I recently interviewed Mary Kolb, known as the zipper lady, during a Sewing With Nancy program. Mary was recently acknowledged by the volunteer organization Clothes for Kids for her dedication to keeping children warm during the winter by mending zippers in coats—1300 and counting!
Replacing or fixing zippers in coats is no easy task. I was inspired by this story and would like to share the tips that Mary uses to replace the glider or slider on zippers.
How to replace a glider on a broken zipper
Many times, people will say, “I need a new zipper,” and they don’t really need a new zipper, states Mary. If you save the zipper parts, it can possibly be fixed with these steps:
- Look for the female side of the zipper. This is the side of the zipper where the glider will be attached.
- Work on a padded surface. (Mary stitched together several layers of fabric for her pad.) Place the pad on a hard surface.
- Use a chisel to break off the top zipper stop. Pull off the stop with a pliers.
- Look online for zipper repair or rescue supplies. Mary orders her supplies in bulk from WAWAK Sewing.
- Slide the original or a new glider on the zipper teeth.
- Pinch on a new zipper stop. Many kids’ coats have plastic zipper components. When repairing, look for metal stops. Pinch the top stop on with a pliers.
Watch my interview with Mary Kolb online.