Tips for Inserting Zippers Next To Welt Cord

Zippers next to welt cord.  How are you doing inserting zippers next to welt cord in pillows, cushions, and bedding?  Do you ever wonder if yours are sewn well enough?  Do you ever struggle with the size or type of zipper you should use?  In this blog, we’ll focus on two types of zippers next to welt cord, regular zippers, and invisible zippers.  Once you get the hang of inserting these, you’ll be zipping along with no trouble at all.  Let me help build your confidence so you can build your sewing skills.

Regular zippers next to welt cord

This may sound like a no brainer because a lot of you are comfortable with inserting regular zippers next to welt cord in pillows.  The tip I’d like to share with you is the size of the flap you use to cover the zipper.  This flap should not be so large that it covers the welt cord.  And it shouldn’t be so small that it allows the zipper to show.  The flap should just touch the welt cord.  You may need to play around with the size of the flap based on the weight of the fabric, the size of the welt cord, or how full you fill the pillow.

The flap covering the zipper just touches the welt cord. Isn’t this pretty?

Here's another pillow showing the flap just touching the welt cord. This was a faux leather so the sewing technique had to be correct the first time. Sew slowly and carefully!

Here’s another pillow showing the flap just touching the welt cord. This was a faux leather so the sewing technique had to be correct the first time. Sew slowly and carefully!

Invisible zippers next to welt cord

How are you doing sewing zippers next to welt cord?  Based on the number of calls, emails, and requests I receive from you, this is a zipper technique a lot of you are fearful of and wanting more assistance with.  Let me share a few tips on this technique to help you along the way.

Tip #1

It is possible to sew too close to the invisible zipper teeth.  When this happens, it will be difficult for you to open and close the invisible zipper. And if you accidentally sew over the teeth of an invisible zipper, the zipper will not work so it’s best you just start over with a new zipper.

Tip #2

When sewing an invisible zipper next to welt cord and you’re using a drapery weight fabric an invisible zipper size #3 works well.  However, heavier weight fabrics, or when you are using lining and interlining in your pillow projects, moving up to an invisible zipper #5 will be a good idea.  This is due to the turn of the cloth.  The heavier weight the fabric, the larger the turn of the cloth will be which will then in turn bump into the zipper teeth making it difficult to open and close the zipper.  Lastly, you’ll want to use invisible zippers intended for home dec use.  Zippers for the clothing industry are not intended for home dec use.

This photo shows the comparison between a size #5 and size #3 invisible zipper and the size of the zipper pulls. I like to consider the size of the pulls because in a well sewn invisible zipper next to welt cord, the only thing that shows is the zipper pull.

This photo shows the comparison between a size #5 and size #3 invisible zipper and the size of the zipper pulls. I like to consider the size of the pulls because, in a well sewn invisible zipper next to welt cord, the only thing that shows is the zipper pull.

Tip #3

When you are sewing an invisible zipper next to welt cord, the cord is sewn to the pillow first, of course.  Be sure the seam join of the welt cord, or the decorative braid cord, is not along the edge of the pillow, or cushion, where the zipper is sewn.  As a habit, I always put this join in the lower right-hand area of the project.

  Tip #4

I’ve saved this tip for last because I want to be sure you remember this one.  And this is your pass to freedom.  it’s almost impossible for the invisible zipper to be right up to the welt cord.  But this is okay.  The welt cord is going to cover this once the project is completed.  Really, it is.

Invisible zipper next to welt cord. The only thing that shows is the zipper pull.

Invisible zipper next to welt cord. The only thing that shows is the zipper pull.

Practice makes perfect, or almost anyway! Once you master the skill of inserting zippers next to welt cord, you'll become comfortable and skilled enough to insert invisible zippers into pillows and match your stripes too. Really you will.

Practice makes perfect, or almost any way! Once you master the skill of inserting zippers next to welt cord, you’ll become comfortable and skilled enough to insert invisible zippers into pillows and match your stripes too. Really you will.

Tip #5

Are you a visual learner?  Take a look at this YouTube video I made so you can see how I like to insert an invisible zipper next to welt cord.  Watch the video to get the idea.  And then you can start and stop the video as you sew your invisible zipper next to welt cord.  https://youtu.be/I9zBE-y7BVk

For more online information for adding zippers to your projects, check out my on-demand Zippers in Pillows course which includes 6 video tutorials for different types of zippers for you to try.

Tip #6

Are you a hands-on, watch the instructor kind of learner, be sure to watch for my next Zipper Techniques, hands-on workshop coming up soon.  If you want to be the dates to this workshop, be sure to  Email me

Practice sewing zippers in your projects and let me know how you are progressing.  And if you have any questions, let me know.  I’d love to help you!

If you know someone who would benefit from reading this, please feel free to share it with them.    Thanks!

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