What Is Flocking?
Flocking is the application of millions of tiny fibers onto an adhesive-coated surface to create a velvet-like texture. Flocking is commonly used on the inside of jewelry boxes, glove compartments, waterfowl decoys, along with many other decorative and functional applications.
The History of Flocking
Believed to have begun about 3000 years ago in China, the first actual evidence of flocking was in 12th century Nuremberg when fibers were crushed and adhered as wall decorations. In the 19th century, flocking became popular as wallpaper and was first produced industrially in 1870.
In the 20th century, as the application of flocking fibers was perfected, the material’s soft finish became popular to use on fashionable women’s clothing, carpet, and in the automotive industry. As flocking's different characteristics were recognized, it became commonly used in several products, including cosmetics, phonographs, photocopiers and fax machines, speakers, paint rollers, and more.
The sportswear industry eventually began using flock for company logos. This market experienced a resurgence in the 21st century with upholstery fabric, shoes, bags and even the Hanes® underwear label being flocked. Today, flock can be used to finish almost any surface to create an attractive, textured appearance and add practical characteristics to the product.