How to glue a zipper into a latex garment

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1zipper-1041Knowing how to glue a zipper into a latex garment is a must for a latex crafter. I already received a lot of emails from my readers on this subject. So here you are – a guide to gluing zippers into latex clothing. Don’t worry, it’s easy!

You need:

  • Your latex garment.
  • A plastic or metal zipper with cotton backing.
  • A strip of latex sheeting for reinforcement.
  • A piece of cotton cloth.
  • Natural latex milk (glue).
  • and of course something to apply it with.

Regarding zippers
There are different types of zippers, the one you need is a zipper which has a cotton backing. There are also types made from plastic, but those are no good for gluing. You will recognize the difference right away, if you hold them in your hand. Some zippers have a little plastic cover on the ending. Don’t cut them off, you need to peel them off carefully.

Metal teeth or plastic teeth
If the zipper should have plastic teeth or metal teeth is a matter of taste and use. Metal zippers are stronger, but the metal will dis-color latex if they comes in contact with each other. Metal zippers are harder to closing properly. Personally, I rarely use metal zippers and if I do, it’s only in combination with thick black latex so you wont see any coloration.

1. Prepare your latex garment

ZipperLets imagine that you are making f.x. a skirt and you would like to have a zipper in the back or on side. Mark the spot where the zipper should be and of course how long it will be. Cut out a 5 mm wide stripe in the required length for the zipper teeth to fit in.

2. Prepare the zipper

zipper-014-copy1In order to create a nice zipper ending, apply the latex milk on the ending tails of the zipper and the piece of cloth. Let the glue dry completely, even if the glue turned transparent it might be that the zipper ending or piece of cloth are still wet. Please allow it to dry completely! Now press the ending tails of the zipper slightly together, so that they just stick a bit to each other and then put the piece of cloth up on top of it. Apply pressure with the seam roller to get a strong bond between the pieces. Now you can cut a really nice edge around the ending of the zipper, like you can see in the picture.

Tip: It makes things faster if you apply the glue right away all the way on the zipper on both sides,front and back of the zipper. But watch out when you apply the glue that you wont get to close to the zipper teeth, the slider will have otherwise problems. So apply the glue just to the edge of the slider.

3. Apply the glue

zipper-029Now after you have cleaned the latex, you apply a thin layer of glue to the area. Don’t worry if the width of the area where you applied the glue is wider than the zipper itself, that is fine because you will later on glue a reinforcement on there. Just watch out out that your working space is clean. zipper-059-copy

Tip: If you have to glue in a long zipper or are insecure, because you have not done this before, then you can take some regular PE-household folie and put that on the parts you want to protect from sticking together etc. like you can see here in the picture. The orange dots in this image show which parts go first together, in this case you glue the bottom parts first together.

4. Glue zipper in

zipper-06_9 What I do is, that I glue the latex on the zipper. That means that I have the latex in my hand with the shiny side up, so that I can see if I position everything right and if I glue it straight on.
1. I start out like I said with the bottom, I lie the latex slightly down on the ending of the zipper and apply slightly pressure with my finger, zipper-07_7so that I fixate the bottom parts together.
2. I take one side of the latex back.
3. I pull of the household folie.
4. I sligtly lie down the latex on the zipper and then apply slightlyzipper-086 pressure to it with my finger, before I carefully use the seam roller. The same goes for the other side! Done! That’s how it should look like now.

5. Reinforce the zipper

It is important that you do that. It gives it the necessary strength, looks better and it is nicer to wear that way. zipperHere I cut out a “U”-shape to cover the zipper at once. You can of course also just use two single strips of latex and a little square and glue that around the zipper. I do that if I have to reinforce long zippers like for jackets, dresses etc. The width of the latex strip should be so wide that it goes a few “mm” over the edge of the zipper so that it touches the latex. Now apply the glue, allow it to dry completely and carefully glue the strip on.zipper-104 Before I use the seam roller, I always apply at first slightly pressure with my finger to the pieces, to avoid air bubbles. You have to watch out that you do not glue the strip to close to the zipper teeth. The edge of the zipper slider is the closes you can go, other wise the zipper wont work. Now just cut of that what stands over on the top of your garment.

Done!

This is how your finished zipper should look like!

Tip: zipper-115-copyIn case you would like to keep the zipper teeth away from your skin, cut out two latex strips where one is so wide that it could cover the entire zipper and glue those in. Start by gluing in the smaller piece first! And watch out here again for the zipper teeth! Check out the photos.

Tutorials and how to March 18th 2009

11 Responses to “ How to glue a zipper into a latex garment ”

  1. Josha Says:

    Nice article, but one detail is missing.
    What kind of glue do you use to actually glue the zipper in? The latex milk or the real strong adhesive you use for seams?

    I do zippers a little bit different regarding glue.
    I coat the cotton parts of the zipper with the latex milk and let it dry over night. I do a second layer of coating and maybe even a third, if neccessary. Result should be a smooth latex surface instead of the cotton. If the cotton pattern is still recogniseable through the latex, it is OK but there should not be any non latex covered surfaces. I repeat the procedure from the other side of the zipper, so the latex get really into all the pores of the cotton. After this, the former cotton is completely covered with latex and I can use the srong adhesive to glue it in. This will give a superstrong bond like a seam.
    If your are using the latex milk only, the bond may can open up again, esp. when the zipper gets wet for long time. I have never had this problem when doing it my way!

    regards,

    Josha

  2. curious Says:

    THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO much for posting this Kitty! ;D

    and yes, should we use ammonia-water based adhesive to coat the zipper cloth before installing on the latex material?

  3. curious Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this Kitty! ;D

    and yes, should we use ammonia-water based adhesive to coat the zipper material before installing to the latex?

  4. Latex Kitty Says:

    You are welcome! And yes thats the one to use, the ammonia water based adhesive!

  5. Latex Kitty Says:

    Hi Josha, that is a very interesting method you are using, but it takes quite some time. It is the first time that I hear from somebody doing that. To me it does not seem to be necessary, since I never experienced any problems with the zippers regarding wet garments or being under a lot of pressure. But it is a great idea to be be considered for projects with really heavy latex. Besides, under “you need” it says which glue is to be used.

  6. Jason Says:

    This is a great blog — thank you so much for this excellent information, Kitty!

    Just in time too… I have an outfit ready for its zipper, and was just about to start installing it!

  7. Rubberron Says:

    Hi to All
    The first times I glued zippers into a suit I applied glue to zipper and let it dry before really glueing it into the suit.
    Now I just order rubberized zippers by a Dutch company which makes moulded latex clothes.

    So my tip is contact your local/national latexcompany which makes moulded latexitems and ask if they sell zippers wich the have rubberized, or if they can rubberise some zippers for you.

    Rubberized Greetings
    Rubberron

  8. Ashley Says:

    Thank you so much for all your tutorials on this site! This has given me the courage to try my own latex clothing. When before I was too afraid of ruining the materials :)

  9. Rubbella Says:

    Hello,

    Rubberron,
    “Now I just order rubberized zippers by a Dutch company which makes moulded latex clothes”
    Can you tell me the name of the company?
    Thanks!
    Kitty, i love your website!

  10. Gia Gloveliczyk Says:

    Just did my first gluing of zippers into garments. Had a lot of trouble finding plastic tooth zippers on cotton so in the end I bought nylon zips with plastic teeth. Used the normal rubber cement, applying a good amount on the zipper and then added the latex reinforcements as suggested in the tutorial. So far so good. The zippers have been exposed to stretching forces, sweat et al and have held up nicely.

  11. herbert Says:

    vielen Dank, ich denke ich komme jetzt klar.

    Gruß Herbert

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