How to fix a zipper on a bag

Zippers were invented somewhere between the 19th and 20th centuries, and they were updated until they became what we know today. They changed how we put on our clothes, and we protect our luggage.

They have made dressing up much faster, as we can simply zip up a jacket from top to bottom in a second instead of buttoning it up. But, unfortunately, when they break, they are some of the most annoying things we can encounter.

Let’s see how to fix a zipper on a bag or any piece of clothing.

how to fix a zipper on a bag

How can a zipper break?

The first thing we need to know is that there are different ways in which a zipper can break:

  • The slider comes out of the zipper
  • The zipper gets stuck
  • The teeth won’t come together

Depending on the type of breakage your zipper has, there are different ways to fix it.

How to fix a broken zipper

How to fix a zipper on a bag when the teeth won’t close

One of the things that can go wrong with the zipper is that the teeth won’t come together. That means that, although you run the slider along the zipper, your bag or jeans won’t close.

When this happens, you may see that you may try over and over again and the teeth will remain separate from a specific point every time. This means there is a problem with one of the teeth at this point.

To fix it, you only need a pair of tweezers. Press the teeth gently with the tweezers. Most of the time, the problem is that these teeth “open” and the slider cannot grab it properly, and this will create a mismatch along the rest of the zipper.

How to fix a zipper on a bag

How to fix a stuck zipper

If you have a bag or jacket whose zipper gets stuck at some particular point, the reason may be the same as above.

That is, a tooth may be crooked and needs alignment. Again, press that tooth with a pair of tweezers to re-adjust it and get it going.

However, if your zipper got stuck for the first time and doesn’t want to move forward or backward, the most probable is that there is some fabric in it.

Sometimes, manufacturers want to give your jacket a nice finish to the sides of your zipper, so they create a fold of fabric to which they later attach the zip.

This is a nice technique that can give your items of clothing a nice touch, but when it is not well done, the fabric might get trapped in the slider when you run it along the length of the zipper.

If that happens to be the case, on a first step, pull the fabric gently to the sides of the slider to set it free. That should do for the moment, and the zipper will probably work normally after that.

Just be careful next time you wear that jacket so that it doesn’t get stuck again. If it happens continuously, you might need a full zipper repair.

How to fix a zipper

How to fix a zipper if the problem is not its teeth?
Sometimes the trick mentioned above may not work, as maybe the crooked teeth are not the problem, but still, your zipper gets stuck. Sometimes this seems to happen for no reason.

However, although we don’t know exactly what’s wrong with it, we can offer you a solution for your broken zipper. What you need to do in this case is lubricate the slider so that it will run smoothly on the zip again.

One of the options is using a tiny bit of oil or Vaseline, but the issue is you have to be extremely careful not to stain the rest of the area. In exchange, you can use a pencil.

Sharpen your pencil really well and rub the point on the troublesome teeth and in the gaps between them. The graphite will create a fine layer that will provide a “dry lubrication” to the zipper and will allow the slider to run smoothly again.

How to put a zipper back on

One of the most frustrating moments might be when you pull a slider along the whole zipper and, when you get to the end, it slides off and gets loose and into your hand.

You will end up with a closed bag and a slider between your fingertips. Ugh! Take a breath and read below.

The first thing you need in this case is patience, as it may take a few attempts. Besides, we recommend you ask someone for help.

Ask this person to hold both sides of the zipper firmly in a parallel position, aligning their teeth, and very close. Now, grab the slider and simply slide it along both sides of the zipper itself through the holes on its side.

While the other person is still holding everything in place, slide the piece along the whole zipper to see that everything works well. For this, make sure the zipper sides are not misaligned, or one side will be shorter than the other.

After you have done these a few times, you might even be able to do it on your own, holding the sides with one hand and the slider with the other.

How to put a zipper back on

However, if your slider came out this way, that’s because something is broken. How to fix a broken zipper?

It’s very simple. If you are dealing with a bag, where the zipper has an end on both sides, sew both ends, creating a stop for the slider not to go further than the zipper itself.

If you’re repairing a jacket, do the same, but instead of sewing both sides together, sew them separately, or else you won’t be able to open your jacket anymore.

This seam will create a barrier for your zipper slider and prevent you from having to put it back in place again.

We hope this tutorial has helped you find the solution on how to fix a zipper on a bag or any item of clothing, depending on the problem you have.