Zipper specialists

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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jacob
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Zipper specialists

Post by jacob » Fri May 04, 2018 1:36 pm

My primary jacket(*) is still a northface jacket from 1995 (back when they still made expedition gear rather than fashion statements :evil: ). I already fixed a rip in the arm by opening up the lining in order to get the "bed" of a sewing machine in underneath so I could cover it up with a velcro patch; then closing up the lining again. I've hosed it down with water repellents (the original lasted far longer). However, recently, the double front zipper failed and I'm down to snap button backups :? .

I'd like to replace the zipper. I don't think tearing out the old one and installing a new one is hard. The problem is in finding a replacement zipper. I'd like to imagine zippers (this is a YKK) to be on part with replacing a bolt. The HARD part is making sure I get the same kind and then finding a replacement. This means measuring tooth size, etc.

So how? Where?

(*) That's the same jacket I rant about in the ERE book BTW.

PS: The cuffs have begun to fray a tiny bit. Any ideas of how to cover that up? I don't think a leather trim would look good. I understand that's how Fjallraeven cleverly does their number series these days. I don't think it's an option here. We're talking black nylon/goretex (3 layer) construction. Used to be able to pass for business casual in a pinch.

George the original one
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by George the original one » Fri May 04, 2018 2:39 pm

Take zipper to large fabric store and ask?

jacob
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by jacob » Fri May 04, 2018 2:53 pm

Already tried and failed (albeit, sample size=1). Of course I can always put in a random "good enough" zipper; and this is prob. where this quest will end up.

In the mean time, in my mind, I have some idea of a website where you can specific YKK #10 (or whatever) + double runner (or whatever they're called) + 58cm long ... and just order accordingly. And exact replicant would make the replacement much easier. I can drive a sewing machine but I'm not exactly a wizard here.

ffj
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by ffj » Fri May 04, 2018 3:16 pm

Isn't there only one zipper manufacturer in the world, YKK in Japan? I'm only half kidding here. Surely they have a replacement.

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jennypenny
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by jennypenny » Fri May 04, 2018 3:21 pm

Buy an old north face jacket on eBay that’s similar to yours and use it for parts. Might help with the sleeves, too.

Sclass
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by Sclass » Fri May 04, 2018 5:31 pm

Hmmm. Why does it have to be the same? I cannot see the jacket so I may be missing some requirement. A zipper just joins two pieces of garment. I’ve bought some really good quality Chinese zippers on eBay for pennies. Making a good zipper isn’t a trade secret like it was twenty years ago. If it is two matching zips you can replace both.

If you want good quality $$$ ones you can go to the sailrite website.

Edit - forgot to mention. I just get a zipper that is too long and cut it. Terminate with a metal zipper stop (available from eBay China) and a hot knife (torch on a razor blade).

Colibri
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by Colibri » Fri May 04, 2018 6:06 pm

My 2 cents of advice:

Is it really the whole zipper system the problem or only the zipper slider ?
I am asking because last year I had zipper failure on my winter coat, rain coat and an older camping/yard work jacket. I brought one of them to a local seamstress asking her to replace the zipper. She had a quick look at it and said the zipper was not the problem but rather the slider was getting too old and not properly "zipping" anymore. She replaced the slider on that one jacket for $15 and I did it for the two others, buying good slider at the local fabric shop, very easy job to do. Replacing the zipper was a $80 job...

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon May 07, 2018 11:07 am

It sounds like the jacket you have might be worn out enough that you are going to be constantly repairing it. Sometimes clothes are just done.

A lot of companies are now making jackets that have the technical components of an outdoorsy jacket but the looks of a casual or business casual jacket. I'd recommend searching eBay for a lightly used but like new jacket. I think North Face still makes good stuff. Marmot and Outdoor Research also provide good value. Patagonia and Arcteryx are great but you pay a lot.

jacob
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by jacob » Mon May 07, 2018 12:19 pm

@Colibri - It's a two-slider design. The bottom slider was somehow lost. Not sure how, but I presume it fell off.

@GdP - Definitely getting there .. maybe done in another 10-20 years 8-)

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Zipper specialists

Post by Laura Ingalls » Mon May 07, 2018 9:40 pm

https://www.thenorthface.com/help/warranty.html

I bet they would give you credit towards a new one vs replacing the zipper

I have found outdoor gear companies pretty generous. My Big Agnes sleeping pad started leaking and they sent me new one. My Mountain Hardwear rain shell delaminated and I got enough credit to order a similar one but a newer less crinkily version. Chaco’s replaced the sole of my sandals.

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