How can I sew a zipper?

by Rudy
(Cape Coral, FL)

Do I need a special sewing machine and a special sewing thread?

Hi Rudy,
Let's first talk about the sewing machine. If you already have a sewing machine, it should be able to handle sewing a marine zipper. It really depends on how thick the fabric is that surrounds it, especially at the edges. You will of course need the biggest needle your machine can handle, that is the correct size for your machine. Maybe, before buying the supplies you try 4 layers of something like denim and see how your machine does. If it can handle this, then maybe you can move on.
Next is the thread. You do need special thread to sew marine zippers. It needs to polyester and not the same stuff they sell at Hancocks fabric unless of course the are selling UV polyester spools. If you were sewing this on an industrial machine I would recommend 138 polyester UV, but since this will be a home sewing machine, the 138 may be too big. So buy 92 polyester thread. Most home sewing machines can handle this just fine. Unfortunately in the Florida sun you will most likely have to restitch it every other year, but since you will have the thread, that shouldn't be a big deal. Restitch before the thread gives way, to prevent damage to your canvas from the wind. Pre-maintenance is crucial with canvas. I hope this answers your questions. Best of luck with it. Tammy

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