Tell Me About YOUR Bag Zippers Please!!

4/18/2014 11:35:00 AM

I'm doing a bit of research to see what are the most popular zipper colours, because I am "formulating" (mwa-ha-haa!) a plan towards stocking some zippers that will be geared specifically towards bag making. Quality bag zippers seem to be quite hard to find for me locally, and I really have had quite a lot of requests from my lovely customers.

But where to start?  Colours, sizes, pull styles, teeth styles?  It's a bit confusing and it seems that this zipper thing is an all or nothing kind of thing.  I just can't have a few, but if I'm going to start somewhere, I need to start small and therefore I need to stock exactly what you want and need, but on a reasonable scale.

So this week I had a small giveaway/contest on the Emmaline facebook page and commenters had to tell me what colour zippers they most like to use on their bags and wallets.  I was not surprised in the love of Red, Black, Grey and White, but I have to say I was surprised at the purple & pink!

It should be noted that the pink, grey, red and brown include different shades and GEEZE what does Aqua, Turquoise and Teal mean to you, because they seem to look different to different people!

1)  I'd love to hear what your fave colours would be if you were limited it a few colours.

2)  I'd love to hear what SIZE your zippers would need to be. I'm am probably going to have matching #3 zippers (dress size) for internal zipper pockets, and #5 zippers for bag openings, but I am concerned about lengths of zippers the most.  What is your favourite length for your internal pocket (8" or 9"?) AND if you were to choose a couple of basic zipper lengths that you could cut down to size to fit your bag openings, what would they be:

A)  14"
B)  20"
C)  22"
D)  24"
E)  Another Length
F)  Zippers by the yard/meter

Now... zipper pulls are a whole other story!!  As some of you know, I stock my own zipper pull designs, so those are a given... but what about another choice!  Nickel, Antique Brass, Painted enamel to match the zip?  What do you like??

Tell me about your zippers please!  I need some comments here!


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  1. I'm surprised at the pink too, although I certainly have them in my stash, they aren't a basic. As for length I generally use 9" for pockets and cut them as needed. For pouches, I use 14" and cut to length, but I needed to buy some 22" to do the BSBB. I have your zip pulls( love the new Canadian flags), but for small bags, I just use charms or make something simple. I look forward to seeing what you decide!

  2. I'm surprised at the colours. I find it hard to get a colour to match my fabric, so usually end up with black or white. I would go a longer zip so that I can cut it down, so 9" for internal pockets. I haven't made enough bags with exterior zips to have a preferred length, but again, if there wasn't a huge price difference I would get a longer one to be safe. I'd prefer nickel pulls as the paint seems to come off the coloured ones over time.

  3. Janelle I think this is hard to answer because every bag I make calls for different size zippers. And colors all depend on what fabric I might choose for my bag or wallet. It's always good to have neutral colors on hand like black, ecru, white, gray, tan, brown, but colors will depend on my fabric choice. The inside pocket zippers might be easier to pinpoint the size, but the zippers that open a bag can be all different sizes. While you can cut down a zipper size, the longer the zipper the more it will cost and I hate waste too.

    Since I just tested a bag for Christine and I used a metal teeth zipper, I will tell you this about metal teeth zippers. Metal teeth do not flex very easily and if there is a slight to deep curve to the zipper, it makes the zipper very hard to zip and unzip easily. So use a metal zipper only on a flat zipper. Also while metal zippers are not impossible to shorten, they are harder to cut and you have to be extra careful about sewing over the teeth and must use the hand wheel of your sewing machine so you don't break a needle.

    Ask a question and you will get so many different responses which might make it even harder for you to make a decision. Good luck.

  4. I keep a stock of 14" zippers in a variety of colours. This seems to cover most of my needs. If I need a longer one, I go and buy one.
    I am not surprised with the pink/purple result. Those colours can be awesome to set off a bag done in a neutral colour.

  5. 8" for internal zippers, 14" and 24" for exterior's and can you find a 48" zipper, lol, just kidding. I love your zipper pull's as is, unless you want to create one with a Greek flag on it, HA! Personally I think you should just go with zipper sizes that you mostly use for your bag patterns, because I know I am a "kit" fanatic and if you put it in a kit I will buy it!

  6. I like longer zippers so that I can cut them down to size. For pocket zippers, 9" is good. For exterior zippers I like 14" and 24", but if I had to choose just one size for an exterior zipper it would be 24". I love the idea of nickel zipper pulls. I use your fancy pulls a lot, but sometimes a bag has too many zippers to use that many fancy pulls, so it would be nice to have a special look for the zippers that don't get one of your pulls. I am excited to see what you end up carrying in your shop!

  7. I use 7-9" zippers for zip pockets, and 12-18" for outside zips most often. Colors really depend on what I am making, but, I would think if you had the basic rainbow colors, that would be a good place to start. I rarely use metal zippers.

  8. I love to use contrasting zippers to add a pop of fun color, so I keep a rainbow of 14" and 9" zippers. I also love metal zippers, and I prefer nickel teeth over brass. I keep a rainbow of 14" metal zippers on hand as well. I'm not picky about pulls.

  9. Thank you all so much for your great responses!! It's very, very helpful!!

  10. 14" and 24" are the ones I usually buy sometimes 9" too. and I need those in the same all 3 sizes in the same shade. 9that seems difficult to find). I like grey and turquoise. Metal teeth and the chunky plastic ones are good too. I never buy light or medium duty. I love nice pulls that match the zipper colours. I always look for non-separating zippers but they are hard to find in bigger sizes that are also nice colours AND match the smaller sizes in colour.

  11. 14" and 20" are my stocked lengths. I like to keep a variety of colors though. Am stocked heavily in greens and teals and turquoise, though I do have about 25 colors on hand and ready. Red, black and white are my LEAST used, actually, I own NO red or white as I do not own red or white fabrics (hate those colors), but to stay competitive, you'll have to be able to beat 50cents a zipper or offer them at that price as I buy mine from a popular Etsy site for that price, always get a 10% discount on top of that and free zipper pulls to go with the order as a thank you....

    1. Thanks for your input, Jake, I appreciate it. It’s great information. I don’t think I’m looking to be a major zipper retailer so I may not buy enough quantity to really keep up with those prices, but if I can offer an affordable, reasonably price zipper in one of my bag kits with my other hardware – that would make me happy! We’ll see what happens, still researching!

  12. I like to have a variety of colors so I can match what I'm working on, but like to have black, white, & brown on hand since they tend to be okay with pretty much anything. If I'm stocking up, I usually go with 16"-20" since I can always cut them shorter if needed, but you can't make them longer! :) I'm not sure what size coil I typically use, but I like nylon since it can be shortened easier than metal zips.

    1. Thank you, Bree, that is really helpful!! I agree about the nylon too. Although, I really like the look of the metal. Might have to have a bit of both. Janelle

  13. I mostly stock 9" and 22" that give me what I need for most projects. I also like purse zippers that have the double slides but they are so hard to find. I stock black, white and red. Other colors I usually buy on an as needed basis as my color palette seems to be in the black, white and red color wave. Since I've started making your wallet, I am using other brighter colors so have bought some 9" zippers in more colors.


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