US 3370363 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
D. L. KAPLAN FOOTWEAR UPPERS Feb. 27, 1968 Filed April 1965 FIG I Don L. Kaplan BY y ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,370,363 FOOTWEAR UPPERS Don L. Kaplan, 118 Baker Hill Road, Great Neck, N Y. 11023 Filed Apr. 5, 1965, Ser. No. 445,587 11 Claims. (Cl. 36-9) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE Fabric material for use in footwear uppers having discontinuous portions coated with an abrasion-resistant material, the remainder of the exterior surface being uncoated by the coating composition. The discontinuous or discrete areas are preferably deposited by a printing technique. The fabric, when formed into an article of footwear has abrasion-resistant properties, but the uncoated areas improve bonding of a foxing strip which secures the fabric upper to the footwear sole.
This invention relates to footwear uppers and relates more particularly to material from which such uppers are made, processes for making such material and footwear in which said uppers are used.
Basically, the instant inventive concept is directed to the production of a fabric upper for use in the manufacture of sneakers and other casual shoes which has an increased abrasion resistance with respect to textile materials currently in use and simultaneously is particularly adapted for use in the conventional fabricating technique of footwear of the type described to produce an especially durable product not subject to various problems encountered with prior art constructions. Many attempts have been made heretofore to coat textile fabrics which are to be utilized in the manufacture of footwear with abrasion resistant plastic or the like materials. Generally, prior art coating techniques have been the cause of many difficulties with the resultant product. 1f the fabric is provided with a continuous, overall, abrasion resistant coating layer as has been conventional in the past, such coatings have had a tendency to crack when subjected to the constant flexing which the footwear receives in use. Further, the abrasion resistant layers currently in use turn whitish on scratching, a phenomenon known in the trade as mark-off. Additionally, many of these materials have discolored, turning brown or darkening during the vulcanizing treatment which is necessary to the manufacture of the footwear and wherein temperatures on the order of 270 F. and atmospheres of ammonia are utilized.
While each of the above problems are important from a commercial standpoint, probably the most significant dilculty encountered with prior art continuous coating techniques has been the poor adhesion realized in the area where the rubber foxing is cemented to the fabric and the sole. Due to the substantially non-absorbent properties of abrasion resistant coatings, the water-based adhesives conventionally used to bond the foxing, upper and sole together poorly unites the foxing to the fabric and the weakness of this critical area of adhesion results in a product which falls apart on ,extended use.
For the above reasons abrasion resistant coatings on fabric uppers for footwear have been avoided by the industry. It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide for the production of an article of footwear having an upper which, while being resistant to abrasion, is also securely united in the final construction.
Simultaneously with this primary objective, the instant inventive concept is directed to the production of articles of footwear having fabric uppers which are abrasion resistant while also being free from the undesirable tend- "ice encies toward cracking, mark-off and discoloring with prior art materials.
Consistent with the above objectives, this invention provides procedures for treating fabrics to be used as uppers in the fabrication of footwear and methods for manufacturing the articles of footwear utilizing such pretreated fabric. The treatments suggested by the instant inventive concept are comparatively simple and inexpensive, utilizing relatively conventional machines and resulting in highly commercially desirable products.
The more basic aspects of this invention comprise printing or otherwise adhering an abrasion resistant coating composition to discontinuous, discrete portions of the surface of the fabric which is to form the exterior of the upper in the footwear. Although the embodiments set forth hereinafter generally refer to treating only one surface of the fabric, it will be readily understood that both surfaces of the same may be processed in this manner if it is desired to increase the abrasion resistance of the interior of the upper. However, generally the area of importance from the standpoint of ability to withstand wear is the outside of the upper and this is also the portion of the fabric which is bonded to the sole by a foxing through the intermediate of a water-based adhesive. Since the untreated fabric is ordinarily absorbent with respect to such water based adhesives as are conventionally utilized in the manufacture of footwear, the area of the surface of the fabric which has not been coated will function to provide a basis for a good bond in the iinal product. Although the fabric is not completely covered by the abrasion resistant material, the discontinuous, discrete or spaced coated portions have been found to provide the wear resistance properties which are desirable since these portions generally extend slightly above the untreated fabric surface thereby receiving whatever abrasive contact the upper is subjected to.
Other and further objects reside in the combination of elements, arrangement of parts, features of construction and manipulative `steps all as will be explained in more detail hereinafter.
Further objects will in part be obvious and in part be pointed out as the description of the invention proceeds and as shown in the attached drawing wherein:
FIGURE l is a side elevational view of a conventional sneaker or casual shoe fabricated utilizing a fabric upper treated in accordance with the instant inventive concept;
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged transverse cross-sectional view taken substantially on line 2 2 of FIGURE 1; p
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary enlarged view of a portion of the surface of a treated fabric upper; and
FIGURE 4 is a schematic process diagram illustrating the various steps in the manufacture of footwear according to this invention.
Like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawing.
Referring now to the drawing in general and more particularly to FIGURES 1 and 2, the sneaker or other casual shoe is designated generally by the reference numeral 10 and comprises basically a fabric upper 12, a sole 14 formed of rubber or the like and a foxing 16 securing the upper 12 and sole 14 to each other, the foxing 16 also generally being formed of rubber. v
The upper 12 can take any desired form depending upon the particular shoe being manufactured and is generally fabricated of a plurality of individually cut' pieces of a textile fabric sewn together as at 18 to form a contoured or shaped element. Ordinarily a counter 20 is secured by adhesive and sewing 22 to a heel portion of the shoe 10 to stiffen the same.
This shoe conventionally also includes an insole 24 which may be a laminated foamed structure having a portion of increased thickness 26 to provide an arch support and may include various stilfening layers, shanks and thelike (not shown).
Various well-known water based adhesives are conventionally utilized to secure the upper 12, sole 14 and foxing 16 in related assembly and, as pointed out hereinabove, this is a critical area of adhesion which in many prior art, abrasion resistant treated constructions, fails to provide the desired characteristics. A commercially satisfactory bond between the foxing 1o and the surface of the fabric upper 12 is ten pounds per square inch, a standard which is satisfied by the construction of this in- Vention.
It is to be understood that although one well-known form of sneaker or the like is shown as iilustrative in the drawing, the instant inventive concept is not in the least dependent on the shape or style of the footwear and is equally applicable to sneakers, casual footwear and other similar fabric upper shoes manufactured for men, women or children.
With reference now particularly to FlGURE 3, a somewhat magnified plan view of the treated surface of a fabric for use in footwear uppers is shown at 12. It will be seen that this fabric has an abrasion resistant coating cornposition adhered to discontinuous, discrete portions 28 with the remainder of the surface, that is, the spaces 36 inbetween the portions 28, being uncoated. Thus, since the fabric itself is absorbent to the water based adhesives utilized in the manufacture of the footwear, the area designated at 30 will provide for a strong bond in the final product. Although the quantitative relationship between the coated and uncoated portions of the surface of the fabric upper 12 can be varied within a rather broad range, it has been found that if less than approximately 3Cf% of the surface is coated the desired abrasion resistant properties are not realized, while if in excess of approxiymately 95% of the surface is coated, insufficient absorbent area is available to provide an effective bond with the foxing. Additionally, although the thickness of the coating layer may vary substantially, less than approximately 3 mils does not produce suicient wear resistance to be commercially desirable andV in excess of approximately 15 mils of coating renders the fabric somewhat more subject to some of the deficiencies of prior art treated material such as cracking and the like. Y
Although Yin FIGURE 3 the discontinuous, discrete coated portions 28 have been shown in the form of small diamonds, it is to be understood that the particular shape of these portions is not in any Way critical. For example, in addition to the diamonds shown, the portions 28 could be in the form of dots, stripes or any desired design. According to one embodiment of the invention the coating composition is substantially transparent whereby the original color and texture of the fabric will be retained. Alternatively, if desired the coating composition can be of a different color than the surface of the fabric upper 12 such that an aesthetically attractive pattern or design is provided on the final product. Thus, it can be seen that in addition to providing improved physical characteristics and properties to the fabric and shoe, the appearance of the same can also be enhanced.
Although specific coating compositions have been found particularly useful to produce certain desired results a relatively large variety of materials have been emloyed with satisfactory results. Polyurethane resins manufactured by Mobay, both of the ester and ether types have been utilized, a preferred composition being the polyurethane derivative sold under the trade name Enar. Additionally, methacrylates produced by Rohm and Haas, pyroxylin made by Du Pont, vinyl chloride and copolymers of vinyl 'chloride and vinyl acetate and other modifications of vinyl chloride resins marketed by Carbide and Carbon and Goodyear Tire, polyvinyl butyral sold b y Du Pont and styrene made by Marbon CorporationV butadiene styrene copolymer, chloroprene, acrylonitrre butadiene copolymer, polyisobutylene isoprene copolymer, and polyisobutylene and a chlorinated polymer of polyisobutylene and isoprene, chlorinated sulphonated polyethylene7 silicone polymers, polytetrauoroethylene types such as Teiion sold by Du Pont and other ilu-orcelastomers such as Viton also sold by Du Pont have also produced satisfactoryabrasion resistant coatings. p
Although the procedure for manufacturing the fabric and footwear of this invention can take many forms without departing from the scope of the instant inventive concept, a printing technique for depositing the coating composition on the fabric upper has been found particularly advantageous. As illustrative, one form of printing device is shown schematically in FGURE 4 and designated generally by the reference numeral 32. Basically, this apparatus utilizes a copper engraved roller 34 having a female pattern 36 corresponding to the.V discontinuous, discrete portions 2S of coating composition to be transferred to the fabric 12 on its surface. The fabric being treated isy passed through a nip delined by the engraved roller 34 and a back-up roller 38. Any means may be provided for continuously supplying the depressions in the engraved roller 34 with the coating compositionv such. as a pick-up roller 40 which rotates in a trough 42 filled with the coating composition and a transfer roller 44 carrying coating composition from the pick-up roller`40 to the engraved roller 34, a doctor blade 45 metering the quantity. It is to be emphasized at this time that the apparatus shown in FIGURE 4 is merely for the purpose of illustration and that the many obvious modifications of this construction, such as dipping the engraved roller 34 directly into the trough of coating compositionand depositing the same on the under surface of the fabric-or other similar variations could be readily substituted without in any way departing from the concept of this invention. Further, such alternative means as masked spraying devices, brush coating through a stencil or various and sundry other coating techniques are effective. Y
After treating the fabric 12 Ait may be stored on rolls as desired for supply to the footwear manufacturer. At some point inthe processing of the fabric it is cut to shape as designated by the box 46, fabricated into the shoe as shown at 48 during which procedure the foxing 16 is utilized to secure the upper 12 to the sole 14 through the use Y of the water-based adhesive and: finally vulcanized .as at 50. It has been found preferable to not cure the coating composition on the treated fabric upper 12 until such time as the entire article of footwear'is fabricated and vulcanized whereby the curing is simultaneously effected. Generally, vulcanization is necessary to the processingxof the article and the temperatures utilized, 250 to 270 F. for approximately two hours, are sufficient to cure the composition. Further, this uncured coating has been found to better accept the adhesive when the foxing ofthe sneaker is applied.
The preceding process has been found to satisfy the ten pounds per square inch standard for adhesion which is commercially desired.
Thus, it will now be seen that there is herein provide improved techniques for the production of fabrics to bev be interpreted merely as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. Y
What is claimed is:
1. A material for use in footwear uppers comprising a fabric including a surface which -is to form the exterior of the upper in the footwear, a substantially noni-cellular abrasion-resistant coating composition adhered to discontinuous, discrete portions of said surface, the remainder of said surface being uncoated by said coating composition.
2. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein the uncoated remainder of said surface is absorbent to Water- `based adhesives.
3. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein the coated discontinuous, discrete portions taken together comprise from approximately 30 to approximately 95 percent of said surface.
4. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein said coating composition is substantially transparent.
5. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein said coating composition is of a different color than said surface and the coated, discontinuous, discrete portions dene a pattern.
6. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein from approximately 3 to approximately 15 mils in thickness of said coating composition is adhered to each of said discontinuous, discrete portions of said surface.
7. A material in accordance with claim 1 wherein said coating composition is a polyurethane resin.
8. An article of footwear comprising a sole, a fabric upper and a foxing, a water-based adhesive securing said sole, said fabric upper and said foxing together, said fabric upper having a substantially non-cellular abrasionresistant coating composition adhered to discontinuous, discrete portions of at least the surface forming the eX- terior of the same in the footwear, the remainder of the surface being uncoated by said coating composition and absorbent to said water-based adhesive.
9. An article in accordance with claim 8 wherein said coating composition is a polyurethane resin.
10. An article in accordance with claim 8 wherein the adhesion of said foxing to said fabric upper is at least 10 pounds per square inch.
11. An article in accordance with claim 8 wherein said coating composition is of a different color than said surface and the coated, discontinuous, discrete portions deine a pattern.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,588,132 3/1952 Lippitt 12--142 2,721,811 10/1955 Dacey et al 36-9 X 1,901,494 3/1933 Daniels 36-45 3,130,505 4/ 1964 Markevitch 36-45 3,180,853 4/1965 Peters 36-45 X PATRICK D. LAWSON, Primary Examiner.