US 3120051 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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MN WUNLN United States Patent 3,120,051 METHOD OF STOCKING PRODUCTION AND STOCKING Richard (I. Spurgeon, RD. 2, Lansdale, Pa, assignor, by
mesne assignments, to said Spurgeon and Glendon E.
Robertson, Philadelphia, Pa., as tenants in common Filed Mar. 27, 1961, Ser. No. 98,616 4 Claims. (Cl. 28-76) This invention relates to stocking production. More particularly, it is concerned with full length hosiery intended for ladies wear and knitted from synthetic linear polymer yarn or yarns such as nylon, including full fashioned stockings and stockings of the seamless type, and a method of producing same.
The chief object of my invention is to enable production of stockings of either of the kinds referred to in which the elasticity of the fabric over the wearers leg is not only increased but more evenly distributed than in nylon stockings produced by the methods heretofore ordinarily followed. More particularly, this invention produces a better fitting and longer wearing stocking which yields more readily to natural leg and foot movements without attendant displacement or undue distortion.
Heretofore it has been customary in the operations following the knitting of seamless and of full fashioned stockings to board the same on forms which are relatively flat and have at their rear edges a series of curves, including a relatively deep, sharply curved indentation at the vicinity of the ankle, and to subject the stockings, while so boarded, to heat in a pressurized chamber. As is well known, nylon yarn is a drawn yarn. In the condition in which it is sold to knitting mills, it has the property of tending to shrink in length and to expand in diameter when heated beyond a certain temperature. This prop erty of nylon which causes it, when heated beyond a certain temperature, to tend to assume its original shape as raw yarn, or later, after it has been knitted into a fabric and heat set, dyed and finished, causes it to tend to hold the shape to which it is molded by heat setting on a form, unless again heated to a temperature equivalent to or greater than that to which it has been previously subjected, is sometimes referred to as the memory of nylon.
I have found that by heat treating nylon yarn sufiiciently to revive its memory, prior to knitting, and later boarding the knitted stockings in the greige upon forms whereof the front and rear edges are relatively straight but inclined downwardly toward each other, and heat treating the stockings while so boarded, it is possible to obtain the requisite elasticity and to distribute such elasticity evenly throughout the length of the stocking so that when it is worn each increment of its length tends to contact and grip the leg with the desired degree of pressure, thus producing a better fit than is obtainable with stockings made in the conventional manner.
A further advantage which results from using the method of this invention is that it produces stockings which are much more uniform in length.
How the foregoing and other important objects and advantages of the invention are realized in practice will become apparent from the following description of a stocking and preferred method of producing the same according to my invention, having reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. ;1 is a fragmentary, more or less diagrammatic view in cross section of a straight, flat knitting machine of the Cotton type arranged for the production of fiat blanks for full fashioned stockings in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 2 shows a flat blank as it comes from the machine of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 shows the blank after it is folded longitudinally and the matched edges thereof are seamed together to complete the stocking;
FIG. 4 shows the seamed stocking stretched upon a form of a special shape incident to being treated with a hot fluid to set, i.e., permanentize the fabric loops;
FIG. 5 shows the finished full fashioned stocking;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view in side elevation of a circular knitting machine arranged to produce tubular blanks for seamless stockings in accordance with my invention;
FIG. 7 shows the seamless stocking before the toe pocket is closed;
"FIG. 8 is a view showing the seamless stocking mounted on the special form and being treated in a closed chamber with hot fluid to set the fabric loops; and
FIG. 9 shows the finished seamless stocking.
To adapt a flat knitting machine to the purposes of my invention, I have provided, as shown in FIG. 1, a trough or reservoir 1 for a metallic alloy A having a low fusing point of approximately I deg. F. and which, for example, may comprise or include bismuth, lead, tin and cadmium. This alloy I maintain in fluent condition at a temperature of approximately 210 deg. F. by means of a heating element 2 disposed within a hollow in the bottom of said trough. Enroute from a cone or supply package 3 to the needles 4- of the knitting machine, the synthetic linear polymer yarn (which as before stated may be of nylon) designated Y is directed through a guide eyelet 5 in one end wall of the trough 1 and caused to be submerged in the fused metal alloy by a weight ring 6, then through a guide eyelet 7 in the opposite end wall of the trough, then through a slack take-up ring 8, then to one of the snappers 9 of the machine, and finally through a guide eyelet 10 in the drip catch pan 11 to a traversing carrier 12 by which the yarn is fed to the needles. The use of an alloy of the kind mentioned is advantageous as a yarn heating medium for the reason that it will not wet the yarn nor evaporate as does water. Although the yarn may be stained a very delicate gray by the alloy, no corrosion will be caused by contact of the coated yarn with the metallic parts of the knitting machine. During operation of the machine, I cause the traverse of the yarn carrier 12 to be so controlled as to determine the shape, in the flat stocking blank B ('FIG.
'2), of a leg portion 1 which tapers gradually at a uniform rate from the top 2 down to the ankle region a-a and has straight side edges ee complementally inclined relative to each other. After folding the blank B about its longitudinal median to bring the side edges e-e into coincidence, the edges are united as in 'FIG. 3 by a stitched seam s to complete the stocking S in the conventional manner of a full fashioned stocking. The stocking S is next stretched over a flat shaping form 15 (FIG. 4) of which the front and rear edges of the leg portion are straight and inclined toward each other at an angle corresponding substantially to the angle of inclination between the side ed-ges of the blank B. Form 15, with the stocking S stretched thereon, is next placed in a treating chamber such as shown at 16 in FIG. 4 and sprayed with or otherwise subjected to a fluid, such as water, together with a dye solution, at a temperature of approximately 225 deg. F. for the purpose of permanently setting the loops of the fabric. Finally, the stocking with the form mounted thereon is taken from the chamber 15 and dried before removal from the form. After being dried the stocking will appear as shown in FIG. 5. By subjecting the yarn to the hot metallic alloy at 2'10 deg. F. it is increased in diameter and is correspondingly contracted lengthwise with the result that more of it is knitted into the stocking fabric than would otherwise be the case. Accordingly, a very noticeable increase in the elasticity of the fabric is realized in the finished stocking with greater uniformity in distribution of elasticity throughout the length of the fabric, with the result that when the stocking is boarded on forms of the shape indicated above and subjected to heat and pressure it tends throughout each increment of its length to grip the leg, and has the capacity to hold its position on the leg even under sharp bending of the knees.
To produce a seamless stocking in accordance with my invention, I utilize, in connection with a standard circular knitting machine such as shown in part in FIG. 6, a reservoir or trough #1 similar to the one used in the straight knitting machine of FIG. 1. Enroute from the supply package the yarn Y is directed through the eye 5 in one end wall of the trough and caused to dip into the alloy A by the weight ring 6' and to pass out of the trough through an eyelet 7 in the opposite end of said trough to a spring-biased take-up finger 8 from which it is led through a fixedly supported eyelet 10' to the yarn feed finger 12 of the machine. During the knitting, I cause the needle cylinder 13 of the machine to be gradually and uniformly raised in relation to the knitting cams (not shown) to determine formation of a blank B (FIG. 7) having a leg portion 1' which tapers uniformly from the top t to the ankle region aa'. After closing the toe pocket of the blank B the stocking S is stretched over a form 15 shaped like the form 15 previously described, and said form with the stocking stretched thereover is placed into a chamber 16 and treated with either hot water or hot dye solution at approximately 210 deg. F. to set the fabric loops. After being dried on the form and removed therefrom the stocking appears as shown in FIG. 9 with its leg portion tapered to the same degree as the taper originally knitted into the blank by the machine.
It will be noted that the steps of heat treating the yarn incident to its passage to the knitting machine and thereafter boarding the stocking upon a form of special shape and subjecting it to heat and pressure are interdependent in the sense that they mutually contribute toward the achievement of the desired results. By the preheating of the yarn, causing more of it (by thread volume) to be knitted into the stocking fabric and increasing its elasticity, the stocking at the stage when it is boarded and is subjected to heat and pressure is not only more perfectly molded to the desired ultimate shape, a more even distribution of tensions is made possible along the length of the stocking leg so that the final product, when worn, contacts the leg of the wearer with the desired degree of pressure at each point.
While 'I have described preferred examples of how stockings of my invention may be produced, it is to be understood that various changes may be made in the process as herein described, that the invention embraces the substitution of equivalent process steps for those specifically described herein, and that certain of the steps of the process may be used to advantage without corresponding use of other steps, all without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined in the annexed claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A full length stocking whereof the front and rear edges of the leg portion when the stocking lies flat on a plane surface are straight and inclined toward each other from the top to the ankle.
2. A method of producing a full length full fashioned stocking comprising the successive steps of running a synthetic linear polymer yarn, such as nylon, through a bath of a fused metallic alloy at a temperature of approximately 210 deg. F. enroute to the carrier of a fiat knitting machine; controlling the traverse of the carrier of the machine to predetermine formation of a flat fabric blank having a uniform taper from the top thereof to the ankle region; folding the blank after it is taken from the machine, about its longitudinal median and seaming together its side edges to complete the stocking; stretching the seamed stocking over a fiat form of which the front and rear edges of the leg portion are inclined toward each other at substantially the same taper as in the leg portion of the blank folded and seamed as aforesaid; treating the stocking While stretched on the form with a hot fluid at a temperature of approximately 225 deg. R; and finally drying the stocking before removing it from the form.
3. A method of producing a full length seamless stocking comprising the successive steps of running a synthetic linear polymer yarn, such as nylon, through a bath of a fused metallic alloy at a temperature of approximately 210 deg. F. incident to feeding it to the needles of a circular knitting machine; forming in the knitting machine a tubular blank with a leg portion which tapers uniformly from the top theerof to the ankle region; stretching said blank Over a flat form of which the side edges of the leg portion are inclined relative to each other to correspond with the uniform taper knitted into the leg portion of the blank; treating the stocking while stretched on the form with a hot fluid at a temperature of approximately 225 deg. F.; and finally drying the stocking before removing it from the form.
4. A method of producing a full length stocking comprising the steps of running a synthetic linear polymer yarn, such as nylon, through a bath of a fused metallic alloy at a temperature of approximately 210 deg. F. and feeding it in heated condition to the needles of a knitting machine; knitting the yarn so as to form a stocking blank which, when folded and laid out flat, has front and rear edges of the leg portion that are straight and inclined downwardly toward each other and uniformly tapering from the top of the blank to the ankle; stretching the stocking, after it is taken from the machine, over a flat form having front and rear edges of the leg portion that are straight and inclined downwardly toward each other and correspondingly tapered uniformly as aforesaid; treating the stocking while stretched on the form with a hot fluid at a temperature of approximately 225 deg. F.; and finally drying the stocking before removing it from the form.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,998,872 Houchin et al Apr. 23, 1935 2,509,741 Miles May 30, 1950 2,702,998 Purcell Mar. 1, 1955 2,807,946 Virchaux Oct. 1, 1957 OTHER REFERENCES Lancashire: Greater Textural Uniformity, The Knitter, vol. 23, No. 11, November 1959, pp. 38 and 39, published by Clark Publishing Co., Charlotte, N.C.