider?

Thanks!

Edited by dag4643 on 12/03/2009 20:11:35 MST.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 20:19:40 MST Print View

I just assumed you put the side with visible teeth on the outside. Do you have any idea how to get a slider started? I have #3 YKK sliders & zipper by the foot but cant get them together.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 20:28:21 MST Print View

Bender,

I'm no expert since I only today bought some zipper by the foot and some sliders. I also bought a little 4 page thing that talks about zippers. But I did manage to get a slider on the zipper and it's not too hard.

You just separate a couple of inches on the end of the zipper (May already be separated), put one side of the zipper in the slider about 2/3, then the other side in and you just kind of play with it to try to get the slider on evenly. Once it's on, you just open the zipper up all the way (ahead of the zipper slider), and then close it back up with the zipper slider.

This page kind of goes over it:

http://thru-hiker.com/projects/using_continuous_zipper.php

Also, I might be wrong, maybe someone can correct me if I am, but I think if the zipper has not been installed yet, you can be off a couple of teeth on each side of the slider, in other words, not having each zipper half aligned, and then cut the ends afterwards.

Edited by dag4643 on 12/03/2009 20:35:54 MST.

>> Bender <<
(Bender) - MLife

Locale: NEO
Re: Re: Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 20:34:55 MST Print View

Thanks I figured it out but it took some fiddling around. I will be making a few tents and was planning on having the teeth face outside. I will also have a flap to keep rain from getting in.

Lance Marshall
(Lancem) - F - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 21:19:45 MST Print View

Daniel,

The 'side where the coils show and protrude' is generally considered the face or right side. I don't think this is for any functional reason. Because you see almost all zippers installed right side out, a zipper installed the other way might seem aesthetically wrong. On some items, installing a zipper wrong side out would require a double tab zipper which is sightly more expensive.

One reason to install the zipper 'wrong' side out is to protect the coils from dirt. Less dirt equals longer life.

The zipper slide definitely has a 'right' side and 'wrong' side. It's pretty clear how to orient the slide on the zipper. Single tap and double tab zippers use the same slider.

Bender,
Regarding starting a slider, this recent thread with video of starting a zipper should help.

-Lance

Edited by Lancem on 12/03/2009 21:36:35 MST.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 22:26:50 MST Print View

OK, I'm still a little confused about the the zipper slide orientation. Looking at my clothing/gear etc sometimes the zipper is installed right side out with a slider so it can be operated from the outside. But other items have the zipper mounted wrond side out, again with the slider mounted so it can be operated from the outside. Doesn't this mean the slider can be mounted facing in or out?

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/03/2009 23:02:19 MST Print View

you can only have the *wrong* side (can't see teeth) out if you use a double tab slider as the sliders are built (at least 100% of the ones i've used) so the pull tab (single) is on the teeth side. However, there is no reason you can't have the teeth in as this is what the water resistant zippers do, but you must remember to get a double tab slider. OWFINC.com may have single tab sliders built for water resistant zips which have the tab on the *wrong* side. If so you could also use these on the non-H2O zips as the #3 coil is the same H2O or not.

-Tim

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/04/2009 00:47:47 MST Print View

I put the slider onto the coil zip in a different way. I hold the *closed* zip upright in a small bench vice (hold lightly, please!), poke the closed zip into the bottom end of the slider, then jiggle the two coils outwards with two needles while pressing the slider downwards. The idea is to start separating the two halves of the zip inside the slider. Once you get them starting to separate, the bar on the slider does the rest.
It takes me a minute or two to do the first one each time, then the subsequent ones might take no more than 15 seconds each. That's using bulk coil #3 zip from OWFINC.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 12/04/2009 00:52:02 MST Print View

Just watched the video. Even easier than my method! I live and learn. Thanks.

Cheers

sam sternhagen
(samatoms) - F
Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 08/05/2010 16:27:37 MDT Print View

I found YKK zippers that you can order in any size or color in 1 piece or bulk order.

http://zipit.etzy.com

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Zippers on 08/07/2010 12:22:36 MDT Print View

I could be way off, but this is my hypothesis/impressions of the whole 'which side should be out' situation:

Traditionally the 'side where the coils show and protrude' has been on the outside of clothing, tents etc. However, a number of years back waterproof (aka 'uretek') zippers were invented that require the zipper to be mounted backwards (coils in) so that the waterproof coating would be on the outside and do it's job. These waterproof zippers made their way into the high end pieces of gear and soon this 'reverse mounted' look became synonymous with high end gear. The new customer perception was that traditional coils out zippers look entry level, and backwards mounted waterproof zips looked vogue. At this stage, manufacturers wanted their gear to look cool, even if they didn't want to spend the money on waterproof zippers, so they started mounting regular zippers backwards to give them the technical look of a waterproof zipper without actually being any better that a regular zipper.

Now days you see regular (non waterproof) zippers being mounted either way and it doesn't really matter functionally. If you feel that mounting it one way will protect the coils from collecting crud then go for it. Otherwise do whatever you like the look of better.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Sewing YKK coil zippers on 08/07/2010 12:29:13 MDT Print View

"I put the slider onto the coil zip in a different way. I hold the *closed* zip upright in a small bench vice (hold lightly, please!), poke the closed zip into the bottom end of the slider, then jiggle the two coils outwards with two needles while pressing the slider downwards. The idea is to start separating the two halves of the zip inside the slider. Once you get them starting to separate, the bar on the slider does the rest."

I do something similar but I think it's a bit simpler. I hold the end of the closed zipper with both hands between by thumb and middle finger. Then I set the closed (narrow) end of the slider onto the end of the zipper. Then in one fluid motion I push the slider down onto the zipper with my pointer fingers, while I pull the zipper apart with my thumbs/middle fingers.

This 10 second video shows generally what I do:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlR6LAE8On8

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Zippers on 08/08/2010 12:38:13 MDT Print View

"...started mounting regular zippers backwards to give them the technical look of a waterproof zipper without actually being any better that a regular zipper."

+1, have to agree. It's like fake welt stitching on dress shoes, most people have no idea how good shoes are actually constructed so it's just for show...