History of Velcro Cable Ties

Velcro is merely a brand name for what is considered to be one of the greatest inventions of all times. It’s uses are endless and innumerable.

Velcro consists of two pieces of fabric, one woven with tiny hooks, and the other woven with even smaller loops. The two, when pressed together attach to one another and require a small bit of force to pull them apart. First manufactured with cotton, Velcro is now mainly made up of nylon, or polyester. There are other ways in which it is manufactured, Velcro made up of Teflon hooks and polyester loops with glass backing is used aboard NASA’s space shuttles for a multitude of things.

Velcro was invented in Switzerland, in 1941 by an engineer named George de Mestral. After a hunting trip in the Alps, he saw that burrs had attached to his dog’s fur and his clothing. Upon examination under a telescope, he found that the burrs had tiny hooks, an evolutionary feature which allows the seeds to be spread, and that they would attach themselves to anything containing tiny loops, i.e. dogs fur, clothing, and even to other types of organic materials. The idea came to him that this product of nature could be useful if he could find a way to replicate it. After many people scoffed at this brilliant inventor, he found a weaver who would help him. The first Velcro was originally made of cotton, but wore out quickly due to the organic quality of the cotton. Next he discovered that Nylon when woven under hot infrared light retained the hook and loop shape well, and could also be woven in various thread sizes, giving the ability to make the material with variable strengths.

Mestral quickly sought out patents world wide, but people decided that the material did not have a use in the home until NASA started using it in space suits, soon after SCUBA divers and snow skiers started using it also.

The recording and music industry has sought out great uses for Velcro, weaving hooks on one side of the nylon strap and loops on the other, it is used to wrap around microphone cables, electrical cords, and also in many other applications. Velcro cable ties have been found to be extremely useful in the construction field also, often replacing the old shoestring to tie up the extension cords.

Many consider Velcro and Velcro cable ties to be one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.