Title:
Bundle of artificial flowers and a manufacturing method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bundle of a plurality of artificial flowers whose stalk portions are bundled, each artificial flower comprising (A) a stalk portion made of a metal wire, and (B) a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass or a resin, wherein the bundle has a resin layer partially covering a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled.



Inventors:
Sugino, Harutoshi (Hiroshima-shi, JP)
Application Number:
09/988324
Publication Date:
05/30/2002
Filing Date:
11/19/2001
Assignee:
SUGINO HARUTOSHI
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41G1/00; A41G1/02; (IPC1-7): A41G1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
SPERTY, ARDEN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WENDEROTH, LIND & PONACK, L.L.P. (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A bundle of a plurality of artificial flowers whose stalk portions are bundled, each artificial flower comprising; (A) a stalk portion made of a metal wire, and (B) a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass or a resin, wherein the bundle has a resin layer partially covering a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled.

2. The bundle of the artificial flowers according to claim 1, wherein the resin layer is made of a synthetic resin containing a rubber component.

3. The bundle of the artificial flowers according to claim 1, wherein the metal wire constituting the stalk portion is covered with a heat-shrinkable resin tube.

4. The bundle of the artificial flowers according to claim 1, wherein portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled are covered with the resin layer.

5. The bundle of the artificial flowers according to claim 1, wherein the stalk portions of a plurality of the artificial flowers are bundled with a wire that is helically wound around the stalk portions.

6. A method for manufacturing a bundle of artificial flowers comprising; bundling stalk portions of a plurality of artificial flowers, each of which comprises (A) a stalk portion made of a metal wire and (B) a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass or a resin, immersing part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled, in a liquid resin, and then drying the applied liquid resin, to cover the part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled, with a resin layer.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein the liquid resin is a synthetic resin containing a rubber component.

8. The method according to claim 6, wherein the metal wire constituting the stalk portion is covered with a heat-shrinkable resin tube.

9. The method according to claim 6, wherein portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled are immersed in the liquid resin.

10. The method according to claim 6, wherein a wire is helically wound around the stalk portions to bundle a plurality of the stalk portions of the artificial flowers.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION AND RELATED ART STATEMENT

[0001] The present invention relates to a bundle of artificial flowers and a manufacturing method thereof.

[0002] Commercially available is an artificial flower having a stalk portion made of a metal wire and a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass. For making such an artificial flower to exhibit its decorative effect more, it is preferred to bundle such artificial flowers to use a bundle, bunch or bouquet of such artificial flowers. Generally, such a bundle of the artificial flowers is manufactured by bundling the stalk portions of a plurality of the artificial flowers and winding a vinyl tape, etc., around part of a plurality of the bundled stalk portions.

[0003] The above artificial flower per se comprises a stalk portion made of a metal wire and a decorative portion made of a glass, so that it has high weatherability. However, a vinyl tape constituting a bundle, bunch or bouquet of the artificial flowers is poor in weatherability. When such a bundle of the artificial flowers is used for decoration outdoors or for decoration even indoors for a long time, therefore, the vinyl tape may peel off or may be damaged, so that the bundle comes to look very poor.

[0004] Further, winding the vinyl tape is manually carried out and is a costly complicated piece of work.

[0005] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a bundle, bunch or bouquet of artificial flowers that has excellent weatherability, has durability against use for a long period of time and can be easily manufactured, and a manufacturing method thereof.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] A bundle of artificial flowers, provided by the present invention for achieving the above object, is a bundle of a plurality of artificial flowers whose stalk portions are bundled, each artificial flower comprising;

[0007] (A) a stalk portion made of a metal wire, and

[0008] (B) a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass or a resin, preferably, made of a glass,

[0009] wherein the bundle has a resin layer partially covering a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled.

[0010] In the bundle of the artificial flowers provided by the present invention, part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled is covered or coated with a resin layer, so that the bundle has excellent weatherability, has durability against use for a long period of time and can be easily manufactured.

[0011] A manufacturing method of a bunch of artificial flowers, provided by the present invention for achieving the above object, comprises;

[0012] bundling stalk portions of a plurality of artificial flowers, each of which comprises (A) a stalk portion made of a metal wire and (B) a decorative portion that has the form of a flower, a leaf or a fruit, is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion and is made of a glass or a resin, preferably, made of a glass,

[0013] immersing part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled, in a liquid resin, and then

[0014] drying the applied liquid resin, to cover the part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled, with a resin layer.

[0015] In the manufacturing method of a bundle of artificial flowers, provided by the present invention, part of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundles is immersed in the liquid resin and then the applied liquid resin is dried, so that the bundle can be easily obtained and has excellent weatherability and durability against use for a long period of time.

[0016] In the bundle of the artificial flowers of the present invention, the resin layer can be constituted of any resin so long as it has weatherability, water resistance and the like. Preferably, examples of the above resin include paints such as synthetic resins containing a rubber component (e.g., a polyethylene resin and vinyl chloride resin) and enamel coating compositions (e.g., an oil paint, a water-base paint and an enamel paint); varnishes such as an oil varnish (varnish) and an alcohol varnish (lacquer); and rhus lacquers such as natural rhus lacquer. Further, the resin layer may be constituted of a heat-shrinkable rein tube that undergoes shrinkage under heat (e.g., a heat-shrinkable tubular material made of a mixture mainly containing a noncombustible polyolefin resin). Alternatively, the resin layer may be constituted of any one of various adhesives (e.g., a thermosetting resin containing an isocyanate-xylene resin, a thermosetting resin containing a polyvinyl acetate-cyanoacrylate resin, and a chloroprene synthetic rubber). In the manufacturing method of a bundle of artificial flowers provided by the present invention, the liquid resin can be selected from any resins, and examples of the liquid resin preferably include paints such as synthetic resins containing a rubber component (e.g., a polyethylene resin and vinyl chloride resin) and enamel coating compositions (e.g., an oil paint, a water-base paint and an enamel paint); varnishes such as an oil varnish (varnish) and an alcohol varnish (lacquer); and rhus lacquers such as natural rhus lacquer. In the manufacturing method of a bundle of artificial flowers provided by the present invention, the concept of “drying the applied liquid resin” includes an embodiment in which the applied liquid resin is dried and cured, depending upon types of the liquid resin used. The resin or the liquid resin for forming the resin layer may contain a coloring pigment.

[0017] In the bundle of the artificial flowers or the manufacturing method thereof, provided by the present invention, the material for the metal wire constituting the stalk portions includes metals such as iron (e.g., soft steel wires and piano wires) and copper; alloys such as stainless steel and brass; and nonferrous metal. The metal wire may have a surface covered, coated or plated. Alternatively, the surface of the metal wire may be covered with a heat-shrinkable tube (heat-shrinkable tubular material made of a mixture containing mainly a noncombustible polyolefin resin) that has shrunk under heat. The heating of the heat-shrinkable tube may be carried out with hot air or by immersing the metal wire with the heat-shrinkable tube in hot water.

[0018] In the bundle of the artificial flowers or the manufacturing method thereof, provided by the present invention, preferably, portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled are covered or coated with the resin layer, or portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled are immersed in the liquid resin. Since portions extending from nearly the central portions to the top end portions of a plurality of the stalk portions that are bundled are not covered or coated with the resin layer, each stalk portion can be, for example, bent to attain a desired form of a bundle of the artificial flowers, so that decorative properties can be improved.

[0019] In the bundle of the artificial flowers or the manufacturing method thereof, provided by the present invention, preferably, a plurality of the artificial flowers are bundled in the stalk portions by helically winding a wire around the stalk portions for temporary bundling, and in this case, the manufacturing step is simplified. The material for the wire includes, for example, metals such as iron and copper; alloys such as stainless steel and brass; and nonferrous metals. Further, for temporary bundling the stalk portions of the artificial flowers, threads made of synthetic fibers or natural fibers may be used.

[0020] In the bundle of the artificial flowers or the manufacturing method thereof, provided by the present invention, the form of the flower, the leaf or the fruit may be any form, and the form may be any one of a realistically (naturalistically) described form, a deformed form, a distorted form and an abstract form. The term “flower, leaf or fruit” includes flowers, leaves, fruits, nuts and the like, which are parts of naturally occurring plants.

[0021] When the decorative portion is made of a glass, the decorative portion can be fixed to the top end portion of the stalk portion (and also somewhere in the stalk portion) by inserting the top end portion and/or a necessary part of the stalk portion into the glass in a molten state during the preparation of the decorative portion.

[0022] When the metal wire is surface-covered with a heat-shrunken resin tube, the metal wire is covered with the heat-shrinkable tube after the decorative portion is fixed to the top end portion of the stalk portion, and the heat-shrinkable tube is heated. The metal wire constituting that part of the stalk portion which is close to the decorative portion may sometimes not be covered with the heat-shrinkable tube or may come to be in an exposed state. In such a case, preferably, the exposed portion of the metal wire is treated for rust prevention after the surface of the metal wire is covered with the heat-shrunken resin tube. For the rust-prevention treatment, preferably, there is used the same material as that used for forming the resin layer that is to cover part of the stalk portions that are bundled, since the manufacturing cost is not much increased and the manufacturing step is simplified.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0023] Examples of the present invention will be explained with reference to drawings hereinafter.

[0024] FIGS. 1A and 1B are schematic views of artificial flowers.

[0025] FIG. 2 is a schematic view of a bundle of the artificial flowers.

[0026] FIGS. 3A and 3B are schematic views of artificial flowers that are treated for rust prevention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT(S)

EXAMPLES

[0027] FIGS. 1A and 1B schematically show artificial flowers. The artificial flower comprises a stalk portion 10 made of a metal wire and a decorative portion 20 that is fixed to a top end portion of the stalk portion 10 and is made of a glass. The metal wire constituting the stalk portion 10 is a soft steel wire, a piano wire or the like, and covered with a heat-shrinkable (heat-shrunken) resin tube 12 made of a heat-shrinkable (heat-shrunken) tubular material made of a mixture mainly containing a noncombustible polyolefin resin. The decorative portion 20 can be fixed to the top end portion 11 of the stalk portion 10 as follows. When a glass is melted and shaped into the decorative portion having a desired form, the bent top end portion of the stalk portion 10 is inserted into the glass in a molten state. After the decorative portion 20 is fixed to the tope end portion 11 of the stalk portion 10, the exposed stalk portion 10 is covered with the heat-shrinkable tube and the heat-shrinkable tube is heated at a high temperature for a predetermine period of time (e.g., 120° C., 15 minutes), to cover the metal wire with the heat-shrunken resin layer. The artificial flower can be prepared as described above. The decorative portion 20 shown in FIG. 1A has the form of a flower, and the counterpart in FIG. 1B has the form of a leaf.

[0028] FIG. 2 schematically shows an example of the bundle, bunch or bouquet of the artificial flowers provided by the present invention. The bundle is manufactured by bundling the stalk portions 10 of such artificial flowers, and part of a plurality of the stalk portions 10 that are bundled, specifically, portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the bundled stalk portions 10, are integrally covered with a resin layer 30. The resin layer 30 is formed of a vinyl chloride resin that contains a rubber component and is colored in green or some suitable color.

[0029] The bundle of the artificial flowers in the present invention can be manufactured by the following method. That is, the stalk portions 10 of a plurality of the artificial flowers are temporarily bundled with a ring or wire made of a metal, and part of a plurality of the stalk portions (specifically, portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the bundled stalk portions) are immersed in a liquid resin containing a vinyl chloride resin that contains a rubber component and is colored in green or some suitable color, whereby the portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of a plurality of the bundled stalk portions can be integrally and closely covered with the liquid resin. Then, the applied liquid resin is dried at room temperature or in a dryer, to remove a solvent contained in the liquid resin. In this manner, part of the bundled stalk portions 10 can be integrally and closely covered with the resin layer 30.

[0030] When the stalk portions are temporarily bundled with a wire, the wire can be helically wound around the stalk portions of a plurality of the artificial flowers to bundle the stalk portions.

[0031] As shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B, further, the metal wire constituting that portion of the stalk portion 10 which is close to the decorative portion 20 may not be covered with the heat-shrunken tube 12 and may be left in an exposed state. In FIGS. 1A and 1B, such part is indicated by an arrow. In such a case, preferably, the exposed portion of the metal wire is treated for rust prevention after the surface of the metal wire is covered with the heat-shrunken resin tube. The treatment for rust prevention can use the above liquid resin. FIGS. 3A and 3B schematically show a state after the rust prevention treatment, and each black solid portion shows a liquid resin 13 applied by a worker for the rust prevention treatment. The liquid resin 13 used for the rust prevention treatment can be dried concurrently with drying the liquid resin that covers the portions extending from the backward end portions to nearly the central portions of the stalk portions 10 that are bundled.

[0032] The present invention has been explained with reference to Examples hereinabove, while the present invention shall not be limited thereto. The artificial flowers, the bundle, bunch or bouquet of the artificial flowers, the preparation method and the manufacturing method explained in Examples are given as examples and can be altered as required. For example, part of a plurality of the bundled stalk portions is covered with the heat-shrinkable tube, and the heat-shrinkable tube is heated, whereby a bundle of the artificial flowers can be obtained.

[0033] In the present invention, part of the bundled stalk portions is covered with the resin layer, so that the bundle of the artificial flowers has excellent weatherability and is free of damage in use for a long period of time. Therefore, the bundle is the most suitable for use and decoration indoors and outdoors or as artificial flowers to be offered on tombs. Further, since the bundle of the artificial flowers is manufactured simply by immersing part of the bundled stalk portions in the liquid resin and drying the applied liquid resin, the manufacture working for such a bundle is simplified, and the such bundle can be easily manufactured, so that the cost for the manufacturing of such bundle can be remarkably decreased. The rust prevention treatment of the exposed portion of the stalk portion made of the metal wire serves to achieve the durability for use for a longer period of time.