Saturday, April 3, 2010

Closure Types for Special Needs Clothing

The third part of our series about special needs clothing, following garment types and fabric choices.

Considerations for closures in special needs clothing heavily depends on the manual dexterity of the individual. As previously discussed, also consider the location of the closures on the garment(s) ensuring that they can be easily accessed by an individual with special needs.

Velcro is one of the best closures you can choose for clothing that is worn by those with special needs. Velcro may be used to replace buttons, hooks & eyes, and snaps. Just be sure that the Velcro does not come in contact with the skin in order to avoid a skin irritation. The drawbacks for Velcro are that it may snag on other fabrics and lint collects on the velcro during the laundering process.

If using buttons choose large, flat, round buttons that have at least a 5/8 inch diameter. Buttonholes should be sturdy and large enough for the button to slip through with relative ease. Horizontal buttons tend to stay closed more readily than vertical ones. Some, with disabilities, have found toggle buttons to be favorable to use as well. Elastic button loops allow for stretch [of the toggle button] making it easier during fastening.

If using a zipper, a large pull tab or ring will make it easier to operate. A zipper guard will prevent the skin and under layers of fabric from being caught in the zipper teeth. Use a separating zipper when a complete opening is desired.

Large hidden hooks and eyes can be placed in garments like skirts, bathing suits and so forth, that can substitute for small hooks that may be difficult to manipulate.

For some individuals they may be capable to exert the needed pressure to fasten large gripper snaps which would prove easier than the required manual dexterity for fastening buttons.

A tie closure can easily be adjusted to accommodate body size. It does take sufficient finger dexterity to fasten a tie though. A faux tie can be created with Velcro under a performed knot that is above a belt.

Again, it depends on the physical challenges of the individual which of the above closures are most practical for their clothing.

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