Title:
Process for the production of seats and furnishings elements and seats and furnishings elements so obtained
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A process for the production of seats and furnishings elements comprises the following succession of steps: cutting from a strip of leather, hide, and imitation leather soft and extensible natural and synthetic materials, a sheet (10, 12) whose profile depends on the final configuration one wishes to obtain and smaller sizes; incision on the surface of said sheet (10, 22) to obtain through-cuts or apertures (12, 24), and extension and tensioning of sheets (10, 22) for the connection of the same to a supporting frame (16).



Inventors:
Poli, Gianfranco (Verona, IT)
Application Number:
10/333117
Publication Date:
09/11/2003
Filing Date:
01/22/2003
Assignee:
POLI GIANFRANCO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C3/12; A47C5/00; (IPC1-7): A47C7/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NIXON & VANDERHYE, PC (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A process for the production of seats and furnishings elements comprises the following succession of steps: cutting from a strip of leather, hide, and imitation leather soft and extensible, natural and synthetic materials a sheet (10, 12) whose profile depends on the final configuration one wishes to obtain and smaller sizes; incision on the surface of said sheet (10, 22) to obtain through-cuts or apertures (12, 24), and extension and tensioning of sheets (10, 22) for the connection of the same to a supporting frame (16).

2. The process according to claim 1, characterized in that the through-cuts or apertures (12, 24) develop along at least a part of the surface of sheet (10, 22).

3. The process according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the through-cuts or apertures (12, 24) are arranged in rows, develop along concentric lines, are staggered with regard to each other, and are oriented in a manner substantially parallel to at least a part of frame (16) to which sheet (10, 22) is tied.

4. The process according to claim 3, characterized in that each through-cut or aperture (12, 24) of a row is arranged between two adjoining trough-cuts or apertures of each adjoining row.

5. The process according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that the through-cuts or apertures (12, 24) have different shapes in the various zones of sheet (10, 22).

6. The process according to any of the preceding claims, characterized in that sheet (10, 22) is coupled, as a whole or partly, to coupled or coated felts and fabrics.

7. A seat or furnishings element characterized in that it is constituted of a sheet (10, 22) from leather, hide, imitation leather and like natural or synthetic, soft and extensible, materials, provided on at least a part of its surfaces with slits or openings (18, 24) dilated by means of stretching.

8. The seat or furnishings element according to claim 7, characterized in that the slits or apertures (18, 24) are arranged by rows, develop along concentric lines, are staggered with regard to each other and are oriented in a manner substantially parallel to at least a part of frame (16) to which sheet (10, 22) is tied.

9. The seat according to claim 7 or 8, characterized in that sheet (10) forms an integral body (14), developed without solution of continuity in a back extended on the front in opposite sides.

10. The seat according to any of claims 7-9, characterized in that said sheets (10, 22) are provided with means for anchoring to the supporting frame (16) selected from an integral peripheral zone (20, 26), that circumscribes at least a part of cuts (12, 24) and a plurality of integral perimetric extensions (28).

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a process for the production of seats and furnishings elements.

[0003] The present invention also relates to the seats and furnishings elements so obtained.

[0004] More particularly, the present invention relates to a process for the production of seats made up by one only piece or several parts, intended for being associated to frames from wood, metal, bamboo, plastic materials or other materials to form seats, armchairs and other furnishings elements. The term “furnishings elements” as is used in the present description and the claims, is intended to indicate any piece of furniture used in a house such as for instance bed-heads and bed and armchair coverings, hammocks, screens and panels, etc.

[0005] The process of the present invention is applied especially to soft and extensible materials, made up by one or more layers, possibly coupled to non rigid felts and supports.

[0006] 2. Prior Art

[0007] As is known, in the field of furnishings there is traditionally widespread the use of leather, hides, and like materials, either natural or synthetic for the realization of pieces of furniture such as chairs, armchairs and divans.

[0008] These materials, especially if they are natural, allow to obtain products of high quality and prized, which have also characteristics of resistance in the time. Their use is not limited to the realization of coverings for the aforesaid pieces of furniture but, especially in the case of chairs and armchairs, allow to form the whole seat.

[0009] In these application the preferred material is leather of adequate thickness, which can be sewn to obtain comfortable shapes or shaped by means of suitable molds.

[0010] A conventional forming method of this kind allows to obtain a complete body, i.e. a body comprising the real seat, the back and the possible sides with the arms.

[0011] This forming method, while allowing to realize strong and shaped integral bodies which are afterwards assembled to the supporting frame, is not free from drawbacks.

[0012] One of such drawbacks is that the so formed artifacts, independently on their being made from one only piece or separate parts comprising, for instance, the seat or the back, have characteristics of poor elasticity, and, while being shaped taking into account the ergonomic aspect, do not offer a comfort constantly and directly adequate for all users. Because of the above mentioned rigidity, their conformation is poorly suitable for subjects having physical features different from each other.

[0013] A further drawback lies in that, in order to obtain an integral body or separate seat elements, it is necessary to have at the disposal since the start a high quantity of material, i.e., an extended leather surface, which causes considerable wastes or marginal zones and cuts that cannot be re-usable.

[0014] This drawback is severe, as the leather available on the market has limited sizes and therefore it is not possible to obtain artifacts having an extension greater than that of said leather, as a consequence, to realize such extended artifacts it is necessary to utilize several hides or leather parts joined with each other.

[0015] A further drawback concerns the external aspect of the artifacts obtained, whose homogeneous and monotone surface finishing often represents a limit in the harmonization of the overall furnishing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] Object of the present invention is to obviate the aforesaid drawbacks.

[0017] More particularly, object of the present invention is to provide a process for the realization of seats and furnishings elements from leather, hides, imitation leather and like natural and synthetic materials having high characteristics of comfort, softness and elasticity, together with an adequate resistance to stresses.

[0018] A further object of the present invention is to provide a process allowing to obtain seat or covering surfaces larger with respect to the original extension of the material used, reducing therefore markedly the quantity necessary of said material and, consequently, the wastes and losses, and being in the condition of using directly the leather strips available on the market.

[0019] A further object of the present invention is to provide a process allowing to configure the material used according to many alternatives from the esthetic aspect.

[0020] A further, object of the present invention is to provide seats and furnishings elements, especially armchairs and chairs, having characteristics of softness and elasticity and suitable to ensure a high comfort for differently built users.

[0021] A further object of the present invention is to obtain seats and furnishings elements showing good esthetic effects.

[0022] According to the present invention, these and still other objects that will be apparent thanks to the following description are achieved by a process for the production of seats and furnishings elements that comprises the following steps:

[0023] cutting from a strip of leather, hide, and imitation leather soft and extensible, natural and synthetic materials a sheet whose profile depends on the final configuration one wishes to obtain and smaller sizes;

[0024] incision on the surface of said sheet to obtain through-cuts or apertures, and

[0025] extension and tensioning of the sheets for the connection of the same to a supporting frame.

[0026] Preferably, the material employed is leather or tanned hide. The through-cuts or apertures obtained on the sheet surface may have any shape and size, and develop along at least a part of said surface.

[0027] Preferably, the through-cuts or apertures are organized by rows, develop along concentric lines and are staggered with respect to each other. More preferably, each through-cuts or aperture of a row is located between two adjoining through-cuts or apertures of each adjoining row.

[0028] The through-cuts or apertures may have the same shape throughout the surface of the sheet or shapes different from zone to zone, depending on the characteristics desired. Besides, said through-cuts or apertures can be obtained from the removal of material, forming eyelets.

[0029] The sheet from leather, hides, imitation leather or like natural or synthetic, soft and extensible material may be coupled, entirely or partly, to coupled or coated felts or fabrics.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] The process for the production of seats and furnishings elements of the present invention as well as the features of the so produced seats and furnishings elements will be better understood thanks to the following description, wherein reference is made to the figures of the attached drawings which illustrate a preferred non limiting embodiment, and wherein:

[0031] FIG. 1 shows a schematic plan view of the development of the material utilized to realize, for instance, an integral body for an armchair according to the process of the present invention;

[0032] FIG. 2 shows a perspective schematic view of the armchair provided with the integral body obtained according to the process of the present invention;

[0033] FIG. 3 shows the magnified schematic view of a part of the body of the armchair of the preceding FIG. 2;

[0034] FIG. 4 shows a schematic plan view of a further development of the material suitable to realize a seat according to the process of the present invention;

[0035] FIG. 5 shows the schematic top view of the seat obtained through the development of the material of the preceding FIG. 4, to form, by way of example, a chair.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0036] With special reference to FIGS. 1-3 of the present invention, from a strip of flexible and extensible material, preferably leather, there is cut at the start a sheet, indicated by 10 as a whole, having a profile that changes according to the final configuration one wishes to obtain and dimensions smaller that those of the seat or furnishings element to be realized.

[0037] In the example represented on the mentioned figure, sheet 10 from leather has a tendentially circular profile, being intended for forming an integral body, i.e. a body constituted of the seat and the back extended in the front part and without solution of continuity in opposite sides.

[0038] According to the process of the present invention, sheet 10 is previously obtained, with an operation of manual or mechanical cutting from a sheet of material, to obtain the mentioned configuration, i.e. a tendentially circular surface.

[0039] Afterwards, sheet 10 is submitted to an incision step that determines on its surface a plurality of through-cuts 12, preferably developed along concentric lines. Said cuts 12 are spaced and staggered with regard to each other, and arranged along concentric lines. They may be obtained along the whole surface of sheet 10 or only along a part thereof. FIG. 1 shows by way of example a sheet 10 provided with cuts 12 limited to the peripheral zone, i.e. the part intended for forming the back and the sides of seat 14.

[0040] Sheet 10 is then submitted to extension and tensioning to be coupled to a supporting frame 16, preferably from metal rods, to obtain an armchair having an integral body.

[0041] The extension of sheet 10 involves the opening of cuts 12, with the formation of as many slits on the surface or sheet 10. Such extension may be constant or variable or alternated. By way of orientation and example, such extension is comprised between 10 and 70 mm, while the distance existing between the concentric lines of cuts 12 is preferably comprised between 3 and 13 mm. The cuts 12 are realized, according to a preferred embodiment, by means of die-cutting, i.e. with sharp metal templates that are compressed on sheet 10. Such die-cutting, that determines the creation of through-cuts 12 on sheet 10, may be realized in one only operating step or by progressive steps, according to the width of the die-cut. The sequences of cuts 12, having a suitable length and orientation depending on the result to be obtained, may be created alternatively, with automatic operations by means of a waterjet or a laser.

[0042] The orientation of cuts 12 results to be in any case parallel or tendentially parallel with respect to at least a part of frame 16 to which sheet 10 is subsequently tied, so that said cuts open during the stretching, forming slits of variable width, for instance lozenge-shaped as indicated by 18 on FIG. 3.

[0043] The peripheral zone of sheet 10, that delimits cuts 12 is integral and constitutes an edge 20 sufficiently rigid and consistent to form the line of connection with frame 16. The height of said edge 20 is, for instance, comprised between 20 and 80 mm.

[0044] The subsequent step consists in the adaptation by manual stretching of sheet 10 to frame 16. Namely, sheet 10 is spread and cuts 12 open to a more or less marked extent, depending on the stretching to which said sheet is submitted in its various parts.

[0045] The connection of sheet 10 to frame 16 is realized through means known per se, for instance through screws or by pinching; alternatively, edge 20 of sheet 10 may be doubled, with the insertion of a strip of material of the same type, to form a continuous pocket to be fitted on the upper part of frame 16.

[0046] FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate schematically a second embodiment of a seat obtained by means of the process of the present invention. In this realization, sheet 22 is intended for forming the seat support of a traditional chair and shows a substantially quadrangular basic configuration.

[0047] On the surface of sheet 22, a plurality of through-holes 24 is obtained that are oriented, for instance, in the same direction, staggered and developed along parallel lines. Said cut, similarly to those of sheet 10, are realized by means of die-punching, laser or water jet cutting, and are perimetrically circumscribed by an integral—i.e. free from slits—band or continuous edge 26.

[0048] To connect sheet 22 to a chair frame, the perimetric edge 26 is indented to form a plurality of integral extensions 28 to be then tensioned with screws or like means.

[0049] However, also sheet 22 may be provided with a continuous perimetric edge, analogous to edge 20, for the connection through any means, to the supporting frame of said chair. In such alternative, sheet 20 will be devoid of the extensions 28 that form the indentation.

[0050] Following the tensioning and stretching, cuts 24 open, dilate and give rise to a seat such as that of FIG. 5.

[0051] By utilizing sheets 10, 22 obtained according to the process of the present invention, i.e. provided with cuts 12, 24, seats are obtained that have features of high adaptability to the body and a softness due to the elasticity which said cuts create.

[0052] Besides, the so obtained sheets are airy, therefore fresh, and highlight the esthetic quality due to the continuity of the cut open to a more or less extent. According to the design and the frequency of cuts 12, 24, sheets 10, 22 may take on a differentiated elasticity, with zones subject to a more or less extension and stretching.

[0053] A further not negligible advantage that arises from the process of the present invention, concerns the saving of raw material, being possible to obtain surfaces larger than the initial one.

[0054] While the present invention has been described above with reference to some specific embodiments thereof, solely reported by way of non limiting example and illustration, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that many modifications and variants can be introduced in the light of the above description.

[0055] For instance, cuts 12, 14 may have a different development and conformation with regard to those described and illustrated and/or comprise also zones having different shapes or openings arising from removals of material, that create eyelets.

[0056] Besides, even though it is particularly advantageous for the realization of seats, the process of the present invention may be utilized to obtain other kinds of products, for instance furnishings elements and coverings, hammocks, screens, bed-heads and the like.

[0057] Coupled or coated felts or fabrics may be coupled to the leather, hides, imitation leather or natural or synthetic material used for the whole extension of sheets 10, 22 or parts thereof.

[0058] Therefore, the present invention comprises all the alternatives and variants that fall within the spirit and the protection scope of the following claims.