US 3774249 A
A foldable mat adapted to be carried by a child and used thereby at nursery school, kindergarten and elsewhere as a type of bed or pad for rest periods. The mat includes a soft, pliable core enclosed in a colorful casing stitched to the core along longitudinally extending and also along transversely extending lines, at least certain of which form hinges that facilitate a child's folding of the mat into a compact package for storage and carrying. A cover secured to the mat in generally overlying relation with the upper face of the cover serves as a blanket, and a protective sheet removably secured to the underside of the mat protects the same from dirt and abrasion during use. Pockets provided by the mat adjacent one end thereof permit a smock, cap and other articles to be conveniently and accessibly carried, and the folded mat can be placed within a napsack equipped with straps to permit the same to be carried as a backpack by a small child.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent n 1 Ybarra et al.
[ Nov. 27, 1973 FOLDABLE MAT [761 Inventors: Gilbert Ybarra; Anne L. Ybarra,
both of 732 Ellsworth PL, Palo Alto, Calif. 94306  Filed: June 7, 1971  Appl. No.: 150,683
 U.S. Cl. 5/344, 5/334  Int. Cl A47g 9/00  Field of Search 5/334, 334 C, 335, 5/343, 344
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,738,834 3/1956 Jaffe et al. 5/344 X 2,594,438 4/1952 Howe 5/343 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 852,282 10/1952 Germany 5/344 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert Attorney-Joseph B. Gardner  ABSTRACT A foldable mat adapted to be carried by a child and used thereby at nursery school, kindergargen and elsewhere as a type of bed or pad for rest periods. The mat includes a soft, pliable core enclosed in a colorful casing stitched to the core along longitudinally extending and also along transversely extending lines, at least certain of which form hinges that facilitate a childs folding of the mat into a compact package for storage and carrying. A cover secured to the mat in generally overlying relation with the upper face of the cover serves as a blanket, and a protective sheet removably secured to the underside of the mat protects the same from dirt and abrasion during use. Pockets provided by the mat adjacent one end thereof permit a smock, cap and other articles to be conveniently and accessibly carried, and the folded mat can be placed within a napsack equipped with straps to permit the same to be carried as a backpack by a small child.
9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Patented Nov. 27, 1973 .llllll FIG. I
GILBERT YBARRA RNEY FOLDABLE MAT This invention relates to mats and, more particularly, to foldable mats such as those used by children during rest periods in nursery school, kindergarten and elsewhere.
It is common for school children in the lower grades, nursery school and kindergarten for example, to have rest periods during which they recline on the floor preferably upon a small pad provided for this use very small area-rugs often being employed for this purpose.
Arrangements of this type are less than satisfactory since rugs and similar products used therefor do not afford a child any degree of comfort, they are difficult to fold and carry, they are often heavy, and they have sub stantially no esthetic attraction for children.
An object of the present invention is to provide a product specifically intended as a rest mat for children to be used thereby at home, at school and elsewhere as, for example, while travelling in a station wagon or like vehicle. Another object of the invention is in the provision of a mat adapted for uses of the types described, and in which the mat lies flat along a floor surface or the like for use to afford a relatively large area and is foldable into a small compact package for storage and transport.
Further objects, among others, of the present invention are that of providing an improved foldable mat of the character described that is colorful and attractive; is generally utilitarian and comfortable in use; that is equipped with a cover that serves as a blanket to overlie a child resting upon the mat; which also has a protective sheet of durable, easily cleaned material along the underside thereof to protect the same against dirt and abrasion; which is easily folded by a small child be cause of hinge lines provided along the mat at predetermined locations, thereby causing the mat to assume a predetermined disposition when folded; which mat is equipped with pockets permitting articles of clothing and the like to be kept with the mat where they are conveniently accessible; and which mat includes a soft, pliable core substantially covered and enclosed by a casing stitched to the core along both longitudinally extending and traversely extending lines at least certain of which establish the aforementioned hinge lines along which the mat bends when being folded.
Additional objects and advantages of the invention, especially as concerns particular features and characteristics thereof, will become apparent as the specification continues.
An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a mat embodying the invention, the cover component thereof being shown in a partially open position;
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the mat;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, broken longitudinal sectional view taken along the line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an end view in elevation of the mat as it is illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the mat illustrating the same in a partially folded condition;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view illustrating the folded mat within a napsack carrier therefor.
The embodiment of the mat shown in the drawing is indicated generally with the numeral 10, and in the unfolded condition of use thereof shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is a flat, generally planar structure having substantial length and width. The precise dimensions of the mat 10 may be varied greatly depending upon the use intended therefor, and in the case of the mat being used by a young child, such as a rest mat for kindergarten, may have a length of four feet and a width slightly less as, for example, about 2% feet. As indicated, however, these dimensions are in no sense critical.
The mat Ill, as shown best in FIG. 3, includes a core or pad 11 that is relatively soft and pliable and may be formed from a great variety of materials including rubber, cotton batting, and various synthetic plastics as, for example, polyurethane foam. In the mat 10, the core 1 1 is a continuous component covered by a casing 12 that may constitute any of a vast number of materials including natural and synthetic fibers, a fabric such as cotton material, for example. The casing 12 may completely encapsulate the core 11, as shown, and therefore has a top or upper face 13 and a bottom face 14 secured to each other wherever appropriate, as by stitching 15 shown in FIG. 3.
The casing 12 is secured to the core 11 along a plurality of lines at least certain of which form hinge or fold lines along which the mat tends to bend when folded into the compact pad illustrated in FIGS. 6 through 8. In more particular terms, the casing 12 is secured to the core 11 along a plurality of transversely spaced and longitudinally extending lines of stitching, there being four such lines in the embodiment of the mat being considered, and such lines are respectively denoted with the numerals 16, 17,. 18 and 19. The casing 12 is also secured to the core along a plurality of longitudinally spaced and transversely extending lines, thereby being five such lines in the mat 10 respectively denoted with the numerals 20 through 24. The longitudinally extending lines 16 through 19 are substantially parallel, as are the transversely extending lines 20 through 24; and the two sets of lines intersect each other as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 5.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, the various lines of stitching terminate a spaced distance from the upper edge of the mat 10 so as to define a relatively large and unobstructed surface area 25 that serves somewhat in the nature of a pillow or cushion adapted to receive the head and face of a child thereon. Also, a cover 26 overlies the upper face 13 of the casing 12 and is secured thereto such as along the bottom edge 27 and a portion of the side edge 28. The cover 26 may be releasably secured to the upper face 13 along the upper edge 29 of the mat by a plurality of snap fasteners 30 located adjacent the comer portions of the mat. Accordingly, the cover 26 may be fixedly secured along the upper face 13 when the mat is folded for transport and storage, and may be partially released therefrom to permit a child to lie down upon the upper face 13 of the casing 12 and wrap himself with the cover 26. The cover 26 may be formed from the same material as the casing 12 or from an entirely different material.
The mat 10 along the bottom face 14 of the casing 12 is equipped with a removable protective sheet 31 which is advantageously formed of a sturdy, readily cleaned material, such as a transparent polyethylene, which protects the mat during use and yet can be wiped clean with little effort. The protective sheet 31 may be, in the form shown, transparent and may be just slightly larger in length and width than the casing 12 and removably secured thereto by a plurality of snap fasteners 32, all as illustrated in FIG. 2.
Also secured to the bottom face 14 adjacent the upper end of the mat in generally underlying relation with the unobstructed surface area 25 thereof is a pocket-forming member 33 which may be a fabric material stitched or otherwise secured to the face 14 along a transversely extending line 34 and along longitudinally extending lines 35 and 36. The member 33 is unsecured along its upper edge so as to provide pockets adapted to receive a smock, cap or other articles of clothing, etc. therein; and if desired, the member 33 may also be stitched to the face 14 along a median line 37 so as to form a plurality of separated pockets 38.
The mat 10 is adapted to be folded into a compact package for storage to facilite portability thereof, and the stitching lines 17 and 18 define or form hinges along which the mat bends or breaks naturally to facilitate the folding operation which is usually performed by a small child. Such folding is illustrated in FIG. and by way of being specific the mat when flat, upon a floor surface, is shown in FIG. 1, and may be folded normally along one longitudinal edge portion, along the hinge 17, for example, so as to bring such edge portion into juxtaposition with the center area of the mat. Thereafter, the opposite longitudinal edge portion is folded inwardly along the hinge 18 so as to overlie the opposite longitudinal edge. Accordingly, in the particular mat 10 being considered, it is folded longitudinally into three parts or thirds of substantially equal transverse dimensions.
Next, the lower end portion of the partially folded mat is folded inwardly along the hinge formed by the stitch line 27. Thereafter, the upper end portion of the mat is folded thereover, as illustrated in FIG. 7, which tends to break or bend generally along the hinge line 23. As a consequence, a relatively flat, compact package is afforded that may be slipped readily into a napsack 38 having a compartment designed and dimensioned to receive the folded mat therein. The napsack may have a cover flap 39 adapted to be secured in covering relation with the mat 10 by a plurality of snap fasteners 40. Shoulder straps 41 secured to the napsack 38 may permit the entire unit to be carried on the back of a child with his arms looped through the straps.
The material used for the casing 12 and cover 26 may be colored and provided with designs intended to appeal to a child, and the napsack 38 might also be formed of an attractive material, patterned as desired. The mat lies flat when in use and is readily folded and unfolded by a child because of the natural tendency of the mat to fold or break along the various hinge lines. The relatively unobstructed upper portion 25 of the face 13 affords a comfortable place for the child to rest his head and face, and the cover is convenient to use in that rather large open areas thereof are afforded to the casing l2 by being attached thereto. The pockets 38 enable accessories to be carried with the mat so that they are not readily misplaced or lost and yet do not interfere with the use of the mat, especially folding thereof.
While in the foregoing specification an embodiment of the invention has been set forth in considerable detail for purposes of making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A mat of the character described, comprising a core, and a casing substantially covering the same, said casing being secure to said core along a plurality of spaced apart elongated lineS of stitching interconnectinG said core and casing and forming hinge lines along which said mat tends to bend when folded upon itself, said lines of stitching terminating a spaced distance from the upper edge of said mat to form a substantially unobstructed headrest.
2. The mat of claim 1 in which certain of said lines are transversely spaced and longitudinally extending.
3. The mat of claim 2 in which certain other of said lines are longitudinally spaced and transversely extend- 4. The mat of claim 1 in which said core is soft and pliable and said casing is fabric and substantially encapsulates said core therewithin.
5. The mat of claim 1 and further comprising a cover extending along the upper side of said mat, said cover being secured to said mat along certain of its edges and being releasable along other such edges to enable a child to crawl thereinto.
6. The mat of claim 1 and further comprising a protective sheet releasably secured to said mat along the underside thereof to keep said casing relatively clean.
7. The mat of claim 1 in which said core is soft and pliable and said casing is fabric and substantially encapsulates aid core therewithin, in which certain of said lines are transversely spaced and longitudinally extending, and in which certain other of said lines are longitudinally spaced and transversely extending.
8. The mat of claim 7 and further comprising a cover extending along the upper side of said mat, said cover being secured to said mat along certain of its edges and being releasable along other such edges to enable a child to crawl thereinto, and further comprising a protective sheet releasably secured to said mat along the underside thereof to keep said casing relatively clean.
9. The mat of claim 8 and further comprising a pocket-forming strip of material secured to said casing along the underside of said mat adjacent the upper end thereof and forming at least one pocket adapted to receive articles of clothing and the like therein.