A zipper is turned into a loop an unzipped. Each time this is done, the outcome is different. The Afghan Zipper applies the Möbius Strip principle.

Afghan Zipper: Topological magic with Haberdashery

Peter Prevos

Peter Prevos |

439 words | 3 minutes

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The Afghan Zipper is a topological magic trick that uses the Möbius Strip principle to create the illusion of magic. This trick is the most recent innovation in the Afghan Bands, one of the most well-known magic tricks.

The basic plot of this minor mystery is that the magician cuts a circular strip of paper lengthwise in half. Instead of producing the expected two separate rings, the magical version results in a band twice the size of the original. The magician repeats these actions and creates two linked rings or even a long loop with a knot. Performers initially used paper of cloth bands to perform this trick.

The Afghan Zipper

Using a zipper to create reusable Möbius strips first appeared in the magic literature in 1977 by Ed Eckl in his Gardyloo lecture notes under the name Möby Zip. The trick was briefly marketed in the early 1980s by Phil Wallmart's and Rick Johnson's Excelsior Productions. In 1992 Klamm Magic advertised their version as the Afghan Zipper which used Velcro ends.

How to create a Möbius strip from a zipper.

  1. Purchase a zipper an Velcro strips Purchase a bottom-separating zipper from your local haberdashery shop, at least 900mm (36 inches) long.
  2. Attach the Velcro tabs Cut small tabs of the self-adhesive hook-and-fastener tape and stick the loops side of the Velcro to both sides of the bottom tape extension (the start of the zipper). Stick the hook side of strips of Velcro to both sides of the top tape extension (the fabric part of the zipper that extends beyond the teeth). Make sure that there is enough space for the slider to move freely at both ends of the zipper. Let the glue dry for a few minutes before using the zipper.
  3. Start playing and performing When unhooking the Velcro strips, it is best to pull them apart vertically to reduce the strain on the glue due to repeated use. If you like to know how to perform this trick deceptively, then purchase the detailed instructions for the Afghan Zipper below.

Afghan Zipper: Magic with Haberdashery

Afghan Zipper: Magic with Haberdashery

Learn how to perform a topological magic trick with a zipper and the famous Möbius strip principle.

If you like to know more about this trick and how to create and perform the Afghan Zipper, then you should read The Möbius Strip in Magic: A Treatise on the Afghan Bands.

The Möbius Strip in Magic: A Treatise on the Afghan Bands

The Möbius Strip in Magic: A Treatise on the Afghan Bands

Magicians use the Möbius strip to perform magic under the name Afghan Bands. This ebook describes the principles, history and performance this topological trick.

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