GC Home | Register | Shop | Learn | Business | Around Town | Info

All About Zippers
By Linda Beer, Sundrop Outerwear Textiles

There are two main types of zipper, coil and vislon. Vislon zippers look like a plastic tooth zipper but are really a very strong nylon. Coil zippers have a continuous coil that runs the length of the zipper.

Both vislon and coil zippers come in a variety of weights, lengths and closures. It is important to select the correct zipper for the type of garment or closure. Below is a guide you can use to help you select the proper zipper. I recommend YKK®  zippers due to their high quality and strength.

Center Front Zippers : Use a size 5 vislon or coil zipper for center front closures. I tend to use the vislon zippers for insulated garments and the coil zippers for uninsulated garments.

A one way separating zipper works well for bomber length jackets or very full styles. Two way separating zippers are very convenient for longer jackets, anorak style jackets and a must for children's outerwear.

Non-separating zippers are used where the zipper does not need to separate at the bottom edge.

Pockets, pullover styles, leg and armpit openings to name a few. The weight and style of zipper chosen for these areas can be for look or wear or tear.

Pocket zippers: can be light weight, I like to use the coil fancy tab zippers for pockets on ladies and some children's garments. Coil zippers are nice for their vibrant colours or to match your centre front zipper. Vislon zippers give a more rugged or masculine look or can be used where you want to match the centre front zipper.

Use a size 5 coil or vislon zipper for lower leg openings, armpit zippers, and pullovers. Don't over look zipper by the meter. It is much more cost effective and perfect for areas where both ends of the zipper is enclosed or where colour is not critical, such as backpacks and tents.


TAPE: The cloth or woven fabric part of the zipper

TEETH: Vislon pieces that the zipper pull runs along to open and close the zipper.

COIL: Continuous coil woven along edge of tape, zipper pull runs along to open or close zipper.

TOP STOPS: Plastic or metal piece at the top of teeth or coil, stops zipper pull from coming off. These can be removed and replaced.

BOTTOM STOP: at the base of separating zippers, cannot be replaced or repaired.

ZIPPER PULL: Used to open and close zipper, can be replaced, or changed.

REVERSIBLE ZIPPER PULL: Can be used in place of a regular zipper pull on one way separating zippers to create a reversible zipper.

ADD ON ZIPPER PULL: An extra tab piece attached to the existing zipper pull to make the zipper easier to open. Great for mittened, children's, or challenged fingers.

More information on Sundrop Outerwear Textiles

Back to the Get Creative! Conference Center

Back to Meet the Get Creative! Experts