How to Replace a Zipper in a Hooded Jacket

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Replace a Zipper in a Hooded Jacket
Replace a Zipper in a Hooded Jacket (Image: Maggie Hira)

Hooded jackets are a casual type of clothing often worn during the cool fall and winter months. They're often made of soft, comfortable materials, like fleece or a cotton/polyester blend. Hooded jackets are pretty durable and can last for years if they're taken care of properly. If a hooded jacket's zipper is damaged, it is easily replaced and requires only minimal sewing skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Small scissors
  • Replacement zipper
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing kit
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Fabric pins

Remove the defective zipper by carefully undoing its stitches on the hooded jacket. Use a pair of small scissors to cut each individual stitch; then pull them out with your fingers. When you undo the stitches to replace the original zipper, you will be left with an incision (running the length of the zipper) on the outer edge of the jacket front, which you will sew closed when you add the replacement zipper.

Measure the length of the original zipper with your measuring tape.

Purchase a replacement zipper of the same length and color as the old one so it matches the hooded jacket. Unzip the zipper so that you have two separate pieces.

Place the cloth end of the zipper piece that contains the pulley inside the left edge of the jacket front. Pin the zipper to hold it in place. Sew in the zipper onto the lining of the fabric. Topstitch the outside fabric onto the lining and the zipper cloth.

Place the other half of the zipper inside the right edge of the jacket front, pin it in place and sew it in as you did in Step 4. Cut off any loose threads. The hooded jacket is again ready to wear.

Tips & Warnings

  • If only one side of the zipper is defective or broken, replace that one without touching the other one. You will save time and money with this approach.
  • Try to sew in the new zipper in the same manner that the jacket company had sewn in the original zipper.
  • Instead of using small scissors to undo the stitches, use a seam ripper.

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