Let's talk about zippers for a minute.
I love zippers, but am bored by functional, utilitarian zippers that lack design interest. I've been ordering zippers for awhile now from ZipperStop in the garment district, which sells YKK zippers. It can be overwhelming to face the choices they offer and, still, most of their zippers are fairly vanilla. They are wonderful quality, yes, but the zipper tape, the zipper pull... it doesn't inspire excitement.
I needed a lightweight separating zipper for a current project and decided to order from ZipperStop. If you look at their offerings, they have a page of zipper pulls. It was not clear to me how this works. How does one swap out a zipper pull? I decided to give them a call.
I spoke to a woman, Barbara, at ZipperStop who really knows her stuff. She explained to me that I could change the zipper pull myself or they would do it for me.
They charge $1 to customize a zipper, which includes shortening it, but they will also swap the pull for the same $1. So, if you want a 14-3/4" zipper with a ring pull, they will charge you $1 total to modify it, on top of the price for the zipper and the pull. However, you might want to phone in such an order. If you do use the website, select "shorten for $1" and then explain what you want done, even if it's just to swap out the pull. (But don't forget to also order the pull.)
I ordered the YKK color card. I've been meaning to forever, but had been holding off because, at $35, it's not cheap, but I am so glad I bought it. It has over 400 snippets of different colors of zipper tape. I will be able to use this with any vendor that sells YKK zippers.
I ordered a few sample zippers to try out the zipper pulls. I really wanted a lightweight (#3) zipper for this project, but they do not offer fancy pulls for #3 zippers. Most of their pulls are for the medium weight (#5) zipper. So I ordered a selection of 18" and 20" separating zippers, both brass and aluminum teeth, with three different pulls: foxtail, ring, and donut. I also ordered the lightweight zippers in 18" and 20".
Top to bottom:
The prices for these zippers are quite reasonable!
- #3 (light weight) molded plastic separating zipper, 18" ($2)
- #3 (light weight) molded separating zipper, 20" ($2.10)
- #5 (medium weight) aluminum separating zipper, 18" w/ ring slider ($5.10 total)
- #5 (medium weight) brass separating zipper, 18" w/ foxtail slider ($5.25 total)
- #5 (medium weight) brass separating zipper, 20" w/ donut pull slider ($5.30 total)
I phoned my order in on Thursday morning. Barbara was incredibly helpful - fabulous customer service and they really know their zippers. The package arrived on Saturday by priority mail. I like my new zippers though, unfortunately, the medium weight is really too heavy for my project, so I will be using the lightweight zipper, sans interesting pull. I will just have to console myself with a superior zipper at a reasonable price. ;)
At the same time, I also ordered some zippers from a couple different sources, so there will be more zipper talk!