Title:
Bedskirt
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bed skirt secured to a mattress foundation by a sliding fastener, such as a zipper. A first sliding fastener component is sewn or stitched into the upper edge of a mattress foundation. A second sliding fastener component is sewn or stitched into the upper edge of a skirting material for releasably engaging the first sliding fastener component. The first sliding fastener component releasably secures the second sliding fastener to form a bed skirt that extends around at least three sides of the perimeter of a mattress foundation and extends downward such that the lower edge of the skirting material terminates at, or proximate to, the floor on which the bed is supported.



Inventors:
Mcclelland, Christian L. (Elliscott City, MD, US)
Williams, Ken (Elkridge, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/829997
Publication Date:
11/11/2004
Filing Date:
04/23/2004
Assignee:
MCCLELLAND CHRISTIAN L.
WILLIAMS KEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00; A47C31/10; (IPC1-7): A47G9/04; A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANTOS, ROBERT G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A bed skirt, comprising: (a) a mattress foundation having a perimeter defining a top edge and having at least one side wall; (b) a skirting material having a length; and (c) a sliding fastener having: (i) a first sliding fastener component affixed to the skirting material along the entire length of the skirting material; (ii) a second sliding fastener component affixed to the top edge of the mattress foundation, the second sliding fastener component being interlockable with the first sliding fastener component, the second sliding fastener component being equal in length to the first sliding fastener component; and (iii) a pull tab slidably attached to the first and second sliding fastener components; wherein the skirting material is removably attached around at least one-half of the perimeter of the mattress foundation when the first sliding fastener component is interlocked to the second sliding fastener component for the entire length of the skirting material, the skirting material extending downward in order to substantially cover the side wall of the mattress foundation.

2. The bed skirt according to claim 1, wherein said mattress foundation is a box spring.

3. The bed skirt according to claim 1, wherein said sliding fastener comprises a zipper.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/468,112, filed May 6, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a bed skirt, and particularly to a bed skirt that is removably attached to a bed spring or other mattress foundation.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Art

[0005] Bed skirts, or dust ruffles as they are sometimes called, have been commonly used over the years to reduce dust accumulation under beds and to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance to a bedroom. Typically, these bed skirts consist of a flat platform sheeting material that is attached to a skirt portion, the skirt portion being formed from a single piece of fabric. The platform sheeting material may be permanently attached or releasably attached to the skirt portion. The platform sheeting material is sandwiched between a mattress and a mattress foundation, such as a box spring. The bed skirt uses the weight of the mattress to pin the platform sheeting material between the mattress and the box spring in order to maintain its position and to allow the skirt portion to extend around at least a substantial portion of the perimeter of a box spring. The bed skirt extends downward such that the lower edge of the skirt portion terminates proximate the floor.

[0006] However, the conventional bed skirts having the skirt portion attached to platform sheeting material suffer from several drawbacks. First, since the mattress, box spring, and platform sheeting material all have smooth surfaces, the weight of the mattress alone is not sufficient to keep the platform sheeting material stabilized so that the attached skirt portion remains in an effective alignment with the floor. Secondly, the bulk of the conventional flat sheeting material increases the cost of production, packaging, handling, and shipping of the bed skirt. Bed skirts that include skirt portions that are permanently attached to a platform sheeting material suffer the additional disadvantage of requiring a bulky mattress to be removed for the removal and replacement of the skirt portion.

[0007] In order to overcome the problems associated with the platform sheeting material, other bed skirt designs were developed that did not require the bed skirt to be attached to a platform sheeting material. Some these bed skirts attach directly to the mattress foundation using fasteners and securing mechanisms. These fasteners and securing mechanisms include safety pins, snaps, corkscrew pins, and two-point hook-and-loop fasteners, such as VELCRO.

[0008] However, there have been several drawbacks associated with using fasteners to secure these types of bed skirts as well. Although safety pins secure the bed skirt from shifting, the weight and the unstructured design of the bed skirt, in combination with the movements of persons sleeping on the bed, cause the pins to strain against, and ultimately tear, the bed skirt at points of attachment. Hook and loop fasteners must match exactly and be completely on top of each other to be effective to properly align the bed skirt. Precisely aligning these fasteners with each other is a difficult and frequently impossible task to accomplish, often resulting in a misaligned bed skirt. Furthermore, the hooks and loops become ineffective over time due to deterioration from the constant attaching and detaching of the bed skirt. Similar problems exist with the use of snap fasteners. These fasteners must be aligned precisely with each other to be effective, sometimes requiring a great amount of force for the fasteners to be snapped in place, and tear the bed skirt at the point of attachment. Various devices and designs have been proposed for securing a bed skirt to a bed.

[0009] Some bed skirts are attached to a sheeting platform material. U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,383, issued Aug. 9, 1994 to Schwind, discloses a removably attachable flat sheet-skirting combination. The flat sheet has strips of flexible fastening material permanently affixed by sewing or bonding to the peripheral areas of the sides and an end of the flat sheet. The skirting includes strips of flexible loops sewn or bonded to the peripheral sides and an end of the skirting. The fastening material at one edge of the skirting material is aligned with the fastening material at a corresponding edge of the flat sheet, for removable attachment of the skirting to the flat sheet. U.S. Pat. No. 5,621,931, issued Apr. 22, 1997 to Hamilton, discloses a bed skirt assembly made up of a non-slip grip support member made from non-slip fabric with releasable fasteners and a skirt panel that is releasably attached to the support member. U.S. Pat. No. 5,353,456, issued Oct. 11, 1994 to Evans, discloses a rectangular support sheet having fasteners for adjusting a bed skirt. U.S. Pat. No. 6,151,731, issued Nov. 28, 2000 to Saparow, discloses a bed skirt having a shelf portion that is inserted between the box spring and mattress to selectively adjust the bed skirt.

[0010] Zipper attachment means may be used to secure a bed skirt to a platform sheeting material. U.S. Pat. No. 4,587,683, issued May 13, 1986 to Gardiner, describes a zip-on, zip-off bed skirt, which is readily interchangeable with other bed skirts. The bed skirt is selectively attached to a platform sheeting material for covering a box spring. U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,266, issued Aug. 6, 2002 to Talley-Williams, discloses a fitted sheet using a fixing means that may be a zipper to attach the fitted sheet to a bed skirt. U.S. Pat. No. 6,044,503, issued Apr. 4, 2000 to McClendon, discloses a fitted sheet using a fixing means that may be a zipper to attach the fitted sheet to a bed skirt. U.S. Pat. No. 3,999,233, issued Dec. 28, 1976 to Morris, discloses a similar bed skirt that is attached to a platform sheet material using zippers with the platform sheet material being placed between a mattress and a box spring. U.S. Pat. No. 2,139,980, issued May 27, 1938 to Simon, discloses detachably fastening a valance to a comforter using a zipper.

[0011] Other bed skirts use pins, snaps, corkscrew pins, two-point hook and loop Velcro type fasteners, and other fasteners to secure a bed skirt directly to a mattress foundation. U.S. Pat. No. 4,897,891, issued Feb. 6, 1990 to Kallman et al., discloses a bed skirt which is attached using safety and sphere pins to a mesh plastic which is affixed to three sides of the perimeter of the box spring. U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,531, issued Feb. 11, 1992 to Carlos, discloses a uniform U-shaped support member with an attached bed skirt that is secured to the perimeter of the horizontal surface of the box spring. U.S. Pat. No. 5,205,003, issued Apr. 27, 1993 to Green, discloses a releasable bed skirt that uses hook and loop fasteners attached to the box spring. U.S. Pat. No. 5,483,712, issued Jan. 16, 1996 to Greenwood, discloses a strip of material placed on the perimeter of the box spring using retaining flaps to attach a bed skirt. Other representative patent documents include U.S. Pat. No. 5,715,553 to Baron et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 5,733,397 to McDaniel; U.S. Pat. No. 5,749,110 to Gamble; U.S. Pat. No. 5,966,758 to Karam; and U.S. Pat. Pub. No. 2003/0028965, published Feb. 13, 2003.

[0012] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The bed skirt of the present invention is secured to a mattress foundation by a sliding fastener, such as a zipper. A first sliding fastener component is affixed to the upper edge of a mattress foundation. A second sliding fastener component is affixed to the upper edge of a skirting material for releasably engaging the first sliding fastener component. The first sliding fastener component releasably secures the second sliding fastener to form a bed skirt that extends around at least three sides of the perimeter of a mattress foundation. The bed skirt extends downward such that the lower edge of the skirt portion terminates at, or proximate to, the floor on which the bed is supported.

[0014] Advantageously, the bed skirt is lightweight and compact, since no bulky flat sheeting material is required. Further, the skirting material of the bed skirt may be made of any fabric material and can be used interchangeably with other skirting material. The skirting material can be easily installed on, or removed from, a mattress foundation without requiring removal of the mattress supported thereon. The sliding fastener provides evenly dispersed or distributed points of attachment so that the weight or strain against the bed skirt is evenly distributed. The bed skirt should not tear at the points of attachment. Since the first and second sliding components mate each equidistantly, proper alignment of the skirting material with the floor is always achieved. The sliding fastener means is less susceptible to deterioration because it is made of durable and reliable materials including plastic, nylon, and metals, such as steel, aluminum, or brass, or the like.

[0015] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a zip-on, zip-off skirting material, which is readily interchangeable with other skirting material of different style, color or pattern, in order to suit any changing color scheme or decor of the room.

[0016] It is another object of the invention to provide a skirting material that is easily installed on and removed from a mattress foundation without requiring removal of the mattress supported thereon.

[0017] It is a further object of the invention to provide a bed skirt without a flat sheeting material attached to the skirting material, thereby minimizing the required amounts of material necessary to produce the bed skirts and thus minimizing the expense of producing, packaging, storing, and shipping associated with the bed skirt.

[0018] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0019] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0020] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a bed skirt according to the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a side view of the bed skirt according to the present invention, completely zipped.

[0022] FIG. 3 is side view of a bed skirt according to the present invention, partially unzipped.

[0023] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0024] The present invention is a bed skirt, designated generally as 100 in the drawings. Referring to FIG. 1, the bed skirt 100 includes a skirting material 140 that is designed to reduce dust accumulation under a bed and provide an aesthetic decor to a bedroom. A sliding pull tab 120 is used to attach or remove the skirting material 140 to the perimeter of the bed via sliding fastener means 130. The sliding fastener means 130 provides evenly dispersed or distributed points of attachment so that the weight or strain against the bed skirt is evenly distributed. The sliding fastener means 130 also allows the skirting material 140 to be readily interchangeable with other skirting material of different style, color or pattern, in order to suit any changing color scheme or decor of the room. The skirting material 140 may also be made of any fabric material. This provides a user of the bed skirt 100 with great versatility in changing the color scheme or decor of the room. The sliding fastener means 130 may be made of plastic, nylon, and metals, such as steel, aluminum, or brass to provide a durable fastening mechanism.

[0025] FIG. 2 shows the bed skirt 100 with the sliding pull tab 120 positioned so that the sliding fastener means 130 is in a completely closed or mated position. The mattress foundation 200, e.g., a box spring, supports a mattress 150 thereon. A bed frame 210 supports the mattress foundation 200. Leg portions 160 support the bed frame 210. When the sliding pull tab 120 is in its completely zipped or mated position, the skirting material 140 extends around at least three sides of the perimeter of a rectangular bed and extends downward such that the lower edge of the skirting material 140 terminates at, or proximate to, the floor on which the bed is supported by leg portions 160. In the case of a circular bed, the skirt 100 preferably extends around at least one-half the perimeter of the bed.

[0026] The skirting material 140 is secured to the mattress foundation 200 by the sliding fastener means 130, such as a zipper. The sliding fastener means 130 is situated on the top edge of the mattress foundation 200 so that the fastener 130 is not obstructed by the mattress 150 being placed on top of the mattress foundation 200, while the skirt 140 covers the side of the mattress foundation 200.

[0027] As shown in FIG. 3, the sliding fastener means 130 has a first sliding fastener component 320 that is affixed to the upper edge of the skirting material 140 by sewing or stitching, and a second sliding fastener component 330 that is affixed to the upper edge of the mattress foundation 200 by sewing or stitching. Sliding tab 120 is used to releasably mate sliding fastener component 320 and sliding fastener component .330. First sliding fastener component 320 mates with second sliding fastener component 330 in order to releasably secure the skirting material 140 to the perimeter of the mattress foundation 200. Sliding fastener means 130 is preferably a zipper having metal teeth secured to a fabric strip, in conventional fashion. In this case the teeth of first sliding fastener component 320 and second sliding fastener component 330 mate at equally spaced intervals, ensuring proper alignment of the skirting material 140 with the floor. Alternatively, sliding fastener means 130 may be a plastic zip fastener having a long, continuous bead which releasably locks into a log, continuous groove after the fashion of a ZiplocĀ® fastener which is zipped and unzipped by pull 120.

[0028] As can be seen from FIG. 3, the skirting material 140 can be easily installed on and removed from a mattress foundation 200 without interrupting or requiring the removal of the mattress 150 supported thereon. Furthermore, the bed skirt 100 does not require the skirting material 100 to be attached to a flat sheeting material. By securing the skirting material 140 directly to the mattress foundation 200, the expense of producing, packaging, storing, and shipping associated with the bed skirt is greatly minimized when compared to the bulky bed skirts that require a flat sheeting material to be attached to the skirting material.

[0029] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.