Chapt 14 - Closures
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Table of Contents ] Chapt 1 - Fabric ] Chapt 2 - Tools and Equipment ] Chapt 3 - The Sewing Machine ] Chapt 4 - Patterns ] Chapt 5 - Pressing ] Chapt 6 - Marking The Fabric ] Chapt 7 - Preparing to Begin ] Chapt 8 - Seams ] Chapt 9 - Seam Finishes ] Chapt 10 - Stabilization ] Chapt 11 - Control of Fullness ] Chapt 12 - Finishing Edges ] Chapt 13 - Hand Sewing ] [ Chapt 14 - Closures ] Chapt 15 - Body Measurements ] Chapt 16 - Ease In Clothing ] Chapt 17 - Pattern Alterations ] Chapt 18 - Finished Dimensions ] Chapt 19 - Common Terms ] Chapt 20 - Common Costume Fabrics ] Index of Sewing Exercises ]

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Closures are two-piece, mechanical devices used to close plackets. There are two large groups of closures: Those that are sewn on and those that are pressure applied. Common sewn on closures are snaps, hooks and loops or eyes, buttons and buttonholes, and zippers. Less frequently used sewn on closures are hook and loop tape, Velcro, frogs, toggles, buckles and straps, and ties. Pressure applied closures are eyelets, grommets, and four part pronged snaps (such as Gripper snaps). Each style of closure has been designed to function in a specific way. The design of the placket and placket facing is inseparable from the choice of the closure for that placket.

Closures put stress on the garment area to which they are attached because they are repeatedly opened and closed and because they are often used to keep a placket closed in a garment area that fits the body closely, (example: at the waistline). Since they do put stress on the fabric, closures are usually put on faced and/or interfaced areas. When they are not being attached to interfaced areas (as in many double-breasted garments for example) the area they are to be sewn to should be reinforced with a piece of fabric or a backing button. 

Proper placement and attaching of closures is vital to the life and appearance of the garment. The important thing to remember is that the original shape and fit of the garment should be restored when the placket is closed. In the case of an inseam placket this means placing and attaching the closures so that the seam line is restored on closing the placket. For the slashed placket, closure choice and placement should restore the original shape of the garment by allowing for the fabric lost when slashing and facing the placket.

The zipper is a recent addition to the family of sewn in closures, but it has pretty much taken over as the universal closure since its introduction. The zipper has a number of working parts; the zipper tape on which you find the zipper teeth either metal or plastic and the stops at the bottom and top of the zipper teeth. The slider is the device that meshes and un-meshes the zipper teeth. The stops on the tape are there to keep the slider from coming off either: end of the zipper. The metal or plastic stops may be replaced by thread stops if they are lost of if you need to change the length of a zipper. Many costume shops make their own zippers to the specific length needed by buying the parts and putting them together in the workroom.

Zippers come in a number of styles and weights designed to do a number of different jobs. There are separating zippers for plackets that must open top and bottom, the neckline zipper for plackets that open only at one end, and the dress placket zipper for the placket closed at both ends. Different weights of teeth, tape and other parts are marketed to serve the needs of the variety of styles of garments using zipper closings.

The sewing exercises that follow include directions for the lapped application of a zipper in an inseam placket. There are also sewing exercises on attaching hooks and loops, snaps, buttons.

Closures: snaps, hooks & eyes, buttons, zippers

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