How to install a zipper: Invisible & Lap

by Sue Terpin

Installing a zipper is a piece of cake if you’re familiar with the methods involved. I want to take the mystery out of zippers by showing you two different types of zipper installations that often scare quilters: the lap zipper and the invisible zipper. First a little terminology:

Lap Zipper A lap zipper is when a zipper is installed with a flap of fabric covering the zipper. It is used often in everything from throw pillow covers to bags to garments. The zipper type used is a standard or “all-purpose zipper” available at any sewing supply store.

Invisible Zipper An invisible zipper is a zipper that is installed in the seam of two pieces of fabric in such a way that the zipper is recessed in the seam and “invisible”, as the name suggests. It is predominantly used for garments, especially skirts and dresses, but it can also be found in bags and home décor items. The zipper type used is a special “invisible zipper”, and they’re available in sewing supply stores right next to the all-purpose zippers.