Everyday Improvements through Hook and Loop

We use Velcro® brand fasteners and other hook and loop products every day. They've become so commonplace that we rarely consider what we did before its invention in the 1940s.

Consider an ordinary trip to your family physician. You'll likely have your blood pressure taken. Can you remember how the cuff was secured before Velcro® brand fasteners came along? Cuffs used to be tied or snapped into place, which doesn’t sound comfortable. If your doctor prescribes an arm or knee brace, how would you position it without the Velcro® brand fastener? Well, you would have to tie it in place which means you wouldn't have the versatility and adjustability we enjoy today with hook and loop braces.



Close-up view of the cockle burr.

The clothing industry has been able to make some changes with the introduction of hook and loop products as well. What might come to mind first are “Velcro shoes”, shoes that are fastened with hook and loop. Although they may not be fashionable for the crowd over five years old, these shoes have saved the sanity of countless parents. Little ones have also benefited from the feeling of pride they get when they can independently put on their own shoes.

Hook and loop fasteners have also created an entire niche of no-sew projects. For those who don't know how to sew and don't care to learn, it provides the perfect solution to what used to be sewing-only tasks. Nowadays you can hem anything from pants to curtains with hook and loop fasteners. Hook and loop is a good way to make sure your button-down shirts and blouses don’t leave any awkward gaps. Just attach a small piece of hook and loop between the buttons. Even add pretty trim to fabric with Velcro for an instant décor makeover. While Velcro® brand fasteners haven’t replaced buttons and zippers, the invention’s initial aim, they have certainly found their own niche in the clothing industry.

Cloth diapers with hook and loop fasteners.

Anyone who has ever changed a diaper has rejoiced at the miracle of these fasteners. Can you imagine changing the diaper of a squirming baby and then fastening it next to their tender skin with a pin? Before disposable diapers were fastened with Velcro® brand fasteners, they were secured with pins, and then tape. With the tape, if you got the diaper attached too loosely or tightly, forget about adjusting it. You had to leave it as it was or start over with another one.

Hook and loop fasteners have become part of our everyday lives, and it's difficult to imagine life before this wonderful little invention.

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