Dear Designer: I recently saw a patient who doesn't want a zip in their vest - is this ok?

Dear Wondering,

The short answer is ‘Yes’ you can do a vest without a zip or velcro, if this is going to be the best way to enhance engagement with your patient and to provide good conformity. However it is essential that you consider some design elements before making the final decision.

  1. A zip in a garment will help to reduce the amount of stretch applied to the garment through donning and doffing. By not repeatedly over-stretching the garment you will help to prolong the level of compression applied by the garment.

  2. Zips are included in a garment to reduce shearing of the skin, and subsequent blistering and wounds, during the donning and doffing process.

  3. Patient body shapes can vary significantly, and one of the benefits of zips or other fastening styles is you can shape the garment to meet the patients needs. A good example of this is when a patient has a large hand but small wrist, or big shoulders and a narrow waist.

  4. Keep in mind that the more seams added to a garment the more compression is affected. This is also true for zips (or Velcro).

I would suggest that you find out from your patient why they are requesting no zip, as we have other options too if the request is because the zip is an irritant. These options include placing the zip in a different seam, i.e. under the arm rather than the front or back of the vest; adding an alternative lining or foam padding to the back of the zip, or changing from zip to Velcro closure instead.

As always, you are always welcome to call our Clinical Advisors or the Designers at the factory if you want to discuss it further.