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Can Broken Zippers Be Repaired?


Picture it: you're wearing your favorite pair of jeans or your best jacket, and the zipper breaks. Heartbreaking for sure, but is your garment necessarily ready to be tossed? Absolutely not! While zippers can be a bit tricky to repair, it can be done with a little skill and know-how.

The question is, what should you do about your broken zipper? Should you study a few YouTube videos on "zipper repair," or should you just take your garment to a professional who can repair the zipper and tackle this cumbersome task for you?

To help you decide, here are some tips on how zippers can be fixed.

Fixing Split Zippers

One of the most common issues with zippers is that they can split easily. You may be able to fix this problem by taking the old slider of the zipper and bringing it to the top of the zipper using a seam ripper to get rid of the stitching. The zipper stop will then have to be removed.

Once you get the slider off, slide a new one in its place from the top, ensuring that the glider's nose is pointing toward the zipper top. Then, you'll need to attach a new zipper stop at the top of the zipper so the slider can't be removed.

Fixing Missing Zipper Teeth

If any of the teeth of your zipper are missing, you'll have to remove the bottom zipper stop and the tack at the bottom of the zipper. Turn the garment inside out and remove the stop with a seam ripper. Replace it with a bigger bottom stop that covers the zipper's missing teeth, making sure to push the bottom zipper stop's prongs into the material above the old zipper stop.

Using a pair of pliers, close the prongs to make sure it stays in place. Turn the garment back right side in and stitch to re-attach the bottom part of the zipper.

Fixing a Broken Zipper Pull

If the pull is broken on your zipper, the best solution is to replace the zipper pull. If you're fine with not using an actual pull, you can use any number of temporary replacements, including a safety pin, keyring, or paperclip. Simply slide it through the slider's tab to attach the new pull to the zipper.

Fixing a Stuck Zipper

Fixing a zipper that's snagged on the fabric may be annoying, but it's a relatively easy fix. An easy way to rectify this issue is to rub the tip of a pencil on the teeth of the zipper repeatedly until the material becomes loosened and the zipper is no longer stuck. If that's not successful, you can try lubricating the teeth with some soap as you slowly inch the zipper down and continuously reapply the soap.

Take Your Garment to a Dry Cleaner For Repair

If the zipper needs to be replaced completely, your best bet is to have a professional do this job for you. A zipper that cannot be repaired will need to be replaced, and this can be a tricky job. Luckily, you don't necessarily have to go to a tailor to have this fixed, as dry cleaners are known to tackle alterations like this all the time.