Velcro tape is a steadfast part of industrial hardware and has been for many years. There are several different types of velcro tape, each with its application – though most can be across industries and utilities. Some are more expensive than others, and this usually has to do with the quality of the product.
What is the History of Velcro Tape?
Velcro was invented by Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral, who – while walking with his dog in the Swiss Alps – noticed that burrs from the burdock plant were sticking to his dog’s fur.
De Mestral then had an idea. What if the same principle could be applied to other fabrics? De Mestral found that the burrs held better than zips and fastened effectively to wool like his coat and socks. He took this idea to a weaver in Lyon and a loom maker in Basel. They created the “hook and loop”, where fibres, mostly made from nylon, were hooked together at 300 individual “hook and loops” per square inch. He called this “velcro,” stemming from the French words “velveur” (velvet) and “crochet” (hooks).
Different Types of Velcro
The five different types of velcro include:
- Double-sided Velcro Tape: These are often used to seal together two stick surfaces that are not fabric. For example, affixing picture frames to the wall or holding a mat or rug in place on the floor.
- Dual Lock Velcro Tape: Instead of using a line of velcro material, these use interlocking mushroom-shaped heads that lock together to form a far stronger bond than traditional lined velcro tape. These have been used as a replacement for screws, nails and other construction-style affixments.
- Velcro Tape: Traditional velcro tape has many uses and is the most common form used in the home. May you remember your childhood shoes being velcro? These would have been fastened using a length of velcro tape.
- Heavy-Duty Velcro Tape: These offer a distinct advantage over regular velcro with stronger ‘hook and loop’ materials, being able to hold up to 50% more weight, with a maximum hold strength of 1 pound per square inch.
- Industrial Velcro: Industrial-strength velcro is used all over the construction industry due to its water-resistant adhesive.
Pros & Cons of Velcro Tape
Depending on the type of velcro tape, it can be a blessing or a curse – and each type of velcro has its best-use environment. Bear this in mind when selecting your velcro tape for your next job!
- Lightweight – If you’re carrying your tools with you on the job, no matter what type of velcro tape you’re packing, it’s a lightweight product that’s packaged simply in a roll, to allow maximal easy transportation!
- Multi-purpose Nature – One of the greatest things about velcro tape is its many uses. Whether you need to use it on your shoes in a pinch or as a painter/decorator in a permanent sense to hang a photograph, velcro is one of the most multi-purpose tools across any industry!
- Ease of Use – One of the main things differentiating velcro from its competitors is its ease of use. It’s the ‘plug and play’ of DIY sticky things. Persons with disabilities often wear velcro to attach clothing or other clothes.
- The Attraction of Foreign Matter – Given its sticky nature, velcro tape attracts just about every kind of lint, hair, and dust particle under the sun. This tendency to attract foreign objects quickly compromises its efficacy.
- Easily Attaches to Undesirable Objects – Velcro is certainly fit-for-purpose in its attachment to just about everything! This means your loosely-woven sweaters may be damaged if velcro gets attached to them while in use.
For all of its drawbacks, there’s a reason why velcro tape is one of the most popular fix-it/hang-it/hook-it/tape-it objects in the home today! Its multifunctional nature completely outstrips any drawbacks.