YKK Zipper Buying Guide

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YKK Zipper Buying Guide

Zippers are one of the common items used in manufacturing clothing and other fabric products from luggage to tents. Zippers are an afterthought for most people, unless of course a person is involved in the production of items that utilise a zipper. Of the companies that make zippers, YKK Corporation is an industry leader, manufacturing a large percentage of all the zippers in the market, in facilities worldwide.

When individuals and industry professionals who use zippers in products go shopping for this product, chances are that YKK zippers is usually the choice. Buying YKK zippers is an assurance of quality from a company that has been in existence since 1934, and with the vast selection of styles and colours available, finding the right one is a fairly easy thing to do.

While it is possible to find YKK zippers at traditional brick-and-mortar sewing supply shops, the selections at these locations can be limited and expensive. The search is made easier by an online retailer such as eBay. However, before shopping for YKK zippers, it is important to understand what separates them from zippers from other companies. It is also helpful to know more about the different types of YKK zippers.

More About YKK Zippers

YKK makes five basic types of zippers; closed-end, open-end separator, two-way separator, and two types of double slider zippers. The zippers have five to eight parts, depending on which of the five types of zippers is being considered. The zippers are made of fabric, plastic, metal, and combinations of all three materials.

Parts of a YKK Zipper

As stated, a YKK zipper can have five to eight parts. The three parts that are common amongst all zippers, regardless of type, are the slider, elements, and tape.

Zipper Component


Zipper Slider


Moveable device that joins and separates zipper elements to open or close zipper

Depending on type of the zipper, there may be one or two sliders per zipper

Zipper Elements

Also called teeth; the small plastic or metal objects that are joined or separated by the slider

Elements are attached to zipper tape and may or may not be secured with bottom stop, depending on type of zipper

Number of elements is determined by overall length of zipper

Zipper Tape

Exclusively manufactured for use with zippers; made of polyester, synthetic fibres, vinyl, and cotton

The elements are embedded into the tape

Wide enough to accommodate the elements with enough material left to sew zipper into fabric

Moving from the top to the bottom of a YKK zipper, the parts are the top stop, slider, elements, tape, and bottom stop for standard zippers. Inset pins, box pins, and retaining box make up the parts for single open-end separator and two-way separator zippers.

More about Sliders

When shopping for YKK zippers, it must be noted that the type of slider that a zipper is fitted with is very important in relation to what the zipper is to be used for. Zipper sliders from YKK come in different types.

  •     Non-lock slider, in which pull tab does not lock
  •     Automatic slider, which auto locks without force
  •     Semi-automatic slider, which locks when tab is lowered
  •     Jeans slider, a semi-automatic slider designed for denim
  •     Pin lock slider, in which pins on tab lock elements together
  •     Reversible slider, in which pull tab moves along rotating rail allowing operation on both sides of zipper
  •     Plastic slider one, which is a lock made of metal
  •     Plastic slider two, which is a non-locking slider
  •     Key lock slider, which locks with small key
  •     Double pull slider, which has two pull tabs and opens and closes from either side of zipper

To ensure that one is purchasing an authentic YKK zipper, verify that the letters "YKK" are on the slider pull tab. YKK has, for many decades, worked to limit the number of substandard counterfeit zippers entering the marketplace. Because of their aggressive efforts to prevent counterfeiting of their brand name products, few fake YKK zippers make it to customers.

Top-Selling YKK Zippers

YKK makes many different styles of zippers, including specialty zippers. The top-selling YKK zippers available have specific elements that separate them from the others.

Soflex YKK Zipper

The Soflex YKK zipper is made of stretchable and flexible materials. Designed for stretch fabrics, this zipper can be used on apparel, such as lady's dresses and skirts, pants, and jackets. The zipper also works really well with sportswear, due to elements that require the zipper to curve, such as garment hoods, removable sleeves, and trouser legs.

Prifa YKK Zipper

The Prifa YKK zipper offers colourful patterns inkjet-printed on the tape. The patterns are either YKK standard patterns or may be designed by the customer to expand the application possibilities. The zippers come with coloured elements or clear plastic elements that allow the tape patterns to show through. This zipper works great for sportswear, dresses and skirts, luggage, outdoor gear, jackets, casual wear, and backpacks.

Natulon YKK Zipper

The Natulon YKK zipper is made of recycled materials and works for many applications including adult and children's clothing, outdoor gear, luggage, handbags, and backpacks. A chemically recycled version, constructed with no metal parts, is also available.

Vislon YKK Zipper

The Vislon YKK zipper is constructed from injected plastic, making it lighter than comparable metal zippers. The colourful variations of the zipper elements are achieved by formulating colour pigments for the injection process. This zipper is ideal for casual and sportswear, dresses and skirts, and jackets.

AquaGuard Vislon YKK Zipper

The AquaGuard Vislon YKK zipper is a water-repellent version of the Vislon YKK zipper. The zipper features a polyurethane laminated tape. This zipper offers water resistance and a wide range of colours and design options that are ideal for sports and outdoor apparel, outdoor gear such as backpacks, and casual wear.

Lightweight Tape YKK Zipper

The lightweight tape YKK zipper is crafted using thinner yarn and is intended for use with lightweight and soft-touch items of apparel. This zipper is 15 to 20 percent lighter than comparably sized zippers and works on casual wear, outdoor gear, and sports and outdoor apparel.

Top Open YKK Zipper

The Top Open YKK zipper is a variation of the Vislon YKK zipper. This zipper has the ability to pull the slider up and disengage it, allowing the elements to pull apart without damaging the zipper. This is convenient for sports and outdoor apparel applications as well as for jackets and casual wear.

SnapTrak YKK Zipper

The SnapTrak YKK zipper is a modified Vislon YKK zipper that employs a differently designed set of moving parts. The parts are larger than in regular zippers, and this aids young children, the elderly, and individuals with special needs in operating the zippers. This zipper is used in casual wear, jackets, sportswear, and outdoor apparel.

Buying YKK Zippers on eBay

By shopping on eBay for YKK zippers, customers can find a wider selection of styles and types to meet every project need. To find YKK zippers on eBay, simply begin with a keyword search from an eBay page. To perform a keyword search on the website, enter a search term for the item you want, such as "YKK zippers", into the search bar. When the results page opens, the listings can be narrowed down by selecting one or more of eBay's filter options, including colour, type, and condition of zipper.

To ensure that the zippers you have found on eBay are what you need, click on the listing in question, and take the time to carefully read the information about the product. If images provided with the listing, then check them closely and compare the visual images to the written descriptions. As long as the item is what you want, be sure to look into any shipping charges that may be applied to the purchase. It is always a good idea to look into the seller's history on eBay, before you go ahead with a purchase on the website. Be sure to read the feedback from the seller's customers.


Even though zippers are barely given consideration by the average person, the individuals in the business of creating items from fabric, such as clothing, luggage, outdoor and recreational items, are only too aware of how important zippers can be in projects. YKK zippers come with a great reputation based on decades of reliable performance, and they have kept pace with the styles and materials in use at the time.

Choosing the right YKK zipper for a project means being familiar with the various types of YKK zippers available and what they are ideal for. When the time comes to buy YKK zippers for sewing projects, do not waste time and money running out to a brick-and-mortar store and paying ridiculous retail prices. Instead, log on to eBay and search the many options available on the website. On eBay, the prices are more competitive and the selection much wider. For an individual acquainted with the different type of YKK zippers as well as with eBay's functionalities, finding the right YKK zipper for a project should not be too challenging or expensive.

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