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The invention relates to an apparatus for drying a delicate textile item, comprising a drum which can rotate about an axis for receiving the textile item and moving the textile item in an air flow which penetrates the drum.
Such an apparatus is known from DE 101 03 987 A1, EP 1 048 996 B1, EP 1 098 028 B1 and EP 1 108 812 B1. Each of these documents discloses a corresponding apparatus, embodied as a tumble dryer for use in a conventional household. In the apparatus according to DE 101 03 987 A1, a drying rack is provided that can be used in the drum and is not rotatable therewith. A delicate textile item to be dried in the apparatus can be laid on said drying rack for drying. During operation of the apparatus, this textile item remains motionless on the drying rack and is thus not subjected to mechanical stress that would be unavoidable if the textile item were moved by the movement of the drum during the drying process. It is thereby possible to dry a textile item made of fine fabric, in particular knitted woolen fabric or interlaced yarns.
The use of a drying rack may, however, not always be considered to be a suitable solution for drying a delicate textile item. Firstly, significant effort is required to install the drying rack and to arrange the textile item on the drying rack. Contact of the textile item with the drying air flow is sometimes impaired which, firstly, makes it difficult to estimate the time required to dry the item and, secondly, considerably lengthens this time.
The object of the invention is to provide a technical embodiment for a tumble dryer or the apparatus described in the introduction which simplifies the drying of a delicate textile item and also makes it easier to estimate the time required, as well as speeding up the process. Any aids required should be contained within the tumble dryer or the apparatus and be capable of activation by an ordinary operator as required.
To achieve said object an apparatus for drying a delicate textile item is specified, comprising a drum which can rotate about an axis for receiving the textile item and moving the textile item in an air flow which penetrates the drum, wherein a net is fastened stowably in the drum which can rotate with the drum to receive the textile item during the drying process.
The invention and preferred developments are also the subject matter of the present claims.
According to the invention, the apparatus outlined above is enhanced with at least one component which can be activated and deactivated by an ordinary user as required and which causes a delicate textile item to be dried satisfactorily. This component, namely the net, receives the textile item so that it is subjected to the drying air flow and essentially moves synchronously with the drum, but is not subject to the distortion which would arise if a textile item lying freely in the drum were to be shaken about upon rotation of the drum. The net is thereby fastened in the drum, so that it can be stowed when the drum is not in use.
The net is preferably connected to the drum using an elastic cord and can be attached in the drum by means of hooks. Furthermore the drum preferably has a closable compartment for receiving the net as desired, so that the net can be stowed in this compartment when it is not required. Preferably also, this compartment is located in an agitator for agitating the textile item upon rotation of the drum, or in a rear wall of the drum and an eyelet or the like is provided to attach the net in the drum in at least one other agitator.
Preferably, the drum has three or four agitators.
The net is preferably embodied with a diameter that is significantly smaller than that of the drum and several hooks are provided on the net to attach the net in the drum. Furthermore, the net has a fastener, in particular a Velcro fastener or a zip in order to be able to enclose the delicate textile item securely therein.
The apparatus is preferably embodied as a tumble dryer, in particular for use in a conventional household.
Generally the invention discloses the drying of a delicate item for a conventional household in a particularly simple and favorable manner. The means required for this purpose is an integral component of the apparatus and when said means does not need to be used it can be securely stowed in the apparatus without any other function of said apparatus being impaired. When using this apparatus to dry a delicate textile item, it can be operated with a reduced heat output compared to a conventional drying process so as not to heat the textile item too excessively which could cause damage to the item. This measure does not have a negative effect on the duration of the drying since due to the movement of the net in conjunction with the drum, it is ensured that an even flow of air is applied to the textile item.
Exemplary embodiments of the invention can be seen from the drawing, wherein
FIG. 1 shows an apparatus for drying a delicate textile item;
FIG. 2 shows a view of an agitator;
FIG. 3 shows a net for enclosing a delicate textile item.
Each figure should be regarded as a sketch and contains only the elements of the respective apparatus shown that are of relevance to the following description. The illustration should not in any way be interpreted as a representation to scale.
FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of an apparatus for drying a delicate textile item 1 enclosed inside a net 2. The apparatus comprises a drum 4 which is rotatable about an axis 3 and has a cylindrical shell 5 surrounding the axis 3 as well as a rear wall 6 oriented approximately perpendicularly to the axis 3. Not shown is a circular front wall of the drum 4 adjoining the shell 5 and facing from there toward the axis 3, as is provided in a conventional tumble dryer. Additional components of a tumble dryer of this type, to which the apparatus shown belongs are not depicted for sake of clarity; for information on these, reference should be made to the cited prior art documents. Arranged in the rear wall 6 are holes 7, only a small number thereof being shown here. An air flow 8 enters the drum 4 through these holes 7 as shown by arrows and is applied to laundry that is disposed therein and is normally shaken about by the rotation of the drum 4 around the axis 3 to aid drying. In order to encourage said shaking, three agitators 9 are disposed in the interior of the drum 4 and on its shell 5. Arranged in the agitator 9 shown on the bottom left of the figure is a compartment 10 which is closed by a cover 11. The net 2 is stowed in said compartment 10 when it is not required. In order to open the cover 11, said cover 11 is provided with a finger hole 13; the cover 11 is locked in place in the agitator 9 by conventional locking means not shown for the sake of clarity. A further compartment 10 is provided in the rear wall 6 of the drum 4 as an alternative for stowing the net 2.
In order to dry the delicate textile item 1, the net 2 is removed from the compartment 10 and the textile item 1 is enclosed inside the net 2, as is shown on the right-hand side of FIG. 1. The net 2 is securely fastened to an elastic cord 14 inside the compartment 10 and this cord 14 also serves to attach the net to the textile item 1 in the drum 4. The net is fastened to eyelets 17 in the other agitators 9 by means of further cords 15 with hooks attached thereto (only one cord and one hook are shown) and thus held sufficiently firmly to rotate synchronously with the drum 4 when the drum 4 rotates during the drying process without hitting the agitators 9 and without the textile item 1 being subjected as a result to any tumbling or deformation. The delicate textile structure of the textile item 1 is put under as little stress as possible, effective drying being achieved, however, by moving the textile item 1 in the air flow 8.
FIG. 2 shows a view of the agitator 9 with a net 2 that has been removed and is still rolled up. It is easy to see how the cord 14 is fed out of the compartment 10 through a recess 18 between the agitator 9 and the cover 11.
FIG. 3 shows the arrangement and fastening of the net 2 inside the drum 4. The net 2 is filled with a textile item 1 (not shown here) and its fastener 19, whether a Velcro fastener or a zip, is closed. The net 2 is connected on the bottom left of the figure to the agitator 9 by means of the cord 14 and is thus held there. The net is held on the two other agitators 9 by additional cords 15 and hooks 16 which hook into corresponding eyelets (see FIG. 1). The textile item 1 is therefore moved in the air flow 8 upon drying the textile item 1, without being tumbled by the agitators 9; this results in gentle and effective drying.
The present apparatus proposed for drying a delicate textile item and the tumble dryer having said apparatus provide a wide range of users with an easily manageable, gentle and effective drying process for delicate textile items. Any aids required for drying such textiles are contained within the apparatus.