VELCRO® Brand Fasteners – An Idea That Stuck

Adhesive Backed Velcro

In 1941, George de Mestral, a Swiss electrical engineer, noticed how burrs stuck to his dog's fur and to his clothes and got an idea. After studying this natural phenomenon, he saw that burrs acted as hooks that adhered to anything with a loop and saw great potential for this concept in the textile industry and beyond. Fourteen years later, after many modification that led to a mechanized process, de Mestral obtained a patent in Switzerland, followed by patents in many other countries, including the U.S. VELCRO® Brand Fasteners were soon marketed as the "zipperless zipper."


Within five years, the Velcro Companies got the attention of NASA, who used it to create easy-to-maneuver closures on space suits and walls in spaceships where astronauts could store food pouches. Each space shuttle used over 10,000 inches of VELCRO® Brand Fasteners to hold items in place. A VELCRO® Brand fastener was even placed inside the astronauts' helmet to serve as a nose scratcher.  The widespread use of the product by NASA, who was even wrongly credited with its invention, encouraged other industries to give VELCRO® Brand fasteners a try. Soon, manufacturers of skiwear, scuba and marine gear, and then children's clothing saw the advantage of an easy to open and close fastening system, and the market expanded from there.


VELCRO® Brand Fasteners have been used to hold together a human heart during artificial heart surgery, make clothing more user-friendly for the physically disabled and aged, bond parts in the automotive industry, and fasten a variety of useful items ranging from lunch bags to orthopaedic braces.