|Privately held company|
|Products||Hook and loop fasteners|
Number of employees
Velcro Industries is a privately held worldwide corporation manufacturing consumer and industrial products. Among them is a series of mechanical-based fastening products, including a brand of fabric hook and loop fastener often colloquially referred to by the company name, "Velcro".
Velcro is the brainchild of Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral who in 1941 went for a walk in the woods and wondered if the burrs that clung to his trousers — and dog — could be turned into something useful.
The original patented hook and loop fastener was invented in 1948 by de Mestral, who patented it in 1955 and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.
De Mestral developed a fastener that consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could "mate" with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.
In 1958, de Mestral filed for a patent application for his hook-and-loop fastener in Switzerland, which was granted in 1961. The term Velcro is a registered trademark of Velcro Industries B.V.
To reduce the risk of the Velcro name becoming a generic term and thereby losing the distinctiveness necessary to maintain its trademark protection, the company claims that there is no such thing as “Velcro,” and that the term is a company name not a product name. Many dictionaries define Velcro as being a type of fastener, but generally note that the term is a protected trademark or proprietary name.
Velcro Industries provides fastening solutions for a wide array of industries, including consumer packaged goods, transportation, personal care, military, packaging, construction, apparel, and agriculture.
Products of Velcro Industries include:
- Textile hook and loop fasteners and closures
- Plastic hooks
- Self-engaging hook and loop
- Adhesive fastening products
- Converted and fabricated products
- "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Strauss, Steven D. (December 2001). The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Kaplan Business. pp. 15–pp.18. ISBN 978-0-7931-4837-0. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Schwarcz, Joseph A. (October 2003). Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life. Ecw Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55022-577-8. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
But not every Velcro application has worked ... A strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.
- "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
- Stephens, Thomas (2007-01-04). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "History of Velcro Industries N.V. – FundingUniverse". Retrieved 2016-02-08.
- Kowitt, Beth (2013). "Velcro Just Wants Some Closure". Fortune 168 (1): 52–1NULL. ISSN 0015-8259.
- "Invention of Velcro® Brand Hook and Loop". HookandLoop.com. Hook and Loop. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Hooked on Innovation". World Intellectual Property Organization. WIPO. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Oxford English Dictionary". Oxford University Press.
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