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A Helpful Guide to Buying a Zip

Students often select the wrong zip. Once they have found the right colour and the right length they often pick up the wrong type!

Here’s an easy guide to navigating your way around the zip display in your local haberdashery store:

Zips fall into three categories; Regular, Open Ended and Concealed.

Regular are the most common. You use these in skirts, bags and cushions. They are easily identifiable by the square ended zipper pull, shown as the bright pink one in the photo.

Open Ended – selected for the right length and colour – but mostly bought by mistake. These are used for garments where two sides come apart – think anoraks or on a tent! They feel chunky and have a large square zip pull and sturdy plastic zip stopper. YKK open ended zippers have a blue info label and is shown as a white zip in the photo.

Concealed zips are used in dressmaking or posh cushions and are identified by the slim line teardrop zipper pull. Sometimes called an invisible zip, they give a very elegant finish to a garment as there are no visible lines of stitching attaching the zip to the garment. This is the red one in the photo. Note they can only be inserted correctly with a specialist concealed zipper foot – which don’t come as standard supply with most machines. We do of course have these in The Sewing Shed for students to try.

photo of the three main types of zipper

March 7, 2019