US 3764450 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 9, 1973 G. H. TESCH 3,764,450
ELASTIC FIBER FLEECE MATERIAL 'Filed March 26, 1969 Fig! 0 Fig.2
United States Patent O 3,764,450 ELASTIC FIBER FLEECE MATERIAL Guenter Horst Tesch, Fribourg, Switzerland, assignor to Breveteam, S.A., Fribourg, Switzerland Filed Mar. 26, 1969, Ser. No. 810,564 Claims priority, application Switzerland, Mar. 26, 1968,
4,566/ 68 Int. Cl. B321) /02, 3/10 US. Cl. 161109 5 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A fleece fabric material provided with closed slits which improve its flexibility, feel and stretchability, the length of the slits not exceeding 6.5 mm.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention relates to a fleece fabric material which has improved flexibility, feel and stretchability.
Description of the prior art The known fleece materials which are manufactured from textile fibers by mechanical or chemical hardening have generally a rather hard feel and, in addition, only a small expansion capacity and elasticity, these latter being attributed, for the most part, to the rigid bonding together of the fibers. As a consequence, articles of clothing manufactured from fleece materials have met with little success in comparison to such articles when manufactured from textile fabrics. Reference is expressly made to the adverse experiences with fleece materials in the book by Dr. R. Krcma: Textilverbundstolfe (VEB Fachbuchverlag, Leipzig 1963) and in fact on page 19, paragraph 5 articles of clothing of fleece materials have also already been manufactured, for example occupational coats, aprons, especially inexpensive coats etc. These articles have not, however, met with any significant level of commercial success as they lack the softness, suppleness and elasticity of fabric. As possibilities for the improvement of the fleece materials, Krcma makes reference to the development of suitable types of binding agents, of a suitable distribution of the binding agent on the fiber system, and of other possible methods of manufacture.
The intensive research carried out throughout the world however, to find warp and means of avoiding the [difliculti'es present in the known fleeces has, up till now, failed to meet with any success, in the sense that no fleece material is commercially available which has the flexibility and softness, equivalent to or even approaching that of conventional textile fabrics.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is based on the problem of effecting a substantial improvement in the feel and draping capacity of the fleece material.
This problem is solved, according to the invention, by the provision of a plurality of slits having substantially closed contours disposed in patterns, the length of the said slits being not more than 6.5 mm.
The term slit is to be construed in this specification and appended claims as relating to an elongate cut in which the dimension in the transverse direction thereof is infinitely small and approximates zero.
Mention is made in the aforesaid book of synthetic material foils having slits therein (see page 207), the slits impart a high degree of extensibility into the foil. Although the provision of slits in foils has long been known, no suggestion has been made to utilize such slits 'ice in the context of fleece lining materials, notwithstanding the long and intensive investigations carried out into the problems met with in producing satisfactory fleece lining materials.
That no attempt has been made to apply the principle of forming slits in fleece fabrics is possibly a direct consequence of the fact that the slits provided in the foil are relatively long and as such appear likely to detract from the coheseion of the fibers or other textile properties of the fleece material. Upon the expansion of a foil having conventional slits therein, normal holes result which if present in a fleece material would render same substantially unusable in the context of a textile material. For this reason the book cited above on page 212, suggests producing a comparatively small number of binding points in the fleece material to give it a substantial form changing capacity upon stressing.
The present invention provides a fleece material which bears favourable comparison with conventional textile fabrics.
By means of the slits as they have been applied in the fleece material in accordance with the proposal of the present invention, not only is its feel (draping possibility) substantially improved, but so too is its stretchability to the extent that the fleece material approximates the characteristics of textile fabric. A similarity exists in the actual fleece structure in that, as in a fabrice.g. in linen weave-alternately a thread is bound and floated, so in the slitted fleece one part of the fibers is cut and another part of the fibers is uncut or bound. That slitting as means of achieving a requisite handle in fleece, thereby to render the fleece applicable as a lining material where it was thought previously to have no application, has not hithertofore been proposed may be due to the fact that it appears ridiculous first to bind fibers together and then to cut them again. However, only by this seemingly foolish measure can fleece materials, which hitherto always had a paper-like feel, be suitably used in the context of disposable clothing manufacture and laminates.
In my course of the investigations it has become clear that contrary to expectation the absorbability of fleece materials slit according to the invention is considerably increased. The additional advantage renders possible the use of more absorbent slitted fleece materials as, for example, bandages, disposable napkins, underwear and absorbent papers.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will now be described further, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 shows the scheme of a row of pattern of slits with the important references,
FIGS. 2 to 5 show cross-sections through fleece materials with differently formed slits,
FIG. 6 shows a special form and arrangement of the slits,
FIGS. 7 and 8 show, in plan view or in cross-section, further slitted fleece materials.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the simplest form of the invention shown in FIG. 1 the slits D are disposed in staggered adjacent rows E that are substantially parallel to one another. The distance A between successive slits D of a given row E and the distance C between adjacent rows E are preferably equal to the slit length B. Hereby a surprisingly substantial in crease of surface is possible.
If the slits are long relative to the thickness of the material, then such slits are, for many purposes, too conspicuous and upon strong expansion of the material the crosspieces turn out of the surface. It has, therefore, been proved to be particularly advantageous in practice to provide the fiber fleece material, designated hereinafter for the sake of brevity as materials, with so-called minislits which have such a. favourable ratio between material thickness on the one hand and length of slit, separation of slits and of rows on the other hand that the disadvantageous phenomenon aforesaid does not occur, the slits no longer being conspicuous or being almost invisible. For example, a mixture of cellulose and polyamide fibers of approximately six den. thickness and 40 mm. length is so bonded by means of a dispersion of SBR-latex that a fleece material of about 150 g./m. results, the fleece material having a natural expansion of about 0.5% in each direction. If mini-slits of the configuration shown in FIG. 1 are cut in the fleece material, the slits each being about 2 mm. in length with successive slits in a given row and adjacent rows being separated by approximately 2 mm., then the expansion crosswise to the direction of the slits is increased by about 3 to The slits can be opened up fractionally without the bridge parts arching up substantially from the plane by tensioning the material in the transverse direction thereof, the fleece reverting to its original condition immediately after the tension is relieved. The Whole structure acts extraordinarily elastically and the presence of the slits does not detract from the appearance thereof as would be the case if relatively long and closely spaced slits were formed.
Such fleece materials may also be provided with elastic coatings of such character as will readily allow an expansion of, for example, 3%, due to the aforedescribed slitting. During the adhesive spreading procedure, along the direction of the slits, the slits do not gape open, and hence practically no adhesive material penetrates the slits to stick the side faces of the slits together. In the aforedescribed embodiment, the slits extend completely through the whole product, whilst in another embodiment the slits penetrate only partially through the thickness of the material. This latter form of slit, on lateral stretching, gives rise to the arrangement shown in FIG. 2, which latter is to be compared with FIGS. 3 and 4 which show an arrangement wherein the slits are stamped or cut through the material. 'FIG. 5 shows a material structure slitted from both faces, this form of slitting being favoured for thicker articles. By means of the arrangement shown in 'FIG. 5 we are able to produce particularly uniform products having satisfactory expansion properties Without the slits being too readily visible, because upon lateral expansion there remains a thin layer of fiber which is not cut through and which can expand with a spring-like eflect.
A further embodiment of the invention gives rise to a particularly interesting material structure which can expand in all directions, the arrangement of the slits being in accordance with FIG. 6. FIG. 6 shows the diagram of a material provided on one side With slits D and on the other side with slits F arranged perpendicularly thereto, the slits extending only partially through the material and imparting a two-direction expansion characteristic without continuous slit marking.
The formation of slits in fleece materials has the particular advantage that, because of the generally random fiber orientation, a further tearing of the slits is not to be feared as would be the case, for example, with materials not containing fibers, such as, for example, regenerated cellulose. If a certain direction of fiber orientation dominates, then it is generally advisable to form the slits perpendicularly to this direction hence to cut through as large a number of fibers as possible. The slits have the generally desirable advantage of increasing the air permeability of the product. In consequence of the expansion and permeability characteristics of the material it is now possible, for the first time, to employ such fleece materials also directly in the clothing sector where formerly only fabrics, woven materials and knitted materials were usable. The material is of use in the manufacture of clothing, as well as being suitable for use as a lining material for textiles, as a corset material, and also in the hitherto actual main field of fleece materials such as material inserts, shoulder pads, and the like particularly when there is a requirement of better expansion behaviour, as for example, in the inner lining of clothing made from knitted materials.
It is also possible with fleece material products made of synthetic fibers or with fibers having heat sealing properties applied thereto, as by coating or spraying with thermoplastic materials, or by insertion of a binding mass on the forming of the slits, to effect at the same time as the slits are formed a hardening of the fibers among themselves. FIG. 7 shows such a fleece structure. An additional strong binding by means of the cut welding is obtained at the points M. The fiber binding is hereby considerably increased and, in addition, satisfactory additional elasticity and expansion are attained. Such fleece materials may also consist of fibers having different melting points and partly of non-melting fibers. Coarser fiber fleece materials may be used with advantage for cleaning purposes, the slits carrying the cleaning mass and entrained dirt therein and permitting of a satisfactory expansion of the material so that one can draw such materials around surface edges.
As has already been stated, by means of the slitting of the materials absorbability is surprisingly increased. For example a 30 cm. long and 7.5 cm. wide section of a fleece material having slits of 4.0 mm. length disposed in rows, the distance between adjacent slits of the same row being 2.0 mm. and the space between adjacent rows being 1.2 mm. was compared with a like piece of the same unslit fleece material, the pieces were immersed in a dye bath coloured with the dye known under the registered trademark Neocarmin Type B. After 45 minutes the dye solution was sucked into the slit material section a distance exceeding by 6.5 cm. the rise in the unslit fleece material section. The increased expandability due to the slitting of the fleece material has, as a consequence, a certain tendency to tear further at the slit ends. Therefore, it is recommended, where the further breaking strength is to be increased, not to displace the rows of slits in respect of each other.
The fleece material according to the invention is suitable not only for the described purposes but also for insulating, sound-damping, decoration and building purposes; it may also be made in the form of corrugated paper in which the slits are made preferably in the direction of the corrugations and, in fact, in the troughs of the corrugations and/or through the corrugation crest and base simultaneously crosswise to the direction of the corrugatlons.
The term fleece fabric material employed in the foregoing description and appended claims includes non-woven fabrics consisting of a continuous fleece of vegetable and/ or animals and/or synthetic fibers bonded by adhesives or by needling.
1. A non-woven fabric comprising:
(a) a plurality of fibers in said fabric,
(b) said fibers being bonded together throughout said fabgic by an adhesive agent to form a cohesive fibrous we (c) the cohesion of said web being interrupted by a plurality of localized cuts distributed over the entire area of said web,
(d) the cuts having dimensions of approximately zero in the transverse direction and less than approximately 6.5 mm. in the lengthwise direction,
(e) parts of said fibers being severed by said cuts,
(f) whereby said fabric is rendered substantially more flexible and drapable than the same fabric in the uncut condition.
2. A non-woven fabric as defined in claim 1 wherein said fibers are randomly oriented in said web.
3. A non-woven fabric as defined in claim 2 wherein said fibers are primarily oriented in the plane of said web.
4. A non-woven fabric as defined in claim 1 wherein said slits are substantially invisible.
5. A non-woven fabric as defined in claim 1 wherein said slits extend entirely through said web.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Francis 16185 Plansoen et a1 161165 Voigtman 161165 Messerli 161--109 Rasmussen 26447 X Costa et al. 26447 X Harwood 26447 X Long et a1. 22987 6 Scragg 57-157 Such 161-190 X Sack et a1. 156-251 X Hull 161113 X Trimble 161112 X OTHER REFERENCES Zeisberg, M. D., defensive publication No. 544,271 published December 1968, filed April 1966, class 161', sub. 109, published in 857 O. G. 1037.
GEORGE F. LESMES, Primary Examiner M. E. MCCAMISH, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION October 9, 1973 Patent No. 3, 764, 450 Dated Inventor(s) GUENTER. HORST TESCH It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the drawing, Sheet 1, FIG. 1, dimension "B" should be corrected to lit to the other end thereof as follows:
extend only from one end of a single s In the drawing, added to a horizontal slit as follows:
Column 2, line 9, "coheseion" should read "cohesion- Signed and sealed this 26th day of November 1974.
, McCOY M. GIBSON JR. C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents US COMM-DC 6O37B-P69 .5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 1969 0-366-334,