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Title:
Tubular Wrap And Methods For Its Use
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A tubular wrap is provided for enclosing the outside surfaces of a folded flat pillow. The tubular wrap includes a tubular body formed of a soft and resilient material with a central tunnel passing through longitudinally. The fabric tube has an opening on both ends. The tube surrounds the body of the folded pillow by passing through the central tunnel and bringing each end of the pillow to meet each end of the pillowcase, so that the pillowcase embodies the folded pillow.


Inventors:
Mitchell, Michael Earl (Omaha, NE, US)
Application Number:
12/793256
Publication Date:
01/20/2011
Filing Date:
06/03/2010
Assignee:
PILLOWWRAPS INC. (Omaha, NE, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
53/461, 5/490
International Classes:
A47G9/02
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FITCH EVEN TABIN & FLANNERY (120 SOUTH LASALLE STREET, SUITE 1600, CHICAGO, IL, 60603-3406, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tubular wrap for covering an outer surface of a pillow, the wrap comprising a tubular body having a first open end and a second open end, the tubular body having a selected length and a selected circumference defining a central tunnel, wherein the circumference of the tubular body is selected to have a ratio of circumference to pillow volume of 1:20 to 1:450.

2. The tubular wrap of claim 1 wherein the tubular body includes a longitudinal seam.

3. The tubular wrap of claim 1 wherein the length of the tubular body is selected such that each of the first and second open ends extends beyond a length of the pillow.

4. The tubular wrap of claim 1 wherein the tubular body is formed from a fabric selected from the group consisting of cotton, polyester, silk and mixtures thereof.

5. The tubular wrap of claim 1 wherein the circumference of both the first open end and second open end is hemmed.

6. The tubular wrap of claim 1 wherein the tubular body includes at least one connector.

7. A method for shaping a formable object to a generally tubular shape, the method comprising placing the formable object inside of a tubular wrap, the tubular wrap having a tubular body having a first open end and a second open end, the tubular body having a selected length and a selected circumference defining a central tunnel, wherein the tubular wrap is effective for covering an outer surface of the formable object and conforming the formable object to a generally tubular shape, the tubular wrap having a circumference that is effective for contacting the formable object and frictionally maintaining the wrap in a position surrounding the formable object.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the circumference of the tubular body is selected to have a ratio of the circumference to deformable object volume of 1:20 to 1:450.

9. The method of claim 7 wherein the formable object is an object selected from the group consisting of a pillow, a deformable flat type water bottle, a deformable hot or cold pack, stuffed animals, towels, and blankets.

10. The method of claim 7 wherein the tubular body includes a longitudinal seam.

11. The method of claim 7 wherein the length of the tubular body is selected such that each of the first and second open ends extends beyond a length of the deformable object.

12. The method of claim 7 wherein the tubular body is formed from a fabric selected from the group consisting of cotton, polyester, silk and mixtures thereof.

13. The method of claim 7 wherein the circumference of both the first open end and second open end is hemmed.

14. The method of claim 7 wherein the tubular body includes at least one connector.

15. A method for maintaining an appendage in a desired position, the method comprising: placing a pillow inside of a tubular wrap to form a wrapped pillow, the tubular wrap having a tubular body having a first open end and a second open end, the tubular body having a selected length and a selected circumference defining a central tunnel; and positioning the wrapped pillow in a manner effective for maintaining the appendage in the desired position.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the circumference of the tubular body is selected to have a ratio of the circumference to deformable object volume of 1:20 to 1:450.

17. The method of claim 15 wherein the tubular body includes a longitudinal seam.

18. The method of claim 15 wherein the length of the tubular body is selected such that each of the first and second open ends extends beyond a length of the deformable object.

19. The method of claim 15 wherein the tubular body is formed from a fabric selected from the group consisting of cotton, polyester, silk and mixtures thereof.

20. The method of claim 15 the tubular body includes at least one connector.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/270,949, filed Jul. 15, 2009, which is incorporated in its entirety herein by reference.

The present invention relates to tubular wraps for deformable objects, such as pillows. More specifically, a tubular wrap is effective for use as a covering or casing for a folded flat pillow, thereby converting a conventional pillow into a tubular or cylindrical pillow.

BACKGROUND

Pillows are widely used to provide comfort while sleeping, relaxing, and meditating, etc. Pillows exist in a variety of shapes and sizes. Perhaps the most common type of pillow is generally rectangular and is filled with natural or synthetic materials. Such pillows are traditionally designed to support a person's head while lying in bed.

Sitting or laying in one position or sleeping in a certain position for long periods of time can often result in poor circulation and result in a sensation of an arm or leg falling asleep. In an attempt to improve circulation, an individual may try to position around an appendage while sitting or laying down. Standard rectangular pillows are often difficult to shape and maintain in a desired position.

SUMMARY

A tubular wrap is provided which is effective for shaping a deformable object, such as a pillow, in a generally cylindrical shape. When used in conjunction with a pillow, the tubular wrap provides a number of therapeutic benefits to a user. For example, the tubular wrap and pillow can be used to position extremities to reduce pressure, increase overall circulation, open airways and reduce respiratory stress. Further, the tubular wrap and pillow can be used to support head and neck for proper spine alignment, reduce neck and back pain, assist in surgical recovery, and act as a soft cast for supporting and immobilizing limb injuries. The tubular wrap is sized to be effective for holding a pillow inside the wrap while also being effective for easily allowing a user to remove the tubular wrap from the pillow.

More specifically, a tubular wrap for covering an outer surface of a pillow is provided. The wrap includes a tubular body having a first open end and a second open end. The tubular body has a selected length and a selected circumference defining a central tunnel. The circumference of the tubular body is selected to have a ratio of circumference to pillow volume of 1:20 to 1:450.

The tubular body of the wrap may include a longitudinal seam. The longitudinal seam has a tear strength effective for holding a deformable object or pillow inside of the central tunnel of the wrap without tearing open.

The length of the tubular body or the wrap may be selected such that each of the first and second open ends extends beyond a length of the pillow. The tubular body is formed from a fabric which may include natural and synthetic fibers. The circumference of both the first open end and second open end of the wrap may be hemmed.

A method for shaping a formable object to a generally tubular shape is provided. The method includes placing the formable object inside of the tubular wrap. The tubular wrap is effective for covering an outer surface of the formable object and conforming the formable object to a generally tubular shape. The tubular wrap has a circumference that is effective for contacting the formable object and frictionally maintaining the wrap in a position surrounding the formable object. The formable object may include, for example, a pillow, a deformable flat type water bottle, a deformable hot or cold pack, a stuffed animal, a blanket or towel.

A method is also provided for maintaining an appendage in a desired position. The method includes placing a pillow inside of a tubular wrap to form a wrapped pillow. The wrapped pillow may be positioned in a manner effective for maintaining the appendage in the desired position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other aspects, features and advantages of several embodiments of the present invention will be more apparent from the following more particular description thereof, presented in conjunction with the following drawings.

FIG. 1 shows a tubular wrap.

FIG. 2 illustrates a tubular wrap with a pillow disposed inside.

FIGS. 3A-3F show various uses of the tubular wrap.

FIG. 4 shows a tubular pillow wrap with connectors.

FIG. 5A-E illustrates various configurations of multiple tubular wraps.

FIG. 6A-C shows a process for making a tubular wrap.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding components throughout the several views of the drawings. Skilled artisans will appreciate that elements in the figures are illustrated for simplicity and clarity and have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements in the figures may be exaggerated relative to other elements to help to improve understanding of various embodiments of the present invention. Also, common but well-understood elements that are useful or necessary in a commercially feasible embodiment are often not depicted in order to facilitate a less obstructed view of these various embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is made merely for the purpose of describing the general principles of exemplary embodiments. The scope of the invention should be determined with reference to the claims.

A tubular pillowcase is provided for enclosing the outside surfaces of a folded flat pillow. The tubular pillowcase has a tubular body formed of a soft and resilient material with a central tunnel passing through longitudinally. The fabric tube has an opening on both ends. The tube surrounds the body of the folded pillow by passing through the central tunnel and bringing each end of the pillow to meet each end of the pillowcase, so that the pillowcase embodies the folded pillow. The cover tube is sewn at its ends, longitudinally, as to have a seam as a permanent closer element that connects to each other. When the tubular pillowcase is assembled to the folded pillow body, (together) both parts simulates the appearance of a tubular pillow. In one aspect, near both ends of the tubular pillowcase is a small slit type opening by which another tubular wrap can be linked to using a Velcro strap, string tie or other means of affixing to another tubular pillowcase.

A tubular wrap 10 for covering an outer surface of a deformable object, such as for example a pillow, is illustrated in FIG. 1. The tubular wrap 10 includes a tubular body 20. The tubular body 20 includes a first open end 30 and a second open end 40. The tubular body 20 includes a circumference that defines a central tunnel 50. The tubular body 20 may also include a seam 60.

The tubular wrap 10 may be formed out of natural fabric, synthetic fabrics and blends of natural and synthetic fabrics. The type of fabric or fabric blend used to make the tubular wrap 10 will vary depending upon the end use of the tubular wrap 10. Examples of synthetic fabrics that may be used includes acetate, acrylic, latex, nylon, polyester, rayon spandex, aramid, olefin and ingeo. Examples of natural fibers that may be used includes cotton, silk, wool, leather, hemp and linen. In an important aspect, the tubular wrap 10 will be made of cotton, polyester, silk and mixtures thereof. The fabric may include various colors and patterns and may include advertisements for various products.

The tubular warp 10 may also include a seam 60. The seam 60 has a tear strength which is standard for seams in pillow cases. As used herein, “seam strength” or “tear strength” is a measure of the amount of pressure required to tear or break the seam. The first open end 30 and second open end 40 may be hemmed.

FIG. 2 shows a pillow 70 folded over and disposed inside of the tubular wrap 10. The tubular wrap 10 is formed in such a size that a deformable object, or pillow 70, can be folded over and placed inside the central tunnel 50 of the tubular wrap 20. For example, the circumference of the tubular wrap 10 is large enough to allow a folded over pillow to be placed inside of central tunnel 50 of the tubular wrap 20. The tubular wrap 20 may be used with any size pillow. The following list provides some examples of pillow sizes that may be used.

Tubular wrapOptimal
Pillowsize whenTubular wrapRatio of wraprange of
Pillow TypeVolumelaid flatcircumferencecircumference:ratios for
(Size, inches)(in3)(inches)(inches)pillow volumepillow size
Standard816813 × 18261:3141:300 to 1:350
(20″ × 26″)
Queen942513 × 18261:3621:350 to 1:400
(20″ × 30″)
King1130913 × 26261:4351:400 to 1:450
(20″ × 36″)
Euro1380418 × 26361:3831:350 to 1:400
(26″ × 26″)
Boudoir181013 × 16261:70  1:50 to 1:100
(12″ × 16″)
Neckroll45211 × 16221:21 1:15 to 1:30
(6″ × 16″)

The circumference of the tubular wrap 10 is small enough to hold the pillow inside of the tubular wrap 10. In this aspect, the circumference of the tubular body 20 is selected to have a ratio of circumference to pillow volumes as described above. Pillow volume may be approximated in accordance with the formula:


Pillow volume=pi*radius2*Length

The pillow may be used to support a person while lying in various positions, when sitting down, to support the feet, and the like. Further, the pillow may be arranged in a variety of configurations to support a wide variety of body positions and orientations.

Some examples of various uses of the tubular wrap 10 are illustrated in FIGS. 3A-F. As shown in FIG. 3A a pillow 70 may be folded over and placed inside of the tubular wrap 10. An individual laying on his side (FIG. 3A) or his back (FIG. 3B) may position the tubular wrap 10 and pillow 70 to support his head and neck. In another aspect (FIGS. 3C-D), an individual laying on his side may position the tubular wrap 10 and pillow 70 in front of him to support his arms. The individual may position one arm around the tubular wrap 10 and through the pillow 70 (FIG. 3C) or he may position his arms around the tubular wrap (FIG. 3D). In another aspect shown in FIG. 3E, an individual may laying on his back may place both of his arms inside the tubular wrap 10 and pillow 70 to maintain both arms on his chest area. As shown in FIG. 3F, the tubular wrap 10 may be used to position or elevate an appendage, such as a leg or knee. The tubular wrap may also be used to position pillows on wheel chairs to prevent rubbing of arms and legs on arm rests and leg supports and to position pillows next to a person sitting in a wheel chair to cushion and prevent movement.

FIG. 4 illustrates tubular wraps 10 that include connectors 80. The connectors 80 allow a user to connect two or more tubular wraps 10 together. The connectors may be at both ends of the tubular body 20 or at only one end of the tubular body. The connectors 80 may be positioned anywhere from the edge of the first open end 30 and second open end 40 and up to half way in from the edge of either opening.

In one aspect, the connector 80 may be a slit in the tubular body 20. Tubular wraps may be linked to one another by way of a strap, such as a Velcro strap, or string tie, yarn or rope.

In another aspect, the connector 80 may be a strap of material affixed on its ends to the tubular body 20. This configuration allows another strap of material, yarn or rope to be looped around the connector 80 on one tubular body 20 and looped around the connector 80 on the second tubular body 20, thus connecting the two tubular wraps 10.

Multiple pillow wraps may be configured as shown in FIGS. 5A-E. Wraps 10 may be end to end (FIG. 5A), side by side (FIG. 5B), corner to corner (FIG. 5C), in a three corner to corner formation (FIG. 5D), and in a t-formation (FIG. 5E). Wraps may be connected with connectors as described herein or sown together.

Example

Procedure for Making Tubular Pillow Wrap for Standard Pillow

A pillow wrap for a standard (20×26 inch) or queen (20×30 inch) size pillow was made as follows:

1. Cut fabric (55/45 bleach white) into 27½×38 inch piece using an industrial fabric cutter.

2. Fold fabric 90 into 27½×38 inch piece as shown in FIG. 6A.

3. Apply seam at one end as shown in FIG. 6B using industrial sewing machine.

4. Fold and create double sown seams 110 as shown in FIG. 6C to provide a 13×18 inch pillow wrap.

While the invention herein disclosed has been described by means of specific embodiments, examples and applications thereof, numerous modifications and variations could be made thereto by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the claims.