There is already a good question about fixing a jammed zipper. I have a different zipper question.

A nylon zipper on a favorite pair of shorts will not stay closed. After zipping it up, it looks fine, but will soon open itself up in the middle.

I spoke with a friend who is known to be a talented seamstress, and she said nylon zippers cannot be repaired, and that the zipper will need to be replaced. She said that doing so is a difficult and time consuming task.

Is there a way to fix a nylon zipper with this issue?

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    Definitely a good question, as this seems to happen a lot in my life :) Sep 18, 2015 at 15:59

1 Answer 1


Most likely, no! If a nylon zipper has lost the grip, you'll need to replace it. How difficult and time consuming it is, depends on the clothing. In our family, where my father has been doing upholstery, and my mother is doing embroidering we've changed some zippers.

And those zippers which are changeable, can usually be done in an hour or two. Definition of doable heavily depends on the clothing, and how neatly you want it done.

  • Thanks! To clarify, by "lost the grip", you mean loses its ability to not pop open in the middle? Sep 15, 2015 at 22:21
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    A zipper is made out of teeths gripping each other, when it pops open, like you describe, it's usually because the teeths has worned down and it has then "lost it grip". This can hardly be fixed, as it is kind of hard to 'sharpen' the teeth again (or rebuild the plastic). It's physically damaged.
    – holroy
    Sep 15, 2015 at 22:24

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