Knowing 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!
- 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.
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
Lets 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
In 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
Now 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.
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
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, so 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 slightly 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. Here 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. 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.
This is how your finished zipper should look like!
Tip: In 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.