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Publication numberUS3149594 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 22, 1964
Filing dateSep 22, 1960
Priority dateSep 22, 1960
Also published asDE1303137B
Publication numberUS 3149594 A, US 3149594A, US-A-3149594, US3149594 A, US3149594A
InventorsBuckreus Allan J, Grasham Anderson C, Lewis George E
Original AssigneeFrank D De Long Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus for trimming stitches
US 3149594 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A. J. BUCKREUS ETAL 3,149,594

METHOD AND APPARATUS F013 TRIMMING STITCHES Filed Sept. 22, '1960 Sept. 22, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 5m 0 S V TRAI flaw MB C R Ww I 0 5E W m JlA E M DO LNE I AAGM Y B I M Sept. 22, 1964 A. J. BUCKREUS ETAL 3,149,594

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TRIMMING STITCHES Filed Sept. 22, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS ALLAN J. BUCKREUS ANDERSON C GRASHAM BY GEORGE E LEWIS ATTORNEYS Sept. 22, 1964 A. J. BUCKREUS ETAL 3,149,594

METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TRIMMING STITCHES Filed Sept. 22, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 FIGG INV EN TORS ALLAN Jv BUCKREUS ANDERSON c. GRASHAM BYGEORGE E. LEWIS ATTO RNEYS Sept. 22, 1964 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TRIMMING STITCHES Filed Sept. 22, 1960 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 ALLAN J. BUCKREUS ANDERSON C. GRASHAM BY GEORGE E. LEWIS M)M 7 7 ATTORNEYS mmvrons nited States Patent 3,149,594 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR TRIMMING STITCHES Allan J. Buckreus, Fayetteville, Anderson C. Grasham, Siloam Springs, and George E. Lewis, Fayetteville, Ark, assignors, by mesne assignments, to Frank D. De Long, Jr., High Point, N.C.

Filed Sept. 22, 1960, Ser. No. 57,745 (Zlaims. (Cl. 112-252) This invention relates to the method of and apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches on the ends of seams in clothing and the like such as in the toes of hosiery and particularly to a method of and a sewing machine attachment for automatically trimming the stitches formed at the ends of a seam immediately prior to the formation thereof and immediately after completion thereof.

The present invention is useful in trimming the chain of stitches at the ends of seams in various articles of clothing but for the purposes of illustration the invention will be particularly described as applied to the trimming of the stitches in hosiery. In certain popular styles of hosiery now available on the market, the only seam in the hosiery is formed in the foot portion thereof. In such mens hosiery the seam is formed along the looper line and in the case of womens hosiery the seam is formed on the bottom of the foot thereof. Such hosiery is produced by first making a seamless tube after which one end of the tube is closed by a scam, the seam being essentially straight in the case of mens hosiery and the same being curved or contoured in the case of womens hosiery. After one end of the seamless tube has been closed by a seam the hosiery is shaped and mounted whereby to provide the various portions thereof including a foot portion with the seam located thereon.

It has been customary heretofore in forming the seams on the sealmless tubes to place a plurality of the tubes upon the Workplate of a sewing machine and to sew seams in one end of the tubes one after the other whereby the seamed tubes are connected by a chain of stitches, i.e., the beginning of the seam being connected to the end of the preceding seam. After the hosiery tubes in the stack on the workplate have been all seamed, the chain of stitches has been manually cut adjacent to each end of the seams whereby to separate the seamed tubes one from the other to permit subsequent processing thereof into individual stockings. Efforts have been made heretofore to provide machinery for automatically cutting the chain of stitches adjacent to each end of the seams, but such machinery has not been successful in production.

Accordingly, it is an important object of the present invention to provide an improved method of and apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches formed at ends of the scam in a fabric article such as in the end of a hosiery tube. 7

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved method of and apparatus for automatically trimming the chains of stitches forming the seam in the article immediately adjacent to each end of the seam incident to the formation of the seam.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved method of an apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches forming a seam at one end of the hosiery tube or article wherein the chain of stitches is moved automatically into operative cutting relationship with respect to a cutter by means of a stream of air incident to the movement of the hosiery tube or article during the formation of the seam therein;

In connection with the foregoing object, it is a further object of the invention automatically to increase the force of the stream moving the chain of stitches into 3,149,594 Patented Sept. 22., 1964 operative position with respect to the cutter upon the completion of a contoured seam.

A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved apparatus of the type set forth which can be readily applied to standard sewing machines as an attachment therefor whereby to fulfill all of the objects and advantages set forth above when the apparatus is operated in conjunction with the associated sewing machine.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the elements of the trimming appara tus whereby the above outlined and additional operating features thereof are attained. The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numerals are used for like parts throughout, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view from the rear of a standard sewing machine having mounted thereon an apparatus for automatically trimming the chain of stitches at each end of a seam, the trimming appartus being made in accordance with and embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view on an enlarged scale showing the relationship between the cutter for the chain of stitches, the drive mechanism interconnecting the cutter and the feed dog of the associated machine, the ap paratus for drawing the chain of stitches into operative position relative to the cutter, and the guard for the cutter;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing additional portions of the drive mechanism for operating the feed dog and the cutter and showing the relationship of two of the stitch forming needles to the feed dog and the cutter;

FIG. 4 is a view looking down upon the parts illustrated in FIG. 3 with certain parts broken away and with'the guard or guide shown in phantom broken lines;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view from the front of the machine of the parts illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings;

FIG. 6 is a perspective and schematic view of a second embodiment of the invention and showing generally the parts illustrated in FIG. 2 adapted to cooperate with a pivoted hosiery tube holder plate useful to provide contoured seams at the bottom of a hosiery tube adapted to be shaped to provide womens hosiery; 7

FIGS. 7 to 10 diagrammatically and progressively illustrate the formation ofa seam adjacent to the end of a tube for mens hosiery along the looper line thereof by forming a chain of stitches therein and the automatic trimming of the chain of stitches adjacent to each end of the seam incident to the formation thereof, all in accordance with the method and apparatus of the present invention; and

FIGS. 11 to 14 diagrammatically and progressively illustrate the formation of a contoured seam adjacent to the end of a hosiery tube for womens hosiery by forming a chain of stitches therein and the automatic trimming of the chain of stitches adjacent to each end of the seam incident to the formation thereof, all in accordance with the method and apparatus of the present invention.

The method and apparatus of the present invention are generally useful in cutting the chain of stitches at the ends of seams in articles of clothing and the like, but for purposes of illustration the invention will be shown as applied to a method and apparatus for cutting the chain of stitches at the ends of seams in hosiery tubes. It is to be understood that this illustration is not to be construed as a limitation of utility in the application of the invention. The method and apparatus to be described are particularly suited for the forming of seams in a hosiery tube of the type provided in the manufacture of seamless stockings, the first step in the manufacture of such stockings consisting in knitting from nylon yarn or the like on a circular knitting machine a seamless tube such as that illustrated in FIG. 7 of the drawings and generally designated by the numeral 20. In the manufacture of mens hosiery the tube 20 has formed therein a seam 22 adjacent to one end thereof by forming therein a chain of stitches 2 along the looper line with the knitted toe pocket 21 of the hosiery folded back as shown, the stitches 24 being trimmed adjacent to each end of the seam 22 so that only a very small portion extends beyond the ends of the seam 22 as can best be seen in FIG. of the drawings, the amount of the chain of stitches 24 extending beyond the seam 22 being exaggerated for illustrative purposes. During the formation of the seam 22, the edge portion 26 disposed to the right as seen in FIG. 7 is automatically trimmed and the leading portion 27 and the trailing portion 23 of the chain of stitches 24 are automatically trimmed also incident to the formation of the seam 22.

in the case of womens hosiery, a hosiery tube 30 illustrated in FIG. 11 of the drawings is formed by knitting from nylon yarn or the like on a circular knitting machine. Preferably, tube 36 is slightly tapered toward the end thereof which is to be shaped to provide a foot and, for example, the tube 30 may be 40 inches long and have a width of 7 inches at the top end as compared to a width of 6 inches at the foot end thereof. A contoured seam 32 is formed therein at the end of smaller dimension by forming therein a chain of stitches 34. Incident to the formation of the seam 32, the edge portion 36 is cut a short distance away from the seam 32 and in accordance with the present invention the leading end of the chain of stitches 37 and the trailing end of the stitches 38 are automatically trimmed from the chain of stitches 34 incident to the formation thereof whereby to provide the seamed hosiery tube illustrated in FIG. 14 of the drawings, the amount of the chain of stitches 54 extending beyond the seam 32 being exaggerated for illustrative purposes. Having closed the smaller end of the tube 36 by the seam 32, the tube 30 is then set upon a hosiery form having a configuration such as to impart to the tube 30 the shape of the finished hosiery. After the tube 30 has been preset, the foot portion thereof is shaped with the seam 32 disposed on the bottom of the foot and with the ends of the seam 32 spaced inwardly from the toe of the stocking and from the heel thereof.

The method and apparatus of the present invention are particularly adapted automatically to trim the leading ends 2.7 and 37 and the trailing ends 28 and 33 from the chain of stitches 24 and 3d, respectively, incident to the formation of the seams 22 and 32, respectively. The apparatus of the present invention is preferably in theform of an attachment which can be adapted to a standard overedge sewing machine such as a Merrow Sewing Machine, a Singer Sewing Machine, a Union Special Sewing Machine, and other similar sewing machines.

The invention has been illustrated in the drawings as applied to a' Merrow Sewing Machine and particularly to a Merrow Class M Sewing Machine generally designated by the numeral 46 and having mounted thereon the various parts forming the trimming attachment of the present invention. The sewing machine 40 includes the usual workplate 42 which is disposed substantially horizontally and is adapted to receive the hosiery tubes 20 thereon to be fed into the needle assembly including the needle 44 (see FIG. 3) and the loopers, only the upper looper 46 being shown in the drawings. More particularly, a hosiery tube 2%) is fed along a needle plate 48 by means. of a feed dog 56 and under a presser foot 52, see FIG. 1 Motive power for operating the various moving parts is provided by a motor, not shown, and thread for the needle 44 is fed from a supply, not shown,

the needle assembly forming three threads into a chain of stitches. Incident to the feeding operation, the tube 20 is also fed through a trimming mechanism which includes an upper cutter 54 and a lower cutter, not shown, which trim the edge portion 26 from the tube 20.

The various parts comprising the trimming attachment are best illustrated in FIG. 2 of the drawings, the trimming attachment being generally designated by the numeral 60 and including a stationary knife or cutter blade 62, a movable knife or cutter blade 64, a drive arm 66 for the movable cutter blade 64, a suction tube 68, an air supply tube 79 and a guide or guard 72. The two blades are scissors-like in construction. The stationary cutter blade 62 is fixedly mounted upon the main frame 74 of the sewing machine 40 and particularly upon an outwardly extending flange 76 thereon, see particularly FIGS. 2 to 5 of the drawings. The general outline of the cutter blade 62 is triangular and one end thereof is pointed as at 78 and one of the longer edges 80 is sharpened and disposed diagonally downwardly as viewed in FIGS. 2 to 5. The larger end of the blade 62 has an aperture therein receiving therethrough a mounting screw 82 which is threadedly received in a threaded aperture in the flange 76 thereby fixedly to mount the blade 62 upon the main frame 74. As can best be seen in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the described mounting of the blade 62 positions it to the rear of the needle plate 48 and at an angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the feed dog and extending across the path thereof but spaced rearwardly therefrom so that the hosiery tube 26 as it is fed by the feed dog 50 is fed generally toward the stationary cutter blade 62.

Pivotally mounted with respect to the stationary cutter blade 62 is the movable cutter blade 64 which is generally rectangular in shape and provided with a sharpened cutting edge 84 adapted to cooperate with the cutting edge 80 on the stationary cutter blade 62, the cutting edges 80 and 84 intersecting in a scissors-like manner. One end of the movable blade 84 has an aperture therein receiving theret-hrough a screw 86 which passes through the stationary blade 62 and into the flange '76 for threaded engagement therewith.

Means is provided to drive the movable cutter blade 64 from the feed dog 5% whereby the drive mechanism for achieving the arcuate motion of the feed dog 59 (diagrammatically illustrated by the arrows 88 illustrating the movement of'a point on the feed dog 56 in FIG.

2) also serves to move the cutter blade 64 with respect to the cutter blade 62 to provide a cutting action. The power for movement of the feed dog 59 is derived from a shaft as which rotates about a stationary horizontal axis and is continuously driven by the power source, not shown. Mounted upon the shaft 96 for rotation therewith is an eccentric 92 which is circular in shape and mounted with the center thereof disposed eccentrically with respect to the axis of rotation of the shaft 90. The eccentric 92 is received within a bearing aperture in a support member 94 which the feed dog Sil is mounted. Rotation of the shaft 20 causes rotation of the eccentric 92 which in turn drives the support member94 and the at tached feed dog 50 so that a point in the feed dog 51 travels in an elliptical path disposed in a vertical plane as is diagrammatically illustrated by the arrows 88 in FIG. 2. The drive arm 66 has one end thereof fixedly secured to the support member M by means of a screw 96 and the other end of the drive arm 66 has a pair of spaced apart fingers 98 and luththe finger lltltl being disposed within a slot formed adjacent to the lower edge of the movable cutter blade 64 and defining an arm 162. The finger 98'is disposed below the arm 102 whereby the fingers 98 and ltltl serve positively to control the movement of the cutter blade 64 about the pivot axis to the blade 64, the spring 164 urging the'cutter blade 64 inwardly and against the stationary cutter blade 62..

By the above described drive arrangement, the movable cutter blade 64 is operated in synchronism with the feeding action of the feed dog 56 whereby as a chain of stitches is fed by the feed dog 50 toward the cutter blades 6264, the drive arm 66 moves the blade 64 toward the blade 62 whereby to provide a cutting motion between the cutting edges 80 and 84. In order to prevent the stocking from being drawn between the cutting edges 80 and 84 and in order to control the length of the very small chain of stitches 24 and 34 extending beyond the ends of the seams 22 and 34, the guard or guide 72 has been provided and is adapted to be fixedly mounted upon the frame of the sewing machine 40 by a screw 73 (FIGS. 2 and 4).

It further is desired that the loose end of a chain of stitches to be out should be positively moved into engagement with the cutting edges 86 and 84 of the cutter blades 62 and 64, respectively, and to this end the suction pipe 68 has been provided immediately adjacent to the cutter blades 62 and 64. More specifically, a mounting bracket 110 has been positioned upon the rear of the sewing machine 40 by means of a plurality of screws 112, the bracket 110 including a horizontally disposed flange 114 upon which the suction pipe 68 is adapted to be positioned, the pipe 68 being held in position upon the flange 114 by a strap 116 including a curved portion corresponding generally to the curvature of the pipe 68 and secured to the flange 114 by bolts 118. The end of the pipe 68 disposed toward the cutter blades 62 and 24 is cut at an oblique angle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the pipe 68 so that the outer or end surface 120 thereof is disposed generally parallel to the plane of the cutter blades 62 and 64, see FIG. 4 particularly. The longitudinal axis of the suction pipe 68 is disposed in general horizontal alignment with the direction of feed of the feed dog 50 and in alignment with a chain of stitches leaving the needles 44. As the feed dog 50 operates to feed the hosiery tube with a chain of stitches extending therefrom toward the cutter blades 62 and 64, the opening in the end 126 of the suction pipe 63 is in direct alignment with the chaining finger portion of the needle plate carrying the chain of stitches but is disposed beyond the cutter blades 62 and 64 so that the suction provided by the pipe 68 tends to pull the loose chain of stitches directly into the pipe and, consequently, between the blades. Thus, as the blades are operated and as the chain of stitches extending from the ends of the seams 22 and 32 are moved past the position of the blades, the chains of stitches are cut close to the ends of the seams. In order to provide a suction action at the end 120 of the pipe 68, the air supply tube 70 has been provided, one end of the supply tube '76 being connected to a flexible coupling 122 connected to a source of air under pressure, not shown. The other end of the supply tube 76 extends through the wall of the suction pipe 68 and is directed away from the opening 12% whereby to form a stream of air flowing in the direction of the arrow 124 in FIG. 4, the movement of the stream of air causing an area of reduced pressure in the section of the pipe 68 disposed between the end 12% thereof and the point of entry of the supply tube 76, the area of reduced pressure or vacuum being produced by the well-known aspirator action. As a result, a substantial area of reduced pressure or vacuum is provided at the end 120 of the pipe 68 which causes a flow of air into the end 124 the flow of air carrying with it the free end of a chain of stitches whereby to place the chain of stitches between the cutter blades 62 and 64 as has been fully described above. 7

To operate the machine illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 of the drawings, a stack of the hosiery tubes 20 illustrated in FIG. 7 is preferably placed upon the workplate 42 of the sewing machine 46 with the longitudinal axis of the tubes 20 disposed perpendicular to the direction. of feed of the feed dog 50. The operator then places the free end of one of the hosiery tubes 26 upon the needle plate 48 and the feed dog 50 whereby to feed the tube 20 under the upper cutter 54, whereby progressively to remove the edge portion 26, and under the sewing needles 44 to form the chain of stitches 24 in cooperation with the upper looper 46 and the lower looper (not shown). Prior to the contact of the needles 44 with the leading edge of the hosiery tube 20 a chain of stitches has been formed to provide a leading end 27 (see FIG. 8) which extends from the leading edge of the hosiery tube 20 as it is fed past the needles 44. The leading edge of the hosiery as it leaves the needles 44 travels upwardly onto the guide 72, the upper surface of which may be somewhat arched, the guide or guard being so disposed that the hosiery is guided over the blades 62 and 64 with the seamed edge of the goods slightly overhanging the inner edge of the guard. The leading end 27 of the chain of stitches 24 is stretched out by the suction and is drawn by the suction and by the angular disposition of the cutting edge downwardly to severing position between the edges 80 and 84 of the blades and is thus automatically severed as the leading edge of the hosiery passes the blades. In practice, the upper surface of the guard, at its inner edge directly above the blades, may be located, for example, about three-eigh-ths of an inch above the point of cutting intersection of the blade edges. While other positions may be used, this particular positioning of the guard or guide 72 above the blades has been found, in both forms of the apparatus here shown, to insure against damage to the goods while at the same time providing accurate control of the very short length of the chain of stitches left on the ends of the seams. The operator then continues to feed the hosiery tube 20 under the needles, the hosiery tube 20 actually being fed at the proper rate of the feed dog 50, until the seam 22 is completed at which time a trailing end 28 on the chain of stitches 24 will be provided, the trailing end 28 ex tending from the trailing edge of the tube 20 to the needles 44. As the trailing edge of the tube 20 leaves the needles 44, the trailing end of the chain of stitches 28 is pulled by the vacuum at the end 226 of the suction pipe 68 and by the movement of the goods across the cutting edges 80 and 84 whereby automatically to cut the trailing end 28 at a point near the trailing edge of the hosiery tube 26 as is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 9, whereby to produce the finished seamed hosiery tube as is illustrated in FIG. 10 of the drawings.

It will be seen that both the leading end 27 and the trailing end 28 of the chain of stitches 24 are substantially automatically trimmed from the seamed tube 20 adjacent to the ends of the seam 22 by the action of the cutter blades 62 and 64. The portions 27 and 28 of the chain of stitches 24 are moved into the proper operative relationship with respect to the cutter blades 62 and 64 by the action of the suction pipe 68 and by the guide 72 whereby a minimum attention of the operator is needed to insure that each of the portions 27 and 28 of the chain of stitches 24 is properly trimmed adjacent to the ends of the seam 22 of the tube 20.

There is shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings a second preferred embodiment of the present invention particularly adapted to form contoured or curved seams in the end of hosiery tubes and espeically hosiery tubes adapted to be shaped to provide womens hosiery. Certain portions of the machine illustrated in FIG. 6 are identical with like portions of the machine illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5 of the drawings and, accordingly like reference numerals have been applied thereto. The stationary cutter blade 62 has been provided upon the flange '76 and the movable cutter blade 64 has been pivotally mounted with respect thereto and driven from the support member 94 which also has mounted thereon the feed dog 56 cooperating with the needle plate 48 in the usual manner; Positioned immediately adjacent to the cutter blades 62 and 64 is the suction pipe 68 provided'with the air supply tube 70.

In addition to the workplate 42 illustrated in FIG.

1 of the drawings, a stocking holder or clamp assembly 130 has been provided, the stocking holder 130 being adapted to guide the smaller end of the hosiery tube 31 past the sewing needles 44 and the loopers in a manner to form the contoured seam 32 therein. The stocking holder 130 includes, more particularly, a lower holder plate 132 thereon and an upper holding plate 134, the plates 132 and 134 being generally rectangular in shape and being hingedly interconnected along one of the longitudinal edges thereof by a piano hinge 136. Each of the plates 132 and 134 is cut away at the end thereof disposed toward the needle plate 48 to provide curved or contoured edges 138 and 140 thereon, respectively, the edges 138 and 1411 having a shape generally like the shape of the contoured seam 32 to be formed in the hosiery tube 30, the contoured edges 138 and 14% more particularly being convex in shape and formed as arcs of a circle, but it is to be understood that other shapes can be imparted thereto as desired.

The lower holder plate 132 has formed thereon and extending downwardly therefrom a pivot post 142 received in an upstanding boss 144- on the machine frame whereby to mount the holder plate 132 for pivotal movement about a vertical axis in a horizontal plane in substantial alignment with the needle plate 48. The center of pivot of the holder plate 132 is concentric with the center of the circle of which the contoured edges 13% and 140 are arcs and is likewise concentric with the center of the curvature of the contoured seam 32 to be formed on the hosiery tube 3%.

The trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34 provides a particular problem in that the pivoting of the holder plates 132 and 134 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 6 is limited so that the trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34 is directed away from the cutter blades 62 and 64 at the termination of a sewing operation and must be moved 180 with respect to the direction of the chain of stitches at the trailing end of the seam 32. Accordingly, it requires a substantially higher vacuum at the end 120 of the suction pipe 68 properly to position the trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34 than it does to position the leading end 37 thereof or the leading and trailing ends 27 and 28 of the chain of stitches 24 described above. Therefore means has been provided substantially to increase the vacuum produced at the end 121) when it is necessary to move the trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34 into cooperative relationship with the cutter blades 62 and 64.

To this end the air supply coupling 122 is connected to the outlet connection 148 for a solenoid air valvelfitl, the inlet connection 152 of solenoid valve 150 being connected by a coupling 154 to a suitable source of air under pressure (not shown) such as a source having a pressure therein of approximately 20 pounds per square inch gauge. The solenoid valve 151) is normally closed whereby there is no path for air between the connections 148 and 152 through the valve 15%. A by-pass line 156 directly connects the connections 148 and 152 around the valve 154 whereby to feed a small portion of the pressure in the coupling 154 to the coupling 122 to supply air at a reduced pressure to the supply pipe 761 and the suction pipe 68 for normal operation and for cutting of the leading end 37 of the chain of stitches 34.

An increase in the supply of air supplied through the tube 71 can be obtained by opening the control valve 1511 thereby providing a direct path parallel with the line 156 and through the valve 150 between the connections 148 and 152. To this end a control switch 161 has been provided, the switch 161 being connected to the terminals of the solenoid coil of the valve 15h by a pair of conductors 162 and 164 and a supply of 110 volt A.C. potential is provided at the input to the switch 161) by a pair of conductors 166 and 163 The switch 16% is preferably a microswitchrhaving an actuating and 1711 which is positioned below the path of the holder plate 132 and in position to be contacted by an outstanding cam 172 mounted thereon at the end of the formation of a seam 32 on a hosiery tube 30.

In using the machine in FIG. 6 the operator first moves the upper holder plate 134 away from the lower holder plate 132 and places a hosiery tube 31) upon the holder plate 132 with the desried portion of one end extending beyond the contoured edge 133 thereof. The upper holder plate 134 is then pivoted to place it upon the upper surface of the hosiery tube 30 thereby to clamp the hosiery tube 30 between the holder plates 132 and 134. The holder 131i is then pivoted to move the leading edge of the hosiery tube upon the feed dog 59 and eventually under the needles 44, the needles 44 having thereon a chain of stitches 34 that provides the leading end 37 thereof. The feed dog 51 continues to feed the hosiery tube 3% under the needles 44 so that the leading edge of the goods travels up over the guide 72, as previously described, and the leading end of the chain of stitches 34 is drawn by the suction pipe 68 and by the movement of the goods between the cutter blades 62 and 64 and trimmed from the chain of stitches 34 adjacent to the leading end of the seam 32 as is diagrammatically illustrated in FlG. 12 of the drawings. The edge portion 36 is automatically trimmed from the tube 36 adjacent to the seam 32 as the seam 32 is formed.

Eventually the tube holder 13%) is pivoted by the feeding of the stocking tube 311 past the needles 44 to a position such that the trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34 is formed, the trailing end 33 of the chain of stitches 34 extending toward the needles 44 and diametrically away from the cutter blades 62 and 64 and the open end of the suction pipe 63. At this time, i.e. at the completion of the seam 32 and after formation of the trailing end 38 of the chain of stitches 34, the control cam 1'72 upon the holder plate 132 contacts the actuating arm 171) of the microswitch 166 thereby to supply electrical power to the solenoid valve 156 to move it to the open position thereby to provide a direct path between the connections 148 and 152 thereof to apply the full pressure from the source through the supply tube 70 to the suction pipe 68. The increased suction produced by the supply of air caused by the opening of the valve 150 is sufiiciently strong to move the trailing end 33 of the chain of stitches 34 180 into operative position with respect to the cutter blades 62 and 64 whereby to cut the trailing end 38 adjacent to the trailing edge of the seam 32 as is diagrammatically illustrated in FIG. 13, thereby automatically to trim the stitches from both the leading and trailing ends of the seam 32.

The operator then returns the tube holder to the position illustrated in FIG. 6 thereby to open the switch 161) and to close the solenoid valve and to apply the usual reduced operating pressure to the suction pipe 68. The seamed hosiery tube 315 is removed from between the 'holder plates 132 and 134 and a new tube 30 inserted therebetween thereby to place the machine in readiness for the production of the next seam 32 in a hosiery tube 30. It is to be understood that that portion of the trailing end of the chain of stitches 38 attached to the needles 44 will now become the leading end 37 for the next chain of stitches 34 on the subsequent hosiery tube 30. The

seamed hosiery tube 30 has the general configuration illustrated diagrammatically in FIG. 14 of the drawings.

It will be seen that there has been provided an improved method'of an apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches from the ends of a seam, for example, the seam closing the end of a hosiery tube which fulfill all the objects and advantages set forth above. Although the invention has been illustrated as applied to the trimming of a chain of stitches from the ends of a seam closing a hosiery tube, it will be understood that the invention is equally applicable to the trimming of stitches at the ends of seams in other articles including other articles of clothing,

sidered to be two preferred embodiments of the invention, it will be understood that various changes and modifications may be made therein and it is intended to cover within the appended claims all such changes and modifications that fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. The method of severing and removing discrete lengths of chains of stitches from the opposite ends of a seam formed in a fabric article by a needle and looper means of a sewing machine of a type which advances said scam in a predetermined direction away from the needle and looper means, comprising the steps of providing a suction conduit and a stitch-severing means adjacent the path of the seam, producing a suction in said conduit effective on a chain of stitches adjacent said stitch-severing means to elongate said chain only in said direction of movement of the seam and to draw said chain of stitches into position with respect to the stitch-severing means, operating said stitch-severing means to sever successive chains of stitches to free discrete lengths thereof, drawing said discrete lengths through said conduit to a point remote from said stitch-severing means, and deflecting said seam from said stitch-severing means to avoid damaging contact between said stitch-severing means and said seam and the fabric adjacent thereto.

2. Apparatus for automatically trimming chains of stitches from the opposite ends of a seam formed in a fabric article by an associated sewing machine having chain forming means for forming a chain of stitches to sew the seam in the article with a leading length of the chain on one end of the seam and a trailing length of the chain on the other end of the seam, and feed means for moving the fabric article past the chain forming means for the sewing of the seam with said leading and trailing chain lengths thereon normally moving in a predetermined direction away from said chain forming means; comprising a suction conduit having an opening disposed adjacent and in substantial alignment with a portion of said chain forming means from which the stitches of the chain leave the same, means for producing a suction in said suction conduit to draw said chain lengths directly into said opening as said chain lengths leave said chain forming means and severing means adjacent said opening for severing said chain lengths while said chain lengths are subjected to the suction of said conduit.

3. The combination set forth in claim 2, including drive means for driving said feed means and said severing means in synchronism.

4. The combination set forth in claim 2, including guard means adjacent said severing means and said opening for preventing the fabric article from being drawn into said opening and into damaging contact with said severing means.

5. The combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said feed means includes a movable feed dog and wherein said severing means includes a pair of co-operating scissors-like cutting blades between said chain forming means and said opening, with the plane of said blades disposed at an acute angle with respect to the direction of fabric-feeding movement of said feed dog, and means for moving one of said blades with respect to the other to cut said chain lengths as the latter are drawn into said opening in said conduit.

6. The combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said feed means includes a movable feed dog and wherein said severing means includes a pair of scissors-like cutting blades between said chain forming means and said opening, said cutting blades having a pair of co-operating, intersecting, divergent cutting edges thereon disposed at an acute angle with respect to the direction of fabricfeeding movement of said feed dog and with the direction of the divergence of said cutting edges being generally toward said chain forming means so that said cutting edges tend to direct said chain lengths toward the point .of mutual intersection of said cutting edges, and means for producing relative movement between said blades to sever said chain lengths between said cutting edges as said chain lengths are drawn into said opening in said conduit.

7. An apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches from the ends of a seam formed in an article by an associated sewing machine having a frame, a needle plate on the frame, needle and looper means adjacent to the needle plate to form a chain of stitches in the article to sew the seam therein and providing a leading portion on one end of the seam and a trailing portion on the other end of the seam, and means including a movable feed dog for moving the article along the needle plate in a predetermined direction past the needle and looper means; said trimming apparatus comprising stitch severing mechanism adapted to be mounted on the frame at a position beyond said needle and looper means in the direction of article-feeding movement of said feed dog, a suction tube mounted adjacent to said stitch severing mechanism and having a suction opening therein arranged adjacent to said needle plate for moving the leading and trailing portions of the chain of stitches into operative relationship with said stitch severing mechanism to be severed thereby, an air supply tube having one end adapted to be connected to a source of air under a first predetermined pressure and having the other end communicating with the interior of said suction tube and directed away from said suction opening to produce a first predetermined suction thereat, means to increase the pressure through said air supply tube to produce a greater suction at said suction opening when a portion of a chain of stitches at the end of a seam is fed adjacent thereto, and means for operating said stitch severing mechanism to sever the chain of stitches in operative relationship therewith from the ends of the seam in the article as the seam is formed therein by the needle and looper means.

8. An apparatus for trimming the chain of stitches from the ends of a seam formed in a hosiery tube by an associated sewing machine having a frame, a needle plate on the frame, needle and looper means adjacent to the needle plate to form a chain of stitches in the hosiery tube to sew the seam therein and providing a leading portion on one end of the seam and a trailing portion on the other end of the seam, and feed means including a movable feed dog for moving the hosiery tube along the needle plate in a predetermined direction past the needle and looper means, said trimming apparatus comprising stitch severing mechanism adapted to be mounted on the frame at a position beyond said needle and looper means in the direction of the hosiery-feeding movement of the feed dog, a hosiery tube holder adapted to be mounted upon the frame for pivotal movement therewith to guide a hosiery tube therein along a contoured line past the needle and looper means and past said stitch severing mechanism, a suction tube mounted adjacent to said stitch severing mechanism and having a suction opening therein arranged adjacent to said needle plate for moving the leading and trailing portions of the chain of stitches into operative relationship with said stitch severing mechanism to be severed thereby, an air supply tube having one end adapted to be connected to a source of air under a first predetermined pressure and having the other end communicating with the interior of said suction tube and direoted away from said suction opening to produce a first predetermined suction thereat, means to increasethe pressure through said air supply tube to produce a greater suction at saidsuction opening, an actuator on said hosiery tube holder for operating said pressure increasing means when said hosiery tube holder has completed the feeding of the associated hosiery tube past the needle and looper means, and means for operating said stitch severing mechanism to sever the chain of stitches in operative relationship therewith from the ends of the seam in the hosiery tube as the seam is formed therein by the needle and looper means.

9. The method of trimming the chain of stitches from the ends of a seam formed in an article by the needle assembly of a sewing machine, comprising the steps of providing a stitch severing mechanism in the path of movement of the article past the needle assembly, creating a stream of air by the application of a first predetermined suction for moving the leading portions of the chain of stitches into operative relationship with the stitch severing mechanism incident to the forming of the seam in the article, applying a greater suction when a portion of a chain of stitches at the end of a seam is fed adjacent to the stitch severing mechanism, and operating said stitch severing mechanism to sever the chain of stitches in operative relationship therewith from the ends of the seam in the article as the seam is formed therein by the needle assembly.

10. The method of trimming the chain of stitches from the ends of a seam formed in an article by the needle assembly of a sewing machine as the article is fed therethrough by a feed dog, comprising the steps of providing a pair of cutter blades in the path of movement of the article past the needle assembly, creating a stream of air by the application of a first predetermined suction for moving the leading portions of the chain of stitches into operative relationship with the cutter blades incident to the forming of the seam in the article, applying a greater suction When a portion of a chain of stitches at the end of the seam is fed adjacent to the cutter blades, and operating said cutter blades in synchronism with the feeding movement of the feed dog to cut the chain of stitches in operative relationship with the cutter blades from the ends of the seam in the article adjacent thereto as the seam is formed therein by the needle assembly.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 554,688 Heck Feb. 18, 1896 694,632 Goulson Mar. 4, 1902 1,846,628 Castagna Feb. 23, 1932 2,356,378 Capolupo Aug. 22, 1944 2,579,059 Vanadia Dec. 18, 1951 2,712,805 Peterson et al July 12, 1955 2,787,231 Shoat Apr. 2, 1957 2,824,436 Stack et a1 Feb. 25, 1958 2,908,154 Butler Oct. 13, 1959 2,997,009 Ballard Aug. 22, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS 772,913 Great Britain Apr. 17, 1957

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Classifications
U.S. Classification112/287, 66/145.00R, 83/402, 112/288
International ClassificationD05B23/00, D05B65/00, D05B73/00, D05B73/12
Cooperative ClassificationD05B73/12, D05B23/009, D05B65/00, D05D2305/50, D05D2207/04
European ClassificationD05B65/00, D05B23/00M4