Most of us have used Velcro in our lives, whether it’s to put on our first pair of shoes or stick a poster on our dorm room wall. Although we all use it, most of us don’t think about how or why it was invented.
If you’ve ever stepped on a cockle-bur and gotten it stuck to your shoes or pants, you may seem a resemblance to the popular invention.
In the 1940s, George De Mestral, the inventor of Velcro, noticed these plants getting stuck to him and couldn’t help but wonder how they managed to stay attached. He put them under a microscope and studied how they hooked onto his pants, and from that velcro was born.
Here are some other interesting facts about Velcro:
- The word Velcro comes from a combination of “velvet” and “crochet.”
- Back in the day, news outlets referred to the product as a “zipperless zipper.”
- Velcro was established in Switzerland. It came to the US in 1957.
- Velcro is the name of a company, and not all “hook and loops” products come from the actual brand.
- Puma was the first major shoe company to offer velcro fasteners.
- Velcro is used in a variety of things worldwide: from AstroTurf at football stadiums to the military.
- The US army retired the use of Velcro because it was too noisy and was impaired by sandy conditions