Outdoor Federation

How To Fix A Zipper That Splits

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Have you ever had a jacket or a bag that was ruined because the zipper broke? Once the zipper goes, entire items can be rendered completely useless. The humble zipper really is an amazing invention when you think about it, and its mechanics have pretty much stayed the same after all this time.

It’s no wonder why zippers are used on so many things. So what happens when they split? As it turns out, you can totally fix zipper by yourself. but broken zippers are also frustrating little monsters. Without fail, zippers are the first thing to break on a much-beloved jacket. If you’re living with a broken zipper, take heart. You aren’t the only one.

One of the most common zipper malfunctions is a split zipper. You’ve probably had this happen to you with a jacket or coat zipper. Don’t you just hate it when your zipper splits off, especially when you are in a hurry? It’s frustrating isn’t it? After zipping your jacket, the zipper separates or splits open. Most people think that a split zipper must be replaced, but that is not always the case. You can fix split or separating zippers many times without doing any sewing at all.

What Causes Zipper to Split?

When you zip up your jacket or trousers, do you ever stop to think about how that zipper might be breaking down? In fact, zippers can actually break down from a variety of causes- from dirt and oil getting caught in the teeth to wear and tear on the metal coils. But what are the specific things that can lead to a zipper splitting?

Poor Quality Zippers

The root of the problem is often poor quality zippers. Zippers are made up of two metal tracks that zip together and a slider that moves up and down the tracks. The slider is moved by hand and is what separates the two sides of the zipper.

There are many factors that can affect the quality of a zipper, such as the type of metal used, the quality of manufacturing, and the finish on the zipper. If any of these factors are not up to par, then there is a greater chance that the zipper will split.

Overzealous Zipping

There are many reasons why a zipper may split, but one of the most common is when too much pressure is applied. This can happen when someone is trying to zip up a garment in a hurry or when they are carrying a heavy load.

Excessive Use of Force

Zipper splits due to excessive use of force which can be caused by many different things. When the slider on the zipper is pulled up and down too many times, the metal teeth can become misaligned and eventually rip apart.

Fun Outdoor Quiz

Wrong Type of Zipper for the Job

The incorrect zipper can’t handle the stress of the fabric being pulled together, so it eventually breaks. Zippers are made of different materials and have different strengths, so it’s important to choose the right one for the task at hand. A heavy-duty zipper is necessary for a jacket, while a lightweight zipper is better suited for a skirt.

Improper Maintenance

When a zipper is not properly maintained, the individual teeth will eventually become misaligned and the zipper will split. This is often due to the fact that the slider is not pulled all the way down the teeth, which can cause undue stress on the zipper.

If the slider is not moved up and down the teeth regularly, the grease and dirt that accumulates can also cause problems. Zipper teeth can also become worn down over time, which can lead to a split.

Tips on How to Fix a Split Zipper

Zippers are one of the most commonly used pieces of clothing hardware, but they can also be one of the most frustrating. A zipper mishap can ruin your day, but with a little patience and practice, they don’t have to. Here are a few tips to help you avoid zipper mishaps and get your day back on track.

Check the Zipper for Damage

When checking a zipper for damage, it is important to look for any missing teeth, bent teeth, or tears in the fabric. If any damage is found, the zipper should be replaced as soon as possible.

Straighten Bent Teeth

If the zipper teeth are bent, they will need to be straightened in order to fix the split. This can be done with a small, flat-head screwdriver. Insert the screwdriver into the zipper teeth and gently push them back into place.

Remove Buildup from A Zipper’s Teeth

The next step is to remove any buildup from the zipper’s teeth. This can be done with a toothbrush and some warm water. Once the teeth are clean, the zipper can be fixed by sliding it back and forth a few times. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Mix water and soap in a small dish, and stir until foam form.
  2. Dip a clean rag in the soapy water and wipe down the zipper’s teeth.
  3. Grab a fresh rag and run it under the tap.
  4. Wipe the soapy mixture off the teeth with the damp rag.
  5. Attempt to zip and unzip as normal.

Fix the Slider

If the teeth are straight, and clean, take a look at the slider itself. Over time, the slider starts to come apart, and when that happens, it stops clinching the zipper teeth together. Follow these steps:

  1. Use a pair of pliers.
  2. Remove teeth, remove the little iron teeth of the top of the zipper, which will be on the same side of the jacket where the slider is.
  3. Remove slider, remove zipper pull. You can probably see that it is all distorted.
  4. Adjust the slider (Only for iron zippers) with the pliers close the two sides of the zipper pull, try to make it look like the original shape again. If your zipper pull is not too worn out you can try to close it directly on the zipper, without removing it.
  5. Put back the slider. It may take a little bit of time.
  6. Put back the iron tooth with the pliers.

If the zip still splits, replace the slider when replacing the slider, make sure to:

• Locate the side of the zipper that has the square tab on the bottom.
• Wedge the top teeth of the zipper into the slider.
• If necessary, use a flathead screwdriver to wedge the teeth into the gap.
• Wiggle and pull the slider until it moves down to the bottom of the zipper.

As for jeans, the solution is a little more complicated. If you can, you need to remove the metal bumper at the bottom and replace it with stitches, or just tie it off in the middle if teeth are missing at the bottom. Unfortunately, this only really works with pants where you can actually get to the bottom bumper.

If that fails, or you’re working with pants where you can’t get to the entire zipper run, you might need to replace the zipper completely.

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Last update on 2024-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is It Worth It To Repair A Zipper That Separates?

Now, a lot of people (understandably) assume that once the zipper goes there’s no coming back. Unfortunately a lot of them toss that pieces of clothes in the trash or donate it to charity, never realizing that you can quickly repair a zipper that separates – faster than you would have thought possible – and without having to spend a mountain of money along the way.

You see, the overwhelming majority of zipper issues are going to be because by a zipper that starts to separate over time.

As soon as that zipper head starts to loosen up it isn’t going to “bite” the zipper teeth the way that it used to. Instead it’s just going to ride up and down those zipper teeth without joining them any longer.

The easy fix here is to get a pair of pliers and gently apply a bit of pressure to both sides of that zipper head. You don’t want to go crazy – squeezing too hard can cause the zipper to bite too hard (and it’s really difficult to back that up later down the line) – but you want to squeeze with enough consistent pressure to tighten things back up again.

Gently squeeze the zipper with your pliers and then start running it up and down the teeth. As soon as it starts to catch and work again you’ll want to squeeze just a little more and then you are off to the races!

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Last update on 2024-04-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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