What exactly is a “clothes fastener”?

Simply put, it is a tool used to hold two pieces of fabric together. In practice, we use a dress fastener, such as a button or zipper, so that we can easily remove and put on the dress.

However, besides its functional purpose, the fastener can play an important role in determining the style or aesthetic of the garment. For example, a zippered leather jacket will differ significantly in style compared to a similarly designed button-down leather jacket.

Below are a few common types of clothing fasteners and how you can get creative with them.


A zipper, often called a zipper or slider, consists of two flexible strips of fabric that are attached to a row of plastic or metal "teeth" (also called zippers) and connected by a slider. Zippers are the usual fastener choice for jackets, dresses, skirts and trousers. Zippers can come in a variety of different materials that offer different levels of strength and flexibility. For example, "stronger" zippers are commonly used for jeans, while thinner zippers can be used for dresses. There are also various types of bottom zippers, often used on skirts, with hidden zippers where the elements are hidden behind fabric or nylon strips.


A fastening system that includes a long ribbon or cord. Much like a zipper, the system uses two pieces of fabric with many holes at the edges, and the long strip is wrapped around these holes in a zigzag pattern to interlock the two fabrics. From the Victorian Era (17th century) to the beginning of the 20th century, this fastening system is very common in women's clothing, especially in Western societies. Today, lacing is mostly used in shoes and boots. For example, modern corsets no longer use lacing as a lacing system, it has been replaced with a hook and loop system or eyelets (flat pressed metal eyelets) to create an easier lashing system.


It is probably the most common garment fastener today and is commonly used on coats, shirts and trousers. A button is a small, round thing, mostly made of plastic (but also metal and other materials) that is sewn to a piece of fabric. The other side of the fabric has small holes to let the button in which secures the two fabrics in place. A button typically has two to four small holes to allow us to sew them in, permanently securing the button on a piece of fabric.

Hooks and Eyes

It includes two different parts: interlocking "hooks" and "rings". The hook part contains a curved shape, to which small circles are attached at both ends. The rings contain a flat, U-shaped metal ring at each end. Each of these pieces is sewn into different pieces of fabric and we can easily insert the hook into the loop to fasten the garment.