US 3762867 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Crawford Oct. 2, 1973  TEXTILE PRINTING METHOD 3,227,077 1/1966 Farrer et al 68/203 X 3,62l,780 ll/l97l Tillotson v 68/203 X  Invent Allan P 3,541,958 ll/l970 Keown 68/203 x 3,503,232 3 1970 Farrer et al 7. 68/203 73 A M h I t I l Sslgnee f :g l $f FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  F] d F b 8 1971 23,428 2/l93l Netherlands 68/202 re e  Appl' l13757 Primary ExaminerWilliam I. Price Related U.S. Application Data A n y-J eph P. Flanagan  Division of Ser. No. 684,055, Nov. 17, 1967, Pat. No.
 ABSTRACT 1 0; The invention relates to a method for printing yarn.  Fie'ld 8/149 1 4 3 I51 The method includes the steps of withdrawing yarn 68/206 b from a yarn supply and printing on such yarn, and including the steps of inserting an index yarn among the References Cited sheet of yarns and printing a regularly recurring pattern 7 on the index arn. UNITED STATES PATENTS y 747,306 12/1903 Keefer 68/202 X 2 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures YARN INDEX YARN DANCING SUPPLY PRINTER) STEAMER ROLL i i A YARN PRINTER -7- DRIER EAMER PATENTED 2 975 SHEET 1 BF 6 YARN INDEX YARN 'DANCING F I G I SUPPLY PRINTER sTjEAMER ROLL YARN 4 D I PRINTER R ER BEAMER PATENTED BET 2 73 SHEET 2 BF '8 PATENTED 21975 3.762.887
SHEET a DP 6 v0. o u I (I III I O l v I 2 whm \1 O .\1 E LEM? EM! PATENTED 21975 3,762,867,
SHEET SUF 6 FIG. H.
TEXTILE PRINTING METHOD This application is a divisional of application Ser. No. 684,055 filed Nov. 17, 1967 now U.S. Pat. No. 3,561,235 issued Feb. 9, 1971.
The present invention relates to a method useful in printing textile products, for example, the printing of yarn for use in the manufacture of multicolored products such as floor coverings or the like. In the description below, 1 illustrate my invention in connection with the manufacture of tufted floor coverings where I have found the invention to have great utility, but those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains will appreciate that the method herein disclosed will be quite useful in connection with operations other than the manufacture of tufted floor coverings.
In the floor coverings industry tufted textile products have made enormous strides in replacing conventional woven fabrics during the last fifteen years or so. Whereas in the early l950s tufted carpet represented less than percent ofthe total soft floor coverings manufactured in the United States, today tufted floor coverings represent approximately ninety percent of all soft floor coverings domestically manufactured. The popularity of tufted carpet has been due, in large part, to the fact that the high labor costs inherent in the manufacture of conventional woven fabrics such as Wilton, Axminster, etc. are not present in a tufting operation, and, therefore, such carpet enjoys a lower price in the market place than do those carpets that were dominant in the market prior to the early 1950s.
Although tufted carpet can be mass produced at a cost substantially less than other types of carpet, one serious problem that has been with the tufting industry from the start is that the great flexibility in color design possible in carpets of the Wilton and Axminster type has not been attainable in a tufted operation.
Those familiar with the art will appreciate the fact that in a Wilton or Axminster weaving operation several different colored yarns can be made use of to form any warpwise row of pile elements and any one of such yarns can be utilized to form any single pile element, in the case of a Wilton by means of the Jacquard apparatus, and in the case of an Axminster during the spool setting operation. No fully satisfactory way has been found, however, to allow more than a single continuous end of yarn to be fed to a needle of a tufting machine and, as a result, the pile elements forming a warp of a tufted fabric are limited generally to a single color. There have been produced, of course, multicolored tufted fabrics by the use of what are commonly known as space-dyed yarns. Such fabrics, although attractive in appearance, in no way measure up to what is desired in the way of color pattern fabrics having precise color design characteristics, and are, in fact, generally limited to tweedy designs.
Additionally, in attempting to improve the design characteristics of tufted floor coverings, various inventions have been made which are admittedly useful in improving the appearance of single color fabrics. Examples of the latter mentioned inventions will be found in various U.S. patents including the Odenweller U.S. Pat. No. 2,853,032, the Crawford U.S. Pat. No. 2,853,033, the Crawford U.S. Pat. No. 2,853,034, the Boyles U.S. Pat. No. 2,876,441, the Rice U.S. Pat. No. 2,766,506, the Bryant et al. U.S. Pat. No. 3,026,830, the Tillet et al. U.S. Pat. No. 2,984,540, and the Crawford U.S. Pat. No. 3,282,235. All of such patents, with the exception of Tillett, relate to floor coverings where stitch placement or pile height is controlled in forming a design, while the Tillett patent relates to a process for dyeing a piece of carpet after the construction of the carpet has been completed.
The primary object of this invention is the provision of a method useful in the printing of designs on yarn.
A more specific object of this invention is the provision of a method useful in the production of a supply of dyed yarns wherein an index yarn may be inserted in the supply of yarns to facilitate use thereof.
These and further objects will become apparent upon a reading of the following specification and the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic representation of the instant invention.
FIG. 2 is an elevation view of the yarn printer of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the yarn printer and the index yarn printer of FIG. I.
FIG. 4 is a side view of a portion of the yarn printer and index yarn printer of FIG. I.
FIG. 5 is a section along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 6 is a detail view of a chain guide means.
FIG. 7 is a detail view of a portion of the apparatus of FIG. 3 taken in the direction of the arrow 7 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 8 is a side view of the steamer of FIG. 1.
FIG. 9 is a side view of the dryer of FIG. 1.
FIG. 10 is a front view of a serrated slat member taken in the direction of arrow 10 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 11 is a side view of the dancing roll of FIG. 1.
In the diagram of FIG. I a supply of yarn is fed in sheet form from a yarn bank to a printing apparatus where a predetermined design is printed on the yarn. After leaving the printing apparatus, the sheet of yarns has inserted into it an index yarn, the purpose of which is disclosed below. The yarn is then steamed and dried and wound upon a beam. Each sheet of yarns filling a beam has the same pattern printed on it, for example, a lengthwise repeating pattern having a width equal to the number of ends being fed to the printing apparatus and, say, eighteen inches in length. The number of yarn ends wound on any single beam may be in the range of approximately 144 ends, that is, the number of yarn ends that would generally be sufficient to feed the needles of a tufting machine capable of tufting an 18 inch wide piece of carpet.
When a plurality of beams have been filled, for example ten in the case of fifteen foot wide goods, or eight in the case of twelve foot wide goods, individual beams of yarn are then fed simultaneously to a tufting machine, the speed at which the yarn from such beams is fed to the tufter being under control of apparatus actuated by a photo-electric sensing device which senses an index yarn, all as more particularly described in my copending application Ser. No. 683,707, filed Nov. 16, 1967, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,550,543, issued Dec. 29, 1970.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, a first printing station having upper and lower sections is designated by the arrow 20. This printing station consists of base members 2 supported by the floor, which in turn support a plurality of upstanding frame members 22. Mounted on the frame members 22 is a plurality of sets of brackets 26, 27, and 28.. The brackets 26 support a shaft 29, journaled in bearings carried by such brackets, which shaft carries a plurality of sprocket wheels 30 spaced therealong. The brackets 27 support a similarly journaled shaft 31 carrying a plurality of sprocket wheels 32. Supported in bearings carried by the brackets 28 are two shafts 33 and 34, each of which supports a plurality of sprocket wheels 35 and 36, respectively. An additional shaft 37 is journaled in bearings carried by the frame members 22 and such shaft carries a plurality of roller discs 38 spaced therealong. All of the abovementioned sprocket wheels are suitably spaced along the length of the shafts they are mounted on, and trained around the sprockets 32, 35, 36, and 30 lying in any vertical plane is an endless chain 39 all as more clearly shown in FIG. 3. Each such chain 39 carries a plurality of suitable supporting brackets thereon, and secured to such brackets are slat members 41, some or all of which have mounted along their lengths an absorbent pad or pads 42. The endless chains 39 are driven by means of a chain 44, FIG. 4, which may be driven by any conventional drive means, and which is in driving contact with a sprocket wheel 45 carried on one end of the aforementioned shaft 34.
Suitable provisions may be made to adjust the brackets 28, vertically, to vary the force with which the pads 42 on the lower set of slats 41 meet the pads carried by the upper set of slats. Carried by the brackets 28 in the area between the shafts 33, 34 are suitably shaped guides 28:: contoured to guide the opposed sets of pad carrying slats into contact with others.
Supported by brackets 46 mounted on the lower portion of the frame member 22, is a dye trough 47. A rotatable shaft 48 journaled in bearings carried by the dye trough 47 extends throughout the length of the trough 47 and carries at one end a sprocket wheel 49. Carried by this shaft 48 is a roller 48a. The shaft 48 is driven by an endless chain 50 which is in contact with the sprocket wheel 49, a sprocket wheel 51 carried by the shaft 31, and a tension adjusting sprocket wheel 52 carried bya shaft 53 journaled in a bearing on one of the frame members 22. The roller 48a may be wholly or partially submerged in dye in the dye trough.
Carried on the upper portion of the frame members 22 is a second series of brackets 55, 56, 57, and 58 which support shafts S9, 60, 61, 62, and 63, respectively. Each of the latter mentioned shafts carries a series of sprocket wheels spaced along its length. Two shafts, 64 and 65, are journaled in bearings in the upper portion of frame members 22, and each of these shafts carries a plurality of roller discs, similar to the aforementioned discs 38, therealong. Trained around the sprockets carried by the shafts 59-63 is a chain supported set of slats similar to the slats 41 previously mentioned, which latter set of slats is also driven by the chain 44 of FIG. 4. The latter mentioned slats also carry resilient pads similar to the pads 42 above mentioned. The pads on any one set of slats are arranged as a mirror image of the pads on the other set of slats in order that, as yarn passes between the opposed slats, as described below, such yarn will come into contact with opposed resilient pads.
A dye trough 66 similar to the dye trough 47 is carried by frame members 67 which are, in turn, supported by the frame members 22. This dye trough 66 has a roller extending throughout its length, which roller is similar in structure and function to the roller 480 above described.
The dye trough 47 and 66 each contain a dye solution of identical color. This dye solution is continuously fed from any suitable mixing and supply tank, not shown, to the upper dye trough. The desired level of the solution in the trough 66 is maintained by means of an overflow which is connected to the trough 47 by a hose 68. An overflow opening from the trough 47 is connected by an overflow line 69 to a pump 69a, which pump returns the overflow from the trough 47. through a line 70, to the mixing and supply tank, not shown.
Located to the left, in FIG. 3, of the printing apparatus above described is a yarn creel 24 from which a supply of yarn is withdrawn and fed to the printing apparatus. The yarns are drawn from the creel by a pair of feed rolls 74 and 75 carried on shafts 76 and 77, respectively, journaled in bearings in the machine framework. The feed roll 75 is driven by an endless belt 78 trained around pulleys carried by the shaft 77 and stud 77a. The feed roll 75 drives the feed roll 74 by means of a pair of intermeshing gears 79 and 79a, FIG. 2.
The pulley carried by the stud 77a has pinned to it a sprocket 77b. This sprocket is driven by an endless chain which in turn is driven by any suitable drive means, for example, the same means, suitably geared, that drives the chain 44.
Individual yarns from the creel 24 pass through tubes 80, are threaded around guide members 81, 82 and are then trained about the feed rolls as shown in FIG. 2. The rolls 74 and 75 have a roughened surface, the frictional contact of which with the yarns is sufficient to cause a withdrawal of the yarn from the creel 24. A slotted guide member 83, FIG. 7, is attached to brackets 83a carried by the machine framework. As the sheet of yarns fed by the feed rolls approaches the printing apparatus, individual yarn ends are guided by the slots in such guide member.
The apparatus of the present invention may have as many printing stations similar to that above described as is found desirable, the number of printing stations being determined by the number of colors and intricacies of the pattern to be printed on the yarn.
Located between adjacent printing stations is a yarn feeding and guiding mechanism driven in timed relationship with the feed rolls 74, 75 and the endless chains 39 of the printing apparatus. Each such feeding and guiding mechanism is similar to that shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and indicated by the arrow 90.
The mechanism of FIG. 3 has a first set of serrated slats 91 mounted on endless chains 92 in the manner shown in FlG. It). The chains 92 are trained about sprocket wheels 93 mounted on a shaft 94 journaled in bearings supported by brackets 95 carried by the machine framework. These chains are also trained about guides 96, fixed to the brackets 95.
A second set of serrated slats 98, similar to the first set of slats 91, is mounted on the brackets 95 above the first set of such slats. Both sets of slats are disposed so that if they are driven in the direction of the arrows, FIG. 2, several of the slats 91 will be in mesh with several of the slats 98 to grip the yarns emerging from the first printing station 20 and feed them to the second printing station. One or both of the sets of slats 91 or 98 may be mounted for vertical adjustment, FIG. 3, in order to vary the degree of mesh by such slats.
The feeding of the yarn through the printing apparatus is under control of the feed rolls 74, 75 and the intermeshing slats of the feeding mechanisms. As the yarn is fed through the various printing stations, it will be printed on from both above and below by the opposed pads 42. From the time the yarn leaves the feed rolls 74, 75, it is moved along a substantially horizontal path to prevent, as much as possible, any migration of dye along the length of the yarn.
As the sheet of yarns emerges from the yarn printer, FIG. 1, and before it enters the steamer, an index yarn is inserted in the sheet for a purpose described below. The index yarn is a single strand of yarn which has an index mark printed at intervals. The leading edge of each index mark may be spaced from the leading edge of adjacent index marks a distance equal to the length of the pattern repeat printed on the sheet of yarns by the aforementioned printing apparatus. The apparatus for printing the index mark on the index yarn is indicated by the arrow 100, FIG. 3, and is similar to the apparatus of the first printing station, above described, except that the width of the pads utilized to print the index yarn is of a width only sufficient to accommodate the printing of one yarn. In the present embodiment I print the index marks on the index yarn with a black dye, however, when a black dye, or a dye of another suitably dark color is used to print the pattern on the sheet of yarns, the index yarn could be printed at any of the printing stations utilizing such a dye, thereby obviating the need, in that instance, for the separate index yarn printing apparatus indicated by the arrow 100 in FIG. 2. As described in my aforesaid co-pending application, the index marks are sensed by a photocell device and the advantage of printing the index marks with a black or other suitable dark color will be appreciated.
After the index yarn is inserted in the sheet of yarns, the sheet passes through a steamer and dryer where the yarn is steamed and dried and then wound on a beam. As stated above, the yarn follows a substantially horizontal path from the time it leaves the feed roll 75. As the sheet of yarns Y enters the steamer, FIG. 8, the yarn is gripped between two stainless steel mesh belts 101, 103, lined with a non-absorbent mesh material such as polypropylene or the like. The belts are trained around rollers 104 carried by shafts 1104a journaled in bearings in the steamer framework, and are driven by an endless chain 105 trained around sprocket wheels carried by certain of the shafts 104a and a motor M. The non-absorbent liner may be attached to the belts 101, 103 by any suitable means, for example, by ties along its edges. The yarns are carried through the steamer where the dye is set by means of steam applied thereto through steam feed lines spaced along the length of the steamer. Upon leaving the steamer, the yarn and belts are washed by water fed from a supply line indicated in FIG. 8.
From the steamer the yarn is fed to a dryer, FIG. 9,
where the sheet of yarns is again gripped between a pair of porous belts 107, I08 and carried therethrough in order that it may be dried preparatory to being wound on a beam I07. From the dryer the sheet of yarn is fed around a dancing roll to a beam on which the yarn is wound. The switches I12, 113 of the dancing roll, FIG. 11, control the on-off operation of the beam in a manner well known in the art, that is, as the reservoir of yarn located between the rolls I15, 116 increases, the roll I17 carried by an endless chain 118 will move in a downward direction, causing the lug 120 to move upwardly. When the lug 120 contacts the switch I13 the beam 127 will be actuated to rotate and take up the reservoir of yarn. Operation of the beam will then continue until the lug I20 moves downward a sufficient distance to actuate the switch 112 and halt operation of the beam.
I mention above that each of my printing stations is capable of handling a sheet of yarns comprising approximately one hundred forty-four ends of yarn. The width of the apparatus above described to print, steam, dry, and beam, etc., could, of course, be varied in size to accommodate a greater number'of yarns, but suffice it to say that I have found a sheet of yarns in the above dimension to be quite convenient to handle. Additionally, although in my preferred embodiment I transfer dye from the various dye troughs by means of pads carried by the slats such as the slats 41, l have found that it is possible to transfer the dye by means of forming a rippled surface on the flat surface of such slats, thus doing away with the pads 42.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. A method of preparing a supply of printed yarn comprising the steps of withdrawing yarn from a first yarn supply, presenting said yarn to a printing zone, printing said yarn with a plurality of patterns, withdrawing other yarn from a second yarn supply, inserting said other yarn among the yarn withdrawn from said first yarn supply, and printing a single regularly re curring pattern at fixed intervals on said other yarn.
2. A method of preparing a supply of printed yarn comprising the steps of withdrawing a sheet of yarns from a yarn supply, presenting said yarn to a first printing zone, printing said yarn on opposed sides, withdrawing said yarn from said printing zone, withdrawing other yarn from a second yarn supply, inserting said other yarn into said sheet of yarns, presenting said sheet of yarns to a second printing zone, printing said other yarn on opposed sides, presenting said yarns to a steaming zone, steaming said yarns, withdrawing said yarns from said steaming zone, presenting said yarns to a drying zone, drying said yarns, and winding all of said yarns on a carrier.