Did you ever have trouble finding the correct size zipper at the store? Perhaps there is a zipper on hand that is too long? It's easy with these simple instructions to quickly shorten a longer one to fit the size needed.
The video and written instructions will explain how easy it is to shorten a zipper with a needle and thread. If shortening a zipper by machine is desired, see the page on our site for instructions.
Can metal zippers be shortened?
For shortening a metal zipper, it was once thought best to use a pair of pliers. If you want to reattach the metal stops at the top, a flathead screwdriver will also be needed.
However, this tutorial showing how to shorten a zipper by hand sewing is another and much easier way to shorten even a metal zipper.
It is important to remember not to use good fabric scissors to cut off the excess zipper and to cut between the zipper teeth.
Learn how to shorten a zipper by hand by watching the video or reading the written instructions on this page.
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Materials needed to shorten a zipper by hand
- Sewing needle
- Complimentary thread
- Ruler or yardstick
Instructions showing how to shorten a zipper by hand
step 1: measure and mark the desired length of the zipper
Zippers are measured from the zipper pull to the zipper stop. Determine how long the zipper needs to be.
Start measuring the zipper from the pull to the desired length of the zipper using a ruler or yardstick. Make a small mark on the zipper tape at this measurement using the pencil or other marking tool. This will be the shortened zipper length.
step 2: thread the needle to shorten the zipper
For zipper shortening, a needle and thread are used. For the purposes of this tutorial on showing how to shorten a zipper, the thread used is contrasting with the zipper tape. This makes it easier to see where to make the stitches.
When shortening a zipper at home, make sure the thread is a color that matches the zipper tape. Thread the needle to a double thread and secure the thread with a knot at the bottom.
step 3: whip stitch the zipper end
Bring the needle up from the back of the zipper a short distance from the teeth. Pull the thread taut.
Go back down on the other side of the zipper teeth, making a nice tight stitch.
Repeat this five to seven times.
On the back of the shortened zipper, slip the needle under the stitches made.
Secure the thread by making a knot at the back of the zipper.
Clip the threads. This is the new stop on the end of the shortened zipper.
step 4: cut off the excess zipper
Measure 1" to 1 1/2" from the new zipper stop. This is where the excess zipper will be cut off.
Cut across the entire width of the zipper using scissors other than good fabric scissors. Cutting the teeth of the zipper will harm the fabric scissors.
If the teeth of the shortened zipper are metal, cut between a set of the metal zipper teeth.
That is how to shorten zippers the easy way!
Now the zipper has a new stop, right at the needed length.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to shorten a zipper by hand. The next time the right zipper length is not available, simply use this easy method to shorten the zipper.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
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