Zipper Buying Guide

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Zipper Buying Guide

In the manufacturing of fabric products such as clothing, luggage, and outdoor equipment, zippers are one of the more universally used types of fastening products, even more than velcro. For a person who is involved with domestic or professional sewing, zippers can be anything but an ignored sewing-related product. There are several zipper manufacturing companies worldwide. Some well-known names in the market include IDEAL Fastener Corporation, Allen Zipper Manufacturing Corporation, and NEO Zipper Manufacturing Company. However, the top manufacturer in the industry is considered to be YKK Corporation, which produces a majority of the zippers sold worldwide.

With so many different zippers available to consumers, it can be a bit involved to locate and choose the ones that suits the needs. To make the search for zippers easier to complete, it can help to know what item the zipper is to be used on, what the durability expectations are for the zipper, and how much one wants to pay for it. Once this information is known, one can find good deals on a wide selection of zippers online at eBay..

Introduction to Zippers

Zippers are typically available in five basic styles, namely, closed-end, open-end separator, two-way separator, double slider with head-to-head relation, and double slider with bottom-to-bottom relation. Not every company makes all five types of zippers, but these types are all available in the market. Zippers have five standard components, some styles have more. Zippers may be constructed out of fabric, metal,, plastic, as well as combinations of all three materials.

Parts of a Zipper

All zippers are not created with the same design or intended use. The five parts of a standard zipper are the top stop, slider, elements or teeth, tape, and bottom stop. Some types of zippers have additional components that are style dependent; these include inset pins, box pins, and retaining box for single, open-end, and two-way separator zippers.

The three parts that are common among all zippers, regardless of type, are the slider, elements, and tape. While they may be set up quite differently depending on the zipper type, the materials used differ from one zipper style to another.

Zipper Slider

A slider is an integral part of the zipper, which cannot operate without a properly sized slider fitted in. A zipper slider has two parts; the slider itself and the pull tab. The slider moves freely up and down the elements or teeth of the zipper to join or separate the elements as is the desire. In many cases, the zipper has one slider, but double slider zippers are also used in some instances.

The desired function of a zipper directly relates to the zipper being purchased. When shopping for zippers, it is necessary to keep in mind what the zipper is for and then buy one with the slider style that is preferred. Different types of sliders are available in the market, as listed below, and each type has its intended purpose.

Slider Type


Non-lock zipper slider

The pull tab folds down but does not lock when folded

Automatic zipper slider

The pull tab folds and then auto locks without needing pressure

Semi-automatic zipper slider

The pull tan folds and locks when the tab is lowered into place

Jeans zipper slider

A semi-automatic slider with a larger bite design for denim fabric

Pin lock zipper slider

Pins installed on the tab, lock the elements or teeth together

Reversible zipper slider

The pull tab slides along a rail allowing access to both sides of the zipper

Plastic zipper Sliders

Made like metal sliders with both locking and non-locking pull tabs

Key lock zipper slider

Slider is locked in place by a small built-in lock-and-key system

Double pull zipper slider

Pull tabs are affixed to either side of a zipper

With the several types of zipper sliders that are available in the market, one must be sure to match each type to the proper garment or material that the slider can accommodate. Sometimes, this is a canvas bag or denim jeans, while other times it is items made from cotton or polyester. This should not be a big concern, though, as there is a zipper designed to fit any possible project.

Zipper slider pull tabs often fail on a zipper by breaking off the slider. When shopping for zippers, it is advisable to find ones that have thicker pull tabs and solid sliders. These heavier sliders and tabs can last considerably longer under normal wear and cleaning.

Zipper Elements or Teeth

Zipper elements or teeth are small plastic or metal studs that are attached to the zipper tape. They are generally connected at the bottom of a zipper by the bottom stop and are joined and separated by the slider as desired. Head-to-head double slider zippers have two elements, while bottom-to-bottom zippers have none. Shoppers must check carefully when shopping to they get the right ones.

Zipper Tape

Zipper tape is the material that the teeth are attached to. The tape is used to attach the zipper to a garment, bag, or whatever item the zipper is attached to. Zipper tape may be made of polyester,, vinyl, cotton, and synthetic fibres.

Many Uses Call for Many Designs of Zippers

Zippers are not just for pants and jackets;; zippers can be found on products such as sleeping bags, tents,, tool bags, laptop cases, automotive accessories, and much more. There are light zippers with soft tape that can be used for baby clothing, and heavy-duty water resistant zippers crafted for Jeep soft tops. No matter the fastener need, there is likely a zipper made to meet it. Prices vary depending on the brand, but just like other products, the higher the quality, the higher the price. Thankfully, for zippers, even higher-end brands are reasonably priced.

Zipper Accessories

There are three items that can be considered accessories for zippers, and each one has a specific purpose or job. Primarily of interest to the tailor or dressmaker, a zipper foot is a sewing machine attachment that is needed in order to sew zippers properly into garments and other fabric products. Consult the owner's manual for the sewing machine to locate the part number for the zipper foot, if the sewing machine does not already have one.

Another accessory of interest to the tailor or dressmaker, as well as the consumer, is a paraffin stick; looking much like a crayon, the paraffin stick is used to lubricate the elements of a zipper that are sluggish or sticking.

Finally, an accessory that might be of interest to children is the pull tab charm. These items come in a wide range of styles and colours and attach to the pull tab with a small clip.

Buying Zippers on eBay

While zippers can be purchased at traditional retail sewing supply stores, much of the selections in these shops may be limited to basic zippers. By choosing to do their shopping on eBay, customers can choose from a large selection of styles of zippers from major zipper manufacturers.

To locate the right zippers on eBay, find the search window on any eBay page, then enter the search term for the item you want, such as "heavy-duty zippers&", into the search field. After the results page opens, the results can be narrowed by checking off one or more of the filter options available on the page, such as including sub-type, quantity, condition, and price.

To ensure that the zippers you have found on eBay are what you have been looking for and at the price you want to pay, click on the item and carefully read all the information provided on the listing. If images are available, then verify the written description against the images. Do not neglect to look into the type of payment as well as any shipping charges that may be applied to the purchase. Also, consider opportunities to bundle purchases together to save on shipping charges.


People all around the world utilise zippers every single day when they wear clothes. Zippers are installed onto clothing, outdoor and vehicle-related items, along with fashions for men, women, and children. Unless one is directly involved in making clothing or other objects that use zippers, chances are the average person does not dwell on a zipper. However, this is not the case if a zipper malfunctions. Therefore, it is important that the right type of zipper is used in a product. In order to effectively install a zipper, the user needs to be familiar with the different types of zippers available in the market as well as the brands that are reliable.

Although zippers are available at specialty retail outlets, one might not see a wide selection in these stores. When the time comes to purchase zippers for sewing projects, the online site eBay can be of great help in the search. The website is a resource that carries numerous selections of zippers, and the prices are competitive as well. By acquiring knowledge about zippers and doing research into the zipper sellers on eBay, one can find the right zippers at the right prices through the website.

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