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Topic: Broken parka zipper - fixable or time for a replacement?  (Read 950 times)
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« on: November 14, 2012 10:12:24 PM »

The zipper on my parka lost its slider a couple of years ago. It has snaps also so I used those, and that worked for last winter, which was mild. Now we're heading into more cold weather and I would like a parka with a zipper that works, to help keep the wind out better. I was going to just buy a new parka but before I spend the money I thought I'd ask about repairing the zipper first.

I found a video that made it look like replacing the slider was easy. But after checking my parka I found that not only is the slider missing but it looks like the bottom piece on one side is broken as well. Also, I've read that sliders come in different sizes - they're numbered - and you have to match the size. I can't do that because I don't have the original slider.

I do lots of crafts but sewing isn't one of them, so I'm not up to replacing the entire zipper, especially with this one being one of those separating kinds. I did ask a tailor about it but she wanted more than $30. If anyone here can suggest a way that I can fix this zipper, or provide a link to instructions on how to do it, that would be great. So far I haven't found anything.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012 02:25:51 AM »

Sounds like you researched repairing the zipper and came up empty.  I don't think I've ever heard of a way to fix the missing bottom bit, which would be essential for a parka.
Some things to consider in replacing the zipper...
is the parka in good enough shape to last a couple more years?  A $30 investment is a lot cheaper than a new parka.
Ask if you could get a discount if you removed the original zipper yourself.  The unpicking is a fussy, boring job that may represent a substantial portion of the replacement cost.  If the zipper tape is topstitched on to the parka (completely visible), it will be easier to remove. If stitched into the seam, or if you're dealing with a down parka, you probably would be better off paying the pro.  I've made down parkas (from kits) and the feathers get EVERYWHERE!

it doesn't sound like you need to be super cheap, but if you did, you could trim off the zipper teeth and tape as close to the seam as possible, then top stitch another zipper into place.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep." - Scott Adams
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012 10:30:53 AM »

I think $30-$40 is a perfectly reasonable price. That's what our local cobbler charges, with price dependent on the length of the zipper and type of coat. A down filled parka would be more expensive than a leather jacket, for example, because you'd need to be careful not to lose a lot of feathers.

Other than that, I think steiconi's suggestion of cutting off the teeth and stitching a new zipper on top would be the cheapest/easiest at-home solution.

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