Different Types Of Zippers Used In ApparelDifferent Types Of Zippers Used In Apparel

Different Types Of Zippers Used In Apparel

Zippers are an integral component of many textile products, from clothing and accessories to luggage and home furnishings. Their invention revolutionized the textile industry by providing a practical and reliable fastening solution. Understanding the general classification of textile zippers helps designers, manufacturers, and consumers make informed choices based on functionality, aesthetics, and application. This blog will explore the Different Types Of Zippers Used in Apparel & their features, and their typical uses.

What are Zippers?

Zippers, also known as zip fasteners, are devices used to temporarily join two edges of fabric. They consist of two strips of fabric tape, each with interlocking metal or plastic teeth, and a slider that opens and closes the zipper by moving up and down the tapes.

General Classification of Zippers

Textile zippers can be broadly classified based on the following criteria:

1. Material of the Teeth

2. Type of Slider

3. Functionality

4. Application

1. Classification by Material of the Teeth

a. Metal Zippers

Metal zippers are made of metal teeth clamped onto the zipper tape. Common metals used include brass, aluminum, and nickel.

– Brass Zippers: Durable and corrosion-resistant, often used in jeans and heavy-duty garments.

– Aluminum Zippers: Lightweight and less expensive, suitable for lighter garments.

– Nickel Zippers: Offer a shiny finish and are commonly used in high-end fashion items.

b. Plastic Zippers

Plastic zippers have teeth made of molded plastic, usually polyester or polyacetal (POM).

– Polyester Zippers: Flexible and resistant to chemicals, often used in sportswear and outdoor gear.

– POM Zippers: Strong and durable, used in bags, backpacks, and other heavy-duty applications.

c. Coil Zippers

Coil zippers, also known as nylon zippers, have teeth made of coiled monofilament, usually polyester.

– Invisible Zippers: Designed to be concealed within a seam, commonly used in dresses and skirts.

– Heavy-Duty Coil Zippers: Used in applications requiring strong but flexible fasteners, such as luggage and sports equipment.

2. Classification by Type of Slider

 a. Locking Sliders

Locking sliders have a mechanism that prevents the slider from moving unless the pull tab is raised or lowered.

– Auto-lock Sliders: Lock automatically when the pull tab is released, commonly used in jeans and pants.

– Semi-auto Lock Sliders: Lock only when the pull tab is pressed down, used in garments where accidental opening is a concern.

b. Non-locking Sliders

Non-locking sliders move freely along the zipper tape and do not lock into place.

– Free Sliders: Used in applications where frequent and easy opening and closing are needed, such as jackets and bags.

3. Classification by Functionality

a. Open-End Zippers

Open-end zippers, also known as separating zippers, allow the two sides of the zipper to be completely separated when unzipped.

– Common Applications: Jackets, coats, and other outerwear.

 b. Closed-End Zippers

Closed-end zippers have a stopper at the bottom, preventing the two sides from separating completely.

– Common Applications: Pants, skirts, bags, and pockets.

c. Two-Way Zippers

Two-way zippers have sliders at both ends, allowing the zipper to be opened from either direction.

– Common Applications: Long coats, sleeping bags, and luggage.

d. Reversible Zippers

Reversible zippers have sliders that allow the zipper to be opened and closed from either side.

– Common Applications: Reversible garments and accessories.

4. Classification by Application

a. Apparel Zippers

Used in various types of clothing, these zippers come in different lengths and materials based on the garment’s requirements.

– Examples: Jackets, dresses, skirts, trousers, and jeans.

b. Footwear Zippers

Specially designed for shoes and boots, often shorter and more robust.

– Examples: Boots, sneakers, and fashion shoes.

c. Luggage and Bag Zippers

Heavy-duty zippers designed to withstand the stress and strain of frequent use.

– Examples: Suitcases, backpacks, handbags, and duffel bags.

d. Home Textile Zippers

Used in household items, these zippers can vary widely in size and material.

– Examples: Cushions, pillowcases, mattress covers, and sofa covers.

e. Industrial Zippers

Specialized zippers designed for use in industrial applications, often requiring high durability and specific functionality.

– Examples: Tents, protective clothing, marine applications, and automotive uses.

Zippers for Children Clothing

Zippers are a common closure choice for children’s clothing, offering several advantages over buttons or snaps. They are easier for young children to manipulate themselves, which can be a big help during potty training or dressing themselves. Zippers also create a more secure closure, which is important for keeping active little bodies warm and preventing wardrobe malfunctions.

There are a few different types of zippers that are commonly used in children’s clothing:

  • Nylon coil zippers:These are the most common type of zipper used in children’s clothing. They are lightweight, flexible, and easy to zip and unzip.


Nylon coil zippers for children clothing

  • Vislon® zippers:A brand of zippers known for their durability and smooth operation. They are a good choice for jackets and other garments that will get a lot of wear and tear.


Vislon® zippers for children clothing

  • Separating zippers: These zippers have two pulls, so they can be opened from the bottom or the top. This can be helpful for diaper changes or potty training.


Separating zippers for children clothing

When choosing zippers for children’s clothing, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Size: Zippers come in a variety of sizes. Be sure to choose a zipper that is the right size for the garment you are making.
  • Weight: The weight of the zipper refers to the thickness of the teeth. A lighter weight zipper is a good choice for delicate fabrics, while a heavier weight zipper is more durable for heavier fabrics.
  • Color: Zippers come in a variety of colors to match or complement the fabric of the garment.
  • Safety: For children’s clothing, it is important to choose zippers that are lead-free and phthalate-free.
  • Ease of Use: Look for zippers with larger pulls or grips that are easy for small hands to grasp.

FAQ: Different Types Of Zippers Used in Apparel

Q: What are the different types of zippers based on their teeth material?

A: There are three main types of zippers based on their teeth material:

  • Metal Zippers: These are the strongest and most durable, ideal for jackets, jeans, and bags that need a heavy-duty closure. However, they are also the bulkiest and heaviest option. (See image)
  • Molded Plastic Zippers: Lighter and more flexible than metal, these offer a good balance of durability and affordability. They come in various colors and finishes, making them versatile for different garments. (See image)
  • Nylon Coil Zippers: The most common type for clothing, these are lightweight, flexible, and easy to use. Perfect for children’s clothing, sportswear, and garments where comfort is key. (See image)

Q: What are separating and non-separating zippers?

A: Zippers are distinguished by how they open and close:

  • Separating Zippers: These have two pulls, allowing them to open from the top or bottom. Useful for jackets, backpacks, or anything needing access from both ends. (See image)
  • Non-Separating Zippers: The standard zipper with one pull that opens from one end only. Ideal for garments like jeans, skirts, or dresses requiring a secure closure. (See image)

Q: How do exposed and concealed zippers differ?

A: This distinction focuses on zipper visibility in the finished garment:

  • Exposed Zippers: The teeth are visible on the outside, sometimes serving as a design element besides functionality. (See image)
  • Concealed Zippers (Invisible Zippers): The teeth are hidden from view, creating a clean and seamless look. Perfect for formal wear or garments where a smooth finish is desired. (See image)

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing a zipper for my garment?

A: Here are some key considerations:

  • Function: Consider how the garment will be used. Does it need a secure closure, easy opening for children, or access from both ends?
  • Fabric Weight: Lighter zippers work well with delicate fabrics, while heavier zippers provide strength for thicker materials.
  • Durability: How much wear and tear will the garment experience? Metal zippers offer more durability for high-stress areas.
  • Aesthetics: Exposed zippers can add a design element, while concealed zippers offer a clean finish. Choose a color that complements your fabric.
  • Safety: For children’s clothing, ensure the zipper is lead-free and phthalate-free.

Q: Are there any other types of zippers used in apparel?

A: Yes, there are various specialty zippers for specific applications. Here are a few examples:

  • Water-resistant zippers: Treated with a coating to repel water, ideal for outerwear or bags.
  • Down-proof zippers: Tightly woven teeth prevent down feathers from escaping.
  • Reverse zippers: Teeth are on the backside, creating a smooth, clean exterior.


The classification of textile zippers is essential for selecting the right zipper for any given application. By understanding the various types of zippers based on material, slider type, functionality, and application, designers and manufacturers can ensure the right balance of performance, durability, and aesthetics in their products. Whether it’s a delicate dress, a sturdy pair of jeans, or a heavy-duty backpack, choosing the appropriate zipper is crucial for the final product’s success. Hopefully this blog help to understand more about Different Types Of Zippers Used in Apparel.

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