The Differences Between Separating and Non-Separating Zippers

What You Need To Know About Luxury Zippers
October 25, 2021

Did you recently find an unfamiliar zipper? Making your own clothes is fun until you end up with zippers you don’t know how to use. The differences between separating and non-separating zippers are about more than what you use them for. Find out what makes these fasteners unique.

What Is a Separating Zipper?

As the name suggests, separating zippers come apart at both ends. They separate completely and include additional features that allow the fastener to go together and come apart. Separating zippers include a retainer box and insertion pin. Depending on the item, it may have a left or right insertion pin. These fasteners are typically made from metal, plastic, or coil.

Uses for Separating Zippers

Jackets, hoodies, and coats use separating zippers. They are ideal for clothing because they allow you to get in and out of your items easily.

What Is a Closed-Bottom Zipper?

Most zippers have a closed bottom. Closed-bottom zippers don’t allow the zipper to come apart at the ends. They contain stops instead of retainer boxes to prevent the slide from falling off the chain. Common types of closed-bottom zippers include metal, plastic, coil, and invisible.

Pro Tip: You can turn a separating zipper into a closed-bottom one by sewing the ends together!

Uses for Closed-Bottom Zippers

Most items with zippers have closed-bottom ones. They are common on purses, cushions, marine gear, and more.

Measuring Zippers

To get the right size zipper you need for a project, measure correctly. The right way to measure a zipper is to begin at the retainer box and measure all the way to the slider.

Pro Tip: Shorten zippers by cutting the chain. You can sew through zippers before you cut to ensure you have the correct length.

Repairing Zippers

There are multiple ways to repair a zipper. Begin by inspecting the teeth. Remove any threads or fabric that are stuck. Next, clean debris and rust from the zipper. Use a lubricant like wax to keep it clean. If teeth are bent out of place or missing, you may need to use pliers to bend them back. If your slider is broken, use a zipper pull replacement piece to extend the life of your chain.

It’s important to know the differences between separating and non-separating zippers before you order any. Converting zippers isn’t easy, so make sure you know what you’re buying.

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