Zipper Types and Features

Zipper types are classified in 2 ways: according to the material used in the zipper teeth and according to the function of the zipper. We will look at these two categories in this article as we introduce zipper types and features.

A) Zipper Types According to the Material of the Zipper Teeth

There are 3 basic types of zippers according to the material used in their teeth:

Metal zipper

Metal zipper is the most basic zipper type. When the zipper was invented around 1920, the zipper was a metal zipper.

Metal zippers are divided into two different categories according to their production pattern:

  • Metal zippers which are produced out of a strip or a cylindrical metal strip with a zipper machine and then making the strip into teeth,
  • Metal zippers which are produced by pouring teeth (already manufactured and coated in a seperate process) into the storage of a tooth-setting machine which is attached to the tape

The material used in the production of metal zipper teeth is usually brass. In addition, other materials such as aluminum and tin may be used. Brass is used in middle, upper-middle and luxurious zippers because it is more resistant to deterioration and wear than other metals. Since aluminum is a soft material, it is not very useful in terms of durability but it is much less costly than brass.

Metal zippers are produced with many different coatings in accordance with the required specification: gold, antique brass, antique silver, black nickel, silver, etc. The coating of the teeth and other zipper parts (pull tab, bottom stop, top stop, etc.) is done through chemical application.

Vislon zipper (plastic zipper)

The teeth of Vislon zippers are made in plastic injection molds. The plastic material (polyacetal / delrin) is pressed on the zipper strips in granular form by bringing the zipper teeth pattern into the molds with high heat. Since the plastic granules used as raw material are high performance products, the resulting zippers are satisfactory in terms of durability and flexibility, but the performance of a metal zipper should not be expected. In addition, some Vislon zippers produced especially for outdoor endeavors are extremely robust and durable.

Nylon zipper (spiral zipper)

Nylon zippers are also produced from plastic materials (polyamide). The teeth of the nylon zipper are formed by wrapping the plastic material in a spiral shape. Some nylon zipper teeth are produced in a separate process and then sewn onto the back, while some nylon zippers are produced by sewing the teeth directly onto the tape.


Metal zipper


Vislon (plastic) zipper


Nylon zipper






In addition to the 3 basic zipper types mentioned above, there are also some special types of nylon zippers.

Invisible zipper

Invisible zippers are actually nylon zippers. The teeth of invisible zippers are not visible when viewed from the outside (thus called invisible zippers). They are often used only in women’s clothing and underwear.

Waterproof zipper

These zippers are, as their name suggests, water-resistant zippers. They will not let water come in through the strip. They are usually used in outdoor products, in jackets, bags, etc.


Invisible zipper


Waterproof zipper






B) Zipper Types According to Their Function

Another classification method of zippers is to classify them according to their functions.

Close-end zipper:

This is the type of zipper that when it is unzipped it does not separate. It is the type of zipper which is widely used throughout our daily life. Areas of usage: pants, shoes, pencil cases, handbags, etc.

Open-end zipper:

This is another indispensable zipper variety in our daily life. Open-ended zippers separate into two pieces when the zipper is unzipped. The most basic examples are the zippers on jackets and coats. When we unzip the zipper, the front of your jacket separates into two parts.

Two-way zipper (open-end):

The two-way open-ended zipper is called a combo zipper and has two sliders on it. Two-way open-ended zippers can be unzipped / detached from both ends. Areas of useage: raincoats, sleeping bags.

Two-way zipper (O-type):

This is a close-ended type of zipper that works both ways. When the zipper is unzipped, the two sides of the tape are not separated from each other and remain closed like a standard close-end zipper. When the zipper is unzipped, the tape forms an O shape between the two closed ends. For this reason, it is also called an O-type two-way zipper. It is used in bedspreads, luggage, and bags.

Two-way zipper (X-type):

This is a two-way zipper type that resembles a standard open-ended zipper that can be separated at both ends. When the zipper unzips, the sliders remain in the middle. These are used in boots, work clothes, and ski wear.


Close-end zipper

Open-end zipper


Two-way zippers