Project Zomboid – Survivors Guide to Tailoring

Tailoring is used to improve and repair clothing to make them more effective against scratches, bites and bullets. This Zombie Survivors Guide is a compendium of the most effective clothes to wear when fighting against the dead and the most effective way to level as of 41.73.


Note: Credit goes to DrPopkorne

Tailoring is a very useful skill in Zomboid to increase your chances of survival in the unfortunate case you get ambushed by a zombie horde. Not only does it decrease the chances of a scratch or a bite (or bullets in multiplayer), it can be used to repair your clothing and accessories so you can continue displaying that style from your loot hauls.

There are 3 basic tools to get started:

  • A Needle – Can be found in medicine cabinets and sewing kit boxes.
  • Scissors – Found in desks, drawers, shelves, offices and school buildings.
  • Thread – Found in sheds, garages, shops, vehicles, and sewing kit boxes, but the easiest way is tearing rags. More on this later.


Tailoring is much easier to level in this patch but it’s still a bit of a grind. To maximize XP gain, you should read the tailoring books first.

  • Tailoring Vol. 1-5 – Can find them in book stores, houses, schools and warehouses

Lucky survivors may come across a VHS that can be played in a TV to give you flat XP but these are very rare. Both are Home VHS recordings, a rare loot spawn in normal houses.

  • Granny Nani
  • Tailoring 101

Once you have your boosts getting XP is simple.

  • Rip clothes to find thread and make strips and sheets
  • Add padding to clothes. Use Ripped Sheets and keep your stronger fabrics for later.
  • Remove the padding to get a little more XP and repeat

Try finding clothes with plenty of body parts to speed things up. Long Johns, Coveralls, Aprons, Coats or Leather Jackets are all good!


There are 3 types of fabrics which all start at a pretty low +1 or 2% scratch/bite resistance to start off, but improve as you reach level 10 in Tailoring.

  • Ripped Sheets – Up to 5% Scratch resistance.
  • Denim Strips – Up to 5% Bite, 10% Scratch and 5% Bullet resistance.
  • Leather Strips – Up to 10% Bite, 20% scratch and 10% Bullet resistance.


Once you reach Tailoring level 8 you gain the ability to patch holes which will also restore the condition of the clothing back to normal. The context menu will show you it can be fully restored if you are using the right material.

Ripped sheets will repair stuff like T-shirts, sweaters, skirts and aprons. Denim strips fixes jeans, denim jackets and leather strips are for certain leather items and jackets.

Best Clothes

What makes Tailoring so effective is the ability to stack your patches as layers of clothing can be worn over each other to maximise resistance over armour and heavy clothes like the Fireman’s outfit. It turns you into a tank but is also incredibly hot!

If you are just starting off:

  • The best items in summer are low insulated clothes with plenty body part slots to patch.
  • High Insulation can be useful in winter but beware of sweating as it can cause you to get sick.

The optimum tailor’s build to get the maximum overall protection is shown below.

If you are worried about overheating you can simply remove some of the higher insulated clothes to keep cool. Don’t worry too much about getting hot in summer as you only need to drink more water.

  • The Army Coat can be replaced with a Leather Jacket, however it comes with -3% attack speed and is -2% run speed worse off. There are two types of Leather Jacket so be sure to grab the long one!
  • As Leather Trousers are quite rare, Overalls may prove to be an easier choice and also come with the bonus chest protection at the cost of some leg protection which allows you to remove the Tank Top.
  • The Short Sleeve Shirt or Baseball Shirt are a little hotter but can replace the Hawaiian shirt.
  • Not all scarves are made the same! Check different colours for different insulation values. Blue stripe is the coolest and solid colour are the warmest.
  • No helmet provides neck protection any more, so pick your favourite 100% Bite/Scratch helmet!
Helena Stamatina
About Helena Stamatina 3203 Articles
I love two things in life, games and sports. Although sports were my earliest interest, it was video games that got me completely addicted (in a good way). My first game was Crash Bandicoot (PS1) from the legendary studio Naughty Dog back in 1996. I turned my passion for gaming into a job back in 2019 when I transformed my geek blog (Re-actor) into the gaming website it is today.

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