In summer 1948, a Swiss based amateur-mountaineer and inventor George De Mestral took his dog for a walk.
De Mestral and his dog both returned home covered with burrs, the plant seed-sacs that cling to animal fur in order to travel to fertile new planting grounds. De Mestral was very curious and decided to run his microscope and inspect one of the many burrs that stuck to his pants. De Mestral witnessed all the small hooks that enabled the seed-bearing burr to cling so viciously to the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants and knew he was onto something special.
De Mestral decided right then, to design a new innovation, that consisted of two-sided fastener, where one side would be with stiff hooks like the burrs, with the other side being soft hoops similar to the fabric of his pants. He decided to call the innovation VELCRO® BRAND, as it was combination of the word velour and crochet. De Mestral now had an innovation he believed could take on the world renowned zipper, and would be just as effective in its ability to fasten.
De Mestral’s initially found his innovation was met with resistance but he prevailed by sticking by his product. After meeting a weaver who worked in a textile plant in France, he managed to perfect his innovation of the hook and loop fastener. Funnily, he perfected the hook and loop fastener by accident, after he realized that nylon, when it was sewn under infrared light, enabled the tough hooks to connect easily with the burr side of the fastener.
After finishing the design of the hook and loop fastener, De Mestral had the product patented by 1955, just seven years after that walk with his dog. Now VELCRO® BRAND is a multi million euro industry, and is popular throughout industries all over the world.