Velcro IP Holdings LLC[1]
Velcro Companies[1]
FormerlyVelcro SA.[2]
TypePrivately held company
IndustryManufacturing: fastening systems
FounderGeorge de Mestral
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom
Number of locations
Manufacturing: 7 countries[1]
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[1]
Number of employees
SubsidiariesAlfatex Group[3]

Velcro,[2][4][5] officially known as Velcro IP Holdings LLC and trading as Velcro Companies,[1] 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.[2]


Hook-and-loop fastener, invented by de Mestral

Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral 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.[2][6] He discovered it could be turned into something useful.[5] He patented it in 1955,[2][5] 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.[7] Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical,[8] the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.[5][9]

De Mestral named Velcro;[2][4] a portmanteau of the French words velours ('velvet') and crochet ('hook'),[2][5] to his invention, as well as to the Swiss company he founded; Velcro SA.[2]

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.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Company Information". Velcro IP Holdings LLC. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephens, Thomas (4 January 2007). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  3. ^ "Alfatex Group history". Velcro IP Holdings LLC. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Velcro - Meaning of Velcro in English". Oxford English Dictionary online. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e Suddath, Claire (15 June 2010). "A brief history of: Velcro". TIME USA, LLC. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Who Invented VELCRO® | History of VELCRO® brand and George de Mestral". Velcro IP Holdings LLC. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  7. ^ "Velcro | Definition of Velcro". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  8. ^ Strauss, Steven D. (December 2001). The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Kaplan Business. pp. 15–18. ISBN 978-0-7931-4837-0. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  9. ^ Schwarcz, Joseph A. (October 2003). Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life. ECW Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55022-577-8. Retrieved 9 May 2008. But not every Velcro application has worked ... a strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.