Adding a zipper to your project can be a little overwhelming as there are so many zippers on the market and each zipper will create a different finished look. My favorite zipper to use for projects is the invisible zipper. This zipper is great to use when making clothing and pillows, as you are unable to see the zipper once the project is completed.
4 of the Most Common Zipper Options
1. Nylon Coil Zipper (Also Known as an All-Purpose Zipper)
This zipper is the most common zipper option and can be used to make a variety of projects. Coil zippers are thin, lightweight zippers with small teeth and are made of plastic with polyester sides and come in a variety of colors. The endless varieties of colors available make this zipper a great choice when making garments since you can usually find a match for the fabric you’re working with. This lightweight zipper can bend and flow with the garment and doesn’t weigh down the material like a heavier type of zipper would.
- Popular projects for all-purpose zippers: blouses, dresses, pants and skirts
2. Invisible Zippers
As I mentioned earlier, this is my favorite type of zipper to use since the sides of the zippers are not visible when the garment is completed. Unlike the nylon coil zipper, the coil for an invisible zipper is located on the back of the zipper, which hides it from view. The only part of the zipper that is exposed is the tear drop pull at the top of the zipper. This zipper is also lightweight and has very fine teeth. An invisible zipper can be tricky to sew, and I recommend ironing the zipper open before pinning it to your garment. You can also use an invisible zipper foot which helps to create the best seam.
- Popular Projects for Invisible Zippers: dresses and skirts
3. Molded Plastic and Metal Zippers (Also Known as a Jeans Zipper)
Both molded plastic and metal zippers have teeth that have been molded at regular intervals on both sides of the zipper tape. Molded plastic zippers are molded out of plastic and metal zippers can be made from aluminum, nickel or brass. Both of these zipper options are very sturdy and do well when using heavier material.
- Popular Projects for Metal Zippers: Jeans and jackets
- Popular Projects for Molded Plastic Zippers (Also known as Parka Zippers): Jackets, Sweatshirts/hoodies, Sweaters, Coats and Parkas
4. Separating Zippers (Also Known as Open Ended Zippers)
Separating zippers can be unzipped from both the top and bottom of the zipper after being installed. You can purchase these zippers with either metal or plastic teeth. The type of teeth should be chosen based on the fabric of the garment. i.e. use a metal separating zipper with a heavier material/fabric as the material wouldn’t pull/sag from the weight of the zipper.
- Popular Projects for Separating Zippers: Jackets and Coats
What types of zippers do you like to use for your sewing projects? Do you have any tips for me? If so, leave a comment below.