You’ll come across VELCRO® Brand fasteners in all walks of life… But do you know their real name, and what each side is called?
Whether you like impressing your friends with obscure facts or you’re just curious, read on for everything you need to know about the humble hook and loop fastener – including which side is which!
The two sides of a VELCRO® Brand fastener
The actual technology behind a VELCRO® Brand fastener is a hook and loop fastener and (you guessed it!) one side is called the hook and the other side is called the loop.
Wondering which side is which?
The rough side is called the hook.
And the soft side is called the loop.
The hook and loop fastener’s name was inspired by how the technology works. Each fastener is made up of two pieces of materials – one with lots of tiny loops and another with lots of tiny hooks. And when the two sides are pressed together, the hooks cling to the loops. The more hooks and loops that are attached, the stronger the bond.
How were hook and loop fasteners invented?
It’s hard to imagine life without VELCRO® Brand fasteners (just look around you and we bet there’ll be a hook and loop fasteners somewhere in the room!)
But hook and loop technology was only invented in 1941, when the Swiss engineer George de Mestral was walking through the Alps with his dog Milka and noticed burdock burrs – a tiny seed covered in hundreds of microscopic ‘hooks’ that catch onto the natural ‘loops’ that cover fur, clothing and hair – kept sticking to his dog’s fur.
He spent the next decade investigating how the burdock burr’s barbed, hook-like seeds engaged with the ‘loops’ on his trousers, and filed his first patent for the hook and loop fastener in 1955. He then commercialised his invention under the VELCRO® Brand name.
Want to find out more about the fascinating history of the VELCRO® Brand and the uses of the hook and loop fastener? Stay on our blog:
- VELCRO® Brand History
- How VELCRO® Brand Fasteners Were Invented
- How to Clean VELCRO® Brand Fasteners