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Old 28-01-2018, 11:46   #1
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Best way to replace zippers

All of our stateroom waterproof bed covers zippers are not in working condition.
Top of bed is valor type material and the bottom is a waterproof plastic like material.
How do I order zippers to fit each mattress?
And any other tips are appreciated
Thanks in advance
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Old 28-01-2018, 12:05   #2
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Typically you would measure the zippers for length, then decide on the type (metal tooth, plastic tooth, plastic helicoil) and size (zipper might might say "YKK #5" for instance) that you want. Most sellers can give you advice on how to identify what you've got, and perhaps better options to replace it. A brand name like YKK will cost you more--but they hold up.

A stop to a fabric store, or the sewing department in WalMart, etc. can usually turn up someone to give you advice on this.

You may also find that you can simply remove the covers, go to a dress shop, seamstress or dry cleaner, and say "Can you replace these?" and leave the job to them.
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Old 28-01-2018, 14:37   #3
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Velcro
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Old 28-01-2018, 14:56   #4
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Fwiw, I don't like velcro for replacing zippers, because the fabric doesn't have much overlap, and I find zippers easier to work with.

I would replace with YKK #5 zippers, available through marine trimmers in Aus, or even zipper stock, available from Spotlight stores, here. Use the latter, only if yours is a dry boat. If you have doubt to its dryness, it is not a dry [enough] boat. Pay the extra, and those zips will most likely last the lifetime of the fabric, and then be re-usable for the new cushions. A tip: if you sew them in with a zig zag stitch, they are very easy to un-pick and re-use. In indoor use, those YKK #5's will last a very long time. For outdoors, they need flaps to protect them from UV.

Ann
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Old 28-01-2018, 15:15   #5
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Velcro. make a flap to overlap the gap. Let's face it, how often do you unzip cushion covers? once in ten years? and that time is guaranteed to be unzippable.
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Old 28-01-2018, 15:50   #6
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Cheekako,

It really depends on how often you like to wash your cushion covers, I guess. Any time they get dirty, maybe. For mine, on our first Insatiable, I did replace the melted aluminum zip pull and zip, with velcro. And it does work. Still, I find zips easier to work with, if the boat is a dry one. I have never had a problem with YKK #5's or #10's. I use the larger ones for outside use.

If this is Kamalolo's first zip replacement, it will probably be easiest for them to take it to a seamstress or a marine canvas place to have it done. Cheapest, to buy plastic zipper stock, here, maybe velcro cheaper in the US.

Anyhow, how I do it, is to use double stick tape to secure the zip to the fabric, (this will work very well with plastic fabric), then sew just outside the tape, to keep the needle clean. Or, one can hand baste the zip in place in cloth fabric. Since the fabric at the bottom is pvc, Kamalolo will want to try and match the stitch length, so as not to introduce so many extra holes.

Kamalolo, if you're going to keep the boat for a while, you may want to consider totally replacing the cushion covers. This is a job that can "grow like Topsy." People either introduce some kind of ventilation system, or one can use a thin layer of closed cell foam bonded to the mattress foam, on the bottom, to prevent mildew developing on the covers.

Ann
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Old 29-01-2018, 05:45   #7
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Typically you would measure the zippers for length, then decide on the type (metal tooth, plastic tooth, plastic helicoil) and size (zipper might might say "YKK #5" for instance) that you want. Most sellers can give you advice on how to identify what you've got, and perhaps better options to replace it. A brand name like YKK will cost you more--but they hold up.

A stop to a fabric store, or the sewing department in WalMart, etc. can usually turn up someone to give you advice on this.

You may also find that you can simply remove the covers, go to a dress shop, seamstress or dry cleaner, and say "Can you replace these?" and leave the job to them.
Thanks
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Old 29-01-2018, 05:46   #8
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Fwiw, I don't like velcro for replacing zippers, because the fabric doesn't have much overlap, and I find zippers easier to work with.

I would replace with YKK #5 zippers, available through marine trimmers in Aus, or even zipper stock, available from Spotlight stores, here. Use the latter, only if yours is a dry boat. If you have doubt to its dryness, it is not a dry [enough] boat. Pay the extra, and those zips will most likely last the lifetime of the fabric, and then be re-usable for the new cushions. A tip: if you sew them in with a zig zag stitch, they are very easy to un-pick and re-use. In indoor use, those YKK #5's will last a very long time. For outdoors, they need flaps to protect them from UV.

Ann
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Old 29-01-2018, 08:51   #9
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Take a close up photo of the zipper itself. If it has a YKK number on it, the zipper heads alone can be ordered from Amazon for not much money at all.

I recently replaced all the zipper heads (the part that moves) on my exterior cushions in this manner.

It works out perfectly if the aluminum zippers are corroded, but the teeth are plastic and can still mesh together.
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Old 29-01-2018, 09:18   #10
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

I suppose replacing a zipper would be pretty close to installing new zippers, with a little common sense thrown in. My wife, who hadn't spent more than 10 hours sewing all tolled in the previous 35 years, made new cushions with zippers for Mana. The Sail Rite website has free videos of how to do it. They may have a video replacing them too. Plus they will show you how to measure to order and sell you a variety of zippers to suit your needs. For everything marine textile related it is an invaluable resource.
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Old 29-01-2018, 09:25   #11
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

Sailrite sells everything I use and has several videos on the process like the one below. You essentially use a seam ripper to remove the old one and then see new ones.

https://youtu.be/2OQJ2o3abYU

Good luck.
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Old 29-01-2018, 12:03   #12
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

After years of fighting with corroded sliders, broken teeth, rotten cloth to mount the traditional zippers, the seamstress who made the covers for my new cushions suggested velcro.

No problems...

Any zippers with a metal component seem to corrode and freeze in spite of any maintenance programs.
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Old 29-01-2018, 15:16   #13
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

I hate Velcro for things like this, the two layers are just too stiff.
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Old 29-01-2018, 15:31   #14
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

The last set of cushion zippers I worked with were 20 years old. No serious problems.

Soak them in PB Blaster, wait a few hours, and then work on them with pliers. They may not be as bad as you think. But use PB Blaster and take your time. I can usually get them working with just a few minutes of actual effort.
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Old 29-01-2018, 16:17   #15
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Re: Best way to replace zippers

And the PBlaster soaking into the cushions won't leave an aromatic problem? Or melt them?

a64-
There's all kinds of velcro these days, in the brand name and outside of it. There's gen-you-whine "Thin Velcro" which is all plastic and literally half the usual thickness, designed for places where you want things to be flat. I would be surprised to find that's available in fabric, too.

The greatest inventions of the 20th century: Kleenex, Scotch Tape and Velcro.
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