A Snap fastener consists of two parts – a socket side with a hole in the middle and a projecting side (with the ball) which fits into the socket as you join them together. They are attached to both sides of the opening and fastened by pressing them together, joining the two halves.
In this article I will cover:
How to sew a snap
The ball side of the snap is placed on the back of the overlap side of the garment.
There are two types of snaps that you can use as a fastening. Other than the common snap that is sewn on the fabric, there are snaps that are the no-sew snaps like the magnetic snap. You also get snap tapes with a line of snaps that you can sew on to your garment in one go.
The small snaps are used as a fastener only on non-straining areas but the magnetic snaps can be used on areas with stress. Magnetic snaps are usually used on bags and purses. The small snaps are used on loose tops, kid’s dresses
Whichever snap you are using, you should use interfacing on the back – this will reduce the stress on the fabric and prevent tearing.
The sew-in snap is easy to attach to fabric – you just have to sew the snaps on to the fabric with a hand sewing needle and thread. The holes on the sides of the snaps are for that – for you to make strong whip stitches through.
How to install a magnetic snap
What do you need to attach snaps ?
You can use snap fastener sets, a marking tool, a hammer, and a cutting mat or hard surface, if it is the no-sew snaps.
The normal snap fasteners are not that much big or strong. But the magnetic snaps are not like that. They are bigger and really strong.
Your magnetic snap consists of 4 parts. 2 main parts which join together and two washers. The washer consists of a round disc with 2 slots through which the snap feet will be inserted on the wrong side.
Make a mark using pencil/chalk/marker on the wrong side of the fabric where you want the snap to be installed.
Fuse a small square piece of interfacing or stabiliser (a little bigger than the snap) centered over the mark you made. This is very important because the strength of the magnetic snap can overpower the fabric and it may tear. So using interfacing on the magnetic snap in uncompromisable.
Take the washer and place it over the mark you have made
Using a pencil draw through the 2 slots – to mark the placement of the holes you have to make.
Use a seam ripper to make 2 small cuts along the 2 lines you have made;
just cut as much (or less) as you need; only enough for the feet of your snap to get inside.
If the holes are too big the whole snap will float everywhere. Push the feet of your snap through the slits. Now place the circular washer – insert the feet through the holes in the washer.
Fold the feet to the inside or to either sides. This will firmly secure the snap on your fabric. Now if you want to ( to avoid the snap from wearing the inside fabric ) you can add a piece of fabric (nonfrayable type like fleece) on top of this area and stitch in place.
Do the same with the other part of your snap (twin piece) on the other end of your fabric. Ensure that you can close the snaps perfectly before fitting the twin piece. Fix the part the same way as you did earlier
How to attach the ordinary no-sew snaps
To attach one or two is no problem but if you have a lot of no-sew snaps you may want to use an industrial snap press machine. The name sounds big, but the machine is small and easy to use. There is no way you can get it wrong with this machine. You can also use a handy plier style snap press tool, to easily attach your snaps.