Back Straps And Face Straps
There are four different kinds of hook and loop straps, Face, Back, Two Way Face, and Cinch. A back strap and a face strap require the same amount of work. The difference is how the hook and loop are welded together. They both require the loop to be cut to length, the hook to be cut to length and tipped (if necessary) and one weld connecting the hook and loop. If the hook and loop are both facing down when welded, the result is a face strap. If the hook is facing up and the loop is facing down when welded, the result is a back strap.
Two Way Face Straps
A Two Way Face strap is manufactured just like a standard Face strap, except there is a second length of hook cut, generally to the same length as the first. This length of hook is welded to the other end of the loop. Overall, this requires one extra cut for the second length of hook, and one extra weld to connect it.
A Cinch strap is a face strap with a plastic or metal ring welded to the free end of loop. The ring is welded in place by feeding the loop through the ring and welding the loop to itself. To use one, the hook end is fed through the ring and back onto the loop, cinching it tightly. This creates a stronger hold because of the direction of the force applied to the hook and loop connection. The ring allows the force to run parallel with the hook and loop closure, engaging the highest amount of hooks and loops.
The process of manufacturing a hook and loop strap involves anywhere from three to seven steps, depending on the strap design and customization. Every fastening strap requires the loop side to be cut, the hook side to be cut, and for those two pieces to be connected, either with a weld or by sewing. Additional steps include tip cutting, adding a ring or grommet, and logo imprinting.
Step 1: Cutting The Loop
The first step in manufacturing any strap is to cut the loop portion of the strap to length. This is done using a strip-cutting machine. By inputting the appropriate data, this machine will measure the length of loop and make a straight cut at the appropriate length. This length can be anything from inches to yards. This process then repeats for bulk ordering. Each length of loop requires one cut.
Step 2: Cutting The Hook
The second step is cutting the hook to length. This is done the same way the loop is cut. Hook is generally cut to form a 2.25” functioning piece for each strap. The longer the strap however, the better suited it would be to increase the effective hook length. The greater amount of hook and loop closures, the stronger the hold will be.
Step 3: Tip Cutting The Hook
The third step is tip cutting, or die cutting the end of the hook. This is basically a variation of Step 2, requiring an additional cut. There are four variations. The straight tip, round tip, bullet nose tip, and EZ peel tip. The straight tip is a non die cut tip and looks just how it sounds, one clean cut perpendicular to the length of the hook, creating a squared off tip. There is no additional cutting needed for a straight tip, making it the the least expensive option.
Part 2 of our series on How to Make Hook and Loop Straps goes into detail regarding the four tip types, bonding the hook and loop together, and Logo Imprinting. We also discuss what rings to use on your cinch strap, and whether you may need a grommet to secure your strap in place.