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Publication numberUS3591061 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 6, 1971
Filing dateNov 10, 1969
Priority dateNov 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3591061 A, US 3591061A, US-A-3591061, US3591061 A, US3591061A
InventorsBoyes John T
Original AssigneeBoyes John T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for supporting and folding pleated fabric
US 3591061 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 [72] Inventor John T. Boyes 1834 Maine St., Quincy, 111. 62301 [21] Appl. No 875,022 [22] Filed Nov. 10, 1969 [45] Patented July 6, 1971 [54] APPARATUS FOR SUPPORTING AND FOLDING PLEATED FABRIC 5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

[52] U.S.Cl .l 223/32, 269/86 [51] Int. Cl A4111 43/00, D06j 1/00 [50] Field 01 Search 223/1, 28-35, 51; 269/86, 37,153, 315, 289, 91, 291, 296, 308, 309

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,058,634 10/1962 Wieneke 223/28 3,147,895 9/1964 Boyes 223/51 3,154,228 l0/l964 Klint..... 223/32 3,297,215 1/1967 Soto 223/28 3,424,356 1/1969 Gretchcll 223/32 3,445,044 5/1969 Boyes 223/32 3,506,169 4/1970 Hales 223/32 Primary Examiner-Jordan Franklin Assistant Examiner-Geo. V. Larkin Artorney-Michael E. Martin ABSTRACT: Apparatus for supporting and unloading pleated drapery panels from a drapery pleating and finishing machine. An elongated frame operable to be removably positioned beneath a pleated drapery panel includes a series of interconnected isosceles links forming a flazy tong" mechanism. Slender pins or rods, comprising the pivot axes of the interconnected links forming the lazy tong, extend into the folds of PATENTEUJUL slsm 3.591.061

SHEET 2 OF 3 PATENTED JUL 6|97| sum 30F 3 .591.061

APPARATUS ronsuaro arme AND rounnc PLEATED FABRIC I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Draperies and similar large pleated fabrics present a particular problem in the fabric cleaning industry in that, due to their size, they are difficult to handle for pressing-and restoring the pleats or soft folds. These folds as well as the general shape of a drapery panel are lost in the cleaning process. Improved apparatus for restoring shape and for forming pleats in drapery panels and the like is disclosed in applicants U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,147,895 and 3,445,044 issued Sept. 8, I964 and May 20, I969 respectively. The apparatus disclosed in the abovementioned patents includes spaced ,apart clamping mechanisms which are movable relative to each other to stretch and suspend a drapery panel for conditioning by exposing the panel to live steam from a steam table beneath the panel. The action of the steam causes the fabric to take a semipermanent set in the shape formed by the pleating machine whereby soft folds so formed enhance the appearance of a hung drapery.

A longstanding problem in the pleating of draperies concerns preservation of the pleats and the pressed condition of the fabric afterthe pleating process is finished. Draperies, being large and cumbersome, are extremely difficult to remove manually from conditioning apparatus of the general type referred to herein. Handling of the panel upon release from the suspended position usually results in at least partial destruction of the soft folds and the formation of unsightly wrinkles. Moreover, the handling procedure often requires two or three persons to remove the drapery from the pleating machine and place it ona hanger. It is also, of course, necessa- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides supportingand foldingmeans for pleated fabrics such asdraperies and the like which is operable to be used in combination with a fabric pleating apparatus. The presentinvention provides means for supporting and folding aconditioned drapery panel which has had semipermanent folds formed by .a conditioning apparatus of the type wherein spaced apart clamping mechanisms are operable to releasably suspend the panel over a-steam table.

The present invention further provides for'means for unloading a pleated drapery panel or the like from a pleating apparatus and for transporting said pleated panel without destroying the finished condition thereof.

In the present invention there is provided an elongated frame supporting a plurality of rods which comprise in part the pivot axes of a lazy tong mechanism. The supporting apparatus is operable to be transversely positioned with respect to the folds formed in a suspended drapery panel whereby the rods extend between the folds to support the panel. The lazy tong mechanism is operable to be contracted to bring the plural soft folds immediately adjacent each other to thereby facilitate removal of the panel from the pleating apparatus and transfer of the panel to an appropriate hanger without incurring wrinkles or distorting the pleats. The present invention also includes a clamping means pivotally attached to the supporting apparatus and adaptable to releasably clamp thesupporting apparatus to a pleating machine.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a plan view of a drapery pleating machine with the supporting apparatus of the present invention mounted thereon.

F FIG. 2 is a sectional elevation taken generally along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 isa side elevation, partially sectioned, of the supporting apparatus of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an end view of the supporting apparatus showing the clamping means for removably mounting the apparatus on the pleating machine.

FIG. 5 is a partial bottom view of the supporting apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a detail section view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT pleating machine 10 includes aframe 12 comprising elongated channels 14 and transverse members 16, one shown. The

,frame 12 is adapted to be mounted on vertical legs I7. The

machine 10 includes finishing means including steam headers 18 and 20 which are mounted transversely at opposite ends of the frame 12 and are interconnected by a series of steam pipes 22 running parallel substantially the length of the machine. The steam pipes 22 include a series of spaced apertures, not shown, for emitting steam under a foraminous sheet 24 which serves to diffuse and distribute the emitted steam. The machine 10 includes a pair of spaced apart clamping mechanisms 26 and 28. The clamping mechanism 26 includes a stationary platform 30 and a movable clamping member 32. The member 32 is operable to bemoved by a pressure fluid actuator 34 mounted on a support 36. The clamping mechanism 26 also includes a series of spaced pleat forms 38 and pleat fills 40 of whichonly a representative number are shown'in FIG. 2. The forms 38 and fills 40 are cooperable with the clamping member 32 and platform 30 to releasably hold a drapery panel 42 in the clamped position shown and comprise means for forming a series of equally spaced soft folds 44 in line with pennanent sewnpleats, not shown, formed adjacent one end of the panel.

The clamping mechanism 28 is of similar construction to the clamping mechanism 26 but is mounted on a longitudinally movable carriage 46 whereby the drapery panel 42 may be stretched to a suspended position above the foraminous sheet 24. The clamping mechanisms 26 and 28 are operable to releasably clamp the panel 42 by means of their respective movable clamping members and cooperating forms and fills. Complete constructional and operational details of the pleating machine 10 are disclosed in'applicants U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,l47,895 and3,445,044 referred to previously herein. Although the present invention is advantageously used in combination with the pleating machine. 10 it is contemplated that any .pleating apparatus including means operable to releasably suspend a drapery panel to form-foldsmay benefit from using the supporting and folding apparatus disclosed herein.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 a drapery handling apparatus 48 is shown positioned transversely on the frame 12 of the pleating machine 10 approximately midway between the clamping mechanisms 26 and 28 and beneath the drapery panel 42. The supporting apparatus 48 includes an elongated frame 50 preferably formed of structural aluminum channel. The frame 50 has a pair of longitudinal slots 52 running substantially the length thereof. (see FIG. 5) The slots 52 serve as guide means for a movably mounted system of interconnected isosceles or equal length links forming what is known in the art of mechanisms as a lazy tong. As may be seen in FIGS. 3,5, and 6 the lazy tong assembly, generally designated by the numeral 54, is made up of a series of alternate links 56 and pairs of links 58. The links 56 and 58 are of equal length and interconnected by a plurality of elongated pins or rods 60 which have a threaded end portion 62 extending through clearance holes in the ends and centers of said links. The endconnections of the lazy tong assembly are formed by links 55 and 57 which are approximately half the length of the links 56 and 58. The rods and links are held in assembly by nuts 64, two of which are threaded over the rod ends at the end connections of the links 56 and 58 so that the nuts may be locked in a position permitting relatively free pivotal movement of the links. The center connections of each pair of links 58, links 56 and rods 60 are retained to slide in the elongated slots 52 by a single nut 64 and a retainer 66, as shown in FIG. 5. The rods 60 thereby serve as pivot axes for the lazy tong assembly 54 as well as providing for an important function to be explained herein. The central center pivot connection of the links 56 and 58 is fixed to the frame 50 at 68 as may be seen in FIG. 5. An adjustable stop 70 mounted in the slot 52 is operable to limit the I extended position of the lazy tong assembly and thereby limit the spacing between the parallel rods 60.

Referring to FIG. 3, the lazy tong assembly 54 may be extended or contracted so as to move the spaced parallel rods 60 further apart or closer together, always with equal spacing between adjacent rods, by actuating means comprising cords 72 and 74 attached to a bracket 76 on the endmost pivot connection 78. The cord 74 is trained over a sheave 80 and terminated in a ring 82 for pulling the cord to extend the lazy tong assembly 54 as desired. The cord 72 terminates in a ring 84 and is operably to. be pulled to contract the lazy tong assembly to move the parallel rods 60 closely adjacent one another.

Referring to FIG. 1 through 4, the supporting apparatus 48 includes a clamp 86 pivotally connected to the frame 50 by a pin 88. The frame 50 is formed with keyhole shaped slots 90 to facilitate pivotal movement with respect to the clamp. The clamp 86 provides for removably fastening the supporting apparatus 48 to the frame channel 14 of the pleating machine 10. The clamp 86 includes a handle 92 pivotally connected thereto by an integral rod portion 94. The rod portion 94 is provided with adjustable clamping means comprising the threaded machine screws 96 threaded transversely through the rod portion 94 and locked in position by nuts 98. The adjustable screws 96 provide means whereby the handle 92 may be pivotally forced to the position shown in FIG. 3 to engage the frame channel 14 with great force'to clamp the supporting apparatus to the pleating machine with ease. The screws 96 V may be adjustably positioned to vary the clamping force and I to compensate for different frame widths encountered on various pleating machines. v

' In FIGS. 1 and 2 the supporting apparatus 48 is shown in position on the'pleating machine under the suspended drapery panel 42. Although at least one rod 60 extends into each fold 44 of the drapery panel 42, in FIG. 2 only a representative number of folds are shown and a representative number of rods 60 are shown aligned to extend into the folds 44 as formed by the forms 38 and flls 40 of the pleating machine. As may be seen in FIG. 2 the spaced supporting rods 60 are operable to support the drapery panel 42 so that the folds 44 remain substantially as formed when the ends of the panel are released by the clamping mechanisms 26 and 28, thereby preserving the finished condition of the panel. With the arrangement of the rods 60 serving as the pivot axes of the lazy tong assembly 54 adjacent folds 44 are supported by two rods and one rod, respectively. Incomplete folds at the sides of the panel may be held in position as by a suitable clip 100 on the outermost supporting rod or rods. As may be seen in FIG.

I, elongated cloth straps 102 may be loosely fastened at 104 and 106 on the frame 50 to cover the linkage of the lazy tong assembly 54 to prevent the bottoms of the folds from being caught and wrinkled upon contraction of the linkage assembly.

In operation, upon completion of the pleating process, the supporting apparatus 48 is turned on the side including a roller I08 and rolled into position transversely on the pleating machine 10 approximately midway between the clamping mechanisms 26 and 28, and beneath the drapery panel 42. The cord 74 is then pulled to exta'id the lazy tong assembly 54 so that the adjacent rods 60 are 'spaced to fit into adjacent folds 44 of the panel. Normally, the'adjustable stop 70 may be prepositioned'to limit the extended position of the supporting rods 60 to conform to the spacing of the forms 38. The supporting apparatus is then set upright so that the rods 60 are in port rods 60 of the supporting apparatus 48.

The drapery panel 42 is now free to be removed from the pleating machine 10. Large panels of fabric such as draperies are bulky to handle and if unloading is attempted manually the conditioned folds are usually wrinkled or distorted. To overcome this problem the supporting apparatus 48 provides means for bringing the folds 44 closely adjacent one another without wrinkling or distortion.

Pulling of the cord 72 will contract the lazy tong assembly 54 whereby the interconnected links 56, 58 and rods 60 on opposite sides of the center pivot 68 will move toward said center pivot until the folds 44 are substantially contiguous in side by side relationship. This action is accomplished while maintaining equal spacing between adjacent rods 60 along the length of the frame 50 and keeping the folds 44 from being distorted or stretched. The drapery panel is now neatly folded and snugly held by the now closely spaced adjacent supporting rods. The drapery panel in the folded position is, of course, easier to handle and place on a hanger or similar conveyance.

After actuating the lazy tong assembly to fold the drapery panel 42 the'same is unloaded from the pleating machine by pivoting the frame 50 into a substantially upright position as shown by the dashed lines of FIG. 2. The panel will, in the upright position, remain neatly hanging with all folds in place and with opposite ends of the drapery panel 42, previously clamped by the respective clamping means 26 and 28, hanging freely on each side of the supporting apparatus 48. The panel may now be easily removed from the supporting apparatus and placed on an appropriate hanger, or the handle 92 maybe operated to quickly release the clamp 86 from the frame of the pleating machine 10 and the supporting'apparatus itself may be used as a hanger and transporting means. The supporting apparatus 48 may be used to carry the drapery panel 42 without danger of the panel slipping due to the snugly held folds 44 between the adjacent rods 60. Moreover, use of the supporting apparatus 48 to carry the panel away from the pleating machine to its final hanging place will assure the drapery.

What I claim is:

1. In pleating apparatus for draperies and the like:

spaced apart means operable to releasably suspend a portion of a drapery panel;

means for forming said drapery panel in a plurality of soft folds;

finishing means operable to produce a semipermanent set of said folds in said drapery panel, and the improvement comprising:

supporting means operable to be removably positioned beneath said suspended portion of said drapery panel including a plurality of spaced supporting members extending into said folds of said drapery panel for supporting said folds upon release of said drapery panel by said suspending means, said supporting means including clamping means comprising a handle pivotally attached to said supporting means and operable to forcibly clamp said supporting means to said pleating apparatus.

2. In pleating apparatus for draperies and the like:

spaced apart means operable to releasably suspend a portion of a drapery panel;

means for forming said drapery panel in a plurality of soft folds;

finishing means operable to produce a semipermanent set of said folds in said drapery panel, and the improvement comprising;

supporting means operable to be removably positioned beneath said suspended portion of said drapery panel including a plurality of supporting members extending into said folds of said drapery panel for supporting said folds upon release of said drapery panel by said suspending means, said supporting means including clamping means pivotally attached thereto and operable to removably clamp said supporting means to said pleating apparatus whereby said supporting means may be pivoted from a substantially horizontal position of said pleating apparatus to a substantially vertical position to unload said drapery panel from said pleating apparatus.

3. ln pleating apparatus for draperies and the like:

spaced apart means operable to releasably suspend a portion of a drapery panel;

means for forming said drapery panel in a plurality of soft folds;

finishing means operable to produce a semipermanent set of said folds in said drapery panel, and the improvement comprising:

supporting means operable to be positioned beneath said suspended portion of said drapery panel comprising a lazy tong including a plurality of spaced parallel rods at least one rod extending into each of said folds for supporting said folds upon release of said drapery panel by said suspending means and linkage means interconnectingsaid rods and operable to move said rods relative to each other always maintaining equal spacing between adjacent rods to bring said folds closer together than as formed by said forming means.

4. The invention set forth in claim 3 wherein:

said spaced parallel rods comprise the pivot axes of said lazy tong.

5. In pleating apparatus for draperies and the like:

spaced apart means operable to releasably suspend a portion of a drapery panel;

means for forming said drapery panel in a plurality of soft folds;

finishing means operable to produce a semipermanent set of said folds in said drapery panel, and the improvement comprising:

supporting means operable to be positioned beneath said suspended portion of said drapery panel including a plurality of spaced supporting members at least one of said plurality of members extending into each of said folds, and said supporting means includes means operable to move said spaced supporting members relative to each other to bring said folds in said drapery panel closer together than as formed by said forming means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3058634 *Oct 12, 1961Oct 16, 1962Wieneke Carl MMethod and apparatus for spacing drapery pleats
US3147895 *Apr 9, 1962Sep 8, 1964Boyes John TApparatus for finishing drapery material
US3154228 *Sep 13, 1961Oct 27, 1964Alex DreierDrapery pleating and pressing machine
US3297215 *Jan 23, 1962Jan 10, 1967Enrique SotoPleating apparatus and method
US3424356 *Jun 5, 1963Jan 28, 1969Northwest Science Investment CDrapery pleating,finishing and size control machine
US3445044 *Oct 20, 1967May 20, 1969Boyes John TApparatus for forming pleats in drapes
US3506169 *Aug 4, 1967Apr 14, 1970Hales John HDrapery pleating and folding apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4042154 *Oct 4, 1976Aug 16, 1977Lawson Jack MDrapery marking apparatus
US4599958 *Mar 15, 1985Jul 15, 1986Multiple-Housing Drapery Services, Inc.Method and apparatus for making pleated draperies of arbitrary lengths
EP0708196A1 *Oct 17, 1995Apr 24, 1996Suntex LimitedCurtain having wave patterns, a method of making the same, and a packaged curtain
Classifications
U.S. Classification223/32, 269/86
International ClassificationD06J1/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06J1/00
European ClassificationD06J1/00