How to Fix a Zipper That Is Off Track

Updated April 17, 2017

Zippers are often sewn into garments, such as dresses and trousers, to close up the gap between two pieces of fabric. When working properly, zippers are tremendously more convenient than time consuming buttons and hard to grip hooks and eyes. When they get off track, however, zippers are completely useless, which may leave you turning to safety pins to keep the garment closed. Fix that off track zipper in just a few minutes with a few tools you probably already have around the house.

Remove the metal stop from the bottom of the zipper. This is the little metal piece that holds the two sides of the zipper together at the bottom and keeps the pull from sliding completely off the zipper. To remove this piece use needle nose pliers to pry it open like you would a staple and then pull it off.

Slide the pull of the zipper down toward the bottom of the zipper, stopping short of pulling it all the way off. Straighten the two sides of the zipper so they line up at the top and bottom. This will put the pull back on track so the two sides of the zipper come together properly.

Zip up the zipper, while holding the two sides together at the bottom. Pull the zipper all the way closed, if the two sides are again zipping. If not, move the pull back down to the bottom and line up the sides again until you are successful.

Sew across the bottom of the zipper, where the stop used to be, with needle and thread. You need to create a stop with the thread to keep the zipper lined up and the pull from falling off.

Knot the end of the thread and trim it so it doesn't get tangled up in the zipper.

Things You'll Need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Needle
  • Thread
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About the Author

Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Ainsley Patterson has been a freelance writer since 2007. Her articles appear on various websites. She especially enjoys utilizing her more than 10 years of craft and sewing experience to write tutorials. Patterson is working on her bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Michigan.