Looking After Velcro

Published: 06th July 2011
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Velcro has many uses in a range of different applications. These range from clothing to arts and crafts, and whatever your intended use for it it can provide a simple adhesive that allows two surfaces or two materials to be easily attached and then once again detached. This easy and simple use makes velcro particularly popular in marine applications and on boats where you will often find it. However while velcro has many plus points, it is not entirely perfect and over time it will still begin to deteriorate and provide a less secure attachment and a less attractive appearance. Here we will look at how to maintain it and how to avoid this degradation so that your canvas fabrics and other areas where the velcro has been used stay looking their best and performing their best.

To understand how to look after velcro you should first understand how it works. Velcro is not actually a name for a type of attachment, rather it is in fact a brand name for what is known generically as 'hook and loop'. The name 'hook and loop' provides a good clue as to what the mechanism of this attachment is. Essentially velcro is made up of two aspects one covered in hooks and one covered in loops. Of course these hooks and loops are so miniscule that hundreds or thousands can be crammed into just a few inches. This coupled with the fact that the hooks are bendy means that pressing them together inevitably causes some of the hooks to hook some of the loops. If you pull these apart with some force then the hooks will then bend again allowing the loops to come loose, however if you try and pull them both horizontally in different directions you will find that they do not move.

The problems arise because the hooks don't only clasp onto the loops, but also cling to small bits of fluff, dust and dirt. This then means that your velcro begins to look fluffy and less plain, and it means that when you try and press them together, some of the loops will already be blocked and so will be less effective.

In order to prevent this then you need to look after the inside surfaces of your velcro and prevent them from gathering fluff and dust. One way to do this is to make sure that you always keep the velcro closed and attached when its not in use rather than open so that the dust can get into it.

Another thing to do is to make sure that you only try and attach the velcro to its counterpoint. Don't let the velcro stick to the carpet, or try sticking it to other things or you will find that when you pull it away it come up with lots of fluff and dust. Likewise when attaching the two sides of the velcro together you should try to ensure that they line up perfectly so that they are not overlapping.

Velcro is a highly useful adhesive but one that requires a little care. For velcro and hook and loop adhesives, visit the hyperlinks.


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