(12) United States Patent (io) Patent No.: US 6,797,352 B2
Fowler (45) Date of Patent: Sep. 28,2004
(54) HEMS, EDGES, PATCHES AND SEAMS FOR DURABLE, WATER REPELLANT WOVEN FABRIC, AND METHODS FOR MAKING THE SAME
(76) Inventor: Rick Fowler, 10019 15th Ave.
Northwest, Seattle, WA (US) 98177
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 43 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 10/336,616
(22) Filed: Jan. 2, 2003
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2003/0138586 Al Jul. 24, 2003
Related U.S. Application Data
(60) Provisional application No. 60/345,757, filed on Jan. 4, 2002.
(51) Int. CI.7 B32B 3/04; B32B 3/06
(52) U.S. CI 428/57; 428/122; 428/193;
(58) Field of Search 428/122, 192,
428/61, 57, 99, 100, 193, 194; 2/275; 112/419
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,364,678 A 11/1994 Lumb et al
5,660,914 A 8/1997 Essig et al
Edges, hems, patches and seams for woven fabric that has been treated for water repellency, and methods for making the same, are shown and described. In one particular embodiment of the invention, for example, a lapped seam between two pieces of water repellent fabric has an outer material at least partially overlapping an inner material, and a laminate strip positioned between the overlapping portions of the materials. The outer and inner materials, which are both oriented in the same direction, have an exterior layer of woven fabric that has been treated with water repellent and/or stain repellent chemicals, and an inner layer comprising a polymer membrane, such as polyurethane. The laminate strip has a bottom portion in contact with the outer layer of the inner material. The bottom portion has a low melt point, high flow rate adhesive system of one or more layers that penetrates and surrounds the fibers in the woven fiber of the outer layer of the inner piece of material. The laminate strip also has a top layer in contact with the inner layer of the outer piece of material. The top layer of the laminate is a thin, elastic, highly abrasion resistant material with a strong bonding affinity for polyurethane. The layers of the laminate strip bond to the adjacent layers of the overlapped material to create a strong lap seam.
37 Claims, 11 Drawing Sheets