Zipper foot : 3 types and how to use them

A Zipper foot helps you to sew zippers close to the fabric edge without sewing over the zipper coil. The stitches are made very close to the zipper coils. The post is about the different types and the best way to use them.

This is how zipper foot looks like - the invisible zipper foot, screw on zipper foot and the snap on zipper foot

Do you need a zipper foot to sew zippers? That is a question you may have in your mind now.

The main differences between a regular sewing machine presser foot and a zipper foot are that a regular zipper foot is half the width of the regular one. The zipper foot also has grooves for passing the needle or the zipper coil so that we can sew very closely. And then, they can be adjusted to either sides of the needle.

There are different types of zipper applications – lapped zippers, centered zippers, exposed zippers, and invisible zippers; it sounds complicated to a new sewist but all kinds of zippers can be easily attached if you have the zipper foot on your sewing machine. The only other thing you need to sew any of these other than these presser feet is a lot of practice.

The main feature of a zipper foot is to sew on the zipper edges without stitching on top of the zipper coil – just close enough for the application to look neat and not too close that you are sewing over the zipper teeth.

Different types of zipper foot

Zipper Foot – Screw-on

This is what the zipper foot look like - it has a screw to adust the position it takes relative to the needle; it is also narrower than regular foot
How to attach the presser foot to the machine – This narrow presser foot is attached to the sewing machine after taking out the whole presser foot assembly – this foot is then screwed on instead. The foot can be moved to the left or right side of the needle.

Zipper Foot – Snap-on

this is what a snap on presser foot looks like
This is the normal snap-on sewing machine foot – it does not have the advantage of moving freely to accommodate the needle and zipper that the screw-on foot has. But most modern sewing machines come with this foot as default.

These characteristics are the same for all brands of sewing machines like brother, singer etc.

Invisible Zipper Foot /Concealed zipper foot

concealed invisible zipper foot
An invisible zipper is not supposed to be seen, so the presser foot used with it should result in seam lines that lie very close to the zipper coil that it looks like part of the seam.

This foot will have grooves on the underside so that the coil of the zipper can pass through it as you sew along the zipper edge. An invisible zipper keeps the teeth out of the way as your machine sews underneath the coil, making the zipper disappear when closed.

But this is an optional presser foot to have because you can sew the invisible zipper without this special foot- a regular zipper foot can be used.

Other uses of the Zipper foot include any application where you have to sew very close to the seam, like sewing piping corded welts, or corded seams.

General rules in sewing with zipper foot

zipper foot should be kept on the right side of the needle for sewing on the right side of the zipper teeth

Keep the zipper foot to the right side of the needle if you have to sew on the right side of the zipper teeth and vice versa.

The notch on the zipper foot should be in line with the needle hole in the throat plate.

Never start sewing in full force after you have attached the zipper foot. There is a chance that the needle does not pass cleanly through the notch on foot – it may hit the foot and break when you start sewing. So, move the hand wheel towards you slowly to check that the alignment is correct.

You will have to adjust the needle position to lie close to the zipper teeth as much as possible so that stitches are made very close to the zipper teeth.

When you are sewing with layers of fabric and the zipper is inside (For eg you have lining and the outer fabric and the zipper is inside), use your hand to feel the placement of the zipper edge as you sew.

Most people have problems with sewing near the zipper pull; atleast I have. I just now read that you have to raise the foot with the needle on the fabric, take the pull to the back and then start sewing again. If need be, raise the needle and pivot a little before sewing ahead.

When sewing with the invisible zipper foot, you can help its operations by ironing the zipper coil away from the zipper tape.

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Updated on October 28, 2022 by Sarina Tariq

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