The Unbelievable Story Behind the Invention of Velcro


For all of us who have ever used Velcro in our lives, the simple and useful invention is a part of our everyday lives. But what many of us don’t know is the unbelievable story behind the invention of Velcro.

It was in 1941, when Swiss engineer George de Mestral returned from a hunting trip with his dog, that he noticed an unusually large number of burrs stuck in his clothing and his dog’s fur. He was curious and decided to take a closer look at one of them under a microscope. As he studied it, he realized that the burr was made of tiny hooks that could latch onto any loops they came in contact with. This simple observation was the spark that would eventually lead to the invention of Velcro.

De Mestral decided to replicate the hook and loop design of the burr, using nylon. After several years of trial and error, he was finally able to invent the first prototype of Velcro. He named it Velcro, a combination of the French words velours (velvet) and crochet (hook).

In 1955, de Mestral patented his invention. Initially, the product was mainly used in the space industry, as it allowed astronauts to be able to easily attach, detach and reattach objects in a zero-gravity environment. Soon, however, its use spread to many other industries and it became a popular consumer product for its convenience and practicality.

Although Velcro is now a household name, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for the invention. At first, the product was met with a lot of skepticism. People laughed at the idea of using Velcro as a fastener, and some even went as far as calling it a “gimmick”.

However, thanks to de Mestral’s persistence and creativity, Velcro eventually managed to make its way into popular culture. It became a tool used in many different industries, ranging from fashion and apparel to medical and safety equipment.

Today, Velcro is a staple in countless industries and households across the world. Its use is so widespread that it’s hard to imagine life without the invention. No matter where you look, you’ll find Velcro being used in some way or another.

De Mestral’s remarkable invention has been a part of our lives for decades and continues to be used even today. The story of how it was invented is truly remarkable, and serves as a reminder of how a simple observation can lead to something great.

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