We Value Your Privacy

We and our partners use technology such as cookies on our site to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology across the web. You can change your mind and change your consent choices at anytime by returning to this site.

Update Consent
Loading ...

Upholstery zipper repair

Updated July 16, 2018

When an upholstery zipper comes apart, what you want is an easy solution without zipper replacement. Provided the zipper teeth aren't damaged, the solution is relatively easy. Anyone familiar with operating a sewing machine can repair a salvageable upholstery zipper. There are two types of zippers: coil zippers (or self-repairing zippers) made of a spiral piece of nylon, and zippers with individual metal or plastic teeth. In general, non-separating upholstery zippers---the kind usually used in upholstered cushions---have few parts: zipper teeth set in cloth tape with a slider that draws the teeth open and closed.

Loading ...
  1. Use needle nose pliers if repairing an off-track zipper slider on a zipper with a bottom stop. Remove the metal stop with the pliers. Discard the stop. Slide the zipper slider off the zipper teeth until it is free.

  2. If the zipper has no bottom stop, rip any stitches that bind the end closed with a seam ripper. Slide the zipper slider off the zipper teeth until it is free.

  3. Align the zipper teeth along the length of the cushion opening and pin the opening together.

  4. Slide the slider onto the teeth until the teeth interlock. Ease the slider along the track until about ½ inch of closed zipper extends. Grasp the closed zipper end with the needle nose pliers in one hand and pull the zipper slider with the other. Continue closing the zipper until the cushion cover remains about two-thirds open, removing pins as the zipper slider slides along the track.

  5. Hand stitch a bar tack over the closed zipper end to temporarily hold it in place.

  6. Cut a 1 ½-inch length of twill tape. Lay the twill tape across the bar tack and pin it in place. Machine-stitch the twill tape to the cloth zipper tape as close to the zipper teeth as possible. Remove threads and turn the cushion right side out.

  7. Tip

    If the slider is lost, a replacement may be available. A number of zipper suppliers, speciality hardware stores and upholstery fabric suppliers sell zipper parts. Zipper sizes vary. Consult a zipper supplier or upholstery fabric supplier for parts.

Loading ...

Things You'll Need

  • Needle nose pliers
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing pins
  • Needle and thread
  • Twill tape
  • Sewing machine threaded with matching upholstery thread

About the Author

Arizona-based Mary Schultz has contributed articles about family, health, home improvement, agriculture and travel to newspapers and magazines. For over three award-winning decades as a marketing writer, Schultz has focused on technology, financial and insurance services and products, medical care, health and fitness, community heritage, tourism and charitable causes. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, honors English, from California State University, Northridge.

Loading ...