A tool for turning tubular fabric belts, piping and the like inside out comprises first and second separable cylindrical elements which meet endwise to clamp fabric between their ends. Secure clamping of fabric is insured by the engagement of screw threads in the respective elements.
1. A tool for turning fabric tubes comprising:
2. A tool according to claim 1 in which at least one of the clamping surfaces is provided with projections for engaging the clamped portion of the fabric tube to prevent it from sliding outwardly from between the clamping surfaces.
3. A tool according to claim 1 in which the externally threaded member is provided with a narrowed portion adjacent the clamping surface of the second element to expose a greater area of the last-mentioned clamping surface.
4. A tool according to claim 1 in which the externally threaded member is provided with a point at the end remote from the clamping surface of the second element, said point allowing the externally threaded member to penetrate the sewn-closed end of said fabric tube.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to sewing aids and particularly to a tool for turning tubular fabric articles such as belts, piping and the like.
Fabric tubes are used for various purposes, and particularly in dress making where they are used as piping to trim edges or seams, and also as belts. A fabric tube is formed by folding an elongated strip of fabric along a lengthwise crease and sewing it to form a closed tube. The tube is thereafter turned inside out in order to conceal the fabric edges.
Various devices have been used heretofore for facilitating the turning of the fabric tubes. Where tubes are manufactured in production quantities, they are typically turned by means of a machine in the operation of which the fabric tube is pushed onto the outside of a metal tube by an operator and thereafter forced through the metal tube by means of a plunger. A machine of this sort is unsuitable for home use. In the home, fabric tubes are typically turned by means of an elongated rod having a hook at one end which is extended through the unturned fabric tube and hooked onto one end. The fabric is then pulled over the hook. Another device which is used in the home consists of a clip of spring metal which is temporarily secured to one end of the unturned fabric tube and then caused to pass through the tube to effect turning.
While the foregoing devices are relatively satisfactory for turning fabric tubes of large diameter such as belts, their dimensions are often such as to make them unsuitable or at least difficult to use in turning fabric tubes used to form piping, which may be less than one-half inch in diameter. The various turning devices of the prior art are also apt to have surfaces which snag threads of the fabric tube by reason of their sharp edges or projections.
In accordance with this invention, there are provided first and second cylindrical elements which are engageable by means of threads and which meet endwise to clamp a portion of the fabric tube between their ends. The first of the two elements, which is internally threaded, is positioned inside the fabric tube which has a seam at one of its ends in addition to its lengthwise seam. The second element has a threaded extension which is pushed through the seam at the end of the fabric tube for engagement with the first element. When the two elements are threaded together a portion of the end of the fabric tube is automatically clamped between the adjacent ends of the elements.
One object of the invention is to provide a secure attachment of the turning tool to the end of the fabric tube to be turned so that it will not become disengaged from the fabric when the tube is in a partially turned condition. This is accomplished by the use of screw threads which bring the clamping surfaces of the first and second elements forcibly toward each other. Other features which help to satisfy this object are the use of projections on at least one of the clamping surfaces to prevent the fabric from sliding outwardly from between the clamping surfaces, and the provision of a narrowed portion on the threaded extension of the second element adjacent its clamping surface to expose a greater area thereof.
Another object of the invention is to facilitate the turning of very narrow fabric tubes. This object is accomplished by using substantially cylindrical first and second elements which have the same cross-section transverse to their axis, and in which the end of the first element opposite its clamping surface is rounded, whereby there is provided, when the first and second elements are assembled, a smooth external surface which facilitates passage of the tool through the tube of fabric in a turning operation.
A still further object is to provide a turning tool capable of rapid operation. This object is achieved in accordance with the invention by the provision of a sharp point at the end of the extension of the second element remote from the clamping surface. The point enables the user to penetrate the end of the fabric tube with the tool itself, thus avoiding the necessity for using a scissors or another separate cutting tool. It also insures the production of an opening sufficiently small that a maximum area of fabric is clamped between the clamping surfaces.
Other objects will be apparent from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a partially cut away elevation of the turning tool in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is an elevation showing the clamping surface of the left-hand element of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an elevation showing the clamping surface of the right-hand element of FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively illustrate successive steps in turning a tube of fabric by the use of the invention.
FIG. 1 shows first and second elements 2 and 4 respectively of the turning tool in accordance with the invention, the latter being shown in full in FIG. 5. Element 2 has a substantially cylindrical and preferably circular outer surface 6. At one end of element 2 there is provided a clamping surface 8 (also shown in FIG. 2) consisting of projections in the form of radially extending peaks. The opposite end 10 of element 2 is rounded so that there is a smooth transition between end 10 and cylindrical surface 6.
A blind, lengthwise internal passage 12 is threaded at 14 and terminates in a flared portion 16 at the location of clamping surface 8.
The second element 4 of the turning tool has a cylindrical outer surface 18 which is preferably circular and which has the same cross-section transverse to its axis as cylindrical surface 6. Element 4 has a clamping surface 20 (also shown in FIG. 3) which, like clamping surface 8, is composed of projections in the form of radially extending peaks. The opposite end 22 (FIG. 5) of element 4 is also rounded, but as will appear, the rounding of end 22 is not so important as the rounding of end 10 of element 2.
An extension 24 extends outwardly from clamping surface 20 of element 4. Threads are provided at 26 on the extension, and are threadable into the internal passage 12 of element 2 by engagement with threads 14. Extension 24 is pointed at 28, the end remote from clamping surface 20. Extension 24 is also provided with a narrowed portion 30 adjacent clamping surface 20. This narrowed portion 30 exposes a greater area of clamping surface 20 to produce more effective clamping.
FIG. 4 shows a part of a fabric tube 32 having a lengthwise seam 34 and a seam 36 closing one of its ends. The left-hand end of the fabric tube is left open when it is sewn, and element 2 is inserted therethrough with its clamping surface 8 facing the right-hand end of the tube.
With element 2 in position near the right-hand end of the fabric tube as shown in FIG. 5, element 4 is brought into position and its point 28 is inserted through the fabric at the location of seam 36. It is engaged with element 2 by rotation of element 4 so that the threads engage bringing the clamping surfaces forcibly toward each other and tightly against the portion of fabric located between them. With element 4 held in one hand, the fabric tube 32 can be readily pushed with the other hand over the turning tool element 4 as shown in FIG. 7. Once the turning has started, and element 4 disappears inside the fabric tube, the tool is worked through the tube by grasping the fabric surrounding the tool loosely by hand, pushing the tool through the portion of fabric which is grasped, and repeating these two steps until element 2 appears at the opening of the tube. The rounded end 10 of element 2, and the lack of irregularities resulting from the conformity of surfaces 6 and 18 to each other at the location at which the clamping surfaces engage each other, allow the tool to slide readily through the fabric tube.
When the tube is completely turned, element 2 is exposed. The threads are disengaged by turning element 2 manually, and element 4 is then allowed to fall out through the open end of the turned tube. The tube elements may be threaded together for storage to prevent injury.
Various modifications of the invention disclosed herein will occur to persons skilled in the art. For example, the projections of the clamping surfaces might be in the form of concentric circular peaks rather than radial peaks; the projections might be provided on only one of the clamping surfaces rather than on both; extension 24 might be provided with threads having a lower pitch than those shown in FIG. 1 for more rapid tightening. It will be apparent that various other modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.