g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Sewing Site

BellaOnline's Sewing Editor


Zippers as Remarkable Fasteners

Zippers surely rank high among the modern useful inventions of the past century. They are one of the most practical closure applications bar none allowing easy entry and exit on so many items; clothing, luggage, sporting goods, home decorator and craft items, outdoor wear, rain gear, convertible auto and 4-wheeled vehicle soft-tops, as well as a variation used on soft-plastic container-type bags such as those for tobacco, food, and sundry items. Even the Mercury astronautsí un-pressurized cabin space suit had two zippers for entry. Zippers are everywhere!

First patented by Elias Howe in 1851 but not useable, later improved upon by another patent in 1891, by engineer Whitcomb L. Judson, the closing device was first known as a clasp locker and was composed of a series of hooks and eyes. By 1913, engineer Gideon Sundback developed the zipper further by replacing the hooks and eyes with metal teeth. In the 1940ís the Europeans brought more research into this remarkable device to develop the interlocking coil, however it was not until as recently as the early 1960ís and the explosion of plastics that the flexible interlocking coils and interlocking teeth have morphed into the familiar zippers we know today.

For the sewers world, zippers come in a vast range of colors and can be all purpose and utilitarian - light as a feather for high fashion, medium weights for skirts, trousers, and pullovers, separating, 2-way, and reversible for jackets and sport clothes. Zippers can be a nearly invisible closure in some fashion garments, practically indestructible doing heavy duty for work clothes, uniforms, jeans, sleeping bags, handbags, boots, or upholstery pillows and cushions. They are flexible by design and can be made out of polyester, nylon coil, brass, nickel, copper, or aluminum, all with locking sliders and some with custom designed zipper pulls - using Swarovski rhinestones no less! While functionally so much a part of todayís scenery, we can easily forget what it must have been like before the invention of this nifty device.

Standard zippers are sewn into your garment by hand at times but usually by sewing machine generally in a front, back, or side seam that has been temporarily basted closed, using your particular sewing machineís zipper foot. Standard zippers use either a centered or lapped construction technique.

Invisible or concealed zippers are inserted in an open seam not yet sewn closed, using a special zipper foot that can be purchased with the zipper. The rest of the garment seam is stitched closed after the zipper is applied. The zipper will be enclosed into the seam allowance when closed, no longer visible on the right side of the garment.

Outerwear zippers like those seen in winter coats and ski wear are for the most part very visible, e.g.: the teeth show when the garment is zipped closed. These weather-resistant zippers come in one-way or two-way separating or non-separating types and reversible too.

Purchase your zipper in contrasting colors to make a distinctive fashion statement or to match your article to blend in with the garmentís stylish construction. If you cannot find a zipper in the length required, purchase one that is longer as they are very easily shortened from the top or by folding over the excess.

Happy sewing!

References used for this article:
Talon Zippers from Talon
Mercury Space Suit from HighTechScience
Modern Marvels: Gadgets - Zippers from Modern Marvels

Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Twitter Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Facebook Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to MySpace Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Del.icio.us Digg Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Yahoo My Web Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Google Bookmarks Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Stumbleupon Add Zippers+as+Remarkable+Fasteners to Reddit

RSS | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Sewing Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Cheryl Ellex. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


g features
Embellishing Linens and Denims with Lace

Sewing Projects from the Past

Scrappy Valentine's Day Hearts

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor