US 3394405 A
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July23, 1968 c. E. CONKLIN 3,394,405
AMETHOD FOR REINFORCING TEXTILE GARMENTS Filed Sept. 22, 1967 ,4 Trae/v5 v.
United States Patent O 3,394,405 METHOD FOR REINFORCING TEXTILE GARMENTS Clayton E. Conklin, El Paso, Tex., assignor to Mann lanufacturing, Inc., El Paso, Tex., a corporation of exas Filed Sept. `22, 1967, Ser. No. 669,904 6 Claims. (Cl. 2-227) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A process for reinforcing textile garments by forming a coalescence of thermoplastic reinforcing film and the fabric fibers of said garments at localized areas subject to severe stress; said process being particularly applicable to permanent-creased slacks and like garments impregnated with resins polymerizable to a water-insoluble state. The film is first adhered to the surface fibers on one surface of the garment fabric by heat and pressure, cooled, and the garment fabric is then baked in an oven to soften the film and form the coalescence. The softened film adheres to and partially encapsulates the fibers by incompletely wrapping around a major portion of the surface fibers of the fabric, and is thus prevented from peeling, and leaves the fabric porous through its interstices. Because of the partial encapsulation, the film is not visible from the outer surface of the garment fabric. The film also locks the fibers in place and to each other, and increases their wear resistance. If the garment is to retain a permanent-crease, baking the garment will also cause said impregnated resins to polymerize to a waterinsoluble state, and both processes can be accomplished at the same time, preserving valuable production time.
This invention relates to an improved textile garment and to a method for reinforcing the fabric of the garment to increase its wear resistance.
In recent years, much effort has been made to irnprove the wear characteristics of textile garments. This problem is particularly acute where the garment, such as a pair of slacks, is subjected to a permanent-crease process, commonly known as the Koratron process, described in detail in U.S. Patent 2,974,432. In this process, the garment fabric is treated with polymerizable resins, creased, and baked in an oven to cure the resins to effect their polymerization to a water-insoluble state, thereby enabling the garment to retain its crease when washed. However, it has been found that when the gabric is baked, the fabric is weakened because the fibers are partially disintegrated. Although the fabric will retain its crease when washed, it will wear more readily. This occurs usually at a point subjected to severe stress, such as at the knees, in a pair of permanent-crease slacks.
-It has been recognized that the abrasion resistance and tensile strength of a textile fabric can be greatly increased, by reinforcing the fabric with a resinous material. However, where the treated fabric is to be used to manufacture a consumer textile garment, various results obtained by such treatments are highly undesirable.
For example, laminated resin films adhered by heat and pressure to the surface of the fabric only, will readily peel after the garment has undergone cleaning operations. The bonding strength of the resin to the surface of the fibers is incapable of withstanding repeated force applied to the garment during a washing process. The film also thickens the fabric, rendering it inflexible and uncomfortable to wear.
If more heat and pressure is applied to the laminaion, to cause the resin to melt and How through the interstices in the textile fabric to completely encapsulate the 3,394,405 Patented July 23, 1968 fibers, the resin will be visible on the garment, particularly if applied only to an isolated area, such as the knees in a pair of slacks, thereby detracting from the appearance of the garment. Furthermore, with the interstices filled with resin, the garment fabric is rendered non-porous, preventing evaporation of perspiration, and heat-transfer through the fabric to the discomfort of the wearer.
Many of these problems are also present when the textile fabric is coated with a resin and the resin cured and set under heat and pressure, Coating the fibers of the fabric with a resin by spraying, washing or dipping, or the like will enable the coating to bleed or seep through the fabric interstices. The fabric is substantially stiffened and the coating is visible, detracting from the appearance of the garment, particularly when it is applied to isolated areas on the garment, which are subjected to severe stresses.
I have discovered and perfected a process for treating the textile fabric of a garment with a thermoplastic film so as to increase its abrasion resistance and tensile strength, but which will not result in a textile garment having any of the aforementioned undesirable characteristics. In my process, a thermoplastic film is coalesced with the textile fabric in such a manner as to partially encapsulate the fibers of the fabric on one surface of the fabric. Preferably, this reinforcement is made at locations on the garment subjected to severe stresses. Because the fibers are partially encapsulated, the bonding strength of the film to the fabric is such that the film will not peel after repeated use and cleaning of the garment. The film is not visible on the outer surface of the fabric, so that the reinforcement may be applied to isolated areas of a textile garment.
Furthermore, I have been able to control the encapsulation of the Lfibers of the fabric to the extent that the interstices in the fabric are not filled by the film, leaving the fabric porous. Thus heat transfer through the fabric remains unblocked, and evaporation of perspiration can take place, rendering the garment comfortable for wear.
I have also discovered that the temperature used in the oven of the Koratron process is ideal for coalescence of the film and fabric in the manner stated heretofore. This enables me to carry out both processes at the same time, preserving valuable production time. It also enables rne to reinforce the weakened fibers of permanent-creased fabrics on textile garments, such as slacks.'
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved, reinforced textile garment, exhibiting increased wear resistance and tensile strength, but which retains the desirable qualities of porosity, invisibility of the reinforcement, and crease retention.
A further object of this invention is to provide a method for manufacturing such improved textile garments, said method being susceptible of being carried out simultaneously with a process for imparting a permanent crease on the garment.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and claims, and from the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 shows a cross-section through the faces of `the textile fabric of the garment after it has been treated in accordance with the present invention;
FIGURE 2 shows a treated surface of the fabric.
FIGURE 3 is an elevational View of a pair of slacks turned inside out, whose inner surface fabric has been reinforced in accordance with this invention, at the area of the knees; and
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary crossJsectional view illustrating the initial step in my process of -applying the reinforcing film to the garment illustrated in FIGURE 3.
Referring now in detail to the drawing, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout theseveral views, a textile garment fabric 10, treated in accordance with the method of the present invention, is illustrated.
Fabric includes warp fibers 12, interwoven with filling fibers 14. The interstices 16 between the adjacent woven fibers are substantially porous, as shown.
A thermoplastic film 18, applied to fabric 10, partially encapsulates the fibers adjacent the inner surface 20 of the fabric of the garment. As shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, film 18 incompletely wraps around a major portion of each of the fibers adjacent surface 20, and coats a minor portion of the inner surface of the fibers adjacent outer fabric surface 22. Because film 18 wraps around the fibers adjacent inner surface 20, the interstices 16 remain substantially porous, except that film 18 will pick up4 the thin nap hairs 24 on adjacent fibers and adhesively lock them together across the interstices 16, forming a network 26. The nap hairs 24 adjacent outer surface 22 of fabric 10 remain free, and outer surface 22 is not coated with film 18.
Film 18, partially encapsulating the fibers of fabric 10, will not peel from the fabric because they are bonded to a major portion of the surfaces of at least some of the fibers. Yet, the film does not soak through the fibers, or encapsulate the fibers adjacent outer surface 22, and is hence hidden.
The film 18 increases the tensile strength and wear resistance of fabric 10, and provides a firm backing for the outer surface 24 of the fabric by locking the fibers adjacent thereto in place to resist abrasion. `Portions of the nap of the fibers are also locked together to form a network which further strengthens the fabric.
The method of manufacturing fabric 10 is carried out lby first adhering the thermoplastic film 18 only to the inner surface 20 of fabric 10, such as at the interior surface of knees 28 of a pair of slacks 30, by heat and pressure. I have found that a thermoplastic film, such as a vinyl chloride acrylate or a phenolic ethyl acrylate polymer will provide satisfactory results, and will not substantially stilfen the fabric. The film should be 2 or 3 mils thick, and can be handled with a suitable release paper adhered to one surface.
Care must be taken when adhering the film or patch to the garment fabric. Sufiicient heat and pressure must be applied so that the film will bond to the fabric surface, yet if too much heat and pressure are applied to the film or garment, or the application is for too long a time interval, the dye on the garment may fade (the dye will be absorbed into the film) or the fabric `will scorch. Too much heat and pressure may also cause oxidation of the film or cause the film to bleed through the fabric.
Therefore, depending upon the weight of the garment fabric, the particular dye covering thel fabric, and the properties of the thermoplastic film, certain ranges of temperature, pressure, and time of application should be observed. Depending upon these variables, I have found that the thermoplastic film can be set satisfactorily if the temp erature of the pressing element is in the range of 350 F. to 450 F., the pressure applied 20 to 100 pounds per square inch, and the time of application 4 to 15 seconds. I also prefer to apply the film by disposing the fabric and film between a pair of heated, porous platens 32, 34 so that any gase evolved from heating the film can escape.
After the film has been applied to the surface of the fabric, the release paper is stripped from lthe film, and the fabric of the garment is immediately cooled to room temperature by directing a stream of air against the reinforced area of the garment, or by passing the heated, reinforced area by a cryogenic or refrigerated plate. This will prevent the fabric from scorching, and if the garment is to have a permanent crease, it will prevent the Koratron resins from being polymer-ized and set to a water-insoluble state before the garment has been creased.
The garment, if it is to retain a permanent crease, such as -a pair of slacks or jeans, is then creased. If the reinforcement is applied at the knees, creasing the fabric will normally cause adjacent areas of the reinforcing film to adhere because of the folding and pressing the slack leg leg under heat and pressure. To prevent adherence of the film to itself when the garment is folded, I spray a silicone solution on the back of the exposed surface of the film. Dow Corning 200 fluid of 35,000 centipoise is preferred and is mixed with a chlorethane or aromatic hydrocarbon solvent, so that the solvent is 80% by volume of the solution, Also, adherence can be prevented by leaving the release paper until the crease is formed, and after the creasing, the paper is removed.
After the crease has been formed, the garment containing the reinforcement, such as pair of slacks, is fed through on oven at a temperature range of between 275 F. to 450 F., for approximately 8 to 20 minutes. The heat of the oven not only `cures and Ipolymerizes the Koratron resins to a water-insoluble state, but softens the thermoplastic reinforcement film causing it to fiow sufficiently to partially encapsulate the fibers of the fabric, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, and to lock and fuse the nap across the interstices of the fabric. The reinforcement does not encapsulate the fibers completely or soak through the fabric to the outer surface of the garment.
The fabric also retains its porosity, since the film is initially adhered to the inner surface of the fabric only, and there will be voids under the film at the interstices 16. As the film is reheated in the oven, that portion which is firmly attached to the fabric will be more restricted to ow than the portion which has voids under it. Consequently, the film will liow in the path of least resistance, wrapping -around a major portion of the inner surface fibers, leaving the interstices substantially unblocked.
If the garment is not of the permanent crease variety, application of Dow Corning 200 fiuid to the exposed surface of the reinforcement, as directed heretofore, will enable subsequent pressing operations to be made.
Fabrics treated as described above were tested for their abrasion resistance on a Wzzenbeck abrasion testing machine. On the average, it took 7889 cycles to cause rupture of the reinforced fabric, compared with an average 1509 cycles for the same fabric without any reinforcement.
Actual wear tests found that reinforced slacks lasted six to eight times longer than those that were not reinforced.
Specific examples demonstrating the process of my invention are set forth below, but are set forth only by way of demonstration and not limitation, and therefore are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention to the specific details set forth.
Example I In carrying out this invention, an phenolic ethyl acrylate film sold by B. F. Goodrich Co., of Akron, Ohio, under the trademark Fabrilock was adhered by heat and pressure to the inner surface of the fabric of a pair of slacks at the knees. The fabric of the garment was a 12 oz. vat dyed denium, 65% cotton, 35% Kodel polyester woven from single yarns. The dye on the fabric was navy blue Canton yNo. 001. The film was -adhered to the fabric between porous platens heated between 435 F. and 450 F., and a pressure of pounds per square inch for approximately 10 seconds was applied. The film was then cooled to room temperature and its exposed surface sprayed with a solution of Dow Corning 200 fluid (20% by volume) and chlorethane by volume). A crease was formed in each leg of the slacks, and the film reinforcement did not adhere to itself. The garments were then passed through a heated oven at approximately 350 F. for approximately 12 minutes forming a coalescence of film and fabric. The reinforced area was then examined under a microscope and the fibers of the fabric were found to be partially encapsulated, as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing. The fabric was also porous. The reinforcement was not visible from the outer surface of the garment, and the garment dye had not faded.
Example II The process described in Example I was repeated, except that .the Fabrilock film was adhered to a fabric which was 9 ounces weight and 50% Fortrel polyester, 50% cotton, plied yarns, piece dyed light blue with Galey and Lord No. 292. The film was adhered to the fabric between porous platens heated to 350 F., and exerting a pressure of 75 pounds per square inch for 4.5 seconds. After spraying and creasing, the slacks were sent through the oven as in Example I and the result was the same as in Example I.
Example III The process described in the preceding example was repeated, except that the Fabrilock film was adhered to a piece dyed fabric 9 oz. wt. which was 50% Blue C. polyester, 50% cotton, plied yarns, dyed loden green with Greenwood No. 8532. The copolymer film was adhered to the fabric at 425 F., utilizing a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch for 5 seconds. After creasing, the slacks were sent through the oven forming a coalescence, as in Example I, and the result was the same as in Example I.
Example IV The process described in the preceding example was repeated, except that a vinyl chloride acrylate film was adhered to a pair of slacks containing the same fabric composition and dye as in Example II. The film was adhered to the fabric between porous platens heated to 400 F., and pressure applied at 75 pounds per square inch for 5 seconds. The slacks were sent through the oven as in Example I. While the partial encapsulation of the fibers was not as deep as when the Fabrilock film was applied, there was some partial encapsulation and porosity in the fabric.
While specific embodiments of my invention have been disclosed in the foregoing description, it will be understood that various modifications within the spirit of the invention may occur to those skilled in the art. For example, the terms slacks and jeans have been used interchangeably throughout the specification, and the use of the term slacks hereinafter is meant to cover both. Therefore, it is intended that no limitations be placed on the invention except as defined by the scope of the appended claims.
1. The method of reinforcing a permanent-creased pair of slacks impregnated with resins polymerizable to `a water-insoluble state, said method comprising the steps of partly adhering a thermoplastic reinforcing film to the inner hidden fiber surfaces of said slacks at the area of the knees by the application of heat and Ipressure between 350 F. and 450 F. and 20 to 100 pounds per square inch for 4 to 15 seconds, cooling said knee areas to a temperature sufficient to prevent the impregnated resins from polymerizing to a water-insoluble state, and baking said slacks in an oven whose temperature is in the range of 275 F. to 450 F. for approximately 8 to 20 minutes, causing said impregnated resins to polymerize and said reinforcing film to completely adhere to said fibers by wrapping around a major portion only of the fibers adjacent sai-d inner surfaces of said slacks whereby said reinforcing lm is prevented from bleeding through the fabric of said slacks to a point where it is visible from the outer surface thereof.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said thermoplastic film is coated with a liquid solution to prevent adjacent areas of said film from adhering to itself, and said slacks 3. The method of claim 1 wherein said thermoplastic.
film is partly adhered to said fabric between Iheated, porous platens.
4. The method of reinforcing a permanent-creased pair of slacks impregnated with resins polymerizable to a water-insoluble state, said met-hod comprising the steps of partly adhering a thermoplastic reinforcement to the inner hidden fiber surfaces of said slacks at the area .of the knees lby the application of heat and pressure, controlling the time of application and amount of said applied heat and pressure to substantially preserve the color of said slacks, to prevent said fibers from scorching, to prevent said reinforcement from bleeding through the fabric of said slacks to a point where it is visible from the outer surfaces thereof and to prevent said impregnated resins from completely prolymerizing to a water-insoluble state, cooling said knee areas to further prevent said impregnated resins from polymerizing to a water-insoluble state, creasing said slacks at the knees while preventing adjacent portions of said reinforcement from adhering together, and baking said slacks in an oven ywhose temperature is in the range of 275 F. to 450 F. for approximately 8 to 20 minutes, causing said impregnated resins to polymerize and said reinforcement to completely adhere to said fibers by wrapping around a major portion 'only of the fibers adjacent said inner surfaces of said slacks whereby said bleeding through of said reinforcement to a point where it is visible from the outer surface thereof is prevented.
5. The method of claim 4 wherein said baking step causes said reinforcement to lock the fibers of said slacks adjacent the outer surface thereof to the fibers adjacent the hidden inner surface thereof.
6. The method of reinforcing a permanent-creased pair of slacks impregnated with resins polymerizable to a waterinsolu-ble state, said method comprising steps of partly adhering a thermoplastic reinforcement to the inner hidden fiber surfaces of said slacks at the area of the knees by the application of heat and pressure, controlling the time of application and amount of said applied heat and pressure to substantially preserve the color of said slacks, to prevent said fibers from scorching, to prevent said reinforcement from bleeding through the fabric of said slacks to a point where it is visible from the outer surfaces thereof, and to prevent said impregnated resins from completely Ipolym-erizing tov a water-insoluble state, cooling said knee areas to further prevent said impregnated resins from polymerizing to a water-insoluble state, and baking said slacks in an oven iwhose temperature is in the range of 275 F. to 450 F. for approximately 8 -to 20 minutes, causing said impregnated resins to polymerize and said reinforcement to completely adhere to said fibers `by wrapping around a major portion only of the fibers adjacent said inner surfaces of said slacks whereby said bleeding through :of said reinforcement to a point where it is visible from the outer surface thereof is prevented.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,930,030 10/1933 Anderson 2-243 2,704,730 3/1955 Glatt.
3,166,765 1/1965 Getchell 2-227 3,179,955 4/1965 Wade 2--243 3,268,915 8/1966 Warnock et a-l. 38-144 XR 3,311,520 3/1967 Michaelson et al. 156-289 XR 3,341,955 9/1967 Pyke et al. 38-144 JORDAN FRANKLIN, Prz'mazy Examiner.
I-I. HAMPTON HUNTER, Assistant Examiner.