US 3749441 A
A protector member for releasable attachment to seats, having a flexible body section adapted to overlie part of the seat to guard it against soiling, and a relative rigid tab element extending from an edge of the body section and being slidably receivable within a pocket formed in the seat covering so as to form the attachment between the protector member and the seat. The invention also embraces a main cover for a seat having a pocket formed therein to cooperate with an attaching tab of a protector member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Bini [ SHEET MATERIAL ATTACHING MEANS  Inventor: Rodney James Bini, Rosanna,
Victoria, Australia  Assignee: George Norman & Co. Pty. Ltd.,
Victoria, Australia  Filed: July 13, 1971  Appl. No.: 162,137
 Foreign Application Priority Data July 28, 1970 Australia 2003  U.S. Cl 297/223, 5/335, 297/391  Int. Cl. A47c 7/36  Field of Search 297/188, 191, 218,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Walker 297/191 1 July 31,1973
1,854,068 4/1932 Romer 297/220 1,942,287 1/1934 Heitz 108/90 UX 2,497,698 2/ 1950 Struble et al. 297/220 3,199,916 8/1965 Chiarenza 297/223 3,604,751 9/1971 Caigan 297/440 Primary Examiner-Caismir A. Nunberg Attorney-Diner, Brown, Ramik & Holt  ABSTRACT A protector member for releasable attachment to seats, having a flexible body section adapted to overlie part of the seat to guard it against soiling, and a relative rigid tab element extending from an edge of the body section and being slidably-receivable within a pocket formed in the seat covering so as to form the attachment between the protector member and the seat. The invention also embraces a main cover for a seat having a pocket formed therein to cooperate with an attaching tab of a protector member.
8 Claims, 17 Drawing Figures PATENIEU 3. 749,441
SHEET 1 OF 5 INVE NTQQ QODNEYyiflH ATTORNEYS PATENTEU 3,749,441
SHEET 2 OF 5 INVENTQR \zoomaw JBML AT RHEYS PATENTEB JULB 1 1975 3, 749 441 sum 3 0F 5 INVENTOQ RODNEY J B\N\ TQQMEYS PATENTEDJUL3 1 I975 7 9,441
SHEET 5 or 5 \NVENTUR IZDDNEY J Blm 'jxTTDENEYS SHEET MATERIAL ATTACIIING MEANS This invention relates to means for attaching a sheet material element to a support member, and is particularly although not exclusively concerned with means for releasably attaching disposable members of the kind used to protect the backrest or headrest of a seat against soiling. It will be convenient to hereinafter refer to such protector members as headrest covers, and the headrest may be defined by a particular zone of a seat backrest or by a separate member attached to the backrest. The invention has particular application to the seats of passenger vehicles such as aircraft, buses and trains.
Headrest covers of the kind indicated are removably attached to seats in a variety of ways, but such attaching means generally include the use of rigid fastening elements such as press-studs and buttons. It is desirable to avoid the use of rigid fastening elements, because they are usually secured to the main dust or slip cover of a seat and tend to catch during laundering of such main covers. Prior to the present invention however, a satisfactory alternative had not been devised.
It is a principal object of the present invention to provide attaching means of the kind indicated which is of relatively simple and inexpensive construction, and which does not require rigid elements such as pressstuds or buttons to be secured to the main seat cover. It is a further object of the invention to provide a disposable protector member incorporating attaching means which is operative to locate the protector member in a substantially aligned position relative to a seat. That is, it is generally preferred to locate the protector member so as to lie substantially symmetrical with the longitudinal axis of the seat backrest.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a seat dust, slip, or permanent cover (hereinafter called the main cover or covering) which incorporates means to enable convenient attachment and removal of a protector member.
The following description refers in more detail to these essential features and further optional features of the invention. To facilitate understanding of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings where these features are illustrated in preferred form. It is to be understood however, that the essential and optional features of the invention are not limited to the specific forms of these features as shown in the drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a typical protector member according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a fragment of the member shown in FIG. 1, and taken along line II--II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing a protector member according to FIG. 1 partially mounted on a seat backrest;
FIG. 4 is a partially sectioned side elevational view showing the protector member of FIG. 3 fully mounted on the seat backrest;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the combination shown in FIG. 4 with parts broken away for convenience of illustration;
FIG. 6 shows an alternative configuration for the tab receiving pocket of the main cover of a seat;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of part of a modified form of a protector member according to the invention;
FIG. 8 is a plan view of yet another modified form of the protector member, in which one attaching tab is shown located in its respective pocket and the other tab is about to be inserted;
FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of another modified form of the invention showing the protector member mounted on a seat;
FIG. 10 is a plan view of part of a protector member according to yet another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 11 is a plan view of an alternative configuration of the attaching tab of the protector member;
FIG. 12 is a plan view of still another possible configuration of the attaching tab;
FIG. 13 is a plan view of a modified form of seat main cover incorporating attaching means according to the invention;
FIG. 14 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line XIVXIV of FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 is a fragmentary perspective view showing another embodiment of a seat main cover incorporating attaching means according to the invention.
FIG. 16 is a partially sectioned view of yet another embodiment of the attaching means in the seat main cover; and
FIG. 17 shows, on a reduced scale, a protector member attached to a seat by the means shown in FIG. 16.
A typical disposable cover or protector member to which the invention may be applied is shown in FIGS. 1 to 3 and includes a body section 2 defined by a sheet of suitable material having any desired peripheral shape, and the attaching means includes a tab element 3 extending from one edge 4 of that body section 2. The body section 2 may be made from woven fabric, non-woven fabric, paper, or any other flexible sheet material, and it is generally preferred to have a foursided peripheral shape as shown. That is, the side edges 5 of the body section 2 converge towards the upper edge 4 thereof to impart a functional and attractive shape to the cover.
The tab element 3 is preferably elongated for a reason hereinafter made clear, and is rigid by comparison with the material of the body section 2, although it may have some degree of flexibility. In other words, the tab element 3 is preferably made of a material such as to be self-supporting in the sense that it will not flex or bend significantly under normal gravitational forces. Some suitable materials are cardboard, fibreboard and plastics. Alternatively, the tab element 3 and body section 2 may be formed of the same material, but the tab element 3 is treated (e.g., impregnation by a stiffening agent such as starch or a plastics material) or made thicker to obtain the desired degree of rigidity. The tab element 3 extends longitudinally from the upper edge 4 of the body section 2 and is ideally located located substantially central of that edge.
Any appropriate means such as stitching or adhesive for example, may be provided to secure the tab element 3 to the body section 2. In a preferred seat attachment as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the tab element 3 is folded beneath the body section 2 about a line extending substantially in alignment with the upper edge 4 of the body section 2. It is therefore convenient to secure the tab element 3 to a flap 6 (see FIGS. 2 and 3) forming an integral part of the body section 2, but extending beyond the upper edge 4 thereof. Preferably, the flap 6 has a size and configuration such as not to extend beyond the periphery of the tab element 3.
Tab cooperating means is secured to or forms part of the main slip, dust, or permanent, cover of a seat or chair and is preferably located on the top edge surface 7 of the seat backrest 8 adjacent the rear surface 9 thereof as shown in FIG. 4. The cooperating means basically forms a pocket 11 adapted to receive the tab element 3 and having side edges 12 arranged to guide the tab element 3 into a location such that the associated body section 2 is substantially correctly positioned on the seat backrest 8. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 to 5, the pocket 11 is defined by a patch element 13 secured to the under side of the main cover, and a slit 14 is formed in the main cover to allow passage of the tab element 3 into the pocket 11. Furthermore, the pocket I1 extends forwardly of the slit 14 so that the tab element 3 extends beneath the body section 2 of the disposable protector member when that member is correctly positioned on the seat backrest 8 as shown in FIG. 4.
The side edges 12 of the pocket 11 may be defined by the means used to secure the patch element 13 to the main cover. That means takes the form of stitching 15 in the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5, but adhesive, or any other appropriate securing means may be used.
It has been found convenient to form the tab element 3 so that the side edges 16 (see FIG. 1) thereof are substantially straight and converge away from the upper edge 4 of the body section 2, and the terminal end 17 of the tab element 3 may be curved or arcuate. The pocket 11 may have a side peripheral shape substantially complementary to that of the tab element 3, except that it may be desired to increase the divergence of the sides 13 thereof at a portion 18 adjacent the slit 14 as shown in FIG. 6, so as to facilitate initial entry of the tab element 3 into the pocket 11. Also, the pocket 11 can be open ended to ensure that the tab element 3 is firmly located therein.
With a construction as described, the elongated tab element 3 is caused to adopt a position such that the associated body section 2 of the disposable protector member is properly located on the seat headrest. Attachment and removal of the disposable member is extremely simple, and rigid elements are not required to be permanently secured to the main slip or dust cover of the seat.
The construction described is an illustrative embodiment only, and may be varied considerably whilst still retaining the basic concept of the invention. For example, a plurality of tab elements 3 may be secured to the body section 2 of the protector member according to the size and intended use of the protector member. In one form as shown in FIG. 7, a tab 3 is located adjacent each end of the upper edge 4 of the body section 2, and those tabs may extend in substantially parallel, converging or diverging, directions. Alternatively, the two tab elements 3 may extend in substantially opposite directions from respective side edges 5 of the body section 2 as shown in FIG. 8, and in that arrangement they are arranged to engage in pockets 11 top surface 7 of the backrest 8, but the pockets could be on the side edge surfaces or the rear surface of the seat backrest 8 as desired.
In a further modification as shown in FIG. 9, the or each tab element 3 secured to the upper edge 4 of the body section 2, cooperates with a pocket 11 located on the back surface 9 of the seat backrest 8. It will be obvious that one or more tab elements 3 may be provided at each of the upper edge 4 and side edges 5 of the body section 2, and furthermore the or each tab element 3 may be connected to that body section 2 through a flap, band or tape 19 as shown in FIG. 10, which may be elastic in nature to permit stretching during the attaching and removal operations.
The tab element 3 may have any desired shape, although the shape previously described is generally preferred, especially if only one element is being used. The side edges 16 of the tab element 3 may be curved as shown in FIG. 11 instead of being straight as described, or such curved edges 16 may be concave as shown in FIG. 12. Also, the curved edges 16 are arranged so that the width of the tab element 3 decreases away from the body section 2. Obviously, it is preferable for the or each cooperating pocket 11 to have a side peripheral shape substantially complementary to that of its respective tab element 3, but it may have a greater depth so that the side edges 16 of the tab 3 engage the edges 12 of the pocket 11 before the tab 3 bottoms within the pocket 1 l.
Irrespective of the peripheral shape of the tab element 3, it need not be elongated as described, but again that is preferred for stability.
It will be further apparent that the or each tab receiving pocket 11 can be formed in any suitable manner other than as previously described. One way as shown in FIGS. 13 and 14, is to form a tuck or fold in the main cover of the seat, and stitch along two laterally spaced lines 21 extending away from the mouth 22 of the tuck or fold to define the side edges 12 of the pocket 11. The mouth 22 of the tuck or fold may be closed by stitching 23 or adhesive laterally of the pocket 11 so formed. In another arrangement as shown in FIG. 15, the pocket 11 is formed by a pouch or sleeve element 24 secured to the main cover along one of its edges 25 defining the mouth 26 of the pocket 11. If the pouch or sleeve element 24 is secured to the under surface of the main cover as shown, a slit 27 is formed in the main cover adjacent the pocket mouth 26 to allow access to the pocket 1 1.
FIG. 16 shows yet another pocket arrangement in which the pocket 11 is defined between the sheet 28 forming the front surface of the seat backrest 8, and a patch 29 secured to the sheet 28. The mouth of the pocket 11 is defined by a slit or opening 31 edged with conventional buttonhole stitching 32, and the sides and closed end of the pocket 11 are defined by stitching 33 which may also secure the patch 29 to the sheet 28. Alternatively, the patch 29 may be secured to the seat covering by adhesive or stitching around its peripheral edge portions. The extreme ends 34 and 35 of the line of stitching 33 preferably lie within the lateral boundaries of the slit or opening 31 so as to avoid shoulders or overhangs that may catch with the tab element 3 during withdrawal of that element from the pocket 11.
As previously mentioned, the foregoing arrangements have been described in relation to disposable covers for seats or chairs simply as a matter of convenience. Attaching means according to the invention is clearly applicable to other types of covers, whether disposable or not, and is also applicable to sheet material elements other than covers.
In any one of its numerous possible forms, the present invention provides a simple and effective attaching means.
Finally, it is to be understood that various alterations, modifications and/or additions may be introduced into the constructions and arrangement of parts previously described without departing from the spirit or ambit of the invention.
The term back rest as used throughout the specification and particularly the claims, is to be understood as embracing head rest members as formed integral with the main body of the back rest, and such members as are releasably attached to the back rest. In addition, the term pocket" is to be understood as embracing an open-ended recess as may be formed by a band or strap secured at spaced intervals to a surface.
Having now described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A protector member for releasable attachment to a seat backrest comprising a body section formed of flexible sheet material, a tab element connected to and extending from an edge of said body section for insertion into a pocket provided on said backrest to thereby attach said body section to a backrest, said tab element being formed of a sheet material which is more rigid than said flexible sheet material; and side edges of said tab element which extend away from said body section edge being arranged to converge away from said body section edge to facilitate entry of said tab element into a backrest pocket and to also cooperate with substantially complementary edges of said pocket to correctly position said protector member relative to a backrest.
2. The protector member as defined in claim 1 wherein said protector member is folded at said body section edge whereby in the attached position of said protector member said body section overlies said tab element and a pocket containing the tab element.
3. The protector member as defined in claim 1 wherein a second said tab element is secured to said body section, and said two tab elements are located adjacent respective opposite side edges of said body section.
4. A combination of a seat backrest and a protector member, said combination comprising a protector member body section formed of a flexible sheet material and a tab element formed of a material which is more rigid than said flexible sheet material body section, said backrest including a pocket in which said tab element is slidably received to permit separation of said protector member from said backrest, said tab element is secured to and extends from an edge of said body section, said tab element has side edges which extend convergingly toward each other in a direction away from said body section edge, and each said side edge cooperates with a respective substantially complementary side of said pocket to retain said protector member substantially within a predetermined position relative to said backrest.
5. The combination as defined in claim 4 wherein said protector member is folded at said body section edge so that said body section overlies said pocket and said tab element contained therein.
6. A seat cover comprising a pocket formed therein to slidably receive an attaching tab of a protector member, said pocket being positioned at a top edge surface of a backrest portion of said seat cover, an open mouth of said pocket is positioned adjacent the back of said cover, opposed side edges of said pocket converging away from an open mouth thereof for cooperation with substantially complementary side edges of said attaching tab so as to releasably retain said protector member in a predetermined position relative to said backrest.
7. The seat cover as defined in claim 6 wherein said pocket includes a patch element stitched to an under surface of said cover, said stitching defining said side edges of said pocket, and said open mouth of said pocket is formed by a slit in said cover.
8. The seat cover as defined in claim 6 wherein said pocket is defined by a tuck in said cover, the adjacent layers of said tuck being stitched together to define said pocket side edges, and a mouth of said tuck is held closed laterally of said pocket open mouth.