Velcro is a privately-held company, founded by Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral in the 1950s, that is known for being the original manufacturer of hook-and-loop fasteners.

Velcro BVBA
Privately-held company
FounderGeorge de Mestral
Area served
Key people
  • Bob Woodruff (CEO)
  • Dirk Foreman (President, Velcro North America)
  • Norbert Nieleck (President, Velcro EMEA)
  • Paulo Garutti (President, Velcro Latin America)
  • Frank Liao (President, Velcro APAC)
ProductsHook-and-loop fasteners and other products
Number of employees


Velcro, invented by de Mestral

Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral invented his first touch fastener when, in 1941, he went for a walk in the woods and wondered why burdock seeds clung to his coat and dog. He discovered it could be turned into something useful.[2] He patented it in 1955, 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.[3] Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical,[4] the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.[5]

De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour ("velvet") and crochet ("hook"),[6][7] to his invention as well as to the company he founded.

The company continues to manufacture and market the fastening system.

In 2017, in an attempt to keep their brand name distinctive from other hook and loop fasteners in order to keep their trademark protection, Velcro released their "Don't Say Velcro" campaign.[8]

Wil de Hollander served as CEO during the 2000s and Phil Damiano served as President & COO towards the end of his tenure. Alain Zijlstra (previously President EMEA) served as CEO in the early 2010s.[9][10] Fraser Cameron served as CEO from 2014 through 2019.[11]

In January 2018, Paul Garutti was appointed President of Velcro Latin America. He replaced Dirk Foreman who was appointed President of Velcro North America in 2017.[12]


  1. ^ "Company Information". Velcro. Velcro BVBA. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  2. ^ Suddath, Claire (15 June 2010). "A Brief History of: Velcro" – via
  3. ^ "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 10 May 2008.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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 2008-05-09. But not every Velcro application has worked ... A strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.
  6. ^ "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
  7. ^ Stephens, Thomas (4 January 2007). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". Retrieved 9 May 2008.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Velcro Industries N.V. and Velcro Group Corporation Appoint Scott Filion as Interim CEO". Velcro BVBA. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  10. ^ Cote, Mike (26 July 2017). "Velcro lays off 100 employees in Manchester, Somersworth". New Hampshire Union Leader. Manchester. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Fraser Cameron". LinkedIn. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Velcro Companies Hires New President for Latin America". Boston, MA: Velcro BVBA. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

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