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Title:
WRINKLE REMOVING PRODUCT AND PROCESS
United States Patent 3674688
Abstract:
A product and process of removing wrinkles and surface effect blemishes from fabric textile materials such as upholstery, drapery and clothing is disclosed. The product is an alcohol-aqueous solution of a surfactant or surface tension reducing material which is a liquid at room temperature and which will evaporate to dryness in a short time. The surfactant material is preferably a quartenary ammonium compound with a dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride compound being most satisfactory. The process of using the wrinkle removing material involves spraying the aqueous-alcoholic solution on the wrinkled fabric and allowing the fabric to dry. The wrinkle removing material will usually evaporate to dryness in from 15 minutes to 1 hour.


Inventors:
Schwartz, Leonard (St. Louis, MO)
Purcell, Harold K. (Pasadena Hills, MO)
Wieselman, Jerome J. (Olivette, MO)
Application Number:
04/867920
Publication Date:
07/04/1972
Filing Date:
10/20/1969
Assignee:
RLR Chemical Company, Inc. (St. Louis, MO)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
38/144
International Classes:
D06M13/463; (IPC1-7): D06M13/46
Field of Search:
252/8.8 117
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3600325N/AAugust 1971Kaufman et al.
3451927FABRIC CONDITIONERJune 1969Tune
3395100FABRIC SOFTENER AND METHOD OF USINGJuly 1968Fisher et al.
3329609Compositions containing quaternary ammonium saltsJuly 1967Blomfield
3325404Composition for simultaneously laundering and softening fabricsJune 1967Cohen et al.
2908651Liquid detergent compositionOctober 1959Grifo
Primary Examiner:
Guynn, Herbert B.
Assistant Examiner:
Pitlick, Harris A.
Claims:
We claim

1. A method of preparing a wrinkle removing material which is effective on porous textile fabrics comprising, preparing an alcohol-aqueous solution and adding a surfactant to the solution, the surfactant being added in proportions of from about 0.4 to 0.6 of 1 percent by weight; the alcohol-aqueous solution consisting essentially of from about 75 percent to 85 percent by weight water, and from 15 percent to 25 percent by weight of an alcohol selected from the group consisting of isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol; the surfactant being selected from the group consisting of quaternary ammonium salts surfactants having the structural formula

2. A product for removing wrinkles from porous textile fabric materials selected from the group consisting of natural fiber materials, porous synthetic fiber materials, and blends containing natural and porous synthetic materials consisting essentially of an alcohol-aqueous solution of a surfactant material having from about 75 percent to 85 percent by weight water, from about 15 percent to 25 percent by weight alcohol selected from the group consisting of isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, and from about 0.4 percent to 0.6 percent by weight of a quaternary ammonium salt surfactant having the structural formula

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is known in the art of caring for fabrics that wrinkles and creases in the fabric material can be removed by the application of moisture to the wrinkled material. In the past it has been necessary to use some means incorporating heat and/or pressure to get moisture into the yarns of the wrinkled textile material in order to provide the relaxing or tension removing effect on the yarns which is needed to remove the wrinkles. The application of heat and/or pressure has taken a number of forms; the housewife commonly uses a steam iron or an iron with a moistened ironing cloth to apply moisture and to drive the moisture into the fabric with heat, from the iron heating unit, and pressure from the weight of the iron and the force applied through the iron handle. Commercially, heat and/or pressure has been applied through use of a device such as the steam press or steam mangle where hot steam under pressure is applied to the wrinkled fabric as the fabric is tightly held between the jaws of the press or passed between pressure rolls.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

We have discovered that it is possible to use a chemical wrinkle removing solution to remove creases and wrinkles from textile and fabric materials without using heat and/or pressure to wet the yarns of the fabric material and relax the surface tension of the material sufficiently to remove the wrinkles. We have also discovered a composition of a chemical wrinkle removing material and a process of using the chemical wrinkle removing material to soften the wrinkled yarns of textile fabric material to remove wrinkles without the application of heat and/or pressure. The wrinkle removing material may be conveniently packaged and carried in small containers so that it may be used at any time. It can be carried in luggage so that a traveler may remove the wrinkles from his clothing on arriving at his destination without having to take his clothing to a pressing shop or carry an iron. The process is simple and is much more convenient than an irOning operation.

The invention involves preparing an alcohol-aqueous solution of a surfactant material which will penetrate the yarns of the fabric material and wet the yarns to provide the softening and surface tension removing effect necessary to relax the fabric sufficiently to allow the wrinkles to fall out. The surfactant material solution will penetrate fabric treating and stain resistant materials such as "Scotchgard" and will still soften the yarns and remove the wrinkles. After the fabric has been softened sufficiently to remove the wrinkles, the solution evaporates leaving a smooth wrinkle free fabric behind.

The wrinkle removing solution is preferably applied by spraying it as a fine mist on the wrinkled area of the fabric. The fabric is hung in the desired shape and the wrinkled area is brushed lightly with a soft brush, or even with the hand, and the fabric material is allowed to dry.

The alcohol-aqueous solution is preferably a solution of a fast drying alcohol such as isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol in water. Distilled water is preferred since it does not have any dissolved solids to leave in the fabric material to cause stains or rings. The surfactant material is preferably a surfactant of the cationic type and is most preferably an organic quaternary ammonium compound such as a quaternary ammonium salt. A suitable surfactant material is a dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride having the following formula:

where R and R1 are alkyl chains having 16 to 18 carbon atoms.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

It is desirable to provide a material which will penetrate and wet the yarns of a wrinkled fabric material without saturating the fabric so that the fabric material can dry in a short time without heat. It is also necessary to get sufficient moisture to the wrinkled yarns of the fabric material to wet and relax the yarns sufficiently to remove the wrinkles. To achieve these conflicting ends, wetting the yarns sufficiently to relax them, not saturating the fabric, and providing a fast drying time of the fabric without heat, an alcohol-aqueous solution is used which has a surfactant material incorporated in it. The surfactant material operates to penetrate and wet the yarns with water without saturating the fabric. The alcohol-aqueous solvent base evaporates quickly and does not mark or damage the fabric. The combination of surfactant in an alcohol-aqueous solvent is even capable of penetrating materials which have been treated with fabric protectors or stain preventing coatings, such as "Scotchgard," removing the wrinkles in the coated fabric materials, and then drying to leave the protective coating intact. A perfume may be incorporated in the product to provide a pleasant residual scent in the treated fabric.

Preferably a distilled or demineralized water is used so that the product will not leave residual dissolved solids in the treated fabric after the fabric has dried. Fast drying alcohols are preferred in the alcohol-aqueous solvent solution such as isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol.

The surfactant material is preferably of the cationic type and should have the property of being able to penetrate and wet the yarns of wrinkled fabric in a low concentration solution. The surfactant should not harm the fabric or the dye system of the fabric and should not leave a residual ring or mark in the fabric on drying. Organic quartenary ammonium salts have proven to be the most satisfactory of the cationic surfactant materials. In particular, a dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride has proven to be the most satisfactory material. The dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride has the structural formula:

where R and R1 are alkyl chains having from 16 to 18 carbon atoms. A suitable dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride surfactant may be obtained from the Armour Industrial Chemical Company under the tradename Arquad 2HT. The surfactant material contains about 24 percent hexadecyl and 75 percent octadecyl chains. The long alkyl chains of the surfactant materials seem to be partly responsible for the relaxing effect of the surfactant material. It is probable that as the positively charged surfactant material attaches itself to the relatively negatively charged textile material and wets it, the surfactant molecule orients itself toward the yarns or fibers in the textile material leaving the alkyl chains exposed. The exposed alkyl chains impart surface softness and lubricity to the yarns and relax the surface tension in the wrinkled yarns.

Typically, the finished product will contain between about 75 and 85 percent by weight distilled water, between about 15 and 25 percent by weight alcohol, between about 0.4 and 0.6 percent by weight surfactant, and between about 0 and 0.5 percent by weight perfume. The perfumes used may be any of the commercially available scents which are soluble in an alcohol-aqueous cosolvent system.

The product may be packaged in aerosol cans having pressurized propellants or in pump-mist containers of a variety of sizes, both for commercial or for personal use. Aerosol containers of a size to fit in luggage or a purse are particularly useful for people who travel. Travelers commonly have wrinkled clothing and frequently do not have convenient access to a cleaning and pressing shop.

The product can be simply used to eliminate the wrinkles from a fabric material, such as a garment, by hanging the garment in the desired shape and spraying the wrinkled area with a fine mist of the product. Care should be exercised to avoid saturating the fabric for best results. The sprayed area should be brushed lightly with a soft brush or with the hand and allowed to dry. If the fabric is badly wrinkled, a second application may be necessary. The fabric will dry within about fifteen minutes to one hour.

The product is effective on all porous textile materials, but is not effective on fiber glass materials or on polished finished surfaces, i.e., on fabric materials which have a synthetic resin coating. By porous textile materials we mean to include all fabric materials other than fiber glass materials, the non absorbent synthetic materials such as nylon, and those materials having polished finished surfaces. The porous textile materials include textiles made from natural fiber materials of both animal and vegetable origin; such as wool, cotton, and linen; textiles made from the porous, absorbent man made fibers such as rayon, acetate, and acrylic; and blends of natural fibers and/or porous man made fibers with non absorbent fibers.

The invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the above description; however, the following examples are included to further exemplify the methods of practicing the invention and are not intended to be of limiting scope.

EXAMPLE 1

A wrinkle removing material having the following composition:

distilled water 80 parts by weight isopropyl alcohol 20 parts by weight dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride 0.5 parts by weight perfume (Felton G.S.- 31) 0.1 parts by weight

was prepared by dissolving the dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride in the isopropyl alcohol and adding the luke warm distilled water. The perfume was added to the mixed solution and stirred until the solution was homogeneous. The solution was filtered and filled into 3 -ounce pressurized aerosol cans by a conventional filling operation.

EXAMPLE 2

A wrinkle removing material having the following composition:

distilled water 75 parts by weight denatured ethyl alcohol 25 parts by weight dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride 0.4 parts by weight perfume 0.1 parts by weight

was prepared by the method of Example 1.

EXAMPLE 3

A wrinkle removing product having the following composition:

distilled water 85 parts by weight isopropyl alcohol 15 parts by weight dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride 0.6 parts by weight

was prepared by the method of Example 1 except that the product was filled into one quart containers fitted with mist pumps.

EXAMPLE 4

A wrinkle removing product having the following composition:

distilled water 80 parts by weight denatured ethyl alcohol 20 parts by weight dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride 0.4 parts by weight

was prepared by the method of Example 1.

EXAMPLE 5

A wrinkle removing product having the following composition:

distilled water 80 parts by weight denatured ethyl alcohol 20 parts by weight dialkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride 0.5 parts by weight

was prepared by the method of Example 1.

EXAMPLE 6

The product prepared by the method of Example 1 was tested on a pair of men's heavy wool trousers which had hung for 3 months on a wire hanger. The trousers had a distinct crease at the place where they had passed over the hanger bar. The trousers were hung by the cuffs from a clip hanger and sprayed with an aerosol can from the batch produced by Example 1. The nozzle of the can was held approximately 15 inches from the creased area and the crease was sprayed with a mist of the product until damp but not saturated. The trousers were allowed to dry for 45 minutes and were examined. It was not possible to determine where the hanger crease had been. There was no residual mark or stain in the fabric of the trousers.

EXAMPLE 7

A pair of men's light weight trousers which were heavily wrinkled after being worn while wearing a seat belt on an hour and one half flight via a commercial plane was treated with the wrinkle removing material produced by the method of Example 1. The wrinkled area of the trousers was lightly sprayed with the material and the trousers were hung by the cuffs. The wrinkled area of the trousers was brushed lightly by hand and the trousers were allowed to dry for about 1 hour. On examination, it was found that all of the wrinkles were gone.

EXAMPLE 8

A man's cotton summer weight sports jacket which was badly wrinkled at the elbows and on the back was treated with the material prepared by the method of Example 5. The jacket was placed on a coat hanger and the wrinkled areas were sprayed with a fine mist of the product. The sprayed area was lightly brushed with a soft brush and allowed to dry for thirty minutes. On examination, the wrinkles were found to be gone.

EXAMPLE 9

A woman's cotton skirt which was wrinkled through the hip area was treated as described in Example 8. After drying for 30 minutes the wrinkles had disappeared.

EXAMPLE 10

A set of antique satin drapes having deep fold creases was treated by hanging the drapes on a traverse rod and moving the drapes to a partially open position. The product produced by the method of Example 1 was sprayed on the creased areas as described in Example 6; the sprayed areas were lightly brushed by hand; and the folds in the drapes were smoothed by hand. After drying for 30 minutes the creases has disappeared.

It is realized that variations in these and related factors could be readily made within the concept taught herein. Hence, the invention is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims and the reasonable equivalents thereof.