Tuesday, February 5

Replacing zip in lightweight cycling jacket

Elder Son brought me a couple of mending jobs at the New Year when he and his wife came to stay. One was to replace the zip in his lightweight cycling jacket. The pin at the bottom had broken and although sometimes this can be replaced I didn't think it was possible with this zip.

Here's the jacket with the new zip in -

I had to shorten the zip at the top and couldn't manage to replace the metal stop that I'd removed, so I created a stop by stitching over and over each side with thick thread, and then put superglue over the top for good measure!

The story behind my choice of zip.....

I searched and searched the internet (and my local shop) for a lightweight, open end, nylon coil zip, which was what the original zip was. It was also very narrow, with teeth about 2-3mm in size. That measurement gives you the size of zip.

I could have used one of these fairly ordinary YKK zips, but they are a size 5 i.e. 5 mm teeth. They also only have a short pull, although it would have been easy enough to have attached something to it to make it easier to get hold of with gloved hands.

The nearest I found to the original size was -

this one from Kleins in London

but it would have cost £11.40 including postage! It may well have been worth it, as the jacket has probably got years of wear in it yet, but in the end I went for this slightly unusual zip. It was a lot cheaper, had a nice long silver pull, and looked as if it would suit the jacket nicely. I say slightly unusual because the teeth are not fixed individually to the zip tape, as is usual, but instead seem to be fixed to something else which is then stitched to the tape, hence the white stitching which you can see in this photo -

The blue stitching is mine -

Elder Son is pleased with the new zip. I just hope it proves to have been the right choice and lasts a long time. I always enjoy jobs like this as I learn something new every time. Included in my research was trying to find other repairers who do this sort of job, particularly those who deal with outdoor and sports clothing, partly to see if I could glean any information about what zips they used, and partly to see how much they charge (Son is paying me in port though...... a tipple Husband and I enjoy!!). However I couldn't find any that specifically mentioned replacing zips in jackets of this sort. One in the US even specifically said that they did not do this! Maybe I'm onto a winner....