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Shortening separable zippers

Whether you want to shorten an existing zipper or you just couldn't get the right length at your favorite fabric store, sometimes it's just very handy to know how to shorten a zipper that's too long.

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How do I shorten a separable zipper?

Divisible zippers are shortened at the top. The first step is to measure the zipper length you need and mark it on your zipper tape.

Shorten metal zipper

Shorten metal zipper

If you have a separable metal zipper , it's best to use a pair of pointed pliers so that you can get to the individual teeth easily. Grab a tooth directly above the new length and carefully pull it out of the zipper tape. Don't worry that the tape could fray or break. It's pretty sturdy and damage doesn't happen that quickly. Pull out all the teeth above your mark over a length of at least 1.5 cm and repeat the process on the other side in the opposite direction.

Shortening a separable plastic zipper

Shorten plastic zipper

If you have a split plastic zipper , use a pair of pliers to cut off the teeth. Proceed in the same way as described above for the metal zipper.

Secure the shortened zipper

The end piece of a metal zipper can be moved relatively easily. To do this, bend the end piece a little and carefully pull it out of the fabric. Now move it to the new position directly above the first tooth and carefully press it together again.

If you don't want to remove the end piece of the metal zipper or if you have chosen a plastic zipper to shorten, you can simply lock the ends with thread so that the zipper does not slip out.

secure shortened zipper

To do this, sew a thick bar on both sides by hand with a thick thread (ideally embroidery thread; the thickness of the thread makes it very quick) just above your first tooth. Tie a good knot and you're done.

Finally, cut off the excess length just above the last tooth you pulled out, so that you can simply fold it back over and continue processing it for your next sewing project.
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