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The 4-1-1 on YKK Zippers

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Hey, Zipper-Snappers!

Today is National Zipper Day as it’s celebrated each year on April 29th. Such an everyday, ordinary object, the zipper actually revolutionized our means of closure for a vast number of items like clothing and a long list of camping gear like sleeping bags, backpacks, duffel bags, toiletry bags, and more! Zippers were first invented in 1893 to be a faster, more efficient alternative to what people did before than: button up.

When it comes to the world of zippers, there’s one company that reigns supreme: YKK. Renowned for their time-tested design, appearance, and longevity, YKK zippers are used to fasten all sorts of things.

Learn about zippers today!

A Lot Going On

You wouldn’t think it just looking at one, but a typical zipper has over a dozen parts, including teeth, sliders, and a pull tab. The teeth are the interlocking parts of the zipper that make it work, while the slider is what moves up and down the teeth to open and close the zipper. The pull tab is the part of it you hold it by to move the slider. There’s a lot to get right—and on such a miniscule scale. But YKK has been getting it right for nearly the last century.

Do you know what the number next to a zipper means?

A Name of Initials

The company was founded in 1934 by Tadao Yoshida in Tokyo, Japan. I can’t pronounce it, but the full company name is ‘Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha’ which essentially translates to “Yoshida Company Limited” in English. Over years of stamping their initials onto the pull tabs of their zippers, this abbreviation got to be recognized as the company's trademark.

Take a Number

Did you know that the number listed for a zipper (i.e. #10 Zipper) refers to the length in millimeters across the fabric on either side of the teeth? This measurement is used to ensure that the zipper will fit properly on the garment or item it is intended for.


When it comes to camping gear, zippers are pretty important so we want to make sure you’re informed when you’re shopping our online store here at Everything Summer Camp! The next time you're zipping up a rain jacket or accessing your sleeping bag, take a moment to appreciate the power of the modest, yet mighty zipper. Happy National Zipper Day, Everybody. Thanks for reading. And, as always, Happy Camping!


- John

Posted in Random Thoughts


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