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Velcro facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
hooks (left) and loops (right).

Velcro is a brand name of fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. It has of two layers: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller and "hairier" loops. When the two sides are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and hold the pieces together. When they are separated, they make a special "ripping" sound.


Velcro hooks
The hooks on a piece of Velcro imitate the hooks found on burrs.

The person who made Velcro was a scientist named George de Mestral. During a hunting vacation in Switzerland, de Mestral came home one evening and tried to remove the burrs stuck to his dog's fur. He was very surprised to see how hard the burrs were to remove. That night he studied the burrs under a microscope and noticed that each burr was covered with hundreds of small hooks acting like grasping hands. De Mestral decided that this burr could be made to close fabric instead of buttons and zippers. By copying the hook pattern hat he saw on burrs, he made Velcro!


Velcro was named after the French words for velvet (velour) and hook (crochet). The word "velcro" can also be used as a verb (for instance: "I velcroed my shoes").

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