Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Textile Tuesdays : #14 Zippers

Something we take for granted when we get dressed, crawl into a tent, or sew things like bags - closing two pieces of fabric together for modesty or security - is the amazing zipper! This little device that we are lucky to have is the result of several weak attempts over almost 80 years. The first version was patented by the same man who invented the sewing machine! However, zippers were not used in clothing until around 1930 - not very long ago. Here is a link to the whole story.

Nowadays, zippers come in various colors, materials, sizes and functions. You can get nylon, plastic, brass, or other metal. They can be invisible, separating, or fixed ended. I recently saw the cutest zipper ever from Japan (of course) and I can't wait to get some and use them in my bags. They have lacy scalloped edges so you sew them on top instead of under the seam.

This exposed zipper style seems to be a growing trend. Along with unfinished hems and edges, it is a style that makes it easy on the sewer. Everything from evening gowns to blue jeans can sport a big brass zip.

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