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Monday, November 07, 2005

Zipper Supremacy- Move Over KKK, Here Comes the YKK

We've all experienced the YKK. You know, your standing outside waiting for the bus. You zipper up your jacket just a little bit more with hopes it will keep you warmer. You've been waiting for what feels like for ever. You start to get bored and you fidget with the zipper. Suddenly you notice that there are some tiny letters embossed on the zipper. You struggle to make them out. YKK. But what do they mean?

The other day I was sitting with my brother and a friend outside on a bench. I noticed the "YKK" on my zipper and was reminded of how on just about every zipper I've ever looked at, I could find the YKK on it somewhere. They both checked the zippers on their jackets as well as the fly on all of our pants. Sure enough, YKK was on all of them. But what the hell is that damn combination of letter?!

The answer is not nearly as dramatic as I would have liked*. YKK is simply a big company that makes zippers and other fastening devices such as plastic clips. They make lots of zippers, one factory Macon, Ga., produces 7 million zippers a day, in a total of 1,500 styles in more than 427 standard colors. The company's name was originally Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha. I think YKK is a little easier to print on zippers though. It seems that since it is such a huge company and this is pretty much all they make, they have almost the entire zipper market. Are YKK zippers any better than other brands? I don't know, and quite frankly I don't really care, as long as my jacket stays closed and my pants stay up.

*More information and links can be found here.


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