Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Zipper Talk - Part 2

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.

Hot dog!

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:
  1. #3 (light weight) molded plastic separating zipper, 18" ($2)
  2. #3 (light weight) molded separating zipper, 20" ($2.10)
  3. #5 (medium weight) aluminum separating zipper, 18" w/ ring slider ($5.10 total)
  4. #5 (medium weight) brass separating zipper, 18" w/ foxtail slider ($5.25 total)
  5. #5 (medium weight) brass separating zipper, 20" w/ donut pull slider ($5.30 total)
The prices for these zippers are quite reasonable!

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!

17 comments:

  1. LOVE these zippers, thanks to you. I agree, their customer service is superb and the speed of their deliveries is awesome. I bought their color chart several months ago and am glad I did. However, I think for some of the more "offbeat" colors, there is a minimum order. I hope I'm wrong...

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    1. Good point, Margy. You are right. For some zippers, a minimum order is 50. For others, it's 25. If it's not something they stock, that is. It's always worth calling them.

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  2. Oh I didn't know they'd add a different pulls! I will be taking advantage of that bit of news.
    thanks!

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  3. Shams, I totally agree - ZipperStop is the bomb! And one idea for customizing your lightweight zipper with a more interesting pull - add a tiny plumbing washer and then you can also add fabric, beads or whatever to dress it up. Have fun!

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  4. I have a thread card like that and pulling it out always makes me smile...now I gotta go get the zipper one! And thanks for explaining about the pulls because I've wanted to change some of mine out but didn't want to do it myself!

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    1. I'm curious, where did you get your thread color card?

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  5. That's really reasonable. Enjoy your zippers.

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  6. Shams, I really appreciate your careful, in-depth coverage of whatever you write about. Your voice of experience is valuable for your readers; it creates confidence for online shopping. "Shopping with Shams" is persuasive!

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  7. Thank you for the summary. If you have not proceeded with your project you might want to contact this South San Francisco place http://www.jnzipper.com/New/index.html . I called them once and it sounds like they will take retail walk-ins with an appointment. I have never visited but I enjoy looking at their zipper selection on the web.

    Rose in SV

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  8. A while back you recommended I try zipperstop for a zip I needed. It was perfect! Thanks for this timely reminder because I'm ready to try that K Tilton T you have made with such success - you know, the one with zips as trim on the collars. Thanks for all the inspiration.

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  9. Great post Shams -- good to know about the more interesting pulls!

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  10. A quick trip to a jewelry findings section may help you create intriguing zipper pulls. A bead on an eyepin, attached to the zipperpull, is easy to make. Chams, you've made me think about making coordinating zipper pulls for my clothing. I don't know whether to thank you or curse you. I am wishywashy in the extreme.

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    1. lol, Temp Mouse. I love your ambivalence!!

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  11. What fun - and a great source! Thanks for posting this. When I finally get good enough to want to call attention to a zipper...I'll definitely remember zipperstop!

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