US 3605666 A
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R. KIMMEL EI'AL SUBFACE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING SAME Filed June 13, 1969 TUFTED CARPET WITH COMPATIBLY DYABLE NEEDLEBONDED EMPZEQ Sept. 20, 1971 1N VENTORS .RICHARD KIMMEL ROBERT GROWAN ARTHUR R. HILD ATTORNEY United States Patent TUFTED CARPET WITH COMPATIBLY DYABLE NEEDLEBONDED SUBFACE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING SAME Richard Kimmel, Libertyville, and Robert G. Rowan, Arlington Heights, 111., and Arthur R. Hild, Tustin, Calif., assignors to Ozite Corporation, Libertyville, 111.
Filed June 13, 1969, Ser. No. 833,087 Int. Cl. D05c 17/02 US. Cl. 112-410 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A patterned tufted carpet includes a thin needlebonded subface which visually masks the scrim and the bases of the tufts, and the tufts and subface fibers are equally, compatibly dyable so that the coloration and light reflectance are uniform. The carpet is made by needling the subface onto the scrim, tufting through the scrim and subface, and then dying or printing.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to tufted carpeting, and particularly to an improved tufted carpet which is readily uniformly dyable.
It is quite diflicult to satisfactorily dye tufted carpeting, and it is particularly diflicult to imprint a clear pattern on such carpeting. One reason for this is that it is difficult to dye the bases of the tufts. Another reason is that many scrim materials are not readily dyable, particularly polypropylene scrims which are otherwise especially desirable. If the scrim does not accept the face dye at all, or if it does not accept the dye to the same extent as the tufts, the carpet will lack the desired uniformity of coloration and pattern clarity.
'It is important to note in this connection that reflectance of light plays a major part in the color the eye detects. If a scrim base as used in the conventional and typical tufted carpet does not accept dye compatible to that applied to the tufts, the scrim will actually shadow light and detract from the overall light reflectance desired.
Various attempts have been made to solve this problem. Carpet scrim has been predyed or woven from pigmented material in various shades in an effort to mask these undesirable effects. Synthetic fiber producers have developed various cross sections of fiber to improve light reflection. Tufting machine manufacturers have designed equipment which reduces the spacing of the tuft stitches and the distance between the tufts in the running direction of the machine. None of these attempts have been totally satisfactory, and this is particularly true with the advent of carpet printing machines which should be capable of reproducing patterns with definition and clarity of color equivalent to woven carpets.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the general object of this invention to provide an improved, readily dyable tufted carpet by providing a needlebonded subface which is dyably compatible with the tuft material and thus provides light reflectance between and at the bases of the tufts. With carpet made according to this invention, light is reflected from all points uniformly, including any subface areas that might be involved thus producing total reflectance. The result is a sharper, clearer, more vivid vibration of color to the eye and a truer yield of desired color and/or patterned effects that up until now could only be achieved with woven carpets as opposed to tufted carpets. The invention encompasses a product and a process of manufacture that are highly satisfactory and versatile while "ice being relatively simple and inexpensive. Other objects and advantages will appear from the description to follow.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a manufacturing line for practicing the method of the invention,
FIG. 2 is a schematic fragmentary view in cross section, through the plane 2--2 shown in FIG. 3, illustrating a piece of carpeting formed according to the invention, and
FIG. 3 is a schematic fragmentary top plan view of the carpet of FIG. *2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred method of manufacturturing carpeting according to the invention. The preferred method involves several types of apparatus, all of which are well known to the art so that they have been shown only in block form and will not be described in detail.
The carpeting is built on a scrim 1 fed from a supply roll 2. The scrim 1 is preferably a weave of polypropylene filaments, although jute, burlap or other woven or non-woven scrims could be used. The polypropylene scrim is preferred becuase of its other physical characteristics, but this type of scrim has not heretofore been fully satisfactory because of its poor dye charactreistics and it is a particular feature of the invention that such scrim can now be used to full advantage.
After any preliminary treatments (not shown) that may be desired, a conventional lapper 3 is used to deposit on the upper or face surface of the scrim 1 a uniform web or batt of garnetted staple fibers 4. The use of the lapper 3 is not critical, however, and the web could, for example, be deposited directly on the scrim 1 by the web former (not shown). Fibers of 14 inches in length are preferred, and may be of any suitable material such as nylonsubject to the dyability require ments discussed hereafter.
The product then passes through a usual needle loom '5 which acts to needle the fibers into a layer 6 that is bonded to the face of the scrim 1, this process often being referred to as needlebonding. The layer 6 serves as a subface as will be described and comprises nonwoven but intertwined fibers 4 the ends of some of Which extend through the scrim 1 to bond the layer 6 thereto. The thickness and density of the layer 6 can be varied as desired, but to achieve the optimum in light reflectance, it has been found that a relatively thin but dense layer 6 which uniformly covers the scrim 1 is best.
After needlebonding, the product passes through a conventional tufter 7 which tufts yarn 8 through the scrim 1 and subface layer 6 to develop a face comprising tufts 9 which extend above the subface 6. The base portions 9'the portions immediately above and adjacent the scrim 1are surrounded by the fibers 4 of the subface 6. The yarn 8 may also be of any suitable material such as nylon, but must be compatible with the fibers 4 as will be described. The tufts 9 may be of the loop type shown or may be cut, and their spacing may be varied although it is another particular feature of the invention that relatively wide spacing can be used without detracting from the appearance of the final product.
After tufting, the material passes through a suitable printer 10 to achieve any desired pattern. This simply involves applying dyes in localized areas, and any feasible number of colors and any desired pattern may be used. Where no pattern or range of colors is desired, only a suitable dyeing apparatus (not shown) is used. It is still another particular feature of the invention that it is adapted 3 for use with continuous printers or dyers in which dyestuffs are applied from above.
After printing or dyeing, the carpeting is subjected to any further processes that may be desiredsuch as the application of a secondary backing or foam cushionand is then wound onto a roll 11 for storage or delivery.
As illustrated by FIGS. 2 and 3, the subface 6 effectively visually covers the scrim 1 so that it cannot be seen from above and it also surrounds and effectively visually covers the bases 9' of the tufts 9. As previously indicated, the thickness and density of the subface 6 can be varied by varying the amount of fiber 4 used or the needling process, but as also previously indicated it is preferable to provide a relatively thin but dense layer 6, using no more fibers 4 than are necessary to develop a uniform layer 6 that effectively covers the scrim 1 and tuft bases 9', or in other Words that is visually continuous. For usual applications, no more than six ounces of fibers 4 per square yard of carpet should be necessary. Expressed in another way, a layer 6 that represents no more than 20% of the total thickness of the carpet will generally accomplish the desired result.
Also as mentioned above, the yarn 8 and fibers 4 may be of any material, but they must be dyeable and must also be compatible so far as dyability is concerned. As used herein, compatible materials are those which will take substantially identical colors from the same dyestuff. In other words, the resulting colors should be similar enough in hue, value and chroma so as to be substantially the same to the eye. It might be most convenient in this regard to use chemically identical materials for the yarn 8 and fibers 4; but non-identical materials can be compatibly dyable and those skilled in the art can readily determine and evaluate this characteristic.
In FIGS. 2 and 3, the line AA illustrates a line of color demarcation in a pattern, the material on one side being of one color and that on the other being a different color, and stippling has been used to distinguish one color from the other. Because the subface 6 and tufts 9 are compatibly dyable, the color extends uniformly downwardly along a sharp vertical line, the line AA as seen in FIG. 2, for the entire visible depth of the carpet. In other words, the subface 6 serves as a background or field which takes exactly the same color and pattern as is applied to the top portions of the tufts 9. The resulting product has an appearance of great depth and exceptional pattern clarity. The subface 6 completely visually covers the scrim 1 which might otherwise have no color or a different shade and show through to destroy the overall visual effect, and is effective in this regard even if the carpet is bent as in a stairway installation. Further, the subface 6 surrounds and visually covers the tuft bases 9' and thus avoids the problem of dying these portions to the same extent as the tuft tops, which is quite difficult ordinarily.
The product and process shown are especially adaptable to high speed, continuous printing or dying apparatus in which dyestuif is applied from above. With the subface 6, it is possible to dye completely down through the visible depth of the material even with such a vertical dying process, whereas with ordinary tufted carpets dying the 4 tuft bases 9 and other areas under the enlarged tops of the tufts 9 with such processes presents a particularly serious problem.
The invention provides an improved product, and a process for making it, which is characterized by depth and clarity of pattern and color, due essentially to the use of the compatibly dyable subface 6 and tufts 9. Although a preferred embodiment of the product and process have been shown, it will be obvious that some modifications in both might be made Without departure from the spirit of the invention. It is not intended, therefore, that the invention be limited by the showing herein or in any other manner except as may specifically be required.
1. A method of manufacturing tufted, dyed carpeting using scrim having high longitudinal and lateral tensile strength and yarn, wherein the yarn is adapted to be dyed using a particular dye system, said method comprising: selecting staple fibers that can be dyed using the said dye system; then needling a layer of such fibers onto one surface of the scrim to develop a thin subface of fibers which is supported by the scrim and which effectively visually covers said one scrim surface; then tufting the yarn through the scrim and subface to develop a tufted face made up of tufts extending above the subface, said scrim providing substantially all of the dimensional stability for the tufted product; and then using said dye system to simultaneously color the subface and the tufted face.
2. Dyed tufted carpeting material comprising: a scrim having high longitudinal and lateral tensile strength and which provides substantially all of the dimensional stability for the carpeting material; a layer of staple fibers of a material which can be dyed using a particular dye system, said layer being needled onto one surface of the scrim to define a thin subface which is supported by the scrim and effectively visually covers said one scrim surface; and yarn of a material which can be dyed using the said dye system, said yarn being tufted through the scrim and subface to define a tufted face supported by the scrim and extending above the subface, the subface and tufted face being colored by means of said dye system.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,825,827 10/1931 Smith. 2,303,203 11/1942 Paris et al. 2,349,236 5/1944 Bodle. 2,706,324 4/1955 Cogovan. 2,810,950 10/1957 Rice. 3,394,043 7/1968 Parlin et al. 161-67 3,434,793 3/ 1969 Pratt 862 3,485,569 12/1969 Newby et al. 82l 3,488,819 1/1970 Jackson 2872.2R 3,535,192 10/1970 Gamble 1l24l0X JAMES R. BOLER, Primary Examiner