While taking a walk through the woods, Swiss electrical engineer, George de Mestral, discovered the cocklebur is comprised of hundreds of tiny hooks that cling tenaciously to fabrics and animal fur. This inspired the ORIGINAL THINKING™ for hook and loop fasteners.
A Decade of Research & Development
For ten years, de Mestral worked to develop the first nylon hook and loop fasteners based on his inspiration from nature.
The Start Of Velcro Companies
Velcro S.A. was formed in Switzerland by de Mestral, Alfred Gonet, Andre-Louis Burnier and Jean Michaud. Additional patents were obtained in Germany.
In 1951, de Mestral filed for a Swiss patent registration for his hook and loop fastener invention. This first patent was issued on March 16, 1954 in Switzerland. From the French words “velour” (velvet) and “crochet” (hook), de Mestral created the iconic VELCRO® trademark to identify his brand of hook and loop fastener.
US Patent Issued
The VELCRO® Brand hook and loop fastener traveled across the Atlantic Ocean when the United States patent was granted. Additional patents were issued in Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, Holland Belgium, France and Canada.
VELCRO® Brand Products Begin To Grow With Their First Logo
The first VELCRO® Brand logo was created as commercial sales of VELCRO® Brand hook and loop fastener tapes began.
VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Came To The US
Manchester, New Hampshire was home to some of the best textile workers in the world. That is why it was chosen as the location for the first US VELCRO® Brand manufacturing facility. The production of textile products at this site helped to accelerate US sales of VELCRO® Brand industrial products.
Velcro Companies Expanded To Canada
Velcro Companies expanded operations to Canada with a new manufacturing plant in Trois Rivières, Quebec.
The VELCRO® trademark is registered in the USA.
Manufacturing began in Spain with the opening of our facility in Argentona.
Velcro Companies started working with NASA to integrate hook and loop solutions for the Apollo program. Our products were used for heat shields, securing boots and instruments to space suits, watch straps, feeding tubes, breathing apparatus storage, securing and organizing equipment in space crafts, securing camera equipment and nose scratching sticks inside helmets.
To adapt to the evolving needs of the market, Velcro Companies began manufacturing its first CIMs (Continuous Injection Molding) plastic molded hook tapes.
The footwear and apparel industry increased functionality and ease of use with VELCRO® Brand hook and loop tapes. These solutions began to replace shoelaces, buttons, and press studs on shoes, gloves and jackets.
VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Landed On The Moon
VELCRO® Brand fasteners accompanied US astronauts on their space suits when they landed on the moon!
VELCRO® Brand VELCOIN® dots are introduced because of new customer demands for converted products.
Velcro Australia Pty Ltd opened its doors and sales of VELCRO® Brand industrial and consumer products started growing in the region.
Manufacturing Of Fire Retardant Hook & Loop Began
Fire retardant hook and loop tapes were introduced at this time. Applications where flames are a possibility, such as metalworking plants or plenum space, could have a fire retardant hook and loop option.
High Temperature Hook & Loop
The VELCRO® Brand HI-GARDE® high temperature stainless steel fastener system was developed for NASA’s Space Shuttle program. High temperature environments such as oil & gas, firefighting and chemical plants could have the benefit of hook and loop fasteners that align with fire retardant standards.
Our first Mexican manufacturing plant opened in Agua Prieta, Sonora to support the growing demand of VELCRO® Brand products in North America.
Velcro Companies started supplying MIL-SPEC hook and loop tapes to the US Military and many other governments, worldwide. After feedback from a major customer in the automotive industry, we began our process of maintaining quality at every level of the company. This is still our process today!
VELCRO® Brand Mold-in molded hook products emerged as an alternative to wires and hog rings in automotive seating to attach the seat fabric. This greatly reduced hard labor and risk of injury for installers and enhanced overall seating designs.
Velcro Companies bought B&B Interiors of Bristol, IN. This gave us the tools to produce laminate products which are key components in the medical industry.
VELCRO® Brand HTH plastic hook tabs were first used on personal care products – Huggies® Supreme diapers. This greatly improved security, absorbency and ease of use for consumers.
The first Chinese manufacturing plant opened in Zhangjiagang, China to meet growth in the Asia Pacific region. Velcro USA Inc. received its first ISO 9001 registration.
Velcro Companies introduced self-engaging and adhesive-free VELCRO® Brand ONE-WRAP® Tape for bundling applications. This adjustable and reusable product reduces time, labor and helps professional cable installations align with many industry standards.
Mold-In Gasket Generation (MIGG) Hook Introduced To Revolutionize Automotive Seating Designs & QS 9000 Certification Obtained
Our MIGG product was introduced as the first coverless fastening solution that reduced time in assembly and helped to produce new, narrower seating designs. This greatly expanded the use of hook and loop in the automotive industry. Also in 1997, Velcro USA Inc. and Velcro Canada Inc. obtained QS 9000, the first industrywide quality standard for automotive.
VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® Straps For Logistics Companies
VELCRO® Brand LOGISTRAP® pallet straps were first developed by Velcro Australia. This product has helped warehouse professionals reduce labor and scrap with a reusable strap for securing goods to pallets.
VELCRO® Brand FLEX-ZONE™ Fastener Introduced As An Adhesive Free Solution For Personal Care Products
The VELCRO® Brand FLEX-ZONE™ fastener was introduced to the Personal Care market as a soft, flexible and adhesive free fastening option for diapers and adult incontinence products. This fastener was designed as a hook that is extruded directly onto a substrate to eliminate the use of adhesives.
VELCRO® Brand FLEX-ZONE™ Fastener Was First Introduced For Transportation
VELCRO® Brand FLEX-ZONE™ fasteners are used for wire harness sleeves in automotive applications. This created an easy to use assembly aid that protects wire harnesses during shipping and installation.
VELCRO® Brand EASY HANG™ Straps Introduced
VELCRO® Brand EASY HANG™ straps were introduced by Velcro Australia to give contractors an easy tool for storing tools and supplies. Less time spent looking for materials means more efficiency for professionals!
VELCRO® Brand FERROZONE™ Developed For Transportation Seating
VELCRO® Brand FERROZONE™ developed for automotive seat insert reinforcement fabric. This was another great contribution to the evolution of transportation seating!
The VELCRO® Brand PRESS-LOK® fastener was introduced to provide an easier closure for packaging manufacturers and their customers. It’s closure you can feel!
Velcro Companies began contract manufacturing of high-pressure surgical blood pressure cuffs in Agua Prieta, Mexico. This positioned Velcro Companies as an extension for many companies’ manufacturing processes.
First Uruguayan manufacturing plant opened in Canelones, Uruguay to answer demand in the Latin American region. Velcro Companies also acquired Alfatex, a manufacturing plant in Belgium.
The VELCRO® Brand Professional Series was launched as a group of finished products for the industrial market.
Our ORIGINAL THINKING™ produced a new hook to hook fastener that is used in the construction and industrial markets. The VELCRO® Brand ALFA-LOK® Fastener is among our strongest closures and can be used to mount equipment and materials in outdoor or indoor environments.
Velcro Companies developed knitted loop tape and HTH molded tapes using 65% recyclable material. This was a big step in our goal of creating more sustainable solutions.
Velcro Companies adds more recycled products to its offering with the ECO Product Line for the footwear & apparel market and the ECO Collection for consumers! With up to 55% recycled content, these products align with our commitment of giving back to nature – our original source of inspiration!
The VELCRO® Brand SLEEK & THIN™ Fastener was introduced to the footwear & apparel market as a soft, flexible closure that is 60% thinner than traditional woven fasteners. The innovative “T” shaped hook eliminates abrasiveness, making it ideal for applications that are close to the skin. In 2022, it received an Innovation Award from the Business Intelligence Group.