Broken Jeans Zipper That is Stuck


Are you wondering how to fix a broken zipper on jeans? Zippers are literally on everything, and when they break it’s pretty annoying. Maybe the broken zipper’s on an old fleece jacket you never wear, or on an old ratty sleepy bag — but when the zipper failure strikes a pair of your faithful jeans — emergency! Jeans can be the best, most comfortable work pants, or just your favorite Sunday afternoon attire – but often a great pair of jeans is a critical part of your wardrobe. Jeans have become such an integral fashion statement that when you find a pair that fits you well — you must keep them and wear them forever. But what do you do if the zipper breaks on jeans? Sure, you could just bring your favorite jeans to a tailor or seamstress and ask them to fix them, but many zipper repairs are relatively straightforward, and cheaper if you do it yourself.

FIXING A JEANS ZIPPER PULL

Jeans zippers, unlike those on a pullover or sleeping bag, are permanently anchored at one end, and open at the other. Because of this repeated vertical pull, often times the zipper itself is solid, but the zipper pull comes off. If a pull comes off in the dryer, or in your laundry basket, it’s often easy enough to fix with a pair of needle nose pliers. You reattach the zipper pull, and then squeeze the bottom with the pliers so that it won’t release. Make sure you test it a few times before you finish, because it needs to be securely fastened to the slider.

If you don’t want to use tools, or worse, you can’t find your original zipper pull, there are a number of commercial replacement zipper pulls or handles that can snap onto the slider and replace the original pull. These are often recommended for heavy duty items like boots, camping gear, luggage, purses, and other itmes because of the frequent use and added stress put on the zipper with each use. It’s also possible that the zipper pull repair kits are the best solution while you’re traveling, in case you don’t have access to pliers. There are a number of zipper pull repair and mending kit products on the market, and they are readily available online. These quick fixes might just be what you’re looking for.

FIXING A BROKEN ZIPPER ON JEANS

If the zipper itself is broken, and it’s not just a simple fix, as above, it’s possible that the entire zipper needs to be replaced. It’s easy enough to do on your own, and only requires a bit of machine and hand sewing and a couple simple tools. The most important part of the process is to not cut into the jeans original top-stitching. This finish work, that gives jeans its particular look and cut in the front, is done in commercial textile factories and is very hard to duplicate if altered.

HOW TO FIX A BROKEN ZIPPER ON JEANS 

First remove the stitches around the zipper tape, and cut the zipper where it joins the seams. You’ll need to buy a ready-made denim zipper, and cut it to size. Line up your old zipper and mark the bottom – which is where you’ll sew a zig-zag bar tack point to provide a base to your jeans zipper. Remember when you sew this spot, go over it enough times to make a solid bottom break point for the slider. When you install the new zipper, fold over the top flaps of the zipper tape — you will double that over and sew it under itself. It’s helpful to pin the zipper in place as you reattach the zipper. At the top stitching you should sew this part by hand, being careful to only catch one fabric layer– you don’t want to have the zipper stitching visible on the front! Small, tight, straight, even stiches are necessary here to anchor the top. When you’ve finished reinforce the bottom with another couple anchoring stitches and you’re done… you know how to fix a zipper on jeans.

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Zipper Parts for Quick Fixes and Easy Repairs

It’s going to happen… They will break. Zippers are an amazing thing that most of us don’t pay any attention to — until they get stuck. We use the zippers every single day on jackets, coats, jeans, dresses, coats, bags, slacks, pants, work clothes, skirts, backpacks, purses, handbags, pocketbooks, laptop cases, boots, and more. They are bound to break, fail, or maybe they just won’t zip. If the zipper gets separated, split, stuck, caught, or detached it can be very annoying so you need to be prepared.

Because of our site How To Fix A Broken Zipper, now you know how and when to make necessary repairs to your favorite items and apparel, and not let a tiny little zipper keep you from enjoying your stuff. But to be prepared it makes sense to have some zipper parts ready for any emergency zipper situation that might arise.

ZIPPER PARTS and REPAIR KITS

There are zipper supplies specifically made for clothing, and others for more heavy-duty use such as tents and sleeping bags. Be sure to get the kind that you need, or get them all to be prepared for any broken zipper in your household.

Here’s what you need for zipper parts for a simple home repair kit:

      1. Assorted weights and types of sliders and stops for a wide range of fixes. Replacing the slider very often is a great way to save time and money, especially if the rest of the zipper is fine. Some of these kits have the heavier quality YKK zippers, which might be an exact copy to replace the original on your clothing.

2. To make a zipper, you can buy zippers on a roll — usually three yards — in various colors. If you make pillows, home items, jackets, vests, or other items — you’ll be glad to always have a roll of heavy duty zipper reel on hand.

3. You can buy the zipper pulls as separate kits. The click-on commercial repair kits snap permanently in place, so it’s good to have a few of these around for those items of clothing or whatever that lose their zipper pulls altogether.

4. Zipper pulls are also available in oversized cord, ring-shaped, or loop versions which is great for heavy jackets, coats, or sleeping bags. Who wants to remove their gloves in winter just to zip up a coat? Some of these zipper pulls don’t replace the original but rather loop into what’s there to make it faster to open or close – or just simpler to open if you have big hands, arthritis, or whatever.

For those who are ready to fully replace a zipper if they need too — it’s best to have several full replacement zippers and zipper tapes on hand. There are many different styles of zipper tapes you might need. Consider a 100% polyester zipper tape used in ski pants, parkas, and winter coats – with a molded polyester zipper with polyester teeth that won’t freeze or corrode in inclement weather. Or maybe you need a sheer zipper with knitted tape and a very small flexible coil of teeth to use with taffeta, satin, silk, for seamed and bodice-style tops, or bustiers. Or maybe you just need to replace a zipper in your favorite denim jeans — those are easily cut to size.

Always be prepared with zipper parts, or complete zipper emergency replacement kits for the next time your zipper is broken. They are inexpensive, and will save you a trip to the seamstress.

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Different Types Of Zippers

There are many different types of zippers. Metal zippers and plastic zippers. Some zippers make a statement and some zippers are meant to be invisible.

This article tells you all about the different types of zippers and there uses. Let’s get to it.

Different Zippers:

Invisible Zippers – These zippers have a secret. The teeth are actually hidden behind the tape. If you think about the clothing that would use something like this, skirt, dresses, and other designer clothes come to mind. The color of the tape is the same as the clothing itself, as well as the slider, which makes the zipper invisible because it is the same color. The invisible zipper has also been used for rescue services and the military. The speed of the zipper makes life a lot easier.

Coil Zippers – If you could sum up what zipper sells the most in the world, it would be the coil zipper. Coils are the track or teeth that the tab (slider) run up and down to open and close. All coils have two basic designs. the first design is spiral. The coils form a spiral with a cord running up and down the inner part of the coils. The other, “Ladder Form”. The primary material used to make these coils is polyester.

Metallic Zippers – Every pair of jean today either has or has heard of the metallic zipper. Just reading the name makes a picture of the zipper pop in your head. This zipper is different from a coil zipper. The difference is in the teeth. All the teeth are actually metal pieces that are formed to together on the tape to make a consistent interval between them. You may be asking what metals are used to make the metal zipper? The simple answer is all of them; Nickel, brass, aluminum is just a few. All the metals are made from flat wire. Since there are only a few companies that have the ability to make the wire, it is usually only used for expensive jeans.

Plastic-Molded Zippers – These zippers are copy cats. They look and act just like metal zippers except the teeth are plastic. Another difference that makes these zippers very desirable is the diversity. These plastic zippers can be made to fit any color where as metal zipper have to be painted.

Open-Ended Zippers – Jackets often use this zipper. The “box and pin” mechanism takes the two sides and locks them into place. These zippers can be made out of any of the zipper types discussed here.

Closed-Ended Zippers – These zippers are used primarily in luggage. It works well because they close the bag on both ends keeping the things inside.

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Repair your Broken Zipper

IMAGE CREDIT: DION

It can be quite easy to repair your broken zipper. Read on and discover how you can learn this skill.

Did you ever have one of those zippers that would come apart after you zipped it up?

Many years ago I had a zipper split on my backpack. I went and had it replaced. The place I took it to did a poor job and did not align things very well. A few years later the zipper started to separate again (chronic over stuffing). I was intending to take the backpack into another place to repair it but then I read a book and one of the things in the book was how to repair zippers.

I tried it and it worked. I still have that backpack after over 35 years.

Over the years I have shown over 50 people how to repair their own zipper. Someone would come into the store and I would notice that their zipper was not working. I would then ask if I could repair it for them. I was able to repair all but one of them.

The other day I came across this article and video describing how this person does it. I did it slightly differently.

First, read the Treehugger article and watch the videos and then I will tell you what I did differently.

All good?

In the video, he does the repair on a nylon zipper. He mentions that nylon zippers are somewhat forgiving. When you have a metal zipper of a heavy duty plastic zipper it is a bit different. I always slide the zipper to the very beginning. That way all the teeth in front of the zipper/slider. If for some reason both sides don’t line up when you are at the beginning and one side of the zipper has an excess of material/zipper you need to fix that first. What has worked for me is to pull on the side with the excess material below the slider so that the first set of teeth are evenly matched up. (This is harder to write than to demonstrate).

So now you have the slider at the beginning of the zipper and all the teeth are aligned. I take a pair of pliers and compress the rear of the slider – just a bit. As he mentions in the video you don’t want to overdo it. If you do make it too tight I have had some success in taking a knife and spreading the trailing end of the slider apart a bit. Sliders can handle some amount of crimping and prying but not too much.

Try it. Does it slide nicely? Do the teeth hold together?

In a pinch, a hammer will work but it is not very easy to gauge how much you are crimping the slider. So use caution when this happens. If you are in the backcountry this a rock and your knife might have to be your tools.

Broken Zipper

These are some damage that you can’t repair using this method. See the photograph to the left. In a pinch, you can just sew up the zip from the break down so that it is sealed shut. To protect the thread you could install some zipper stops above your quick repair (they will cost you about 10 cents each and you just crimp them in place).

 

In most cases, there is no need to replace the zipper or to throw away the garment. You can repair your broken zipper.  You will be saving some of the earth’s resources when we repair things instead of throwing them away and honouring the people that produce them.

If you would like to be shown how to do this just stop by the store and ask me to show you.

It is a rewarding skill to have when you can repair something.