Zippers

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MechaSpanky, Nov 15, 2016.

  1. MechaSpanky macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #1
    I was just curious if anyone else has noticed a considerable depreciation in the quality of zippers over the past 5 years or so? I have so many sweatshirts, jackets, etc that have terrible zippers (some broke not long after buying). Now I'm not talking about some cheap made stuff, I'm talking about zippers on middle of the road things from the Gap, Nike, Quiksilver, Eddie Bauer, etc. It just seems like zippers just aren't very durable anymore, even on some more expensive things.

    As a side note, I lived in Japan for 10 years and the slider (the thing you move up to zip) was on the left side whereas it is always on the right in America. How about in Europe? It drove me crazy and I never got used to it.

    Mecha
     
  2. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #2
    I think the answer is that you are, in fact, buying the cheap stuff now. Which is to say, someone probably got a nice promotion when they suggested using cheap zippers in those lines.
     
  3. MechaSpanky thread starter macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #3
    mobilehaathi,

    I'm not buying cheap stuff, more middle of the road stuff in terms of price (but in terms of quality it seems cheaply made but it should be of higher quality for the price point). I wouldn't say Nike is cheap. It might not be top of the line but it isn't near the bottom either. Before I never had problems with brands like Nike, Gap or Quiksilver but recently I do. They are using super cheap zippers and it is inexcusable. What brands are you buying that have good quality zippers?

    Mecha
     
  4. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #4
    Your complaint is that your zippers are low quality. I'm suggesting that someone at the company decided to put low quality zippers in your mass produced clothing to cut costs.
     
  5. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    #5
    You may find zipper pull on opposite side of some women's attire in US.
     
  6. joec1101 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    Location:
    So Cal, USA
    #6
    Welcome to 2016 - Prices increase, quality decreases. It's almost everything out there anymore.
    It's all about shareholder profits these days. Corporate America doesn't care about much else.
     
  7. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #7
    Doesn't seem like something like that is really limited to any particular country/region or anything else like that.
     
  8. MechaSpanky thread starter macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #8
    Mobilehaati,

    Yeah, I know what you were implying and I had had the same thought but it seems odd that so many different companies would decide to use low quality zippers. I wouldn't be surprised by a bad zipper in a cheap zip-up hooded sweatshirt but a Quiksilver one shouldn't have a cheap zipper that breaks after a few uses. I have experienced it across many different brands. Dare I suggest a zipper conspiracy?

    Mecha

    BorderingOn,

    I know that the zipper pull is on the other side for women (in some countries including the US) that is why it drove me mad having it on the "wrong" side because I'm used to it being on the right side. It felt awkward pulling the zipper pull with my left hand (I'm also right handed).
     
  9. BorderingOn macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Not sure if it's still a thing but YKK zippers used to be recognized as very good quality. I looked around a few of my things and all zippers are YKK. Not one is broken. I've purchased a couple logo items in the past and their zippers did break after a while, before the material was worn.
     
  10. MechaSpanky thread starter macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
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    #10
    BorderingOn,

    I agree with you, YKK zippers are good, well normally. I have had two different YKK zippers break though and one of them was on a nice leather jacket. Luckily I was in Japan and YKK is Japanese so I was easily able to find a shop that had more knowledge about YKK zippers than anyone has a right to. They changed it out pretty easily and it wasn't all that expensive either. YKK makes many different models (and qualities) of zippers. Maybe some companies are trying to save a buck or two and use a cheaper zipper?

    Mecha
     
  11. joec1101 macrumors 6502

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    #11
    No, it isn't. It is a global problem, but, IMO, it started with Corporate America - just plain GREED
     
  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #12
    No corporations have been in existence outside of US and none wanted to save as much money as possible outside of US. Greed is a human trait that predates corporations and nations and pretty much all/most kinds of other things.
     
  13. Scepticalscribe, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #13
    I never even noticed that zippers are supposed to be gender coded; I don't think we have that in Europe.

    But then, you have such exotica as man-bags, man caves, and so on. Strange country. I doubt I'll ever get the hang of it, and I don't just mean politically.

    Re zippers, yes, I have noticed this deterioration in the quality of what is used; this is something I have also noticed with buttons, the quality of the thread used to secure the button, the quality of stitching, and so on.

    As to why this may have occurred: Well, I daresay that it - this deterioration in the quality of materials and workmanship used which has become sadly evident in recent years - is driven by the need to maximise profit for the businesses in question.

    Quite a few mid range companies - which made good quality clothing at affordable prices, and chose not to skimp on quality - were casualties of the recent economic & financial crash, unfortunately.

    Therefore, I suspect that some of the survivors have decided that the best way to stay afloat - financially, that is - is to cut corners and thus, they reduced the quality of what they sell.
     
  14. MechaSpanky thread starter macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
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    #14
    Scepticalscribe,

    It isn't just the US. I worked in Japan with a woman from Kenya. Her parents came to visit and her father bought a coat there in Japan. He asked her repeatedly "Are you sure this is a man's coat?" because the zipper pull was on the other side. He said that the zipper pull for women is on the left and for men it is on the right in Kenya but in Japan it isn't like that. You probably haven't noticed the zipper pull issue because you are only buying stuff from the UK (sorry if I'm incorrect but I thought you were in the UK) and I'm assuming a man. If you ask some ladies I'm sure some of them would tell you that some clothing makers put the zipper pull on the other side for ladies versions of their clothes. It is just like buttons on ladies' clothes are on the left as opposed to the buttons on men's clothes which are on the right. It is more common for ladies to wear men's clothes than for men to wear ladies' so ladies are often more aware of it than men.

    I completely agree with what you said about mid range companies and it is quite sad.

    Mecha
     
  15. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    Actually, I'm female, and I have worn stuff for both women and men (as some men's stuff - such as parka jackets, and some khakis, polo necks, - what you in the US call turtlenecks - are often of a far superior quality than the dross routinely offered to women), and I have honestly never ever noticed whether there is a difference in zip orientation, or, what you call the zip pull.

    What an odd idea.

    Back to silly constructs and notions of blue and pink, and feeding off a weird insecurity I seem to detect among some gentlemen on these threads.

    Anyway, I've always use my right hand for a zip, irrespective of where I bought a jacket, or anything else.
     
  16. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #16
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttonhole#Aspects_of_buttonholes
    Traditionally, men's clothing buttonholes are on the left side, and women's clothing buttonholes are on the right. The lore of this 'opposite' sides buttoning is that the practice came into being as 'women of means' had chamber maids who dressed them. So as not to confuse the poor chamber maids, the wealthy began having women's garments made with the buttons and holes 'switched'; the birth of the modern ladies' blouse. The chamber maids themselves, as did most all the common class, both male and female, actually wore 'shirts' with buttons and holes placed as on men's clothing. There appears to be no concrete reference to prove or disprove this story, but its plausibility bears noting.​

    This isn't the only lore I've heard about the origin. E.g. see here:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...ns-clothes-button-opposite-sides-1-180957361/

    Google search terms:
    coat button side
    shirt button side
     
  17. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #17
    Hmmm, quite interesting, thanks!
     
  18. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #18
    Don't swipe with so wide a brush. I've never embraced "man cave" as acceptable lingo, even if I don't completely abhor the concept. :)
     
  19. Zenithal, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016

    Zenithal Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #19
    Coincidentally, whenever I'm buying jeans or dress slacks, I always look for the YKK zipper. I can't even remember where I picked that tip up from. It's one thing to buy quality wool slacks for a nice large sum and find out later on the zipper degrades.

    If the OP seeks quality zippers and a product, I'd suggest buying from better brands. Patagonia, Fjalraven, REI, Columbia, et al. are quality and use YKK zippers.
     
  20. MechaSpanky thread starter macrumors 6502

    MechaSpanky

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    #20
    Scepticalscribe,
    For me I can't pull a zipper that has its pull on the left using my right hand, it just doesn't zip smoothly. So if the zipper pull is on the left side then I have to use my left hand which goes against my muscle memory and it feels unnatural. If the zipper pull is on the right then it zips smoothly using my right hand. And that is the whole problem, I would like the pull to be on the right side always but I lived in Japan for a long time and if I bought something that was made for the Japanese market, the zipper pull was on the left. On a positive note, I can now appreciate how left handed people feel in the US!

    Zenithal,

    YKK does make nice zippers but as I pointed out earlier, they make a wide variety of zippers. They make cheap, low quality zippers too. I don't think I am asking too much for clothing companies to use decent quality zippers on their clothes.

    Mecha
     

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