Title:
Continuous wash & plush laminate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for producing an improved washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process includes the provision of a soft, dimensionally stable, nonwoven fabric backing. After the chemical application of an anti-migrant and softener, the fabric is washed in a rope form, opened and de-twisted. After the fabric is rewound and further coatings are applied, an adhesive is applied to hold a nonwoven web to the previously prepared fabric in a rewinding process. The fabric is then subjected to a steam flow process to enhance the fabric texture and reduce the width of the fabric.



Inventors:
Whitehead, Duncan (Barrington, RI, US)
Silvia, Justin (Fall River, MA, US)
Pettey, David (Westport, MA, US)
Cai, Xu (Westport, MA, US)
Application Number:
11/079895
Publication Date:
09/29/2005
Filing Date:
03/14/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D06B21/00; D06M10/00; (IPC1-7): D06M10/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
KHAN, AMINA S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GOTTLIEB RACKMAN & REISMAN PC (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process comprising the steps of: a. Spraying a base fabric with an anti-migrant and/or softener in open width. b. Subjecting the fabric to a continuous wash in a rope form. c. Opening the rope form, wherein the fabric is de-twisted back to its full width. d. Rewinding the fabric to its open width. e. Applying further coatings at a low coating weight. f. Applying an adhesive, while maintaining the width of the fabric by a pin frame. g. Unwinding and applying in a rewinding process a nonwoven web. h. Subjecting the fabric to a steam flow process while transporting the fabric on a belt without substantial tension.

2. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1 wherein the rate of spraying of step a is at a rate of application of between 50 and 300 ml/min.

3. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 2 wherein the fabric is rayon and the rate of application is approximately 300 ml/min.

4. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 2 wherein the fabric is an acrylic and the rate of application is approximately 100 ml/min.

5. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein step c is performed under the control of a load cell that controls the rate of operation of the process step.

6. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the fabric is highly textured and during step e tension on the fabric is maintained at a low value to prevent the loss of texture.

7. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the adhesive is a powder.

8. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 7, wherein the adhesive powder is applied at a speed of 15-20 yards per minute.

9. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1 wherein the fabric is highly textured and the adhesive is applied below the amount of about 1 oz/lin. yd.

10. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1 wherein the fabric is a light weight fabric and the adhesive is applied above the amount of about 4 oz/lin. yd.

11. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the nonwoven web is a polypropylene plastic.

12. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 11, wherein the weight range of the nonwoven web is 0.25 to 5 ounces per square yard.

13. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the nonwoven web is a polyester.

14. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 13, wherein the weight range of the nonwoven web is 0.25 to 5 ounces per square yard.

15. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the nonwoven web is a blend of polyester and polypropylene.

16. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 15, wherein the weight range of the nonwoven web is 0.25 to 5 ounces per square yard.

17. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the steam flow process is operated at a rate of about 26 yards per minute.

18. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, wherein the steam flow process reduces the width of the fabric to between 55 and 110 inches.

19. The method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process of claim 1, further comprising the step of flat folding the fabric in open width.

20. A method for producing a washed and plushed upholstery fabric in a continuous process comprising the steps of: a. Spraying a base fabric with an anti-migrant and/or softener upon a rayon or an acrylic fabric in open width, wherein for rayon the rate of application is about 300 ml/min, whereas for acrylic the rate of application is about 100 ml/min is optimal. b. Subjecting the fabric to a continuous wash in a rope form. c. Opening the rope form under the control of a load cell, which controls the rate of operation, wherein the fabric is de-twisted back to its full width. d. Rewinding the fabric to its open width. e. Applying further coatings at a low coating weight, wherein the material is highly textured, and the tension is maintained at a low value to prevent the loss of texture. f. Applying an adhesive powder at a speed of 15-20 yards per minute, wherein for highly textured fabrics the amount of powder is kept below about 1 oz/lin. yd and for light weigh materials the amount of powder is kept at about 4 oz/lin. yd while maintaining the width of the fabric, by a pin frame. g. Unwinding and applying in a rewinding process a polypropylene, polyester or blended nonwoven web in the weight range of 0.25 to 5 ounces per square yard. h. Subjecting the fabric to a steam flow process at a rate of about 26 yards per minute, wherein the fabric width is reduced to between 55 and 110 inches, while transporting the fabric on a belt without substantial tension.

Description:

This application claims the priority date of U.S. Provisional No. 60/552,564 filed Mar. 12, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to production of washed and plushed upholstery fabrics, primarily chenille containing, and the application of backing materials.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Wash and Plush fabrics have been popular for some time. Their main advantage has been relatively low cost and moderate quality. The typical production involves a batch process. Although some attempts have been made to enhance the fabric by the application of latex backing, this has been detrimental to the hand of the fabric. What is needed is a more economical continuous process for manufacturing wash and plush fabrics, wherein the process can apply nonwoven backing material to a surface of the fabric.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An economical method for producing an improved washed and plushed upholstery fabric comprises a continuous process including the provision of a soft, dimensionally stable, nonwoven fabric backing. The process involves steps for the chemical application of an anti-migrant and softener. The fabric is then washed in a rope form, opened under the control of a load cell and de-twisted. The fabric is then rewound and further coatings are applied. An adhesive is applied while the width of the fabric is maintained by a pin frame. A nonwoven web is applied to the previously prepared fabric in a rewinding process. The fabric is then subjected to a steam flow process to enhance the fabric texture and to reduce the width of the fabric.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention provides continuous process for fabrication of a novel washed and plushed upholstery fabric having superior fabric elongation stability, superior recovery properties, less yarn raveling, and improved sewing and cut-ability. One aspect of the invention is the provision of a soft, dimensionally stable, nonwoven fabric backing in a series of unique process steps.

The process begins with the chemical application of an anti-migrant and softener sprayed preferably upon a rayon or an acrylic fabric in open width. The rate of application is between 50 and 300 ml/min. For rayon a rate of 300 ml/min is optimal. For acrylic a rate of 100 ml/min is optimal. The fabric is then subjected to a continuous wash in a rope form. Compared with prior batch processes, this treatment produces a more repeatable effect. The rope is then opened under the control of a load cell, which controls the rate of operation, and de-twisted back to its full width. The fabric is then rewound to its open width. Further coatings are applied at a low coating weight. Where the material is highly textured, the tension is maintained at a low value to prevent the loss of texture.

An adhesive powder is then applied at a speed of 15-20 yards per minute. For highly textured fabrics the amount of powder is kept below about 1 oz/lin. yd to prevent a harsh hand. For light weigh materials it is optimal to provide about 4 oz/lin. yd to provide bulk to the fabric. The width of the fabric, ranging from 55″ to 110″ is maintained by a pin frame.

A polypropylene, polyester or blended nonwoven web in the weight range of 0.25 to 5 ounces per square yard is unwound and then applied to the previously prepared fabric in a rewinding process. The web may be either white or black.

The fabric is then subjected to a steam flow process at a rate of about 26 yards per minute. This provides enhancement of the fabric texture and reduces the width to between 55 and 110 inches. During this process the fabric is transported on a belt without tension. The fabric is then flat folded in open width, inspected and packaged.

As a result of this processing, a significant cost reduction is achieved by a continuous process that avoids the batch processing of the prior art, as well as providing an improved product.

Although particular embodiments of the invention have been described, it will be apparent to persons of ordinary skill in the relevant arts that the invention may be practiced by modifications that do not depart from the substance of the invention. Accordingly the scope of protection of this patent should not be limited to the disclosed embodiments but should be determined from the following description of the invention in terms of claims.