Velcro

Velcro BVBA
Privately held company
Industry Manufacturing
Headquarters United Kingdom
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Fraser Cameron (President and CEO)
  • Mark Succulent (President, Velcro Americas)
  • Klaas Jan Stol (President, Velcro EMEA)
  • Andrew Ellis (President, Velcro APAC)
Products Hook-and-loop fasteners and other products
Number of employees
2,500
Website www.velcro.com

Velcro BVBA is a privately held company that produces fasteners and other products. It is known for being the original patentor of the hook-and-loop fastener.

History

Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why Burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful.[1] He patented it in 1955 and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.

The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could "mate" with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart.[2] Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical,[3] the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.[4]

De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour ("velvet") and crochet ("hook"),[5][6] to his invention as well as his company, which continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.

References

  1. Suddath, Claire (15 June 2010). "A Brief History of: Velcro" via content.time.com.
  2. "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
  3. Strauss, Steven D. (December 2001). The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Kaplan Business. pp. 15–pp.18. ISBN 978-0-7931-4837-0. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  4. Schwarcz, Joseph A. (October 2003). Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life. Ecw Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55022-577-8. Retrieved 2008-05-09. But not every Velcro application has worked ... A strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.
  5. "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  6. Stephens, Thomas (2007-01-04). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
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