Velcro Wholesale: Understanding How Velcro Works
Velcro is a surprisingly strong fastener that has a wide range of uses, and the inspiration for its design came straight out of nature. Specifically, burrs from a burdock plant that had attached themselves to the clothing of a Swiss engineer and to his dog’s fur inspired the design of Velcro. By studying the way the burrs worked, the engineer came up with the ingenious design that we know today.
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How Velcro Works
Burrs stick to surfaces like fur and clothing by using tiny hooks. When people or animals pass by, these hooks latch on, and the burrs are carried away. This allows the plant’s seeds to be dispersed across a wider area.
The hooks get stuck in the loops of cloth and the tangles of fur. Because the hooks are so numerous, when they embed themselves into fur or cloth, they create many tiny connections. Together these many connections add up to something that is actually quite strong, and picking the burrs out can be somewhat of a challenge.
By studying this process, the engineer was able to replicate it using nylon, creating one side that was made of tiny hooks and another side made of tiny loops. When these two sides are placed together, the hooks embed themselves in the loops, creating a strong bond that takes quite a bit of force to pull apart.
The name chosen for this new fastener came from a combination of the two French words: “velours” which means “velvet,” and “crochet” because of the hook and loop design. A patent was given for this new invention, Velcro, in 1955.
Since then, people have continued to find creative uses for Velcro. It has been used as a fastener for clothes, a replacement for shoelaces, for diapers, for attaching car parts and for attaching name plates on military uniforms. It has played a significant role in the space program and has numerous applications for sports and athletic gear.
Besides its use in a number of industries, Velcro has countless personal uses in the home, and innovative people come up with new applications all the time. From keeping seat cushions in place to preventing TV remotes from getting lost, Velcro has proved to be one of the most useful inventions of the last century.
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