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What is Hook and Loop?
Hook and loop fasteners are constructed from of two different pieces of nylon, one side acts as the "loop" (softer to the touch) the other side is the "hook" together these create a strong closure, whilst pulling the strips apart directly is easy, trying to separate them any other way is very difficult. Hook & Loop fasteners can be so strong that a two inch square piece is enough to support a 79 kg person. The strength of the bond however depends on how well the hooks are embedded in the loops & how much surface area is in contact with the hooks, along with the force pulling the two pieces apart.
If Hook & Loop is used to connect two rigid items together for example and picture frame to a wall the bond is very strong as any downward force is spread across the entire surface of the Hook and Loop sections, this only enforces it's strength by engaging more hooks into the loop, but by peeling the frame away from the wall, removal is relatively easy.
On garments and footwear, where hook and loop is used as a strap or pocket closure, opening is easy as a peeling action is used, this pulls each hook from the loop in smaller sections.

The Actual Definition of Textile & Its Surprising Difference from Fabric
If you work in the fashion industry, chances are you work with textiles almost constantly. Whether you're shopping for, printing on, or working with textiles, they never seem to differ much from any fabric you've worked with. Ever wonder why this is? And if they're truly the same thing, what's the definition of a textile and how is it different from fabric?

As it turns out, textiles have many uses outside of the fashion world. Aside from the obvious— clothing, bags, home decor, and so on— textiles are an important part of the medical field, toy manufacturing, weaponry, agriculture, and other unexpected fields. If you're wondering what's the difference between textiles and fabric, the answer is a lot more specific than you'd think.

To discern the vital differences between textiles and fabric, the term ‘textile’ must be clearly defined. The definition of textile is any material made of interlacing fibers, including carpet and geotextiles. Any woven or knitted fabric is a textile. What every textile has in common is that it’s made from textile fiber.

Products of textile fiber include yarn, thread, natural silk, rayon, chemical fiber short-hair silk, elastic silk, and metal wire. Textiles are created by processing, weaving or knitting these materials. These can create typically manufactured goods, such as clothing, accessories, gloves, hats, and blankets, or any type of plastic, industrial, natural fur, agricultural or medical fabric. This means that beyond the world of fashion, textiles comprise of any woven or knitted material for any use.

One example of specialized use of textiles are geotextiles, a permeable fabric that separates, filters, reinforces, protects or drains soil. Geotextiles are commonly used to improve the soil where structures, roads, or pipelines are built. These textiles have various types of material like open-mesh, warp-knitted, and non-woven textiles.

Another example is medical dressings and bandages, which are classified as medical textiles, or healthcare textiles. These textiles are more specifically used in the medical field for first aid, clinical or hygienic purposes and rehabilitation. Medical textiles must have specific qualities to be useful in the field such as biocompatible, good resistance to alkalis, absorption, and repellence, among others.

You can categorize agrotextiles, automotive textiles and other specialized textiles by their industry-specific usage. While they may consist of similar components, their use is vastly different. For this reason, you categorize textiles by industry, not components.

Textile fibers can be classified using 3 different methods: by structure, utility, and production of the textiles.

The first classification of textile fibers is according to the structure, the materials, processing technology, texture, appearance and main use of textiles which can be divided further into 14 different categories.

The second classification method is by the use of textiles, divided into clothing textiles, decorative textiles, and industrial textiles.

Lastly, textiles can be classified according to its production, into line, belt, chenille, woven fabric, textile cloth, and more. These various methods help to distinguish the specific fibers needed for a certain product.

A guide to cable ties
What are cable ties used for?

They're fasteners that bundle your cables and wires together to keep them organized and prevent damage. They come in different sizes, lengths, materials and even colors. The different uses of cable ties vary across industries, but what they all have in common is that they're the most effective way to manage your cables.

First, let's get a picture of the type of cable ties available. The table below is by no means exhaustive, as there are subsets of cable ties within this table. For example, standard cable ties can be weather resistant, which gives them different applications than their cousins'.

Standard cable ties are a fantastic all-rounder, but when you need specialized cable ties, you can get those too.

The most common material for cable ties, nylon is a tough material with good thermal, and abrasion resistance. It also resists fuels and most chemicals. Nylon 6/6, the grade most often used for cable ties, meets UL94 V-2 flammability ratings and has a working temperature range from -40°F to 185°F.

Nylon cable ties can be heat stabilized for continuous or extended exposure to high temperatures of up to 250°F. The cable tie manufacturing process can also produce UV stabilized ties for outdoor use. For example, you can have the same cable tie, but manufactured for different applications.The average passenger airplane wields 124 miles of cables, so excellent cable management is absolutely critical. The types of cable ties needed vary. For small, tight spaces, miniature heat-stabilized cable ties are a must. For hoses and larger cables, heavy duty heat stabilized cable ties are needed. Push mount cable ties also work well for aerospace and it's best to go with a heat-stabilized option for thermal endurance.

The inspiration behind hook-and-loop fastening
Hook-and-loop fastening (also known as ‘touch-and-close’) has been used by footwear designers for many years. The system is commonly used where ease and speed of fastening is desirable – for instance on young children’s shoes (where the wearer has not yet mastered the skill to properly tie laces), and some items of sportswear. It has even been utilised in certain styles of fashion footwear.

What is hook-and-loop? Two components are involved, typically consisting of a pair of lineal fabric strips (or shaped items) which are attached – normally by stitching or adhesive – to the opposing surfaces to be fastened. The first face features tiny hooks, and the second has even smaller loops. When the two components come into contact, the hooks catch in the loops and the two pieces bind together. When separated, by pulling or peeling the two surfaces apart, hook-and-loop strips make a distinctive ‘ripping’ sound.

Birth of an idea

It is a common misconception that the first hook-and-loop fastening was designed by the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for its space programme. While it is true that the organisation made good use of this product (each space shuttle reportedly flew equipped with ten thousand inches of a special fastening made of Teflon loops, polyester hooks and glass backing, used in the astronauts’ suits and to anchor equipment), the idea for hook-and-loop fastening actually dates back to the early 1940s.

The hook-and-loop fastening system was conceived in 1941 by Swiss engineer, George de Mestral. The idea reportedly came to him after returning from a hunting trip with his dog in the Alps. He took a close look at the burrs (seeds with hooks) that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur. On examining them under a microscope, he observed hundreds of ‘hooks’ that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair. He soon saw the possibility of binding two materials together in a way that they could be easily parted – if he could work out how to reproduce the hooks and loops. This is a classic example of the copying of nature's mechanisms, called ‘Biomimicry’.

With the help of a weaver, two hook-and-loop strips based on cotton were made. However, the cotton wore out quickly, so Mr de Mestral turned to synthetic fibres. He finally selected the recently developed nylon and, through trial and error, eventually discovered that, when sewn under hot infrared light, nylon forms hooks that worked well for the hook side of the fastening. Although he now knew how to make the hooks, he had yet to work out a way to mechanise the process, as well as making the looped side of the fastening.

At this point, Mr de Mestral found that when nylon thread was woven in loops and heat-treated, it retained its shape and was sufficiently resilient. Nevertheless, the loops had to be cut in exactly the right place so that they could be repeatedly fastened and unfastened. He bought a pair of shears and trimmed the tops off the loops, which worked well. It took another eight years to mechanise the process of weaving the hooks and a further 12 months to create the loom that trimmed the loops after weaving them. In total, a decade passed before an efficient mechanised process was created.

Mr de Mestral submitted his idea for patent in Switzerland in 1951, and this was granted four years later. The original product – ‘Velcro’ – was born, a name taken from the French words ‘velours’ (velvet), and crochet (hook). Within a few years, patents were also obtained in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK.

Mechanisms: Hook And Loop Fasteners
If you're going to be inspired by natural mechanisms, it pays to be out in nature. During a hike in the Alps with his dog in 1941, George de Mestral, a Swiss electrical engineer, found his inspiration. He and the animal had picked up a multitude of burrs during their walk, and as George picked them out of the fur and off his clothes, he wondered how they managed to attach themselves so tenaciously.

For anyone unfamiliar with these unwelcome travelers, burrs are the spiky ripe fruit of any of a number of plants, most commonly the Burdock. The burrs are a dispersal strategy used by the plant to send its seeds far and wide by hitching a ride on the coat of a passing animal.

George put a burr under a microscope and was fascinated by what he saw. Each spike on the burr ended in a sharp point that looped back into a hook shape. Mixed in with the spikes were strands of the dog's hair, knotted and tangled around the multitude of hooks. What's more, the wool of his trousers and socks, standing out from the surface of his clothing as tiny loops, were the perfect medium to catch the burr's hook.

In that moment, George found inspiration for a new kind of fastener, and he would labor for the better part of a decade perfecting his invention. Early prototypes using natural fibers worked, but not for long as the shape of the mechanism quickly wore out. George found that the new miracle fiber Nylon was perfect for hooks and the loops that would stand up to repeated use, and was soon able to create small amounts of working fasteners. But perfecting a mechanized process for creating the stuff proved difficult. He finally hit upon weaving stiff Nylon threads into loops while heating the thread, causing it to stick out from the backer. A clip with shears then formed the hooks, and loops came from thinner threads similarly woven but left unsnipped.

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