In the early 1940s, Swiss inventor George de Mestral took a walk with his dog. Upon returning home, he noticed that his pants were covered with cockleburrs. His studied them under a microscope, where he discovered their natural hooklike shape. This became the basis for a unique, two-sided fastener: one side with stiff "hooks" like the burrs and the other side with the soft "loops" like the fabric of his pants. The result was VELCRO® brand fasteners, named for the French words velour and crochet.