Common Zipper Defects and How To Spot Them

high quality zippers

Zippers are constantly subjected to mechanical stress. Under strenuous conditions, a low quality zipper can fail unexpectedly and cause distress to a garment’s wearer. Even celebrities themselves are not immune to fashion fails caused by malfunctioning zippers.

A zipper of low quality drastically compromises the overall integrity of a garment. Always make sure that the zippers to be attached to the clothes are manufactured well and can stand the test of time.

Thankfully, you can easily recognize excellent zippers with your naked eyes alone. Here are a few pointers on how to go about discerning the quality of zippers.

Teeth
As much as possible, the teeth’s surface should be smooth and soft. The smoother it is, the easier the slider will be able to move along it.

Reinforcement Tape
The reinforcement tape should be sturdy enough not to break when stretched or pulled on. It should fit the band snugly.

Slider
While the slider’s brace should be able to move along the slider freely, make sure that it is firmly fastened and won’t fall off the tape.

Tape
Zipper tape should be evenly dyed, with no stains.

Stops
On metal and nylon zippers, the top stop should be placed close to the first tooth on the tape. The bottom stop should also come together with the teeth and must be fastened sturdily to the surface.

Now that you know what a well-built zipper looks like, it’s time to learn about the defects that you need to watch out for.

Teeth Defects
Common teeth defects usually include improperly meshed teeth, missing teeth, and crooked chains. Sometimes, the coil isn’t securely attached to the fabric and can be easily torn away.

Slider Defects
Watch out for crushed or misshapen sliders, especially for slider bodies that are weak and can be broken off easily. These kinds of defects would result into problems with the zipper’s locking mechanism.

Tape Defects
Look out for uneven edges on the tape, as well as any holes, cuts, and tears. Aesthetic-wise, the tape might have a washed out color or wasn’t dyed properly.

Stop Defects
Either one or both stops are missing. Sometimes, the stops might be there, but they are of wrong dimensions. They might also be improperly placed.

It’s best to check for defects after the zippers and garments have undergone washing, since the mechanical and chemical stresses brought about by the wash could lead to further defects that weren’t there before.

As the old saying goes “prevention is better than cure.” Preventing yourself from using substandard zippers and selecting high quality zippers in the first place is a whole lot easier than ripping them off garments and replacing them one by one.

Reference
1.Study of Apparel Trims – Zipper

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