Zippers have metal or plastic teeth that lock together with a zipper slider. When the slider is moved up it closes the zipper and when moved down it opens it. Zippers come in many different sizes, lengths, and weights to match the weight of a variety of fabrics. For a professional look, always use a lightweight zipper with lightweight fabrics and vice versa.
In addition to the many sizes and weights, there are also different types of zippers. It is important that you choose the right one for the right project. For example, if you are sewing pants, or a skirt, then you want a zipper with a closed bottom. If you are making a jacket then you need a zipper that comes apart at both ends.
Zippers are best attached to the garment by using a special zipper foot. The foot has two slots underneath that allow for the zipper teeth to pass through. That allows you to sew close to the teeth in order to obtain a professional look.
Here is a brief overview of the various types of zippers that you can purchase for your sewing projects.
Polyester All-purpose Zippers
Polyester all-purpose zippers are strong, flexible, and durable. They are great for the majority of sewing projects including pants, skirts and dresses, pillows and other home decor sewing projects.
Metal All-purpose Zippers
Metal All-purpose zippers are strong and durable as well. They can be used in various garments and certain home decor projects.
Metal Jean Zippers
Metal jean zippers have metal teeth of aluminum, brass, nickel alloy, stainless steel, and zinc. These zippers have a closed bottom and are mainly used for work and casual jeans or pants.
Metal Separating Zippers
Metal separating zippers open at both ends and are great for a variety of sewing projects.
Plastic Molded Separating Zippers
Plastic molded separating zippers also open at both ends and are strong and durable. They are great for sports and outdoor winter wear.
Parka zippers are plastic molded separating zippers with two sliders to allow them to open from both ends. These are great for parkas, ski-jackets, ski-pants, and vests.
Invisible zippers are invisible once they are attached to the garment. They are great for dresses, skirts, purses and any other sewing project where you don’t want the zipper to show. These require a special invisible zipper presser foot in order to attach it to the garment. They are a bit more tricky to attach than other zippers, but well worth the effort for dressy garments.