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Publication numberUS20070281154 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/613,684
Publication dateDec 6, 2007
Filing dateDec 20, 2006
Priority dateMay 31, 2006
Also published asWO2007143313A2, WO2007143313A3
Publication number11613684, 613684, US 2007/0281154 A1, US 2007/281154 A1, US 20070281154 A1, US 20070281154A1, US 2007281154 A1, US 2007281154A1, US-A1-20070281154, US-A1-2007281154, US2007/0281154A1, US2007/281154A1, US20070281154 A1, US20070281154A1, US2007281154 A1, US2007281154A1
InventorsClaus Graichen
Original AssigneeLace Lastics Company, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fabrics with Silver-Containing Yarn for Health Care Facility Rooms
US 20070281154 A1
Abstract
A portfolio of textile furnishings for a health care facility room includes a substantial array of such furnishings commonly used in health care facilities. Furnishings include silver containing yarns disposed within fabrics to provide a silver content effective to reduce microbial and allergenic effects and to reduce odor and infections.
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Claims(36)
1. A portfolio of textile furnishings for a health care facility room comprising a substantial array of furnishings selected from a group including bedding, curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, bath linens, floor coverings, furniture covers, and accessories wherein each furnishing for the health care facility room includes a fabric having a construction comprising first and second sets of yarns wherein the second set of yarns includes at least one silver-containing yarn.
2. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one of the furnishings of the portfolio is bedding and wherein the bedding is selected from the group including mattress cover, bottom sheet, top sheet, and pillow cover,
3. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one of the furnishings includes a bottom sheet.
4. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one of the furnishings includes a top sheet.
5. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one of the furnishings is a shower curtain or a privacy curtain.
6. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one of the furnishings is a window treatment selected from among a group including decorative treatments, room darkening treatments, and privacy treatments.
7. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one of the furnishings is a bath linen selected from the group including bath cloths, hand towels, bath towels, and bath mats.
8. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one of the furnishings is a furniture cover selected from the group including arm rest covers, head rest covers, chair covers, and sofa covers.
9. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one furnishing is an accessory selected from the group including floor coverings, floor mats, wallcoverings, table cloths, and doilies.
10. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein at least one furnishing contains a different proportion of silver-containing yarns than another furnishing.
11. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings include a fabric wherein each of the second set of yarns includes two or more silver-containing yarns disposed immediately adjacent each other.
12. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are stitched into the fabric.
13. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are laid into the fabric.
14. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver containing yarns are at least partially exposed and visible in the fabric.
15. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver containing yarns are generally concealed and hidden within the fabric.
16. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are laid into the fabric and wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are stitched into the fabric.
17. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 16 wherein the fabric having the silver-containing yarns laid into the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including curtains, window treatments, accessories, bath linens, and furniture covers; and, wherein fabrics having the silver-containing yarns stitched into the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, and window treatments.
18. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 1 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are generally concealed and hidden in the fabric; and, wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are at least partially exposed and visible in the fabric
19. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 18 wherein the fabric having the silver-containing yarns that are generally concealed and hidden in the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including curtains, window treatments, accessories, bath linens, and furniture covers; and, wherein fabrics having the silver-containing yarns that are at least partially exposed and visible are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, accessories, and window treatments.
20. A portfolio of textile furnishings for a health care facility room wherein each textile furnishing comprises a fabric that includes a first set of yarns and a second set of yarns wherein the second set of yarns includes a series of spaced-apart subsets with each subset including two or more silver-containing yarns disposed immediately adjacent each other, and further wherein the yarns of the second set of yarns are spaced throughout the fabric such that the fabric contains substantially fewer yarns from the second set than from the first set.
21. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 20 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are laid into the fabric and wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are stitched into the fabric.
22. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 21 wherein a fabric having the silver-containing yarns laid into the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, accessories, bath linens, and furniture covers and wherein fabrics having the silver-containing yarns stitched into the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, wallcoverings, and window treatments.
23. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 20 wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are generally concealed and hidden in the fabric and wherein one or more furnishings of the portfolio include a fabric having a construction wherein the silver-containing yarns are at least partially exposed and visible in the fabric
24. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 23 wherein fabrics having the silver-containing yarns that are generally concealed and hidden in the fabric are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, accessories, bath linens, and furniture covers and wherein fabrics having the silver-containing yarns that are at least partially exposed and visible are used in furnishings selected from a sub-group including mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, accessories, wallcoverings, and window treatments.
25. A method of forming a portfolio of textile furnishings for use in a health care facility room, the method comprising:
a. selecting a fabric having a construction comprising first and second sets of yarns wherein the second set of yarns includes at least one silver-containing yarn; and,
b. incorporating the selected fabric into a substantial array of furnishings for use in a health care facility room wherein the array of furnishings is selected from a group including bedding, curtains, wallcoverings, window treatments, bath linens, furniture covers, and accessories.
26. The method of forming a portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 25 wherein selecting a fabric having a construction comprising first and second sets of yarns with the second set of yarns including at least one silver-containing yarn comprises selecting a first group of fabrics having silver-containing yarns laid into the fabric and selecting a second group of fabrics having silver-containing yarns stitched into the fabric.
27. The method of forming a portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 26 wherein selecting a fabric having a construction comprising first and second sets of yarns with the second set of yarns including at least one silver-containing yarn comprises selecting at least one group of fabrics wherein the second set of yarns includes two or more silver-containing yarns disposed immediately adjacent each other.
28. The portfolio of textile furnishings of claim 25 wherein forming the portfolio includes selecting first and second types of fabric with the first type of fabric having silver containing yarns laid into the fabric and with the second type of fabric having silver-containing yarns stitched into the fabric; incorporating fabrics of the first type of fabric in furnishings selected from a sub-group including curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, accessories, bath linens, and furniture covers; and, incorporating fabrics of the second type of fabric in furnishings selected from a sub-group including mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, wallcoverings, and window treatments.
29. A vertical blind forming a window treatment comprising:
a. a plurality of substantially opaque panels;
b. a plurality of sheer transparent or translucent panels;
c. wherein the plurality of transparent or translucent panels are distributed among the plurality of substantially opaque panels;
d. wherein the panels are interconnected and movable into at least two orientations such that in one orientation the vertical blind permits substantial light transmission there through and in another orientation the vertical blind permits substantially less light transmission there through; and,
e. wherein at least one of the pluralities of panels includes a fabric having at least two sets of yarns and wherein one set of yarns includes at least one silver-containing yarn.
30. The vertical blind fabric of claim 29 wherein silver-containing yarn is incorporated in the fabric to produce proportions of silver by weight of 1.5% to 5% for anti-microbial and anti-allergenic application.
31. The vertical blind fabric of claim 28 wherein silver-containing yarn is incorporated in the fabric to produce proportions of silver by weight of greater than 5%.
32. A vertical blind forming a window treatment comprising:
a. a series of fabric panels including a first set of panels and a second set of fabric panels;
b. each set of panels including a yarn content including numbers, types, and weights utilized;
c. each set of panels including a stitch construction including a series of stitches utilized;
d. the yarn content and/or the stitch construction of the first set of fabric panels differing from the yarn content and/or the stitch construction of the second set of fabric panels;
e. the panels being connected together and movable relative to each other between at least a first orientation and a second orientation;
f. in the second orientation selected panels of one of the first set or second sets of panels substantially overlapping selected panels of one of the second or first sets of panels;
g. in the first orientation selected panels of one of the first set or second sets of panels overlapping selected panels of one of the second or first sets of panels less than in the second orientation; and,
h. at least one yarn being included in one or more of the fabric panels is a silver-containing yarn.
33. The vertical blind of claim 33 wherein a proportion of the yarns contain silver, and wherein the proportion is such that the silver content is between about 1.5% and 5%.
34. The vertical blind of claim 33 wherein a proportion of the yarns contain silver, and wherein the proportion is such that the silver content is more than about 5%.
35. The vertical blind of claim 33 wherein in the first orientation the vertical blind permits substantial transmission of electromagnetic radiation in a particular bandwidth through the vertical blind and wherein in the second orientation the vertical blinds permit substantially less transmission of electromagnetic radiation in a particular bandwidth through the blind.
36. The vertical blind of claim 35 wherein the first set of panels includes substantially opaque panels, wherein the second set of panels includes sheer translucent or transparent panels, and wherein the particular bandwidth of electromagnetic radiation includes the bandwidth of visible light.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
  • [0001]
    This is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/444,033 filed May 31, 2006 entitled “Pillow Cover or Mattress Cover Having a Fabric that Includes Silver Containing Yarn.” The disclosure of this application is expressly incorporated herein by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to heath care facilities, and more particularly to fabrics used in healthcare facilities.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Infections and responses to allergens are problems in health care facilities to at least the same degree that they are in the general public. So-called nosocomial infections, that is, infections resulting from being in health care facilities, are thought to cause in excess or 20,000 deaths per year and affect at least 10% of the patients in such facilities. This is due in at least part to two reasons. First, there naturally tends to be a concentration of people suffering from illness and reduced immune capabilities in health care facilities. Second, challenges in terms of costs and competing time demands on personnel result in, in some cases, reduced attention to patient hygiene and to general cleanliness. This second challenge is particularly problematic in long term care facilities such as nursing homes.
  • [0004]
    One of the fundamental factors in maintaining hygienic conditions is how areas which harbor micro-organisms and allergens are treated. Not only does the presence of hygiene and cleanliness problems give rise to infections, but they also are responsible for foul odors which detract from the comfort of patients, visitors, and staff. Major sites for the kind of contamination causing these problems in health care facility rooms, for example, are within the textile furnishings in the room. Microbes and allergens harbor in bed linens, bath linens, curtains, window treatments, furniture upholstery and coverings, floor coverings, and decorative fabrics that are commonly found in such rooms. In the cases of bed linens, bath linens, and furniture upholstery and covers, the proximity of patients' bodies and the potential for soiling from bodily excretions and/or food make such textile furnishings particularly prone to harbor infectious agents and agents which generate foul odors. Moreover, airborne agents infiltrate other textile components such as window treatments, curtains, floor coverings, and various decorative accessories. Even though such components do not have frequent and close bodily contact, they still harbor microbial and allergenic agents and make up part of the overall problem of hygiene in a health care facility room.
  • [0005]
    Of course, regular and thorough cleaning of such textile furnishings is an important part of any approach to controlling the negative effects of microbial and allergenic contamination. It is established practice in intensive health care facilities such as hospitals, for example, to change bed linens daily. In long term care facilities such as nursing homes and other custodial care facilities such frequent changing of bed linens is generally economically discouraged. Regular cleaning of other textile furnishings such as window treatments, floor coverings, and curtains is generally done less frequently even though these furnishings may harbor microbes and allergens.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    The present invention is directed at a portfolio of textile furnishings for a health care facility room. The portfolio comprises a substantial array of the textile furnishings commonly used in a health care facility room. This array of furnishings is selected from the group including bedding, curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, floor coverings, bath linens, furniture covers, and accessories. Furnishings included in the portfolio include silver-containing yarns within the fabric construction. This fabric construction comprises a first set of yarns and a second set of yarns, and the second set of yarns includes at least one silver-containing yarn.
  • [0007]
    The present invention also discloses a method of forming a portfolio of textile furnishings for use in a health care facility room. The method comprises selecting particular fabrics and incorporating the selected fabrics into furnishings that form a substantial array of commonly used textile furnishings in a health care facility room. The portfolio comprises this substantial array of textile furnishings. Selecting particular fabrics for furnishings includes selecting fabrics having a construction comprising first and second sets of yarns. The second set of yarns includes at least one silver-containing yarn. The substantial array of furnishings may include bedding, curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, bath linens, floor coverings, furniture covers, and accessories.
  • [0008]
    Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and obvious from a study of the following description and the accompanying drawings which are merely illustrative of such invention.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a health care facility room showing various textile furnishings and their general placement within the room
  • [0010]
    FIG. 2 is a threading sequence and fabric construction diagram for a fabric with stitched in silver-containing fibers.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 3 is a threading and fabric construction diagram for a fabric with laid in silver containing fibers using multiple threading with three silver-containing yarns per threaded guide.
  • [0012]
    FIG. 4 is a threading and fabric construction diagram for a fabric comprising a vertical blind component with silver-containing fibers stitched in.
  • [0013]
    FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a vertical blind component with silver-containing fibers included therein showing the blind open
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5A is a perspective view of a vertical blind component with silver-containing fibers included therein showing the blind partially closed.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5B is a perspective view of a vertical blind component with silver-containing fibers included therein showing the blind closed.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0016]
    The present invention relates to a portfolio or kit of textile furnishings that are selected from a group of textile furnishings commonly used in a health care facility room. One or more of the furnishings in the portfolio includes a fabric having at least some silver-containing yarn disposed therein. Silver containing yarn imparts anti-microbial and anti-allergen properties known to be provided by silver. Employing the fabric or fabrics in the health care facility room has the effect of reducing infection, odor, and irritation associated with microbial and allergenic contaminants. The particular furnishings involved include, but are not limited to, bedding, curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, bath linens, floor coverings, furniture covers, accessories, and other textile furnishings. Exemplary furnishings will be described in more detail hereinafter, including a description of various ways in which silver-containing yarns are incorporated within the fabrics therein included.
  • [0017]
    Textile furnishings which may be selected for the portfolio are shown in FIG. 1. An example of a health care facility room is shown in FIG. 1 and generally indicated by the numeral 10. The health care facility room 10 includes an array of furnishings having fabrics that are constructed with silver containing yarn. Health care facility room 10 includes a bed 100, at least one table or night stand 200, and at least one chair or other item of seating 300. A window or other wall opening 400 may be provided in the room, although such is not necessary. Either as a part of the room or as an adjoining room, a bathroom 500 is included having a tub or shower 510 and other bathroom facilities.
  • [0018]
    Associated with bed 100 is a mattress cover 110, a bottom sheet 112, a top sheet 113, a pillow cover 116, and a blanket or spread 118. Mattress cover 110 is applied to the mattress and serves to provide a base upon which bottom sheet 112 is applied. In one embodiment, bottom sheet 112 is a fitted sheet. Top sheet 113 is applied over bottom sheet 112 in such a way as to allow a person to enter and position himself or herself beneath the top sheet and upon the bottom sheet. In one embodiment, top sheet 113 is a flat sheet. A pillow cover 116 is applied to a pillow and serves to provide a surface against which the person's head may lay and/or over which a pillow case may be applied. Completing the outfitting of bed 100 is a blanket or spread 118 applied over top sheet 114.
  • [0019]
    The portfolio may include curtains, two examples of which are shown in FIG. 1. A privacy curtain 20 is disposed on a rail 20A such that the curtain may be moved and expanded to at least partially conceal the bed. Privacy curtain 20 is used, for example, to enclose bed 100 while certain patient care or treatment procedures are conducted. Curtain type furnishings may also include a shower curtain 22 disposed on a shower curtain rod 22A adjacent the tub or shower 510.
  • [0020]
    Further includable in the portfolio and shown in FIG. 1 are window treatments 410 which may be applied over or in close proximity to window or opening 400. Window treatments 410 may include decorative curtains as well as curtains adapted to provide privacy, thermal comfort, or light or other electromagnetic transmission control. In one embodiment, window treatments 410 include a vertical blind fabric construction formed in a manner to be described in detail here below.
  • [0021]
    The portfolio also may include wallcoverings 30, floor covers, floor mats 32, furniture covers and accessories. In one embodiment, furniture accessories include a doily 210, while in another embodiment such accessories include an arm cover 310 for a chair, and in further embodiments such accessories include protective or decorative covers or coverlets for furniture including full covers for furniture items. Other decorative and/or functional accessories may be included such as bath linens, wall hangings, and lap blankets.
  • [0022]
    Turning now to examples of fabric constructions for textile furnishings which may comprise the portfolio, the fabrics comprising each furnishing may be of various constructions, each comprising at least two sets of yarns. A first set or base yarn will generally be a conventional yarn such as a polyester yarn, while a second set includes one or more silver-containing yarns. The denier and filament count of the yarns will vary depending on the furnishing for which the fabric is constructed.
  • [0023]
    Relative to the silver-containing yarn included in the second set of yarns, various kinds of silver-containing yarn may be used in the furnishings comprising the portfolio. As used herein, the term “silver-containing yarn” means a yarn having some silver applied thereto or incorporated therewith irrespective of how the silver is applied to or incorporated with the yarn. Two examples of silver-containing yarns which are commercially available are: “X-Static” silver-coated yarns by Sauquit Industries, Inc. of Scranton, Pa.; and ProTex” silver-coated yarn by Carolina Silver Technologies of Valdese, N.C.
  • [0024]
    Turning now to a more detailed consideration of fabric construction, the fabric as mentioned above is formed using at least two sets of yarns. A first set of yarns comprises conventional yarns which may be of various kinds and weights including manmade—such as polyester yarns, natural—such as cotton yarns, or blends of manmade and natural yarns. A second set of yarns may comprise one or more of the various kinds of yarns included in the first set, but the second set will always include at least one silver-containing yarn such as those described above. The fabric may be formed by conventional weaving or knitting processes. However, the following description will focus on warp knitting as a method of forming fabric including silver-containing yarn. Those of ordinary skill in the art will be cognizant of ways to accomplish similar incorporation of silver-containing yarns in woven fabrics and in other kinds of knitted fabrics.
  • [0025]
    In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, as noted above, the fabrics utilized in the textile furnishings used in health care facility rooms and having silver-containing yarns incorporated therein are formed in warp knitting processes. Silver-containing yarns can be incorporated into the fabric in various ways. However, generally there are two basic ways in which silver-containing yarns is incorporated into the fabric. In a first type of fabric construction, the silver-containing yarns are stitched into the fabric. Stitching the yarns into the fabric in a knitting process involves silver-containing yarns looping around and/or being looped by other yarns and becoming interconnected more or less integrally with other yarns thereby becoming a functional part of a structural mesh comprising the fabric. A feature associated with stitching in the silver-containing yarns is that these yarns overlap other yarns in the fabric and are, as a result, exposed at a surface of the finished fabric. Thus exposed, the silver-containing yarns provide a visual effect representative of the presence of silver-containing yarns. Moreover, in this way the silver-containing yarns may be disposed more closely adjacent other surfaces with which the fabric is used. Disposing silver-containing yarns adjacent a patient's body, for example, is understood to enhance the anti-microbial efficacy of the silver.
  • [0026]
    In a second type of fabric construction, however, silver-containing yarns are concealed within the fabric such that the yarns are not visible at a surface of the fabric. This second type of construction is referred to as lay-in construction, wherein the silver-containing yarns do not form loops around other yarns but rather are disposed between laps of other yarns. When silver-containing yarn is laid-in it is thus concealed within the fabric.
  • [0027]
    In some textile furnishings it is desirable to have the silver-containing yarns at least partially visible at the surface of the fabric. In some cases this exposes a portion of the silver-containing yarn so that the silver-containing yarn is in direct contact with microbial or allergen-bearing surfaces. Exposing the silver-containing yarn in such a way can enhance the anti-microbial and/or anti-allergenic action of the silver as mentioned above. Moreover, in some cases, the visible presence of the silver-containing yarn advertises its presence and is an aid to identifying the furnishing and to signaling its anti-microbial and anti-allergenic properties. In addition, in some cases where the fabric includes decorative aspects, the silver-containing yarns may provide desirable visual effects. At least partially exposing the silver-containing yarns may, for one or more of the above reasons, be desirable in: mattress covers, bottom sheets, top sheets, pillow covers, curtains, wallcoverings, and window treatments.
  • [0028]
    FIGS. 2-4 show the stitch constructions and threading diagrams for a series of exemplary warp knit fabrics for incorporation into furnishings for use in the health care facility room 10. In one case, the silver-containing yarns are stitched into the fabric construction (FIG. 2) and are thus exposed at a surface of the fabric. In other cases the silver-containing yarns are laid in the fabric construction (FIGS. 3 and 4) and are thus not exposed at a surface of the fabric.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a stitch construction and threading diagram for a warp knit fabric that includes silver-containing yarn. This particular stitch construction and threading diagram are for a Jacquard Rascheltronic machine set up for full gauge (28 needles per inch). The threading diagram is indicated generally by the numeral 40 and the stitch construction indicated generally by the numeral 60. Threading diagram 40 schematically depicts a series of guide bars L1A, L1B, L1, L2, and L3. Each guide bar includes a series of guides arrayed horizontally in the diagram and indicated by the rectangular cells. The first 23 of the cells of each guide bar are shown in threading diagram 40. The front guide bar is labeled L1A, followed by L1B, L2, L3, and L4. The guides carry yarns, indicated by the solid circles and denoted by the numerals 62, 64, 66, 68, and 69. In the knitting operation, each guide bar moves laterally from side to side to engage the yarns carried with needles to produce stitches included in the fabric. Front guide bars L1A and L1B, guide yarn used to make ground stitches and pattern in the fabric formation, while other bars may also guide yarn for ground stitches. A ground stitch is a fundamental linking stitch giving the fabric structural integrity. Patterning provides particular structural and aesthetic formations in the fabric. In the construction of this particular fabric, guide bars L1A and L1B guide yarns which produce a stripe pattern. Guide bars L2 and L3 guide yarns are used in making ground stitches and connecting stripes.
  • [0030]
    Guide bar L1A is threaded in every other guide, or “one in-one out”, with yarn 62; guide bar L1B is threaded one in-one out with yarn 64; guide bar L2 is threaded one in-one out with yarn 66; guide bar L3 is threaded one in-one out with yarn 68; and, guide bar L4 is threaded one in-five out with yarn 69. Yarns 62, 64, 66, and 68 are conventional yarns, and yarn 69 is silver-containing yarn. In one embodiment, yarns 62, 64, 66, and 68 are CoolMax 70 denier/100 filament yarns by Invista of Wichita, Kans., and yarn 69, the silver-containing yarn, is 40 denier 13 filament X-Static yarn from Sauquit Industries, Inc. of Scranton, Pa. It should be noted that guide bars L2 and L3 are offset from guide bars L1A and L1B. This offset represents the starting configuration in the knitting process with guide bars L1A and L1B. Guide bars L1A and L1B move horizontally, or shog, cyclically and oppositely to the movement of guide bars L2 and L3 to engage yarns with needles which form the stitches.
  • [0031]
    Stitch construction 60 schematically depicts the paths of the yarns in the finished fabric. The warp knit fabric formed is described by generally repeating horizontal rows called courses (C1, C2, C3, etc.), five of which are shown, and vertical rows called wales (W1, W2, W3, etc.), 23 of which are shown. Each open circle shown arrayed in the stitch construction represents the location of a needle within a course when the stitches intersecting that course are made. A course is associated with a row of circles depicting instantaneous needle locations, and a wale is a column of circles depicting sequential needle locations from course to course as the fabric is knitted.
  • [0032]
    Viewing the base yarn for the stitch construction and threading sequence shown in FIG. 2, the yarns 66 and 68, threaded in guide bars L2 and L3, form ground stitches 66 a and 68 a as described below. These stitches are opposing closed tricot stitches which interconnect the wales W1 and W2 in a zigzag fashion forming a pair of wales. This is repeated for wales W3 and W4, W5 and W6, etc. across the width of the fabric. Further, it should be noted that the tricot-stitched yarns 66 and 68 link consecutive courses. That is, yarn 66, guided through guide bar L2, forms a tricot stitch by looping the needle in wale W2 and course C1 and then lapping over to the adjacent needle in wale W1 and course C2. This zigzag path continues along the length of the fabric. Likewise, yarn 68, guided by guide bar L3, forms a closed tricot stitch by looping the needle in wale W1 and course C1 and then lapping over to the adjacent needle in wale W2 and course C2. These opposing tricot stitches are formed by guide bars L2 and L3 shogging in opposing directions, first one cell one direction and then one cell in the opposed direction. Thus, yarns 66 and 68, guided by guide bars L2 and L3, by themselves produce unconnected pairs of wales. However, these unconnected pairs are interconnected with each other by the yarns 62 and 64, guided by guide bars L1A and L1B, as further described below.
  • [0033]
    Guide bars L1A and L1B guide yarns 62 and 64 to form tricot stitches 62A and 62B which bind the pairs of wales produced by stitches 66A and 68B as discussed above. Yarns 62 and 64, from guide bars L1A and L1B, run together alongside each and form closed stitches 62A and 64A which loop from course C1 and wale W3 to course C2 an wale W1 thus interconnecting the pair of tricot-stitched wales W3 and W4 to the pair of tricot-stitched wales W1 and W2 and further providing interconnecting between the courses. Thus, yarns 62 and 64, from guide bars L1A and L1B, zigzag across portions of adjacent pairs of tricot-stitched wales connecting them together and forming the fabric.
  • [0034]
    The silver-containing yarn, 69, guided by bar L4, forms a series of open pillar stitches 69A along every sixth wale in the fabric in this particular embodiment. That is, in this embodiment, silver-containing yarn is stitched into wales W1, W7, W13, W19, etc. such that every 6th wale contains a stitched-in silver containing yarn 69. In particular, each silver-containing yarn connects with the tricot stitches formed by the other yarns as described above. Open pillar stitches 69 a formed by the silver-containing yarn 69 extend at least partially around the other stitches thus exposing portions of the silver-containing yarn at a surface of the fabric.
  • [0035]
    Fabrics using the above construction typically have silver content varying from about 1.5% to about 5% by weight, depending on the yarn weights and the spacing of the silver containing yarns. For the embodiment shown, with silver-containing yarns stitched into every 6th wale (1 in-5 out), the silver content is approximately 3.5% by weight. Using the same stitch construction and yarns but with the silver-containing yarn being stitched in every 8th wale (1 in-7 out) will result in the silver content being approximately 3.0% by weight. Including the silver stitched in every 10th wale (1 in-9 out) results in approximately 2.5% silver by weight.
  • [0036]
    The fabric construction shown in FIG. 2 is particularly suited for furnishings such as mattress covers, bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains, and window treatments. Fabrics with silver-containing yarn 1 in and 5 out are appropriate for bottom sheets, while both 1 in and 7 out and 1 in and 5 out are appropriate for pillow covers and top sheets, and 1 in and 9 out are appropriate mattress covers.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a stitch construction and threading diagram for a double Jacquard curtain fabric suitable for a portfolio of furnishings for health care facility room 10. The threading diagram is indicated generally by the numeral 50 and the stitch construction is indicated generally by the numeral 70. The guide bars, shown in threading diagram 50, are designated L1A, L1B, L2, L3 and L4. Yarns are threaded half gauge to supply nine needles per inch with base yarns 72, 74, 76, and 78 fully threaded into guide bars L1A, L1B, L2 and L3 and three ends of silver-containing yarn 79 fully threaded into guide bar L4. Note that the half gauge threading results in the guides being spaced farther apart. The open blocks between threaded guides are not open guides; rather, the open blocks represent spaces between guides in each bar for the half gauge threading arrangement. These guide bars are all fully threaded (a yarn in every guide) with yarn 72 in bar L1A, yarn 74 in bar L1B, yarn 76 in bar L2, yarn 78 in bar L3, three silver containing yarns 79 in bar L4. The yarns carried in L1A are heavy yarns while those in L1B are lighter and finer yarns. For one embodiment, the yarn specifications are shown in Table 1. This particular embodiment includes approximately 3% silver by weight.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    Guide Yarn Specification Reference
    Bar ply-denier-# filaments Numeral
    L4 1-40-13 nylon type 66 silver-containing yarn (triple- 79
    threaded)
    L3 1-150-68 poly (Avora flame retardant) 78
    L2 1-150-68 poly (Avora flame retardant) 76
    L1B 1-150-34 cationic poly 74
    L1A 3-150-34 poly (Avora flame retardant) 72
  • [0038]
    Stitch construction 70, illustrated 7 courses C1-C7 and 15 wales W1-W15 of the fabric. Ground stitches 72A, 74A, 76A, And 78A are formed by yarns 72, 74, 76, and 78 while the triple-threaded silver-containing yarns 79 for a lay-in 79 a along each wale. Stitch 72A, made by yarn 72, wraps other yarns in course C1 and wale W3, laps wale W2, wraps other yarns in wale W1, engages yarns with a pillar at wale W2 in course C2, and then laps to wale W3 where it wraps other yarns in course C3. Yarn 74 forms stitch 74 a by lapping from W2 in course C1 to wale W1 in course C2 and back to wale W2 in course C3, continuing to zigzag between wale W2 and wale W1 as it connects from course to course. Yarn 76 forms stitch 76 a by lapping in a zigzag fashion across three wales. As seen in stitch construction 70, yarn 76 wraps other yarns in wale W3 at course C1, laps across wale W2 and wraps other yarns in wale W1 and course C3 and continues this zigzag pattern along the wales. Yarn 78 makes an open pillar-stitch 78A along one wale and ties up yarns 72, 74, and 76. Yarns 79, the silver-containing yarns which are multiply threaded, are laid-in along each wale running alongside each other. Because of the laid-in knitting arrangement and the use of a fall plate to push yarns 79 under other yarns, the silver containing yarns 79 are generally concealed within the fabric. This pattern continues across the fabric as shown in FIG. 3.
  • [0039]
    The type of fabric construction illustrated in FIG. 3 describes a heavy fabric particularly suitable for such furnishings as curtains, blankets, and window treatments in the health care facility room 10.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 4 shows another stitch construction and threading diagram for a fabric suitable for incorporation into furnishings used in the health care facility room 10. In this case the fabric is suitable for a blind which forms window treatment 410 shown in FIG. 1. This general kind of vertical blind fabric is disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/100,280 which is expressly incorporated herein by reference. In the case of the present invention, silver-containing yarn is incorporated in the blind fabric.
  • [0041]
    Referring now to FIG. 4, the threading diagram is denoted generally by the numeral 80 while the stitch construction is indicated generally by the numeral 90. The fabric shown in this embodiment has three distinct sections or panels, a first panel 90A, a hinge section 90B, and the third panel 90C. The functions of panels 90A and 90C and of hinge section 90B will be described subsequently herein. In one embodiment, the panels 90A and 90C alternate within the fabric with a hinge section 90B disposed between and joining each pair of alternating panels. The fabric is a double Jacquard fabric produced on a machine with 36 needles per inch (full gauge). While in the fabrics described in the foregoing portions of this specification have a uniform pattern of stitches across the wales, the fabric illustrated schematically in FIG. 4 requires the stitch pattern for some of the yarns to change depending upon the location across the wales. This situation utilizes a feature of Jacquard guide bars which provides that individual guides in a particular guide bar may shog independently of the other guides in that same bar. Thus, across a course the stitches formed by the yarns carried in those guides can vary.
  • [0042]
    Threading diagram 80 depicts guide bars L1A, L1B, L2A, L2B, L3, and L4. However, for first panel 90A, guide bar L4 is left unthreaded. Considering first panel 90A, in threading diagram 80 it is seen that guide bar L1A is threaded with a yarn 91, guide bar L1B with yarn 93, and guide bar L2A and L2B with yarns 95 and 97. Guide bar L3 is fully-threaded with yarn 98 except for every 6th guide. Every 6th guide of guide bar L3 is threaded with silver-containing yarn 96. Considering now the second panel, in threading diagram 80 it is appreciated that guide bars L2A, L2B, and L3 are threaded the same way as described above and with the same yarns. Guide bars L1A and L1B, however, although threaded the same are threaded with heavier yarns 92 and 94, respectively. Also, guide bar L4 is now threaded fully with yarn 99.
  • [0043]
    Considering now stitch construction 90, it is appreciated that FIG. 4 shows a section of fabric that is seven courses, C1-C7, long by 16 wales, W1-W16, wide. With reference to first panel 90C, it is seen in FIG. 4 that yarns 91 and 98 run alongside each other and form open pillar stitches 91A and 98A, respectively, running in wale and from course to course thereby providing a portion of the base structure of the fabric. In every 6th wale, in this particular embodiment, yarn 98 is replaced by silver-containing yarn 96 to form an open pillar stitch 96A in parallel with open pillar stitch 91 a shown, for example, in wale W3. The pillar stitches 91A, 98A, and 96A are interconnected by lay-ins 93A, 95A, and 97A formed by yarns 93, 95, and 97, respectively. Yarn 93 forms lay-in 93A across alternate pairs of wales. For example, yarn 93 loops the needle in wale W4 at course C1, laps to wale W3 at course C2 where it engages other yarns and then laps back to wale W4 in course C3. The same stitch ties wales W1 and W2, and W5 and W6 in the portion of panel 90A shown in stitch construction 90. Further interconnecting the wales, yarns 95 and 97 form parallel lay-ins 95A and 97A, respectively, connecting alternate wales and lapping the intermediate wale in each succeeding group of three wales. For example, yarn 95 loops other yarns in wale W6 at course C1 and further laps across wale W5 to loop other yarns at course C3 in wale W4 forming lay-in 95A. Yarn 97, forming lay-in 96A, similarly loops other yarns at course C1 in wale W7 and further laps across wale W6 to loop other yarns at course C3 in wale W3. The described stitch construction forms a relatively sheer and generally translucent fabric in first panel 90A.
  • [0044]
    Turning now to the stitch construction for second panel 90C for this particular embodiment, it is appreciated that the lay-ins 95 a, and 97 a, and the pillar stitches 96 a and 98 a continue in this portion of the fabric as they do in first panel 90A. Stitch construction 90 illustrates, however, that there exist two differences in the fabric in second panel 90C. The first difference is that yarn 92 forms a lay-in 92 a across four wales. For example, yarn 92 wraps other yarns in course C1 at wale W12, laps over wales W11 and W10 to wrap other yarns at wale W9 in course C2. Lay-in 92 a then laps back over wales W11 and W12 to wrap other yarns in course C3 at wale W13. This lay-in continues up the wales and is repeated, skipping one wale before each repeat, across the fabric. The second difference in stitch construction 90 for panel 90C is that yarn 99, guided from guide bar L4, forms lay-in 99A which zigzags between each adjacent pair of wales. For example, yarn 99 wraps other yarns in course C1 and wale W14, laps to course C2 in wale W13 and back to course C3 in wale W14. Lay-in 99 a, along with lay-in 91 a, fills the fabric in panel 90C and renders it more opaque that in panel 90A.
  • [0045]
    It is appreciated that due to both the different stitch constructions and different yarn selections, panel 90C is heavier and more opaque than is panel 90A in this embodiment. The fabric formed, then has a series of sheer, or translucent panels, represented by panel 90A in FIG. 4, interspersed at regular intervals among a series of opaque and heavy panels, represented by panel 90C. It is appreciated that in other embodiments panels 90A and 90C could differ from each in alternative ways.
  • [0046]
    Turning now to hinge section 90B, which forms a connection between panels 90A and 90C, it is seen that yarn 95 make a different stitch than in panels 90A and 90C. In hinge section, yarn 95 forms a combined lapping and pillar stitch as follows. Yarn 95 laps from course C1 in wale W8 across wale W7 to course C2 in wale W6. Yarn 95 then forms two courses of open pillar stitch in wale W6 to course C4, and then laps back across wale W7 to course C5 in wale W8 where it forms two courses of open pillar stitch in wale W8 to course C7. This construction forms a so-called nip-up with the pillar stitches along wale W7 and provides a relatively highly flexible segment, or hinge, in the fabric. Various other forms of hinge sections may be used in a fabric, each hinge section providing a relatively flexible connection between adjacent panels.
  • [0047]
    The yarn specifications for one embodiment of the fabric illustrated in FIG. 4 is given below in Table 2. This particular selection of yarns results in a fabric which contains approximately 3% silver by weight.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 2
    Guide Yarn Specification Reference
    Bar ply-denier-# filaments Numeral
    L4 Empty for panel 90 A
    1-150-34 cationic poly for panel 90 C. 99
    L3 1-150-68 poly 5 in 1 out 98
    1-40-13 nylon Type 66 silver-containing yarn 1 in 5 96
    out
    L2B 1-50-24 poly 95
    L2A 1-50-24 poly 97
    L1B 1-150-96 bright poly for panel 90 A 93
    1-150-34 cationic poly for panel 90 C. 94
    L1A 1-150-96 bright poly for panel 90 A 91
    1-150-34 cationic poly for panel 90 C. 92
  • [0048]
    It is appreciated that in both panels 90A and 90C, silver-containing yarn is stitched-in every 6th wale, and it is further appreciated that silver-containing yarn 97 may be threaded into more or fewer guides to produce larger or smaller proportions of silver in the fabric. Moreover, silver-containing yarns may be used in place of any other yarns shown in the exemplary fabric of FIG. 4 to further affect the proportion of silver in the fabric. Conditions of increased presence of microbial contaminants may require higher concentrations of silver. Further, in situations where electromagnetic security is important, very high concentrations of silver in various combinations of stitched in and laid in may be used. In such cases, silver containing yarns are fully interconnected within the fabric, forming a solid meshwork of silver. The stitch construction employed for panel 90C could be used in a variety of applications including wallcoverings. Anti-microbial efficacy can be realized in a wallcovering fabric, for example, by threading guide bar L4 throughout in a 1 in 2 out configuration with silver-containing yarn resulting in a silver content by weight of 4.0%. Capability in the fabric for electromagnetic security and well as anti-microbial efficacy can be realized in fabric by fully threading L4 throughout with silver-containing yarn resulting in 12% silver by weight.
  • [0049]
    Turning now to a consideration of how the fabric illustrated in FIG. 4 is utilized as a vertical blind window treatment, FIG. 5 shows one embodiment of a vertical blind 420 in a generally open configuration. In this configuration, it is seen that two adjacent second panels 90C are folded together to form louver 424. A first panel 90A is disposed adjacent each louver 424 and connected thereto by hinge 90B. From the foregoing discussion of construction for this fabric, it is appreciated that first panel 90A includes different yarns and stitch constructions than does the second panel 90C. In one embodiment, the different yarns and stitch constructions result in the first panels 90A being sheer and translucent or transparent while the second panel 90C is substantially opaque. That is, in this embodiment, the first panel permits relatively unattenuated transmission of a particular bandwidth of electromagnetic radiation there through-light, for example—while the second panel substantially prevents transmission of the particular bandwidth of electromagnetic radiation there through. In the open configuration, the folded-together adjacent opaque panels 90C are disposed at an angle approximately perpendicular to first panels 90A thereby permitting light, for example, to be transmitted through vertical blind 420. Louvers 424 are connected to a vertical blind support and control system of conventional design such that they may be rotated about a vertical axis and thus folded towards a first panel 90C. FIG. 5A shows vertical blind 420 in a partially closed configuration. In this configuration, louvers 424 are rotated so that they form acute angles with translucent panels 90A, thereby permitting less light, for example, to be transmitted through the blind. Further rotation of louvers 424 reduces the angle between the louvers and translucent, or sheer, panels 90A to approximately zero degrees thereby fully closing the blind as shown in FIG. 5B and permitting essentially no light, for example, to pass through the blind. It is appreciated that in any configuration, the blind offers the benefits of the silver-containing yarns incorporated therein. Moreover, due to the overlapping of panels described above, the proportion of silver as a function of width of the blind is increased as the blind is closed. Further, the proportion of silver included in the blinds due to the quantity and placement of silver-containing yarns may be varied. This variation can be used to tune the blinds to reject electromagnetic radiation over one or more different bandwidths while also providing anti-microbial efficacy.
  • [0050]
    In the above examples, the silver containing yarns, in some cases, are stitched into the fabric, and in other cases the silver containing yarns are simply laid into the fabric. Either type of construction may be utilized in any of the furnishings for the health care facility room 10. However, in some cases it may be desirable to utilize a fabric having the silver-containing yarns laid-in for curtains, window treatments, wallcoverings, accessories, bath linens and furniture covers. Fabric constructions having stitched silver containing yarns may be particularly useful for mattress covers, bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains, wallcoverings, and window treatments.
  • [0051]
    The present invention may, of course, be carried out in other specific ways than those herein set forth without departing from the scope and the essential characteristics of the invention. The present embodiments are therefore to be construed in all aspects as illustrative and not restrictive and all changes coming within the meaning and equivalency range of the appended claims are intended to be embraced therein.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7814623 *Jan 30, 2008Oct 19, 2010United Feather & Down, Inc.Blended fiber containing silver, blended filling containing silver fibers, and method for making same
US20080209688 *Jan 30, 2008Sep 4, 2008Brandon PalmerBlended fiber containing silver, blended filling containing silver fibers, and method for making same
US20120117708 *Nov 11, 2010May 17, 2012Vincent TrapaniAntimicrobial Medical Garment
Classifications
U.S. Classification428/365, 428/402, 428/364
International ClassificationD02G3/02, D02G3/00
Cooperative ClassificationY10T428/2982, Y10T428/2915, Y10T428/2913, D04B21/12
European ClassificationD04B21/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 20, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: LACE LASTICS COMPANY, INC., NORTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GRAICHEN, CLAUS;REEL/FRAME:018661/0439
Effective date: 20061218