What are the components of a zipper
Zippers - decision support
Information and decision support on zippers for tarpaulin construction
This article is aimed at customers who are looking for sturdy zippers, e.g. to sew or repair a tarpaulin, awning or a sail bag. The same questions arise over and over again:
Which one do I use for my tarpaulin?
There are basically three types of zippers: zippers with plastic teeth, with metal teeth or spiral zippers. Spiral zippers consist of a continuous plastic spiral which is woven into the zipper tape with a sturdy thread. The spiral zippers offer the advantage that the load that the zipper absorbs is evenly absorbed by the entire spiral and not selectively by some teeth. That brings an enormous gain in stability. At the same time, these zippers are not so sensitive to dirt due to their structure. This design has thus established itself in event tents, camping tents, tarpaulins and in technical assembly.
We recommend the spiral zippers from YKK, which you can get from us in many lengths and colors from stock.
What kind of zipper do I need?
The first question that arises is whether your zipper has to be divisible.
One divisible zipper need if you want to separate the two sides of your fabric. For example an anorak that you want to open completely at the front because you don't want to pull it over your head. These zippers have a mechanism at their lower end to unhook and re-hook.
Caution: Such a zipper can only be shortened at the top if it is to remain divisible.
Indivisible zippers can be shortened on both sides and can be made up directly for your application from yard goods. Here we equip the zipper tape according to your wishes. The ends are either sewn or closed with a metal clip, as in the picture.
Another thing to consider is whether you have one One-way or Multi-way zipper need.
The simple one-way zipper has only one slider and can therefore only be opened and closed in one direction.
A two-way zipper has 2 sliders and can therefore be opened and closed in both directions.
But there are also different variants. The O shape is made up in such a way that both sliders are on one side when the zipper is closed.
The X shape is tailored so that the sliders are on opposite sides of the zipper when the zipper is closed.
All of these variants are available with single or double grip plates, depending on whether you only want to open the zipper from the outside or, as with a tent, also from the inside.
As I said above, the zips can be easily shortened. Therefore, it has proven itself in practice to use a zipper that is a little too long and only shorten it to the correct length when sewing in.
How do I shorten the zipper?
The zipper tape can be cut with a good pair of scissors.
End clips for the lower or upper end of zippers.
Can I glue in my zipper too?
Yes, there are special YKK zippers that are specially made so that they can be glued or welded. You can also sew a material that is easy to glue, such as PVC edging tape, onto the zipper tape and then carry out the gluing.
We hope that we could resolve some ambiguities here. If you have any further questions, please use our contact form.
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