Best Practices: Zipper Management

Zippers are complex components and it's important to develop a solid strategy for managing them within Backbone.

There are so many variable attributes to each zipper, that we generally recommend managing them by building a good breadth of unique Component Records.  Trying to capture too many of the variable attributes within one record leads to an overly complex Component Variant array.

Capture the key information for each zipper in its name.  Be sure to standardize the way you list this data for ease of searchability.  A common naming framework is Tooth Size / Material / Open or Closed / Slider Function.  Some examples below:

  • #3 METAL CLOSED AUTOLOCK
  • #5 VISLON CLOSED AUTOLOCK DA
  • #3 NYLON CLOSED NONLOCK 2WAY
  • #3 VISLON OPEN LEFT SEMILOCK

After building unique Component Records for each combination of these attributes, you can leverage the Component Variant sections to neatly manage your different zipper colors, and, where applicable, zipper lengths.

For zipper colors, consider whether you need to specify both tape and coil color/finish (common when working with metal zippers) or whether you generally have one color which encompasses the whole zipper.  If you're managing separate tape and coil colors, consider always leading with one and following with the other for consistency.  Examples below:

  • Ant Brass Teeth / Indigo Tape
  • Tth: Nickel - Tp: DTM
  • Black / Black

Managing zipper lengths as Variants can be handy if they won’t grade, like on Products such as handbags, backpacks, and home goods.  In this case, you may wish to specify on your BOM that the zipper will have gunmetal teeth, black tape, and be 6” long.  However, for apparel products where the zipper lengths grade from size to size, it’s best practice to define those lengths within the Size Spec rather than the BOM.

In this case, put the note “Refer to Size Spec” in your BOM and then build a Point of Measure for, say, “Center Front Zipper Length”, in the Spec, where you can leverage the table functionality to define the measurement for each size.

The “Refer to Size Spec” note can be added to your BOM in a couple different ways.  Some brands may add this in a free-type BOM-level field (like a “Placement” or “Notes” field).  Another method is to build a Variant type “Length”  within the zipper record, and assign a value of “Refer to Spec” there.

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