Over time, a zipper's sliders can become loose. If you pull up the slider and the teeth don't stay closed behind it, the slider should be tightened or replaced. If the teeth themselves are damaged, you may need to replace the entire zipper.
- Hinged or adjustable (not needle-nose) pliers
You may also need:
- Zipper stops, found at fabric stores or MEC
- Replacement slider
- Needle and thread
- Move the slider to the bottom of the zipper.
- Put the pliers around the slider, so that the pliers are gripping it from the inside and outside of the garment (you may need to undo some stitching). Needle-nose pliers will place uneven pressure on the slider, and can wreck it.
- Gently squeeze the left side of the slider, then squeeze the right side. Test the zip. You may have to re-squeeze the slider until the zipper functions, but avoid squeezing so hard that you jam or break the zipper.
- If the zipper does not separate at the bottom (ie, the fly on a pair of pants), a few teeth at the bottom may not properly engage. To fix this, install new bottom stops, or sew the teeth closed.
For zippers that do not separate at the bottom you may need to open the seam and remove the bottom stops, or cut away the bottom half inch of the zipper. For zippers that separate at the bottom, such as a jacket, remove one or both of the top stops.
- Zip the slider off the end of the zipper where you removed the stops.
- Place the two ends of the zipper teeth into the front two openings of the slider.
- Holding the teeth together, move the slider up or down the zipper. It may require a few tries to get it sliding evenly.
- Once the slider is operating, attach new bottom or top stops. If necessary, sew the bottom of the zipper closed and re-sew any seams required.