Who Invented Velcro

Some things are so commonplace, so part of our everyday lives, that we don’t think twice about them. Velcro is such a thing. We use it every day on our clothes, shoes, surfboards and around the house in carpets, notebooks, suitcases and other products. Velcro has become quite normal and everyday.

And it is even used by NASA on space shuttles, and also by the US army who use it on military and combat uniforms. Velcro’s even been used to create a whole new sport, known as velcro jumping, where you where a special suit, and run and jump as high as possible onto a Velcro wall. What an amazing invention velcro is!

But the big question you’re wondering is who invented velcro? Well before we answer that, consider that Velcro is made up of two parts: a hook part and a loop part. The hook part gets attached to the loop part through the ‘hook’ fabrics getting intertwined with the ‘loop’ fabrics. So the person who invented velcro actually invented this system of hooks and loops using different kinds of fabrics and materials.

The inventor of velcro was a Swiss Engineer named George de Mestra who was born in 1907 and died just over 20 years ago in 1990. George de Mestra was a remarkable person, who was an inventor from a very young age. At the age of 12 he even patented his design for a toy airplane. After school, he attended a polytechnic university in Lausanne, Switzerland and qualified as an engineer.

Interestingly, the Swiss engineer who invented velcro actually started dreaming and conceiving about it many years before he started working on it. In 1941, he went hunting in the Alps with his dog, and noticed how Burdock seeds were sticking to his clothes and dog’s coat. This made him fascinated with the concept of a material attaching itself to another, and he looked at it through a microscope and ‘discovered’ this concept of ‘hooks’ which attach themselves to the ‘loops’ of other materials. This gave him the notion of trying to replicate nature’s genius for other purposes.

In 1948 he started working seriously at the Velcro invention, and in 1955 he patented it, and turned it into a multimillion dollar company, which made him an absolute fortune!

So the man who invented velcro story has a happy ending and a few morals:

1. Observe and learn from nature

2. Be incredibly persistent

3. Patent your ideas and inventions so that you can profit from them