menu 1.2.1
menu 1.2.2
menu 2.1.1
menu 2.1.2
menu 2.1.3
menu 2.1.4
menu 3.6.1
menu 3.6.2
menu 3.6.3
menu 4.4.1
menu 4.4.2
menu 4.4.3
menu 4.4.4
menu 5.3.1
menu 5.3.2
menu 5.3.3
menu 5.3.4

Home > The SZI Terminology Guide

The SZI Terminology Guide

The SZI Terminology Guide is an ever expanding list of words, terms, and phrases related to zippers and their components. It is the basis of the language we speak at Supreme Zipper Industries everyday. It is designed to serve as a reference for those who are not so well versed in zipper lingo to help get their point across or better understand something we may have said or they may have read on this website. Check back often as this list is ever expanding.

The SZI Zipper Terminology Guide The SZI Zipper Terminology Guide (191 KB)

Aluminum (as a zipper chain material)

A material that the elements are made of in a given metal zipper or zipper chain; Aluminum is a silvery white metal that is relatively soft as far as metals go; used for its light weight and inexpensive cost; generally does not function as well as other metal zipper chain(s) like Brass or Nickel; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Antique Gold (as a finish)

The finish applied to the elements of a given zipper or zipper chain or its respective parts, likes slider(s) or stop(s); Antique Gold is a finish that is a darker version of Brass in that it looks older or “Antiqued”; it generally does not affect function of the zipper, working as well as other zipper chain(s) made from similar base materials without finishes; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Antique Silver (as a finish)

The finish applied to the elements of a given zipper or zipper chain or its respective parts, likes slider(s) or stop(s); Antique Silver is a finish that is a darker version of Nickel in that it looks older or “Antiqued”; it generally does not affect function of the zipper, working as well as other zipper chain(s) made from similar base materials without finishes; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Auto Lock Slider

A type of slider that locks onto zipper chain at a given point along the length of the zipper without action by the user; simple release of the puller is all that is necessary for the spring actuated pin inside the slider to lock itself in place on the zipper chain, eliminating the possibility of the zipper chain accidentally opening via a slider that slowly moves down via outside movement forces on the zipper; commonly used in garments to keep the zipper closed; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Bale

A particular portion of a slider body, specifically the front portion as viewed from the puller side(s) of the slider; it is the portion that holds the puller to the slider body, usually on a non lock slider; it is “closed” when a puller is mounted and “open” when a puller is not present, ready for addition of same by others, see open bale slider; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Bottom Stop

A part of a zipper that functions to hold the two sides of the zipper chain together and in the correct orientation for a given configuration when the zipper is completely open; it stops the slider from moving past a certain point at the bottom of the zipper; it partially defines the length of the zipper in conjunction with its counterpart, the top stop or bridge stop at the top end of the zipper.

back to top

Brass (as a zipper chain material)

A material that the elements are made of in a given metal zipper or zipper chain; Brass is a reddish yellow metal that is relatively hard as far as metals go but still malleable, it has a self lubricating property in that the more the zipper is opened and closed, the easier the function becomes; used for its durability and medium cost; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Bridge Stop

A part of a zipper that functions to hold the two sides of the zipper chain together and in the correct orientation for a given configuration when the zipper is either completely open or closed; it stops the slider from moving past a certain point at the top of the zipper; it partially defines the length of the zipper in conjunction with its counterpart, the bottom stop at the bottom end of the zipper; a bottom stop mounted at the top of a zipper essentially functions as a bridge stop, but to function correctly the bridge stop is slightly wider to allow for the head of the slider to neatly join against it when closed.

back to top

Configuration

When referring to a finished zipper, the basic function and orientation of the parts of the zipper define the configuration; common types include the open top / closed bottom zipper, the open top / open ended or separator type zipper, the two way separator, the bridge type zipper, the X-type zipper, etc.; For specifics on many specific configurations see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Continuous Zipper Chain (continuous chain)

The name given to zipper chain material when it is produced in quantity, stored prior to being cut into an individual zipper, or sold by the yard in an unassembled fashion, in that there are no sliders or stops mounted.

back to top

Cotton Dyeable

Refers to zipper tape that is made of cotton or a cotton blend that can be dyed after a zipper has been produced and/or installed in a finished garment or product; usually cold dying processes (low temperature heat without pressure) is used to dye this type of tape, although conventional methods can be used with high temperature and pressure; caution should be used when dying to avoid damage to the elements of a given zipper; it is HIGHLY advised to test before production.

back to top

Delrin (as a zipper chain material)

The generic term used for zipper(s) or zipper chain that utilize the plastic resin called Delrin for the elements; Delrin is used in zipper(s) for its durability, moderate weight, and moderate cost; it is also very durable in outdoor applications, especially if protected with UV (ultra violet) inhibitors, and can handle temperature extremes well.

back to top

DTM (Dyed To Match)

A special order process in which components of a zipper, usually the tape, is dyed to match a specific, unique, custom color not readily available in the standard color assortments; this is done less and less often as the standard color choices number into the thousands, almost always facilitating an acceptable match without custom color formulation.

back to top

Dyed to Match

see DTM

back to top

Element Ball

See Element Point

back to top

Element Cup

The bottom potion of a specific element of a zipper chain, usually metal, that forms part of the gear mechanism that meshes with other elements of a zipper, most notably the opposite formed portion of the next consecutive element on the opposing tape, called the element point; together with other elements, the element cups and their complimentary element shapes join to form a closed zipper chain.

back to top

Element Point

The top potion of a specific element of a zipper chain, usually metal, that forms part of the gear mechanism that meshes with other elements of a zipper, most notably the opposite formed portion of the next consecutive element on the opposing tape, called the element cup; together with other elements, the element points and their complimentary element shapes join to form a closed zipper chain.

back to top

Elements

The individual parts of a zipper that are attached to the tape portion of zipper chain; they can be made out of many different materials ranging from metal, to nylon monofilament, to plastic; when meshed together in a gearing action, the elements from two separate halves of zipper chain join together to form a closed slide fastener; commonly called teeth.

back to top

Finished Zipper

A zipper that is cut to a specific length, usually with at least one slider mounted on the zipper chain, having top stop(s) and/or a bottom stop of some kind holding the zipper tape together as well as defining the configuration of the zipper; For more specifics see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Gauge

In general terms this refers to the heaviness or weight of the elements in a given zipper chain; usually defined as a number from 2 through 30, these gauges vary in the width, thickness, and length of the actual elements of a zipper chain; the lower the number the smaller the chain, the higher the number the larger the chain; also refers to all corresponding parts of a zipper like sliders and stops; A #5 slider for metal zipper chain will not fit #3 metal zipper chain nor will they fit #5 nylon zipper chain; the components must match the type AND gauge of the zipper chain they are to go on.

back to top

Gilt

This term refers to a finish that is applied to different metal zipper components, usually aluminum, making them look gold. It is an inexpensive alternative to gold plated metals or real brass, however it is an inferior look compared to the true versions. It can be applied to the elements of aluminum zipper chain as well as to the top stops and bottom stops used in the production of finished zippers; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Head (of the slider)

The top portion of a slider where the zipper chain enters or exits as two separate pieces of tape; used in describing the orientation of one or more slider(s) on a zipper, for instance “the two sliders are arranged in a head to head orientation”; For more information on sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Injection Molded

A production process mainly used for plastic resins where the resin is heated to melting point and pushed or injected into a mold of the desired shape under great force, after a brief cooling period to solidify the resin, the mold is opened and removed, exposing the finished product; commonly used to make plastic zipper chain.

back to top

Linkage

A portion of a slider mounted between the slider body and the puller forming a continuous connection between the parts; sometimes this part is purely decorative, sometimes it is used to lengthen a slider assembly or change the orientation of the puller in relation to the slider; they can be made out of many materials and in many shapes; much like open bale sliders, linkages can be pre-assembled within a slider or left in an open condition, already attached to the slider body but awaiting a puller by others; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Metal (as a zipper chain material)

A material that the elements, or its components like slider(s) or stop(s), are made of in a given metal zipper or zipper chain; the metals used vary from Aluminum, Brass, Nickel, to many other specialty metals; metals are used for its durability or Plastic or Nylon zipper materials; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Mill Finish

This finish refers to zipper chains, specifically metal like Aluminum, Brass, and Nickel; it essentially is a lack of a finish, more of the condition the elements are in after they are formed from the base wire used in their production; it is the clean, oxidation free version of the metal, ready for use accepting a slider; it is the most common type of finish for these metal zipper chains; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Nickel (as a zipper chain material)

A material that the elements are made of in a given metal zipper or zipper chain; Nickel is a silvery metal with a shiny quality that is harder then Brass but still somewhat malleable, its self lubricating property (the more the zipper is opened and closed, the easier the function becomes) is similar to that of Brass; used for its durability, cost is higher than Brass; For more information on materials, metals, and finishes available see The SZI Materials & Finishes Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Non Lock Slider

A type of slider that does not lock in any way on zipper chain; if the two top sides of the zipper chain are pulled apart at a considerable angle this slider will easily slide down a zipper chain; it will also slide down as a result of outside movement forces on the zipper; commonly used in handbags to keep the zipper closed; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Notch Lock Slider

A type of slider that partially locks onto metal or plastic zipper chain at a given point along the length of the zipper without action by the user; simple release of the slider is all that is necessary for the slider to partially lock itself in place on the zipper chain, effectively eliminating the possibility of the zipper chain accidentally opening; the locking function is only effective if the two top sides of the zipper chain are pulled apart at a considerable angle; this slider will NOT stop a slider slowly moving down a zipper chain as a result of outside movement forces on the zipper; commonly used in handbags to keep the zipper closed; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Nylon Monofilament

This is a type of plastic formed into a long, thin strand, similar to fishing line; it is very durable, strong, and resistant to many chemicals; it is formed into a spring-like coil for use in zipper(s) as the elements of zipper chain.

back to top

Nylon (as a zipper chain material)

The generic term used for zipper(s) or zipper chain that utilize nylon monofilament coil for the elements; it is used for its durability, light weight, and relative inexpensive cost.

back to top

Open Bale Slider

Essentially a Non Lock slider without a puller that has the bale of the slider body in the raised position, ready to accept a puller by others; after the puller is placed, the bale is carefully closed via a bending motion with a pliers or like tool; commonly used in handbags to easily customize sliders with a logo or custom made puller; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Open Ended Zipper

A certain configuration of a finished zipper having an arrangement where the two sides of the zipper chain are able to completely separate via a special arrangement called the pin and pin box located at the bottom of the zipper through the use of a single slider; most commonly used in garments like jackets and sweaters that are meant to open in the front for easy application or removal from the individual wearing the garment; For specifics on this and many other zipper configurations see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Pin

A special part of a stop assembly used in open ended zippers, it is attached to the tape of zipper chain at the bottom of the zipper, below the last element and is meant to slide into the corresponding pin box to form a connection that is joined via the slider passing along the two parts; it forms a completed stop mechanism with the pin box and defines the bottom of the zipper onto which it is mounted; this part of a zipper is also “handed” in that it can either be on the left side of the zipper (as when worn) or on the right side of the zipper (as when worn); common configuration in the United States is left handed, common configuration in Europe and abroad is right handed.

back to top

Pin Box

A special part of a stop assembly used in open ended zippers, it is attached to the tape of zipper chain at the bottom of the zipper, below the last element and is meant to receive the corresponding pin portion of the zipper to form a connection that is joined via the slider passing along the two parts; it forms a completed stop mechanism with the pin and defines the bottom of the zipper onto which it is mounted; this part of a zipper is also “handed” only in that it receives the left or right handed version of its corresponding pin with the pin defining the handed version.

back to top

Pin Lock Slider

A type of slider that locks onto zipper chain at a given point along the length of the zipper with slight action by the user; simple pressing of the hinged type puller is all that is necessary for the pin(s) on the back of the puller to lock in place on the zipper chain, eliminating the possibility of the zipper chain accidentally opening via a slider that slowly moves down via outside movement forces on the zipper; commonly used in slipcover and furniture applications to keep the zipper closed; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Plastic (as a zipper chain material)

The generic term used for zipper(s) or zipper chain that utilize injection molded resin(s) (commonly called Plastic) for the elements; the particular plastics used vary, but Delrin and Nylon are two of the most common; plastic is used for its durability, moderate weight, and moderate cost.

back to top

Puller

The part of a zipper, attached to a slider, that is grasped by the user in order to facilitate movement of the slider along the zipper chain thus opening or closing the zipper; although pullers are usually pre-attached to sliders, they can be an individual item and applied as needed to an open bale or linkage accepting slider body by others; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Rhinestone (as a zipper chain material)

The generic term used for zipper(s) or zipper chain that utilize injection molded resin(s) (commonly called Plastic) for the elements with the addition of either authentic or artificial rhinestones embedded in each of the elements; the particular plastics used vary, but Delrin is the most common; plastic is used for its durability, moderate weight; the addition of the rhinestones add considerable cost.

back to top

Separator Zipper

see open ended zipper or for specifics on this and many other zipper configurations see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Slide Fastener

The general term for any fastening system compromising of a sliding portion mounted upon a separable, flexible track, usually zipper chain, where movement of the slider portion either joins the track or separates the track depending on the direction it is moved; commonly slide fasteners refer to zipper(s) in the most general of terms.

back to top

Slider

The potion of a slide fastener system that is actually moved either up of down zipper chain to join or separate the tapes; also commonly referred to as a zipper head; For more information on sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Slider Body

The main portion of a slider assembly that makes up the actual chamber that joins and separates the zipper chain as it passes through the slider; this part of the slider is present regardless of the type or function; all other parts of a slider (puller, linkage, etc) are mounted to the body and basically defines what type of slide it is; The SZI Slider Guide or more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Stops

The parts of a finished zipper that both determine the length of the zipper and define the given configuration of the zipper; the most common types are the top stop, the bottom stop, and the bridge stop; all of which can be made out of many different materials but metal and plastic are the most common.

back to top

Tail (of the slider)

The bottom portion of a slider where the zipper chain enters or exits as one joined piece of zipper chain; used in describing the orientation of one or more slider(s) on a zipper, for instance “the two sliders are arranged in a tail to tail orientation”; For more information on this and other sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Tape

See zipper tape.

Tape Ends

The extra tape material that exists at the top and possibly the bottom of a finished zipper where elements have been removed from the tape during manufacture; it is a variable length from zero to several inches according to the specification given for the zipper; usually used to help install the zipper and attach it to the finished garment or product.

back to top

Teeth

See Elements

back to top

Top Stop(s)

A part of a zipper that functions to stop the slider from moving past a certain point at the top of the zipper; it partially defines the length of the zipper in conjunction with its counterpart, the bottom stop or bridge stop at the bottom end of the zipper; usually they are used in pairs, one on each side of the zipper tape above the elements, but a single top stop can be used on certain metal zippers.

back to top

Two Way Separator

A certain configuration of a finished zipper having an arrangement where the two sides of the zipper chain are able to completely separate via a special arrangement called the pin and pin located at the bottom of the zipper through the use of a single slider opening the zipper from the top down or completely separating the zipper, or via a second slider mounted upside down, allowing the zipper to open from the bottom up; most commonly used in garments like jackets and sweaters that are meant to open in the front for easy application or removal from the individual and also allowing the bottom portion to be opened via the upside down slider for freeing the bottom part of the garment for better movement to wearer; For specifics on this and many other zipper configurations see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Vislon (as a zipper or zipper chain material)

This is commonly used commercial name for zipper(s) or zipper chain made from the plastic resin Delrin, see also Delrin.

back to top

Zipper

A mechanical closure devise composed of a tape to which elements or teeth are attached along its length; two of these tapes can then be meshed together to form zipper chain via the use of a slider run along the point at which both halves of the zipper chain meet, providing for either a closed or open situation in regard to the two halves of the tape; top stop(s), bottom stop(s), bridge stop(s), or pin(s) & box(es) are then attached appropriately to give the zipper chain a configuration and a specific length; For specifics on this and many other zipper configurations see The SZI Finished Zipper Configuration Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Zipper Chain

Most commonly refers to the potion of a finished zipper that is composed of only the continuous zipper chain; is also used as a shortened version of continuous zipper chain. The actual mechanical closure devise composed of a tape to which elements or teeth are attached along its length, two of these tapes can then be meshed together to form zipper chain via the use of a slider run along the point at which both halves of the zipper chain meet, providing for either a closed or open situation in regard to the two halves of the tape.

back to top

Zipper Head

See Slider; For more information on sliders see The SZI Slider Guide located to the right of this page.

back to top

Zipper Tape

The flexible material portion of zipper chain, usually a type of fabric, but can be various forms of vinyl or plastic; onto which the element(s) of the zipper chain are directly attached.

back to top