Velcro is one of the most versatile and long-lasting types of fasteners you can have in your home. You can use it to secure pretty much anything, so it has a wide range of possible usages.
But velcro is also extremely loud when opened, making it impossible for you to be inconspicuous or stealthy. Fortunately, there are a couple of methods that can help you out when you’re in a pinch. But before we come to that…
What Is Velcro, Anyway?
What’s often referred to as velcro are actually hook-and-loop fasteners that have been around since the 1960s. They consist of two fabric strips which, due to their unique textures, can adhere to one another.
One strip has tiny hooks, while the other one, obviously, has tiny loops. So when you stick the fabrics to each other, the hooks attach themselves to the loops and they become temporarily bound. But when you separate or open the velcro strips, they make that dreaded sound that resembles ripping.
Velcro can be used for a ton of different things, so you can often find them on clothing and shoes, especially for children. NASA also uses the fasteners for astronaut suits and in spacecrafts, to anchor equipment.
As you probably know, velcro strips can be found in pretty much any common household, and they’re even used for sound-absorbing materials, such as foam panels.
In addition to being so easy to work with, velcro actually became popular because it’s so cheap. So even if the strip stops sticking, you can easily replace it.
How to Open Velcro Quietly
No matter if you go extremely fast or super-slow, you’ll still hear that loud ripping sound. But here are three methods that you can try that’ll help you open velcro quietly.
1. Using Your Thumbs and Index Fingers
There is a way for you to open velcro quietly, but it takes some patience and time to master. Fortunately, unlike all of the other methods, this one doesn’t include any extra alterations, and you’ll only need your index and thumb.
Put the velcro in your left hand, holding the top and bottom parts with your index and thumb. Make sure you have a firm grip on the strip and try not to let it move around too much.
Then, try putting your right thumbnail into the velcro opening. Slowly start pushing the strip open, while your thumb and index finger are still holding it.
Don’t try to rush the process, otherwise it’ll make that awful sound. Take your time, focus, and you should be able to open the strip silently in a minute or two, depending on its length.
2. Using a Lighter
If you don’t want to fiddle with the velcro strip for a good few minutes every time you need to open it, you should consider making permanent modifications using a lighter. The point of this method is to try and shorten the hook side so that it doesn’t make a lot of noise.
So grab your lighter, open the velcro completely, and if you can, fold the piece with the loops under the strip. If you accidentally burn the loops, you won’t be able to fasten your velcro again.
Hold the lighter at an inch distance and slowly start approaching the hooks with the flame. Don’t hold it over the fabric too long because you only want to take the tiniest bit off. You also have to be extremely careful when doing this to avoid burning yourself or completely destroying the hooks.
One downside to this method is that your velcro will become dirtier and hold on to dust and lint more than before. Fortunately, you can easily clean it using only a toothbrush.
3. Sectioning off Pieces of the Velcro
Another permanent adjustment you could make is to section off the velcro with fabric. First, start by measuring your strip and marking exactly which sections you want to cover.
Then, grab a piece of fabric, preferably one that doesn’t stick to velcro, and cut it up into pieces. You’ll have to sew those pieces into the parts that you’ve sectioned.
But if you’re not handy with a thread and needle, you can also try gluing the fabrics together. With this method, you can reduce some of the sticky surfaces, thus making the velcro quieter to open.
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Open Your Velcro Like a Ninja
Opening velcro quietly is extremely tricky and can even be time-consuming. That’s why you’re better off starting with the first method on this list and working your way down.
But if all else fails, and you can’t seem to open the velcro quietly, here’s a tactical technique you can try to mask the sound. While not particularly stealthy, it’s a great way to entertain your friends at a party.