Features April 2016 Issue

Getting a Grip on Velcro

Handy fasteners open up all kinds of new possibilities.

We think of all stick-and-rip, hook-and-loop fasteners as “Velcro”—just as we ask for “Kleenex” after a sneeze—and most tend to have uniformly low performance expectations of these “velcro” products, assuming that they will have limited holding power from the beginning. These assumptions are not totally unwarranted. Velcro will inevitably be the first component of a canvas project to fail, with ultraviolet rays degrading the fine threads and holding strength dropping to zero within two to four years. When used to mount even the lightest equipment, the velcro fasteners vibrate loose without warning. The Velcro’s adhesive can slowly ooze off in heat, buckle in humidity, or simply turn to dust. So do any of them actually work? PS testers decided to find out.

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