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The History of Velcro

Velcro was the invention of a Swiss engineer, Georges de Mestral. In 1941 he went for a walk with his dog in the woods and noticed that the burrs which clung onto his trousers could be used for something useful. It took him 8 years to come up with a synthetic solution, which involved two trips of fabric: one with hooks and the other with loops. The words “crotchet” and “velvet” were patented in 1955. At first Velcro was manufactured out of cotton, but it soon became clear that nylon was a better alternative. Nylon did not wear out as quickly as cotton did under prolonged use.

Keep in mind that Velcro is the name of a company, and not the general term that is used to describe this product. As the Velcro Company says, “Not all hook and loop fasteners are genuine Velcro brand products”!

During the 1960’s Velcro got some good public recognition due to the use of their products by NASA’s astronauts to secure food, pens and other items so that they did not float in space. Velcro also showed up in a bunch of other industries such as hospitals, cars and airplanes.

In 2004 Velcro brought their products to the Army market. Clothing was kitted out with Velcro to provide a more practical uniform for soldiers out in the field. Currently it’s used to mount electronic devices such as iPads and laptops to desk.

History has taught us that Velcro can be used in conjunction with developing technologies. With enough creativity it can be implemented in almost any industry.

Learn more about the history of Velcro here.

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