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FOR AGES 3 YEARS TO 18 YEARS
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A zipper is a fastener used to enclose two ends of a garment or other material.
It is also called by other names, such as a 'zip fastener' or just a 'zip.' The names of the zipper also vary according to the material used for the zipper teeth.
Zippers were created for practical purposes initially, but they later became a fashion trend. As a device, the zipper acquired commercial success after being produced at Universal Fastener Company. Read on to know more about this device.
The zipper is an interesting invention that proved to have a high practical value and became a fashion trend. Some interesting facts about the history and origin of the zipper are mentioned as follows.
There wasn't one person responsible for the invention of the zipper but rather several people over the years who contributed to the creation of what we now call the zipper.
The earliest record of a fastener was created by one of the inventors of the sewing machine, Elias Howe, in 1851.
He acquired a patent for his 'Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure' but did not partake in much product advertising.
This fastener did not resemble a modern zipper; it was more like a drawstring rather than a slide fastener.
Whitcomb Judson was the person who invented what was known as 'Clasp Locker' about 40 years or so later than the sewing machine attempt.
He introduced this 'Clasp Locker' in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair.
The modern zipper was not a popular device until 1913. The zipper became popular when Gideon Sundback, an engineer, improved upon the previous designs to create the 'Separable Fastener.'
The military used this 'Separable Fastener' technology in money belts and flying suits.
Then in the '20s, the zipper was added as part of the new pair of boots by B.F. Goodrich.
Since it was first invented, the zipper has been used for multiple purposes and came in many different styles. There have been many improvements made to the zipper over the years. Some facts about the types of zippers that exist today are listed below.
The first type of zipper is the coil zipper which has two rows of coils on either side of the slider.
The coils are winded to form the coil teeth. The material used for the coil zippers in the past was nylon. However, polyester was started to be used to make the teeth of the coil zippers.
A variation of the coil zipper is the reverse coil zipper. For the reverse coil zippers, the coil is on the back of the slider with the puller on the front.
When the reverse coil zippers are closed, they show the stitching instead of the coils.
Another similar type of zipper is the invisible zipper, where the teeth are masked with cloth tape.
The invisible zippers work only with the teardrop pull to zip up, while the reverse coil zippers can use different pulls.
A classic zipper type is a metallic zipper that gets its name from the metal teeth used for fastening the zip.
Then are plastic zippers with two strips of plastic teeth that zip up with a plastic pull.
There is an open-ended zipper that uses the box and pin mechanism to close the facing rows of teeth.
As the name of the two-way open-ended zipper suggests, two pulls can be used to close and open up the zip.
Then there are special zippers such as the airtight zipper, waterproof zipper, and fireproof zipper.
A zipper is a machinery that is made with various distinct parts. Problem with even one part of the zip can cause the whole thing to stop functioning as it should. Facts about the different parts of a zipper are mentioned as follows.
The fabric or clothing part of the zipper located beyond the teeth and at the top of the zip is called the top tape extension.
The devices attached to the top of the zip are called top stop, which is used to stop the slider from coming off the top end of the chain.
The bottom stop serves the same purpose as the top stop and is situated at the bottom to stop the slider from sliding off at the end.
The slider is the device used to pull the zip-close or open it.
The puller or the pull tab is attached to the slider, which is used to move the slider.
The width of the fabric located on both sides of the zipper is called tape width.
The zipper teeth are one of the important components of a zipper.
Then there is teeth width, also known as chain width. It refers to a particular gauge of the teeth or the chain.
The bottom tape extension is similar to the top tape extension, with the only difference being that it is located at the bottom end of the zipper.
The device used to join the two rows of zipper teeth in separating zippers is called an insertion pin.
The reinforcement film helps the manufacturer weld the zipper onto a piece of clothing.
Separating zippers also have a pin box or retainer box, which aligns the pin perfectly to zip up properly.
The zipper market is full of manufacturers creating various types of zippers depending on the product it will be a part of. Below are some more fun facts about zippers.
The waterproof zippers use the waterproof sheet to ensure no water leaks inside.
Airtight zippers are used in suits that require a vacuum space like spacesuits.
Gideon Sundback created the 'clasp locker' while being the head designer at Universal Fastener Company.
Some of the uses of zippers include children's clothing, men's trousers, rubber boots, pencil cases, and leather goods.
As per a report from 2014, over 4.5 billion zippers of several kinds were being bought and used in the USA in a year.
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