#atozchallenge: Velcro

Velcro =
velours + crochet


I did the original V entry last month, but forgot to tell WordPress that I wanted to post it today instead of right away, and it got out on me. I decided to come up with another word for V, and it’s a good one.

Swiss engineer George de Mestral took his dog for a walk in the woods one day in 1941, and ended up having to pick burrs off his pant legs and his dog. That gave him an idea for a fastener that would work the same way. In 1948, he made two strips, one with hundreds of tiny hooks and the other with hundreds of tiny loops, so that when pressed together they would stick to each other.

He named his invention Velcro, from the words velours crochet, or “velvet hook” in English, and it was patented in 1961. The Velcro Corporation, based in Curaçao, owns the name and the patent. They state that Velcro is a company, not a product, to keep the word from being used as a generic term for “hook and loop fastener.”

Velcro makes my life easier. Because my right hand was affected by the stroke, I can’t use both hands to tie my shoes, so my shoes have straps with Velcro strips. All I need to do is press them together, and I’m good to go. I also have a pocket on my laptop bag that’s held shut with Velcro.

What part does Velcro play in your life?


Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

14 thoughts on “#atozchallenge: Velcro”

  1. Excellent, i learn something new everyday on this blog! I think velcro came in handy for me while i was contracting for a floor care company and i needed something to hold the floor polishing discs together.


  2. Hey! I totally didn’t know that was a portmanteau! Groovy! For years, we had a thirdhand couch that had velcro keeping the seat cushions on. The velcro no longer held, and we constantly slid them back in. Constantly. lol

    But, I remember as a kid, I had these Kangaroo tennis shoes with velcro instead of shoelaces, and they were fabulous! I used to keep my milk money in the little pouch 🙂


  3. I’ve liked all of your portmanteau[sx], but this one is my favorite…I never knew Velcro was one. I’m surprised how often the stuff shows up in my life. Camera and laptop bags, Swiffer mops, cable ties… I put the hook part on the bottom of my mobile ham radios, which I install under the passenger seat; it sticks to the carpet, and (with a safety strap) is a lot easier than mounting to the seat supports.


  4. I do recall seeing that “early edition” post last month. I had no idea the word Velcro was one of those words.
    I don’t utilize Velcro very often. If I do, it’s on the side of a bag or something like that.


  5. I never knew that was how the term originated. I have a few things with velcro on them, most of which are useful but I have a couple of jackets where the edging strips around the zipper have velcro on them. Fine when the jacket is zipped but not good when it’s open and the velcro hooks keep catching on the wrong loops!


  6. What would we ever do without Velcro. It is great when you want to attach something but you want to be able to detach it at times. Halloween costumes make great use of it. I never cared for Velcro as the closure on sneakers. Great for kids but for me, I never liked the fit. They always felt too lose like bowling shoes.


  7. Hi John – I knew the story … but Velcro is so helpful to so many .. it was a wonderful idea born out of that sudden entrepreneurial inspiration … so clever and so simple … cheers HIlary


  8. I never knew where the word came from. I did have an online shop once and was told to remove the word velcro when referring to the diaper fasteners , I had to say hook and loop enclosure. I guess it had to do with the patent, interesting.


  9. I don’t think their plan has worked has it, as everyone calls it velcro! And who on earth would ask for hook and loop fastener instead, lol! We bought my son some velcro shoes when he was about 5, and on the way home he said his feet hurt. He’d only walked from the shop to the car, hardly 100 feet. When I took the shoes off and his socks, his kin peeled off. Velcro does not hold fast, it has a ‘give’ and that was enough to rub his feet raw. We took the shoes back and they were replaced, but they said he had to wait fro his feet to heal before they’d fit him again. they said quite a few children have the sam problem. so we had to teach him how to do up laces! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com


  10. I love Velcro! And it plays an important role in my life: I wear a surgical walking boot and velcro features prominently in the closures and the straps. I have a dogsitting business and also use Velcro in the Belly Bands used with some of the male dogs who stay with me: it’s a band of material that wraps around the dog and closes at the top with Velcro, used to ensure that if they lift their leg to pee, it’s going to go into the pad in the band and not the furniture. It’s a Godsend for sure!
    What a great invention!
    Good choice for V. (I missed your post that got away: what was that one??)

    Michele at Angels Bark


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