We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Separating Zipper?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A separating zipper is a zipper designed to separate completely, allowing two parts of a garment, sleeping bag, or pack to come completely apart, rather than being bound at one end by the base of the zipper. It is common on jackets, sleeping bags, and garments designed to convert, such as pants that turn into shorts. This type of zipper is extremely versatile, making it a good choice for many applications.

A separating zipper is designed much like a conventional zipper, with two strips of sturdy fabric studded with small metal or plastic teeth that can be joined together to make a seal. Zippers use a manually operated slider to open and close – depending upon the direction of movement, the y-shaped channel inside the slider either separates or joins the individual zipper teeth. Zippers are usually integral to the garments they appear in, and when the zipper becomes damaged or broken, the garment is often unusable until the zipper is repaired or replaced.

Zippers are used in a variety of applications. Sometimes a zipper is purely ornamental, and sometimes it is designed to allow access to a pocket or pack for secure storage. Zippers are also used like buttons, to allow the passage of larger objects, like waists and legs, through garments that can then be closed. Many jackets and sweatshirts make use of the separating zipper, as do some athletic pants, rather than the open-ended type, which is sealed at one end to prevent the slider from coming off.

In the case of a separating zipper, the base of the zipper is open, allowing the slider to completely disengage from the other side of the fabric. A small tab on the other side of the zipper can be reinserted into the slide to rejoin the two pieces. Two textiles with separating zippers can also be joined together to make, for example, a double-sized sleeping bag. This allows the user to separate and potentially reconfigure garments, sleeping bags, and backpacks. Many backpacking companies, for example, sell backpacks with zip-off daypacks that use a zipper that separates.

Installing of a separating zipper in a garment is slightly different than installing a conventional zipper, primarily because the sewer is presumably making use of this zipper's unique qualities. Rather than using the zipper to make a small opening in a skirt or jacket, for example, the creator would leave the areas above and below the separating zipper open, so that the two parts of the garment being joined could be pulled fully apart when upzipped. The separating zipper first appeared about fifty years after the initial invention of the zipper, and it greatly expanded the range of uses in which zippers appeared, making the simple device a common household name.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a HomeQuestionsAnswered researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon56007 — On Dec 11, 2009

You need to put a stop on the top of the zipper on both sides. Since you cut off the zipper to shorten it you have removed both of the stops that were there.

Metal zippers have stops you can remove and replace, but plastic ones do not! You may be able to salvage your zipper by sewing across the tops(both of them) as close to the top as you can. Then you have created two thread stops.

Next time, remove the teeth above the length you want the zipper to be and put new stops on (you can buy them separately) then cut off the excess. --nary

By anon24527 — On Jan 13, 2009

I used a separating zipper on a fleece jacket. The pattern said to cut off top of zipper if is too long. I did this and now the zipper comes off at the top. any suggestions???? Thanks for any help.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.