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Publication numberUS3677206 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1972
Filing dateJan 29, 1971
Priority dateJan 29, 1971
Also published asCA955801A, CA955801A1, DE2204123A1, DE7203221U
Publication numberUS 3677206 A, US 3677206A, US-A-3677206, US3677206 A, US3677206A
InventorsMacisaac John T Jr, Troy James E
Original AssigneeFieldcrest Mills Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for making tufted fabrics
US 3677206 A
Abstract
The apparatus includes cooperating tufting needles, pile formers and latch needles for forming pile tufts on a backing fabric while positioning small locking threads through lower bight portions on the tufts being formed to secure them to the backing fabric. To permit the use of less pile yarn for obtaining any given height of pile on the upper face of the backing fabric, the tufting yarns are under relatively high tension so that they are drawn upwardly relative to the backing fabric and so that portions of the locking threads passing through the lower bight portions are displaced upwardly into the backing fabric. Also, novel means are provided for guiding the locking threads into the hooks of the latch needles each time they enter through the tuft lower bight portions so that the latch needles will draw corresponding stitches of lockin thread through the respective lower bight portions.
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United States Patent Maclsaac, Jr. et al.

[ 51 July 18,1972

APPARATUS FOR MAKING TUFI'ED FABRICS [72] Inventors: John I. Maclsuc, Jr.; James 13. buy,

both of Eden, N.C.

[73] Assignee: Fleldcrest Mills, Inc., Eden, NC.

[22] Filed: Jan. 29, 1971 [211 App]. No.: 110,851

[52] US. Cl ..1l2/79 R, 66/85 A [51] Int. Cl ..D05c 15/22 [58] FieldofSearch ..112/79 R, 79A, 80, 266,410; 66/85 A [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,827,614 10/1931 Riviere ..l l2/266 X 3,253,426 5/1966 Mauersbcrger... 1 12/79 R 3,361,096 H1968 Watkins 12/79 R4n 3,421,929 l/l969 Watkins 1 12/79 R 3,428,007 2/1969 Wignall et al. ..1 12/79 R all FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 813,439 5/1959 Great Britain ..ll2/79R 821,702 10/1959 Great Britain Primary Examiner-James R. Boler Attorney-Parrott, Bell, Seltzer, Park 8: Gibson [57] ABSTRACT The apparatus includes cooperating tutting needles, pile formers and latch needles for forming pile tufts on a backing fabric while positioning small locking threads through lower bight portions on the tufts being fonned to secure them to the backing fabric. To permit the use of less pile yarn for obtaining any given height of pile on the upper face of the backing fabric, the tufiing yarns are under relatively high tension so that they are drawn upwardly relative to the backing fabric and so that portions of the locking threads passing through the lower bight portions are displaced upwardly into the backing fabric. Also, novel means are provided for guiding the locking threads into the hooks of the latch needles each time they enter through the tuft lower bight portions so that the latch needles will draw corresponding stitches of lockin thread through the respective lower bight portions.

10 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet l H 2 247 lo y a V 5 2H; fly-1 22 (O"-1 60) 2.3g?

2|; alar 22 fly-2 INVENTORS:

JOHN T MAcIsAAc, (T2,. and JAMES E. TROY MMQ/%, 4

ATTORNEYS Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet l uvvavmes ATTORNEYS Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTORS.

36m '1'. MACI$AAC,J'2.. and JAMES E: TROY ATTORNEYS Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet 4 Q mvsmons:

JOHN T. MAcIsAAcJz.

ATTORNEYS Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet 5 g 146 65a 7 ,s PAT TEEN 67 85a De-vmcr: 45 4 5! 52 5 CREEL. 5 o u AND R TENSDN R1 MEANS 57 l/VVEA/ r025: Jim: "I? MACISAAQIE.

andJ'AMEs E. TROY ATTORNEYS Patented July 18, 1972 3,677,206

8 Sheets-Sheet 6 T I26 1Z7 INVENTORS:

TOHNTMACISAACJR and Jams ETRQY ATTORNEYS I22 IZI 8 Sheets-Sheet 8 Patented July 18, 1972 APPARATUS roa MAKING rump FABRICS This invention relates to an improved apparatus for making tufted pile fabrics, and is particularly devised for making fabrics of the type disclosed in our copending application Ser. No. 110,967 filed concurrently herewith and entitled 'IUFIED PILE FABRICS AND METHOD OF MAKING SAME.

In most conventional tufting machines, tuf'ting needles insert pile yarns downwardly through a backing fabric in which pile loops are formed by loopers which enter the loops below the backing fabric and hold them a predetermined distance below the back of the fabric as the tufting needles subsequently withdraw upwardly from the backing fabric. The loopers subsequently withdraw from the loops as the backing fabric is advanced so that a portion of each pile yarn is positioned upon the upper, back face, of the backing fabric as the needles are again lowered to form a succeeding transverse row of tufts.

Such conventional tufling machines have many drawbacks in that considerable pile yarn is wasted on the back face or non-pile face of the fabric, and the loops or tufis are easily pulled out of the backing fabric even after a back sizing material has been applied thereto. Also, when variable-length pile tufts have been formed, it has been practically impossible to obtain a distinct line of demarcation between tufis of one height and tufts of a different height because of inherent variances in the particular type of robbing technique employed.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved apparatus for making tufted pile fabrics permitting use of less pile yarn for obtaining any given height of pile while firmly securing the pile tufts to the backing fabric, facilitating a higher rate of production than has been obtainable on conventional tufting machines heretofore, and wherein a clear line of demarcation may be obtained between adjacent tufts of different heights or lengths when variable-height tufts are desired in the pile fabric.

Another object of the invention is to provide an apparatus for making tufted pile fabrics wherein the lower bight portions of pile yarns, inserted through a backing fabric by tutting needles, are secured to the backing fabric by moving complementary latch needles into the lower bight portions being presented by the tufting needles, and utilizing means for guiding a locking thread, preferably of substantially smaller size than the pile yarns, through the hook of each latch needle. The hooks of the latch needles, with the locking thread therein, are then withdrawn from the respective pile yarn lower bight portions, so as to draw a loop locking thread through each lower bight portion.

Some of the objects and advantages of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view through the tuft-forming instrumentalities of the apparatus of this invention showing a tufting needle, a latch needle and a locking thread guide at the start of a cycle in an operation thereof;

FIGS. 2-7 are similar to FIG. 1, but showing successive stages in an operating cycle of the needles and the locking yarn guide;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary plan view taken substantially along line 8-8 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view taken substantially line 9-9 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a front elevation of a tufting machine embodying the invention with parts broken away;

FIG. 11 is a side elevation looking at the right-hand side of the tufting machine of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 12-12 in FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a side elevation of the tufling machine looking at the left-hand side of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is an enlarged fragmentary elevation, partially in section, taken substantially along line 14-14 in FIG. 10,

along showing mechanism for imparting lateral shifting or shogging movement to the pile formers;

FIG. 15 is a fragmentary rear elevation looking at the Mthand side of FIG. 14 and also looking at the opposite side of the mechanism for imparting lateral movement to the pile formers from that shown in FIG. 10;

FIGS. 16 and 17 are enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional views taken substantially along the respective lines 16-16 and 17-17 in FIG. 10; and

FIG. 18 is a detail of mechanism for imparting lateral and vertical reciprocating motions to the locking thread guides, taken substantially along line 18-18 in FIG. 1 7.

Referring more specifically to the drawings and especially to FIGS. [-9, the tufling machine embodying the apparatus of the instant invention comprises tuft-forming instrumentalities including a row of plain tufting needles 20, a row of complementary latch needles 21, respective movable locking thread guides 22, and a row of pile formers 23, all of which rows extend laterally of the path of travel of a suitable backing fabric 24. The backing fabric may be of woven or knitted construction and is shown in the form of a woven fabric formed from weft yarns 24a interwoven with warp yarns 24b and denoting respective transverse and longitudinal directions of the backing fabric 24.

Conveniently, and by way of example, the backing fabric is shown as being advanced in a substantially horizontal path of travel over a support means or bed plate 25 and past the tuftforming instrumentalities, with the pile formers 23 being positioned above the backing fabric, the tufiing needles 20 penetrating the backing fabric from above the same, and with the latch needles 21 and corresponding locking thread guides 22 positioned below the backing fabric 24. It is to be understood, however, that the backing fabric 24 may be advanced through the machine at an incline or in a vertical direction, if desired, with corresponding changes being made in the location and attitude of the tuft-forming instrumentalities, without departing from the invention. As is usual, the front portion of bed plate 25 is suitably slotted to accommodate passage of tufting needles 20 therethrough while supporting the backing fabric adjacent the needles 20.

A tensioned tufting yarn or pile yarn 26 extends downwardly through the eye of each tufting needle 20, and the eye of each thread guide 22 has a separate stitching or locking thread 27 extending upwardly therethrough. The locking threads 27 are under relatively lighter effective tension than pile yarns 26 and preferably are of a translucent synthetic material of substantially smaller size than the pile yarns 26 so as to be barely visible and present very little projection along the lower face of backing fabric 24.

Each latch 21 may be of a type generally used on circular knitting machines and comprises a shank 21a having a downwardly facing hook 2lb on its free rear end adapted to be engaged and thus closed by a latch 21c pivotally suspended from shank 21a. In those instances in which the pile yarn tufts are to be of only one height, it is apparent that all of the pile formers may be of the same effective height. As shown, however, the pile former 23 of FIGS. 1-7 includes two loop-forming stages or surfaces 23a, 23b of difl'erent effective heights selectively movable into and out of the tuft-forming zone or the plane of the vertically reciprocatory tufting needle 20.

A description of the operation of the tuft-forming instrumentalities will now be given, and the mechanism for supporting and operating the tuft-forming instrumentalities will be later described. According to the invention, each of the pile yarns 26 successively formed into a longitudinal row of pile loops or loop pile tufts 26:: on the upper face of backing fabric 24 as the tufting needles 20 successively penetrate backing fabric 24 and insert the pile yams through the backing fabric to form lower bight portions 26b on the loops.

As each successive lower bight portion 26b is inserted through the backing fabric, latch needles 21 cooperate with locking thread guides 22 to position locking threads 27 alongside the lower face of the backing fabric and through the successive lower bight portions to secure the loops to the backing fabric. Additionally, each successive lower bight portion 26b of pile yarn 26 is displaced upwardly by drawing the pile yarns upwardly relative to the backing fabric so that portions of the locking threads passing through the corresponding lower bight portions are displaced upwardly into the backing fabric.

The operation of the tuft-forming instrumentalities in forming tufts in the aforementioned manner will now be described with respect to the single set of instrumentalities shown in FIGS. 1-7 illustrating successive stages in one complete 360 cycle thereof. At the start or -360 position (FIG. I) it is to be assumed that tufling needle occupies its uppermost position above the plane of pile former 23, that as tufting needle 20 starts downwardly, the last previously formed lower bight portion 26b of pile yarn 26 and a loop 27a of locking thread 27 are looped beneath shank 21a of latch needle 21, and that the locking thread 27 extends rearwardly from the second last previously formed tuft lower bight portion 26b through the then open hook 21b of the latch needle, and through the eye of the corresponding thread guide 22 to the source, as further illusu'ated in FIG. 8. It should be noted that, whenever tufting needle 20 occupies its uppermost or 0-360 position, latch needle 21 will have completed a rearward stroke thereof to the broken-line position and will be in the course of a forward stroke thereof from right to left in FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 shows the position of the tuft-forming instrumentalities at about 45 in a cycle thereof in which pile former 23 has started a lateral shifting movement toward the observer, and latch needle 2] has withdrawn forwardly from the previously formed pile yarn lower bight portion 26b, pulling a succeeding loop 270 of locking thread 27 through the latter lower bight portion 261:. In FIG. 3, at about 60 in a cycle, pile former 23 has moved toward the observer sufficiently so that tufting needie 20 has started to move past the far side of pile former 23, thus looping pile yarn 26 across and above pile former 23.

With further downward movement of tufting needle 20, latch needle 26 withdraws from and casts off the previous locking thread loop 270 while drawing the succeeding locking thread loop through the previous loop 27a as in the successive 60, I20" and 180 positions of FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. Thus, by the time tufting needle 20 reaches its lowermost position as in FIG. 5, and due to the relatively high tension being applied to pile yarn 26, tufting needle 29 will have pulled the last preceding lower bight portion 26b upwardly into backing fabric 24 so that the entire corresponding lower bight portion is positioned above the upper face of backing fabric 24 or at least the upper surface of the lower bight portion is positioned above the plane of the lower face of backing fabric 24.

At the same time, the latter lower bight portion 26d aided in lifting the last locking thread loop 270 to be cast off of the latch needle and this, coupled with the tension being applied to the corresponding locking thread 27, causes the locking thread loop to be drawn upwardly against the lower face of backing fabric 24 to complete a stitch thereof while the portions of the locking thread passing through the corresponding lower bight portion are displaced upwardly into the backing fabric. It should be noted from the foregoing description that a portion of each locking thread 27 extending from a previously formed tuft lower bight portion 26b is looped around one leg of a next succeeding lower bight portion and then drawn through the latter bight portion and through a previously formed loop portion 270 of the same locking thread, also extending from the said previously formed lower bight portion, so as to form a stitch interconnecting the previously formed and next succeeding tuft lower bight portions 26b. Also, the tension means associated with pile yarns 26, and which will be later described, serves not only to maintain tension in the pile yarns but also serves to prevent slackening of the pile yarns during reciprocation of the tufting needles 20 so that the tufting needles will retract the previously formed lower bight portions of the pile yams into the backing fabric as the tufting needles penetrate the backing fabric and pull the pile yarns over adjacent pile formers while the tufting needles form succeeding lower bight portions adjacent the lower face of the backing fabric.

Afler the last locking thread loop 27a and the last lower bight portion 26b have been released as in FIG. 3, latch needle 21 starts a rearward stroke to the right from the position of FIG. 4 before tufting needle 20 reaches its lowermost position of FIG. 5. Thus, at about the 210 position in a cycle, latch needle 2l enters the new lower bight portion 26b of pile yarn 26, between one leg thereof and one side of tufting needle 20, as tufting needle 20 is moving upwardly as indicated in FIG. 6. While the latch needle 21 is moving rearwardly through the new lower bight portion 26b and through the new locking thread loop 27a, these loops swing the latch 21c to open the hook 21b as needles 20, 21 return to the 0-360 position of FIG. 1.

While latch needle 21 is moving rearwardly, however, the corresponding thread guide 22 is moving downwardly and also laterally toward the observer so that, at about the 285 position of a cycle (FIG. 7), the thread guide 22 becomes positioned below and adjacent the opposite side of the longitudinal plane of latch needle 21 from that in which it was previously positioned, as shown in FIG. 9. With further rearward movement of latch needle 20, the locking thread guide 22 then moves upwardly and away from the observer so that by the time latch needle 21 has reached its rear-most position, such as that indicated in broken lines in FIG. I, the locking thread 27 is again inserted through the hook 21b of the latch needle 21 so as to be positioned as in FIGS. 1 and 8.

A repeat cycle of tufting needles 20, latch needles 21 and pile yarn guides 22 is then effected in the manner heretofore described with the exception that pile formers 23 move from right to left or away from the observer in FIGS. 1-7 so that pile yarns 26 are again looped over the corresponding stages of pile formers 23 but in the opposite direction from that in which they were looped during the immediately preceding cycle of needles 20, 21 and locking thread guides 22. In other words, during alternate cycles of needles 20, 21 and guides 22, pile formers 23 move laterally in one direction, and during intervening cycles of needles 20, 21 and guides 22, pile formers 23 move laterally in the opposite direction.

Since pile formers 23 move laterally relative to needles 20, 21 and backing fabric 24, it follows that tufting needles 20 successively insert each pile yarn at substantially longitudinally aligned points in the advancing backing fabric 24 such that the lower bight portions 26b of each longitudinal row of loops 260 also are positioned in a corresponding row. Thus, a common locking thread 27 is positioned through the successive lower bight portions of each longitudinal row thereof.

Afier the loops 26a are formed, some or all of them may be severed to form substantially U-shaped tufts therefrom. The severing of the loops may be effected by use of conventional shearing apparatus and/or either or both of the loop-forming stages 23a, 23b of each of certain pile formers 23 or of all of the pile formers may be provided with suitable upwardly projecting cutter blades (not shown) on the free forward ends thereof. If a cutter blade is provided on a relatively low loopforrning stage 230 of any particular pile former 23, the cutter blade may project above stage 230 such a distance as to sever the low loops 26a only, or the blade may be of such height as to sever both the low loops and the high loops.

The tufting machine will now be described more in detail. Referring to FIGS. ll and 13, it will be observed that backing fabric 24 is drawn upwardly from a suitable supply roll 30 journalled on opposing composite side frame members 31a, 31b of a frame broadly designated at 31. From supply roll 30, backing fabric 24 passes over, under and over respective successive guide or tension rolls 32, 33, 34 (FIGS. 16 and 17) and then passes forwardly in a substantially horizontal path of travel over the fabric supporting means or bed plate 25 and through the tuft-forming instrumentalities. Bed plate 25 is carried by a transverse beam 31c of frame 31. From bed plate 25, backing fabric 24 passes forwardly beneath and partially around a first take-up roll 35, then over a second take-up roll 36, then downwardly and beneath an idler roll 37 (FIGS. 11 and 13), and thence forwardly to a suitable cloth roll-up or take-up means, not shown.

Take-up rolls 35, 36 are joumalled in laterally spaced brackets 31d, 31: (FIGS. 10, 11 and 13) secured to front portions of side frame members 310 and 31b. Intenneshing gears 35a, 35b are provided on corresponding ends of the shafts of take-up rolls 35, 36. The take-up rolls may be driven by an electric motor 40 (FIGS. and 11) carried by frame member 310 and connected by belt and pulley means 41, 42 to a main drive shafi 43 journalled in frame members 31a, 31b and extending through an upper housing portion 31f of frame 31. Belt and pulley means 44 also connect main drive shaft 43 to the input side of a gear box 45 whose output side has the shaft of first take-up roll 35 connected thereto, thus, driving the take-up rolls at a speed proportional to that of the rate of rotation of main drive shaft 43. Fabric tension roll 32 is joumalled in frame 31 and has a suitable braking device 46 (FIG. 13) thereon to maintain backing fabric 24 under predetermined tension as it is being advanced forwardly through the tuftforming instrumentalities.

The pile yarns 26 pass forwardly from a suitable source 50, such as a creel (FIG. 11), and over suitable rods 51, 52 between which individual weight members 53 are suspended on the pile yarns to maintain them under predetermined relatively high tension while preventing the occurrence of any slack therein. From rod 52, pile yarns 26 pass forwardly, then downwardly through suitable successively arranged pile yarn guide means 55, 56, 57 and thence through the eyes of the respective tufting needles (FIG. 16). The two lower pile yarn guide means 56, 57 are mounted for substantially vertical reciprocation with tufting needle 20, and the upper pile yarn guide means 55 is carried by frame 31.

As shown in FIG. 16, the upper portions of tufting needles 20 are suitably removably secured in a transverse needle supporting bar 60 suitably secured to the lower ends of a pair of substantially vertically disposed guide posts 61 supported for vertical movement in housing portion 31] of frame 31. The upper end of each post 61 is pivotally connected, by means of a link 62 (FIG. 16), to a corresponding crank arm 63 suitably secured to a tufting needle motion rocker shaft 64 journalled in housing portion 31f of frame 31. For oscillating needle motion crank shaft 64 to impart substantially vertical reciprocation to tufting needles 20, it will be observed in FIG. 12 that one end portion of rocker shaft 64 has another crank 65 fixed thereon.

One end of a cam-connecting arm 66 is pivotally and adjustably connected, as at 660, to crank 65. The pivot 66a is adjustable along a slot 650 provided in the crank 65. The other end of connecting arm 66 is mounted on an eccentric cam 67 fixed on main drive shafi 43. Thus, rotation of main drive shaft 43 and its cam 67 transmits substantially vertical reciprocation to tufting needles 20 through the intervening connections heretofore described.

The front portions of latch needles 2] are suitably secured in a common transverse latch needle support bar 70 positioned closely beneath the path of travel of backing fabric 24 and suitably secured to a plurality of transversely spaced guide blocks 71, only one of which is shown in FIGS. 16 and 17. Each guide block 71 is mounted for forward and rearward sliding movement on a guide rod 72 whose forward portion is suitably secured to a corresponding bracket 73. As shown in FIG. 10, brackets 73 extend downwardly and are suitably secured to a transverse frame member 31 extending between and suitably secured to side frame members 31a, 31b. The upper end of a crank arm 75 is pivotally connected to each guide block 71 (FIGS. 16 and 17). The lower ends of crank arms 75 are mounted on a common transverse shaft 76 journalled on side frame members 31a, 31b (FIG. 10).

A latch needle rocker shaft 80 (FIGS. 16 and 17) is journalled in side frame members 31a, 31b rearwardly of crank arms 75. Cranks B1 are fixed on and depend from rocker shaft 80 and are connected by respective links 82 to medial portions of the respective crank arms 75. As shown in FIG. 12, latch needle rocker shaft has at least one crank 85 fixed thereon and extending upwardly therefrom to which the lower portion of a cam-connecting arm 86 is pivotally and adjustably connected, as at 86a. The upper portion of cam-connecting am 86 is loosely mounted on an eccentric cam 87 suitably secured to main drive shafi 43. Crank 85 preferably is provided with an elongate adjustment slot 85a therein for adjustably receiving the pivot 86a of connecting arm 86 so as to permit adjusting the length of stroke of the latch needles. Thus, rotation of shafi 43 transmits forward and rearward reciprocatory motion to latch needles 21 through the intervening connections heretofore described.

As heretofore described, locking thread guides 22 should move both laterally and substantially vertically so as to position locking threads 27 in the hooks of respective latch needles 21. Accordingly, locking thread guides 22 are carried by a transverse bar 90 (FIGS. 16, 17 and 18). A depending arm 91 supports each end of bar 90 and the lower portion of each arm 91 is suitably secured to a pair of tubular guide members 92 mounted for lateral, substantially horizontal, sliding movement on a respective pair of guide rods 93. Guide rods 93 are carried by a bracket 94 having a substantially vertical guide rod 95 extending downwardly therefrom and mounted for su bstantially vertical sliding movement in a guide block 96 suitably secured to the corresponding side frame member of frame 31 (FIGS. 17 and 18). The lower end portion of each guide rod 95 has the front end of a corresponding lever 97 pivotally connected thereto. The front ends of levers 97 are pivotally mounted on support brackets 100 suitably secured to the corresponding side frame members 31a, 31b (FIG. 10).

As best shown in FIGS. 10 and 17, the upper end of a link 101 is pivotally connected to a medial portion of each lever 97. The lower end of each link 101 is pivotally connected to a forward portion of a corresponding cam follower lever 102 pivotally mounted, intennediate its ends, on the corresponding side frame member of frame 31. The rear portion of each cam follower lever 102 has a follower 103 thereon engaging the irregular groove of a corresponding face cam 104. Face cams 104 are mounted on a cam shaft 105 (FIGS. 10 and 13) journalled on side frame members 31a, 31b. Cam shaft 105 is driven by belt and pulley means 106 drivingly connecting main driveshaft 43 to cam shaft 105. It is thus seen that face cams 104 transmit substantially vertical motion to supporting brackets 94 (FIGS. 17 and 18) and thus to locking thread guides 22, through the intervening connections therewith heretofore described, and in timed relation to reciprocation of tufiing needles 20 and latch needles 21.

In order to transmit lateral motion to locking thread guides 22, it will be observed in FIGS. 17 and 18 that the inner end of a link 110 is pivotally connected to one of the depending arms 91 of thread guide supporting bar 90. The outer end of link 110 is pivotally connected to the upper end of a follower lever 1 11 (FIGS. 10 and 18) which extends downwardly and is pivotally mounted intermediate its ends, as at 112, on side frame member 31b. The lower portion of follower lever 111 has a follower 113 thereon engaging a peripheral groove of irregular configuration in a cam wheel 114 fixed on cam shaft 105. It is thus seen that rotation of cam wheel 114 imparts lateral reciprocatory motion to locking thread guides 22 through the intervening connections heretofore described.

The locking threads 27 are directed to and through the eyes of locking thread guides 22 from a suitable source independent of supply and are maintained under predetermined relatively light tension as compared to the tension in the pile yarns 26. Accordingly, it will be observed in FIG. 13 that the source of the locking threads 27 is shown, by way of example, in the form of a plurality of spools 22a arranged in a transverse row adjacent the rear portion of the machine and loosely mounted on corresponding stobs 22b. The stobs 22b are mounted on a common transverse frame member 31!: adjacent the rear lower portion of frame 31 and project upwardly through a friction material 22c, such as natural or synthetic rubber, on which the spools rest in frictional engagement therewith.

Each spool has a weight member 22d resting thereupon which, coupled with the weight of the respective spool and the thread thereon determines the amount of frictional resistance to rotation applied to the spools by the friction material 22c, thus determining the amount of tension in threads 27. The tension means embodied in the friction material 22c and the weight members 22d is shown by way of example only, it being understood that any suitable tension means may be provided for applying tension to the locking threads 27.

In their course to the lockingthread guides 22, it will be observed in FIG. 17 that the locking threads pass through a pair of spaced transversely extending guide bars 22 between which drop wires 22f are suspended on the locking threads, such drop wires being adapted to drop into engagement with a pair of electrode bars 22 to establish a circuit therebetween and interrupt the circuit to the electric motor 40 to thereby stop the machine in the event of the parting of any one or more of the locking threads 27 between the source of supply and the locking thread guides 22.

As heretofore described, pile formers 23 are shifted a relatively short distance laterally in one direction during alternate cycles in the operation of needles 20, 2] and guides 22, and pile formers 23 are shifted laterally in the opposite direction during intervening cycles in the operation of the needles 20, 21 and thread guides 22. Accordingly, pile formers 23, which are shown in a form of elongate, relatively thin pile wires, are mounted for longitudinal or forward and rearward sliding movement in a common pile former support bar 120 spaced closely above the path of travel of backing fabric 24 and over bed plate 25. Support bar 120 overlies and serves as a stripper for the backing fabric 24 during upward strokes of tufting needles 20. Each end portion of support bar 120 is suitably secured to a laterally movable bracket 121 supported for such movement on a pair of guide rods 122 (FIGS. l4, l5, l6, and 17) suitably secured to a corresponding stationary bracket 123.

Brackets 123, only one of which is shown in the latter figures, are suitably secured to he corresponding side frame members Ma, 3112. One of the movable brackets I21 has the inner end of a link I25 (H68. 14 and 15) pivotally connected thereto. The other end of link 125 is pivotally connected to a follower am 126 which extends forwardly adjacent the outer surface of frame member 3th and is pivotally connected, as at 127 (FIG. 14), to side frame member 31b. A medial portion of follower arm I26 has a follower 130 thereon which engages the irregular peripheral groove of a cam wheel 131 fixed on a corresponding cam shaft 132 journalled in frame 31. Cam shaft 132 and cam 131 are driven, to rotate one revolution during every two revolutions of main drive shafl 43, by suitable belt and pulley means 134 connecting drive shaft 43 to cm shaft 132, as best shown in FIGS. and 13.

[t is apparent that cam wheel 131 transmits lateral reciprocatory motion to the pile formers 23 through the intervening connections heretofore described, with the walls of the peripheral groove in earn 131 being so shaped as to impart lateral movement to the pile formers in one direction during alternate cycles in the operation of needles 20, 21 and thread guides 22, and to impart lateral motion to the pile formers in the opposite direction during intervening cycles in the operation of the needles 20, 21 and thread guides 22.

As heretofore described, it is preferred that pile formers 23 are provided with at least two pile forming stages 23a, 23b of relatively different heights so as to form pile tufts of different lengths according to a predetermined pattern by selectively presenting the loop-forming stages or surfaces 23a, 23b to the loop-forming position in alignment with the tufiing needles. Accordingly, it will be observed in FIGS. 16 and 17 that each pile former is biased in a forward direction by a corresponding compression spring 140, and the rear portion of each pile former 23 has one end of a control cord 142 connected thereto.

Control cords 142 extend rearwardly and then partially around and upwardly from a guide rod 143 whose opposing ends are carried by brackets 144 suitably secured to and extending rearwardly from side frame members 31a, 31b. The control cords 142 are connected to and controlled by a suitable pattern device 146 shown schematically in FIG. II and which may be in the form of a Jacquard mechanism or dobby head. It is apparent that such pattern device will function to selectively lifi the control cords 142 so as to pull the respective pile formers rearwardly in opposition to the respective springs and, upon the selected cords being released. the springs 140 will bias the corresponding pile wires forwardly so that the low pile forming stages or surfaces 230 thereof will move along the corresponding rows of loops previously formed thereon to position the higher loop forming stages 23b thereof in the tuft-forming position. In this regard, although the needles 20 successively insert the lower bight portions 26b of each row of pile tufls at substantially longitudinally aligned points in the backing fabric 24, it will be observed in FIG. 1, for example, that the lower surfaces of the pile formers are spaced sufl'iciently above the backing fabric to permit the front ends of the lower stages 23a of the pile formers 23 to enter a few of the loops positioned forwardly thereof when the pattern device 146 calls for corresponding relatively high loop-forming stages 23b to be moved into operative position relative to tutting needles 20.

It is thus seen that we have provided means for controlling and operating the tuft-forming instrumentalities of this invention in the manner earlier described. It should be noted, that by controlling the tension in the pile yarns 26, as by varying the size of the weight members 53 (FIG. 11), the upper surfaces of the lower bight portions of the tuhs 26a may occupy any predetermined position above the lower face of backing fabric 24, or the lower bight portions 26: may be positioned entirely above the upper face of backing fabric 24.

In the drawings and specification, there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

We claim:

1. In a tufting machine having reciprocating tufting needles for repeatedly penetrating a backing fabric from one face thereof to insert respective bight portions of loops of pile yarns therethrough; the combination therewith of reciprocating latch needles adjacent the opposite face of the backing fabric and extending generally transversely of the tufting needles, means for moving said latch needles to cause them to enter through and withdraw from the respective pile yarn bight portions presented by said tulting needles, means providing an independent source of supply of locking threads for said latch needles, and means operatively associated with said latch needles for guiding a locking thread from the source of supply thereof laterally across and into the hook of each latch needle whenever it has entered through a pile yarn bight portion such that each latch needle draws a loop of locking thread through each respective pile yarn bight portion thus presented during each withdrawal of said latch needles.

2. A tufiing machine according to claim 1, including means for moving the backing fabric along a path above said latch needles in timed relation to reciprocation of said tufting needles and said latch needles, each latch needle including a shank on which the respective latch is pivotally suspended, the hook of each latch needle facing downwardly, said guiding means being operable to guide each respective locking thread, extending from a previously formed lower bight portion of pile yarn, partially around a subsequently presented pile yarn bight ponion and into the respective open hook, and the thus presented pile yarn bight portion serving to close the respective latch during subsequent withdrawal of the latch needles to prevent the presented pile yarn bight portions from becoming ensnared in the hooks of the latch needles during withdrawal of said latch needles.

3. A tufting machine according to claim 1, including means for moving the backing fabric in one longitudinal direction in timed relation to the operation of said needles, a plurality of pile formers adjacent the respective tufting needles, and

means for effecting relative lateral movement between said tufting needles and said pile formers in timed relation to reciprocation of said tufting needles such that the pile yarns are looped across corresponding pile formers when said tufting needles are withdrawn from the backing fabric.

4. A tufting machine according to claim 3, wherein said means for effecting relative lateral movement between said tufting needles and said pile formers comprises means to shift each pile former in one lateral direction during each alternate period in which said tufting needles are withdrawn and to shift each pile former in the opposite lateral direction during each intervening period in which said tufting needles are withdrawn.

5. A tufting machine according to claim 3, wherein each of at least some of said pile formers includes pile forming surfaces of different heights thereon, and means connected to said some of said pile formers for selectively presenting different height surfaces thereof to said tufting needles.

6. A tufting machine according to claim 3, wherein the pile yarns extend from a source through said tufting needles to the backing fabric, and means engaging the pile yarns between their source and said needles and preventing slackening of the pile yarns during movement of the tufiing needles so that the tufting needles retract previously formed pile yarn bight portions into the backing fabric as the tuiting needles penetrate the backing fabric and pull the pile yarns over adjacent pile formers while the tufting needles form succeeding pile yarn bight portions adjacent said opposite face of the backing fabric.

7. A tufting machine according to claim 1, including pile formers adjacent said one face of the backing fabric and over which said loops are formed by said tufting needles, and means for moving said tufting needles in timed relation to said latch needles so that, during the insertion of a succeeding pile yarn bight portion by each tufting needle, the respective latch needle is withdrawn from and will have released an immediately preceding pile yarn bight portion therefrom as the preceding pile yam bight portion is thus pulled toward the backing fabric by the tufting needle pulling the respective pile yarn over the pile former and into the backing fabric in the forming of the succeeding loop.

8. [n a tutting machine having means for advancing a backing fabric lengthwise thercthrough, and tufting needles for forming loop pile tufts from pile yarns on one face of the backing fabric by repeatedly inserting pile yarn bight portions of the tufts through to the opposite face of the backing fabric; the combination therewith of means for inserting locking threads through successive pile yarn bight portions as they are inserted through the backing fabric for securing the loop pile tufts to the backing fabric, a plurality of pile formers extending lengthwise of and adjacent said one face of the backing fabric and over which said loop pile tufts are formed by said tufting needles, at least some of said pile formers each including loop-forming surfaces of different heights thereon, and means for selectively moving said some of said pile formers longitudinally to present the different height surfaces thereof to said tufting needles and to form loop pile tufts thereover of corresponding different heights.

9. A tufling machine according to claim 8, wherein said means for inserting locking threads through successive pile yarn bight portions comprises a reciprocating latch needle for each tufling needle and positioned adjacent the opposite face of the backing fabric for inserting through and withdrawing from the pile yarn bight portions presented by the tufting needles, an independent source of supply for the locking threads, and means operatively associated with said latch needles for guiding a locking thread from the independent source of supply laterally across and into the hook of each latch needle whenever it has entered through a pile yarn bight portion whereby each latch needle draws a loop of locking thread through each respective pile yarn bight portion thus presented during each withdrawalpf said latch needles.

10. A tufttng machine according to claim 9, including means for moving said tufting needles and said latch needles in such timed relationship that, during the insertion of a succeeding pile yarn bight portion by each tufting needle, the respective latch needle is withdrawn from and will have released an immediately preceding pile yarn bight portion therefrom and the preceding bight portion is thus pulled toward the backing fabric by the tufiing needle pulling the respective pile yarn over the pile former and into the backing fabric in the forming of the succeeding loop pile tuft.

i l B I i UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 677,206 Dated July 18, 1972 Inventor(s) J. T. MacIsaac and J. E. Troy It: is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 49, after "100p" insert ---of-, same column, line 59, after "are" insert -views. Column 2, line 52, after "latch" insert need1es--; same column, line 67, after "26" insert -is-. Column 3,

line 44, "needle 29" should bev --needle 20-- Signed and sealed this 2nd day of January 1973.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M. FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents OHM po'wsn uscouwoc scan-P09 U... GOVIIH ICNT PIIIIHIIG DFIICI llll O!ll-J34

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Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification112/80.52, 66/85.00A, 112/80.54, 112/80.51
International ClassificationD05C15/00, D05C15/22
Cooperative ClassificationD05C15/22
European ClassificationD05C15/22
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 20, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: FIELD CREST CANNON, INC.,
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:CANNON MILLS COMPANY, A NC CORP. (INTO);FIELDCREST MILLS, INC., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004616/0487
Effective date: 19860306
May 22, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF BOSTON THE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FIELDCREST MILLS, INC., A CORP OF DE.;REEL/FRAME:004558/0052
Effective date: 19860130