- hook and eye [hook] [and] [ahy] / hook and bar
- A two-piece garment fastener consisting of a small metal hook on one side of an opening, which catches onto either an embroidered loop or a small metal hook or bar (the eye) sewn to the other side. Used largely on corsets, bras, and other fine lingerie. Hook and eye and hook and bar fasteners are also used at the top of zipper closures on dresses, skirts, and tailored pants to relieve stress on the zipper, which may cause it to separate.
HISTORY: 14th-c: Hook and eye closures first appeared in England known as the “crochet and loop”. 17th-c: Widespread use on corsets and compression garments in rows to evenly distribute pressure. Early 19th-c.: “Delong hump”, a raised “hump” in the flat part of the hook, which prevents the eye from undesirably unclasping, was introduced and patented by Richardson and Delong Hook and Eye Company. 1893: The first brassiere introduced used a hook and eye closure. Late 19th & Early 20th-c: Commonly used to fasten back closures on dresses and shirtwaists. Later replaced almost entirely for this use by zippers.
Related Terms: closure, fastener
References: Fairchild Dictionary of Fashion p.115, Dictionary.com, Wikipedia.com