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A guide to Japanese Zippers Part I: Different types of YKK metal zippers

Metal zippers are used in a variety of places, including the fronts of clothing, jeans, pocket areas, and small items such as bags and pouches.

However there are so many different types of metal zippers that it can be hard to know which one to choose.

Don’t worry because there are various tips on how to choose a metal zipper depending on its intention, the style, and your budget.

In this article, let’s walk through the wide variety of YKK metal zippers and how they actually differ.

Metal zipper is a generic term for zippers which elements are made of metal.

YKK metal zippers are broadly classified into the following five types: Standard Metal Zippers, Yzip, Yzip Aluminum, EVERBRIGHT and EXCELLA.

Metal zippers (Standard)


This is the most common type of zipper in which the element (teeth) is made of metal. Materials used include aluminum alloy, tan copper, nickel silver, etc. A wide variety of element sizes and colors are available.

They are widely used for bags and jumpers.

Yzip ® (For jeans)

Yzip is a zipper for jeans that can be washed.

It is the most suitable zipper for jeans and cotton pants.

The element thickness is thicker than that of standard zippers, so Yzip zippers are recommended for pants, jeans, and other items that are subject to heavy loads or frequent washing.

The elements are made of tan copper and nickel silver.


This zipper has thicker elements and higher strength than the standard aluminum alloy zipper. Because it is made of aluminum alloy, it is lighter than Yzip for jeans. However, aluminum alloy elements are soft, and the metal is also vulnerable to impact, friction, acid, and alkali.

Therefore, it is not suitable for washing such as laundering because the elements become thinner when washed.



EVERBRIGHT® is a zipper that maintains the original shine of metal and has excellent corrosion resistance.

What is the difference compared to standard metal zippers?

The element made of copper alloy is polished by luster polishing treatment, and then treated with anti-rust treatment and clear coating on both sides (clear coating). Therefore the original shine and luster of the metal is maintained.

It has excellent corrosion resistance. In addition, when used on wool materials, ordinary metal zippers may discolor.

This is due to a chemical reaction between the residue of the cleaning solvent in the wool material and the metal plating.

This zipper compensates for the material characteristics of copper alloys, such as discoloration due to oxidation, and the luster of the metal gives it a more luxurious appearance.

Everbright can be safely used for wool materials.

The price is higher than standard metal zippers.

How shiny it looks is !Doesn’t the beautiful sparkle stand out when you change the angle?



EXCELLA zippers are the most luxurious and beautiful among YKK’s metal zippers, the pinnacle, so to speak. Because of the labor involved, the price range is also the highest among YKK zippers.

Each element is carefully polished, and the surface is characterized by smooth and beautifully shining elements. There are two types of element sizes: a slender and delicate single element and a double element with presence and weight.

We have talked about the charm of EXCELLA in a previous article, so if you would like to know more about it, please visit here : YKK’s exclusive Zippers: How to order one?


We hope you have a better glance about YKK zipper in general. Stay tune for part II where we will discuss more about how to order YKK zipper and what to expect when ordering them. We also strongly suggest you take a look at YKK Zipper English Catalog.

Also, don’t forget to vist our YKK product list for more information about YKK zippers.

Hi guys, this is Jane, the editor of ApparelX News. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, I hope my posts will help international readers get an overview about Japanese fashion industry as well as Japanese culture!