Velcro is a popular brand name and product line of high quality hook and loop fasteners. The merchandises have two layers, known as the hook side as well as the loop side. The first layer is composed of small hooks while the second layer is composed of tiny loops. Some of the materials used in the production of the products are polyester, cotton and nylon. The name of the product came from the words velours as well as crochet, which means hook. To know more about the fastener, it is best to start with identifying the person behind the invention.
Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, invented the famous product. The idea of developing the fastener came to the engineer when he removed burdock seeds from his clothes after a hunting trip in 1941. The inventor assessed the seeds with the use of a microscope and found numerous materials like hooks, which caught his clothing with a loop. It took him 10 years before he developed a process to create a hook and loop fastener similar with what he saw in the seeds. He applied for a patent for his invention in 1951 in Switzerland and it was approved after four years.
As soon as Mestral got the patent, he opened shops in different countries including Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain as well as Italy. The popularity of the item started when he opened a textile center at Manchester in New Hampshire in 1957. The product became more famous when it was used for the development of space suits by the aerospace industry. Later on, the item was used in marine gear as well as scuba gear.
Additional Information and Other Important Details
One of the advantages of using the fastener is that it is maintenance free. Another benefit from using the product is it produces a tearing noise, which is very helpful against pickpockets. Velcro was used in the first artificial heart surgery to hold the heart of the patient. Additionally, the product can also be used in army tanks as well as nuclear power plants to attach things to walls.
The automotive industry uses hook and loop fasteners to bond speaker covers as well as floor mats in cars. The products are widely used by the U.S. Army for attaching rank insignia, skill tabs, name tapes and shoulder packets to combat uniforms. Finally, NASA uses the fasteners to keep equipment from floating in rockets when astronauts reached areas in the orbit that have no gravitational force.