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How to Buy Zippers in Bulk

Zippers are quite possibly the last thing on people’s minds. I’m willing to bet on it. So when it comes time to purchase zippers you have two choices. You purchase one or two pieces from your local sewing supplier or you buy the zippers in bulk.

Given that we’re a manufacturer, we’ll give you some tips on how to buy zippers in bulk so that you can take this information and easily work with any zipper company.

1. Type of Zipper – Know what type of zipper you’re looking to purchase. There are different types of zippers, plastic molded, nylon coil, metal, and luxury zippers. Once you know which type you’re buying for then you need to know the gauge.

2. Gauge of the Zipper – The gauge of the zipper refers to size of the teeth. As the gauge number increases, the size of the teeth will follow suit. Some typical gauge sizes are #2, #3, #5, #8, and #10. An easy way to get an idea of gauge is to measure the width of the zipper teeth with the zipper closed in millimeters.

3. Style of the Zipper – The style refers to the how you want the zipper to function. Is it a separating bottom zipper, closed bottom, two way closed? The most common are a separating bottom, similar to a jacket zipper and a closed bottom, similar to pant closures.

4. Length or Long Chain – When you’re buying zippers in bulk you will have to choose if you want to purchase cut lengths or in long chain form. Long chain form (or continuous chain) is on a roll, typically in yards. Cut lengths are actual lengths of zippers needed (i.e. 4″, 5″, etc.).

5. Tape Color – When referring to the tape, it’s the fabric that the teeth are attached to. Some factories have standard color books to choose colors from and some will also be able to dye custom colors.

6. Slider Type – The slider is the actual piece that moves up and down to open and close the zipper. Some people call it the “car”, which is acceptable. The common types of sliders are locking and non-locking. The difference is that the locking sliders are typically used in a vertical orientation so the slider won’t just fall down. Imagine a hoodie zipper. A non-locking slider is most common on handbags. Think about when you reach into your purse without pulling the slider. You can just spread the bag and the slider will open.

Below we’ve added a Zipper Yardage/Quantity Calculator to help you buy zippers in bulk. Occasionally, zipper manufacturers will have minimums. This calculator will help you figure out how many yards you need if you know the length and quantity. It will also help reverse the formula to help you figure out how many pieces you can make with a certain yardage (long chain).

As I mentioned, zippers are typically the last thing on people’s minds, but now that you’re armed with this information, it will make buying zippers an easier experience for both parties.

Click here to access the Zipper Yardage/Quantity Calculator.