Ad Campaign – Talon Zephyr, 1960

This September 1960 ad for Talon nylon zippers is the earliest one I’ve got in my collection.  One of the long-standing debates in clothing history is when was the nylon coil zipper introduced.  There are dozens of zipper histories on the web, but most don’t even mention the nylon zipper.  I’ve read statements from people who claimed they used nylon zippers in the late 1950s, and I’ve also read claims that nylon zippers were not available until the mid 60s.

Our ad clearly shows that nylon zippers were in use by manufacturers in 1960, and the ad says they are “new,” so one can assume that they were not used much earlier than that date.  Also, this ad was to introduce clothing buyers to the new zipper, and to reassure them that the zipper was “safe” to use.

I’m not sure if the new zippers became available to home sewers at this time, but my feeling is that it was not until a bit later.  When I took my first formal sewing class in 1967, our sewing teacher advised us not to use a nylon zipper as they were not as reliable as the metal ones.  So even by that late date, the nylon zipper had not been completely accepted.

And that is what makes using the zipper type a bit tricky when it comes to dating a garment.  Throughout the 60s garments were being made using either.  Even in the 1970s many home sewers were using metal zippers.

If anyone has any concrete evidence – an ad, or an article in print – that pre-dates September 1960s, please post about it.  And I’d love to have a copy for my files.  Also, anyone with early 1960s home sewing magazines, I love to hear about what they show about the use of nylon zippers.


Filed under Advertisements

15 responses to “Ad Campaign – Talon Zephyr, 1960

  1. Ruth

    I remember making a dress in the early seventies that had a nylon zipper in it. I loved the dress, but it would never stay zipped, at the worst of times of course! It was a loose-fitting jumper with a hook above the zipper, but it just wouldn’t stay closed. At least I usually wore it with one of those blouses the snapped closed at the crotch so things weren’t exposed, but I finally had to get rid of it.


  2. Pingback: Two Birds with One Stone – Zippers and Tweed | The Vintage Traveler

  3. Are you still looking for nylon zip ads, i was counting pattern pieces and found an ad in a patten packet c1960 – it even has a poem!
    let me know i can scan it for you.


  4. I’ve put the pics for the Optilon Zip here
    feel free to use them as you wish, it was inside Butterick 2888 which is on the vintage pattern wiki


  5. Pingback: Ad Campaign – Talon Zippers, 1972 | The Vintage Traveler

  6. Ultrawoman

    When I was a kid in the early Seventies, my dresses had metal zippers in them. They were cold, scratchy and would frequently jam. The teeth were painted metal.


  7. Thank you for showing me this advert. It’s great to see this evidence. It seems there was much experimentation with zippers pre-1960s that it makes my head spin to discover the details of that race to find the perfect zipper.


  8. Pingback: Ad Campaign - Talon Zephyr, 1960 | Vintage and ...

  9. CS

    Some interesting old blurbs in – the ad with the woman in the maid uniform is just barely readable, but Talon used 1960 as the intro date there. They also claim in another ad on that page (the black and white one) to have “pioneered” the nylon zips, and the narrative at least has the ring of truth. YKK had brought out its line of concealing zips with fabric flaps in front just a year or two before, and a softer, less conspicuous fastener seems like a good response.


  10. I have a 1960s wiggle dress in my shop with a Talon Zephyr tag on it. While doing some research on what this tag was talking about, I stumbled upon your blog post. I thought you might like to see a dress advertising this *new* technology!
    The Dress:


  11. Pingback: How to Date Vintage Clothing by Zippers – Site Title

  12. I have a deadstock skirt that has the hang tag still on the zipper. I’d be happy to get you a photograph if you would be interested. The skirt is made of 100% wool manufactured by the Wyandotte Wool and that mill shuttered in 1962.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.