US 3527181 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Winston-Salem, North Carolina a corporation of North Carolina FABRIC GUIDING MEANS FOR SEWING MACHINES 3 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
U.S. Cl. 112/27, 1 12/136 Int. Cl D05b 7/00, DOSb 27/00, D05b 35/00 Field of Search 112/27, 26,
25, I36, l37,148,150,l52,162,203, 121.12, 121.15,121.1l;222/l96;66/(lnquired) Primary Examiner-H. Hampton Hunter Attorney- Paul and Paul ABSTRACT: A method of closing the toe of ladies seamless stockings is disclosed in which a bead is knit circumferentially in the toe portion of the stocking inward of the ravel guard and parallel to a course. The operator flattens the toe so that one half 180) of the head is adjacent the other half. The operator inserts the adjacent bead halves into a slotted guide tube which leads to the working station. The working station may be the cutting and sewing positions of a sewing machine, or may be a looping position on a looping machine. In the case of the sewing machine, the cutter trims the stocking fabric along the bead on the inward side thereof, and the fabric is then immediately sewn together along the trimmed edge.
Patented Sept. 8, 1970 l of 3 Sheet m N E V W Howard Beomon wkw ATTORNEYS.
. Patented Sept. 8; 1970 3,527,181
Sheet 2 bf 3 Y. INVENTOR.
g 4' Fig.6 4 Howard L. Beumon m/km ATTORNEYS.
Patented Sept. 8, 1970 Sheet .INVENTOR. Howukd 'L. Beumon ATTORNEYS.
FAlldlli-tllE lZllUIIDING MEANS FOR SEWING MACHINES CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-impart of my earlier filed application, Ser. No. 700,424, filed January 25, 1968, entitled Fabric Guiding Means for Sewing Machine" and now abancloned.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a method and apparatus for closing the open end of a tubular knitted fabric, and particularly to a method aul apparatus for closing the toe of ladies seamless stockings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART In high-quality high-price ladies stockings, absolutely straight toe seams are desired. To obtain such perfectly straight seams, the prior art has resorted to manual impaling of the stocking toe on the looping points of a looping machine. More specifically, the operator impales the open toe end on the radial points of the circular looping machine, the machine trims the stocking along a course just above the looping points, and the machine then sews along the trimmed edge. The resultant seam is absolutely straight and parallel with the course. However, this prior art method requires, for each stocking, a considerable amount of operator time for looping and is consequently costly and expensive.
For ladies stockings intended to be sold at medium or low prices, the prior art has used an operator to close the open toe by means of a commercial form of sewing machine to trim the open end and sew the seam, but unless the operator is very careful and also very skillful the seam will not be straight and it will not be parallel with the courses of the stocking.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The object of the present invention is to produce, at substantially lower cost than entailed by prior art procedure, a high quality ladies stocking having a toe seam which is straight and parallel with the course. This objective is achieved without having to manually impale the fabric on a looping machine. According to the invention, a bead is knitted along a course inward of the ravel guard at the end of the toe. A slotted guide tube is provided leading, in one embodiment, to the cutting and sewing stations of a conventional sewing machine, and in another embodiment, leading to the radial points of a looping machine. The toe is so flattened by the operator that one half( 180) of the bead is adjacent the other half. The adjacent bead halves are inserted into the guide tube, and the stocking foot is moved by the operator so that the adjacent bead halves move through the guide tube, in the one embodiment, toward the cutting and sewing positions of the sewing machine, and in the other embodiment, toward the radial points of the looping machine. At the cutting station of the sewing machine, the toe is trimmed along the bead on the inward side thereof, and the toe is then immediately closed at the sewing station. The stocking is then discharged by an endless drag belt. The resultant closing seam is straight and parallel to the courses.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a perspective illustration of apparatus embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the foot portion ofa ladies stocking showing the toe in open condition prior to closing;
FIG. 3 is a perspective illustration of a portion of FIG. 1, showing the toe of the stocking being moved by the operator through the guide tube toward the cutting and sewing positions of the sewing machine, at which the toe is closed;
FIG. 4 is a view looking down along the line IV--IV of FIG. 3 showing the bead ofthe stocking toe in the guide tube;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view in section along the line V-V of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view in section along the line VI- VI of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a perspective diagrammatic illustration showing the toe of the stocking being moved through the guide tube toward the radial points of a looping machine;
FIG. 8 is a simplified plan view of FIG. 7 showing that the guide tube is disposed at a tangent relative to the radial point circle ofa looping machine; and
FIG. 9 is a view of the guide tube looking along the line IX- IX of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows a known form of sewing machine 10 mounted on a base plate 12. The sewing machine 10 may, for example, be a Union Special sewing machine. The sewing station is at 20 where one or more needles 21 may be used, as is well understood in the art. Immediately in front of the sewing station 20 is a cutting station 30 at which a cutter blade 31 moves up and down in reciprocating manner at high speed to effect, in cooperation with a fixed blade, not shown, trimming off of the terminal portion of the stocking toe. The severed ends are then immediately sewn together. The distance between the cutting and sewing positions may, for example, be of the order of one-quarter inch. The reciprocating cutter blade 31 is, in the drawing, mounted at the forward end of a lever arm 32 which pivots about pivot pin 33. The cutter is driven in known manner by means not shown, as are also the needles at the sewing station.
To assist the stocking through the cutting and sewing stations, and to discharge the cut and sewn stocking, an endless belt 22 of friction material is provided. This belt may be mounted and driven by any suitable means. In the drawing, the endless belt 22 is shown passing over a forward pulley 23 and a rear pulley (not visible). The rear pulley is shown to be driven by an adjustable speed electric motor 25 mounted on a suitable base such as 26. The motor drive shaft 27 is journalled in a bracket 28. A cover guard 29 is provided. Guard 29, which is supported adjustably at its forward end, as by the bracket 34, also carries the support bearing for the axle of the forward pulley 23. The adjustment of the vertical position of the forward end of the belt 22 is by any suitable means. In the drawing an adjustable stud 35 is illustrated.
Reference is now made to FIG. 2, wherein the lower portion of a stocking 60 is illustrated. Stocking 60 has a heel portion 61, a foot portion 62, and an open toe portion 63. A run guard 64 is connected between the toe portion 63 and the foot portion 62. The open toe portion 63 terminates at its lower end in a ravel guard 65.
To complete the stocking illustrated in FIG. 2, the open toe 63 must be sewn together. As has been indicated hereinabove, it is important from a sales appeal standpoint, that the seam produced during the closing operation be absolutely straight and be parallel to a course. To achieve this result, in accordance with the method and means proposed by the present invention, a bead 66 is knitted circumferentially, along or parallel to a course, using well-known knitting techniques. This bead 66 is located near the open end of the toe, inward of the ravel guard 65, forming between the ravel guard 65 and the bead 66 a narrow run-off portion, identified in the drawing by the reference numeral 67.
Returning now to F 1G I, in accordance with the present in vention, the sewing machine 10 is provided with a guide which is identified comprehensively in the drawing by the reference numeral 40. Guide 40 comprises a lower-half guide plate 41 and an upper-half guide plate 42 positioned in end-to-end almost-abutting relation, and held in that position by a generally U-shaped brace or bracket member 44. The guide plates 41 and 42 are preferably of transparent plastic. Brace 44 is secured to the upper-half guide plate 42 by the plate 46 and is secured to the lower-half guide plate 41 by the angle 45, the latter being secured to the base plate 12. The means just described for supporting the guide plates 41, 42 are merely intended to be illustrative of one suitable means. Any other suitable means may be employed, so far as the invention is concerned.
The almost-abutting edges of the plates 41 and 42 are grooved with generally semi-circular grooves, as seen in crosssection in FIG. 6. The generally semi-circular grooves, are less than 180, forming between the two half guide plates a guide passage 50 which is generally circular in cross-section but slotted at the 90 and 270 regions to allow for entry of the stocking fabric. The forward end of the guide passage 50 is flared or trumpeted as at 51 to facilitate the operator in entering the bead 66 of the stocking toe into the guide passage. The guide passage 50 extends rearwardly from the flared front end 51 and terminates at the cutting station 30 just in front of the cutter 31, as seen in FIG. 4.
To close the toe of the stocking, using the form of apparatus illustrated in FIGS. l-6, the operator takes, for example, the toe portion of the stocking in her hands, inserts the fingers of her one hand into the open end of the toe and spreads her fmgers to fold the circle on the two corners of the toe with onehalf of the bead 66 superimposed on and in alignment with the other half. She then inserts the aligned superimposed bead halves into the flared end of guide passage 50, with the main foot portion of the stocking on the near side of the guide passage and the terminal or ravel guard end on the far side, as illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawing. In FIG. 2, the half-circle portion of the bead 66 extending from A to B via C will be referred to as the bead half ACE, and the half-circle portion extending from A to B via D will be referred to as the bead half ADB. While the method herein described and claimed is not limited thereto, it is preferable for the operator to place the bead half ACB on top of the bead half ADB, as indicated in FIG. 5.
After inserting the superimposed bead halves into the guide passage 50, the operator urges the foot of the stocking rearwardly toward and into the cutting and sewing stations, in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3. The feed dogs of the sewing machine pull the stocking rearwardly in 'well understood manner, and this rearward movement of the stocking is later assisted by the drag belt 22 which functions to keep the stocking straighter during the sewing operation, and also to remove the stocking from the sewing area.
In order that the drag belt 22 can adequately discharge the stockings t the rear of the seamingmachine, the usual chain severing mechanism is employed to separate each stocking.
1n the preferred embodiment, a wedge-shaped spreader 55 is provided, located at the rearward portion of the guide passage 50, just ahead of the cutting station 30. The function of spreader 55 is to spread the stocking at the cutter and sewing stations. As seen in cross-section of FIG. 6, the spreader 55 is a wedge-shaped block having along its divergent edge a depending flange 56 which engages the upper surface of the stocking fabric in the region between the bead 66 and the run guard 64. The width of the wedge spreader 55 at its rear is equal to the width of the stocking fabric between the bead 66 and the run guard 64 in that portion of the stocking toe along the bead half ACB, whereat the run guard is spaced from the bead by a relatively narrow non-varying width, as seen in FIG. 3. Thus, by reason of the divergent disposition of the spreader flange 56 between the apex of the spreader 55 and its rear edge, the stocking fabric is spread in relatively taut fashion between the bead 66 and the run guard 64, and this condition tends to continue as the stocking foot is moved through the cutting and sewing stations.
At the cutting station 30, the cutter 31 trims the stocking fabric along the inside edge of the bead 66. The edges are then immediately sewn together at the sewing station which is spaced rearwardly from the cutter 31 by a small distance, of the order of A inch. During the cutting and sewing of that portion of the stocking fabric which first reaches the cutting and sewing stations, the last part of the stocking fabric is still being guided by the bead in the passage 50. The resultant seam is absolutely straight and absolutely parallel to the stocking courses.
Following the sewing of the severed edges, or in the language of the art, following closing of the toe, the stocking is pulled further toward the rear by the drag of the moving endless belt 22 and discharged. For this purpose, the belt 22 is positioned at an angle relative to the axis of the guide passage 50, the rear end of the belt being to the left side of the front end, as viewed looking in from the front. Thus, when the finished stocking leaves the surface 36 of the sewing machine 10, the stocking falls off the base 12 and drops into a collection basket or bin.
It should have been mentioned above, that at the cutting station 30, a collection chute is provided, located just in front of the cutter 31 on the far side of the guide passage 50 as viewed in FIG. 1, for receiving the trimmed terminal portion of the stocking toe. This trimmed terminal portion as viewed in FIG. 5, extends from the inward or left side of the superimposed bead 66 to and including the ravel guard 65.
By the method and means illustrated, described and claimed, the toe of the stocking is closed by a seam which is straight and parallel with the courses of the stocking. The resultant seam compares very favorably with seams made by prior-an techniques in which the stocking toe is manually impaled on the points of a looping machine, but the time required to make the closing seam, and hence the cost, is very much less.
In FIGS. 79, the guide tube, identified as 150, is used for guiding the toe portion of a stocking 160 to a known form of looping machine 100, instead of to a sewing machine as in FIGS. l-6. The guide is comprised of a left half-plate 141 and a right half-plate 142 positioned in end-to-end almost-abutting relation and held by brace 144. The plates 141- --l42 are horizontally disposed and supported in position just above the rotating looper 100 carrying the radial looper points 101 by any suitable means, not shown. As seen in FIG. 9, the almost-abutting edges of the plates 141 and 142 are each grooved with a generally semi-circular groove, each less than 180, forming between the plates 141-142 the guide passage which is of generally circular cross section but slotted vertically. The forward end of the guide passage 150 is flared or trumpeted as at 151 to make it easier for the operator to insert the bead halves ACE and ADB of bead 66 of the stocking toe into the guide passage 150 in side-by-side relation.
As seen best in FIG. 8, the guide half-plates 141 and 142 are supported just above the looping points 101 in such horizontal position that the guide tube 150 is tangential to the circle formed by the tips of the looping point circle. The toe portion of the stocking just below the bead halves is held in flat wrinkle-free condition so that when the stocking is moved by operator tangentially forward toward the looping points, the stocking fabric is engaged and impaled on the looping points 101 as the looping machine 100 rotates in the clockwise direction indicated by the arrow. Trimming and sewing to close the toe is then performed in the usual manner by known forms of trimming and sewing mechanisms indicated in the drawing by the reference numeral 200.
While the preferred embodiments of this invention have been described in some detail, it will be obvious to one skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the invention as hereinafter claimed.
l. A method of closing the toe of ladies stocking comprisa. knitting a single bead parallel to a course in the toe region inward of the terminal end;
b. flattening the toe to superpose half the bead on the other half;
c. preventing sliding movement of the bead in directions normal to the bead while allowing sliding movement in the lineal direction 9f the bead by confining the superd. sliding the head portion within the guide toward the working station, the stocking fabric adjacent the bead sliding along through the slots in the side wall of the tubular guide;
. at the working station beyond the end of the tubular guide, trimming the toe along the inside edge of the superposed bead halves to remove the terminal end of the stocking, including the bead; and
bead superposed on itself for receiving within the tube two superposed bead halves of the flattened toe region for allowing sliding movement of the toe portion in the lineal direction of the bead while preventing movement of the bead in directions normal to the bead; and
b. and bracket means supporting said guide tube from a point substantially forward of the working position to al most the working position.
f. sewing along the trimmed edge to close th 3. Apparatus according to claim 2 further characterized in 2. In a machine adapted for use in closing the toe portion of 10 that Said Slotted guide tube is formed P) a P of f l circular knit hosiery, the toe portion of which is provided with rectangular flat Plates Supported y sald bracket means In a a single bead parallel to a course and located inward of the ter- Fommon Plane in almt'abutting relation, and minal end of the toe, said machine having a toe-closing \vork m that the almost'abumng edges of Said Plates are each P ing station, the improvement which comprises the provision "ided with a generally semi'circ ular groove h Y semijcir' cular grooves with almost-abutting edges forming, in combinaa. a guide tube having opposing slots i h id wall and a tion, the generally circular cross-section passage of the guide center passageway of generally circular cross section aptube wlth opposmg slots the slde wan thereof proximately equal in cross-sectional area to that of the