US 3316566 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 2, 1967 A. 0. LONG, SR 3,316,566
CONSTRUCTION FOR WASHABLE FABRIC ARTICLES Filed Dec. 23 1963 BY //6 Fl 2 #5 ,arro/iys.
United States Patent Ofitice 3,316,566 ,CONSTRUCTION FOR WASHABLE FABRIC ARTICLES Arch 0. Long, Sin, 1311 Tangier Way,
Sarasota, Fla. 33579 Filed Dec. 23, 1963, Ser. No. 332,419 2 Claims. (6]. 334) This invention deals generally with the construction of Washable fabric items which are usually handled repeatedly in large volume in commercial laundering equipment and refers more particularly to a construction for such items which facilitates greatly their handling through all phases of the use and preparation for reuse thereof.
Conventional construction for such cloth items as sheets, pillow cases, protective aprons and the like involves the use of hems and seams where the plies or thicknesses of cloth present may be as high as four while the main area is of only one or two thicknesses at the most. For example, a conventional bed sheet has a double thickness hem at the top and bottom which requires a seam to secure it. Pillow cases likewise have hems which bring the total thicknesses or plies to four in the hemmed Zone. In addition the thread utilized in the sewing of such hems and edges is normally spun or twisted cotton thread which has great capacity for absorbing water. The presence in these items, among others, of limited areas in which the thicknesses of material are multiplied and which require moisture retentive thread to secure them together and to the sheet presents several difficulties when it is attempted to pass them through a high speed commercial laundering operation. The most critically affected phase of the operation is ironing.
As is known, it is usual to iron such flatwork items in a commercial flatwork ironer. The speed of the ironer must be governed on the basis of assuring drying and finished pressing of the most water retentive portions of the flatwork. Accordingly, when an ordinary bed sheet, for example, is to be fed through the ironer, the feeding speed can be no greater than that which will produce complete drying and finishing of the multiple thickness hem and/ or seam areas. The result is that processing of the sheet through the ironer requires considerably more time than that necessary to properly finish the bulk of the sheet. In other words, the capacity of the ironer is tied v to a parameter which is representative of only a small fraction of the work being handled. The same consideration applies of course to pillow cases, aprons and other items.
One of the most important objects of the present invention is to provide a construction for a Washable fabric item of the character described in which there are no changes in the number of plies of material from one portion of the item to another and in which the maintenance of the integrity of the items, a task in the past served by hems or seams, is achieved through the use of an open surge stitch with a special nonhygroscopic or nonabsorptive thread, preferably a monofilament. Through the use of my invention, seams and hems are eliminated and the drying and pressing capabilities of the item become substantially uniform over the entire area thereabove. Such a construction increases the capacity of a flatwork ironer by 20% to 40%.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a construction for sheets in particular which facilitates greatly the handling and use thereof in multiple bed institutions such as hospitals and the like, and in hotels, motels and other facilities wherein repeated high volume laundering operations are required.
Still another object of the invention is to provide an im roved construction for items such as protective aprons wherein the aforementioned increased handling and laundering speed is achieved. It is a particular feature of 3,316,565 Patented May 2, 1967 the invention in this respect that neck and tie ribbons and pocket areas are made up from an open weave, highly porous but quick drying tape, having appreciably less moisture retentiveness than the fabric of which the main body is composed. A related object of the invention is to provide a construction for such articles, and for sheets and pillow cases as well, which makes each side thereof the same, thus eliminating the so called right and wrong sides of conventionally made articles of this type. This has great value in reducing time loss in handling of the articles.
A further object of the invention is to provide in combination with the above features, bed sheets, pillow cases, protective aprons and like items which are characteristically marked at the corners so as to facilitate rapid identification and isolation thereof in an unironed stack of like items so that feeding of the items to the flatwork ironer can be greatly speeded up. The invention includes, also, the concept of employing corner markings of differing color on items of different size, thus providing a ready identification to the user thereof.
Other objects of the invention are to provide a construction for items of the character described which reduces greatly the time required for the laundering thereof due to the removal of pocket areas such as formed by seams and hems which are likely to trap foreign material; which due to the improved and simplified construction have a weight-to-area ratio less than that in conventional construction, thus promoting savings in handling and transport; which permits fabrication of the items with greater rapidity and at lower cost than in conventional designs; and which eases greatly the labor of the individuals involved in handling and using same.
Other and further objects of the invention together with the features of novelty appurtenant thereto will appear in the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawing, which forms a part of the specification and is to be read in conjunction therewith, and in which like reference numerals indicate like parts in the various views: a
FIG. 1 is a plan view, on a greatly reduced scale of a typical bed sheet embodying and constructed in accordance with the invention;
'FIG. 2 is a plan view, on even a smaller scale, of an improved bed sheet of somewhat modified construction designed to eliminate the need for separate top and bottom sheets;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a typical corner on a sheet constructed like those in FIGS. 1 and 2, the corner being slightly turned back on itself for purposes of illustration;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a pillow case embodying and constructed in accordance with the invention, part of the near side broken away for purposes of illustration; and
FIG. 5 is a plan view of an apron constructed in accordance with the invention.
Referring now to the drawing and initially to FIGS. 1 and 3, reference numeral 10 indicates generally the main body of a typical sheet composed of a single ply of woven cotton fabric. The sheet is made from an appropriately dimensioned length of cloth cut from a continuous roll (not shown) as it is supplied by the factory. The parallel side edges of the sheet are factory selvaged, the selvage being indicated at 11. It is usual practice in supplying woven cotton fabric for sheet manufacture to supply it in this form and no claim of invention is made in the selvaged material as such. Roll-s of cloth in various widths are available from the factory.
Rather than being hemmed or seamed, the top edge 12 and the bottom edge 13- of the sheet are secured against raveling by an open surge stitch, the details of which may be seen in FIG. 3. While no specific surge stitch is claimed, it will be observed that the illustrated form comprises loop portions 14 innerconnected by straight portions 15, the loop portions passing around the outer edge of the material. The surge stitch is made utilizing a nonhygroscopic monofilament, preferably of nylon. The monofilament is distinguished from the conventional spun or twisted cotton thread by being but a single continuous filament which, due to its composition, is completely nonabsorpti've. As a matter of fact, it is a smooth glossy 'filament which has a tendency to shed moisture rather than retain it.
The surge stitch runs the full width of the sheet at the top and bottom edges and, while open, is still of sufficiently close pattern as to prevent the edges of the cotton panel to which it is applied from unraveling.
There are incorporated at the corners of the sheet short Woven nylon orother synthetic resin ribbons or tapes 16 of a color contrasting with that of the sheet. As seen in FIG. 3, these tapes can be applied on both sides, utilizing a single straight over-and-under stitch with the monofilament, this being indicated at 17. The tapes are woven from nylon or other synthetic threads and are of highly porous construction so that under the heat to which the sheet is subjected during ironing, the water or any moisture collected therein will be rapidly driven or evaporated therefrom. The colors utilized for the marking elements 17 ordinarily will be of a bright, readily identifiable type such as red or orange, so that when a wrinkled pile of sheets is delivered to the feed end of the ironer, the corners can readily be discerned and grasped in order to draw the sheet from the pile and properly orient its edges for introduction to the ironer. For sheets of different size, different colors can be used and the markers thus serve also to provide a size identification when the sheet is ready for use.
FIG. 2 shows a modified form of bed sheet in which the sheet is given approximately twice the length of a normal sheet. The basic sheet construction is substantially the same as that of FIG. 1, it having the main panel 110 of the selvaged parallel edges 111. The top 112 and bottom 113 of the sheet are formed with the surge stitch earlier identified in connection with the embodiment of FIG. 1 and the corners are likewise marked as at 116 in the manner shown in FIG. 3 and described above.
The sheet of FIG. 2 differs from that of FIG. 1 in its approximately double length and in the inclusion at the center of one or more straight stitches 118 of the colored nylon monofilament. In order for best visibility, ordinarily two or three parallel, slightly separated straight stitches are provided. The purpose of these is to establish means of ready identification of the mid-point of the sheets so that when it is subsequently made up on a bed, it will be easy to determine the point of fold-under for the double portion.
In the use of the sheet in FIG. 2 on a bed, the top edge 112 is placed in the normal position for the top of the lower sheet and the mid-point is tucked under. The lower panel section, that is the section below the transverse marker line 118, is then folded back up to provide a top sheet.
Referring now to FIG. 4, this illustrates a typical pillow case embodying features of the invention. In this instance, the pillow case is made by utilizing a length of Woven cotton fabric having factory selvaged edges and which is folded back on the line 21 so that the unselvaged end edges are juxtaposed at 22. A surge stitch 23 is utilized to join the edges opposite the fold line as well as secure them against raveling and a similar stitch or a straight stitch can be utilized to close the end 24. As in the preceding embodiments, corner markers 25 can be employed, these being of the nature in construction earlier specified in the case of the bed sheets.
Referring now to FIG. 5, reference numeral 30 indicates the main panel of a typical apron. This panel is a single thickness of woven cotton fabric and it is cut from a length of cloth having the parallel factory selvaged edges 31. The upwardly slanting edges 32 are surge stitched in the manner earlier described, as is the top edge 33 and the bottom edge 34.
The neck ribbon 35 and the side tie tapes 36, rather than being woven from the conventional cotton, are of a nylon weave having high porosity. Many different types will serve, it being necessary only that the tape and ties have equal or faster drying rates under equal temperature and pressure conditions than the main body of the apron. If desired, pencil or tool pockets of like material can be sewn onto the apron, these comprising pieces of similar material stitched by a straight stitch at three edges, leaving one end open.
From the foregoing description, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth together with other ad- 'vantages which are obvious and which are inherent in the structure.
It will be understod that certain features and subcombination-s are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations. This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.
Since many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A combined top and bottom bed sheet comprising a single ply rectangular woven fabric panel having a length substantially equal to twice the length of the bed to which it is to be applied, said sheet having its parallel long edges selvaged and the transverse end edges unselvaged, each of the unselvaged end edges being secured against raveling by a surge stitch formed of a nonhygroscopic thread, and the central portion of the sheet being marked by transverse threads of contrasting color with the fabric.
2. A bed sheet as in claim 1 including markers of color constrasting with that of the fabric at the corners of the sheet.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 394,783 12/1888 Merrow 112-269 1,767,842 6/1930 Gehrke 5-334 X 2,226,529 12/ 1940 Austin 28--1 2,272,229 2/ 1942 Tucker 5334 X 2,637,039 5/1953 Teitelbaum 2-243.2 2,790,226 4/1957 Feinberg 139-383 X 3,072,124 1/1963 Jamison 139-383 X FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
A. M. CALVERT, Assistant Examiner