US 3273180 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 20, 1966 J. FEINERMAN 3,2 73,180
UPHOLSTERY PANEL Filed Oct. 8, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. JA CK F E lA/E RMAN BY AMY A 7' TORNEKS'.
Sept. 20, 1966 J. FEINERMAN UPHOLSTERY PANEL 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 8, 1964 FlG.7
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JACK FEINERMAN A T T ORA/E Y5:
United States Patent 3,273,180 UPI-IOLSTERY PANEL Jack Feinerman, 28 Chapel St., New London, Conn. Filed Oct. 8, 1964, Ser. No. 402,520
5 Claims. (Cl. 5-355) The present invention relates generally to a stulfed upholstery article of manufacture, and more particularly to improvements for an upholstery panel comprised of plural, upholstered pillows integrated into a single or unitary structure.
The use of brick or biscuit constructions in upholstery panels, which have a characteristic repeating rectangular shape, and also the use of designs featuring other repeating or even mixed pillow shapes, have considerable aesthetic appeal and are therefore increasing in use. The popularity of these panel constructions would be further increased if their cost of manufacture and assembly were comparable to manufacturing and assembling costs of conventional stuffed upholstery panels of a single pillow design or construction. Due to the plurality of individual pillows in these repeating or mixed pillow shape designs, it of necessity must follow that the manufacturing and assembling cost thereof will exceed those of a conventional single pillow design. These costs, however, are minimized to a great extent by the improvements of the present invention.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a stuffed upholstery panel of a plural pillow construction embodying improvements facilitating the manufacture and assembly of the same. Specifically, it is an object to provide a stuffed upholstery panel having an outer cover piece which lends itself to manufacture by simplified sewing techniques, and which in one preferred embodiment is readily combined with another of its kind to complete its assembly and constitute a cover for the said panel.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an embodiment of a stuffed upholstery panel employing plural, individual resilient blocks as an internal stutfing material, and in which the construction of the outer panel cover is such as to facilitate the placement of these individual blocks Within the panel.
In providing an upholstered panel of a plural, integrated pillow construction which can be readily and economically produced, the commercial uses and advantages of an upholstery panel are increased manyfold. For example, use may be made in this construction of individual foam blocks having different densities to provide the panel with different degrees of resistance to deformation either entirely throughout the body of the panel, or in one panel area as compared to another panel area. As a mattress, therefore, a panel of this construction can be tailored specifically to the weight of the user, or in a double-bed mattress, the two hal-ves of the same can be provided with diiferent degrees of compressibility to better accommodate the different weights of the users. Other panel uses, literally too numerous to mention, are made possible because of the plural, individual foam block construction herein rendered practical by the improvements of the present invention.
A first preferred embodiment of a stuifed upholstery panel demonstrating features of the present invention includes a pair of identically constructed panel covers, each of which is preformed with a plurality of generally rectangilar individual pillows. These covers are joined to each other about their marginal edges in face-to-face relationship, wherein the individual pillows of each are aligned with each other, and each aligned pair of pillows is adapted to fit about a rectangular foam block. Apart from the connection of the covers along their marginal Patented Sept. 20, 1966 "ice edges, the covers are otherwise connected to each other only at the aligned corners of the facing pillows of each. Thus, openings are provided internally of the two connected covers between the corners of the pillows of each, and through these openings the individual foam blocks are each easily inserted, one at a time, into place Within the individual pillows of this upholstery panel.
In a further preferred embodiment, only one of the panel cover pieces is preformed with individual pillows, and the other is constructed in a conventional manner as if for a single-pillow design. While a desirable tailored appearance is lacking in this conventionally constructed panel cover, this shortcoming is minimized by the location of this cover piece on the underside of the completed upholstery panel.
:In still another preferred embodiment, a single foam block is used to stuff the upholstery panel, and either one or both of its surfaces, as desired, is appropriately shaped to be accommodated by the panel cover. For a panel cover having preformed rectangular pillows, for example, the foam block is provided with surface grooving delineating rectangular shapes thereon which are adapted to snugly fit within the panel cover pillows. A less desirable, but nonetheless contemplated alternative foam block construction for this embodiment is one molded in the first instance with surface shapes to fit with-in the panel cover pillow shapes; the drawback of this construction being the inability to change the design of the panel without incurring expensiwe mold changes.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiments in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective View, looking from a slight elevation, at a first preferred embodiment of a stuffed upholstery panel according to the present invention, a portion of the fabric cover for the same being broken away to expose the inner foam stuffing;
FIG. 2 is similarly a perspective view, also broken away in portions to expose the inner foam stuifing, and looking from a vantage point beneath the panel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an elevational view, on an enlarged scale, in section taken on line 33 of FIG. 1, and illustrating the internally connected tabs of the panel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a plan view, in section taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3, illustrating further details of construction of the interconnected tabs of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view, in section taken on line 55 of FIG. 1, illustrating further internal details of construction of the upholstery panel of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view similar to FIG. 5, but of another preferred embodiment of a stuffed upholstery panel according to the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a side-by-side perspective View of a unitary foam block construction and a cover for the same, which is illustrative of still another preferred embodiment of an upholstery panel according to the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a perspective View of the assembled panel of FIG. 7, with portions thereof broken away to illustrate the :fi-t of the cover about the block and also the use of upholstery buttons in this construction to enhance the fit and appearance of the panel covers;
FIG. 9 is an elevational view, on an enlarged scale and in section, taken on line 99 of FIG. 8, illustrating further details of the embodiment throughout the panel construction of the upholstery buttons;
FIG. 10 is a plan View of another illustrative upholstery panel according to the present invention which employs pillows of different sizes and shapes in its design or construction;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged elevational view, in setcion, similar to FIG. 5 but demonstrating the independent resistance to deformation which is characteristic of a plural, foam block construction according to the present invention; and
FIG. 12 is an elevational view, in section, similar to FIG. 9 but demonstrating another way of preserving the fit of the panel covers.
Shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, is a first preferred embodiment of a stuffed upholstery panel according to the present invention generally designated 10. The panel 10 includes a pair of preformed top and bottom panel covers 12, 14 joined in facing relationship to each other along a marginal stitched seam 16 having a zipper 18 for a portion of its length. Preferably the covers 12, 14 are made of fabric, but they also may be made of plastic, leather or other such material. Each of the panel covers, 12, 14 is identically constructed prior to assembly to each other to form a plurality of adjacently located rows of individual pillows, herein collectively designated 20.
Each of the pillows 20 of the covers 12, 14 taking as an illustartive example the pillow of top cover 12 more particularly designated 20a in FIGS. 1 and 2, is performed so as to enclose or fit about a. generally rectangular shaped foam block 21. That is, pillow 20a has a generally rectangular front face 22 and four dependent side walls 24 which are joined at adjacent edges to each other along a side seam 25 at each corner of the front face 22. As is best shown in FIG. 5, the side walls 24 of adjacent pillows 20 in both the top and bottom panel covers 12, 14 are integral throughout the body of each of the covers, the facing side walls 24 of adjacent pillows 20 being tucked between adjacent foam blocks 21 as at 26. What is actually preformed in each of the covers 12, 14 are a plurality of individual half-pillows (such as for example that designated 20a) which half-pillows, when the covers 12, 14 are interconnected by the stitching 16 and zipper 18 in facing relationship with each other, make-up the complete individual pillows 20 of the panel 10. It is the complete individual pillows 20 which are each adapted to encompass or fit about an individual generally rectangular foam block 21, which preferably is a plastic foam material but may be made of rubber or other such resilient material in block or cube form.
Apart from the stitching or seam 16 and zipper 18 interconnecting the side walls 24 of the marginal pillows 20 of the panel covers 12, 14, these covers throughout the body of the panel 10 are otherwise joined to each other at the pillow corners, herein collectively designated 28. In other words, as best shown in FIG. 5, there is an opening left on all four sides of each pillow 20 between the side walls tuck-ins 26 of the top and bottom covers 12, 14 of adjacent pillows 20. At the opposite ends of the openings 30, which correspond in location to the corners 28 of each of the pillows 20, there is an extension of each pillow side seam 25 in the form of a tab 32. All of the tabs 32, at each pillow corner 28, are suitably connected, as by the stitching 34, to the pillows and to each other. It is through the openings 30 that access is made to the forward front row of individual pillows 20, and then to the next adjacent row, and so on until the panel 10 is completely filled with foam blocks 21.
With the exception of the forward front row of individual pillows of the panel 10, designated more particularly 20b-e in FIG. 1, the construction of the individual pillows 20 of the panel 10 is such that the covers 12, 14 are connected to each other substantially medially of the thickness of the stuffing foam blocks 21. However, along the prominent or visible forward side edge of the row of pillows 20b-e, it is preferred to use individual sewn-in fabric panels 36a-e to enhance the appearance of the panel 10. Being the front forward edge of the panel 10 it is of course not necessary to have any openings 30 formed therein, and thus it is possible to have this alternate construction for forming the individual pillows 2t)be. As herein described, the panel 10 constructed of the facing interconnected preformed panel covers 12, 14 stuffed with individual foam blocks 21 constitutes a novel upholstered article of manufacture which is neat, comfortable, and which provides a desirable modular or plural cushion support over its entire surface area.
More particularly, and as is best demonstrated in FIG. 11 to which reference is now made, the plural, integrated individual pillow construction of the upholstery panel 10 provides a construction in which a compressive force F applied against and compressing one foam block 21 does not also compress either of the adjacent foam blocks 21. There is therefore no tendency for articles located upon, or users sitting or lying on the panel 10, to gravitate to the area of deepest compression in the panel, as is the case with a conventional upholstered panel or mattress of the single-pillow design or construction.
A further noteworthy feature or advantage of the upholstery panel 10 which is directly attributable to its unique, integrated individual pillow construction is that which permits the use of foam blocks 21 of different densities or resistance to deformation. It is thus possible to tailor the panel 10 specifically to the known weight of the user. Additionally, an upholstery panel according to the present invention may be made and used as a double-bed mattress, and provision can be made to have different degrees of resistance in the two halves of the same to accommodate the different weights of the users. These specifically mentioned end uses of the panel 10 are intended to merely illustrate its utility, and are not to be taken in any way as a limitation of the scope or breadth of the present invention.
In another embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 6, in which similar parts are designed with the same but primed reference numerals, there is employed only a top preformed cover 12' and a flat, rather than a similarly pillow-shaped or preformed, bottom cover 14. In this embodiment, tuck-ins 26' are provided only in the top cover 12 to provide a neat, form-fitting appearance to this visible surface of the panel 10', while the bottom cover 14 merely extends over the spaces 38 between the blocks 21'. The appearance of the bottom cover 14' will suffer as a result, but being hidden on the underside of the panel 10 this is of minor consequence. The internal construction of panel 10 similarly includes tabs 32' connected between the covers 12, 14 and the provision of openings 30' between the tuck-ins 26 of the top cover 12' and the flat bottom cover 14 for placement of the individual foam blocks 21' within the panel 10' Reference is now made to two additional embodiments of the present invention, one of which is illustrated in FIGS. 7-9 and designated therein with the same but double-primed reference numerals, and the other illustrated in FIG. 11 and identified with triple-primed reference numerals. In the 7-9 embodiment, the independent reaction to compressing forces F of the plural, integrated panel pillows 20" is dispensed with in favor of rendering the panel 10" more economical and easier to assemble. Instead of separate, independent foam blocks 21, the panel =10" is stuffed with a single or unitary foam block 21", the surfaces of which have length and width-wise extending grooves 26a therein which delineate rectangular pillow shapes 20". The grooves 26a" may either be molded in the block 21" or subsequently cut or machined therein; and of course the pattern of the surface grooves 26a" may be such as to provide other than rectangular pillow shapes.
For example, as shown in the plan view of FIG. 11, an upholstery panel 10 according to the present invention, may be provided with mixed pillow shapes 20", the particular design of FIG. 11 illustrating the use not only of different pillow shapes but also the use of different sizes of pillow shapes to achieve an aesthetic effect. The mixed pillow shape design as illustrated in FIG. 11 employs the foam block construction of the panel embodiment of FIG. 8, but it could also use the construction of the previously described embodiment of FIG. 1 or of FIG. 6.
Returning again to FIGS. 7-9, it will be understood that the completed panel cover for the panel :10 is comprised of two panel cover pieces 12", 14", similar in construction to the previously described top and bottom panel covers 12, 14, of FIG. 1, except that the internal tabs 32 thereof are entirely omitted. Since the panel 10" is stuffed with the single foam block 21", the presence of interconnected tabs 32 extending between the two panel cover pieces would render it impossible to place the single foam block 211" within the panel covers 12", 14" and therefore these tabs are omitted. However, in the construction of the panel embodiment 10" conventional upholstery buttons 32a" are substituted for the internal tabs 32 to maintain the fit arid appearance of the covers 12" and '14 about the pillow shapes These upholstery buttons 32a" are applied after the placement of the foam block 20a" within the interconnected covers 12", 14", preferably at the corners 28" of the pillow shapes 20", and are effective to maintain the cover tuck-ends 26 neatly in place to provide a desirable, tailored appearance to the panel 10".
In a final illustrative embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIG. 12, there is shown an alternative method of maintaining the panel cover fit about a single foam block construction. In place of the upholstery button 32a" the surface grooves of the foam block 21a" are provided with opposite inclined side walls 24a" which pinch the panel cover piece 12a" therebetween, as at 2711', to maintain the panel cover tuck-ins 26a" in place. In all other respects, the upholstery panel 10a" is similar to the upholstery panel 10" of FIG. 9.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure, and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention herein.
What is claimed is:
1. A stufied upholstery panel comprising a pair of preformed top and bottom panel covers, each of which is preformed with a plurality of adjacently located, interconnected shaped individual pillows; means along the marginal edges joining said pane-l covers in facing relationship to each other so as to enclose shaped volumes therebetween, and means throughout the body of the panel connecting said covers to each other only at aligning corners of the individual pillows of each; and resilient means contained within each panel pillow formed by the facing pillows of the interconnected panel covers.
2. A stuffed upholstery panel as defined in claim 1 including extending tab means at the corners of the individual pillows of each of said panel covers for connecting 6 said panel covers to each other only at aligning corners of the individual pillows of said panel covers.
3. A stuffed upholstery panel comprising a pair of preformed top and bottom panel covers, each of which is preformed with a plurality of adjacently located, interconnected individual pillows, each pillow having a front face and depending side walls interconnected at their respective adjacent edges, and in each of which the adjacent pillows are interconnected at the lower edge of their respective adjacent side walls; means joining said panel covers in facing relationship to each other along the depending side walls of the marginally located individual pillows of each, and means throughout the body of the panel connecting said covers to each other only at aligning corners of the individual pillows of each; and individual foam blocks contained within each panel pillow formed by the facing pillows of the interconnected top and bottom panel covers.
4. A stuffed upholstery panel comprising a pair of preformed top and bottom fabric panel covers, each of which is preformed with a plurality of adjacently located, interconnected individual pillows, each pillow having a rectangular front face and depending side walls interconnected at their respective edges, and in each of which the adjacent pillows are interconnected at the lower edge of their respective adjacent side walls; means joining said fabric panel covers in facing relationship to each other along the depending side walls of the marginally located individual pillows of each, extending tab means at the corners of the individual pillows of each of said panel covers, and means connecting said tab means together at aligning pillow corners for joining said panel covers together throughout the body of said panel; and individual foam blocks contained within each panel pillow formed by the facing pillows of the interconnected top and bottom panel covers.
5. A stulfed upholstery panel as defined in claim 4 wherein said fabric panels are preferably joined by a row of stitching and a zipper connecting said panel covers in facing relationship to each other along the depending side walls of the marginally located individual pillows of each.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,170,224 8/ 1939 Tarr 297-41 8 2,693 ,847 11/1954 Kablotsky 297452 2,834,970 5/1958 Nappe 5348 2,921,403 l/ 1960 Cunnington 5'355 3,019,456 2/ 1962 Kamp 5-355 3,099,892 8/ 1963 Feinerman 5- 356 FOREIGN PATENTS 20,485 9/ 1911 Great Britain.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
C. A. NUNBERG, Assistant Examiner.