US 2935434 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 3, 1960 DAWSON 2,935,434
METHOD OF SECURING A BUTTON TO A FABRIC BY MEANS OF A THERMOPLASTIC PIN Filed Oct. 14, 1955 .38 35 INVENTOR.
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United States Patent O METHOD OF SECURING A BUTTON TO A FABRIC BY MEANS OF A THERMOPLASTIC PIN Horace Dawson, Evanston, Ill. Application October 14, 1955, Serial No. 540,456
4 Claims. (Cl. 154-118) This invention relates to button sewing, and is particularly useful in the sewing of buttons or other objects to fabric, etc., through the use of plastic pins.
When a button has been torn from a garment and it is necessary to replace the same, the conventional method of threading a needle with a selected thread, passing the needle back and forth through the button and fabric, and finally securing, tying, knotting and again cutting the thread, is a tedious and time-consuming operation and one which is practically beyond the ability of persons having poor eyesight, etc. As a result, the occasional button lost as described is not replaced for some time and one rebels instinctively against the tedious operation of threading the needle with a short length of thread and going through the stitching operations required to secure the single button to the garment. There has long been a need for a very simple method and means for quickly and easily securing a button in position while giving the button the desired spacing and flexible attachment desired.
An object of the present invention is to provide a method and means for securing buttons with a minimum of effort and in a very brief time to garments while at the same time anchoring the buttons securely and providing the desired flexibility, etc. A further object is to provide a plastic pin stitching method by which sewing can be accomplished in practically a moment of time and by one having poor eyesight. A still further object is to provide a button-attaching method and means wherein buttons may be quickly equipped with headed plastic pins. having pointed ends, the pointed ends, after being thrust through the fabric, being gathered and united in a wide retaining plate or block anchoring the button in position. Yet a further object is to provide a method and means as described in which the retaining plate or block formed by the fusing ofthe pin ends is spaced from the fabric to provide the flexibility and looseness required for the ready manipulation of the buttons in the fastening and unfastening operations. A still further object is to provide apparatus and means whereby buttons can be rapidly attached to garments or fabric employing a single opening or a plurality of button openings. A still further object is to provide, in combination with thermoplastic pins, a
gathering element having heat-insulated tapering sides directing the pins toward a heating element spaced from the fabric by the tapering sides of the device. Other specific objects and advantages will appear as the specification proceeds.
The invention is shown, in illustrative embodiments, by the accompanying drawing, in which- Figure 1 is a sectional detail view showing a button secured to fabric in accordance with my invention; Fig. 2, a perspective view of a thermoplastic pin which may be employed; Fig. 3, a perspective view of a thermoplastic staple which may be used; Fig. 4, a perspective view of a four-pronged plastic staple which may be used; Fig. 5, a sectional view, similar to Fig. 1, showing the first stage of the operation in which the plastic pins are passed through the openings of the button; Fig. 6, a view similar to Fig. 5 but showing a second step in which the pins are passed through the fabric; Fig. 7, a view similar to Fig. 6 but showing a final stage in which the pins are gathered and fused, Fig. 7 also setting out a vertical sectional view of a pin-gathering and fusing device; Fig. 8, a broken perspective view of an automatic machine for feeding and sealing pins to secure buttons upon fabric; Fig. 9, a sectional detail view showing a button having a single opening and secured by a plastic pin to fabric; and Fig. 10, a perspective view showing a multiple strand pin.
In the illustration given in Figs. 1 to 7, inclusive, l0 designates a button having a pair of openings 11 therethrough, and 12 designates pins which are extended through the fabric 13 and which have their lower pointed end portions fused together to form a retaining plate or block 14. The pins 12 are provided with heads 15 which engage the upper surface of the button 10. Instead of a single pronged pin 12, one may use a double-pronged pin 16 indicated in Fig. 3 as a staple, and each of the prongs is connected by a common head 17.
As illustrated in Fig. 4, a four-pronged pin 18 may be employed, and the pins may be provided with a single or common head joined in theform of a cross 19.
The plastic pins having one or multiple prongs may be formed of-any suitable plastic resin material. Certain plastics are particularly useful because of their rigidity or stiffness, while at the same time being readily fusible. For example, ethylene glycol terephthalate provides a thin metal-like pin which pierces the cloth very readily very much as a metal pin would do, but quickly responds to heat in forming a fused block on the inner side of the fabric, and, spaced from the fabric as will be later described. Plastics are now being provided which combine the characteristics of many different thermoplastic resins so that effective plastic pins are readily available having the desired stiffness for penetration of the fabric and the desired responsiveness to heat or pressure in the fusing of the plastics. Polyethylene, vinyl chloride, vinyl chloride acetate, polyvinylidene chloride, copolymers of polyvinylidene chloride and vinyl chloride, cellulose acetate, rubber hydrochloride, polyamides, and, as stated above, modifications of these and other resins, are well known in the art and may be effectively employed in the forming of fusible attachment pins. In view of the common knowledge of such resins, and the like, it is believed suiticient herein to simply refer to such as fusible resins or plastics.
In order to provide the desired looseness in the attachment so that the button may be flexed and manipulated readily in the buttoning and unbuttoning operations, I prefer to fuse the pointed portions of the pins at a spaced distance from the inner side of the fabric 13, and to accomplish this, I employ a gathering tool, such as is illustrated in Fig. 7, with an outer dished rim 20 formed of ceramic material or heat-insulating material, the side walls 21 of the rim tapering downwardly and inwardly so as to gather the pointed end portions of the pins and direct them inwardly toward the heating element 22. The heating element is also provided with a downwardly-dished or tapering wall 23 which continues the taper of the insulating rim 20. Within the metal heating element 22 is mounted an electric resistance coil 24 supported Within a housing 25, and the flow of current to the resistance element is controlled by a microswitch 25a. An actuating button 26 is equipped with a pin 27 for actuating the plunger 28 of the micro-switch. The pin 27 is provided with a shoulder 29 which is normally pressed outwardly by the spring 30 resting against the closure plate 31. The current flows to the electric resistance element only when the button 26 is pressed inwardly and only during the interval in which the button is held in its inward position. A handle casing 32 encloses the lower portion of the rim 20 and is provided at its bottom with a cap 33 having an opening through which the electric wire leads 34 extend.
Operation In the operation of the method, a button is placed upon the fabric 13 and the pins 12 are thrust through the button and the fabric to the position shown in Fig. 6. If desired, the pins 12 may first be placed within the button as illustrated in Fig. 5, and then the button, equipped with the pins, thrust through the fabric in the manner illustrated in Fig. 6. In this operation, the thumb fits over the pins and holds them in position as they pass through the fabric. The operation'is the same when'the staple structure shown in Fig. 3 is employed, in that both prongs are passed simultaneously through the openings of the button and, in the instance where the button has four holes, the four-pronged structure 18 may beinserted through the button holes and the prongs then pressed through the fabric.
In the operation described more clearly in Figs. 5, 6 and 7, the pins 12, having been passed through the fabric 13, are brought into contact with the fusing tool therebelow, as illustrated in Fig. 7, and the lower points of the pins are gathered or guided inwardly by the diverging or tapered Walls 21 of the rim 29. The pointed portions of the plastic pins, which bend more readily than the upper portions of the pins, are further directed inwardly and toward the center of the cup-shaped heating element 22. When the button 26 is pressed inwardly, the adjacent ends of the pins in the center of the cup are fused and the fusion is increased as the button is then pressed, more closely toward the tool. Contact between the heat-' ing element 22 and the fabric 13 is prevented by the insulated rim 20. It will be understood that the depth of the tapered walls 21 may be varied to any desired extent to insure protection of the fabric against contact with the heating element. For ordinary purposes, it is found that a small tool of the type illustrated is sufficient to produce the fusion without endangering the fabric in any respect. Further, the tapering walls 21 of the insulated member have the further important function of spacing the inner fused portion or block 14 from the cloth where it is not to have the button held tightly against the fabric 13.
Because of the great strength of the plastic pins, I find that it is unnecessary to employ more than one opening in the button, and in Fig. 9, there is illustrated 'a button having a single opening 36, and a pin 37 equipped with a head 38 is extended through the fabric 39 and provided on its underside with a thin wide retainer plate 40 which is effective in anchoring the button against dislodgement within the fabric. In this structure, it will be observed that the plate 40 is several times wider than the head 38 because it is in contact with fabric 39 which may be loosely woven and a wide flange is needed to insure the retention of the button upon the fabric. The wide thin flange is further advantageous in that it provides a resilient anchor permitting an upward yielding of the pin during the buttoning and the unbuttoning operations.
While I have described the invention in connection with hand tools, it will be understood that the invention is also useful in connection with the machine attachment of buttons to fabric, in which operations the automatic feeding of pins is utilized in rapidly securing buttons upon fabric. In the illustrative apparatus shown in Fig. 8, I provide a stationary track member 41 carrying two lines of pins 12. The pins are fed and discharged through a pair of downwardly-extending tubes 42 and plungers 43 press the pins 12 downwardly and through the openings 44 of buttons 45. The pins are pressed also through the fabric 13 and are then sealed by a heat-sealer 46. Where the button is provided with multiple openings 44, an aligner 4- 7 tool 47 may be employed for advancing the buttons in the proper position for receiving the pins 12. If the buttons are like the buttons 35 having a single opening, such an aligning device is not necessary. Further, if the buttons are equipped with aligning ribs or other alignment parts, the feed track 48 for the buttons 45 may be equipped so as to cooperate with such members in maintaining them in the desired alignment. In the structure illustrated, the plungers 43 are carried by a head 49 mounted upon a vertically-movable shaft 50 which is moved upwardly and downwardly by any suitable mechanism (not shown).
In all of the operations as described above, it is found that the tapered or pointed portion of the plastic pin, by reason of its small mass, responds readily to the gathering action of the insulated rim and the cup-shaped heating element, and further, when the adjacent prongs are fused, a relatively small body is formed providing a retention arm which is inconspicious on the garment. Some of the plastics such as ethylene glycol terephthalate may be made so small as to be practically invisible to the ordinary eye, while at the same time providing an extremely sturdy tie filament. In practice, the user is provided with a case containing lines of staples or pins, each line being of a different color. A pin or staple can be thus quickly selected to match the fabric, pressed through the button and the fabric, and then fused in position by touching the depending pin portions with the fusing element.
In the operation of the machine shown in Fig. 8 it will be noted that the sealer device 46 may be maintained in a stationary position, the thrusting of the resin pins 12 through the button openings and through the fabric being carried on by the plungers 43 and the pointed portions of the pins being automatically guided toward each other and fused together by contact with the stationary heating element. If desired, the apparatus shown in Fig. 8 as well as in Fig. 7, may be reversed and the pins may be fed upwardly first through the fabric and thence through the openings of the button, the pointed ends of the pins being then brought in contact with the heated element 22 or 26 supported above the button. In this reversal of movement, there is the additional advantage in that the button 10 or 45 provides an insulation between the heater and the cloth.
In the modification illustrated in Fig. 10, greater flexibility is obtained by using multiple strands or filaments 60, which at their ends are fused into the points 61, while at the same time the points provide the desired rigidity. or stiffness for passing through the cloth and button-holes.
While, in the. foregoing specification, I have set forth specific structures in considerable detail for the purpose of-illustrating'embodiments of my invention, it will be understood that such details may be varied widely by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of my invention.
1. In a method for sewing upon fabric a button provided with spaced openings through the use of thermy plastic pins having heads larger in cross section than said openings and shanks smaller in cross section than said openings and terminating in lower pointed end portions, the steps'of inserting the points of said pins through said openings and fabric, and after the points have pierced said fabric heat-fusing said pointed end portions to shorten them and merge them into an integral end for the elimination of said pin points.
2. The method of claim 1 in which the pin points are passed first through said fabric and then through the openings of said button.
3. The method of claim 1 in which the pointed ends are fused intoa thickened retaining block extending between the shanks of the pins.
4.1;; a method for sewing an apertured article upon fabric through the use of a thermo-plastic pin having a head greater in cross section than said aperture and a shank smaller in cross section than said aperture, said shank having a lower pointed end portion adapted to pierce said fabric, the steps of inserting the pointed end portion of said pin through said apertured article and fabric, and after the point has pierced the fabric heatfusing said pointed end portion to shorten and thicken it and to form a resilient retaining plate wider than said article aperture.
ReferencesCited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 648,071 Griffith et al. Apr. 24, 1900 Kempshall July 20, 1897 15 6 Egerton Sept. 21, Robbins Jan. 11, Carley June 3, Gray Aug. 10, Eakens Jan. 4, Weyl May 24, Botwinick Aug. 28, Halsall Oct. 21, Dettmer Dec. 22, Farkas et al Nov. 30, Samuely Sept. 20, Lippman May 29,
FOREIGN PATENTS Germany Oct. 3, Belgium July 14,