Velcro

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hooks (left) and loops (right).

Velcro is a brand name of fabric hook-and-loop fasteners.[1] It has of two layers: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller and "hairier" loops. When the two sides are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and hold the pieces together.[2] When they are separated, they make a special "ripping" sound.

Creation[change | change source]

The hooks on a piece of Velcro imitate the hooks found on burrs.

The person who made Velcro was a scientist named George de Mestral.[3][4][5][6] During a hunting vacation in Switzerland, de Mestral came home one evening and tried to remove the burrs stuck to his dog's fur. He was very surprised to see how hard the burrs were to remove. That night he studied the burrs under a microscope and noticed that each burr was covered with hundreds of small hooks acting like grasping hands.[6] De Mestral decided that this burr could be made to close fabric instead of buttons and zippers.[6] By copying the hook pattern hat he saw on burrs, he made Velcro!

Vocabulary[change | change source]

Velcro was named after the French words for velvet (velour) and hook (crochet).[6] The word "velcro" can also be used as a verb (for instance: "I velcroed my shoes").[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved on 10 May 2008. 
  3. Stephens, Thomas (2007-01-04). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". swissinfo.ch. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/search/Result.html?siteSect=882&ty=st&sid=7402384. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  4. McSweeney, Thomas J.; Stephanie Raha (August 1999). Better to Light One Candle: The Christophers' Three Minutes a Day: Millennial Edition. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 55. ISBN 0826411622 . http://books.google.com/books?id=-1Vm4OZ1B44C&pg=PA57. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  5. "About Us:History". Velcro.uk. http://www.velcro.co.uk/cms/History.6.0.html?&L=96581. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Fulbright, Jeannie (2004). Exploring Creation with Botany. 1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220: Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.. ISBN 1-932012-49-4 .

Other websites[change | change source]