When I first began sewing the lesson on zippers was looming on the horizon, ominous and forbidding. Once I put one in I thought, easy and promptly put my next one in backwards. Ooops, I decided I needed to spend more time paying attention to zippers.
It's been a while since I've put a zipper in the wrong way but I still pay attention to them. I like them and you probably do too. Let's learn some facts about zippers.
1. Invented - Zippers are not like buttons, they are a modern invention. Modern zippers were invented in 1913, that's relatively recent!
2. Inventor - Gideon Sundback, a Swedish American inventor who was featured on Google for his birthday!
3. First one - There were zipper inventions before the 1913 version but they were not successful because they didn't work. Sundback's worked and eventually caught on.
4. How many elements - Zippers have four elements - the stringer or tape, which is the cloth and teeth; the slider, that is the part which closes and opens those teeth; a tab, needed to move the slider; and stops so you, well, stop.
5. Who manufactures - Although company Talon used to be the king of the zipper companies today over 90% of them are manufactured by one company, YKK, a Japanese manufacturing company. (Look on the pull, you will probably see YKK.)
6. How many - In 2003, YKK was producing 7.2 billion zippers a year. Yes, billion and that was 11 years ago. I bet it has gone up but I couldn't find the data.
7. Famous - Probably the most famous Zipper is the squirrel who rides motorcyles. And no, I am not making this up. Read about it here.
8. Competition - Velcro was invented in 1948 from the vel in velvet and cro in crochet. It gives zippers a slight run for the money.
9. Danger - Zippers might seem innocent enough but 1,700 men seek help in the ER each year due to zipper related injuries. That is the G rated report. For the R rated low down, click here.
10. Expressions - If you've ever been told to zip it chances are they weren't talking about your sweatshirt. For more, see this site.
11. Name - If you are from Akron, Ohio you probably are familiar with B.F. Goodrich would used zippers in their boot in 1923 and the sound of the zipper closing, the zippppp, gave birth to the name Zipper.
12. Famous quotes - George Burns is a funny guy and he is credited with saying, "First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down."
13. Decorations - Are zippers ever just used for fun, not to zip? Yes, I made a pillow with zipper just for fun. I love it and want to make some more. I think people sew them into activity or quiet books for kids also.
14. How to make - How about a video on how to make them? Enjoy!
Writing a post about zippers is great, but sewing with them makes me sew happy!
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I love writing these fact posts. Here's another!