velours + crochet
I did the original V entry last month, but forgot to tell WordPress that I wanted to post it today instead of right away, and it got out on me. I decided to come up with another word for V, and it’s a good one.
Swiss engineer George de Mestral took his dog for a walk in the woods one day in 1941, and ended up having to pick burrs off his pant legs and his dog. That gave him an idea for a fastener that would work the same way. In 1948, he made two strips, one with hundreds of tiny hooks and the other with hundreds of tiny loops, so that when pressed together they would stick to each other.
Velcro hooks. By Alexander Klink – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9677034
By Alexander Klink – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9677056
He named his invention Velcro, from the words velours crochet, or “velvet hook” in English, and it was patented in 1961. The Velcro Corporation, based in Curaçao, owns the name and the patent. They state that Velcro is a company, not a product, to keep the word from being used as a generic term for “hook and loop fastener.”
Velcro makes my life easier. Because my right hand was affected by the stroke, I can’t use both hands to tie my shoes, so my shoes have straps with Velcro strips. All I need to do is press them together, and I’m good to go. I also have a pocket on my laptop bag that’s held shut with Velcro.
What part does Velcro play in your life?