Various items, mostly jackets, need zipper replacements or repairs. Due to the timeframe involved in replacing these zippers, it is not always a “frugal” expense unless it is a jacket in which you really like and has good value. Whenever possible, I will repair zippers that split open with teeth still intact, replace zipper pulls and put on new end top stops.

The way in which I replace zippers, is not in cutting the teeth along the seam, then stitching in place (which is an inexpensive method). I actually take out the zipper, taking the jacket apart, then re-inserting in place so that it looks as closely to the original condition as possible.

Leather coats are more tedious due to how leather stretches. Another aspect to replacements is in accurately placing any cross lines or fabric designs so that they match up nicely.

Since metal zippers are more durable, I tend to replace most zippers with metal replacements for jackets and coats, unless a customer requests otherwise, or also, unless the metal zipper cannot be replaced in the color of preference by the client.

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This snowsuit was in for repair for my grandson. Somehow, instead of 1 or 2 teeth missing, it had 4 missing, requiring a replacement. Had to remove old zipper, while also removing the snap overlay. Once removed and lined up, double checking to make sure the snap section will line up, the zipper was installed. My daughter was thrilled that I had the exact color needed for the replacement, as I told her when I last visited, that a special order would take at least an extra week, but could also replace with what I had on hand. Generally metal, as that is what I use in the many coats that come my way for repair and replacements.

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When a client calls requesting a zipper replacement, my first thought goes to whether I can repair it first. Repairs run between $10-$25 (rarely more) and replacements start at $75 and go up. I asked if she could bring the zipper pull, as the teeth (in this case the coiled zipper) was not damaged anywhere. 

She arrived on time, a little frazzled, because the zipper pull was on the table before she left the house, yet by the time she arrived it was missing. I did not have another “new” pull, but I went through my up-cycling items, and low and behold I had a zipper pull the correct size.

Nothing better than being able to do a repair. It makes the customer feel better, as well as myself, knowing that there was a substantial savings in costs given as well as repair time on my end.

History: Husband was helping to put the cleaned covers back on the couch cushions. Unfortunately, he was putting it on the wrong size cushion, using force, ripping the zipper out of the seam while releasing the zipper pull to its freedom. It needed either a replacement or repair, she was not sure.

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Another zipper replacement, this time a sweatshirt, from a Walking Dead concert. The sweatshirt arrived with missing teeth and the slider. A complete replacement was necessary.

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2018: This jacket was a little more challenging, as to the method in which this quality jacket is constructed. EMS makes quality garments, and with this jacket, they used material that was heat pressed in order to keep the zipper in place, making it a little more difficult to remove. Yet, perseverance won!! My process of zipper replacement begins with removing the zipper by taking out all the stitches in order to remove the old and make room for the new one. Once that is accomplished, the new zipper is pinned in place, yet with this material I also had to use clips in some areas in order to prevent extra pin holes. Once that is done, the zipper is hand stitched in place in order to help keep it in place as I machine the zipper in. Prior to the machine stitching, I will zip the jacket up to make sure any cross seams or other markings line up appropriately. This can be a daunting task, but patience provides the final outcome. Once things are lined up, hand stitched in place, the new jacket zipper is sewn in place. It is again zipped up a few times, double checked to make sure it lines up at the bottom, the top and any cross seams or designs.

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BELOW: Replacing zippers is tedious and time consuming. At least for those who take the jacket apart to remove the old, in order to put a new zipper back in. Marc called from MA requesting I work with him via his shipping me his jacket and replacing the zipper with a sturdy metal replacement because he wanted his old plastic zipper removed. The zipper pull was missing, and the zipper was “tired”. To give his jacket more life, he asked for a strong metal zipper. I used a brass zipper (my preferred option for zipper replacements). In addition, after talking with him, he wanted a zipper that would also unzip from the bottom of the jacket as well. Zipper replacement work is not “cheap” and one wants to be sure things will be in place accurately. One of the tedious part of zipper replacements, is not only getting things removed, then replaced, but when you have sport strips as with the Harley Davidson and reflector stripes, you can end up putting in and taking out a few times due to how the material moves. Another aspect of zipper replacement work, is that one needs to sometimes adjust the length of the zipper so that it fits the same as previous. With metal replacements, this adjustment can be done. So pleased with the end results. A heavy duty zipper, giving my client the flexibility he was looking for (zips up and down) along with a solid closure at the neckline. Stripes all lined up, zipper in place, client approved, and shipped back to my client.

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Safety jacket vest needed a zipper replaced. In doing so I make sure that the stripes line up with the zipper replacement.

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If it wasn’t for a few teeth missing on the zipper, we would have been able to just replace the pull. Unfortunately the teeth were weak resulting in the full zipper being replaced. This is a beautifully made down jacket. No name brand tag could be found anywhere on the jacket and Dan wasn’t aware of the manufacturer. Whoever made/designed this jacket, from construction to design, this is a spectacular coat, well worth the cost of replacing the zipper.

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BELOW: An expensive winter, water resistant, breathable shell, wind protection, with a detachable/adjustable hood coat…a favorite that after a year, the zipper ripped apart at the hip area. With the request to replace the zipper, two suggestions were made: 1. replace the thin plastic zipper with a sturdy brass zipper 2. replace with a 2-way zipper, so that when she went to sit into her car, she could unzip slightly from the bottom, in order to keep the pressure from stretching and pulling the zipper apart again. Results were fabulous!! A stronger zipper and flexibility in closure whether outside with students and cleaning off her car, or sitting down. A favorite warm jacket, now rescued that does not need to be tossed. In addition, for those who have favorite jacket, that are hard to replace, a quality replacement solves that search problem.

BELOW: Heather with her repaired winter coat. New 2-way, metal zipper, and since I noticed that the inner arms of the jacket were pilling, I took care of that for her as well to bring it back to a lovely look.

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BELOW: Not just jackets, dresses too!! Nickki went to wear her dress for a special occasion and the zipper just didn’t want to behave, where it finally broke. In planning for an upcoming special night out this winter, she had me replace the zipper. I like her planning. Nickki doesn’t wait until the last minute to get things repaired or altered. Have fun Nickki!!

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This client had a beautiful leather jacket, yet it was a bit difficult, or rather most inconvenient, when the zipper pull went missing. A new zipper pull was added, saving him some resources in trying to replace this jacket.

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Zipper kept pulling apart and could not be fixed so a new one replaced the broken one.

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These pants were a favorite of one of my clients, yet despite the comfort of corduroy, it was most inconvenient when the zipper broke. A new zipper was installed.

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Zipper Replacement for Earl, of one of his favorite jackets.

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Another new zipper replacement

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Leather coats are expensive to replace, but it is also most common that men are attached to their favorite jackets, more so their leather ones they already invested a lot of money into. Here we needed to replace the metal zipper with a new YKK metal zipper.

Paramedic Jacket zipper replacement

A tigger, fleece, zip-up sweatshirt needing a zipper replacement

Polaris Jacket, new zipper with proper line-up with lettering and markings

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Female, leather, motorcycle zipper replacement. A very pleasant couple, and a very happy client.

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Kitty needing a zipper replacement. Done w/a metal zipper

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Jim – New metal zipper in his leather Navy jacket.

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See below, in how the straight seams going across the jacket, line up quite nicely when the jacket is completely zipped up.

BELOW: When retrieving a winter vest, right before heading out to shovel snow, you discover the joy in realizing that the zipper pull is missing. After the task of snow removal is done, and you pull the vest up over one’s head to remove, you decide it is necessary to find someone to have it fixed. My client decided it was best to make life easier for himself. Before and after pictures of a vest in excellent condition, just missing the pull needed to keep one warm.