How to Repair a Jacket Zipper
Salvage a few more years out of your favorite jacket with these zipper fixes.
Keyword: zippers, jackets, broken zipper, hiking, backpacking
With all the abuse zippers take, it’s no wonder they sometimes fail. Many manufacturers repair or replace a zip free of charge if the jacket is under warranty. But you can also correct a range of problems without sending your shell away for 6 weeks. Try these quick field repairs and more durable home remedies to get your zip sliding again. To prevent future problems, vacuum or brush the teeth and apply a silicone lubricant after each big trip.
What You’ll Need
- McNett Seam Grip
- McNett Tenacious Tape or other waterproof tape
- Multitool with pliers and knife
- Weights (hardcover books)
- Baby powder
Split Zipper Track
- Pull the slider through the split and back to its origin. Use force if necessary.
- Advance the zipper toward the split while pinching the slider with pliers to push the teeth back into alignment.
- Test the zipper action and repeat the process until it moves smoothly.
- Realign the mangled teeth with the blade of a knife.
- Run the zipper over the repaired teeth while pinching the slider with pliers to reinforce the alignment.
- Turn the jacket inside out and place it on a flat surface.
- Use weights to hold down both sides of the tear, pulling the fabric taut.
- Apply thin layer of Seam Grip to the rip. Avoid gumming up the zipper track.
- Cover the seam with blank paper and add weights to secure the bond and prevent bubbles. Let dry 24 hours, then remove any glued-on paper.
- Reinforce the seam by laying a strip of waterproof tape along the tear.
- Brush the tape edges with Seam Grip. Wait 24 hours, then dust the seam with baby powder for a nonsticky surface.