March 18th, 2009 • Comments: 0 • by Wendy • Inside Snugabell

Why Hook & Eye is Better than Velcro®


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I have had a few queries and comments here and there as to why we've chosen to use hook & eye over Velcro for the PumpEase closure.  Let's talk about that shall we?

While I believe that Velcro is a fantastic product, it definitely has its "issues" (that's right... Velcro needs therapy).  Let me explain... my husband likes to wear these cargo-type pants with a gazillion pockets on them.  They also have a gazillion pieces of Velcro on them to close said pockets.  When it comes time to do the wash, they drive me C-R-A-Z-Y!Velcro up close and personal

Before I put my hubby's pants in the washing machine, I must make sure that each and every piece of Velcro is perfectly lined-up with its partner so as to minimize the chance of the hook side of the Velcro catching on and snagging other garments - usually knits - in the wash (look at those evil hooks in the picture to the right!)  Then I have to turn the pants inside-out because there is always a chance of one of those gazillion pieces of Velcro coming undone during the wash, especially after the garment has been around for a while and that dreaded hook side is all caught-up with fuzz, dust, loose threads and hair (yuck). By the time that happens, the loop side has worn out to the point where the loops are no longer um... loopy (they will eventually break after connecting with those evil hooks multiple times).  As a result, the Velcro doesn't stay all close and personal like it did when it was new (but somehow the hook side is still quite capable of snagging other garments and completely ruining them!)  This "matching of Velcro" is, of course, extremely time consuming when I have two little ones running around; I barely find the time to fold the clothes and put them away, let alone all the work actually getting the wash INTO the machine in the first place!

More often than I would like, even with all my preventative action, I pull the clothing out of the washing machine and a lowly piece of Velcro has completely mutilated yet another garment - and it is uncanny how many times that garment belongs to YOURS TRULY!

Why don't I wash my husband's pants separately you ask?  Well, we have a front-loader so as to reduce the number of loads of laundry we do for both economic and environmental reasons, therefore that kind-of defeats the purpose doesn't it?  There are sometimes only one, maybe two pairs of these pants in the laundry at a time.

Why don't I get a new husband?  Uh... NO.  My husband is a keeper!

Why don't I get my husband a wardrobe consultant?  Well, I have tried to convince my... umm, er, sigh!

But I digress, Velcro is especially "attracted" to knits because they too have "loops" as part of their construction (see the diagram to the left).  And guess what?  PumpEase™ are made from a knit.  Are you starting to understand why we chose NOT to use Velcro?

hook & eye

Now some of you may counter that hook & eye will "catch" on things in the wash too.  Yes, that is certainly true, however when you remove the hook & eye that is caught on another garment, you unhook it and that's it.  To avoid this altogether, we recommend either simply hand-washing your PumpEase or washing it in a lingerie bag and hanging it to dry.  Basically, care for your PumpEase in the same way that you care for your better intimates.  On the other hand, there is no way to remove Velcro from the "victim" garment without damaging it in the process.

Another aspect that we considered when making our decision, is that Velcro is extremely noisy when detaching and if your baby is sleeping nearby, this could potentially wake the little monkey.  Apparently the US Army had the Velcro® company develop a "silent version" that reduced the noise by 95% so as not to betray soldiers' positions (it is used profusely on their uniforms), but it is a military secret (no joke).

Finally, we figured that most women are pretty darn familiar with hook & eye considering that has been the primary closure on foundation garments for over 100 years.  What better closure to deal with, bearing in mind that you will likely be bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived and donning and doffing your PumpEase in the dark?  Women are used to hook & eye - we have been fastening and unfastening it "blindly behind our backs" for years!

Tell us what you think - agree? disagree? have another closure idea?  Drop a comment below.

{"Velcro Macro" by Doun is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0}

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pauline says:

just wanted to add -

All hook and loop (velcro and other brands) have a limited usability. the loop side (fuzzy side) wears out after numerous uses, as a few of the little loops break each time you open it. So it is not ideal for everyday wear items.

Hook and EYE has a much longer lifespan. Over time and with heavy use, maybe the enamel will chip off, but it does not affect it's function. Where as hook and LOOP will need to be replaced for the garment to be functional.

Posted on March 19, 2009

Wendy Armbruster Bell says:

Thanks for the comment Pauline and for clarifying the lifespan of both products. :-)

Posted on March 19, 2009