Zipper starter: How can I start a zipper with only one hand?

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How can I start a zipper with only one hand?

Question

Re: the zipper helper - great to be able to move it up or down, but for stroke patients with only one mobile hand, how would they start the zipper without an aide?

Our answer

Navigating the closure of zippers can be challenging with one hand. While the Ability411 article Are there tools that can help someone hang clothes with one arm? focused on working in a clothing store; here are some products and techniques that may address the challenge of closing one’s zippers with one hand:

Behavioural techniques

There are several techniques to align the zipper ends to be closed with one mobile hand. Here are some options demonstrated in the videos below:

Purchasable products

If purchasing new clothing or tailoring your clothing is an option for you, these products might make zipping up clothes easier:

  • MagZip by DNS Designs is a magnetic zipper that allows for starting zippers with single-handed use without excessive dexterity. The zipper base holds together through magnets. This option requires you to install the MagZip zippers in your current clothing. You can purchase the zipper at ANKHGEAR for around $7 (USD), plus additional shipping costs.
  • Small Round Magnets by Linlinzz (at Amazon Canada) could be used to mimic the MagZip zippers. Unlike the MagZip, the magnets cannot align the zipper ends, but if magnets are attached near the zipper starting hem, the magnets could help hold the zipper parts close to each other as one lines the mechanism up with one hand. The magnets cost around $14 (CDN), plus additional shipping costs.
  • Magnaready is a US company that offers a wide array of clothing designed to close through magnets instead of zippers or buttons. Their clothes range from around $50 to $100 (USD), plus additional shipping costs.

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