US 3807800 A
An upholstered item of furniture in which tufting buttons have both a decorative tufting effect and serve to attach a padding to a frame. The tufting buttons have internally threaded shank portions, and screws are threaded into such shank portions to secure the padding to a frame. A cushion assembly is provided by forming ridges on the shank portions of the tufting buttons and utilizing washer-type fasteners that are attached to the shank portions to hold the tufting buttons in place.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Morrison et al.
[ UPHOLSTERED ITEM OF FURNITURE AND CUSHION ASSEMBLY  Inventors: Andrew I. Morrison, Brooklyn;
Bruce R. Hannah, Staten Island,
both of NY.
 Assignee: Knoll International, Inc., New York,
 Filed: Sept. 8, 1972 [2!] Appl. No.: 287,234
 US. Cl 297/452, 297/219, 5/356  Int. Cl. A47c 7/02  Field of Search... 297/218, 219, 452, 454-457,
297/DIG. 1; 5/280, 353.1, 356; 29/9l9l.4
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,802,297 8/1957 Meyer 5/356 2,782,839 2/l957 Cole 297/219 Primary Examinerlames C. Mitchell Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cooper, Dunham, Clark, Griffin & Moran [111. 3,807,800 i4 1 Apr. 30, 1974  ABSTRACT An upholstered item of furniture in which tufting buttons have both a decorative tufting effect and serve to attach a padding to a frame. The tufting buttons have internally threaded shank portions, and screws are threaded into such shank portions to secure the padding to a frame. A cushion assembly is provided by forming ridges on the shank portions of the tufting buttons and utilizing washer-type fasteners that are attached to the shank portions to hold the tufting buttons in place.
A methods of producing an upholstered item of furniture that utilizes a flexible plate which is substantially flat in the non-flexed state and which is flexed to and held in a desired curvature in the completed item of furniture. The plate is upholstered in the substantially flat, non-flexed state. Thereafter the upholstered plate is flexed to a desired curvature and secured in its flexed state.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures UPI-IOLSTERED ITEM OF FURNITURE AND CUSHION ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to upholstered items of fumiture. The invention involves the use of a tufting button which has both a decorative effect and which serves to hold padding to a frame. In the fabrication of furniture, it is desirable to have the assembly of such furniture as simple as possible. To this end, the present invention utilizes a tufting button which provides not only the usual decorative tufting effect but which also serves to hold padding onto a frame. Desi'rably, such tufting buttons serve as the sole means of attachment of the padding to the frame. Furthermore, an upholstery method may be employed with the invention which utilizes a flexible plate which is substantially flat in the non-flexed state and which is flexed to and held in a desired curvature in the completed item of furniture. The substantially flat, non-flexed plate is upholstered, which is easily accomplished because of the flatness of the plate. Following upholstering, the plate is then flexed to the desired curvature and secured in the flexed state. The tufting buttons just referred to may serve to secure the upholstered plate in the flexed state to a frame, creating a tufting in the upholstery.
Representative prior art patents are as follows: US Pat. Nos. 2,541,835, E. Saarinen, Feb. 13, 1951; 2,940,511, E. S. Gomes, June 14, 1960; 2,993,733, .I. P. Pinkham, July 25, 1961; 3,009,740, G. Nelson, et al. Nov. 21, 1961; 3,014,762, A. Mauser, Dec. 26, 1961; 3,069,204, I.K. Vesterholt, et al., Dec. 18, 1962; 3,121,588, R. Beckman, et al., Feb. 18, 1964; 3,127,201, H. Granlund, March 31, 1964; 3,206,241, .1. G. Stevens, Sept. 14, 1965; 3,233,253, A. Cauvin, Feb. 8, 1966; 3,266,065, S. Bereday, Aug. 16, 1966;
3,295,890, P. N. G. Murdoch, Jan. 3, 1967; US. Pat. No. 3,523,710, C. .I. Barecki, et al. Aug. 11, 1970; Re. 27,336, S. Bereday Apr. 11, 1972. Belgium Pat. No. 545,957 (1956)- The invention will be more completely understood by reference to the following detailed description, to be read in conjunction with the appended drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a chair embodying the invention.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view, to an enlarged scale, of the chair shown in FIG. 1, taken along the section 3-3 in FIG. 1. I FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG. 3 showing the details of the forming of a cushion assembly.
FIGS. 5 to 7 illustrate an uphblstery niethod useful in the practice of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a chair is shown embodying the invention. The chair includes a back rest portion 12 and seat portion 14. The back rest and seat portions are secured to a frame 16 as will be described in more detail below. The frame 16 includes a back rest 3,285,660, R. Beckman, et al., Nov. 15, 1966;
support section 16a and a seat support section 16b. Attached to the seat support section 16b is a conventional pedestal assembly 18.
The back rest 12 and seat 14 are secured to the frame 16 by means of tufting buttons 20 which provide both a decorative tufting effect and a fastening effect. Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, which show the fastening of the seat 14 to the seat support section 16b of the frame, it will be noted that the seat '14 comprises a padding 22 which is covered by an upholstery material 24. Positioned within the padding is a stiffening element 26. The padding 22 includes holes 22a therethrough; likewise the upholstery material 24 includes holes 24a and 24b theret-hrough as does the stiffening element 26 (holes 26a therethrough). A tufting button 20 that is used includes a head portion 20a that is exposed to view and which provides the decorative effect. The tufting button also includes a shank portion 20b which is internally threaded so that a screw 28 may be threaded therein to hold the seat 14 in place. The shank portion 20b of the tufting button is also grooved on the outside thereof, as at 20c, in order to receive a washer 30.
Referring to FIG. 4, the seat 14 may be considered to be a cushion assembly which includes the padding 22, the stiffening element 26 and the upholstery material 24. The tufting buttons are positioned so that the shank portions 20b pass through the holes 22a, 24a and 24b, and 26a respectively in the padding, upholstery material and stiffening element. The washers 30 are pressed onto the ridged ends 20c of the shank portions of the tufting buttons. This provides a cushion assembly which may be independently stored or used immediately.
The cushion assembly is fastened to the frame 16 as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In particular, the screws 28 pass through the frame section 1611 and are threaded into the internally threaded shank portions of the tufting buttons 20. Tightening of the screws 28 produces the finished chair assembly shown in FIG. 3.
The back rest 12 of the chair is held to the frame sec- 7 tion 16a by thesame technique utilizing tufting buttons 20 and screws 28.
Referring to FIGS. 5 to 7, an upholstery technique is shown utilizing a flexible plate 40 which is substantially flat in the non-flexed state thereof as shown in FIG. 6. The flexible plate 40 is similar to the stiffening element 26 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 described above. The plate 40 may be flexed to a desired configuration or curvature in the completed item of furniture, as shown in FIG. 7. However, in the non-flexed state thereof, it is substantially flat as just described. In the non-flexed state thereof, the plate 40 is upholstered. The upholstery may take the form of a resilient foam material 42 and a covering fabric 44. The upholstering of the substantially flat, non-flexed plate 40 is relatively simple, inasmuch as no difficult curves are present. Any sewing that need be done is essentially two-dimensional.
Following the upholstering of the plate 40, the plate may be flexed and secured to a frame 46. To this end, tufting buttons 20, screws 28 and washers 30 as described above in connection with the chair of FIGS. 1 to 4 maybe utilized in securing the upholstered plate to the frame 46.
Any desired curvature may be utilized. FIG. 7 shows a chaise longue as an example. A chair or other items of furniture could be produced. Additionally, portions of the flexible plate might be bent adjacent other portions thereof and secured to each other by fasteners, such as the tufting buttons 20. A multiplicity of various shapes can be produced. One unit may be attached to another unit, for example, to gang together chairs. Further, the item may be adjustable, for example, a seat back angle adjustment is possible with one upholstered flexible plate, or a lounge chair might be convertible to a bed. In these examples a substantially flat plate is utilized in the non-flexed state to facilitate the upholstering thereof, which is thereafter shaped to a desired curvature and secured in place. If upholstery repair or reupholstering or cleaning must be completed, the upholstered flexible plate is simply removed from the supporting framework; it returns to the substantially flat,
non-flexed state in which the repairs or reupholstering What is claimed is:
1. An upholstered item of furniture comprising a frame, a padding, one or more tufting buttons each having an internally threaded shank portion, and one or more screws threaded into the internally threaded shank portions of the tufting buttons securing the padding to the frame.
2. An item of furniture according to claim 1, including a stiffening element within the padding.
3. An item of furniture according to claim 2, in which the shank portion of each tufting button passes through a corresponding hole in the stiffening element.
4. An item of furniture according to claim 3, including a fastener engaging the outside of each shank portion of a tufting button to hold the tufting button in place and to create a cushion assembly.
5. An item of furniture according to claim 4, in which each shank portion of the tufting buttons includes ridges on the outside thereof to hold the fastener in place. A i 6. A cushion assembly adapted for subsequent fastening to a frame comprising a padding, one or more tufting buttons each having a shank portion passing at least partly through the padding, and one or more fasteners attached to the shank portions of the tufting buttons to hold the tufting buttons in place, each shank portion including means used for subsequent fastening to a frame.
7. A cushion assembly according to claim 6, in which said means used for subsequent fastening to a frame comprises internal threading on said shank portion.
8. A cushion assembly according, to claim 6, including a stiffening element having holes therein through which said shank portions pass.
9. A cushion assembly according to claim 8, in which each of said shank portions includes ridges on the out-' side surface thereof, and each fastener comprises a washer that engages the ridges of the associated shank portion.