Fixing a Zipper Pull

December 11, 2018

That heart-wrenching moment when your zipper tab breaks. It’s all over from there. This beloved pair of pants or jacket no longer closes and flaps openly. I see this as the ultimate despair, a moment where something as small as a zipper leaves me unable to dress.

If it’s the zipper track pulling away from the seam, that’s a job for a sewing machine. I’ll follow up with that when I learn how to fix that myself since normally at that point, I let that hoodie go. Time served.

Instead of paying thirty-forty dollars for a tailor to replace a simple zipper tab, here’s what you’ll need.

  • a pair of snub-nosed pliers
  • a small flat-head screwdriver
  • a replacement zipper pull tab

Pro Dad Tip: salvage your replacement zipper pull tab from another old zipper.

It’s important to check that your replacement zipper is the correct size. Too small, and it won’t slide properly and too large…it also won’t slide properly.

The key to this task: Pull off the loop at the top of the slider.

From here, you can slide the broken zipper right off the track and thread the new zipper pull right on. Attach your new loop or reattach the old if you don’t pry it too badly to reseal the end of the track.

Line up your new zipper and try it out! You may have to replace the corresponding loops on the other side to ensure your new zipper isn’t an exact replica and needs to mesh together properly.

Does the sound of a zipper remind anyone else of camping?

What to do if your zipper isn’t exactly perfect

Who am I to demand perfection from you? This blog is called Katie’s Common Sense and I am certainly not perfect. You’ve all seen my About page.

If your new zipper isn’t sliding as smoothly as your old one, here are a few tricks:

  • Metal file: You can file open your zipper a little bit so that it slides more smoothly.
  • Flathead screwdriver: Who owns a metal file? Gently pry the zipper open a little more but be careful not to go overboard and damage it.
  • Wait it out: The zipper will run more smoothly over time.

Happy zipping!

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