How do i convert a normal zipper into a two-way zipper?
February 21, 2008 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Is it possible to convert a normal one-way zipper into a two-way separating zipper?

I've got some jackets that would probably much better if they had two-way separating zippers - the ones that you can zip up fully, but then unzip the bottom so it doesn't become too long and restrictive. Is it possible to convert a normal zipper that only zips up into a two-way separating zipper?

My normal zippers have a tab on the bottom zipper side that, when the zipper is fully zipped up, holds the bottom together. I assume that I would need to remove this somehow to be replaced with the zipper slide that stays on the bottom. Are they removable in some way? Or does this involve resewing the entire zipper?
posted by meowzilla to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total)
My guess is a new zipper would have to be added. You might ask at a local tailor shop, it might cost less than you think to have it done.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:53 AM on February 21, 2008

You cannot convert a closed zipper into a separating zipper. You would need to replace the zipper itself. Separating zippers are sold at fabric stores (or I am sure you can find them online) and your local alterations shop can do the replacement.
posted by happyturtle at 12:46 PM on February 21, 2008

Um you certainly could, as they're nothing more than an everyday zip with two sliders (placed closing ends facing). Some styles of zip lend themselves more readily ie- chunky plastic=good. The metal kind that snags and is prone to biting skin=bad.
BUT you would need an identical slider and it will be a little fiddly. As far as I can see, this is how it would go (Adjust for your style of zip.. but if I had to point that out, :) maybe just give it a miss) -

*Do the zip up.
(With a needle and thread bind a fine line to create a temporary zip stopper end. A couple of cms will do it, definitely less than an inch though. (You may need to manually push a few teeth together you do not want this to be a whole zip!!)

*The stopper piece at the bottom needs to come off.

Once slider #2 is on and functional

*There must be a permenant stopper on one side (It's ok to bodge it up at the time and be meticulous after.)

*The stopper teeth need to be slightly elongated. Melted plastic, a pin - whatever will keep it on track close enough. (Again ok to bodge and come back.)

And now the test! Unzip bottom slider up to the temp-stopper and then the top slider. Does it look right? (Hence the fine line - it shouldn't interfere with this).

Bring any bodge up to code and unpick stopper threads and TA-DA!!

It'll be fiddly but not as tedious as unpicking the stitching required to replace the zip. And because really, if you fuck it up then... Oh nos - you'll just have to um replace the zip?
But :) if you get hold of an identical slider and you can do this *Eye of the Tiger starts up in the background*.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 10:21 AM on February 23, 2008

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