To be completely accurate, the product commonly referred to by that name is actually called hook and loop fastener. Velcro is the name of the manufacturer. (Disclaimer: In the course of this article, I will probably continue to incorrectly call the product Velcro.)
The ubiquitous hook and loop fastener has hundreds of applications. My favorite use of Velcro is on small children’s sneakers. I bought Velcro shoes for my own five kids (well, maybe not for the oldest; I don’t think they made them then), and as an elementary general music teacher, I spent several hours a week tying shoes of kindergarteners and first graders whose parents were not as forward-thinking as I.
Back in the day I also bought nursing bras equipped with Velcro closures. Pro: they can be operated with one hand while holding a hungry baby. Con: the lovely ripping sound they make when detaching guarantees that you can’t surreptitiously breastfeed your baby in public. All eyes will move toward you as curious bystanders try to locate who just tore their clothes.
Click on this video to learn how hook and loop fasteners were invented:
Velcro can be found wherever sewing notions are sold.
Some of the many uses of Velcro include
- Hanging things on walls. Artwork, toys, the TV remote, tools, a shopping list pad and a pen, virtually anything that can be organized on a wall can be fastened there with Velcro.
- Keeping things from sliding. Attach a throw rug to the floor. Attach a chair pad to a seat. Attach a tablecloth to a picnic table.
- Removing pill balls from sweaters.
- Closing gaps between button on a blouse.
- Replacing a worn-out closure on a handbag.
- Bundling cords. Bundling Christmas lights. Velcro devised a product especially for this purpose.
- In place of other types of fasteners. A friend who is helping her daughter make slipcovers will use Velcro instead of zippers on the cushions.
And, of course, Velcro can be used to create artwork:
A friend who was a nurse told me that the invention of Velcro revolutionized the taking of blood pressures. Are you old enough to remember blood pressure cuffs with a row of metal hooks and rows of metal slots?
What about you? What is your favorite use of Velcro? Share in the comments below.