Types of Fasteners for Clothing

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Fasteners for clothing are both functional and decorative. Certain types of snap fasteners, for example, feature a decorative cap that resembles a round button, yet requires no buttonhole. Toggle-fastenings offer an alternative to zippers that occasionally jam or break. Fasteners help reinforce a section of a garment and add structural integrity.



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Round grommets look like metal or plastic rings that help reinforce holes. A cord or lace threads through the hole, also known as the eye. A grommet press or a grommet setting tool and a small hammer help fasten the grommet to the garment. (See Reference 3) Examples of grommets are found on laced running shoes and laced clothing. A grommet belt allows a person to adjust the fit by inserting a buckle's metal pin through a reinforced hole.

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Hook and Loop

A hook and loop fastener works much like a burr that attaches itself to the loops of a garment. Swiss engineer George de Mestral developed the hook and loop fastener, which consists of two strips -- one with the tiny hooks and the other with the loops. The strips are sewn on overlapping parts of a garment, such as a front placket of a rain jacket.


Hooks and Eyes

Hooks and eyes consist of two parts that interlock. The hook part features a curved shape with small openings to allow hand stitching. The eye part resembles a U-shape with a metal loop at each end. Hand-sewn stitches fasten the loops to the garment. A hook and eye set helps close the back neckline on a dress. A broader hook and eye is used to fasten at a waistband of a skirt or pair of pants. Hook-and-eye tape features two fabric tapes: one with a row of hooks, the other with a row of eyes.



Snap fasteners, or snaps, feature interlocking discs. Certain kinds of metal or plastic fasteners are hand-sewn on the garment. Another type of snap fastener requires special snap pliers that press the parts onto the garment. The two types of snaps are the post-style and the prong-style. The post-style features a shaft that pierces the fabric. The prong-style features prongs or metal teeth that pierce the fabric. Post-style snaps work well on heavy outerwear and denim jeans. Prong-style snaps suit children's wear and lightweight jackets. Snap tape includes two fabric strips with rows of snap fasteners that snap together to close. The rows clasp to close a garment, such as the front placket of a Henley shirt.


Toggle Fastenings

Toggle fastenings are often made of wood, buffalo horn, metal or plastic. In contrast to the disc-shaped button, the toggle is usually long and narrow. The duffel coat features four toggle fastenings, sometimes known as "walrus teeth." The toggle fastenings insert through loops of rope or leather to help fasten the front of the coat. A person wearing gloves is able to fasten and unfasten these toggle fasteners.


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