- George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer and amateur naturalist, was walking his dog through the woods. When he returned home, he noticed cockleburs stuck to both his pants and his dog.
- Fascinated, he observed the cockleburs under a microscope. He noticed how the little burs latched with the fibers in his pants. Mestral decided to create a “hook and loop fastener” that would resemble how cockleburs worked. He said it would be as effective a fastener as a zipper.
- Many people laughed at Mestral, but he persevered. He hired a weaver in France to help him design the fabric.
- Mestral named his product after the French words “velour” (velvet) and “crochet” (hook).
- It took a lot of mistakes, but Mestral kept trying. He discovered that when sewn under infrared light, nylon makes the little “burs” he was looking for. In 1956, he got a patent for his invention and started the Velcro company, which makes over 60 million yards of Velcro each year.
- All this from some curiosity and a walk in the woods.
- Engineer: someone who designs inventions and products to solve problems
- Naturalist: someone who observes, explores, and identifies things in the natural world
Questions and Answers
Question: Is Velcro the only brand of “hook and loop” fastener?
Answer: No, other companies have made their own hook and loop fasteners, but no one else can call their product “Velcro.”
Watch a video about the history of Velcro.
Cite This Page
You may cut-and-paste the below MLA and APA citation examples:
MLA Style Citation
Declan, Tobin. " Facts for Kids - Who Invented Velcro? ." Easy Science for Kids, Aug 2018. Web. 17 Aug 2018. < http://easyscienceforkids.com/velcro/ >.
APA Style Citation
Tobin, Declan. (2018). Facts for Kids - Who Invented Velcro?. Easy Science for Kids. Retrieved from http://easyscienceforkids.com/velcro/
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