Understanding How Zippers Work

Understanding How Zippers Work
April 21, 2022

You’ve been using zippers your entire life, but when it comes to understanding how zippers work, you likely only care when one breaks. Few people know the fascinating history of the zipper, let alone the mechanics of how they work. Keep reading to learn more about this timeless piece of engineering.

Know the Components of a Zipper

To understand how zippers work, you should know the pieces that comprise a zipper. While not all zippers are the same, they typically have some common components. Elements of a zipper include:

  • The track, which consists of teeth or coils that interlock
  • The slider body that separates and joins the teeth together
  • The pull tab that allows you to use the slider
  • The top and bottom stop, which prevents the zipper from coming apart at each end
  • The tape, which is the fabric to which the teeth are attached

Understand Zipper Mechanics

The basic mechanics of a zipper revolve around the interlocking teeth. Zippers have two strips consisting of many teeth that are designed like a hook and hollow and must interlock at a specific angle. The zipper slide is a latching mechanism that is engineered to connect and separate the teeth. The strips of teeth are slightly offset from each other, allowing them to interlock. With a well-made zipper, only the slide will be able to undo the teeth.

Types of Zippers

Zippers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Heavy-duty zippers tend to be larger, while thin zippers are vulnerable to breakage. Typical zipper materials include molded plastic, metal, and nylon coil, but you have many other options when it comes to zippers too. The type of zipper you are using will depend on the item it is attached to. For instance, stops are needed for backpacks but wouldn’t be helpful on a jacket. Common zipper styles include:

  • Closed-end zippers
  • Separating zippers
  • Two-way separating zippers
  • Invisible zippers

Learn about even more types of zippers here.

You can use your knowledge of understanding how zippers work to level up your clothes-making endeavors or better repair the next broken zipper on your jacket, purse, or tent. Zippers can bust when the teeth or slider become damaged. A quick and easy fix is to attach a FixNZip® zipper replacement. This easy replacement zipper fits on any size zipper and is easy to install. Shop our online store to get yours today.

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