Everyday we use Velcro for multiple tasks. It fastens shoes and coats, secures arm slings and leg braces, and holds together kids' toys. There are literally hundreds of uses for Velcro. Do you know how it came to be invented? The story is fun and it's really true.
The idea for Velcro came to George Mestral of Switzerland on a lovely summer day in 1948, when he took his dog for a walk. Both Mestral and the dog were covered in burrs when they got home. Mestral was excited. He took one of the burrs off of his pants and examined it under a microscope. He discovered that the burr was covered with hundreds of tiny hooks that allowed it to cling to his clothes and to his dog's fur.
From the conclusions that he came to on that day after examining the burr under the microscope, Mestral decided to make a fastener that had similar rough hooks on one side and loops on the other. He used a combination of the words velour and crochet to name his invention, and Velcro was born. Mestral made his invention to resemble a zipper so it could be used for tasks where zippers wouldn't work.
As is often the case with something wonderful, people laughed at Mestral and thought he was a bit off his rocker. However, Mestral was determined to make the world believe in his invention. He hired a French weaver to assist him in perfecting the fabric. Velcro was patented by Mestral in 1955 and he formed Velcro Industries to manufacture his fabric. It wasn't long before Velcro Industries was selling 60 million yards of the fabric annually.
Today, Velcro is in much demand. It is used in the clothing industry, in the health care profession and by toy manufacturers to name a few. There are literally millions of uses for Mestral's invention, and today it is a multi million dollar industry.