US 3922404 A
A crushed pile effect is produced by immersing lengths of velvet in a liquid, such as water or an aqueous dye solution, the reafter forming the wetted velvet into a crumpled ball-like mass and squeezing the mass to express excess water therefrom and thereby randomly crush the pile. The crushed velvet may then be dried in a tumble dryer.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 1111 3,922,404
Priester, Jr. Nov. 25, 1975 [541 CRUSHED PILE FABRIC AND METHOD 2,182,540 12/1939 l-lutchings i 264/233 2,524,119 10/1950 Vanl-leek.... 28/76 P  Inventor: Amos U. Prlester, Jr., LaGrange, 2,563,259 8/1951 Miller 161/64 3,039,842 6/1962 Hajos 68/21 3,049,905 8/1962 Freire 68/21  Assgnee g Spartanburg 3,099,514 7/1963 Haber 117/33 3,314,845 4/1967 Perri 1 v 161/64 22 Filed; O 20 19 9 3,492,144 1/1970 Sheehan et a1. 117/33 .2 ,374  Appl No 49 Primary Examiner-Wflham D. Martm Related US. Application Data Assistant Examiner-Shrive P. Beck  Continuation-impart of Ser. N0. 803,335, Feb. 28, Attorney, g or FirmL-J.Wi1burn; illiam 1969, abandoned. Petry  US. Cl. 427/369; 8/115; 8/147;
26/2 R; 26/69 R; 28/74 R; 28/74 P; 28/76 P;  ABSTRACT 427/206; 427/372; 428/88; 428/90; 8/ A crushed pile effect is produced by immersing  Int. Cl. D06M 9/14 l ngth f v lv t in a liquid, such as water or an aquel Field of Search ous dye solution, thereafter forming the wetted velvet 161/64; 8/115, 28/72 into a crumpled ball-like mass and squeezing the mass 72 74 74 76 69 R to express excess water therefrom and thereby randomly crush the pile. The crushed velvet may then be  References Cited dried in a tumble dryer.
E UNIT D STAirES PATENTS 10 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure 1,978,407 10/1934 Cadgene 28/7214 l/VVE/VTOR AMOS U. PRIESTER,JR.
U.S. Patent Nov. 25, 1975 CRUSHED PILE FABRIC AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application is a continuation in-part of my copending U.S. Patent application Ser. No. 803,335 filed Feb. 28, 1969 now abandoned.
Field of the Invention The present invention relates to fabrics particularly useful for upholstery coverings and the like and to a method for producing such fabrics. More particularly, the present invention relates to crushed pile fabrics such as crushed velvet for a variety of end uses and its method of production.
Description of the Prior Art Velvet generally has been produced utilizing slow, laborious and expensive weaving processes and it has been used extensively as an upholstery fabric for very expensive furniture, particularly chairs, sofas, and the like. As such furniture was used for long periods the velvet pile became gradually crushed to produce a surface characterized by diffused light reflections, color variations and others optical effects. The optical effects are caused by the different light reflecting characteristics of areas having fibers oriented differently. Manifestly, in any given area, the fibers are generally oriented unidirectionally; however, side-by-side areas may be oriented differently to produce the end effect. This crushed appearance has become aesthetically valuable as an indicia of long use and therefore has become associated with antiques and the like. Thus, crushed velvet has become commerically more valuable, for many applications, than uncrushed velvet.
Not only is woven velvet expensive to produce, previous methods for pre-crushing the same have been expensive and to somewhat dubious practicability. For example, it has been suggested to crush velvet by running the same between a pair of metallic rollers provided with high and low areas so that only certain predetermined areas of the pile are crushed. Velvet crushed in this manner does not generally have an authentic appearance and the crush is often only temporary.
Another method used in the past with little commercial success involved twisting woven velvet until the same assumed the shape of a tightly wound or twisted rope. One end of the velvet had to be rotated many times relative to the other end before such twisted configuration could be obtained and therefore the impracticability of such a method is obvious.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The instant invention is directed to providing a novel randomly crushed pile fabric and an economical and efficient process for producing the same. In particular, the invention is directed to a process for crushing pile fabrics such as may be readily produced by weaving, knitting, tufting, flocking, laminating, or like textile operations, by first wetting a length of the pile fabric, thereafter forming the wet fabric into a crumpled mass, and then squeezing the mass to express excess liquid therefrom and to randomly crush the pile. The squeezing of the mass is effected by applying an inwardly directed force to a major portion of the outer surface of the wet mass from a plurality of directions and in the general direction of the center of the mass to compress the same, express excess liquid therefrom, and randomly and permanently crush the pile. Most generally, of course. the wetting of the fabric is accomplished in a dye beck or the like. Specifically, the wet fabric is wadded into a crumpled ball-like mass and is squeezed by applying an inwardly directed force thereto over substantially the entire outer surfce of the mass. After the excess moisture has been expressed from the mass. the crushed pile fabric may be dried, preferably by tumbling the same in the presence of a flow of hot air.
With respect to tufted, woven, and knitted pile fabrics, particularly good results in permanency of crush may be obtained when employing pile fabrics having a total assembly weight, including any adhesive backing material, of less than about 20 ounces per square yard with a pile yarn weight, after shear, of from about 3 to 14 ounces per square yard, and a backing fabric weight. i.e., the weight of the fabric with the pile yarns removed of less than about 8 ounces per square yard. Preferably, the pile height above the backing may be from about 0.05 inch to 0.17 inch. The preferred concentration of pile yarns in the backing fabric is at least about 10 rows and stitches per inch for tufted fabrics. at least about l0 pile warp ends of weft picks per inch in woven pile fabrics, and at least about 10 courses and wales per inch in knitted pile fabrics.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention will be described in detail, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which the single FIGURE is a schematic illustration of a process for producing crushed pile fabric in accordance with concepts and principles of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred process for manufacturing a flocked crushed velvet in accordance with the concepts and principles of the instant invention is illustrated schematically in the drawing. In the process, a continuous length of fabric 10 serves as a substrate for the velvet. Substrate 10 is passed through a first adhesive coating station 12 where it is given a base coat of adhesive for the purpose of stabilizing the fabricof substrate 10 and leveling its surface. The coated fabric is then passed through a drying oven 14 where the base coat of adhesive is cured.
Substrate 10 is then passed through another adhesive coating station 16 where a second coat of adhesive is applied to the surface of the substrate. Flock comprising small fibrous particles is then applied to the coated substrate from a dispenser 18 while the coat of adhesive applied at station 16 is still tacky. The substrate with the uncured adhesive and the flock thereon is then subjected to the action of a plurality of beater bars 20 which are operable to orient the fibrous particles and cause them to stand up on the substrate.
The flocked fabric is then passed through a straight line drying oven 22 which at least partially cures the resin and thereafter the flocked fabric may be passed through a loop dryer 24 to finish the curing of the resin.
As the flocked fabric leaves loop dryer 24, it is cut into lengths which may be 50 yards or more for further handling and processing. These shorter lengths are subjected to dyeing in a beck 26 or the like. Each length of dyed fabric is then formed into a ball-like mass and is placed into an hydraulic extractor 28. The ball-like mass is formed by wadding the fabric by hand or by a sling or other handling equipment in a randomly crum pled fashion into the general shape of a ball. in the hydraulic extractor 28, the ball-like mass is subjected to a high pressure squeezing action to express excess liquid therefrom and to cause the fibrous particles to be randomly and permanently bent and crushed. The permanently crushed. flocked velvet is then dried in a tumble dryer 30. incidentally, the term "permanently" as used in this specification, means that the crush will endure throughout substantially the entire commerical life expectancy of the fabric.
Specifically, substrate may preferably be a high wet modulus rayon, sateen weave, with a count of 88 X 54, 57 inches wide, weighing 2.13 yards per pound. More generally, practically any fabric can be used for the substrate including nylon, acetate, rayon, cotton, and blends of fibers. Rayon and acetate are preferred with rayon being especially preferred. Also the substrate could be a knitted fabric. Twills are also within the contemplation of the invention. The weight of the fabric, of course, should be as required for a given end use. For example, upholstery fabrics are generally much heavier than fabrics utilized for clothing or the like. This invention is applicable to all of these various weight fabrics and different end uses.
The base coat of adhesive applied at station 12 is not an absolute necessity in the process. However, it has been found that through the use of a base coat of adhesive, the final product is generally more regular and consistent in appearance and properties. The adhesive applied at station 12 may preferably be an acrylic resin. An adhesive which has been found to be particularly useful comprises a non-ionic, self crosslinking acrylic emulsion which may be thickened as desired, as is well known in the art, with an appropriate thickener. Other adhesives, including those that are breatheable, are also known in the art.
After the base coat of adhesive is applied to the substrate 10, the coated substrate is passed directly through a drying oven where the base adhesive coating is heated to approximately 275 to 300F for a sufficient period of time to cause the base coat of adhesive to become substantially cured. This base coat, as mentioned above, is primarily used for the purpose of stabilizing the fabric and providing a level surface thereon.
After the base coat of adhesive has been cured, the coated fabric is then passed through adhesive application station 16 where a second coating of adhesive is applied. This second coat may preferably be of the same basic material as the adhesive applied at station 12. Often, however, the viscosity of the adhesive applied at station 16 may be different than the viscosity of the adhesive applied at station 12. This viscosity, which may be adjusted by adding an appropriate thickener, is determined by the nature of the substrate as wells as the nature of the particles applied from dispenser 18. These criteria are well known in the art and need not be discussed in greater detail. The only critical requirement is that the adhesive provide a good bond for bonding the particles to the substrate and that the adhesive be capable of withstanding the temperatures encountered in later processing steps. For example, the curing ovens operate at a temperature of approximately 275 to 300 F and dyeing temperatures may often be as high as 212 F or above.
After the coating of adhesive is applied to the substrate in adhesive application station 16, particles of flock are applied thereto from dispenser 18. Preferred particles are viscose rayon and cellulose acetate or combination thereof. Rayon is especially preferred. Specifically with the rayon substrate described above. it has been found that a 5.5 denier viscose rayon flock having a particle length of0.08 inch is very satisfactory. Other particles which may be used include polyamides such as nylon. polyesters, polypropylene, and cotton. The process may be employed using fibers of deniers up to 15 or even greater while the fiber length may be 0.2 inch or more.
Generally speaking, the greater the denier of the fiber. the greater the length of fiber preferred to give the desired crush in this process. In this respect. particles which are about 9.5 denier and about 0.12 inch long are operable for the purposes of this invention. As a practical limit, the fibers should have a denier within the range of from about 1 to about 12 with a corresponding fiber length between about 0.05 inch and 0.17 inch.
After the substrate has been flocked with fibrous particles, the same is preferably subjected to mechanical beating with octagonally shaped, rotating bars 20, as is well known in the art. The beater bars 20 rotate beneath the substrate with the adhesive and the fibrous particles thereon to cause the fibers to become oriented substantially normally to the surface of the substrate. It is believed that the beater bars develop a small electrostatic field in the area of the fibers which causes them to stand up on the basic fabric.
Instead of beater bars 20 as illustrated, the fibrous particles may be oriented in an electrostatic flocking field. This method is often used to increase density and penetration of the individual fibers into the adhesive coating. However, the power consumption is substantial and therefore operating costs, as compared to mechanical beating may be quite high, although'the increased cost may be offset to a considerable degree by a higher rate of flocking using the electrostatic method.
Another arrangement which is operable for the purposes of the invention is to use mechanical beater bars and to supplement their action with an electrostatic field. Here again, the power consumption may be greater than if mechanical beater bars are used alone, but again this may be substantially offset by a higher rate of flocking.
The flocked fabric is then passed through a straight line drying oven 22 which is similar in application to oven 14. This straight line drying process is continued until the resin has cured sufficiently to permit bending of the flocked fabric to thereby allow further curing to be accomplished in loop dryer 24. The primary advantage of loop dryer 24 is that floor space is conserved. The total drying operation actually could be accomplished in a straight line oven where sufficient residence time at 275 to 300F is provided to cure the resin.
After the adhesive of the flocked velvet fabric is fully cured, the fabric is cut into lengths which may be approximately 50 yards or more to facilitate further handling in batch type operations. The flocked velvet is then dyed in conventional dyeing equipment such as becks or paddle wheel tanks containing an aqueous dye solution. Some dyeing operations must be carried out at a temperature close to the boiling point of water and thus the adhesive preferably should have the property of being able to withstand such temperatures while fully immersed. lf dyeing is not required, the length of flocked velvet may be readily wet out by fully immersing it in a liquid, preferably water.
The dyed (or at least fully wetted) fabric is then formed into a crumpled mass and placed into hydraulic extraction apparatus 28 where the mass can be squeezed to express liquid therefrom and to thereby randomly and permanently crush the pile. The preferred apparatus 28 includes a tub 28a and a rubber diaphragm 28b. The wetted fabric may be wadded into a crumpled ball-like mass and placed within diaphragm 28b. The lid 280 of the apparatus is then rightly connected to tub 28a and water at a pressure of about 300 p.s.i. is pumped into tub 28a beneath diaphragm 28b through inlet 28d. This water forces diaphragm 28b toward lid 28c which is provided with appropriate drain openings (not shown). Thus, the fabric mass will be squeezed and the bulk of the water in the fabric mass within diaphragm 28b will be expressed out of the mass. While other types of water extractor equipment might be utilized, the crumpled mass of pile fabric is necessar ily subjected to inward compression from a plurality of directions. This may be done, for example, by applying an inwardly directed force to the mass over substantially the entire outer surface of the same. It can be seen that apparatus 28 as described accomplishes this function. Thus, the excess water is removed and the pile fibers are crushed in a permanent and random fashion.
The amount of pressure required in squeezing the mass of fabric may vary depending upon a number of factors such as the material used in the substrate, adhesive and fibers, the size of the fibers and the like. The important consideration is to provide sufficient pressure to achieve random and permanent re-orientation of at least a substantial portion of the pile fibers to achieve a permanent crushed effect.
In the continuous operation described, the fabric is subjected to the squeezing operation shortly after removal from the dye beck which is maintained at an elevated temperature which may vary according to the dyeing requirements but which is typically around, say, 190F or so, where the fabric may be handled by hand. With many commercial fibers, the temperature of the squeezing operation is not a controlling factor, and with some fibers, such as rayon, squeezing to achieve permanent crushing may be effected at room temperature although in some cases results could be somewhat enhanced by use of a higher temperature. With other fibers, such as nylon, substantially higher temperatures may be particularly desirable. The combined effect of liquid and elevated temperatures brings about the required permanent re-orientation of the nylon pile. Moreover, the particular substrate employed may influence the temperature factor. For any specific fabric, the determination of the particular temperature to achieve optimum results would be a simple and routine matter. Still further with some fibers, such as rayon or cotton, it may be desirable to pretreat the fibers to enhance their retention of the crush, for example, by the use of a textile resin or a surface polymer.
After the bulk of the water has been expressed from the mass, water pressure may be retained under the diaphragm for a period of time of approximately minutes or so to further randomly crush the pile of the fabric. It has been found that a water pressure of approximately 300 p.s.i. is capable of producing an excellently crushed flocked velvet fabric in apparatus 28. After the squeezing operation has been completed, lid 28c is removed from apparatus 28 and the mass of fabric is pref- 6 erably then dried in tumble dryer 30. Tumble dryer 30 is a conventional industrial tumble dryer wherein the fabric being dried is tumbled continuously in the presence of a flow of hot air. This operation adds a polish to the crushed pile of the fabric and generally gives the pile additional loft.
Other types of conventional dryers. such as the loop dryer 24, may be utilized for drying crushed pile fabrics; however. the product obtained in a tumble dryer such as 30 is believed to be more valuable from an aesthetic standpoint. On the other hand, a crushed pile fabric produced in dryers other than tumble dryers certainly has great commercial value and may even be better than the tumble dried material for some purposes. Manifestly, the utility of the invention is to provide an attractive fabric and it is not always possible to predict with certainty exactly which fabrics will prove to be commercially successful an which will not. Thus, while the tumble dried product might appear to one person to be more beautiful, the same fabric dried by other means might be thought to be more beautiful to other persons.
The manufacture of the flocked velvet fabric and the crushing operation need not be continuous as heretofore described. A previously made fabric having been dyed and dried at a later time may be thoroughly wetted, preferably saturated. with water or other liquid and subjected to a crushing operation such as that performed in the hydraulic extraction apparatus 28. Moreover, the invention may also be employed using conventional woven velvet in either a continuous process where the fabric is wetted and crushed immediately after weaving or non-continuous where the pre-woven fabric is wetted and crushed at a later time. If desired. the wetting and crushing operations with any type of velvet or other pile fabric may be performed without dyeing.
By way of further example illustrating manufacture of a crushed tufted velvet fabric in accordance with the present invention, a 1,000 position creel was loaded with 864 packages of 20s (cotton count) four-ply bright rayon yarn, and the yarn fed to a 0.0625 inch gauge tufting machine of the type disclosed in Short U.S. Pat. No. 3,089,442. The yarn was tufted into a 57- inch wide high wet modulus rayon sateen backing fabric 4.75 ounces per square yard to produce a tufted pile fabric having a loop height of 0.125 inch and 17 stitches per inch.
The thus tufted fabric was back coated with an emulsion of polyethyl acrylate (Rohm & Haas Rhoplex HA-S) and then dried and cured at 300F for 15 minutes. The coated fabric was sheared on a Parks and Woolson Merrimack Shearer to a sufficient depth to cut all the loops, and leave a pile of approximately 0.100 inch in height above the backing fabric, and a pile weight of 10 ounces per square yard.
The cut pile fabric having a total weight of 18 ounces per square yard was scoured with a 1% tetrasodium pyrophosphate solution at a temperature of F for 10 minutes and thereafter rinsed and dyed with a conventional direct dyestuff. After dyeing, the fabric was cooled and rinsed.
A 50-yard length of the dyed fabric was removed from the beck and, while still wet, manually placed into a woven nylon bag in a random manner. The bag containing the wet fabric was placed into a hydro-extractor of the type Zephyr Model H Hydraxtor made by Hydraxtor Company of Moline, Ill., and crushed for 10 7 minutes under a water pressure of 350 pounds per square inch. After releasing the pressure, the fabric was removed from the hydroextractor and dried in a commercial tumbler dryer (Huebsch Manufacturing Company) at l80F for 75 minutes.
in the crushed pile fabrics produced by the present invention, the pile fibers maintain their disoriented and crushed state permanently and the finished product gives the appearance of woven velvet that has received years of wear. The fabric needs no further conditioning and is ready for application to furniture and the like, thus allowing one of modest income to own a product heretofore associated only with the wealthy or well-todo.
Each length of fabric of the instant invention is different because the lengths are randomly crumpled prior to squeezing. This also produces a fabric wherein the disorientation of the pile fibers is much more random than previously known crushed velvets. This is to say, each small area of unidirectional crush where the fibers are crushed in substantially the same directions is surrounded by a plurality of other small areas. each having its own particular unidirectional orientation. The specific and overwhelming characteristics of the crushed velvet of the instant invention are its uniformly random disorientation and the size of the individual areas of unidirectional crush. Previously known crushed velvet had some uniformity to the disorientation. For example, in crushed velvet produced by twisting, the crushed areas were more likely to extend longitudinally of the fabric. In fabric crushed through long usage, large areas were crushed some what uniformly while other areas remained uncrushed.
In addition to the product characteristics already identified, the invention provides: (a) a deep and permanent random crush which produces light-scattering effects; (b) a lofty velvet far superior to conventional velvets of the same weight; (c) a velvet having a high tear and tensile strength; (d) lower production costs; and (e) an inexpensive and ready-to-use crushed velvet for upholstering items such as chairs, sofas; etc.
Although the crushed velvet fabrics of the present invention are particularly useful for upholstery coverings, the fabrics may also be readily employed for the production of draperies, wearing apparel, bedspreads, wall coverings, shoe linings, and the like.
Having thus described in detail a preferred method which embodies the concepts and principles of the invention and which accomplishes the various objects, purposes and aims thereof, it is to be appreciated and will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many physical changes could be made in the method without altering the concepts and principles embodied therein. Hence, it is intended that the scope of the invention be limited only to the extent indicated in the appended claims.
1. A method for producing a crushed pile fabric comprising the steps of a. wetting a length of tufted pile fabric capable, when wet, of receiving a substantially permanent crush upon the application of pressure;
. forming the wet fabric into a crumpled ball-shaped mass; and
c. applying an inwardly directed force to a major portion of the outer surface of the wet mass from a plurality of directions and in the general direction of the center of the mass to compress the same, express excess liquid therefrom and randomly and permanently crush the pile.
2. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the pile fabric has a total weight of less than about 20 ounces per square yard, a pile weight of from about 3 to 14 ounces per square yard, a backing fabric weight of less than about 8 ounces per square yard and a pile height of from about 0.05 to 0.17 inch.
3. A method as defined in claim 2 wherein the pile fabric has a tufted pile concentration in the backing fabric of about 10 or more rows and stitches per inch.
4. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the fabric comprises rayon pile.
5. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the fabric comprises acetate pile.
6. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein the said fabric is compressed while at elevated temperature.
7. A method as defined in claim 1 wherein said wetting step includes immersing the fabric in water.
8. A method as defined in claim 14 wherein the water contains a dyestuff.
9. A method as defined in claim 1 including the step of drying the crushed pile fabric by tumbling the fabric in the presence of hot air.
10. A method-as defined in claim 1 wherein said inwardly directed force is applied over substantially the entire outer surface of the mass.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 922,404 Dated November 25, 1975 Inventor(s) Amos U. Priester, Jr.
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 4, line 2, the word "combination should read -combinations Column 4, line 3, after the word "described", insert --in detail--.
Column 4, line 29, the words "stand up" should read --"stand up"--.
Column 6, line 18, 'the word "an" should read --and--.
Column 8, line 40-, the number "14" should read --l--.
Signed and Scaled this fifteenth D y Of June1976 [SEAL] Arrest:
RUTH C. MASON C. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner of Parents and Trademarks