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Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate!
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/04/2013 19:00:10 MST Print View

I feel really dense for asking, but I really don't want to order the wrong thing four times.

I want to make zipper pulls about 3 inches long for all my jackets and gear. I know a great way to tie string to make them.

Can someone reccommend a thin string (for small and large zippers) that won't fray, won't snap when tugged, will keep a knot forever, and won't retain moisture? Assume I know nothing about string; I'll need to know how to look it up on Amazon.

Thank you!

Edit: by "retain moisture" I only think of a piece of string collecting perspiration, freezing, and then snapping in cold weather.

Edited by mdilthey on 02/04/2013 19:21:25 MST.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
String on 02/04/2013 19:28:37 MST Print View

braided polyester (ie. Dacron) kite or fishing line absorbs very little water, is strong and relatively abrasion resistant, and holds knots well. It will hold a knot forever if you let a drop or two of superglue soak into the knot, and it won't fray if you melt the ends a little.

There are many sellers of this on Ebay:

And on Amazon:

Most of it tends to be black or white, but you can find other colors if you do some searching.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Thanks! on 02/04/2013 19:47:56 MST Print View

Thank you Colin! MYOG forum never disappoints the amateurs!

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Uh oh... on 02/04/2013 19:56:00 MST Print View

Still a little lost. Since this is going on jackets that I wear around town as well as on the mountain, I really want black string. The link provided above goes to white string.

I found this product on Amazon:

I can choose Black as a color. However, what do the "# lb. test" numbers mean as far as diameter? I don't want to buy 12lb test string and find out it's as thin as thread, but I don't want to buy 30lb test string and find out I can't fit it through the hole in the zipper. What's a good number here for zipper pulls?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/04/2013 20:01:35 MST Print View

Yeah, try ice fishing line. I think thats what he was talking about.

The also make some fairly expensive stuff in spectra. Try this:

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Another option on 02/04/2013 20:02:29 MST Print View

How about something like this?

Comes in bright orange (if that's your thing) or a stealth gray...

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/04/2013 20:41:47 MST Print View

Kite line is a great suggestion but I've had poor luck finding it in black.

The cord in the link below, however, comes in black and is more than adequate for what you are doing. I have multiple rolls of it and use it for everything.


Edited by lyrad1 on 02/04/2013 20:43:08 MST.

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
String on 02/04/2013 20:50:23 MST Print View

Max, for pure dacron, I think any strength between 50lbs and 250lbs will be just fine for zipper pulls. These weights are roughly the thickness of the spectrum of commonplace twines (like jute or sisal utility twines from the hardware store). Dacron line in 10lb test will be pretty thin (like heavy thread), and 350lb test will be closer to the thickness of round bootlaces.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Zipper Pulls on 02/04/2013 20:57:05 MST Print View

Thanks! I edged under the 30lb mark because weight matters on some stuff like the down jacket, but I did not go down to 12lb per your suggestion. Hope 20lb isn't too-too light!

Gregory Allen
(Gallen1119) - M

Locale: Golden, CO
String on 02/04/2013 21:00:45 MST Print View

It may not be the cheapest, but quality and service can't be beat with the accessories section area of zpacks, The small z-line or 80 lb. polyester wound be good, both available in black.

Steve B
(geokite) - F

Locale: Southern California
Zpacks on 02/04/2013 21:48:23 MST Print View

Been flying kites for 20+ years now, I have lots of different kinds of "string". Boxes of it. Everything from kitesurfing line to manja for fighters kites.

And I LOVE the thin line (1.25mm) that Z-packs has. Use it for everything. Great size, stiffness, and strength (yikes, did I just say that??).

And it comes in black.


Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/04/2013 22:19:04 MST Print View

Any light guy line. I like Tripease because it is thick enough to grab with gloves and not slippery. At night I can see it in my headlight without my glasses. Make sure it is long enough.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/04/2013 22:31:28 MST Print View

Lateral, lateral ...

Go to a standard fabric store and ask for satin ribbon. It comes in a huge range of widths. Look for something 1/4" or 3/16" wide, in YOUR colour.

Cut off a suitable length, melt the ends lightly with a Bic lighter, then thread through the zipper pull and tie a very basic thumb knot at the END. I say at the end because that makes a lump at the end of the loop which you can hold even with mitts on.

Works very well for us, and something similar (but usually with MUCH heavier webbing) is done by many, many gear manufacturers.


Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Stupid Question about String- I'm desperate! on 02/05/2013 01:09:00 MST Print View

+1 for Roger and the Satin ribbon, works great and weighs nothing. The North Face used that stuff for years.

Andy Anderson
(ianders) - F

Locale: Southeast
Sterling Mini Cord on 02/05/2013 06:12:44 MST Print View

Sterline Mini Cord. This stuff is great. Lightweight and strong. I always have a roll in my pack.

Mark Fowler
(KramRelwof) - MLife

Locale: Namadgi
Night time use on 02/05/2013 14:46:53 MST Print View

For night time use - tent zippers especially - I use a short length of 1/16 glow in the dark cord I got on eBay. With that thickness I don't make a loop but just put a thumb knot or figure of 8 at each end. The tent looks like a glowworm tunnel at night.

David Miles
(davidmiles) - F

Locale: Eastern Sierra
Cord on 02/13/2013 07:20:25 MST Print View

Two of my favorite small cords. They hold knots better that a lot of the slippery stuff.

This one glows for a very long time: