US 2862465 A
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J. L. CARD THREAD FEED MECHANISM AND PATTERN CONTROL THEREFOR Filed May 16, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet INVENT OR MMDOE Zdu-E.
" PLEW/S CARD ATTORNEY J. L. CARD Dec. 2, 1958 THREAD FEED MECHANISM AND PATTERN CONTROL THEREFOR Filed May 16, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR JOSEPH LEW/S CARD v V WWWMWWWWWN REL v I ATTORNEY 4 snets-sheet 3 m W, T L U a 7 m m w W D D I D m m m m m 1 SW m wo wc m w f 1 f m .H n; 3 w 3 n I- D D mm SW WW H a H m JOSEPH LEW/S CARD M ATTORNEY Dec. 2, 1958 J. CARD THREAD FEED MECHANISM AND PATTERN CONTROL THEREFOR Filed May 16. 1955 CURRENT SOURCE CURRENT SOURCE Ill Dec. 2, 1958 J. CARD Y THREAD FEED MECHANISM AND PATTERN CONTROL THEREFOR Filed May 16, 1955 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 JOSEPH LEW/S 04/20 United Statesv Patent O THREAD FEED MECHANISM AND PATTERN CONTROL THEREFOR Joseph Lewis Card, Chattanooga, Tenn. Application May 16, 1955, Serial No. 508,484
13 Claims. 01. 112-79 This invention is a thread feed mechanism and a pattern control mechanism therefor for use on multiple needlepattern figures are depicted in the final product by pile loops of diflerent heights. The height of the respective loops as described in said application is controlled by continuously feeding to selected groups of needles on the machine metered lengths of thread for each excursion of the needles, the amount of thread so fed to said groups of needles being insuflicient to form a loop corresponding in length to the maximum depth of penetration of the base fabric by the needles so that it is necessary to backdraw thread from a previously formed loop to complete the formation of the loop on the needle. This results 1n shortening the loop from which the thread is so backdrawn.
The thread feed means described in my aforementioned applicat on Serial No. 327,807 includes four pairs of feed rolls disposed horizontally and extending completely across the machine for substantially the full width of the needle bank and generally parallel thereto, with each pair of feed rolls serving thread to selected needles distributed substantially throughout the full width of the needle bank. This arrangement is ideal for relatively simple patterns in that it disposes the threads :coming from all of the feed rolls in convenient transverse alignment with the respective needles they serve. The arrangement 1s, however, cumbersome where intricate pattern figures are to be produced in the finished fabric, since each pattern step requires a separate pair of feed rolls.
The present invention seeks to improve the apparatus of the foregoing application by shortening the feed rolls and disposing them in any convenient position with respect to the needles. Since shortening the rollsinherently positions at least some of the threads coming from the several feed rolls out of transverse alignment with the needles served by said threads, novel thread guide means are employed to direct the thread from the feed rolls to the needlesserved thereby. The feed rolls for the thread may extend forwardly from the machine and substantially perpendicular to the plane in which the-needles operate. This shortening of the feed rolls permits an appreciable expansion in the number of such rolls over and above what was disclosed in said prior application.
The present invention also comprises an improved multiple speed drive mechanism forthe feed rolls and a new location therefor in respect to the 'machines as a whole which renders the machine more compact and Another object of the 'presentinvention' is to provide improved thread guide means for leading the various 2,862,465 Patented Dec. 2, 1 958 2 strands of thread from the respective feed rolls to selected needles of the machine.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved pattern control means for the multiple speed drive means for the thread feed rolls.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method by which patterned loop pile fabricmay be made on a tufting machine wherein dilferentportions of the pattern figures are depicted in contrasting colors.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel fabric comprising pile loops of different lengths, and wherein alternate rows of loops of one color and of the same height are separated by 'a row of loops of another color and of a lesser height.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel method of concealing pile loops of one color by adjacent rows of pile loops of another color whereby to depict adjacent portions of a given pattern figure in contrasting colors.
These and other objects of the invention will becom apparent from a consideration of the followingspecification read in the light of the accompanying drawings,
wherein-- Fig. 1 is a front elevation of the 'tufting machine with parts broken away and with the thread guide tubes shown diagrammatically. t
Fig. 2 is a top plan view of the machine, with portions thereof broken away.
Fig. 3 is an end view of the machine with parts broken away, and other parts shown in section. j
Fig. 4 is a top plan view, with parts in section, of the multiple speed transmission mechanism.
r Fig. 5 is a front elevation of the multiple speed transmission with parts of the casing wall broken away.
Fig. 6 is a detail view in perspective, of the arrangement of thread guide tubes and feed roll.
Fig.7 is a diagrammatic View of a simplified control circuit. I
Fig. 8 is a'diagrammatic view of a fabriehaving long loops of one color and shortloops of a contrasting-color. Fig. 9 is a diagrammatic view showing the manner of threading the machine to produce the fabric shown in Fig. 8. 7
Fig. 10 is a diagrammatic illustration of howthe short loops are formed by back-drawing thread-from a previously formed loop. p Referring more particularly to the accompanying drawings wherein I have illustrated preferred embodiments of my invention and wherein like. reference numerals are used to designate like parts throughout, Fig. 1 shows a front elevation of a multiple needle tufting machine including a bed frame. supported by end legs land a plurality of intermediatelegs 3. The length of the machin'e i's determined by the width of the fabric to-bemade and in "the present instance it will be assumed that the machine instance 15 feet in width. I
' The 'end legs 2 extend upwardly and support an upper frame or housing 4 within which is mounted the main shaft 5 of the machine. The shaft 5 extends the full 'lengthof the machine and is mounted for rotation in bearings not shown. The shaft 5 at the left hand end thereof as shown in Fig. 1 may be provided with a .drive pulley 6 by which the shaft may be driven from any convenient source of power such as the motor M.- The shaft 5 intermediate-its ends and within the housing. 4 is provided with a plurality of eccentrics7 (see Fig. 3) with which are operatively associated a plurality of pitmen 8 which in turn are pivotedly connected to the upper ends of guide rods 9 mounted for vertical reciprocation within guides 10 suitably mounted in the lower portion is of a width sufficient to makea floor s'ize rug, as for of the housing 4. The lower ends of the guide rods 9 projecting downwardly from the guides are connected to a needle bar 11 extending throughout the length of the machine and carrying a plurality of needles 12. The needles 12 are spaced from each other longitudinally of the bar 11 an amount dependent upon character of the fabric to be made and for the purpose of the present description, it will be assumed that the needle gauge or spacing is of an inch, although it be understood that this gauge may be increased or diminished as required by the demands of the fabric tobe made as will become apparent from the following description.
The bed frame of the machine includes an apertured needle plate 13 through which the needles pass in operation of the machine. Beneath the needle plate 13 and supported in any suitable manner within the bed frame is a rocker shaft 14 on which are mounted a plurality of loop hooks 15. As is well known in the art the rocker shaft 14 is rocked periodically about its longitudinal axis to move the hooks 15 alternately into and out of engagement with the needle thread as the needles are moved up and down when the machine is in operation, to thus form loops or tufts. There is a hook 15 for each needle. The means for rocking the shaft 14 is not shown and any convenient means can be employed for this purpose suchv as that shown in the patent to McCutchen 2,423,608.
A fabric 16 forming the base fabric in which the loops or" tufts are formed is fed across the needle plate 14 in any convenient manner. I prefer to employ feed means for moving base fabric across the needle plate such as shown and described in the co-pending application of Max M. Beasley, 456,995, filed September 20, 1954. This feed means includes feed rolls 17 and 18, each carrying spikes which penetrate the fabric and thus preclude slipping of the fabric on the rolls during the feeding thereof. The feed rolls 1 7 and 18, as fully described in said copending Beasley application 456,995, are driven positively by a separate'trains of gearing, each of which includes worm gear elements which are self-locking against retrograde movement to thus preclude the danger of stop mar-ks being formed in the fabric at points where, in the manufacture thereof, it was necessary to stop and restart the machine. The rolls 17 and 18 extend completely across the front and rear of the machine and may be mounted in any convenient form of brackets, as shown.
Thetufting machine of the present application includes means for projecting pile loops through base fabric, which loops may selectively be made of different lengths by metering the thread fed to selected needle groups in a manner such that when it is desired to make short pile loops, the thread fed to selected groups of needles is reduced to an amount insufiicient to make loops corresponding in length to the maximum penetration of the base. f br ythe needles, wit result hatthr ad is ba k-d n by c n s m opsipr ou l o med thereby, as shown diagrammatically in Fig. 10. As fully d cr l ed. in my -p n ns app a n 327,807, a achine designed to thus make long and short loops select v ly. incl des. e o s for' h hr ds. hi h are P itively driven and wherein such drivemeans for the thread feed rolls includes change speed mechanism by which selected" rolls may be positively driven at any one of a plurality of different speeds. In the present machine, the multiple speed drive means for the feed rolls is mounted with a casing 19, supported by the upper housing 4. The casing 19 includes multiple speed drive means for a pluralityof feed rolls and in the present. instance drive means for eighteen such feed rolls are provided. In an instance re ab or we 15 et n d h i o e m de; t is convenient to provide a plurality of such casing 19 connected together in end to end relation and in the present instance three-such casings 19 are required, the additional casings being designated in, the drawings by numerals 1 and; esp c ely. Since the as g 1. 2 n
19 are identical, only one such casing will be described in detail.
At the left hand end of casing 19 as viewed in Fig. 1 there is mounted for rotation a low speed input drive shaft 20 suitably supported in bearings 21, said shaft, within the casing 19, carrying a loose sprocket 22 and a low speed sprocket 23, the latter being fixed to the shaft in any convenient manner such as by set screw 24. At the opposite end of the casing 19 is mounted for rotation the high speed shaft 25 The shaft 25 within the casing carries high speed sprocket 26 keyed to shaft, and a second sprocket 27 which is loose on the shaft. Intermediate the shafts 20 and 25 there are mounted for rotation within the casing a plurality of feed roll drive shafts 28. As previously stated, in the present construction, each casing 19 carries eighteen such feed roll drive shafts 28. Each of the feed roll drive shafts 28 are mounted in bearings 29 and each shaft 28 includes an end portion 30 extending forwardly through the front wall of the casing, on which is mounted a feed roll 31 secured thereto in any convenient manner such as by set screw 32. Within the casing 19 each feed roll shaft 28 is pro-. vided with a low speed magnetic clutch 33 and a high speed magnetic clutch 34. The clutches 33 and 34 are of conventional design and may be of the type identified by Warner S. F. 250. The magnetic clutches are identical and the low speed clutch 33 includes a sprocket 35 loose on the shaft 28 which sprocket carries an armature 36. The armature 36 is juxtaposed to a stationary cylindrical casing 37 which encloses a stationary electromagnetic coil 39. Within the coil 39 is a rotor member secured to shaft 30 by set screw 38. This construction eliminates the necessity for slip rings and the energizing circuit for the coil 39 may be connected thereto in any desired manner, with the opposite end of the coil 39 grounded to themachine frame as shown at 71a in Fig 7. The high speed magnetic clutch 34 is identical in construction to the low speed clutch 33 just described and includes a loose sprocket 42 carrying an armature which is operatively associated with the electromagnetic coil section of the clutch. The input drive shaft 20 for thechange speed mechanism within casing 19 carries a drive pulley 43 or sprocket which is connected by chain 44 to a drive pulley 45 secured to the high speed shaft 25. The sprockets 23 and 26 are dimensioned to provide a proper speed differential between low speed clutches33 and high speed clutches 34 to provide the desired two. speeds at which the thread feed rolls 31 shall selectively be driven. If desired, the sprocket 23 on shaft 20 may be approximately oneehalf the diameter of the sprocket 26 on shaft 25 to provide a substantially two to one ratio between high and low speeds. The shaft 20 may be driven in any convenient manner from the main shaft 5 of the machine. Within the casing 19 the loose sprocket 22 on drive shaft 29 is connected to the fixed sprocket 26 on the high speed shaft 25 by drive chain 46, and, the lower reach of said chain 46 is trained over'upper segmental portions of the several loose sprockets 42 operatively associated with the high speed magnetic clutches 34. Similarly, a drive chain 4-7 drivingly connects the drive sprocket 24 on low speed shaft 20 and the sprocket 27 loose on shaft 25 in a manner such that the lower reach of the chain 47 may operatively engage the upper segmental portions of the .0086 sprockets 35 associated respectively with the low speed magnetic clutches 33. Intermediate adjacent feed roll shafts 28 are idler and; guide sprockets 48 suitably mounted upon'the inner faces of the side walls of the casing 19 in a manner to maintain; the drive chains 46 and 47 under proper tension and in operative relation to the several sprockets 35 and 42 associated with the several low. and high speed magnetic clutches 33 and 34 respectively. With each driven feed roll 31 there is provided an associated non-driven feed roll 49, each such roll 49 being mounted for rotation upon a stub shaft 50 suitably mounted upon theouter side wall; of the casing 19:
As previously indicated there are several speed change mechanisms, such as housed within casing 19, employed in the present machine, and these housings or casing sections ISL-19 and 19 are connected in end to end relation as shown by connecting bolts 51 and the input shaft 20 of section 19 is driven from the high speed shaft 25 of section 19 by a suitable chain and sprocket arrangement indicated at 51a, it being understood of course that the shafts 20 in casings 19 19 are driven at the same speed as the speed of shaft 20 in casing 19.
The feed rolls 31 have their axes disposed substantially perpendicular to the vertical medial plane of the machine or to the plane in which the needles 12 operate and in order properly to guide thethreads from each such feed roll to selected groups of needles, I provide thread guide tubes 52, as shown diagrammatically in Fig. 1, one such tube being provided for each strand of thread or yarn, and the thread guide tubes 52 may be made of-metal, plastic or similar material and are of a diameter such as to conveniently take a strand of thread or yarn from which the pile loops are made. In Fig. 1, for the purposes of facilitating illustration, each of these tubes is repre sented diagrammatically by a single line and the panel members to which the lower ends of the tubes are secured in a manner hereinafter described have been omitted.
The several thread guide tubes 52 associated with each feed roll 31 may be secured to a panel member 53 which in turn may be connected by the suitable bracket 54 to the bottom wall of the associated change speed casing 19. If desired, the panel member 53 may be provided with a series of semi-cylindrical grooves extending transversely thereof and spaced longitudinally thereof so that the several tubes 52 may be individually positioned within said grooves and secured therein by a clamping bar 55. Thus, the open ends of the tubes 52 are directed upwardly to receive individually the strands of threads which are being fed downwardly thereinto by the respective rollers 31. The lower ends of the respective tubes 52 are similarly supported and disposed in operative relation in respect to selected needles 12.
As previously stated, the present invention contemplates making a tufted pile fabric in which pattern figures may be repeated transversely of the fabric. To this end, the needles '12 are for the purpose of proper thread distribution, divided (theoretically) into groups, of a number corresponding to the number of pattern repeats appearing in the width of the fabric. One such pattern group is indicated by the letter P in Fig. 1. For a fabric 15 feet wide a popular pattern width is eighteen inches,-
and this may be repeated ten times. Thus, the needles 12 of the machine are divided for the purpose of thread distribution into ten pattern groups. With an allowance of inch for normal shrinkage and contraction, transversely of the fabric, the actual overall pattern width is increased to 18% inches. Assuming the needles tobe set at X inch gauge, this arrangement requires 100 needles per pattern figure, or in all 1,000 needles when ten repeats are to be made in the finished fabric. The 1,000 strands of thread required to be fed to the needles must, therefore,be divided equally among the several feed rolls, so that each pair of feed rolls will handle the 'same number of threads. v
, For proper repeat pattern control it is necessary that the threads from each feed roll be uniformly distributed throughout the several repeat groups of needles (ten groups) each representing a pattern figure. Thus, the threads from each pair of feed rolls are distributed among these ten repeat groups of needles in a manner determined by the width of the pattern increment used as a basis of control. If it be assumed that a pattern increment two needles in width is proper to control a particular pattern figure serving as a repeat, then the threads from each feed roll must be divided into groups of threads each corresponding in number to the number of needlesiricluded within the assumed pattern control increment. There being needles within each repeat figure of the pattern, and on the basis of a control increment of 2 needles, there must be 50 feed rolls so that each such roll may control 2 threads to each repeat group of needles. There being 10 repeats, this places 20threads on each of 50 feed rolls or 1,000 threads in all.
With this in mind, it is apparent that the lower ends of the thread guide tubes 52 must be disposed in operative relation to the respective needles 12 and to this end there is provided a second tube supporting panel 56 mounted on the upper frame of the machine in any suitable manner and in operative relation to the needle bank so that the individual threads guided by said tubes may be conveniently threaded through the respectively juxtaposed needles. Having in mind the numerical distribution of threads from each feed roll to the respective repeat groups of needles it is convenient to deliver threads from the first feed roll 31 in groups of two each to the first two needles of each pattern repeat group. The threads from the second feed roll 31 may be similarly distributed in groups of two each to the next succeeding pair of needles in each of the repeat groups and so on through the entire number of feed rolls 31, which under the assumed arrangement will total 50. It should be understood that while I have shown the ends of tubes 52 supported in the panels 53 and 56 in a single co-planar row, it is obvious that in the event the needle gauge and/ or the diameter of the tubes 52 requires the tubes may be arranged within the panels 53 and 56 in two or more layers or rows, or two or more tubes may be grouped Within a single transverse groove. With the threads from the several feed rolls thus uniformly distributed through the bank of needles, and uniformly divided between the 10 pattern repeat groups thereof, the following description of the pattern control mechanism will be readily understood.
The pattern control mechanism includes a drum 57 mounted on the shaft 58, the latter being mounted for rotation in suitable bearings supported on bracket 59 carried by the frame of the machine in the rear as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The drum 57 is driven in timed relation to the fabric feed rolls by sprocket chain 60. Mounted upon the drum 57 is a sleeve member 61, the same being generally cylindrical in form and of substantially the same internal diameter as the external diameter of the drum so that itwill fit'snugly and removably thereon. If desired,
the drum and sleeve may be provided with interfitting features such as notch 62 and tooth 63 shown in Fig. 2 whereby to properly orient the sleeve upon the drum and preclude slipping of the sleeve on the drum. The sleeve may be detachably secured to the drum frictionally or by any desired means not shown. The pattern member may comprise a sheet of electrical insulating material 64 such as paperprovided with cut-out portions 65 which define the pattern figures to be reproduced in the body of the fabric. The cut-out portions 65 expose the surface of the sleeve for contact with electrical contact fingers 66, see Fig. 2, which are supported in spaced relation on a bar 67 mounted in any convenient manner beside, the drum 57 in a manner such that the fingers 66 bear upon the surface of the pattern sheet 64 and/or the exposed surface of the sleeve. The fingers 66' are insulatingly supported by the bar 67 and each finger at its supported end is connected to an electric conductor 68 by which a control circuit, hereinafter described, may be energized or de-energized in accordance with the position of the respective fingers relative to the insulating material of the pattern 64 and the exposed electrical conducting portions of the sleeve 61 exposed through cut-out portions of the pattern sheet. It will be understood that there are prod vided the same number of fingers 66 as there are driven and de-energized by the fingers 66 in the manner just dey scribed. Each of. the circuit wires 68 is connected to a control relay coil 69, the opposite end of which coil is connected to a current source having one pole thereof grounded as shown at 70. The circuits through the relay coils 69ers completed by grounding the drum 57 and/ or sleeve 61 to the machine frame as indicated at 71. Each control relay controls two circuits, one of which 72, is arranged to energize a high speed magnetic clutch and the other circuit 73 is arranged to control a low speed magnetic clutch associated with a particular feed roll 31. The energizing circuit for the high speed clutch includes relay contacts 74 which as shown are normally closed by the armature of the relay to complete the energizing circuit for the high speed magnetic clutch through a current source having a grounded pole 77 as shown. As previously stated one end of each of the electromagnetic clutch coils 39 is grounded as shown so that the high speed clutch magnets are always energized whenever the master control switch is closed. The energizing circuits 73 for the low speed clutch magnets for each feed roll shaft include normally open contacts 76 which are arranged to be closed whenever the proper contact finger 66 associated with the relay energizing circuit engages an exposed portion of the sleeve 61 to energize the relay coil and raise the armature 75 thereof into bridging relationship with the contacts 76. Under these conditions the contact 74 controlling the circuit 72 to the associated high speed magnetic clutch are first opened by raising the armature 75 so that the feed roll shaft controlled by said clutch is driven at low speed. It will be understood that the relay energizing circuits 68 are connected between the several contact fingers 66 and the relay coils 69 and a source of energizing current in a manner such that the several relays are energized selectively at such times as the associated fingers 66 make contact with the surface of the sleeve 61 through the cut-out portions of the pattern sheet 64. It will also be understood that, for purposes of convenience, one side of each of the electromagnetic clutches is grounded while the other side of each of these coils is connected to the slip ring 40 which in turn is connected to the control circuits 72 and 73 which are selectively energized and de-energized'by the relays 69. Also, for convenience, the high speed clutches are engaged whenever the switch S is closed, by reason of the fact that relay 74 contacts controlling the high speed clutch magnets are closed when associated relays are de-energized. It will also be understood that the diagram of Fig. is a simplified diagram only and no attempt has been made to include therein the conventional protective and control instrumentalities such as fuses, circuit breakers, rectifiers, condensers, and the like.
In respect to the dimensions of the pattern sleeve 61 and the pattern sheet 64, it will be understood that the pattern sheet has a width corresponding to the width of the pattern figure to be reproduced in the completed fabric, but that the length of the pattern sheet, corresponding to the circumference of the sleeve 61, may be greater or lesser than the actual length of the pattern figure as reproduced in the fabric since this dimension maybe readily controlled by the relative speed of the pattern drum shaft 58 in respect to the base fabric feed roll 18.
From the foregoing description it is apparent that loops or tufts of different lengths may be formed selectively in the base fabric in accordance with the contours or delineations of a predetermined pattern figure represented by cut-out portions in the pattern sheet as described and in the manner described in my co-pending application S. N. 327,807. In the arrangements shown herein the pattern figures represented by the cut-out portions of the pattern sheet will be reproduced in the finished fabric as areas characterized by short loops on a background in which the loops are long, since when the fingers 66 are contacting the surface of the sleeve 61 through the cut-out por tions of the pattern, the associated feed rolls are being driven at low speed. Obviously, the pattern figures may be depicted in the finished fabric by areas of long loops by reversing the connections between the high and low speed magnetic clutches in a manner such that the low speed clutches are normally engaged and the high speed clutches are engaged only when the associated fingers 66 contact the electrical conducting portions of the pattern sleeve 61.
While the invention as thus described is adapted to produce tufted pile fabric in a manner described, the foregoing description is predicated upon the assumption that all of the needles of the machine are threaded with thread or yarn of the same color. My invention also contemplates a method by which the figures of the repeat pattern may be depicted in the finished fabric by areas of contrasting colors, the visible loops of which are all long. In this arrangement alternate needles of the machine are threaded with thread or yarn of one color whereas the intermediate needles are threaded with yarn of a contrasting color. This arrangement is disclosed diagrammatically in'Fig. 9 and if the same overall width of finished fabric is assumed, requires that the width of the pattern figure be reduced to half that of the pattern figure forming the repeats when all threads of the machine are of the same color. Thus, the repeat figure, when threads of contrasting color are employed, would be nine inches in width plus allowance for shrinkage and the figure would be repeated twenty times across the width of the rug. Thus a pattern group of needles comprises 59 needles and one thread for each roll is delivered to one needle in each such group, after the manner previously described. When threads of contrasting color are used, all threads on any one roll are of the same color, with the threads on alternate rolls being of one color and the threads on intermediate rolls being of a contrasting color, thus the twenty threads on the first feed roll will be delivered by the guide tubes 52 to the first needle respectively in the twenty pattern groups of needles; the. twenty threads, of a contrasting color, on the second feed roll will be delivered respectively to the second needle in each of the twenty pattern groups of needles; and the twenty threads from the third feed roll (of the same color as those of the first feed roll) will be delivered respectively to the third needle in each of the pattern needle groups and so on through the fifty rolls: With the machine thus threaded, and a pattern sheet on the pattern drum provided with alternate circumferential strips of insulating material separated by cut-out. portions exposing circumferential strips of the underlying surface of the sleeve, said strips being substantially of needle gauge width, adjacent needles will project long or short loops through the base fabric in accordance with the delineations of the pattern represented by insulating portions and the cut-out portions of the pattern sheet. I have shown in Fig. 8 a diagram representative of a fabric produced by this method where alternate needles form long loops 73 of one color as intermediate needles form short loops 79 of contrasting color. The increased length and spread of the long loops 78 will completely conceal or submerge the short loops 79 so that the visible color of the area in question will be determined by the color of the long loops. By properly orienting'the strips of insulating material and exposed strips of electrical conducting surface of the sleeve as determined by the cut-outs in the pattern sheet, the color and length of the formed loops may be varied as desired to make colored areas of either color depending upon which color is embodied in the long loops. The length of the short pile loops, in this form of the invention, is not critical and depending upon the nature of the thread or yarn being employed, the short loops may conveniently be made /3 the length of the long loops, or slightly longer or shorter as found desirable to accomplish the purposes of theinvention as previously described.
It should be noted that the feed rolls 31 are faced with a rough surfaced material such as emery cloth so as positively to draw the threads from the source of'supply,
not shown, and feed them to the needles in amounts corresponding to the speed at which the respective feed rolls 31 are driven. The threads may be drawn from creels carrying bobbins supported in any convenient manner adjacent to the machine. The individual threads may readily be threaded through the tubes 52 by blowing the thread ends through such tubes by compressed air or the like.
Having thus described by invention it is apparent that I have provided improved means for guiding thread from multiple speed feed rolls in a multiple needle tufting machine to selected needle groups for the purpose of forming pattern repeats in rug size fabrics. The pattern repeats may be depicted in the finished fabric solely by selected variations in the height of the pile loops in adjacent areas of the fabric with the loops all of one color or, if desired, the pattern figures may be reproduced in contrasting colors by concealing or submerging short loops of one color by long loops of another color.
The location of the change speed mechanism at the top of and longitudinally of the machine provides for a convenient location of the feed rolls and one which permits almost infinite expansion of number of such rolls with the resulting advantages in regard to selectivity and accuracy of control in reproducing pattern figures of intricate design.
The novel thread guide tubes and their supporting panel members constitute an important improvement since these may be removed from the machine as a unit and replaced with another set of tubes designed for a difierent distribution of thread, such as where the pattern control increment ischanged from one needle or one thread to two or more needles or threads.
Also the arrangement of pattern sheet and mounting sleeve provides a ready means of quickly changing from one pattern to another. The pattern sheets per se may of course be prepared and mounted on the sleeve member and secured thereto by pressure sensitive adhesive for instance. Or if desired, an uncut sheet may be mounted on the sleeve and the pattern figure out therefromwhile in place on the sleeve.
While I have shown and described preferred embodiments of myv invention, and have pointed out certain advantages accruing therefrom, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the size proportion of parts and the steps in the process without departing from the spirit of my invention which are set forth more particularly in the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new is: r
1. In a multiple needle tufting machine for inserting pile loops in a base fabric, said machine including means for feeding base fabric through the machine and a needle bank including plural needles substantially aligned transversely of the direction of feed of the base fabric, plural thread feed rolls for drawing thread from a source of thread supply and feeding the same to said needles, means for driving said feed rolls, each of said feed rolls being shorter than the transverse extent of the needle bank and positioned in relation thereto to feedv thread to plural needles within the needle bank, the needles served by the thread from any one of said rolls being distributed along a greater length of the transverse extent of said needle bank than the length of said roll whereby at least some of the threads fed by said roll leave the roll at points displaced transversely of the machine with respect to the needles served by such threads, thread guide means extending substantially from the feed rolls to the needles to direct the threads to selected needles in the needle bank, and means mounting the thread guide means adjacent to the respective rolls and in position to guide the threads fed thereby across the rolls in a direction substantially perpendicular to the axes of the rolls.
2. In a multiple needle tufting machine as described in claim 1, wherein the means for driving said feed rolls is disposed on the machine above said needles, and wherein said feed rolls extend forwardly of said driving means and substantially perpendicular to the plane of the needles.
3. In a multiple needle tufting machine as described in claim 1, wherein the base fabric is fed through the machine on a plane substantially perpendicular to the plane of the operation of the needles and wherein said feed rolls are disposed above the plane of the base fabric and are mounted for rotation on axes substantially parallel thereto and wherein said thread guide means comprises a plurality of hollow tubular members through which the threads are adapted to pass from the rolls to the needles. 4, In a multiple needle tufting machine including a feed roll adapted positively to feed a plurality of threads to a like number of needles, thread guide means including a plurality of tubes having thread passages at the opposite ends thereof, support means for supporting the tubes including a panel member disposed substantially parallel to the axis of rotation of said feed roll, one end of each of said tubes being mounted on said panel member at points spaced longitudinally of the roll with the thread passages thereof positioned respectively each to receive a strand of thread being fed by said roll, a plurality of needles disposed in generally coplanar alignment with each other, the opposite end of each of said tubes being secured to asecond panel member carried by the machine in spaced generally parallel relation to the said needles with the thread passages of said opposite ends of the tubes in operative relation to predetermined needles respectively. 5 5. The apparatus described in claim 4 wherein said firstandsecond panel members are removable as units from the tufting machine with the oposite ends of the tubes firmly secured thereto. 6. In a multiple needle tufting machine, a plurality of driven feed rolls, change speed mechanism operatively associated with each feed roll, and pattern means for controlling action of said change speed mechanism for selectively driving predetermined feed rolls at any one of a plurality of predetermined speeds, said pattern mechanism including a drum having an electrical conducting surface, means for driving the drum in timed relation with operation of the tufting machine, a pattern sheet of electrical insulation material mounted on said drum, said pattern sheet being provided with cut-out portions therein exposing the electrical conducting surface of the drum, a plurality of contact fingers bearing on the pattern sheet,
- electromotive means for each feed roll for actuating the change speed mechanism associated therewith when energized, and electric circuit means operatively connecting the several fingers with said electromotive means respectively for energizing the latter upon contact of a finger with the surface of said drum.
7. In a pattern control mechanism for a multiple needle tufting machine, plural thread feed rolls, change speed mechanism for driving said rolls, a drum having an electricalconducting cylindrical surface, means for driving said drum, an electrical insulating pattern sheet mounted on said drum covering said cylindrical surface, said sheet being provided with cut out portions exposing said electrical-conducting surface of the drum and a series of contact fingers mounted to bear uponthe surface of said pattern sheet, electromotive means for actuating said change speed mechanism operatively associated with the respective feed rolls and electric circuit means operatively connecting said contact fingers and said electromotive means respectively whereby to energize predetermined electromotive means in response to engagement of predetermined contact fingers with the electrical conducting surface of said cylindrical surface through a cut-out portion in said pattern sheet.
8. The apparatus described in claim 1 wherein, said thread guide means includes plural tube members, panel members to which opposite ends of said tubes are secured, and means for mounting the respective panel mem- 11 here 011 said machine adjacent to the feed rolls and to. the needles respectively.
9. The apparatus described in claiml wherein said thread guide means comprises a plurality of elongated hollow tubular members, each adapted to receive a strand of thread, and a pair of panel members to which the opposite ends of said tubular members are secured, said tubular members having their respectively adjacent ends in alignment with each other with all of the ends of the tubular members on either of said panel members being directed in the same direction.
10. In a multiple needle tufting machine for making patterned loop pile fabric characterized by a pattern figure repeated transversely of the fabric, and said machine including base fabric feed means; a plurality of repeat needle groups arranged in end to end relation transversely of direction of fabric feed, there being one such group of needles for each pattern repeat, a plurality of yarn feed means in number proportionate to the number of needles in each repeat needle group, each yarn feed means including a yarn feed roll adapted to feed a plurality of strands of yarn in number corresponding to a multiple of the number of repeat needle groups, means to drive the yarn feed rolls, yarn guide means, and means mounting the yarn feed guide means adjacent to the respective yarn feed rolls in position to guide the yarn strands fed thereby across the rolls in a direction substantially perpendicular to the axes of said rolls and to deliver a like number of said strands to selected needles of each of the several needle repeat groups respectively, at least some of the yarns from each of the yarn feed means being delivered to the respective yarn guide means at points displaced transversely of the machine with respect to the needles served by said yarns.
11. The apparatus described in claim 10 wherein the 12 y r guide me s o p ises a pl rality f tubular m me bers having open ends disposed in yarn receiving rela, tion to said feed means and having opposite open ends disposed in yarn delivery relation to said selected needles of each of the needle repeat groups respectively.
12. The apparatus described in claim 1 wherein the thread guide means comprises tube members through which the respective threads are passed, said tube members each having a thread-receiving opening adjacent to one of the feed rolls and a thread-delivery opening adjacent to one of said needles.
13. The apparatus described in claim 1 wherein the thread guide means comprises substantially continuous flexible sleeve-like members surrounding the respectivethreads, together with means for anchoring the opposite ends of the sleeves at points adjacent to the thread feed rolls and to the needle bank respectively, the ends of said sleeve-like members adjacent to the feed rolls being positioned to guide the threads fed thereby across the rolls in a direction substantially perpendicular to the axes of said rolls.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,831,485 Dykeman Nov. 10, 1931- 1,863,049 Hermann June 14, 1932 1,909,531 Gladish May 16, 1933 1,984,330 Boyce Dec. 11, 1934 2,226,631 Miller Dec. 31, 1940 2,357,716 Ballamy et al. Sept. 5, 1944 2,360,398 Case Oct. 17, 194-4 2,411,268 Hamrich Nov. 19, 1946 2,513,261 Behrens "June 27, 1950 2,781,007 Thompson Feb. 12, 1957