Three Different Zippers & How to Install Them

Designer: Marcia Spencer

Instagram: @keechiibstyle




There are many tips and tricks on how to install zippers. In this tutorial I will show you the way I successfully install three different types of zippers; conventional, invisible, exposed zipper.


Materials and Tools:



* Make sure your setting is not to high on your iron when you press your zippers. For plastic and nylon zippers you can run the risk of melting the teeth and warping the zipper. This doesn’t make a very neat zipper opening for your garment.



Conventional Zipper

The conventional zipper is probably the most common zipper and one you may find that you use the most on basic projects. The zipper is usually made of nylon or plastic with woven polyester or cotton tape and coiled teeth.



  1. To install a conventional zipper you will need to finish and sew the fabric edges leaving enough seam allowance to sew the zipper. (usually ½ to ⅝ inch)



2. On wrong side press open seam allowance so that it is flat.



3. With wrong side of fabric face up, lay the zipper face down along the seam allowance. Pin the folded edge close to the zipper teeth on both side.



4. Baste and Stitch about ¼ inch from the zipper teeth using your zipper foot. Carefully cross over the teeth of the zipper and stitch opposite side in the same manner.


    5. Remove basting and clip all stray threads.



    Invisible Zipper

    The invisible zipper makes seams and closures come together so beautifully. If you are looking for a barely there closure this is the best way to go. The coils are attached under the tape making the teeth invisible to the eye.




    1. To install an invisible zipper repeat step 1 for installing a conventional zipper.




    2. Lay zipper wrong side up with zipper open. Pin.




    3. With your zipper foot and zipper open, stitch, using your fingers to uncurl the teeth of the zipper so that you can stitch as close to the teeth as possible.



    4. Repeat step 1-3 for the other side of zipper tape.



      5. Give it a press and open zipper to check that it works properly.




        Metal/Coat Zipper

        Heavy metal zippers, coat zippers and other heavy duty zippers are usually sewn in with exposed teeth. Sometimes as a decorative feature as well. These zippers also are not usually the best choice for delicate fabrics and projects.


        Mostly used mostly for open ended zippers. If you have metal zippers or heavy coat zippers with closed ends you can use the conventional method to install the zipper.



        1. To install an Heavy duty exposed zipper finish edges and fold edges under ⅝ inch on wrong side of fabric for both fabric edges.



        1. With right sides up place pressed edges about ¼ from zipper teeth. Pin.



        1. Stitch fabric to zipper tape front close to pressed edge.



        1. Repeat this method for opposite side of zipper.