Geeking out over velcro-like fasteners in infant wares

Rob is fascinated with the velcro-like fasteners he's finding on his baby's clothes, diapers, etc. He's been shooting highly magnified pictures of the different kinds of closures and annotating them with delighted little notes about the many ways that this stuff is changing.
The diapers have two small patches of this tape, each less than one square inch of area. To the naked eye, the patch looks like a bit of shiny sandpaper. The structure of this "hook and loop" fastening tape is very small...

This new velcro hook looked like a crop of plastic mushrooms. Tiny mushrooms, which appeared to have been extruded rods out of a flat sheet, squashed flat my a hot roller, or microscopic Mario brother. And here are a couple photos of the "loop" side of the fastener. Strands of very fine nylon threads stretched between wide rows of chain stitch. Unlike regular velcro, this "loop" half of the fastener does not feel fuzzy. It feels flat and soft, like the surface of a cardboard box. This product is apparently called "Microplast", and was developed by a company called Binder.

Link (Thanks, Rob!)


  1. When I first saw this new mushroom-velcro a few months ago, I immediately thought of the “silent velcro” plot-device in the movie Garden State, which allowed one of the characters to retire at 19 on his patent. I hope that it is not based on this reality. (And yeah, it’s a crud movie, I know.)

  2. Whatever – I find it pretty fascinating myself, that mechanical principals continue to work on such a tiny scale that the surface feels smooth to the touch. You can tell from the shape of the mushrooms that they would grab the mesh and grip when pulled laterally – shear, perfect for a diaper waist band. But if you need to open the join the ramped surface on the underside of the mushroom tops will ease the mesh sliding off the mushrooms making it come apart without destroying itself (completely at least).

  3. That kind of funny…I was looking at my son’s diaper just this weekending thinking that the amount of technology in the modern poop/pee-containing device is pretty cool. Fasteners for sure. And then all the super absorbent stuff that soaks up all the mess.

  4. The Apple II had a similar fastener, except it was only mushrooms on both sides. A tool-less case long before they had tool-less cases.

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