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.
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. 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. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.
De Mestral gave the name Velcro, a portmanteau of the French words velour and crochet, 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.
Wil de Hollander served as CEO during the 2000s and Phil Damiano served as President & COO towards the end of his tenure. Alain Zijlstra served as CEO in the early 2010s. Fraser Cameron served as CEO from 2014 through 2019.
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.