How To Use KAM Snaps 32

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial
How To Use KAM Snaps

How to use Kam snaps

Not everyone knows what KAM snaps are, and some people order them then have no idea what to do with them, so here's our quick guide!

KAM snaps are basically very quick and easy to apply poppers. They are made of a strong and durable type of plastic (polyacetal resin).

To make up 1 popper, you need 4 components - 2 backs, and 2 opposing fronts.

KAM snap

As you can see, the backs appear like drawing pins. You use the pointed end to push through the fabric, or you could use an awl (posh name for a pointy stick tool!).

Pushing a KAM snap through cotton

One of the fronts are placed the other side of the fabric so the point sits centrally.

Arranging a KAM snap

With the KAM snap pliers, you just position the cap of the back in the black part of the pliers, and the front part facing the white part.

KAM snap and half a popper

Lining up a KAM snap with pliers

Simply squeeze and the pointed part gets crushed down to fix the snap in place then repeat with the opposite front popper end to make your pair.

Applying a KAM snap

Finished, your pair should look like this:

Finished KAM snaps

The only draw back with this is that is you are using very thick fabric, then the pointed part can be too short to form an effective hold when crushed. I find that about 3 layers of cotton is do-able but the seal begins to falter after this thickness. Similarly, if very thin fabric is being used, you may find that you need to crush the pointed end more enthusiastically or it can sit in the way to getting a full click closed. This is where a smaller size works better.

If you do put one in and wish you hadn't, then to remove it, turn the pliers side on to the popper and squeeze to break the seal between the 2 components. Don't forget that the fabric will likely be marked by the hole you poked to fix it in.

I've also heard of people removing them with nail clippers but you would have to be extremely careful not to also cut the fabric this way.

Removing a KAM snap

We stock size 20 snaps and pliers (round and shaped snaps). This is the size recommended by the manufacturer as suitable for most projects, and so the pliers are set up ready for use for this size. Alternate ends are included should you wish to swap them out for other sized snaps. For example smaller sizes may be used for directly attaching through ribbon and larger sizes for canvas

The dimentions of size 20 snaps are:

Cap diameter: 12.4mm

Prong length: 5.6mm

What are the benefits of using plastic snaps instead of standard metal ones?

- They are lightweight

- They wont need removing for xrays or airport checks

- They cool quicker once out of a tumble drier

- Hypoallergenic

- Lots of colours and shapes are available

- You can even microwave them!!! The manufacturer says only under extreme heat will they expand slightly which may affect closure, so you may want to do a trial check for purpose first.

Hope you have just as much fun adding them to everything as we do!

We hope you enjoy our tutorials and love hearing what you think so please leave us a comment.

Happy Sewing!


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32 thoughts on “How To Use KAM Snaps

  • Ann F Hallahan

    Just read your poppers tutorial. I have them, used on cotton no problem but wondering about using in a fleece dressing gown I am making. 2 layers of fabric. What do you advise?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Fleece has a little stretch to it, so I would add some stabiliser or a little bit of thin non-stretch fabric like cotton between the layers to help anchor the KAM snap in place or it’ll be easily pulled out. If 2 layers of fleece and something non-stretch is too thick to easily put the snap through, then you can always have the snap backing in the centre between the fleece layers. That way you pass the KAM snap only through 1 layer of fleece and non-stretch fabric and just leave the popper part facing out before you fix your 2 layers of fleece fabric together. Hope that helps!

  • Sue jones

    Hi, I am having trouble with my snaps coming off. I nake clothes for my grandchildren, I use snap crutch openings and find my snaps come off, both woven and stretch. I use the handheld Kam snap, I squeeze as far as possible, am I not exerting enough pressure?

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      How are they coming off? If they are coming off as one with the pieces still joined together then the fabric you are attaching it to needs reinforcing to take the force of being pulled apart (interfacing or similar can help). If the 2 parts of the snap are coming apart from each other then yes, it is likely that you need to join them with more pressure. When joined, the prong part should have flattened out enough that it has mushroomed over the top of the hole so it can’t be pulled back through. Hope that helps!

  • Hannah

    Hi! I’ve been using snaps for a little while now, but I’m worried that they are going to pull out when used on jersey/ stretch fabrics. Because the snaps are strong when I pull them apart it’s stretching the fabric and I’m worried they are going to pull out completely on an item I have sold! I use a medium/ heavy interfacing but I still don’t feel that is enough on thinner jerseys. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Thankyou in advance 🙂

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Is your interfacing iron on? Sew on interfacing will be less stable. If you are still worried there is nothing stopping you adding a little fabric glue around the hole as you poke the spike of the snap through to help it bond together and stop the fabric stretching as much around that hole. Hope that idea helps! Linda x

  • Mieke van Dorp

    Hi Linda, I use the kamsnap, the snaps I use now are 12mm, I’m looking for the mini snaps for doll clothes, do they also exist?
    Greetings Mieke.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      We don’t stock any small ones but I know they definitely go down to at least a size 14 which has a 9.7mm diameter with a 3.5mm prong but I believe they also make extra long prongs in that size too (5mm). Good luck hunting them down!

  • Simon Signolet

    Great tutorial!
    One benefit you missed, though: these snappers don’t corrode. I’m used to heavy duty metal snappers (applied by table press) for “tentage” gear but am trying to find similar snaps in plastic, especially a plastic version of a stud (male) that rivets to a socket (female) instead of to a cap (back). I’m amazed at the affordability of the tools. Incidentally, looking at the KAMS website (after viewing this page), they actually make a tool for removing snaps – and it costs almost TWICE as much as the pliers!
    Happy snapping…

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Yes. That is because fleece is a stretch fabric. It just needs a little square of non-stretch fabric like cotton fixed behind where you want to put the snap in. Otherwise the hole stretches and that’s why the snap pops out.

  • Stephanie Field

    I love using kam snaps-wish I had seen your tutorial before I used trial and eror to work out the best practices! I have lost my size 16 silicone pressing head and can’t find a supplier to purchase spares, can you advise? thanking you in advance, Stephanie

  • Carole Swinburne

    Love the tutorial. I just bought kam snaps from Australia, didn’t know they were sold in UK! I also didn’t know how to fix them, thought I could sew them in. I am asking you to send me the kam snap pliers please. The ones I have are 12.48mm. Are the pliers a “one size fits all “? From the tutorial it looks like it.

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Thank you so much Carole. I’m so glad you found the KAM snap tutorial so helpful. The pliers tend to come with a few interchangeable heads so that you could swap them around if you were to purchase different size snaps. Typically though it is size T5 (also called size 20) snaps that are sold and used – which are the same as your 12.48mm snaps, so the head for these usually come already in place so the pliers are ready to use. They will work with the round ones or shaped ones (e.g. hearts and stars) but as they aren’t a moulded fit you have to be a little more careful that the pieces don’t slide just before putting pressure on. We have just got some more pliers arrived in stock, but the packaging has changed a little so I will try to get them photographed and listed back on the website for purchase for you tomorrow. Linda

  • Janet

    Hi there Sewing Bee love the website I was wondering if on the subject of How To Use KAM Snaps.
    I would either like a tutorial on how to Remove the KAM Snaps or just some information via my e/mail many thanks for reading this

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      All you need to do is to hold your snap side on in the pliers(so the top and bottom edge of the circle only, are in contact)then squeeze. The 2 parts will pop apart under the pressure. I’ve found that it’s fine to use the KAM snap pliers like this occasionally but if you are going to do it frequently then I would use some normal DIY pliers as the rubber/plastic that holds the KAM snap in place can be damaged under repetitive use in this way.