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An unexpected context for a discussion about zip quality

(left) Blowfly eggs on a moulded zip and (right) a standard coil zip

It’s not often there’s an overlap between textile product design and forensic science, but research undertaken by Poulomi Bhadra (an MSc student at King’s College, London) in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police and the Natural History Museum seems to have found one. The research project, “Factors influencing accessibility of bodies to blowflies”, looked at the rate of decompostion of (in this case pigs) relative to differences in the zips on bags and suitcases. This included the quality of manufacture of the zip! Cheaper moulded zips tend not to be made to the tightest tolerances so the teeth do not fit exactly together. (More importantly to Thread cheap zips don’t run as smoothly and occasionally the teeth break.) Coil zips were found to be better at keeping out blowflies which is slightly surprising as most waterproof and airtight zips are moulded.

Website link: Metropolitan Police, “Insects hold key to forensic advances”, 8th August 2013