What Does the Number on the Back of Zippers Mean?

Zipper 101: Why and How Do Zippers Split
January 26, 2022

Have you ever been fumbling with your coat and noticed the number on the back of the zipper? You may not know what it’s there for, even though it has a specific meaning. So what does the number on the back of zippers mean? It’s time to find out!

The Size of the Teeth

Just about every article of clothing has a size indicator. Zippers are no different because the number on the back signifies the length of the fastener. The number represents the width of the zipper’s teeth in millimeters. The manufacturer measures this when the zipper is in its fastened position and the teeth interlock. In some cases, this is an approximation. Therefore, you may have to delve deeper into the exact number.

The most prevalent sizes you’ll see on a zipper are 4 and 5 (4 mm and 5 mm). As a reference point, items like purses and pillows are usually 4.5 mm. Backpacks and jackets are 5 mm. For tents and other oversized items, you’ll likely see a 10 mm zipper.

Don’t Confuse It With the Gauge

It’s worth noting that the number on the back of the zipper doesn’t always correspond to its gauge size. On occasion, that number indicates the mold of the slider. There is a chance that the number you see doesn’t represent the size of the teeth, leading to some confusion. The slider has a different identification on its rear, and you can differentiate and narrow down the precise size you need.

Why You Need To Know

If you enjoy designing clothes, then it helps to know your zipper’s size and weight. You can get a zipper repair kit or purchase a new one to replace a broken zipper on a pillow or dress. But things won’t work well if you buy an 8 mm zipper for something that previously had a 4 mm zipper.

Knowing what the number on the back of zippers means keeps you from giving up on fixing your favorite pillow or piece of attire. FixnZip offers several replacement and repair tools to help you repair anything from a tent to a boat cover. Our kits are compatible with plastic and metal zippers, so we’re your one-stop shop for your zipper concerns.

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