A zipper (fermeture eclair) is a device used to bind the edges of a fabric opening. It is used on garments and bags, among other materials. Zippers come in a wide range of materials, colors, sizes, and lengths. In this excerpt, we look at the basics of zippers.
Parts of a zipper
When most people look at a zipper, they see it as a single component. Most people do not realize that the zipper features different components and parts. Below is a breakdown of the anatomy of a zipper;
The primary and most noticeable part of a zipper is the teeth. The teeth are the part of the zipper that tracks and closes. The teeth are an essential part of the zipper because they would not perform their function without them. The role of the teeth is to open and close the zipper. This component of a zipper can be made from plastic or metal.
The tape is the fabric found on either side of the teeth. The zipper tape is usually made of polyester or any other material, depending on where the zipper is used. The zipper tape is the part that is traditionally stitched to the fabric to attach the zipper.
3. Slider and pull
The slider and pool are the metal or plastic pieces used to open and close the zipper’s teeth. The slider and pull are worked by moving them along the tracks of the teeth. Without these components, you would not be able to work the zipper. Therefore, the pull and slider are as significant as the teeth.
The stopper is the metal part located at the edge of the teeth. The role of the stopper is to keep the zipper teeth from separating entirely. They are usually found at both ends of the teeth. The stopper is generally made of plastic or metal, depending on the type of zipper and its application.
Major zipper categories
There are more than a dozen types of zippers in the market. These types can be divided into the following categories;
1. Invisible zippers
Invisible zippers are the most popular category. This category features pants, skirts, and dress zippers. They are called invisible zippers because they disappear within the fabric. They are usually applied on a seam, and they have a small and narrow pull. When they are used, they almost look non-existent.
2. Nylon coil zippers
These zippers are commonly used for bags and nylon clothes. They are thin and made of plastic with polyester sides. They are naturally lightweight and have two separating ends depending on the length.
3. Plastic molded zippers
Also known as parka zippers, these zippers are used on jackets, bathrobes, hoodies, sportswear, and fleece jackets. They are usually beautiful, lightweight, resistant to rust and heat.
4. Metal zippers
These zippers are made chiefly using metal, and they are very durable and attractive. They can be applied to a wide range of fabrics.
Note that the various types of zippers can also be categorized depending on the way they function. For instance, there are closed-end zippers, two-way separating zippers, and separating zippers. Additionally, the types of zippers can be categorized based on the kind of material they are made, like metal and plastic zippers.