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Publication numberUS3727239 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 17, 1973
Filing dateMay 5, 1971
Priority dateMay 5, 1971
Publication numberUS 3727239 A, US 3727239A, US-A-3727239, US3727239 A, US3727239A
InventorsThompson L
Original AssigneeKimberly Clark Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Inexpensive cuffs for disposable gowns
US 3727239 A
Abstract
A stretchable, nonwoven cuff for use on articles of disposable apparel, such as industrial garments or hospital gowns or the like is disclosed. The cuff material is comprised of a scrim applique laminated to a stretchable polymeric foam while in a stretched condition. A sheet of material is folded onto itself so that the foam layers are in face to face contact. The folded sheet is then placed into a generally cylindrical shape and the sides are attached to one another with the end opposite the fold line being adapted to be attached to the article of apparel.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Thompson 45] Apr. 17, 1973 INEXPENSIVE CUFFS FOR DISPOSABLE GOWNS [75] inventor: Lenore E. Thompson, Menasha,

Rosenstein ..2/90

Phillips ..2 123 Kaufman ..2/ 123 Primary ExaminerPatrick D. Lawson Ltd.

[57] ABSTRACT A stretchable, nonwoven cuff for use on articles of disposable apparel, such as industrial garments or hospital gowns or the like is disclosed. The cuff material is comprised ofa scrim applique laminated to a stretchable polymeric foam while in a stretched con-1 dltion. A sheet of material is folded onto itself so that the foam layers are in face to face contact. The folded sheet is then placed into a generally cylindrical shape and the sides are attached to one another with the end opposite the fold line being adapted to be attached to the article of apparel.

6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Attorney-Wo1fe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann,

PATENTED 1 W973 3.727, 239

sum 1 BF 2 IN VEN TOR.

PATENTED APR 1 71973 sum 2 OF 2 INEXPENSIVE CUFFS FOR DISPOSABLE GOWNS This invention is generally related to nonwoven material and, more particularly is related to a nonwoven stretchable cuff for use on articles of nonwoven disposable apparel such as surgical gowns, or the like.

Nonwoven disposable fabrics are being increasingly used as substitutes for conventional woven fabric in many areas of use, such as articles of apparel including coats, smocks, aprons, clinical and hospital apparel and particularly surgical room apparel, for example. Such nonwoven products are convenient for the reasons that they need not be laundered after use, are initially inexpensive and do not represent a substantial loss if damaged or lost.

It is easily realized that savings resulting from the use of nonwoven disposable fabrics are, reduced if certain conventional, woven specialty items are, of necessity, incorporated into the end product. For example, surgical gowns advantageously utilize stretchable cuffs on the sleeve which prevent the sleeves from escaping from under the surgeons gloves and thereafter hanging in the way during an operation. As another example,

coats and jackets for industrial use may be made with cuffs at the neck or collar of the garment. In the event conventional woven cuffs are used with a nonwoven disposable fabric the added cost of the conventional cuffs is, in a very real sense, wasted money, for the cuff would be disposed with the gown, jacket or coat even though it could easily experience considerable additional use before wearing out.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a stretchable nonwoven cuff for use with articles of disposable garments, such as surgical gowns, industrial coats and jackets, or the like, which is easily and inexpensively manufactured, and is of good quality. It is another object'to provide a stretchable non- 'woven cuff. that closely resembles a conventional .in the cross direction, therefore providing greater overall strength in the direction in which excessive stress would normally be present.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent upon reading the ensuing specification, while referring to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sleeve of a surgical gown or the like, A and particularly illustrating the stretchable nonwoven cuff of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a material useful in producing the present invention, and illustrate a shape useful in producing a tapered cuff;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the material shown in FIG. 2 and illustrates an exemplary shape that is useful in making a straight cuff;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view, exaggerated for the sake of clarity'of illustration, and is taken generally in the plane of the line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view, exaggerated for the sake of clarity of illustration, and is taken generally in the plane of the line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 6 illustrates a sequence of perspective views illustrating the sequence followed in producing the cuff of the present invention.

Although the invention will be hereinafter described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention thereto, but it is intended to cover all modifications and alternative constructions falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as expressed in the appended claims.

Turning now to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 1, A sleeve 10 of a disposable nonwoven garment such as a surgical gown or the like, is shown with a cuff 12 exemplifying the subject of the present invention. The invention is, of course, not limited to sleeve cuffs but is also applicable to cuffs at the neck or other openings of jackets, coats and other body apparel. As shown in FIG. 1, the cuff is attached to the sleeve 10 by a suitable means, including adhesive attachment or conventional machine stitching or the like. 'The cuff is preferably attached to the sleeve in a manner similar to methods used in attaching conventional woven cuffs. Therefore, since the cuff is stretchable, the sleeve should be sewn or attached to the cuff while the cuff is i its outer end, while FIG. 3 is illustrative of the shape that is useful in making a straight cuff having a generally uniform diameter throughout its length. With both configurations shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the sheet 1 14 is folded along a transverse fold line 16 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 6 a and b, whereupon the cuff is formed into a cylinder with the sides secured along a longitudinal seam line 18 as shown. The fold'line 16 forms the outer end of the cuff, with the opposite end having free edges adapted for stitching an adhesive attachment to the sleeve 10.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, the sheet 14 from which the cuff is made is comprised of a layer of stretchable polymeric foam 20 laminated to a scrim reinforced applique 22 comprised of a scrim 24 having warp and fill threads 26 and 28 to which are attached a thin applique: of fibers 30.

The polymeric foam layer 20 is preferably of a thickness within the range of about 20-30 mils. The foam may be polyurethane or any other resilient stretchable foam material. It has been found with a polyurethane foam having a thickness much less than about 20 mils, tearing during stretching often occurs, and with thicknesses greater than about 30 mils, the stretchability of the foam is significantly reduced. However, a 25' mil polyurethane foam layer was found to stretch within the desired range of about -60 percent without tearing. A polyurethane foam layer of 40 mils had a stretchability of only about 20-30 percent, which is undesirably low for use in the disposable cuff of the present invention. i i

During manufacture of the material, the foam is placed in a stretched condition while the scrim reinforced applique is laminated to the foam. After the scrim reinforced applique is secured to the foam layer 20, it may be relaxed, producing the sheet illustrated in FIG. 5 having the undulating, ribbed upper surface with the ribs extending generally transverse relative to the direction the foam was stretched. As is seen from FIGS. 2, 5 and 6, the fabric is oriented during fabrication of the cuff, so that the stretchability enables the internal diameter to be increased.

Conventional nylon scrims are often produced with different threads frequencies in the warp and fill directions. For example, one commonly used scrim is produced with a frequency of 12 threads per inch in the warp direction, and 5 threads per inch in the fill direction. In keeping with the invention, as seen in FIG. 2, the reinforcing scrim 24 is preferably secured to the foam layer so that the threads having the greater frequency per inch are positioned in the direction of stretchability. By so doing, greater resistance to breaking of either the scrim or the foam layer is achieved in the direction in which the greater stress will be ex perienced, i.e., in the direction expanding the diameter of the cuff.

Pursuant to the invention, the applique of fibers 30 which may be of staple length rayon, cotton or synthetic materials, are adhesively applied to the scrim 24 to improve the appearance of the cuff in addition to providing a surface that does not severely produce a drag or resistance to inserting ones hand through the cuff. It is to be realized, that the foam layer is on the interior of the sheet 14 when it is folded in face to face relation, and the scrim with the applied fibers is on the interior as well as the exterior of the resulting cuff. The foam inherently resists easy sliding of ones hand and therefore is on the inside of the folded sheet.

In addition to improving the appearance of the cuff, the fibers also function to smooth out the surface of the reinforcing scrim 24. Without the fibers, the scrim has been found to easily snag upon other fabrics and surfaces, which may be inconvenient and unappealing to the wearer. Additionally, the rough edges of the scrim may cause irritation to the skin of a wearer if it were not for the smoothing effect of the fibers.

Thus, it is seen that an improved stretchable nonwoven cuff has been illustrated and described, which is an acceptable substitute for more expensive cuffs produced from conventional woven fabrics. The nonwoven cuff is advantageously adapted for use with apparel produced from disposable fabrics, which should not bear the cost of including woven specialty items such as woven cuffs and collars. The nonwoven cuff of the present invention is quite strong, exhibits good stretchability, has a pleasing appearance, and is pleasant to the touch.

I claim as my invention:

1. A stretchable nonwoven cuff for use on an article of disposable apparel, comprising:

a sheet comprised of a layer of stretchable polymeric foam and a scrim applique laminated to said foam layer while said foam layer is in a stretched condition, such that said sheet is stretchable in a first direction;

said sheet being folded along a fold line parallel to said first direction, such that said foam layers are in face to face relation, said fold line defining the outer end of said cuff;

the side edges generally perpendicular to said fold line of said folded sheet being attached to each other to form said cuff, the end of said cuff 0pposite said outer end having a pair of spaced-free edges for attachment to said article of apparel.

2. A cuff as defined in claim 1 wherein said sheet is stretchable in the range of about 40-60 percent before said scrim is extended to its maximum length.

3. A cuff as defined in claim 1 wherein said layer is polyurethane foam having a thickness within the range of about 20-60 mils.

4. A cuff as defined in claim 1 wherein said folded sheet has a generally rectangular shape.

5. A cuff as defined in claim 1 wherein said folded sheet has a generally trapizoidal shape, with the fold line being at the shorter end thereof.

6. A cuff as defined in claim 1 wherein said scrim applique comprises a scrim having a greater number of warp than fill threads per inch, with a facing of staple length fibers adhesively secured to the side of said scrim out of contact with said foam, said warp threads being aligned in said first direction to provide maximum strength in said stretchable direction.

* =II t

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1558754 *Sep 14, 1921Oct 27, 1925Heusen Products Inc VanCuff
US2263544 *May 11, 1940Nov 18, 1941Myrtle Knitting Mills IncGarment
US3478366 *Mar 25, 1969Nov 18, 1969Kaufman SamuelGarment hem construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5588155 *Mar 31, 1995Dec 31, 1996Kimberly-Clark CorporationLiquid impervious surgical gown cuff and method for making the same
US5594955 *Dec 12, 1994Jan 21, 1997Kimberly-Clark CorporationSurgical gown sleeve
US5680653 *Dec 2, 1994Oct 28, 1997Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Surgical gown cuff and method for making the same
US5697106 *Aug 21, 1996Dec 16, 1997Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Liquid impervious foot receiving article
US5724674 *Jun 27, 1996Mar 10, 1998Kimberly-Clark CorporationReinforced sleeve for surgical gown
US6764566Dec 12, 2001Jul 20, 2004Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.Nonwoven filled film laminate with barrier properties
Classifications
U.S. Classification2/123
International ClassificationA41D13/12, A41D31/02, A41B7/00, A41D31/00
Cooperative ClassificationA41B7/00, A41D31/02, A41D13/1209
European ClassificationA41D13/12B, A41D31/02, A41B7/00