Velcro. Although developed by Swiss engineer George de Mistral in the 1950s, it was not until the 1960s when it was found to be useful by NASA to keep objects attached to walls while spacecraft was floating in orbit, that velcro became popular as it replaced traditional mechanical and chemical fasteners in everything.
Mestral came up with the name "velcro" as a hybrid of two French words—"velour" (meaning velvet) and "crochet" (meaning hook), since velcro itself is a marriage of two sides, one rough (the hook) and one soft (the loop) which is now used in multiple sectors of the economy from healthcare to the military to firefighting to fashion to vehicles, aircraft, and spacecraft. Also, its swift on and easy off convenience makes it popular among athletes for clothes and shoes.
Made of nylon and nylon wool or polyester, velcro is impervious to water. It is also a magnet for attracting dust, dirt, and grime which can cause it to lose its stickiness. When not being used, always keep velcro fastened to prevent dust, lint, fur, hair, and dirt from getting inside it, but if it does get dirty, here are some handy tips to keep it working well and looking new.
Mild soap and water will loosen dirt, and then use a stiff bristled toothbrush or fine toothed comb to remove fluff or lint or hair. When trying to remove lint and hair, lay the velcro flat and brush it with short, firm strokes. You can also scrape it with the cutter of a tape dispenser, use strong tape to pick up lint and loose hairs, or pick out fluff with tweezers. If you put velcro in a washing machine, always use a mesh bag to protect it. You can use vinegar in the washing machine as a cleaner. Lay the velcro flat or hang to dry. Do NOT put it in a heated dryer or in direct sunlight as this can cause the fabric to break down.
Surprisingly, rust can form on velcro. It's important to catch this early, and it can be removed with a 1:1 solution of water to vinegar and soaked for at least 30 minutes. After a certain amount of wear and tear, velcro cannot be fixed and must be replaced.
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