Why is there a hole in most zipper pull tabs?

Of course we know What does YKK mean on zippers?

Damn, I wish I hadn’t. :rolleyes:

So I googled for YKK.
http://www.ykkeurope.com/products/zippers3.php Aha, that pull thingy is called pull tab or puller.
http://www.howstuffworks.com/zipper.htm tells how zippers work and gives links to their history. Nice to know, but nothing about holes.

I could imagine the flesh of your fingers is meant to bulge into the hole, improving the grip. Makes no sense for holes as small as of Model G in this image. Is the dent (models F+G) at the outer end of the puller the point where you really get hold, and the hole just allows to reach around it? Not all zippers have that dent. Has it to do with Zipper lock? If they are made to fit human fingers, why varying hole sizes?

Have I no sense of design? Even if you restrict yourself to punching them out of flat ribbon steel, bending the pullers in a wavy shape would give a much better grip area.

Why a hole? Does it copy the look of old zippers with heavy iron rings? To put a padlock through? Metal saving? Something to tie a price tag to?

It saves on the amount of metal required, this increasing profits for the zipper manufacturer. :rolleyes:

More likely is that it helps you get a grip to pull on the tab. :slight_smile:

I’d think it was so you could, if you wished, put a peice of string or ribbon through it to improve the grip.

Then again, there could be something more sinister at work here.

Occationally I had to attach something to a zipper like a ski lift ticket, gloves or a string if it got really stuck and needed to give is a good yank. I don’t know if these are the reasons but it’s at least a useful side effect

It may not be the original purpose, but welby1 seems to have hit on something. I found a ton of these:

Button Loop/Zipper Pulls

I have a parka and a backpack which have short cords there. Have you ever tried to zip or unzip a zipper with thick gloves on? It is much easier if you have something larger to grab.

I will also note that I have had several pants where the zipper would not stay zipped and I just put a sort piece of wire through the hole and turn it around the waist button. Works for me.

It may not be the original purpose, but welby1 seems to have hit on something. I found a ton of these:

Button Loop/Zipper Pulls

A trip through my jeans drawer came up with the following: Levi’s, Wrangler’s, and Lee’s all have holes in the pull tab. A pair of Carhart jeans does not have a hole but the pull tab is about an inch long and is about half an in wide at the bottom. I would assume the longer pull tab would make it easier to unzip with gloves on.


As I recall, when attempting to don my Jordache or Sergio Valente jeans in 1982, I had to lie down on the bed and hook a wire hanger through the hole in order to pull the zipper up.

Somehow I don’t think that was the original purpose of the hole. :slight_smile:

Let’s hope I’ll never have to find out that dressing aids are useful. But they can’t be the only reason. Granted, if there are zippers with holes, then people certainly will be glad to have something to clip things like their Snoopy zipper pulls to.

Maybe I asked for one big single purpose where there is none. Rather many little reasons adding up. If you would take the hole away, you would make all those people unhappy who found a use for it. :slight_smile:

That alone doesn’t explain the tiny hole in purse or pocket zippers where you can’t even get a needle through. But here I can guess it’s to make the small and big ones look alike.

Who started with the holes… Looks like the chicken or the egg problem!

I think sometimes they press a bit of metal to make a tiny hook to keep your zipper from
falling & it comes from that hole?

Doubt it’s the metal savings: it costs money to make that hole (one added operation) and the punchings (the punched out parts) are so small that as scrap metal they’re nearly worthless. (high surface to mass ratio makes for low yield in the furnace)

Great idea, and you would just expect those cheap bastards to do this. I just took one of them apart.
(A zipper, not a bastard :D)
It was an automatic slider type as shown on this nice big overview page (2/3 down). There was a hook thingy in there. (And I mean ‘was’ until I figure out how to get it in again. :rolleyes: ) Alas, it is made of ferritic steel. None of the pull tabs I examined was made from the same material.