Velcro IP Holdings LLC
Velcro Companies
FormerlyVelcro SA.
TypePrivately held company
IndustryManufacturing: fastening systems
FounderGeorge de Mestral
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom
Number of locations
Manufacturing: 7 countries
Area served
Key people
  • Bob Woodruff (CEO)
  • Dick Foreman (president, Velcro N. America)
  • Norbert Nieleck (president, Velcro EMEA)
  • Paulo Garutti (president, Velcro Latin America)
  • Frank Liao (president, Velcro APAC)
ProductsHook-and-loop fasteners, and other products
Number of employees
SubsidiariesAlfatex Group

Velcro, officially known as Velcro IP Holdings LLC and trading as Velcro Companies, is a British privately held company, founded by Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral in the 1950s. It is the original manufacturer of hook-and-loop fasteners, which de Mestral invented.


Hook-and-loop fastener, invented by de Mestral

Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral who studied at EPFL invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the Alps, and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his woolen socks and coat, and also his dog Milka. He discovered it could be turned into something useful. He patented it in 1955, and subsequently refined and developed its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.

The fastener consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could 'mate' with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.

De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velours ('velvet') and crochet ('hook'), to his invention, as well as to the Swiss company he founded; Velcro SA.

The company continues to manufacture and market the fastening system. Originally envisioned as a fastener for clothing, today, Velcro is used across a wide array of industries and applications; including healthcare, the military, land vehicles, aircraft, and even spacecraft.

This page was last updated at 2023-11-15 05:20 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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