Zippers are universally used as a type of fastening products that are used when making fabric products, which include garments, outdoor equipment and luggage, even leaving Velcro behind. 

There are a variety of zippers you can find in the market and this can cause some difficulty in finding and selecting the ones you need. The best way to find what you need is to have a basic understanding of the different kinds available. Typically, you will find 4 simple styles, which are open end, closed end, two way closed end, and two way open end. Several materials can be used for constructing a zipper such as metal, coil and plastic. 

Parts of a Zipper

There are five basic parts used in a zipper, but some styles may have additional ones too. All zippers are not made for the same use due to which the designs can vary. The slider, top stopper, tape, teeth or elements and bottom stopper are the five parts found in a standard zipper. 

The additional components used in some zippers are style dependent and can include pins and the retaining box for open end and two way open end zippers. 

Nevertheless, there are three components that all zippers need and their type is irrelevant. These are the elements, slider and tape. 

- Zipper Teeth or Elements: These are metal or plastic studs stuck to the zipper tape. They are usually separated or joined by the slider and connected at the bottom. 
- Zipper Slider: A zipper cannot operate if the size of the slider is not appropriate. There are two parts of a slider-the pull tab and the slider itself. The slider goes up and down the zipper’s teeth in order to separate or join the elements. In some cases, there is a single slider, but in some cases, double slider zippers can also be used. Different zippers work for different purposes and the style of the slider is chosen accordingly. Some types of sliders that are available are pin lock zipper slider, automatic/semi-automatic zipper slider, reversible zipper slider, key lock zipper slider and non-lock zipper slider. These sliders can be grouped into plastic zipper slider, metal zipper slider and nylon zipper slider as well.
- Zipper Tape: Here’s where the teeth are connected. It is used so the zipper can be attached to the bag, garment or whatever thing you want to use it on. Different materials like vinyl, synthetic and cotton fibers and polyester are used for making it.

Zipper Accessories 

Three items are regarded as accessories for zipper and there is a different purpose of each one. 
First is the zipper foot. It is an attachment for a sewing machine needed for sewing zippers into garments, luggage and other products made from fabric. 

A paraffin stick is another accessory that’s useful for the tailor and consumer alike; it lubricates the teeth of the zipper when they are sticking or sluggish. 

Last is the charm that’s placed on the pull tab. You can find them in different designs and colors.