Zips come in different weights and sizes and can be metal or nylon.  Both materials are as strong as each other.  Nylon zips are usually more flexible and lightweight.

There are three main types of zips; conventional chain or coil zips, open-end and concealed.  Conventional zips and concealed zips are closed at one end, open end zips open completely and would be used for coats or cardigans with an opening down the centre front.  Concealed or invisible zips once sewn in have no teeth visible from the outside of the garment.

Anatomy of a Zip

There are many different ways in which a zip can be inserted or applied to a garment:

Types of Application:
Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 22.05.27


Centred: Generally used at the centre front or back of a garment, at edges of sleeves and cushions.  A conventional zip is used.



Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 22.09.28



Lapped: A conventional zip is used, often in side seam of skirts, trousers and dresses.






Fly-Front:  A conventional zip is used.  This method of application is seen on men and women’s trousers and skirts.



Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 22.09.40



Concealed: A concealed or invisible zip is needed for this application.  Often found on skirts, trousers and dresses.  This is a much more attractive zip application and can be used instead of lapped or centred zips.


Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 22.09.49



Open-end: This requires an open-end zip and can be sewn using the lapped or centred methods.  Often seen on coats and jackets.





Exposed Zip: A conventional zip is used.  The teeth show on the right side of the garment.  This has become quite fashionable on clothing.





See Julia’s videos on the different zip techniques:

Centred Zip

Lapped Zip (Method 1 without sewing the seam first)

Lapped Zip (Method 2 sewing the seam first – you might want to mute!)

Concealed / Invisible Zip

Fly Zip (Easy method)

Fly Zip (Complex method)

Exposed Zip (where there isn’t a seam)


For other videos (not by me) visit:

  1. Centred Zip
  2. Lapped Zip Method 2
  3. Concealed Zip
  4. Exposed Zip – no visible stitching (Tilly’s method on the Orla top)
  5. Exposed Zip – Visible machine stitching, tidy inside (FashionSewingBlogTV)