Can you embroider over the zipper?
This may be my famous last words but embroidering over a zipper has to be impossible. I cannot think of one possible way to successfully embroider a design over a zipper. Embroidery is the process of stitching threads through a product and connecting with the backing on the other side of the fabric. The backing would have to be split in half causing the thread to come loose. Also the needles would have one heck of a time trying to bust through the metal in the zipper. This would inevitably lead to the needles breaking in half or becoming ineffective with embroidery. By the same token even if embroider could be done over the zipper, using it afterward would be nearly impossible if not completely impossible since it would basically be sewn shut at that point.
All this and there is no telling what it would actually do to the zipper. My guess would be that the zipper would no longer be needed because the embroidery could potentially hold the product together. I would love to see a way that this has worked for someone so please let me know if there is proof out there.
Along the same lines as the zipper problem, we occasionally have customers who wish to embroider on the pocket of a pocket shirt. Unfortunately this is also something that we are not able to do for practical reasons. To do so would render the pocket completely inoperable. Again it would essentially be sewn shut at that point. A better option would be doing your design either right above or right below the pocket.
Typically when people ask about getting embroider over the zipper or pocket of an item it because they are going for an unusual placement that will really stand out and be one of a kind. We can certainly understand this desire and we can see how appealing that would be. However, we would have to recommend simply embroidering in a different location instead. For example embroidering on the sleeve, or side section of the shirt would also be pretty unique and would not pose the same level of technical problems to overcome.
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