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Thread: Zipper "turns"

  1. #1
    Senior Member ljcsov's Avatar
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    Zipper "turns"

    I was messing with a zipper today which I wanted to sew in for my tarp tent (sorry I really wanted to make one, don't hate me). I am using it for the door and I see how people make the zipper turn to zip parallel to the ground then up the side of the tent. How do you make the zipper curve like this? When I was playing with my zipper it didn't seem to want to be bent without starting to fold up. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljcsov View Post
    ... How do you make the zipper curve like this?
    The first thing you do is sew a line of stitching on the zipper backing, on the inside of the curve. Only on the zipper backing while it's not attached to anything. Then, pull the thread, which tightens up the side that you sewed, and causes the zipper to curve. The more you pull, the smaller the radius of the curve.

    You really want to do this in manageable sections; not the whole zipper at once. By doing this you can have more than one curve in the zipper.

    P.S. Don't use that "T***" word anymore around here
    Mike
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Catavarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAD777 View Post
    P.S. Don't use that "T***" word anymore around here
    What? Tarp?
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  4. #4
    Senior Member hippofeet's Avatar
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    Coil zippers are easier to turn than others. I like MAD777's idea. I have cut the material on a curve, and then sewn the zipper to it.
    An emergency of my own making...is still an emergency.

  5. #5
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    When I turned my zipper installation I pinned the zipper to a piece of fabric along the ribbon. With the zipper closed I bent the path as much as I could and still be able to open and close the zipper. I then used that to make a pattern for the curve I wanted. I marked my project fabric with that curve and installed the zipper along that line.

    A previous post was correct that coil zippers bend sharper and more easily than toothed zippers but you can do it with a toothed zipper if you can make a wide enough turn.

    If you use Mad's solution make sure to use a very long stitch length and very loose tension. Or you can place a running stitch by hand and gather the fabric that way.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

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  6. #6
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    If you use Mad's solution make sure to use a very long stitch length and very loose tension. Or you can place a running stitch by hand and gather the fabric that way.
    Yes indeed, I failed to mention that you should sew the stitching by hand. Ooops, Thanks Rev!
    Mike
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  7. #7
    MarshLaw303's Avatar
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    i used a big round object to cut the curve into the fabric then pin in the zipper, more pins on the curve ensure it stays put and works right. the curve has to be large, like a trash can or pizza pan. the result has been for me a near perfect curved zipper that functions and looks great. i have done this only a handful of times for bug bivys and tents i used to sell, but haven't in a long time.

    -Tim

  8. #8
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarshLaw303 View Post
    i used a big round object to cut the curve into the fabric then pin in the zipper, more pins on the curve ensure it stays put and works right. the curve has to be large, like a trash can or pizza pan. the result has been for me a near perfect curved zipper that functions and looks great. i have done this only a handful of times for bug bivys and tents i used to sell, but haven't in a long time.

    -Tim
    It is important to note ... the size of the zipper makes an enormous difference in how tightly you can bend it. The larger the zipper... the larger the curve radius needs to be. IOW a #3 zipper will bend tighter than a #10.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  9. #9
    MarshLaw303's Avatar
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    sure, i'm the ul guy so i haven't even seen a zip bigger than coil #5 and always use coil #3

    -Tim
    Last edited by MarshLaw303; 08-27-2011 at 09:59.

  10. #10
    gargoyle's Avatar
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    Grizz Bridge video (around the 2:00 mark)
    Our own Grizz discusses the radius needed for the zipper on the net, should apply to your "tent".

    As Rev said, the thicker the zip, the bigger the curve.
    You can do a 90* corner with two zips, one along the bottom, and one running vertically. Many tents do it that way.
    Ambulo tua ambulo.

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