types of zippers

4 tips for selecting perfect zippers! What are the types of zippers? 4 types of zippers to be introduced at once!

4 tips for selecting perfect zippers!

What are the types of zippers? 4 types of zippers to be introduced at once!


Many textiles use zippers to fasten, such as jacket, pant, backpack, suitcase or even pillowcase. When your zipper is broken or separated, you may want to buy a zipper to replace it, but sometimes the zipper you buy may be too long or too short, or the zipper teeth or sliders are too large. It’s very important to choose the right zipper to close the opening securely! This article will show you some knowledge of zippers so that you won’t waste money on wrong type of zippers when replacing them!


  • Zipper size

Zipper’s sizes are decided by the width of the zipper’s teeth, e.g. 5mm wide teeth means a #5 zipper and 10mm wide teeth means a #10 zipper, and so on. Common zipper sizes on the market are #3, #5, #10, etc. Larger numbers represent the wider teeth of a zipper, which is usually used for larger objects, such as suitcases or sofa covers. Small zippers are mostly used in clothing, such as jacket pockets or trousers, where most of the pants are made with a #3 zipper, while the front opening of jackets are made with a #5 zipper.

Zipper width 拉鍊長度


  • Zipper length

Zipper length is measured from the upper edge of top stop to the lower edge of bottom stop. If your zipper is already on the clothes, please use a soft cloth ruler to measure the zipper, or try to flatten the clothes and then measure it in order to get the most correct size. If you can’t find the bottom stop of the zipper, please turn over the clothes to the back and find out the bottom of the zipper then you’ll see the bottom stop. It’s very important to measure the zipper length correctly before you buy to avoid buying the wrong size.

how to measure zipper length

The types of zipper

  • Distinguish by zipper material.

1. Coil Zipper:

Coil zippers are mostly made of nylon materials. The zipper teeth look like coils, hence called coil zippers. A common problem with coil zippers is that the coils are deformed, causing that the teeth on both sides can’t be closed smoothly. When using coil zippers, it’s important to avoid pulling zippers rudely and strongly. Coil zippers are suitable for curved objects, such as suitcases.

2. Metal Zipper:

Metal zippers are made in many colors like copper, bronze, silver, nickel, etc. They are used in jeans or jackets to create a conflicting feel of different materials. Metal zippers are often stuck or not easy to pull. Try using a lubricating substance like a bar of soap, candles, or lip balm to make the teeth easier to slide through.

3. Plastic Zipper:

Plastic zippers are made with molds and molten plastic and can be made in any color of plastic. Plastic zippers mostly use polyacetal resin, though other thermoplastic polymers are used as well, such as polyethylene. Because the pulling strength of plastic zipper is strong, it’s suitable for products with high demand for zipper binding, such as mattresses or winter Heavy jacket. High UV tolerance is also suitable for outdoor products such as tents.

types of zipper

< Types of Zipper >

  • Distinguished according to the zipper function

1. Open-End Zipper:

The bottom of the zipper has no bottom stop and can be opened to the end. For example, the jacket front opening zipper, zipper can be pulled to the end apart. According to the way you insert the pin, the zippers can be called left-sided insert pins or right-sided insert pins. You have to check the target market of your products before you decide to make left-sided or right-sided insert pins. In general, European and Asian customers are used to right-sided insert pins, i.e. pins on the right, slider and retaining box on the left. If the customer does not specify, right-sided insert pin is usually the main one. American customers, on the other hand, are used to left-sided insert pins, pins on the left, slides and retaining box on the right.

 left-sided insert pin zipper

< left-sided insert pin >

right-sided insert pin zipper

< right-sided insert pin >

2. Close-End Zipper:

The bottom of the zipper has a bottom stop, and the tapes on the left and right cannot be pulled apart. Close-end zipper are usually used on pockets or pants. The upper end of the closed-end zipper will have a top stop and the bottom end will have a bottom stop to prevent the zipper from separating.

close-end zipper

3. Two-way zipper:

Two-way zippers can be closed or opened in two opposite directions at the same time. They’re usually used more for the jacket’s front opening or luggage, allowing you to pull the zippers in different way. There are three types of two-way zippers:

  • Two-way head to head
  • Two way tail to tail
  • Two way separating zippers

Two way zipper

< Two-way Zipper >


4. Special customized zipper :

Waterproof zipper –

The waterproof zipper adds a layer of polyurethane (Polyurethane) film on the zipper tape to achieve the waterproof function. Waterproof zipper is suitable for outdoor waterproof clothing, tents, luggage or sports goods, etc.

When washing, the waterproof zipper should be closed to avoid the deformation of the zipper and the film will fall off. Do not use a dryer or salt series dry-cleaning agents (such as perchloroethylene) to avoid peeling or cracking of the film.

waterproof zipper

< Waterproof zipper >

Invisible zipper –

The teeth of most zippers are usually on the front. An invisible zipper is a zipper which hides the teeth of the zipper, and the teeth cannot be seen after the zipper is sewn on the garment.   Although the invisible zipper improves the outlooking of a dress or a skirt, the disadvantage is that it’s not easy to sew invisible zipper because the zipper might be wrinkled easily, and it takes more effort to close the zipper when putting on the dress or the skirt. Invisible zippers are suitable for dresses or skirts, but not suitable for products that have high demand for zipper binding.

Invisible zipper

< Invisible Zipper >

ILLUME provides custom service for zippers.  Contact us for more details. 


~The end~

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