Few things are more mortifying than realizing your fly won’t close because your zipper is broken. Broken zippers can cause various problems, such as the contents of your bag spilling out, your fly coming undone, or your jacket failing to keep you hot on a cold day.
Fortunately, mending a split zipper is a skill that can be picked up quickly. Learn the ins and outs of zipper mechanics as well as common causes of malfunction. You will learn 12 easy ways to repair a broken zipper. Finally, you’ll learn what to do if the zipper on your tent, backpack, or other item breaks.
Understanding the mechanics of a zipper
A crescent-shaped slider is moved along the track to close a zipper, pressing together two sets of angled teeth. This creates a tight seal that won’t break until the crescent-shaped slider is lowered, angling the teeth apart again.
Do You Know How to Mend a Falling Apart Zipper?
Most zipper problems are easily resolved by applying a few basic methods and using a few simple tools. However, this is conditional on the nature of the issue at hand.
You should probably replace the zipper if you find that the teeth or winding have come unattached from the tape. The same is true for those who are toothless. Teeth can’t be swapped out easily because they must all be an exact match to snick in that chain.
It is often possible to fix a misaligned zipper by taking it apart and reassembling it. The next section will teach you two different approaches to fixing this problem. The slider may also have become too loose, so you can use some common household tools to tighten it and return it to the correct angle for squeezing through the teeth.
The zipper pull is easily replaceable if you misplace it. However, if the slider or teeth are lost, the zipper is useless and must be replaced.
Method and Tools to use
Regular household tools like hand tools, a screwdriver, or tongs can be used to repair a zipper that comes undone. If you have the zipper and its components, but it won’t close, try adjusting the slider or straightening the teeth. You can use a temporary fix, like a safety pin or your sewing machine, to replace the zipper if you are missing parts.
Restore the Slider
A worn or too-loose slider is the cause of at least the majority of all zipper malfunctions. The slider, fortunately, is usually easy to repair.
The slider has three distinct parts—a top plate that connects to the pull, a jammed interior, and a bottom plate that rests beneath the teeth—as can be seen with a closer inspection. Repairing a loose slider requires nothing more than a pair of pliers.
If the slider came loose, just snap it back onto the teeth. For guidance on how to do this, check out the screwdriver technique.
Next, take a look at the slider, and you’ll see that it consists of two plates, one on top where the pull is attached and another underneath where the wedge shape is. To make the slider tighter, squeeze the two plates together. Look for a set of pliers with a flat end. The rounded edges of needle-nose pliers won’t stick to the plain top and bottom sheet, resulting in a lack of grip.
Place the pliers on the top and bottom sheet with your right hand while holding the slide on your left. Tighten your grip slightly. If it doesn’t lock when you pull it, try again. If not, try squeezing it with the pliers again, but this time apply much less pressure. Some missing sliders can be replaced. However, this becomes difficult because the slider needs to be exactly the right dimensions and shape to fit the teeth.
Examine the Bite and Align the Teeth
When the teeth of a separating zipper become crooked and no longer align, it’s one of the most annoying issues that can happen to your clothing or bag.
Make sure the problem hasn’t already been fixed by adjusting the tension on the slider with hand tools before attempting this solution. If not, proceed with disassembling the zipper and adjusting the positioning:
Using pliers, carefully remove the teeth’s bottom stops. Remove the bottom stoppers, and then use the pliers to cautiously pull out four teeth on each corner of the tape. Wrap the pliers’ tips around a single tooth to accomplish this. The pliers are used by squeezing their handles and pulling them back simultaneously.
It’s time to reattach the slider. Without the seals in the way, this should be a breeze, but if you’re having trouble getting the teeth into the funnel of the slider, tweezers will come in handy.
After removing all teeth from the socket, you can sew the socket shut using thread and a needle. By closing off this bottom section, you will effectively reduce the length of the zipper. Remember to tie off your thread, so it doesn’t come undone later.
The Zipper Needs to Be Replaced, but Can a Tailor Do It?
A broken zipper on pants, a gown, or a cardigan is something that most tailors can fix. A tailor may not be qualified to make leather goods like coats or purses.