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Publication numberUS3550820 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1970
Filing dateJun 11, 1969
Priority dateJun 11, 1969
Publication numberUS 3550820 A, US 3550820A, US-A-3550820, US3550820 A, US3550820A
InventorsO'boyle Kenneth M
Original AssigneeKenneth M O Boyle
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Garment treating apparatus
US 3550820 A
Images(11)
Previous page
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Kenneth M. OBoyle 210 Palomas NE, Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87108 [21 1 Appl. No. 832,205

[22] Filed June 11, 1969 [45] Patented Dec. 29, 1970 [54] GARMENT TREATING APPARATUS 1 1 Claims, 14 Drawing Figs.

3,421,668 l/l969 l-loisveetal. 3,433,396 3/1969 Swartz ABSTRACT: A garment treating apparatus has a frame having an upper support portion on an upper end of a tubular standard with an expansible form depending from the upper support portion. The expansible form has a plurality of contoured and padded sections enclosed within an inflatable permeable airbag, with the expansible form sections being movable by adjustment means for expanding and contracting the expansible form to conform to a garment to be treated. Steam means discharge steam into the expansible form and air bag and vacuum means introduce a vacuum within the expansible form. Control means are carried on the frame for controlling operation of the adjustment means, steam means, and vacuum means. Brake means are associated with the adjustment means for holding the expansible form in a selected position conforming to the garment to be treated. An airflow conduit extends into the air bag for flow of heated air thereinto for heating and inflating the air bag.

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Kenneih M. OBoyle ATTORNEYS PATENTEU M029 1970 SHEET 10 [1F 11 INVENTORv .m w wm B m Ofifi Y nn M e n w PATENTED B8329 1976 saw 11 [If u INVENTOR. B 0' le Kenne'i'hBYM. 0' MA? TORNEYS GARMENT TREATING APPARATUS The present invention relates to garment treating apparatus, and more particularly to an improved apparatus for steam treating, pressing, forming, finishing and drying the upper portions of trousers and the like.

I-Ieretofore, garment treating apparatus for treating upper portions of trousers and the like employed a fixed oval or semicircular buck and a textile fabric air bag for ballooning the trousers to size. Such devices do not properly support rear seat portions of the garment, resulting in distortion of the garment and the fixed bucks are limited to a few sizes of trousers, such as the intermediate sizes. Prior devices force the respective garment to conform to the fixed buck, rather than conforming to the garment. Pleat pressing members on prior garment pressing devices do not properly align with the pleats of a wide range of waist sizes, such as 28 inches to 48 inches.

The principal objects of the present invention are: to provide an improved garment treating apparatus for shaping, forming, pressing, steam treating, and drying upper portions of trousers, slacks and the like in a single lay for a wide range of waist sizes, such as 28 inches to 48 inches, all without resorting to other means for finishing the upper portions of the trousers; to provide such a garment treating apparatus having an expansible permeable pressing or treating form having a plurality of permeable, padded and contoured form sections arranged in a substantially oval or elliptical pattern conforming to the upper portions of a wide range of sizes of garments to be treated; to provide such a garment treating apparatus having such an expansible form enclosed within a permeable air bag which is secured to and movable with the form sections for filling voids between the form sections and properly shaping and finishing noncritical portions of the garment between the form sections during steam and heated air cycles, thereby providing full support to the upper portions of larger sizes of trousers, slacks, and the like; to provide such a garment treating apparatus having automatic braking or locking means for holding the expansible form in selected positions corresponding to the size of the respective garment being treated, thereby preventing movement of the form sections during treatment of the garment which could stretch or distort the garment; to provide such a garment treating apparatus having an auto matic vacuum means for controlling the inflatable air bag in relation to expansion and contraction of the expansible treating or pressing form, thereby drawing excess portions of the air bag into neat folds between the form sections and for simultaneously drawing crotch and seat portions of the air bag upwardly and inwardly out of a crotch portion of the form during contraction thereof, thereby facilitating loading of a garment on the expansible form; to provide such a garment treating apparatus wherein the air bag has a high porosity at the I I sides and leg end portions and has limited porosity at the top for restricting escape of a fluid medium therethrough; and to provide such a garment treating apparatus of sturdy and durable construction which is economically manufactured, is rapid and positive in operation, and is particularly well suited for the proposed use.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will he become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein are set forth by way of illustration and example certain embodiments of this invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a garment treating apparatus embodying features of the present invention and is shown on a reduced scale.

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the garment treating apparatus shown in FIG. 1, having pleatclamping means in an open position and an expansible pressing form in a retracted state.

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the opposite side of the garment treating apparatus shown in FIG. 2, and having the pleat clamping means in an open position and having the expansible pressing form in an expanded condition with a large pair of trousers mounted thereon.

FIG. 4 is anenlarged top plan view of the garment treating apparatus having a hood or cowling removed in order to better garment treating apparatus particularly illustrating steam heating means and a portion of steam discharge means.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of the garment treating apparatus showing pleat clamping and pressing means, and is taken substantially along line 8-8 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of a component of the steam discharge means.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the several contoured members of the expansible pressing form, having a permeable air bag removed therefrom to better illustrate the construction thereof, and is shown in a retracted state.

FIG. 11 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the contoured members of the expansible form shown in FIG. 10,

having the said members in an expanded state to better illustrate the construction and operation thereof.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged transverse sectional view through the several contoured members of the expansibleform shown in an expanded state, and having the permeable air bag mounted thereon and is taken substantially along line 12-12 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the expansible pressing form particularly illustrating the relation of the permeable air bag to the members of the expansible form and is taken substantially along line 13-13 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a sliding mechanism component of the form expansion means, taken substantially along line 14-14 of FIG. 4. I

Referring now more in detail to the drawings:

The reference numeral 1 generally designates a garment treating apparatus for steam treating, pressing, forming, finishing and drying the upper portions of trousers and the like. The garment treating apparatus 1 is supported on a frame 2 having a base structure 3 and an elongated tubular standard 4 supported on the base structure 3 and extending upwardly therefrom with an upper support portion 5 mounted on an upper end of the tubular standard 4. An expansible garment treating or pressing form 6 depends from the upper support portion 5 and is adapted to expand and contract to conform to a garment 7, such as trousers, slacks and the like. A pair of self adjusting pleat pressing clamps 8 and 9 are operated in conjunction with the expansible form 6. v

The base structure 3 may be of any suitable construction,

such as a casting or a series of welded plates, and is hollow in order to accommodate foot pedals and electrical switches therein, as will later be described. The tubular or hollow standard 4 is illustrated as a cylindrical member secured to the base structure 3 and extending upwardly therefrom to a position considerably above the base 3 and is closed at either end by upper and lower flange plates 10 and 11 respectively, thereby forming a steam tight chamber 12, as will later be described.

In the illustrated structure, the upper support portion 5 is a planar flat horizontal support member secured to and extending forwardly from the standard 4 and is directly over the base structure 3. A steam distributor assembly 15 is secured to an underside of the upper support member 5 and is positioned adjacent a forward end thereof, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 9. The steam distributor assembly 15 extends downwardly into be described.

Heated air supply means are provided for inflating a permeable air bag 17 which is mounted on and encloses the expansible form 6. The heated air supply means are illustrated as a motor driven air blower 18 which is centrally located over the upper support member and the air blower 18 is carried by a pair of ears or lugs 19 and 20 mounted on angular brackets 21 which in turn are carried by the upper support member 5, as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The air blower 18 is provided with an air intake opening in the bottom of a blower housing, and air entering therein is heated by means of a suitable steam radiator 22 which is carried within the blower housing and the radiator 22 extends across the air intake opening of the blower housing.

Heated air is discharged from the air blower 18 into the expansible form 6 and permeable air bag 17 by means of a conduit 23 which communicates with a suitable electrically operated air valve 24 which in turn communicates with an air discharge tube 25. The air discharge tube or conduit 25 is connected to the steam distributor assembly 15. The heated air discharge tube 25 communicates with a conduit 27 which terminates within the air bag 17 for expanding same, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 9.

Referring particularly to FIG. 9, the steam distributor assembly 15 has a hollow ellipsoid manifold 28 surrounding the heated air conduit 27. A pair of steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 having a plurality of orifices 31 are connected to a bottom member or wall 32 of the manifold 28. A lateral steam conduit 33 is connected to a rear portion of a sidewall 34 of the manifold 28. The steam heating tube 16 follows a serpentine path and is secured to and forms a part of the steam distributor assembly 15. The steam heating tube 16 engages the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 and the lateral steam conduit 33.

Steam enters the garment treating apparatus 1 from a suitable source of supply (not shown) which is connected to a pipe or conduit 35 which is connected to the steam heating tube 16 by means of an elbow fitting 36. The steam heating tube 16 runs along the sides of, and is soldered to, the steam conduit 33 and the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 for maintaining the steam conduit 33 and the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 in a heated condition to avoid the formation of condensate therein during use of the garment treating apparatus, as best seen in FIGS. 4,5,7 and 9.

A steam conduit 37 is connected to the terminal end of the steam heating tube 16. The steam conduit 37 communicates with steam heating tubes 38 and 39 which are soldered to the under side of the support member 5 for maintaining same in heated condition to avoid the formation of condensate thereon when steam is discharged into and through the expansible form 4 during use of the garment treating apparatus. The steam heating tube 38 is formed in a series serpentine bends and the steam heating tube 39 is formed in a generally arcuate path enclosing the steam heating tube 38, as best shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 7.

A steam conduit 40 is connected to the terminal ends of the steam heating tubes 38 and 39. The steam conduit 40 is connected at its terminal end to the steam radiator 22 within the housing of the air blower 18. A steam conduit 41 is connected to the discharge side of said radiator 22 and the steam conduit '41 communicates with the interior of the standard 4 by means of a steam discharge tube 42 which extends downwardly into the standard 4 sufficiently far in order that free moisture in the form of condensate (discharged from the tube 42) will not be picked up and discharged through a steam discharge valve 43 i when the latter is actuated, as will be later described, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5 and 7.

A steam conduit 44 is connected to the bottom of the standard 4 and extends laterally out of the base structure 3 and communicates with a conventional steam trap (not shown) for the purpose of discharging spent steam and condensate from the garment treating apparatus, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3.

The magnetic steam valve 43 communicates with the top center of the standard 4 by means of an elbow 46 and a conduit 47 which extends downwardly into the standard 4 for the purpose of obtaining dry steam therefrom, as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5. The elbow 46 is connected to an intake side of the magnetic steam valve 43.

A discharge side of the magnetic steam valve 43 is connected to the lateral steam conduit 33 and to a central vacuum system (not shown). In the illustrated structure, a close nipple 48 is connected to the discharge side of the magnetic steam valve and communicates with a union 49 connected to thesidewall of a close turn elbow 50. Opposite ends of the close turn elbow 50 are connected to the steam conduit 33 by means of an elbow 51 and to magnetic vacuum valve 52. The vacuum valve 52 is connected to a vacuum conduit 53 exte nding rearwardly out of the garment treating apparatus 1, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5, and 7. 1

The magnetic steam valve 43 and the magnetic vacuum valve 52 will not be actuated simultaneously during use of the garment treating apparatus, and they will not, therefore, be in conflict one with the other, as will later be described.

When the magnetic steam valve 43 is actuated, dry steam will flow from the chamber 12 in the standard4 into the conduit 47, through the elbow 50; the steam conduit 33; a the manifold 28; and will be discharged through the orifices 31 of the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 into and through the. expansible form 6 and permeable air bag 17 and thence through the fibers of the garment under treatment; and simultaneously, with the resultant reduction of pressure within the standard 4, steam will be caused to flow through the steam heating tube 16; and the heating tubes 38 and 39; and the steam radiator 22 thereby maintaining the steam distributor assembly 15; the support member 5; and the radiator 22 in heated condition during use of the garment treating apparatus, as best seen in FIGS. 4,5, 7and 9.

When the magnetic vacuum valve 52 is actuated, the vacuum flow will be through the orifices 31 of the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30, the manifold 28', the steam conduit 33; and the elbow 50; thus these members serve the dual purpose of introducing a vacuum within the expansible form 6 and also carrying and distributing the pressing steam to and within the expansible pressing form 6.

The means for expanding and contracting the expansible form 6 are illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 as a series of elongated slots 55 to 64, inclusive, provided in the support member 5. The slots 55 to 64, inclusive, are arranged so as to form an elliptical pattern in the forward end of the support member 5 above the expansible form 6, and each of the slots 55 to 64, inclusive, is provided with a pair of grooved guides 65 which are secured to the support member 5 and which are disposed one on either side of the said slots 55 to 64, inclusive. Series of blocks or slides 66 to 75, inclusive, are provided within respective slots 55 to 64, inclusive. Each of the slides 66 to 75, inclusive, is carried within its respective slot by means of roller bearings 76 which ride in a groove 77 provided in each of the sides ofthe guides 65, as best seen in FIGS. 4,5, 6 and 14.

Lower bosses of each of the slides 66 to 75, inclusive, extend downwardly through the slots 55 to 64 inclusive, in the support member 5 and carry elongated connecting members in the form of form expansion rods 78 to 87, inclusive, which rods, in turn, carry the several contoured members of the expansible form 6, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 14.

A pair of semicircular turntables 88 and 89 are'provided for 7 operating the slides 66 to 75, inclusive, and the turntables 88 and 89 are carried by a pair of vertical shafts 90 and 9] which are journaled at their lower ends in the support member 5 and at their upper ends in a bracket 92 carried by the angular bracket 21, as illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6.

Particularly as shown in FIG. 6, a series of pivotal links 93 interconnect the turntables 88 and 89 with the slides 66 to 75, inclusive, for the purpose of moving same along the respective slots 55 to 64 in response to the pivotal movement of the shafts 90 and 91, thereby expanding and contracting the expansible form 6.

A pair of spur gears 94 and 95 are secured near upper ends of the shafts 90 and 91 to mesh with a transmission spur gear 96 which is carried on an elongated vertical shaft 97 which is journaled near its upper end in the bracket 92 and at its lower end in an ear or lug 98 carried by the brackbt 92, as best seen in FIGS. 4 and 5.

In the illustrated structure, power means are operatively connected to the turntables 88 and 89'by; a lateral arm 99 being secured near the upper end of the shaft 90, at a position between the spur gear 94 and the turntable 88. The a lateral arm 99 extends outwardly from the shaft 90 and is pivotally secured at its outer end to a plunger 100 of an air cylinder 101 by means of a suitable clevis 102.

The air cylinder 101 may be of conventional design and manufacture and is provided with a suitable compression spring (not shown) therein for the purpose of retracting the plunger 100 and the mechanism appended thereto when the cylinder 101 is void of compressed air. The air cylinder 101 is carried by a bracket 103 which is, in turn, carried by the support member 5, as best seen in FIGS. 4 andS.

The upper end of the shaft 97 is provided with a fixed arm 104 to which is secured a suitable air diaphragm 105 which carries a suitable brake shoe 106 mounted on the plunger of the diaphragm 105. The brake shoe 106 is engageable with an upper surface of the bracket 92 when compressed air is applied to the air diaphragm 105, thereby affording a means for locking the expansible form 6 in a selected position, as will later be described. I

Compressed air is supplied to the garment treating apparatus 1 from a suitable source of supply (not illustrated) through an air tube 107 which enters at the rear of the garment treating apparatus 1 and communicates with an air manifold 108 which is carried by a bracket 109 which is supported on the support member 5, as best seen in FIGS. 4 and A suitable electrically operated form adjustment air valve 110 is connected to the air manifold 108 by means of a nipple or conduit 111 and the air valve 110 and the air cylinder 101 are interconnected by a suitable flexible air conduit 112 for supplying air to the cylinder when the air valve 105 is energized.

Operation of the brake shoe 106 is controlled by a suitable electrically operated brake control air valve 113 which is carried by the angular bracket 21 and is connected to a compressed air supply conduit 114 by means of a union tee 115 and an air conduit 116. The air supply conduit 114 is connected to the air manifold 108 for obtaining its supply of compressed air therethrough, and a suitable flexible air conduit 117 interconnects the brake control air valve 113 with the air diaphragm 105 for the purpose of supplying air to the latter when the air valve 113 is energized, as best illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5.

When the form adjustment air valve 110 is energized, compressed air will be admitted to the air cylinderl01, expanding the latter, thus bringing the slides 66 to 75, inclusive, and the forming rods 78 to 87, inclusive, into a contracted position as shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. When the form adjustment air valve 110 is deenergized, the compression spring (not shown).

within the air cylinder 101 will retract the plunger 100 into the air cylinder 10], thus carrying the slides 66 to 75, inclusive,

' and the form expansion rods 78 to 87, inclusive, into an expanded state or position, as shown in FIG. 5.

When the brake control air valve 113 is energized, compressed air will be admitted to the air diaphragm 105, thereby effecting a brake or locking of the form expansion mechanism in a selected position. When the brake control air valve 113 is Referring now to the expansible form 6 as illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 11, the expansible form 6 comprises a series of contoured padded sections,.designated by the lettersA, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. The sections, A to H, inclusive, form a small elliptical shape when contracted, and form a large elliptical shape when expanded, as best shown in FIGS. 10 to 13 inclusive.

Each of the expansible form sections, A to H, inclusive, has a top plate 118 and a bottom plate 119 with a series of small diameter rods 120 interconnecting the top and bottom plates, and the rods 120 are bent, shaped, or formed so as to conform to the proper shape of the respective form section of the trouser top they are to fill, as best seen in FIGS. 10, 11 and 12.

The sections A to H inclusive of the expansible form 6 may be made of any suitable material, such as a heavy gauge wire or a suitable metal mesh fabric, or any othersuitable mate rial which will freely pass steam and air therethrough while affording sufficient support as a base of a pressing form.

It is desirable that all metal parts comprising these sections be provided with a suitable coating-material, such as silicone rubber, which will be unaffected by heat and moisture of free steam, and which will prevent the steam from reaching bare metal surfaces which could result in the formation of condensate within the expansible form 6.

Each of the several sections of the expansible form 6 is provided with an individual pad 121 which is encased in a suitable textile fabric cover 122 which is permeable to a fluid medium and which cover holds the pad 121 securely in place on the respective form section. The pad 121 may be of any suitable material which will offer sufficient resiliency and which will freely pass a fluid medium, such as steam or air, therethrough.

With continued reference to the expansible form 6, it may be seen in FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 that the sections C and G are formed or arched corresponding with the proper shape of a pair of trousers at the sides or outseams thereof, and that sections C and G are disposed along the major axis of the elliptical form. Sections A and E are disposed along the minor axis of the elliptical form, and section B is formed or arched to properly fit the center rear of the trouser top (FIG. 5) and section A is formed to fit the front center or fly portion of the trouser top and is provided with an open end elongated slot for receiving the crotch of trousers, as best seen in FIGS. 5, l0 and 11. The form sections B and H are shaped to fit the front portions of the trouser top where the pleats appear, and the sections D and F are formed or arched to fit the rear portions of the trouser top above the hip pockets.

When the form expansion mechanism is expanded, as previously described, the forming rods 78 to 87, inclusive, will carry their respective form sections outwardlyinto a separated or open position, thereby forming an enlarged elliptical shape, such as is illustrated in FIGS. 5, 11 and 12. The patch path of the form sections is such that when the form 6 is expanded, such as in FIGS. 11 and 12, the sections C and G will still be in line with the major axis of the elliptical form and in the proper positions for filling the side seam areas of larger sized trousers and the sections A and E will still be in line with the minor axis of the elliptical form and will properly fit the front center and rear center portions, respectively, of the larger sized trousers. A crotch slot 123 in the lower end of section A does not change in size or shape during expansion and contraction of the expansible form 6 and will still fit the crotch of larger sized trousers, as illustrated in FIG. 11.

With continued reference to FIG. 11 and the expanded state of the form, the form sections B and H are still in position for supporting the pleat areas of larger sized trousers (the pleats being further apart as the trouser size increases), and the form sections D and F are also still in the proper position for supporting the biased hip sections (above the hip pockets) of larger sized trousers.

It will now be understood that the aforementioned critical 7 areas of the trouser top (the arched side sections; the pleat sections; the arched hip sections; the arched center rear section; and the bifurcated center front section) will all be properly formed and supported by the padded contoured sections of the expansible form 6, whether the form is in a retracted state for small trousers, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 10, or in an expanded state for large trousers, as shown in FIGS. 3, 11 and 12, or in any expanded state therebetween, for intermediate sized trousers. The proper contour of the waist portion of the trousers will thereby be maintained, regardless of the expansion and contraction of the expansible form 6 or the size of the trousers being treated thereon, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3.

It is noted that the form sections D, E, and F are considerably shorter in length than are the remaining sections of the expansible form 6, thus leaving the lower seat sections of the trouser top to be treated and finished by the inflatable air bag 17. The inflatable air bag 17 is mounted over the sections of the expansible form 6. The bag 17 is similar in shape to the upper portions of a pair of trousers, and as large in size as the largest sized trousers to be treated on the apparatus. The air bag 17 has a crotch portion 124 which extends from the top of the elongated crotch slot 123 of section A to the lower end of the center rear section E. The crotch portion 124 passes between the steam discharge tubes 29 and 30 of the steam distributor assembly 15.

The air bag 17 has a top portion 125 thereof closed and of steam and a portion of the static air therethrough.

The top portion 125 of the air bag 17 is preferably formed of a textile fabric which is woven with sufficient tightness and is treated to prevent the excessive escape of steam, air or vacuum therethrough. The top portion 125 is provided with an opening 127 therein which is fitted over a lower end of the steam manifold 28 and is suitably secured thereto as by a drawstring (not shown) or by a large hose clamp 128, as

shown in FIG. 5. The top portion 125 of the air bag 17 has suitable grommets 129 for securing the bag top on the forming rods 78 to 87, inclusive, as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 13.

The air bag 17 is a closed member and will retain sufficient heat as radiated by the steam discharge assembly 15 to maintain the members of the expansible form 6 in heated condition when the garment treating apparatus 1 is not in use. When the garment treating apparatus 1 is in use, the heated air discharged into the air bag 17 will keep the form members dry and in a heated condition in spite of the intermittent discharge of steam therein, as will be later described.

With continued reference to the inflatable air bag 17, it is preferable that the air bag 17 be stitched smoothly all around to the pad covers 122 of the front expansible form sections A, B and H in order that steam and/or air, discharged into the air bag 17, will not enter sideways between the layers of the pad covers and the air bag, which action may result in the undesirable ballooning" effect in the front of the trousers. It is also preferable that the air bag 17 be stitched smoothly to the waistband portions only of the expansible form sections C, D, E, F and G in order that the air bag 17 may be allowed to fly loosely on the lower portions of these sections, thereby permitting the air bag 17 to conform exactly to the garment shape in order that there will be no leave off" marks of the expansible form sections on the face cloth of the garment at the points where the expansible form sections terminate.

Unsupported portions 130 of the air bag 17 between the form sections A to H, inclusive, of the expansible form 6 will be "rounded out" to properly fit the pants top in these noncritical areas when the expansible form 6 is expanded and the air bag 17 is inflated with heated air during the pressing operation. It is to be understood that, although the expansible form 6 will be locked in position at this time, this rounding out" of the bag 17 between the sections of the form 6 is made possible by the slight compression of the resilient padding material 121. When the air bag 17 is inflated during the pressing operation, any excess of the unsupported portions 130 of the air bag 17 will simply be gathered in folds between the expansible form sections (depending on the size of the trousers under treatment) and will not ta transfer impressions of the bag or the folds therein upon the face cloth of the garment, as best seen in FIGS. 12 and 13.

When the expansible form 6 is rest retracted from the expanded state illustrated in FIG. 12, as the retraction of the form starts, the vacuum valve 52 will be actuated, thereby introducing a vacuum within the air bag 17, with the vacuum drawing the unsupported portions into neat folds between the sections of the expansible form 6, as illustrated in FIG. 13. The excess of the air bag 17 is thereby out of the way when the expansible form 6 is retracted for loading a garment thereon, as will be later described. The top, lower seat, crotch and leg end sections of the air bag 17 will also be gathered into folds or puckers by the vacuum as the expansible form 6 is brought into a retracted state.

A lower seat portion 131 of the air bag 17 is left free to fill a lower seat portion of the trouser top when the bag 17 is inflated, in order that there will be no pocket impressions on the K outer fabric of the garment, and also in order that the air bag;

17 will automatically compensate for any variation in size or shape of the crotch or lower seat sections of the respective garment which may be due to alterations having been made in the garment, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5.

Referring now to the pleat clamping and pressing means, a pair of fixed brackets 132 and 133 are disposed on directly opposite sides of the front end of the support member 5 substantially in line with the elongated slots 56 and 63 respectively. Each of the brackets 132 and 133 has a pair of offset bosses 134 and 135 for supporting horizontally disposed shafts 136 and 137 respectively to which are secured a pair of angular arms 138 and 139 respectively. An angular bracket 140 is pivotally mounted on the free ends of the arms 138 and 139 and the bracket 140 has a press shoe or plate 141 mounted thereon. A pair of air cylinders 142 and 143 are secured to the tops of the fixed brackets 132 and 133 respectively for the purpose of operating the pleat clamp assemblies, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5 and 8.

The shafts 136 and 137 each extend into the housing enclosing the brackets 132 and 133, respectively. Each shaft has a spur gear 144 mounted thereon to mesh with a toothed rack 145. Each rack 145 is an extension of a plunger (not shown) of the air cylinders 142 and 143 and each rack is maintained in mesh and alignment with the spur gear 144 by means of the needle roller bearing 146, as best seen in FIG. 8.

Each angular arm 138 is complementary to, and in parallel conjunction with, the respective angular arm 139 and serves the purpose of helping to support the press plate 141 while keeping the press plate 141 in proper alignment with the pressing surface of the expansible form 6, as shown in FIG. 8 and as will be later described.

A double air valve 147 is mounted at the front center of the garment treating apparatus 1. A pair of manually operated air control knobs 148 and 149 are operatively connected to the air valve 147 and the knobs 148 and 149 project out the front of the garment treating apparatus, where they are in easy reach of an operator. The air supply conduit or feed line 114 connects to the rear of the double air valve 147, and a pair of air conduits 150 and 151 interconnect the air cylinders 142 and 143 respectively with their respective air control valves or knobs 148 and 149, as best seen in FIGS. 4, 5 and 8.

When the air control knob 148 is pressed in, it will admit compressed air to the cylinder 142, thereby causing the cylinder to force the respective rack 145 downwardlythereby closing the respective pleat clamp assembly 8. When the air control knob 149 is pressed in, it will cause the air cylinder 143 to close the respective pleat clamp assembly 9 on the op posite side of the garment treating apparatus 1. When the air control knob 148 is pulled out, it will exhaust the air cylinder 142, allowing the air cylinder retraction spring (not shown to return the clamp assembly. The same is true of the air control knob 149 and the air cylinder 143. Thus, the pleat clamp assemblies may be operated manually and individually, as will be later described.

Position A as shown in FIG. 8 of the pleat pressing clamps 8 and 9 is the open or disengaged position and positions B and C are the engaged or pressing positions with the expanded and retracted expansibleform 6 respectively;

A pair of electrical relay switches 152 and 153 are mounted on the top of the double air valve 147, and the switches are operated by the air control knobs 148 and 149, respectively. When either of the knobs 148 and 149 is pressed in, the respective switch 152 or 153 will energize the electric brake control air valve 113, thereby locking the expansible form 6 in position whenever either or both of the pleat clamp'assemblies are in use, as seen in F168. 4 and 5.

A pair of electric solenoids 154 and 155 are mounted on the back of the double air valve 147. When the solenoids 154 and 155 are energized, the air control knobs 148 and 149 will be pushed outwardly, thereby opening the relay switches 152 and I 153. Opening the relay switches 152 and 153 unlocks the exof condensate thereon and to avoid the objectionable gloss or shine which may be imparted to some fabrics by the contact of bare metal surfaces. The expansible form sections B and H will be directly behind the pleat areas of the trousers regardless of the size of the trousers placed on the form (as previously me described), and the pleat clamp press plates 141 will be in line with the sections B and H of the expansible form 6 and with the pleats of the trousers regardless of tile the size of the trousers, as seen in FlGS.4,10.andl1. a

The press plates 141 will be in vertical'alignment with the faces of the sections B and H of the expansible form 6,

.whether the form is in the retracted position C for small trousers, as shown in FIG. 8, or whether it is in an expanded position B for large trousers as shown in FIG. 8,or at any given position therebetween, depending on the size of the trousers under treatment. The expansible form sections B and H will automatically be in the proper position behind the pleats of any size of trousers as the form expands, and the pleat clamps will automatically be in line with the sections B and H as the form 6 expands.

The upper portion of the garment treating apparatus is enform adjustment air valve 110, thereby admitting compressed air to the air cylinder 101, causing the'expansible form- 6 to retract to its minimum size; and (3) energize the magnetic vacuum valve 52, introducinga vacuum within the expansible form 6 and air bag 17, thereby causing the unsupported portions 130 of the air bag 17 to be gathered in folds as the expansible form 6 retracts.

It is, therefore, to be understood that the depression of the foot pedal 160 will cause the expansible form 6 to be unlocked (if locked); will cause the pleat clamps to open (if closed); will cause the expansible form 6 to fully retract; and will cause the air bag 17 to be gathered in folds withinthe expansible form 6 as the form retracts. When the foot pedal 160 is released, the vacuum will be shut off; the form will expand; and the pleat clamp assemblies will remain open and the expansible form will remain unlocked.

With continued reference to the means for controlling the expansion and contraction of the expansible form, it is to be understood that when the foot pedal 161 is depressed, its respective electrical switch (not shown) within the base structure 3 will be caused to close and will: (1) energize the solenoids 154 and 155 which will push the air control knobs 148 and 149 forward, thereby opening the electrical relay switches 152 and 153, which will exhaust the brake control air valve ,113, thereby unlocking the expansible form 6, and simultaneously with the forward movement of the air control knobs 148 and 149, the air cylinders 142 and 143 will be exhausted, thereby releasing the pleat clamp assemblies; and (2) energize the form adjustment air valve 110, thereby admitting compressed air to the air cylinder 101, causing the expansible form 6 to retract to its minimum size.

It is, therefore, to be understood that the depression of the foot pedal 161 will cause the expansible form 6 to be unlocked (iflocked); will cause the pleat clamps to open (if closed); and will cause the expansible form 6 to fully retract. When the foot pedal 161 is released, the expansible form will expand, the

pleat clamps will remain open, and the expansible form 6 will closed within a hood or cowling 156 having a series of electrical pushbuttons 157, 158 and 159 disposed on the front thereof and in easy reach of an operator.

A series of foot pedals 160, 161, 162 and 163 are provided in the front end of the base structure 3 where they are in easy reach of an operator. Each of the foot pedals 160, 161, 162 and 163 is operatively connected to a suitable electric switch (not shown) mounted within the base structure 3 and the switches are operated individually by their respective foot pedals during use of the garment treating apparatus 1.

Referring to the means for controlling the expansion and contraction of the expansible form 6, it is to be understood that when the foot pedal 160 is depressed, the respective electric switch (not shown) within the base structure 3 will be causedto close and will: (1) energize the solenoids 154 and 155 which will push the air control knobs 148 and 149 forward, thereby opening the electric relay switches 152 and 153, which will exhaust the brake control air valve 113, thereby unlocking the expansible form 6, and simultaneously with the forward movement of the air valve knobs 148 and 149, the air cylinders 142 and 143 will be exhausted, thereby releasing both of the pleat clamp assemblies,8 and 9; (2) energize the remain unlocked. The action caused by depression of the foot pedal 161 is similar to the action caused by the depression of the foot pedal except that the vacuum valve 52 is not energized when the foot pedal 161 is depressed, the purpose for this being that the pedal 161 is used to retract the expansible form 6 when removing a finished garment from the device, and a vacuum is not desired in this phase of the operation as the vacuum may tend to disfigure the finished garment or may tend to draw the pockets of the garment into the spaces between the expansible form sections, where they could become ensnared as the form retracts.

Referring to the means for presteaming the garment 7, the operator may employ either of two means which are provided inthe device: (1) the operator may depress the foot pedal 162 which will close its respective electrical switch (not shown) within the base structure 3 thereby energizing the magnetic steam valve 43, thereby discharging steam into the expansible form 6 and air bag 17; and simultaneously energizing the brake control air valve 113, thereby locking the expansible form 6 in position to prevent stretching or distorting the garment 7 during the presteaming operation; or (2) the operator may use the automatic means for presteaming the garment by depressing the pushbutton 157, which will cause a preset electrical timer (not shown) to be energized, which will, in turn, energize the magnetic steam valve 43 and the brake control air valve 1 13 for a given length of time, thus freeing the operator during the automatic presteaming cycle, as will be later described.

In relation to the pleat holding and pressing means, it is to be understood that when the foot pedal 163 is depressed its respective electric switch (not shown) within the base structure 3 will cause the magnetic vacuum valve 52 to be energized, thereby introducing a vacuum within the expansible form 6 and air bag 17 for the purpose of holding the pleats of the trousers fast against the face of the expansible form prior to closing the pleat clamps thereon, as will be later described.

As regards the automatic steaming and drying operation, an automatic preset timing device (not shown) will be provided in the garment treating apparatus, and the timing device will have two phases of operation, and will start by the depression of the pushbutton 159.

The first phase of the timing device (not shown) will be the steaming cycle, wherein the timing device will energize the magnetic steam valve 43, thereby discharging a blast of steam into the expansible form 6 and into the air bag 17 and simultaneously the timing device (not shown) will energize the brake control air valve 113, thereby locking the expansible form 6 (for reasons previously described), and at the end of the first phase the timing device (not shown) will interrupt the current to the steam valve 43, thus terminating the steaming cycle,

The second phase of the timing device (not shown) will be the static air cycle wherein the timing device will continue current to the brake control air valve 113, thus keeping the expansible form 6 in a locked position during the air cycle, and simultaneously the timing device (not shown) will energize a blower motor 164 and the magnetic air valve 24, thereby discharging heated air into the expansible form 6 and the air bag 17 for inflating the air bag 17 and drying and setting the trouser top. At the end of the second phase, the timing device (not shown) will automatically shut itself off, curtailing the current to the blower motor 164, the magnetic air valve 24, and the control air valve 113,

The reason for keeping the expansible form 6 locked during the second phase of the automatic timing device is that since the pleat clamps may not necessarily be closed in plain or unpleated trousers, the locked position of the expansible form assures that the form will not move due to static air pressure in the air bag 17 during the air drying and setting cycle.

The center pushbutton 158 is a reset control for the electrical timing device (not shown) previously described, and that the timing device, electrical wiring and switches will all be of conventional design and manufacture, and, therefore, detailed illustration thereof has not been included herein.

When idle, the garment treating apparatus has the pleat clamps 8 and 9 in the open position A and the expansible form 6 in a fully expanded state, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 5, therefore, in placingthe garment treating apparatus 1 in operation, the operator will have the trousers to be treated in hand and will first depress the foot pedal 160, thus bringing expansible form 6 into a fully retracted state, as previously described and as is illustrated in FIG. 2. The trousers are then slipped over the expansible from 6 and the foot pedal 160 is released, thus allowing the expansible form 6 to expand to the corresponding size of the trousers placed thereon, as previously described and as is illustrated in FIG. 3. Then, if necessary, the trouser top may be presteamed by either of the two means previously described (depression of the foot pedal 162 or the pushbutton 157). Thus, if the trousers are badly wrinkled, this presteaming will relax the fibers of the garment 7 and allow it to drape properly on the expansible form. If the trousers are of the pleated variety, the pleats then are adjusted on the face of the expansible from 6, in sequence, and the pleat clamps are closed thereon by manipulation of the air control knobs 148 and 149. The vacuum may be employed in this phase of the operation, as previously described, by the use of the vacuum pedal 163. The pushbutton 159 is then depressed, thereby inducing the automatic steaming and air drying cycle, as previously described, and during which time the operator may absent himself from the garment treating apparatus 1 in order to press the legs of a previously topped pair of pants on another machine. At the end of this automatic steaming and drying cycle the trouser top will be finished and ready for removal from the garment treating apparatus, and the operator will then depress the foot pedal 161, thereby releasing the pleat clamps and simultaneously unlocking and retracting the expansible form 6, as previously described, and at which point the topped trousers may be easily slipped from the garment treating apparatus, and upon release of the foot pedal 16]. the

expansible form 6 will again expand to its fullest degree, where it will be ready for reloading and the cycle of operation may be repeated.

Although I have illustrated and described a preferred and practical form of my invention, the garment treating apparatus may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof, and the foregoing is, therefore, to be considered in all respects as illustrative.

I claim:

1. A garment treating apparatus comprising:

a. a frame having a base portion and an upper support portion and an elongated tubular standard supported on said base portion and extending upwardly therefrom, said tubular standard having opposite ends thereof closed to form a steam tight chamber, said tubular standard having said upper support portion mounted on an upper end thereof;

b. an expansible treating form depending from said upper support portion of said frame;

c. adjustment members operatively connected to said expansible form for expanding and contracting same to conform to a garment to be treated;

d. steam members communicating with said expansible form for discharging steam into said expansible form, said steam members communicating with said chamber within said standard for receiving dry steam therefrom;

e. vacuum means having members communicating with said expansible form for introducing a vacuum within said expansible form;

f. control means operatively connected to said adjustment members and said steam members and said vacuum means for controlling operation thereof;

g. an inflatable permeable air bag mounted on and enclosing said expansible form in a substantially airtight relationship;

h. brake means associated with said adjustment members for holding said expansible form in a selected position conforming to the garment to be treated;

i. air flow members extending into said expansible form for discharging heated air into said expansible form for expanding said inflatable permeable air bag; and

j. heating means carried on said framefor heating said expansible form.

2. A garment treating apparatus comprising:

a. a frame having an upper support portion;

b. an expansible treating form depending from said upper support portion of said frame, said expansible treating form having a plurality of elongated padded sections;

c. adjustment members operatively connected to said expansible form for expanding and contracting same to conform to a garment to be treated, said adjustment members being operatively connected to each of said form members to move all of said padded sections between an ex- I tended position and a contracted position and any selected position therebetween;

d. an inflatable permeable air bag mounted on and enclosing said expansible form in a substantially airtight relationship, said inflatable air bag enclosing said padded sections and having unsupported portions between adjacent padded sections;

e. steam members communicating with said expansible form for discharging steam into said expansible form;

. vacuum means having members communicating with said expansible form for introducing a vacuum within said expansible form to draw the unsupported portions of said air bag between said padded sections when said vacuum means is activated; and

g. control means'operatively connected to said adjustment members and said steam members and said vacuum means for controlling operation thereof.

3. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 2 including:

a. a brake shoe operatively connected to said control means and movable over a fixed surface and selectively engageable therewith; and

b. an arm supporting said brake shoe and operatively connected to said adjustment members whereby said adjustment members are held in a selected position when said brake shoe is engaged with said fixed surface.

4. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein:

a. said brake shoe is adapted to be moved between an extended position engaging said fixed surface and a retracted position in response to operation of said control means;

b. said adjustment members are operatively connected to an extensible member whereby adjustment members are moved in response to operation of said extensible member; and

c. said extensible member is operatively connected to said control means and is movable between an extended and contracted position in response to operation of said control means whereby the extensible member is adapted to position said padded sections in the extended position and in the contracted position and in any selected position therebetween and said brake shoeis adapted to hold the padded sections in the selected position.

5. A garment treating apparatus comprising:

a. a frame having an upper support portion;

b. an expansible treating form depending from said upper support portion of said frame;

c. adjustment means associated with said expansible form for expanding and contracting same to conform to a garment to be treated;

d. steam means associated with said expansible form for discharging steam into said expansible form;

e. vacuum means associated with said expansible form for introducing a vacuum within said expansible form;

f. control means associated with said adjustment means and said steam means and said vacuum means for controlling operation thereof;

g. an inflatable permeable air bag mounted on and enclosing said expansible form in a substantially airtight relationship;

h. air flow means extending into said expansible form for discharging heated air into said expansible form for expanding said inflatable permeable air bag;

i. heating means carried on said frame for heating said expansible form;

j. brake means associated with said adjustment means for holding said expansible form in a selected position conforming to the garment to be treated;

k. a pair of pleat pressing clamps;

l. a self-adjusting linkage associated with each of said pressing clamps for moving same into pressingengagement with a garment on said expansible form; and

m. control means associated with each of said self-adjusting linkages for moving same into and out of a pressing position.

6. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said adjustment means includes:

a. at least one elongated connecting member extending between and connected to said adjustment means and to each of said sections of said expansible form;

b. a plurality of guides associated with said upper support portion;

c. a slide member mounted on each of said connecting members and movable within a respective guide; and

d. power means operatively connected to each of said connecting members for moving said expansible form sections between said contracted position and said expanded position.

7. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein:

a. said power means is an extensible member operatively connected to said control means; and b. said operative connection of said power means to said connecting members is a plurality of turntables each operatively connected to said extensible member and a plurality of elongated linkages each having one end connected to one of said turntables and the other end thereof connected to a respective slide member. 7

8. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said steam means includes:

a. a closed tubular manifold within said expansible fonn;

b. steam flow means communicating with said tubular manifold; and

c. steam discharge members communicating with said manifold, said steam discharge members being positioned within said expansible form and having a plurality of orifices for discharge of steam into said expansible form and air bag.

9. The garment treating apparatus asset forth in claim 8 wherein:

a. said heating means comprise a steam tube engaging said steam flow means and said steam discharge members and said upper support portion for heating same;

b. said air flow means extend through said manifold with the air flow means being between said steam discharge members; and

c. said steam tube extends through said manifold for heating said air flow means.

10. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said air flow means includes:

a. a motor driven air blower mounted on said upper support portion;

b. radiator means associated with said air blower for heating air passing therethrough;

c. conduit means connected to said air blower and extending into said expansible form; and

d. air valve means associated with said conduit means for controlling flow of heated air to said expansible form.

11. The garment treating apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said vacuum means includes said tubular manifold and said steam flow means and said orifices in said steam discharge members, said vacuum being created by actuation of vacuum valve means.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3679106 *Mar 16, 1971Jul 25, 1972Forenta LtdControl system for garment finishing apparatus
US3739960 *Sep 13, 1971Jun 19, 1973Mc Graw Edison CoGarment finishing hanger and loader therefor
US4459704 *Jul 6, 1982Jul 17, 1984Apparel Form CompanyMethod of forming cloth into three-dimensional shapes and the articles produced by that method
US4483467 *Jul 21, 1982Nov 20, 1984Apparel Form CompanyExpandable fabric mold
US4555814 *Apr 2, 1984Dec 3, 1985Apparel Form CompanyMolded plant
US5458265 *Nov 18, 1993Oct 17, 1995Levi Strauss & Co.Automated garment finishing system
US5593072 *Jun 6, 1995Jan 14, 1997Levi Strauss & Co.Automated garment finishing system
US5967386 *Jul 22, 1998Oct 19, 1999Chou; Kam WaTrouser pressing apparatus
US8122575 *Sep 30, 2008Feb 28, 2012Koos Manufacturing, Inc.Structure for supporting clothes to be decolorized, method of forming the same and method of using the same
WO2006048858A2 *Sep 27, 2005May 11, 2006Itamar HarcholTextile articles and thermal treatment thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification223/73
International ClassificationD06F71/00, D06F71/29
Cooperative ClassificationD06F71/295
European ClassificationD06F71/29B