I only buy new plastic zips these days as vintage zips set off my nickel allergy, however they still have a tiny amount of (coated) metal at the back of the pull. I was really disappointed when I wore my new (shorter) corduroy skirt without a tucked in top for the first time and the itching, redness and weeping began. It's a small area but the sensation is like being burnt - enough to make me very uncomfortable!
I currently buy standard YKK zips. The only specifically nickel free ones I have been able to find are metal open ended ones - also YKK, which obviously have limited applications (from here).
I can't find a reference to this problem on any other sewing blog.
Does anyone know of a supplier of plastic zips with nickel free tabs and other nickel free habby for sewers?
If not, I will stick to buttons, lapped zippers and tied garments. It will be a learning experience for me as lapped zippers are without doubt my least proficient type of zip insertion - I guess I'm about to become pretty good at it!
Just in case anyone else reading this has had an unpleasant reaction, this article has some self-help tips and links to follow, although from personal experience I would advise never coat cheap jewellery with clear nail varnish. It wears off too quickly and if your allergy is severe like mine it won't work. Sterling silver is not too expensive (avoid the blackened and uncertified silvers) and is used quite commonly for earring posts these days. Paying a couple of pounds more is well worth it in this case.
I'm not sure whether I will replace the zip on my skirt. It's very neat and the stitches have disappeared in to the fabric. I'm going to see how I feel and in the meantime keep it for tucked in tops.
Happy sewing 'til next time,