Sunday, November 18, 2007

Velcro Nightmares

Velcro hook and loop is one of the coolest inventions of the 20th century. Back when it was new it was expensive it was not very common but over time it became less expensive and found its way into more products. I assume that the patents have run out and it is now made in vast quantities so it has found its way into just about every product that needs a fastener.

But there is an unpleasant consequence to this proliferation. Have you opened a suitcase, pulled out a pair of sneakers and ended up with a four foot long daisy chain of unrelated items dangling from the shoes? I have. To make things worse, the "hook" part of Velcro sticks to many other things besides "loop" Velcro. It seems particularly fond of microfiber cloth (artificial chamois / lens cleaning cloth), to which it sticks very well, certain types of clothing, as well as fabrics used to make wrist straps on flashlights, personal electronics, and camera straps. The latter is a big problem in my camera bag.

I use a backpack to carry my camera equipment, lenses, etc. and many of these items are equipped with Velcro which combined with Velcro's aforementioned affinity for camera straps is a nightmare. It's not unusual for me to open my camera backpack and find camera, watch, flashlight, calculator, lens cleaning cloth, and other items, all wadded into a tight ball lovefest of Velcro togetherness. It takes a couple of minutes to carefully peel all the delicate items out of this mess and set them down so they don't touch each other and pull themselves back together again like the Liquid Metal Man in Terminator. It's also important to keep a tight grip at all times on things like the camera because I never know when the strap is going to stick to something and yank the camera out of my hand.

Can we please go back to using snaps?

Have any of you noticed this problem or is it just me?

4 comments:

cat said...

Musicians have this problem, too, all those velcro cable ties and case straps grabbing onto the lining of your car trunk.

ShutterSparks said...

It's good to know I'm not the only person having this problem. Haha.

teddybearcrafts said...

Yes, you're not the only one, Phil...LOL. But I don't think we 'invented' it. Mother nature has been using velcro for eons.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/teddybear_crafts/808856687/in/set-72157600819804005/

They do have a new product out now. I haven't seen it sold separately, but found it on the Easy Pass tag when we purchased one for the WV Turnpike. It's more of a 'button and space sort of thing. It is more user friendly than the old velcro.

ShutterSparks said...

Yes, I know where the inventor got the idea, but mother nature forgot to patent the idea. :-)