So, in my first edition of Top Tips I am going to talk about zips. Before, and during, workshops questions often come up and "what type of zip should I buy" has come up more than once.
What type of zips are there?
Coil Zips - These are the most common sort and in any good haberdashery you can expect to see a whole stand devoted to them. They come in a variety of lengths and colours and the zip pull runs over coils which attached to lengths of tape on each side. If you look closed you will see that these are not individual teeth.
Can't find a zip short enough? Well as long as the coil is plastic there is no reason why you can't measure the length that you want and then stitch over the coil with your machine at your mark. You just need to ensure that the zip pull is below the mark which means you shouldn't be sewing over the coil where it is joined together.
Invisible Zips - Similar to coil zips but they have the coil on the underside of the tape. Put another way. the tape sits over the top of the coil making it much more discrete and you tend to find that they have a more delicate zip pull. They are perfect for dress and skirt making.
Metallic Zips - Generally used in heavy duty garments and jeans these have shaped teeth rather than the coil formation mentioned above. Due to the metal teeth you can not sew over the ends of them with the machine in the same way that you can the coil ones.
Open-ended zips - These are the those zips that allow you to zip up from the top and bottom and are often found in jackets, coats and gillets. They are very useful as they can allow you to unzip from the bottom giving the ease needed to sit when wearing a bulky item. They can be metal or coil.
Closed-ended zips - As the name suggests these are closed at both ends and are most commonly used in bags and luggage.
Continous Zips/ Upholstery Zips - Upholstery zips tends to come in neutral shades and are that bit longer than zips that you might find in the normal haberdashery section. They need to be so as they may be needed to a variety of larger scale projects. Upholstery zipping comes in different sizes (referring to the size of the coil) and can also come on a continuous roll. Continuous rolls can now be sourced in a range of colours.
This allows you to create exactly the right size for bespoke projects. You should normally find the zipping being sold alongside zip pulls which then need to be fed on to the continuos zipping.
Top Tips number one all done.