Knowing how to fix a broken zipper is a skill people take for granted because we are now used to everything being instant. At the sight of a broken slider or a separated zipper, many go to a tailor right away and are more than happy to spend money just to have a little trouble fixed.
If not for the tailor, I know these clothes will never see the light of day again and most probably will go straight to the trash or to a donation box. Well, you never have to let these things happen again with these easy steps on how to fix a broken zipper.
How to Fix a Broken Zipper
You will need:
- A pair of pliers
- Thick thread – This is thicker than regular sewing thread, often used for buttons.
Step 1: Remove the bumper.
Using a pair of pliers, detach the metal bumper from the bottom of the zipper. With a little bit of muscle, you’ll be able do it. Pull the zipper down, and stop just before you reach the last teeth. Don’t remove the zipper completely.
Step 2: Arrange the teeth.
Using your hands, straighten out the teeth of the zipper. The goal here is to remove all sticky teeth on one side of the zipper. After doing this, you may now pull the zipper up, stopping halfway. Watch out for teeth that are locked together. Fix them as you go along..
Step 3: Once they are straight, let’s stitch it up.
Now, stitch up the spot where the metal bumper used to be. A thread should now be in its place. Although this can’t just be any thread because it needs to be able to withstand pressure and strain which were the problems to begin with. At least six stitches should replace your metal bumper, so sew as much as you need to achieve this. Take your time sewing and use as much thread as you need until the replacement thread is strong enough to last another round of wear-and-tear. Finish it off by tying thread into a knot on the zipper’s backside.
Step 4: Zip it Up.
Zita Memory 4 – Zippers can be tricky devils! I'm having one replaced on a wedding gown even as I write this. It reminds me of one of my favorite Wedding Rescues for our bridesmaid, or as we affectionately call it, Bridal 911! One particularly busy Saturday afternoon, I answered the phone to find a bridesmaid for one of our brides trying to maintain control but clearly under duress. You see, this was the Zita Bride's wedding day, and, in fact , the wedding had been a fabulous success earlier in the day. After pictures, however, all the Maids had returned to the @thepfisterhotel to relax prior to the reception. In an effort not to wrinkle the dresses, they had taken them off and hung them in the closet. When they went to redress, one of the zippers seemed to stick. (Sticky devil…) Their efforts to get the zipper to close had only made it worse, because now the zipper was busted below the slide. This bridesmaid was trapped with an unwearable dress stuck around her waist like a life preserver! Neither going up or down, this was a fashion disaster!! So…. Who do you call?!? Team Zita!! The entire group of beautifully dressed bridesmaids walked across the street to the salon. With a little bridal salon hocus pocus and the miracle worker of alterations, we were able to remove the dress, fix the zipper, recombobulate the bridesmaid and send the girls on their way. Just anotherSaturday at the Salon! No one had told the Zita Bride about the mishap, and to this day I'm not sure she knows. Or does she? 🤔Can anyone confirm? #countdowntoclose #brokenzipper #bridal911
Now, your zipper is good to go! Pulling it up should feel as smooth as a brand new purchase. No more failed attempts at tugging at that zipper. Since you can’t avoid accidents forever, here’s an easy remedy for when your zipper breaks again. Use a seam ripper (or any razor blade should work) to undo the stitching and repeat all the steps above.
Check out this video from TVProductsUSA for more tips on how to fix broken zippers
Now while knowing how to fix an entire zipper or even a broken zipper pull isn’t going to save you from things like hurricanes, riots, or terrorist attacks, it will help you get quite a bit more mileage out of your clothing. This alone will save you a ton of money in the long run, and when the store’s aren’t open it will keep you fully clothed! I recommend keeping a zipper repair kit in the house or car at all times as well. No need for another replacement zipper
Do you have other handy tips for fixing a broken zipper? Let us know in the comments below!
Up Next: Fixing Backpack Straps and Zippers while Outdoors
Editor’s Note: This post was first published in August 2013 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.