Velcro - is something everyone of us came across with. Velcro strips are included on backpacks, shoes, blankets and many other textile products. It is quick and easy to handle, is available in many sizes, lengths and colors (you can to choose from a wide range colours). Although velcro is now just in its retirement age (invented in 1948), it is an indispensable part of haberdashery.
Each of you knows how hook-and-loop fasteners (Velcro) look like and what purpose it was made for. It consists of two layers, one of which is made of fabric with fine fibres (eyes), and the other has tiny nylon hooks that attach the textile on the opposite side like the thistle flower. Certainly you are familiar with the situation of removing weeds, permanently attaching your dress and probably you're not happy when it sticks to your new tracksuit or trousers.
The invention of hook-and-loop was truly revelatory. It is loved by those who are not fans of lace or buttons. It was invented by Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral in 1948 while hiking in Alps. Back then, burdock stuck at him and his dog. He named his invention "Velcro" as derived from the French words "velours (velvet) and "crochet" (hook). Under this name Velcro, hook-and-loop fastener is even being sold; it is often the brand name.
In the textile industry, the hook-and-loop has been used since 1980s. It is a part of footwear, backpacks, bags, upholstery . blankets and more. Approximately twenty years earlier, it used to be applied into the interior of spacecraft to attach various objects. It is also used in some military uniforms so that soldiers can place a label with the name or rank
over one of their pockets.
Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. Hook-and-loop can be easily and quickly handled ; it is not sensitive to humidity, it is functional even in water, it is inexpensive, can be easily produced and - unlike to the magnetic fasteners - can be used even in environment where the magnetic field is a problem. The disadvantage is that it wears out so over time the attachment is not reliable, it is limited by temperature (at higher temperatures, nylon hooks will not last) and attaches on itself another fibrous materials, causing poor performance until the strange fibres are removed.
Do you know in which famous movies or songs has hook-and-loop appeared? For example, in the movie Men in Black where Zed argues that Velcro is alien technology that the men in black confiscated. Subtext of this statement reveals the assumption of Americans that Velcro was invented by scientists at NASA. Also Star Trek consider Velcro as extraterrestrial invention. Velcro also inspired ZZ Top band that recorded a song called Velcro Fly.