How To Insert Metal Snaps In Fabric

A metal snap works very well in many sewing applications. They are more durable than Velcro, and you will find them easier to use than buttons. This is why you will find them everywhere – baby clothes, yacht covers, and mountain climbing jackets. All you have to do is just take a few small metal rings, line them up, and assemble them together in the fabric. But the truth is, a lot can go wrong if you don’t know how to do it correctly. You have to take precautions and must use the correct tools.

The Tools to Use

Industrial Snap Press

industrial snap press

This is much like a heavy duty stapler that comes with an arm. It gives you perfect alignment and good crushing force.

Hammer-Driven Tools

hammer-driven tools

SnapSource refined the old way of installing snaps by coming out with the SnapSetter. With this, you can align the snap parts easily with a small hammer and a little bit of tapping. There are long prong and regular snaps.

Dritz Plier-Style Snap Tool

plier-style snap tool

Commonly available, you just squeeze the handles for embedding each snap part’s two halves. There are decorative, plain, and heavy-duty snap options to choose from.

Snap Parts

There are 4 parts – ball, the socket, and the two rings with spikes, which are attached to the fabric. There is a solid back piece in a decorative snap instead of a ring.

Marking the Fabric

Think where you want the socket parts and the ball. Usually, the socket’s back is at the front side. Use a pencil or fabric pen to mark where you want the snap’s center to be. Make the centering marks on the back and front of your fabric.

Snap Socket Installation

snap socket installation

  1. Insert one of the rings into the plastic holder. Prongs should poke out. Push it in all the way.
  2. Determine the raised side of the socket. Insert the socket. The protruding side should be out into the metal holder.
  3. Hold the pliers. Ring with prongs should face the front or outside of your project. Position pliers so that the marks made on the fabric is at the snap’s center.
  4. Squeeze firmly holding the pliers. Press down the ring evenly all the way.

snap socket installation

Snap Ball Installation

  1. Take the other ring with prongs on it. Insert into the holder on the pliers with the prongs poking up.
  2. Insert the snap’s ball part into the holder all the way, making it face downwards.

snap ball installation

Now find the marking on fabric for this half of the metal snap. The snap’s ball part should meet the snap’s socket park that has just been installed. This is where you need to stop and think. Position the fabric so that the ball is facing up when installed. For this, the snap parts need to be in the right holders. Remember, the pliers have to be centered over the mark. Squeeze the handles firmly and release.

The first time will always be a hit or a miss. So have extra snaps always in the right size for your job. You will surely get better with some practice. Practice with a spare piece of fabric and go for the final installation on the actual project once you are ready.