How to put a zipper back on the track

Updated February 21, 2017

Repairing a zipper using a professional is not necessary if you follow these steps. You can do it yourself and it can be done quickly as putting a zipper back on track is not as difficult as it sounds. There's no need to stop wearing that favourite garment or paying someone else to make the repair. Think of the money and time you can save and by not having to travel to drop off and pick up your garment.

Locate the metal stopper at the very bottom of the zipper. Use the needle nose pliers to pry the metal stopper from the zipper. You won't be using the stopper again so you can throw it away. If you don't have needle nose pliers, try a screwdriver.

Slide the zipper to the bottom of the track. Keep one side of the zipper on the track just below the teeth.

Take the side of the zipper that is not already threaded into the pull tab and insert the zipper into the pull tab. Pay attention to the number of teeth that are threaded into the pull tab and match the teeth as closely as you can.

Pull the tab all the way to the top of the zipper. Check the alignment at the top. If you have a close match at the top, you are ready to stitch a closure at the bottom of the zipper. If you are not satisfied with the alignment start at Step 2 again until you are satisfied with the look.

Replace the metal stopper that you removed in Step 1. Thread the needle with thread that matches the colour of your zipper. Knot the thread and start from the inside of the garment. Make 10 stitches at the base of the zipper where the metal stopper was removed. Always stitch going up from the inside of the garment and going over the zipper and down into the garment on the opposite side. Secure the thread with a knot on the inside of the garment and cut off any long thread. This stitching will secure the pull tab from slipping off the end of the zipper.


You may need to use a pointed tool to help thread the teeth into the pull tab.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Quilting thread or nylon thread
  • Needle
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About the Author

Emma Lee owns a photography website and also works as a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, animals and photography. Her work can be found on various websites. Lee attended Charles County Community College located in Maryland.