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Velcro facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Velcro BVBA
Privately-held company
Industry Manufacturing
Founder George de Mestral
Headquarters
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
  • Bob Woodruff (CEO)
  • Dirk Foreman (President, Velcro North America)
  • Norbert Nieleck (President, Velcro EMEA)
  • Paulo Garutti (President, Velcro Latin America)
  • Frank Liao (President, Velcro APAC)
Products Hook-and-loop fasteners and other products
Number of employees
2,500
Velcro
hooks (left) and loops (right).

Velcro is a brandname and trademark owned by the Velcro Companies for hook-and-loop fasteners. Hook-and-loop fasteners have 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.

Creation

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

The person who invented hook-and-loop 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 hook-and-loop!

Vocabulary

George de Mestral created the Velcro trademark by combining the French words for velvet (velour) and hook (crochet).

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