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Publication numberUS2723937 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 15, 1955
Filing dateJul 22, 1954
Priority dateJul 22, 1954
Publication numberUS 2723937 A, US 2723937A, US-A-2723937, US2723937 A, US2723937A
InventorsWalter A Rice
Original AssigneeMohawk Carpet Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of producing embossed pile fabric
US 2723937 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 15, 1955 w. A. RICE 2,723,937



NOV. 15, 1955 w, RICE 2,723,937

METHOD OF PRODUCING EMBOSSED FILE FABRIC Filed July 22, 1954 I5 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2.

FIG. 3.

' 1%! 'ENTOR.

zw iwmww ,47 TUBA 145? Nov. 15, 1955 w. A. RICE METHOD OF PRODUCING EMBOSSED FILE FABRIC 3 SheetsSheet 5 Filed July 22, 1954 a wN TOR.

United States PatentO 2,723,937 c j METHOD OF PRODUCING EMBOSSED PILE FABRIC Walter A. Rice, Amsterdam, N. Y., assignor to Mohawk Carpet Mills, Inc., Amsterdam, N. Y., a corporation of New York 1 Application July 22, 1954, Serial No. 444,983

7 Claims. (Cl. 154106) This invention relates to pile fabrics, such as are employed as floor coverings, and is concerned more particularly with a novel method whereby pile fabric suitable for floor covering use, in which the pile has sunken or depressed areas determined by a pattern and giving the pile a carved or embossed appearance, which can be easily and. rapidly produced without the use of expensive equipment.

At the present time, designs may be formed in the pile of carpet fabrics in a number of ways, as, for example, the fabric may be woven with a pile of tufts of a uniform height and the tufts in areas determined by the pattern may be cut by hand to reduce their height. The cost of the labor in thus forming designs by clipping the tufts is so great that the method described is seldom used except on fabrics of the best grades. Analternative method of forming designs in the pile of fabrics woven on Wilton looms equipped with pile wires and a jacquard mechanism involves failing to raise yarns over the wires at points determined by the pattern, so that tufts are omitted at such points to produce line designs. Also, by the use of special wires on a Wilton loom with a jacquard mechanism and by employing a number of frames of pile yarn, it is possible to form the pile .of

loops of different heights and thus produce fabrics of attractive appearance. However, looms equipped with a jacquard mechanism cannot be run as fast as looms weaving plain goods, so that the cost of production of fabrics on such jacquard looms is relatively high.

Carpet fabrics can be produced at relatively low cost by weaving on tapestry or velvet looms or by passing yarns through a backing fabric on a sewing machine to leave roller projecting pile elements but, up to the present, it has not been possible to give the pile of such fabrics the appeartime of having been carved or embossed except by the expensive hand clipping operation mentioned above. As a result, such relatively inexpensive fabrics are open to the objection that the pile is of somewhat monotonous appearance. i

The present invention is directed to a novel method of producing pile fabric of attractive carved or embossed appearance rapidly and at low cost. The starting material of the new product is basically a woven or sewn tufted fabric with a pile of uniform height, and designs are formed inthe pile by causing areas thereof determined by the pattern to be depressed below the surface of the pile in compacted condition and held together by a binding agent. The agent used is a finely divided potentially adhesive material and, in the production of the new fabric, the line material or powder is distributed through the pile of the fabric and the pile in selected areas is depressed and compacted and the powder within the pile in such areas is simultaneously activated. The activation of the material causes it to bind the compacted portions of the pile in their positions below the surface of'the pile, so that the desired carved or embossed surface effects are obtained. Preferably, the binding agent'is a thermoplastic material and it is, activated by inserting heated 9 thickness of the backing 11.

2,723,937 Patented Nov. 15,1955

elements into the pile in areas in accordance with the pattern.

For a better understanding of the invention, reference may be made to the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. l is a diagrammatic vertical sectional view of an apparatus, which may be used in practicing themethod of the invention;

Fig 2 is a plan view on an enlarged scale of a portion of the apparatus; i

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary sectional View on an enlarged scaleon the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing the action of the embossing roller of the apparatus;

Fig. 5 is a view in side elevation showing the action of the embossing roller; and t Fig. 6 is a sectional view of the finished fabric.

In the practice of the method of the invention by means of the apparatus shown in Fig. 1, the pile fabric used is one having a pile of uniform height and the fabric may be a sewn tufted fabric or a woven fabric. The fabric 10 shown is of the sewn tufted type and it includes a woven backing sheet 11 of cotton, burlap, etc., through which pile yarns have been inserted by a needle to provide a pile 12 formed of elements 12a illustrated as tufts. The fabric is drawn from a supply roll 13 and passes into a chamber 14, within which it is led beneath a guide 15, up and over the top of a suction intake 16, and downwardly to a guide roller 17. The suction intake has a narrow top extending the full width of the fabric and it is connected to a header 16a, which is in turn connected to the inlet of a blower or fan. The rollers 15 17 are relatively closely spaced, so that the fabric changes direction abruptly over the top of the intake 16 and the pile is opened up and its elements are spread apart. A potentially adhesive material in finelydivided condition is introduced into the opened pile and, for this purpose, a supply of the powder is discharged from a vessel 18 having discharge nozzles. l9lying directly above intake 16. The powder is drawn down into the pile by the suction appliedat the intake and the powder is fed at such a rate as to permeate the pile with some of the powder also covering the top surface of the pile. Beyond the roller 17, the fabric is subjected to a localized vibration by means of a polygonal driven roller 18', which lies in contact with the under surface of the fabric and is rotated at such a speedas to subject the fabric to a plurality of blows over lines lying close together. The combined action of the suction intake and the vibrating roller 18 causes the the backing 11. I

The fabric issuing from the chamber 14 passes beneath a guide roller 19' and thence between roller 20 and a heated roller 21 with embossing elements or blades 22 thereon. In the passage of the fabric between rollers 24) and 21, the projections 22 depress and compact portions 12b of the pile, with which the outer faces of the projections come in contact. The fabric travels. with roller 21 through an angle of about and, as it passes under the roller, it is supported from beneath by a roller 23. In its travel with roller 21, the hot embossing projections 22 raise the temperature of the potentially adhesive material in the depressed portions 12b of the pile, until the material becomes adhesive and binds the depressed portions together.

The portions 12!) of the pile depressed by the embossing projections 22 are not subjected to any substantial pressure and, to insure this result, the surface of roll 21 be tween the projections 22 is so spaced from rolls 20 and 23 and the height of the projections 22 is such that the outer faces of the projections are spaced from rolls 20 and 23 by a distance a (Fig.5), which is greater than the Also, the distance between powder to penetrate the pile down to and the height of projections 22 is less than the thicknessv of thefabric with the result that the top surface of the pile is spaced from the surface of roll 21 between elements 22 by a distance c. This insures that the adhesive powder on the top of the pile will not be heated to such a temperature that it will soften and adhere to the pile.

The fabric leaving rollers 21, 23 enters an exhaust I chamber 24 containing a suction nozzle 25 lying close to the surface of the fabric and connected to a suction line 26. A polygonal vibrating roller 27 is mounted within chamber 24 directly beneath nozzle 25 and the combined act-ion of the vacuum and agitation removes the adhesive powder from those portions of the pile lying outside the areas depressedby projections 22. If desired, a rotary brush, for acting on the pile to remove the adhesive powder, may also be provided in chamber 24.

The fabric issuing from the chamber 24 is given a normal finishing treatment, which involves subjecting the fabric to the action of steam jets. For this purpose, the fabric is passed through a chamber 28 containing a transverse header 29 supplied with steam through a pipe 30 and having a plurality of nozzle openings, through which the steam is directed upon the surface of the fabric, excess steam being removed from the chamber through an exhaust line 31. The steaming action causes the tufts adjacent the depressed areas 32 in the pile to bend over, so that the edges of the grooves in the pile leading to the depressed areas appear to be bevelled off as indicated The fabric issuing from the steam chamber passes into a dryer 34, which is of conventional construction, and comprises a chamber 35 provided with steam coils 36 near its'bottom and having louver openings 37. The fabric entering the dryer passes over a roller 38, and is then led over a series of rollers 39, between which lengths of the fabric hang in festoons 40. From the last roller 39, the fabric travels to a guide roller 41 adjacent an exit opening from the dryer. The dryer is provided with exhaust openings 42 near its top leading to a suction duct 43 connected to a fan, which functions to maintain a current of air through the drying chamber during the drying operation.

In Fig. 2, there is shown an embossing roller 44 having embossing elements 45 mounted thereon to produce the pattern illustrated in the section 46 of the fabric lying at the right of the roller. The roller has hollow trunnions 47 connected through glands 48 to a steam supply line 49 and an exhaust line 50, respectively. The steam is supplied to the roller at a pressure sufficient to maintain the elements 45 at the temperature required to soften the adhesive powder within the pile and to render it effective.

The potentially adhesive material employed in the practice of the method is a material, which is insoluble in water and in common organic solvents and is preferably a thermoplastic resin. The material used should become tacky at a temperature which is not sufficiently high to do damage to the fibers, of which the pile yarns are spun, and it should be able to withstand the temperature in the drying chamber without losing its binding action. The lower the temperature, at which the material becomes tacky, the faster the material can be brought to tacky condition and the more rapid can be the progress of the fabric through the apparatus. A thermoplastic resin, which is satisfactory for the purpose, isa form of vinyl chloride sold commercially under the name Fibravyl, this material having an adhesivepoint of about 170 F. and a melting point of about 210 F. Other thermoplastic resins suitable for use in the process include the copolymer of polyvinyl chloride and polyvinylacetate, known commerciallysas Vinyon .HH, polystyrene, the .copolymer of polyvinyliclene chloride and vinyl. chloride, known commercially as Saran, .etc.

Since theeleincnts of :the pile depressed .by the blades or projections 22 on the embossing roller 21 are held down by the action of the adhesive and not by any constituent of the pile yarns, it is immaterial what fibers are used in the pile yarns of the fabric being treated. Accordingly, the fabrics, with which the method may be used, may have a pile made of yarns spun from any of the I ordinary fibers, including wool, cotton, viscose rayon,

acetate, Saran, nylon, etc., and blends of such fibers. In the embossing operation carried on with the height of the projections such as to depress and compact the pile in the desired areas but without applying substantial pressure to the depressed pile elements, little power is required to rotate the embossing roller 21 and the secondary rollers 20 and 23 and they may be driven by a small electric motor connected thereto in any suitable way.

Since the potentially-adhesive material is applied to the pile elements in finely-divided, solid form, it will not, when it reaches the bases of the pile tufts, penetrate into the backing sheet. Thus, upon activation it will hold the pile elements in a compacted condition contiguous the backing but will not penetrate into the backing. Hence, the binding element does not appreciably stiffen the backing sheet nor otherwise aifect its physical characteristics.

The apparatus for practicing the method, which has been illustrated and described, comprises a roll, which is steam heated and has embossing projections thereon of such height in relation to the height of the pile elements of the fabric to be treated that areas of the pile can be depressed by the projections without adjacent areas of the pile coming into contact with the roll and being heated thereby. As an alternative, the embossing roll may have electrical resistance heating elements, preferably of the enclosed type, mounted on its surface in accordance with the pattern and insulated from the roll. Theresistance elements may be mounted in cavities in the surface of the roll so as to lie flush with or project beyond the surface to the desired extent. The roll may be hollow and kept cool by passage of a coolant through it, so that, even though those portions of the pile outside the areas to be depressed, come into contact with the roll between the resistance elements, the adhesive material.

in such portions of the pile will not be activated.

I claim:

1. A method of producing pattern effects in the pile of a densely woven carpet having pile elements in close contact which comprises advancing the carpet lengthwise, abruptly changing the direction of travel of the carpet during its advancement to cause the free ends of the pile elements .to spread apart and to open up, discharging a potentiallyadhesive powder into the open pile, depressing the pile in certain areas determined by a pattern and simultaneous ly activating the adhesive material within the pile in said areas to cause it to bind together the depressed portions of the pile while maintaining the top of the pile in the contiguous areas substantially free from depression and the potential adhesive in said contiguous areas substam tially free from activation.

2. A method of producing pattern effects in the pile of a carpet as set forth in claim 1 in which suction is applied to the back of the carpet along the line of abrupt change in direction to draw the powder into the pile.

3. A method of producing pattern effects in the pile of a densely woven carpet having pile elements in close contact whichcomprises advancing the carpet lengthwise, and, while the carpet is advancing, abruptly changing the direction of travel of the carpet to cause the free ends of the pile elements to spread apart and to open up the pile, discharging a thermoplastic powder into the open pile, applying suction to the back of the carpet along the line of abrupt change in direction to draw the powder into the pile, depressing the pile in certain areas determined by a pattern and simultaneously heating the powder within the pile in said areas to cause it to bind together the depressed portions .of the pile while maintaining the top of the pile in the contiguous areas substantially free from depression and heating.

4. A method of producing pattern effects in the pile of a densely woven carpet having pile elements in close contact which comprises distributing a thermoplastic material in finely-divided condition through the pile in a direction towards the base of the carpet, thereafter bringing the pile in contact with embossing portions only of a heated embossing roll, pressing the carpet against said portions of the embossing roll to depress the pile elements in the areas opposite said portions against the backing of the carpet, simultaneously advancingrsaid carpet around a substantial portion of said embossing roll while rotating said roll in such timed relation with the advancement of the carpet that said embossing portions are maintained in contact with said areas of the pile elements during a substantial extent of the advancement of the carpet without relative motion with respect to said areas, whereby a substantial period of time is provided for heating of the thermoplastic material in said areas of the pile while simultaneously pressing the pile in said areas against the carpet backing, the areas of the pile contiguous to said areas being maintained substantiallyfree from depression as the carpet advances around said embossing roll and the thermoplastic material in said contiguous areas being maintained in a substantially non-activated state.

5. A method as set forth in claim 4 in which, during the distributing of the thermoplastic material through the pile, the pile is opened by spreading apart the elements thereof.

6. A method as set forth in claim 5 in which the spreading apart of the pile elements is obtained by bending the carpet along a line and suction is applied to the back of the carpet along the line of bending.

7. A method as set forth in claim 6 in which the carpet, after having the thermoplastic material distributed into the pile thereof and before the pile is brought into contact with the embossing roll, is agitated locally to cause the finely-divided thermoplastic material to be better distributed throughout the pile.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 227,115 Lawrence May 4, 1880 1,492,580 Schramm May 6, 1924 1,912,625 Dreyfus June 6, 1933 2,020,319 King Nov. 12, 1935 2,055,464 Bowes Sept. 29, 1936 2,236,968 Cunnington Apr. 1, 1941 2,389,657 Faris et a1. Nov. 27, 1945 FOREIGN PATENTS.

2,176 Great Britain Oct. 11, 1854

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2952577 *May 31, 1955Sep 13, 1960Allen IndComposite carpet tiles
US3134693 *Jun 27, 1960May 26, 1964Curran Jr John VApparatus for bonding carpet edging
US3519460 *Mar 8, 1967Jul 7, 1970Gaf CorpWeb printing and coating method and apparatus
US3641635 *Mar 2, 1970Feb 15, 1972Bunker RamoPile-fabric-finishing methods and apparatus
US4260390 *Dec 10, 1979Apr 7, 1981Armstrong Cork CompanyAdditive-solvent process to form embossed product
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US4492238 *Jan 12, 1982Jan 8, 1985Philip Morris IncorporatedMethod and apparatus for production of smoke filter components
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U.S. Classification156/209, 26/69.00R, 156/582, 156/283, 156/553, 101/32, 118/311, 428/85, 428/88, 118/44
International ClassificationD06C23/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06C2700/31, D06C23/00
European ClassificationD06C23/00