How To Fix A Zipper That Splits

How To Fix A Zipper That Splits
How To Fix A Zipper That Splits

Learning how to fix a zipper that splits is an essential skill if you don’t want to spend money on new garments all of the time.

Having a split zipper can be the result of many things such as bad weather, or an overfilled bag. A backpack often turns out to be too small in everyday life. The result is that you stuff too much into it.

You can usually close it, but it has to be through force. However, the load that puts on the zipper it often too much. Therefore, you may find that the zipper opens in the middle. It is usually possible to make it work again with a lot of effort, but after a short time, it starts again. A zipper exchange is very complicated, so you should try to repair it if possible.

Fixing A Zipper That Splits

Fixing a split zipper can be a lot cheaper than repurchasing the whole item, so it is always good to know how to fix a zipper that splits, or if the ends come off. However, as with everything, before you can fix it, you need to know how it works.

Construction of zippers

How to repair a broken zipper on anything starts with knowing at least roughly how it works. A zipper consists of 4 different parts:

  • Two bands with metal or plastic serrations or plastic spirals. You usually find the zippers with serrations on bags and backpacks. However, you may find them on other garments, too.
  • A slider: That is the part that serves to interlock the points or spirals of the tapes.
  • One top stopper per band. These are small pieces of metal that prevent you from pulling the slider out of the tapes after closing.
  • A common bottom stopper that holds the two straps together on one side and also ensures that you cannot slide the slider out. There are two bottom stoppers for divisible zippers.
    You can buy these parts individually or as a repair set. There are only stoppers and sliders in the sets. However, you rarely get bands. You only need the latter if you need to sew in a new zipper.

When you move the slider up, it connects the two bands by interweaving the spirals. When you run the slider down, it opens the band back up.

Fixing A Split Zipper

The installation of zippers It is at the production stage of the garment. Therefore, to replace it professionally, you would have to open the backpack almost completely and sew it back together later. Repairing a defective zipper is often possible and recommended in many cases.

Here we will look at the issue that you may find, a possible solution and the equipment that you will need:

The slider is difficult to move:

  • Run a candle over the closed zipper.
  • Move the slider several times over the entire zipper.

The Slider Pushed Upwards:

  • Open the zipper fully.
  • Remove the bottom stopper.
  • Thread the slider from below.
  • Replace all stoppers.


  • Flat screwdriver to release the stopper.
  • Small, needle nose pliers to attach stoppers.

Fixing A Split Zipper If The Slider Pushed Down:

  • Open the zipper fully.
  • Remove the bottom stopper.
  • Thread the slider from below.
  • Replace all stoppers.


  • Flat screwdriver to release the stopper.
  • Small, needle nose pliers to attach stoppers.

Closure Regularly Opens Because Metal Teeth Are Bent:

Exchange required.

Zipper Regularly Opens: Teeth Are Undamaged:

  • Close zipper.
  • Place on a firm surface.
  • Bend the zipper together a little bit.


  • Press the flat screwdriver from above onto the edges of the slide.
  • Hammer to gently tap the screwdriver.

How To Fix A Zipper That Splits If The Teeth Are Missing At The Top Or Bottom:

  • If the full length of the zipper is not needed: move the slider to the undamaged area.
  • Use a stopper or a small seam to prevent you from pushing it into the damaged area.
  • Otherwise, replace the zipper


  • Stopper and pliers or needle and thread.
  • For exchange. – New zipper and sewing machine

repaired zipper

As you can see, there are many things that can go wrong with a zipper. However, there is only one of them that requires replacement of the whole thing. Therefore, you are certainly better to try and repair it if you can. And, let’s be honest, what’s the worst thing that will happen if you cannot fix it yourself? You have to buy a new zipper and replace it.

Well, luckily for you, we have a short guide about how to do that, too.

How To Fix A Zipper That Splits – Replacement

If you can no longer fix a zipper that splits, you will need to replace it. Even that is an enormously cheaper option than buying a new item. If the teeth can no longer be straightened or are missing in an area that you need to lock or open, you must insert a new zipper. Sewing is not tricky, but with bags and backpacks, you often have to untie or cut almost all of the seams.

  1. Unstitch the existing zipper.
  2. Pin the zipper with pins where the broken zipper was. Sew it in with basting stitches and remove the needles.
  3. Put a zipper foot in the sewing machine and open the zipper.
  4. In lockstitch, sew the left side of the zipper half a centimetre from your teeth from top to just before the slider.
  5. Raise the presser foot and move the slider to the top.
  6. Continue quilting with the presser foot down to the bottom of the zipper, turn the fabric 90 degrees, and quilt until you are half a centimetre from the teeth on the right side.
  7. Turn the fabric back 90 degrees to stitch from the bottom up almost to the thrust.
  8. Raise the presser foot to move the slider down again and complete the seam.


When you have a split zipper, you do not have to throw it away automatically. You should always try to repair or replace it if you can. Although that does present a problem when you have a broken one on a waterproof garment. However, you can always replace the waterproof coating after you have replaced the zipper. Providing that you use a waterproof zipper, that is.


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