The generic name for Velcro.

Velcro is a trademark, and Velcro Industries is aggressive about protecting it. They have to be - like Band-Aid, Elastoplast, spackle and Frigidaire, velcro is at risk of losing its brand status. So if it doesn't say VELCRO®, don't call it Velcro.

The generic stuff works just as well, though.

How it works

Hook and loop fastenings are based on the way that a cocklebur sticks to a wool sock. (see Velcro for the story)

There are two pieces, a hook piece and a loop piece. The hook piece has rows of tiny plastic hooks, based on those on a cocklebur. The loop side looks like tiny loop-pile carpet, made of fine thread.

When you press the two pieces together, each hook catches on a bit of thread in the loop side. The plastic of the hooks is thin enough that they can straighten up. As they straighten, they release the loops with a slight tearing sound.

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