Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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button zip

Zip your buttons
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)
  [vote for,

Zips are practical, easy to use and generally a good thing.

Buttons have heritage and style.

The way a zip works is that there is a shaped rider which slides over a set of shaped fasteners. The rider is shaped so that it picks up each fastener in turn and engages it with the corresponding fastener on the other side of the opening.

Well, I see no reason with modern engineering and design, why a rider should not be invented that slides up and/or down the front of a traditional button-fastened garment. One side of the rider would engage with the buttons, the other side with the buttonholes. The action of drawing the rider up (or down) would engage little pawls which opened the buttonhole and fed the button sideways through.

The simpler implementation would involve a specially-matched rider custom-designed to fit a specific arrangement of fabric, seams, buttons and buttonholes. But once the design and use issues have been ironed out, I see no reason why a self-adjusting universal button zip pull should not be manufactured and distributed. This device would have internal springs and hinges so that it would self-adjust to engage with any plausible combination of fabric thickness and button size.

Questions: Does the rider detach from the garment after use, to be stored in a pocket? Or does it stay clinging at the top or bottom of its run like a convential zip pull?

pocmloc, Aug 01 2020


       // button zip //   

       For whatever reason I read this ideas name as bottom zip.   

       Suffice to say I entered with a degree of fear & some fascination at what I might find.   

       I'm not sure if I should be relieved or disappointed it's not what I thought.   


       I think I'm going to go for relieved.
Skewed, Aug 01 2020

       Many people probably think that this is a replacement for buttons, which I would bun backwards with my tight waistline unzipped. But this appears instead to describe some excessive gimcrackery to move a button into its usual tight fit.
4and20, Aug 01 2020

       It is absolutely and emphatically not just for appearance. The only thing more "naff" (as the late sir Hardy Amies would say) than a zip would be a concealed zip behind fake buttons.
pocmloc, Aug 01 2020

       //I’m having trouble visualizing the mechanism you’re describing, but perhaps it will become clearer after I’ve had another cup of coffee.//   

       OK, the coffee has kicked in. The device has two wheels, mounted on nearly parallel axles so that their edges are approximately tangential. Each wheel is mounted with the guide arms / pawls / channels. As the rider is slid, the wheels rotate. On the button side, the pawls / arms / channels engage the button, and rotate it on a longitudinal axis so that its edge is presented towards the buttonhole. Simultaneously, the buttonhole-side pawls / arms tooth into the buttonhole and both lift and widen it slightly and also rotate it longitudinally in a complementary direction to the button. As the rider is pulled a little further, these rotational movements bring the button and the hole into perfect alignment so that the edge of the button is now moving directly towards the opening of the hole. Further sliding of the rider rotates both wheels further, which moves the button and the hole towards each other and ultimately moves the button through the hole and the hole past the button. Finally, once the button is fully through the hole, further sliding of the rider and rotation of the wheels starts to withdraw the pawls/arms, both of which make a slight looping movement as they withdraw, sliding around the trailing edge of the button so as to ensure that the leading edge of the buttonhole is flipped over the trailing edge of the button. Finally, further sliding of the rider and consequent rotation of the wheel withdraws the pawls / arms completely, resetting them for the next button and buttonhole. Meanwhile, a second set of pawls and arms on the other side of the wheel are already engaged with the next button and hole. Operation in the opposite direction naturally reverses all these steps so as to unbutton the closure.
pocmloc, Aug 02 2020

       //which I would bun backwards with my tight waistline unzipped// Your waistline can reach that far? I always envisioned you more as a smallish, delicate flower.   

       [kdf] I kinda got this on the first read. Something is very wrong here. Usually, I never get them.
blissmiss, Aug 02 2020

       You really shouldn't be picturing my delicate flower without putting a ring on it.
4and20, Aug 02 2020

       Re: the idea. Sadly, I'm not that desperate to button my pants, and if I were, I'd want to do it faster than this.
4and20, Aug 02 2020

       In order to activate the mechanism, it needs some run-space both before and after the button - quite fine for the buttons on the front of a jacket, or shirt, but it just won't have room to work on the top button of a shirt neck. Since those buttons are generally designed to require at least 7-10kN of tensile force, the available space won't be sufficient to generate the necessary force, so you'll have to leave the top button undone, and perhaps just forgo the tie.   

       Did I say that like it was a bad thing?
lurch, Aug 04 2020

       If the channels are bought together by the slide in the same plane (zipper-like), how do you get enough above and below freedom to put the button through the hole with the wheels and arms. I am thinking the channels are going to have to be sewn in clever twisted relative positions to each other, to give a good button to hole bringing together arrangement. And therefore a more elegant compact slider mechanism.
wjt, Aug 07 2020


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