I may have fixed my jacket zipper with a heated nail. The zipper was getting tough to zip near the bottom recently. Just yesterday, it started pulling apart down there when zipped. I worried that I’d either need to deal with finding and sewing in a new zipper or, as I’ve done in the past, just buy a new jacket. I decided to take a closer look and see if it could be fixed first.

The zipper has some material on its face to make it water resistant. On close inspection with good lighting, I noticed the back side of the zipper, mostly near the bottom where it was having problems, had a bunch of little thread loops sticking out kind of in the way of the zipper teeth. I didn’t want to cut them for worry that they were holding something together that would fall apart without them. I thought perhaps melting them would allow me to get them out of the way without anything sewed coming apart.

A lighter would be too imprecise for the narrow zipper, so I eventually decided on and found a nail. I held it, head out, in vice grips over the stove, then carefully brushed the little threads with the edge of the head so they melted away from the zipper teeth. It went fairly quickly and seemed to make a fairly clean result.

I tested by zipping up the jacket. It went smoothly and didn’t come apart during my brief test, though I was a bit gentle with my movements. We’ll see how it holds up to normal wear and tear soon.