Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Striped Zippers and More! (Answers to Reader Questions)


My zipper-ordering workstation

Is it Sticky?

Thanks so much for the comments on my moto jacket! I have been wearing it almost every day and enjoying it very much. As you know, this is a faux-leather-embossed-croc fabric and a few of you have asked, "Do you get hot and sticky when you wear it?" The answer is... not a bit!!! Perhaps if I lived in a humid climate, it might be, but then I doubt I'd wear it in humid weather. It is a great jacket for cool, but not seriously cold, weather. It's perfect for your average day in San Francisco where it's usually in the 60s, plus or minus.

Teflon Zipper Foot

I also mentioned on my post that I used a Teflon foot and a Teflon zipper foot to sew the jacket. A few of you asked where a Teflon zipper foot can be obtained. I have a Teflon zipper foot for my old Bernina 930 actually made by Bernina. But, if you don't have (or can't get) a brand-name Teflon zipper foot for your machine, why not buy a generic Teflon zipper foot?

The sewing machine shop that I use to service my machines is Ray's Sewing Center in San Jose, which I originally posted about more than a year ago. (Yes, I drive from San Francisco to San Jose for sewing machine repairs, he's that good.) They have a snap-on Teflon zipper foot in stock that works on most modern machines. If you have an older machine, they can order either a high-shank or low-shank Teflon zipper foot for you. If you want to buy the snap-on shank foot, but your machine isn't a snap-on shank machine, you can buy an inexpensive adapter (Ray's can also help you with that). The adapter will work with any snap-on foot, so it's multi-functional.

If you need a regular Teflon foot, they can help you with that, too.

(Ray's phone number is (408) 295-6901.)

I highly recommend that you have these feet in your sewing arsenal!

Striped Zippers

Striped zippers!

Several of you also asked, "WHERE CAN I GET STRIPED ZIPPERS!" Well, maybe you didn't quite yell it like that, but I heard you, loud and clear. I am also a zipper-lover, so I understand how frustrating it is to see great zippers on RTW clothing, but not be able to find them in the sewing stores.

Glitter zippers

So, let me share a WONDERFUL resource with you. I planned to blog about this resource an entire year ago, but I got distracted. I do that sometimes. Remember when I posted about Zipperstop? I still like Zipperstop, but I found another resource that has an even bigger variety of zippers, including striped zippers.

Rhinestone zippers

I decided that, before I was going to write a post about this place, that I would take a field trip there. This zipper factory is located in South San Francisco.

South San Francisco is not part of San Francisco - in fact, there are two towns in between them. (But that's just how dedicated I am to my blog readers! I am happy to take a field trip on your behalf.) South San Francisco is where the San Francisco airport is located. There is a lot of industrial business in that area, including a ZIPPER FACTORY.

J.N. Zipper Office in South San Francisco

This place is called J.N. Zippers and I had a lot of fun visiting them recently. They are not a store front, but a business office, so I called first and asked if I could walk in and see (and buy) zippers. The building has a small office, and is backed by a warehouse/factory. In the office they have a desk with binders.

Binders of zipper samples.

Swoon.

Jumbo Snaps

Cord Stoppers

I was the only customer there and had lots of fun looking through everything. I created an order and Ivy, my contact, ran back into the factory to see if they had everything I wanted and how long it would take to fill my order, since I requested a few custom zippers.

My zipper-ordering workspace

Scalloped zipper

Zipper pulls

I still like Zipperstop, because YKK zippers are great quality, but there is a much greater variety at J.N. Zipper, and their zippers are also great quality. They have striped zippers, zippers with giant teeth, glow-in-the-dark zippers, glittery zippers, transparent zippers, rhinestone zippers. You need a camouflage zipper? They got that!

Camouflage zipper

It is a bonanza of zipper goodness.

For a small fee, they will customize a zipper for you - they can shorten it, or change out the zipper pull. They currently do not offer this on the Zprz website, so you need to call them to request this service.

Here are some linkies:

Transparent zippers

One other warning. When I was there, they told me that they are currently out of long striped zippers and have re-ordered them. It may take a couple weeks to get them in, but they will get more in.

Enjoy! I am always happy to enable! :)

Proud owner of a 2013 J.N. Zipper calendar, full of cute baby animals.

31 comments:

  1. I am SO GLAD you took the time to post this as finding special zippers and hardware can be quite the ordeal for us home sewers. Thanks!

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  2. What an excellent field trip!!

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  3. It has been really interesting that yourself and a few other bloggers have recently chosen to focus on zippers. I have just had an interesting experience of the zipper variety. My niece is here in CA on vacation and brought a pair of jeans for her favorite aunty to repair the zipper. She started out by telling me that she bought another zipper so I could just replace it, not a good sign. I was explaining that this was not a good option but after looking at the zipper, I realized if I could knock out a couple of teeth at the bottom, I could get the zipper back on and just make the bottom of the zipper higher. Now that it is a long story, I will get to the point. In the process of repairing the zipper, I mentioned that she probably had it in the locked position and pushed too hard, dislogding the tooth that let the zipper disconnect. "What do you mean, locked position?" she said. Now I had a number of onlookers attention, so I demonstrated a locking zipper. Up, locked, out, unlocked, down locked. They were amazed, not one of them knew there was such a thing as a locking zipper. I think we need to get the word out.

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    1. Maureen, good for you to educate folks about locking zippers! And, for the record, I would NEVER ever replace a jeans zipper. I used to take my daughters' jeans to the local dry cleaner and pay $12 to replace a broken zipper. It was totally worth it, to me.

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  4. OMG, what a fabulous resource! Many thanks for this post!

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  5. Shams, this is the most fun post I've read in eons! Thank you, for all you do for us. Is there an award we can nominate you for? ;)

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  6. You went the second mile (and it sounds like it was fun:)!. Back in April my husband and I took a little detour through the industrial section of South San Francisco when our GPS had trouble navigating back to the rental car place. If only I had known to look for a zipper factory....

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  7. Bless you Shams for the wonderful info!

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  8. Wow, thats for this. Not sure if I will ever order but you just never know :)

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  9. Oh my! Oh my! So many choices! Too many choices? I suppose, with good planning one need never make do with a zipper that's less than perfect for the application. Thank-you for this wonderful information.

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  10. I bought some fabulous rhinestone zippers from them last year! And they were so nice and so responsive! What a great report of your field trip to South San Francisco! Did you get to see how they make zippers in the factory? I confess I'd love to see a zipper making operation in person!!

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    1. Yes, up until now I've mail ordered from their site. I didn't go into the factory, but I looked into the factory just as I was leaving. It was big and kinda dark, so I couldn't see much. :)

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  11. woooou!ojala tuvieramos aquí algo parecido, disfrutaré mirando.

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    1. Thanks, Tess! I don't speak Spanish, I'm sorry to say, but google translate was helpful. :)

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  12. Why, oh why, didn't I learn about this place before my mom decided to sell her south city house? I could have visited them every time I saw my mom. Thanks for the trip report.

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    1. OH NOOO!!!!!! That is sad, BadMomGoodMom. By the way, I was JUST thinking about you! I'm making a jacket and seriously considering using that silk you picked up for me down in LA as the lining. :)

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  13. Yay! Support local businesses! Thank you, Shams!

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  14. Oh wow. You're such a good zipper enabler. Thank you for your research. I would have been too excited to look at all those options. Possibly hyper-ventilated even.
    They sound like a very good company to keep in contact with too.
    Thanks Shams.

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  15. I just noticed an ad in....Threads?...I think it was Threads... for Zprz.com. Thanks for the info about looking at their wholesale site, too. Once again, you are very generous with your time. Lots of very intriguing information here.

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  16. Oh how exciting! Thank you for uncovering an excellent resource and all the necessary details.

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  17. Great resource! I will have to keep them in mind for when I have a fabric/notions budget again.

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  18. Ooooh! Pretty...shiny. Thanks for investigating and reporting such wonderful information!

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  19. Oh, I LOVE those kind of trips! I'd rather do that than go to any mall. Thanks for all the info!

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  20. hey right in our own backyard, what a find.

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  21. Couldn't you just get into SERIOUS trouble at a place like that???!!! Amazing zippers - love all the pulls and neat things. I can see it now...I'd have stocks of unique zippers that would cunningly sit among my fabric horde...;) I like that idea!

    Thanks for the great post and the wonderful new sources!

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  22. Thank you for this EXCELLENT post...you are definitely the Zipper Queen!

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  23. Wow!!! I could make some fabulous envelopes out of that zipper catalog! Hum......wonder if I could get one. And the stripe zippers are super cool. You always make me wish I could sew. That field trip to South City sounds like fun.....

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  24. Fantastic post! May I please put a link to this post in the next PenWAG newsletter?

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  25. Thank you for sharing....I will make a trip down there one of these days when they get the striped zipper back in stock! What a fun field trip!

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