If you’re new to dressmaking, zips can be a bit of a minefield. Here’s a short guide to explain the different types there are, and which you should use and when.
Open End Zip – also known as a nylon spiral zip. These are suitable for making lightweight jackets, knitwear and fleeces because they open at the bottom.
Metal Open End Zip – These heavyweight zips with metal teeth are ideal for making heavy jackets, such as wax and leather jackets, due to their robust nature.
Chunky Open End Zip – similar to the Metal Open End Zip but made from heavyweight plastic, making them an ideal zip when making jackets.
Closed End Zip – unlike the Open End Zip these are closed at the bottom making them ideal for dresses, skirts, trousers (front zip), bags and cushion covers, basically anything requiring a finished bottom.
Concealed Zip – also known as an invisible zip. These zips are usually used in bridal, occasion and evening wear due to the fact that they are hidden. They are most commonly used for making tailored garments, dresses, trousers (side zip) and cushions given they are closed end. Some people may find this type of zip easier to insert than a normal closed end zip.
Metal Jean Zip – These zips have metal teeth and due to the fact they are closed end are suitable for making jeans and trousers (ie. chinos etc.).