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Reinforcing ends of invisible zippers

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  • Reinforcing ends of invisible zippers

    I recently made 6 large knife edge cushions for a customer with invisible zippers in the bottom seam. When the customer stuffed the cushions with the inserts, some of them came adrift at the top end - the seams burst open about and inch and the zipper tape also came away from where it was tacked to the seam allowance. I've never had this happen previously. I attach the zippers using an invisible zipper foot and sew from the top of the teeth to as far down to the end as I can go. I then sew the rest of the seam closed with about a half inch overlap and then finally tack the ends of the zipper tape to the seam allowance. I suspect they are squishing in an oversize down insert (these are very expensive pillows). Is there a good way to reinforce the point where the seam meets the zipper? Would an interfacing on the seam allowance make a difference, or a fabric tab like you use on a box pillow. They are a medium weight linen type fabric. I'm concerned if I go with a really heavy thread that next time the thread may hold and the fabric will give way instead.
    This is a really good customer with lots of potential for future $$ so I sucked up the cost of my invoice, sent my apologies, and am hoping they will trust me down the line. I'd really like to get it right next time tho!

  • #2
    Re: Reinforcing ends of invisible zippers

    It sounds as though they could do with using smaller cushion inserts, or asking for larger covers! If you have used the same method that you normally use and there has never been a problem before, there must be something else causing the trouble now. Could you ask to put the cushions into the covers yourself so that you can see exactly what the problem is? It may be that they are just forcing them in too roughly. You could also try machine or hand stitching across the seam near the point where it meets the zipper.

    Best wishes
    Liz

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    • #3
      Re: Reinforcing ends of invisible zippers

      I always make a 'stopper' at the ends of zips but stitching backwards and forwards over the zip teeth, but you seem to have a bigger problem than just that. I don't think interfacing will help, the thread will still break. If they are putting in too big a cushion pad, then they should take the responsibility, and use common sense that if they put too big a strain on the opening something will have to give! Agree with Liz, ask them to let you have one of the pads and you can make the cover the right size.
      Kind regards
      Pen Harrison
      Colly Brook Fine Furnishings

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      • #4
        Re: Reinforcing ends of invisible zippers

        Thanks Liz and Pen for your advice. I do suspect they are using very large inserts but they are very specific about their requirements. It's not feasible for me to put the pads in myself. These are going to a designer in LA. I imagine they are rock hard, karate chopped, for looks only pillows. God forbid anyone should try to take a nap on one of these!! Unfortunately, it's a case of the customer is right here (even if they're not). I can't afford to lose this customer because they have come to me via a fabric designer who is my biggest customer. I know I am partially to blame for using a lightweight thread. I've made them a sample using upholstery weight thread (I don't usually like with invisible zippers because I find it can get too close to the teeth and make them stick), and after sewing the seams closed, I added a small square of fabric at each end and sewed through it back and forth through the teeth. I don't really like the line of stitching on the outside, but I think I could drive a train through it now and everything will hold together. If they go berserk and push the insert in so hard that the stitches hold and the fabric rips, then there's really a problem.....and it's not mine!

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