Invention of VELCRO® Brand Hook and Loop

Who invented VELCRO® brand tape?

cockleburs

The VELCRO® brand of hook and loop was invented by a man named George de Mestral in the 1940's while hunting in the Jura mountains in Switzerland. Mr. de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, realized that the tiny hooks of the cockle-burs were stuck on his pants and in his dog's fur and wondered how they attached themselves. Under the scrutiny of the microscope, he observed the hooks engaging the loops in the fabric of his pants.

Click here for fascinating look at the cockle-bur
and the history of VELCRO ® Brand hook.


Where did the word "Velcro" come from?

VELCRO® inventor De Mestral, along with help from friends in the weaving business, finally duplicated mother natures hook and loop fastener in the manufacturing plant. The result of his new invention was VELCRO® Brand hook and loop fasteners, from the French words for velvet "velour", and hook, "crochet".

Classic Video Showcases Early Applications

Here is an old film likely made in the late '50's (the Velcro trademark was registered in the US in 1958) that showcases some of the early applications for VELCRO® Brand fasteners. While it's mostly fun to watch because it looks like Don Draper directed it for Sterling Cooper in an episode of Mad Men, listen to the old-timey narrators and laugh at some of the unique characteristics of 1950's videos, including pianos and orchestra horns providing background music and the seemingly ubiquitous shot of everyone stopping for a smoke poolside. The video does display some pretty neat early applications, even if some of them failed to "stick" around .


VELCRO® Brand Timeline
  • 1948 - Summer walk in the woods, discovers cockleburs
  • 1952 - Velcro S.A. established in Switzerland
  • 1955 - Patents "Velvet Type Fabric and Method of Producing The Same" Patent #2,717,437 with the Swiss government.
  • 1957 - Velcro USA opened in Manchester, NH
  • 1958 - Velcro trademark registered in the United States
  • 1979 - Original patents expire
  • 1990 - George de Mestral dies
Additional Resources

Invention of VELCRO ® Brand 
George de Mestral Inventor of VELCRO®  Brand
Invention of VELCRO ® Brand 
Velcro USA History 
Who Invented VELCRO® Brand
George de Mestral Bio on the inventor of VELCRO® Brand
Wikipedia Wikipedia entry on VELCRO® Brand
YouTube David Letterman VELCRO ® Brand Wall 
A Brief History of VELCRO® Brand Article in Time.com 
How a Swiss Invention Hooked the World 
Success of VELCRO®  
Today I Found Out.com Article about VELCRO® Brand
VELCRO ® Brand and Biomimicry