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Intro to Snap Fasteners

Snap Fasteners

How to attach and choose the right snap fasteners for the perfect look.

Snap it Up!

The colorful closure that's perfect for everything from home dec to kids wear.

What's a Snap?

Snap PartsSnap (snap) n. 1: any clasp or fastener that closes with a click.
2: to close, fasten, go into place, etc.
with a snapping sound.
3: to break, part or be released with a sharp, cracking sound.

Snap fasteners (most commonly known as ‘snaps') date back as far as the 1800's when the sew-on snaps were used for costumes and lingerie. It wasn't until the 1940's that the 4-part gripper style snaps were introduced to the home sewing consumers. This style of snap fastener revolutionized the way sewing consumers used snaps. Up until then, the only large garment manufacturers were able to use precision automatic equipment to attach snaps onto clothing.

Today, sewing consumers have many options for snap attachment. From die-based pliers to hammer-based tools, home sewing consumers can attach snaps to sewing projects with precision. When it comes to attaching 4-part snaps, a snap attaching device is required. Choosing a snap attaching tool is like choosing fabric for a garment — the decision is based on personal preference.

Snap Components

Snap ComponentsThere are two different types of snaps currently on the market — post-style and prong-style. A post-style snap has a shaft that requires a hole to penetrate the fabric. A prong-style snap has teeth that penetrate through the fabric. For best results, look for industrial quality snaps that are sure to stay secure.

Technically, snap fasteners are mechanical closures consisting of a closure unit and attaching unit. A post-style snap has a shaft that requires a hole to penetrate the fabric. A prong-style snap has teeth that penetrate through the fabric. For best results, look for industrial quality snaps that are sure to stay secure.

Note: Do not mix snap parts among manufactures. Snap fasteners are not interchangeable and are not warranted if used interchangeably. Each manufacturer makes snaps to function in harmony. Adding another manufacturer's snap components into the mix could cause the snaps not to work. Prong-style snaps are best used with loosely woven or knit fabrics. Some of the most common uses for prong-style snaps are:

• Cardigans, shirts, vests
• Lightweight jacket
• Polar fleece garments
• Children's wear
• Western wear
• Home décor
• Costumes
• Uniforms
• Sleepwear

Snap ComponentsPost-style snaps are best used with densely woven or natural/synthetic fabrics. Some of the most common uses for post-style snaps are:

• Leather jackets
• Heavy outer wear jackets
• Denim jackets/jeans
• Purses/bags
• RV and Boat covers

Fabric Preparation

Choosing the right fabric for a garment or project is as important as choosing the correct interfacing for proper snap attachment. It is recommended that you use an interfacing to help reinforce and protect the fabric surrounding the fasteners. The best overall interfacing to use with snaps is a woven, non-fusible interfacing. An example would be muslin or a loosely woven cotton/blend interfacing. Be sure to pre-shrink your interfacing for best results.

Ready, Set, Snap!

Do Not Mix Snap Parts!Need some ideas for snap placement? Look for patterns that call for buttons and replace them with snaps or try some of these ideas:

  • Replace plain looking buttons on a shirt with prong-style snaps by covering the buttonhole with the fashion colored snap and socket. Remove the button from the shirt. Attach the stud to the ring where the button was removed. Hint: cover only a portion of the buttonhole — the snap will look like a button and you'll have the look of a button with the convenience of a snap!

  • Create your own snap tape. Use twill tape, bias tape or self-fabric strips as the foundation for the snaps. This way you can space the snaps where you want. Be sure to make the foundation fabric wide enough to stitch the snap strip onto the fabric.

  • If your pattern calls for a zipper and you want to use snaps, add 1 1/2" to the center front of your pattern before cutting out the garment. Interface 1" for the facing and fold to the wrong side of the garment. Construct the remaining garment according to the pattern instructions. Attach snaps 3/4" from the fold line of the facing according to the manufacturers instructions.

  • Polar fleece fabrics and prong-style snaps are the perfect combination. Be sure to remove the bulk of the pattern before constructing the garment. Plan on replacing the facings of the garment with two layers of a lightweight coordinating fabric such as 100% cotton quilt fabric. This method will reduce the fabric bulk and help in garment construction.
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