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The History of Hook & Loop

Hook & Loop (Velcro) material was invented in 1941 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral.  George de Mestral named his invention "Velcro", which is a combination of the two French words velours and crochet, or 'hook'. The term Velcro is a registered trademark in most countries.

De Mestral, saw this fastening system as a replacement for, among other things, zippers. Hook & loop got its first break when it was used in the aerospace industry to help astronauts maneuver in and out of bulky space suits. However, this reinforced the view among the populace that hook & loop was something with very limited utilitarian uses. The next major use of hook and loop was with skiers, who saw the similarities between their suits and the astronauts, and thus saw the advantages of a suit that was easier to put on and remove. Scuba and marine gear followed soon after. After seeing astronauts storing food pouches on walls and stand upright in the weightless atmosphere with the aid of hook & loop, children's clothing makers came onboard. As hook and loop material only became widely used after NASA's adoption of it, NASA is popularly yet improperly credited with its invention.  Later improvements to hook & loop tape included strengthening the filament by adding polyester.

In 1978 de Mestral's patent expired, prompting the flood of low-cost imitations from Taiwan, China and South Korea onto the market. Speedtech’s sales team is standing by to walk you through material specifications to ensure you receive a hook & loop material the meets the specifications and needs of your application!

1993 Velcro USA invents and patents a back-to-back, hook and loop material, constructed without the use of adhesives called ONE-WRAP® tape.  This industrial grade material is superior to many others in that it does not de-laminate over time.  For this reason, Speedtech employs Velcro® brand back-to-back, hook & loop, for its customers seeking industrial quality and longevity for their application.

1994 Speedtech International, Inc., begins fabricating finished products from this new ONE-WRAP® tape material and in so doing, Speedtech becomes a pioneer in the field of hook and loop cable management, custom hook and loop fabrication, and specialized packaging.

The uses for Velcro are limited only by one’s imagination.

The categories of hook and loop / Velcro® brand fasteners:
There are several product categories for velcro® brand fasteners including sticky back tape, sew-on tape, back-to-back and the new QT material. 
Within these categories there are more options for how these materials can be fabricated into finished form.  The following are just a few of this fastener's categories.

  • Adhesive backed, hook and loop is often referred to as sticky back tape and is one of the most popular forms of hook and loop.  This tape features an adhesive backing so that the user can adhere the tape to a surface. Depending upon you application and surface area the product will be adhered to, there are many different types of adhesives to choose from.  Customers can purchase stick back tape in hook form or loop form.  Click here to view the best selling adhesive back hook and loop products.
  • Sew on, hook loop tape is intended to be sewn onto another object or material.  Common applications are apparel, tradeshow displays and industrial applications like automotive or aviation seating. Customers can purchase sew-on tape in hook form or loop form. Click here to view the best selling sew on tape.
  • Back-to-back, hook loop material consists of two components: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller and "hairier" loops.  Speedtech began working with back-to-back materials in 1993. Manufacturing a finished back-to-back tape is done with or without the use of adhesives. The most popular back-to-back products sold by Speedtech are the Velcro® brand ONE-WRAP® and SPEEDWRAP® brands.  ONE-WRAP® is a Velcro trademark for their patented back-to-back material. Speedwrap® is a registered trademark of Speedtech International, located in Racine, Wisconsin.

Speedtech has been specializing in Velcro® Brand ONE-WRAP® tape material since its introduction in 1993. The material is manufactured by Velcro USA, using a patented process. Velcro® brand ONE-WRAP® is a unique back-to-back, hook and loop material. It features hook laminate and loop laminate that are married together without the use of adhesives.  By eliminating the use of adhesives to marry these two components, the finished material is less likely to ‘de-laminate’ over time (where the hook separates from the loop).  Many lower cost imports utilize cheaper material where the hook side is married to the loop side using adhesives. Less expensive materials are inferior to ONE-WRAP® tape, thus any cable ties fabricated from lower grade materials can be unacceptable for many applications.

When Speedtech’s customers require a higher-quality product, or they are reselling products to their industrial customers, they purchase industrial grade Speedwrap® or Velcro® brand ONE-WRAP® ties.  On the other hand, when pricing is the main consideration, alternative materials are available as well as the new, lower cost ‘QT’ material. It’s amazingly strong, but lightweight and has a very low profile.

  • The new QT material offered by Speedtech, is a lower profile and less expensive material than standard hook & loop tape.  QT material can be used to fabricate sew on and back-to-back hook and loop products.  View Speedtech’s best selling QT products, or contact us today to learn more about the benefits of this new material.
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