Zippers are perhaps the most intimidating to sew for beginners. Needless to say however, they are essential in ensuring the full functionality of a clothing item. Zipper closures come in a few different style variations and are mostly used with woven garments, especially those that are more formfitting. Knit garments do not usually require the use of a zipper closure as they are stretchy and flexible enough to be taken on and off without the need for closure.
Before diving deeper into basic zipper application styles, it is important to understand the three main types of zippers available in dressmaking:
Conventional zippers: Are closed on one end and sewn into a seam that doesn't fully separate.
Invisible Zippers: Invisible zippers are always sewn into a seam and are designed to actually disappear into the seam with only the tab visible on the face of the garment. Although different in style and installation requirements, just like conventional zippers, invisible zippers are closed on one end.
Separating Zippers: Separating zippers are open on both ends and sewn onto garment openings or into seams that separate completely.
The 3 types of zippers described above are chosen based on the construction finish, design, fabric and functionality requirement of a garment. They are available in a variety of different lengths and weights, from very fine to heavy duty. All zippers, regardless of type, have these basic shared elements:
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