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First-day cover «Swiss inventions - Hook and loop fastener»

Who invented it? In the 1940s, while out in the countryside, Vaud engineer George de Mestral became stuck to a plant and, inspired by this principle, went on to develop the hook and loop fastener. An invention that makes everyday life easier – even in space. Sticking like a burr. George de Mestral found out first-hand where the expression came from: after a hunting trip, he found little green balls – known as burrs – stuck to his trousers and his dog’s fur. The engineer turned to his microscope to figure out where the plant’s adhesive property came from and made a discovery: the burrs had tiny elastic hooks. He made use of this principle to try to perfect a new type of textile fastener. After months of work, he had the solution: a ribbon with hooks and another facing it with loops – the hook and loop fastener. In 1951, Mestral applied for patent protection, which he received three years later. Commercially speaking, however, his achievement blossomed only decades later, as the whole world watched a special event: when they landed on the Moon in 1969, there were hook and loop fasteners on the astronauts’ suits and holding the iconic Omega Moon watches in place on their wrists. For the subject of the miniature sheet, a somewhat more mundane but no less practical application was chosen: children’s shoes, which are easy for little ones to put on and take off thanks to this invention. The source of inspiration from the natural world is shown on the right of the stamp, a schematic depiction of burdock. The miniature sheet is the third part of a set showcasing Swiss inventions and comes with a special feature: a little piece of hook and loop fastener. Scr-tch, scr-tch! By the way: the hook and loop technique helped Mestral achieve a second coup – the invention of the curler.

Basic specifications

Article number557378
Alternative item numberA473580
Publication date07.09.2023


Adhesive-type Non-self-adhesive
Subject Swiss inventions
Topics Technology & science
Cancellation Cancelled


Format E6

Miniature sheet (1 stamp, postage value CHF 2.10) on first-day cover (FDC) E6

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