How To Fix a Zip - Clothes Doctor

How To Fix a Zip

Zips have seldom changed over time and neither have the problems that come with them. No one wants to say goodbye to a wardrobe favourite because of a broken zip, but many of us find ourselves tossing garments aside with no means of fixing them. Whether your zip is stuck, has teeth that won't close or simply won't stay up, these issues can be surprisingly simple to solve at home. 

Note, when repairing your zip, it's important that you use the correct technique and equipment. Not doing so can cause damage to the zip itself and the garment. 

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Follow one of our three simple solutions to fix your zip and you'll be wearing your wardrobe favourites again in no time... 

1) A sticky zip 

A stuck zip is incredibly common. You may feel the zip is getting caught on fabric or perhaps it is rusted or had debris stuck in the teeth. 

Stuck zip

  1. Check that the surrounding fabric isn't caught in the teeth. Assess for any snags, folds or tangles that may have got caught.
  2. If you find that the surrounding fabric is caught, gently pull it away from the zip, either by hand or with tweezers, to ensure you do not tear the fabric.
  3. Take a graphite pencil and rub both sides of the teeth, focusing on the middle where the teeth intersect. If the zip glides smoothly, wipe off the remaining graphite. 
  4. If the zip continues to stick, use a product with more lubrication. Common household items such as soap, window cleaner, or lip balm will do the trick. 
  5. Add the product directly to the teeth. Gradually pull down the zip, applying more product as you go, and continue to do so until the zip comes all the way down. Keep the product on the zip, avoiding the surrounding fabric to prevent discolouration and staining. 


2) The teeth don't close

Another common problem with zips is that the teeth won't lock together, or keep pulling apart. This can be caused by a number of factors, so you may need to try a few methods to see what does the trick.

Broken zip

  • Check whether any fabric is caught in the zip, and remove with tweezers or by hand if so.
  • If not, take a look at the individual teeth. If any of the teeth are sticking out, move them back into place with a pair of pliers. 
  • If the teeth are straight, there might be an issue with the slider mechanic. Over time the slider can start to come apart and lose grip of the teeth of the zip. With a pair of pliers, apply some gentle pressure to close the slider. 



3) The zip won't stay up 

This is a common problem with zips on jeans, and can lead to an embarrassing situation if not fixed! This happens because the middle section of the zip tends to be stretched, and the pressure can cause the zip to slide back down. 

Broken zip

  • As a temporary fix, attach a key-ring (about the size of a penny) or rubber band to the zip pull and hook to the button on your jeans. 
  • Alternatively, if you find the zip is slippery, coat the top teeth with hairspray to add resistance. 

If you find that your zip, slider, or teeth are beyond repair, you might need to replace the entire zip. For zip replacement just request a quote from our team  - we can repair everything from everyday fabrics to leather and waterproof materials!


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