Velcro IP Holdings LLC[1]
Velcro Companies[1]
FormerlyVelcro SA.[2]
Company typePrivate
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 IP Holdings LLC,[2][4][5] doing business as Velcro Companies and commonly referred to as Velcro,[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 who studied at EPFL 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 gave the name 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]

"Velcro" is used by some as a genericized trademark,[10] and is additionally sometimes used as a verb.[4] In 2017, Velcro released a "Don't Say Velcro" campaign in an attempt to keep their brand name distinctive from other hook-and-loop fasteners to help keep their trademark protection.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Company Information". Velcro IP Holdings LLC. Archived from the original on 25 January 2022. 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 c "Velcro - Meaning of Velcro in English". Oxford English Dictionary online. Archived from the original on 13 January 2022. 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. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Freeman, Allyn; Bob Golden (September 1997). Why Didn't I Think of That: Bizarre Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without. Wiley. pp. 99–104. ISBN 978-0-471-16511-8. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  11. ^ Ramer, Holly. "Velcro's video implores consumers to say 'hook and loop'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 3 January 2024.