In 1941, de Mestral was on a hunting trip and noticed that both his pants and his Irish Pointer’s hair were covered in the burs from a burdock plant. Where many might have brushed them off in irritation, de Mestral decided to study the burs under a microscope, more out of curiosity than sensing a new business opportunity. “He was not a guy who was inspired by business,” says Velcro CEO Cameron.
“He was inspired by science. If you need to know how something works, sometimes you just need to know. However he was constructed, he just really needed to know.” What de Mestral saw were thousands of tiny hooks that efficiently bound themselves to nearly any fabric (or dog hair) that passed by.
De Mestral realized that if he could create a synthetic form of this fabric, it would allow for a new way to fasten things, a middle ground between buttons, zippers, and simply sewing stuff together. His idea was to take the hooks he had seen in the burs and combine them with simple loops of fabric. The tiny hooks would catch in the loops, and things would just, well, come together.
According to nymag