Zippers keep our backpacks closed, our pants up, and turn comforters into sleeping bags.
Where would civilization be without zippers?
Cold, pantless, and fumbling around with buttons in the dark—that’s where.
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
Often the problem is not with the zipper, but with the zipper slide. the zipper slide is the metal piece that slides up and down the zipper. the zipper slide can stretch out of shape with use. to fix the zipper and prevent it from separating, you may be able to tighten up the zipper slide by pinching it ever so slightly with a pair of pliers.
Few tips on how to fix a split zipper
This is an easy way to fix a zipper without replacing it. This method is really fast too. It works when the zipper pull doesn’t close the zipper together anymore. You can save a jacket, a tent, a sleeping bag, and many other items.
Check the zipper
First, double-check to make sure a piece of cloth or thread isn’t stuck in the zipper.
Straighten bent teeth
You may need to fix bent teeth to get your zipper to close. to do this, use your tool of choice (perhaps pliers) to pull the tooth straight.
- Repeat as needed.
- Be careful not to pull the tooth out of the tape.
- Test the repair by opening and closing the zipper as normal.
Remove buildup from a zipper’s teeth
When substances build up around the teeth of your zipper, it can prevent the zipper from staying closed. As a result, you’ll need to clean the teeth and remove stuff that could be preventing the zipper from closing.
- Combine water and soap in a small dish, and stir until suds form.
- Dip a clean rag in the soapy water and wipe down the zipper’s teeth.
- Grab a fresh rag and run it under the tap.
- Wipe the soapy mixture off the teeth with the damp rag.
- 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;
Step 1: What you’ll need
You will only need a pair of pliers.
But if the slider is really destroyed or is made of plastic you will need a new one of the same size. you can find it in another old jacket. Or you can buy one online for really cheap.
Step 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.
Step 3: Remove slider
remove zipper pull. You can probably see that it is all distorted.
Step 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.
Step 5: Put back the slider
Put back the slider. It may take a little bit of time.
Step 6: Put back the tooth
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.
Watch this video by Margaret Meyer on How to Fix Broken Zipper or Separating Zipper.
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.
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!
- The clothing zipper kit contains the most common slider used in clothing for the repair of jeans, dresses, coats, slacks, skirts, work clothes, etc
- The weight and type of sliders and stops are assorted to fix most repair needs
- Replacing sliders rather than the whole zipper saves time and money
Last update on 2021-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API