Title:
Adjustable blanket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A blanket, comprising a main body including a cover and an insulating material contained within the cover, and at least one sleeve attached to a surface of the blanket, wherein a passage extends through the main body at an opening of the sleeve for enabling access into the sleeve through the blanket. The blanket further includes a drawstring attached to the main body, wherein the drawstring extends at least partially around a central portion of the main body. The blanket has a size to cover a person's body for warmth and comfort, the drawstring moves the adjustable blanket snugly closer around a person's body and the at least one sleeve retains warmth around an arm of the person when they reach through the blanket to pick up an object.



Inventors:
Haleem, Karen (Monterey, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/117930
Publication Date:
12/01/2005
Filing Date:
04/29/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/69
International Classes:
A47G9/00; A47G9/02; A47G9/06; (IPC1-7): A47G9/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080229497Collapsible Furniture Construction, Particularly for a Foldaway BedSeptember, 2008Paoutoff
20080134439Specialized PillowJune, 2008Ricalde
20020133881Baby pillowSeptember, 2002Vrbas et al.
20040123386Convertible pocketed towel to tote bag article and method of making sameJuly, 2004Higashi et al.
20090070934MEDICAL WORKSTATION FOR PATIENTSMarch, 2009Settgast et al.
20070061978Support apparatus with gel layerMarch, 2007Losio
20100005595Mattress or Mattress Pad With Gel SectionJanuary, 2010Gladney et al.
20060200909Plumber's back supportSeptember, 2006Beck
20050005355Beach blanket with pocketsJanuary, 2005Marks et al.
20080307580Women's anatomical pillowsDecember, 2008Spitzer
20090151076Comfort PillowJune, 2009Cararra



Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond M. Galasso (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A blanket, comprising: a main body including a cover and an insulating material contained within the cover; and at least one sleeve attached to a surface of the blanket, wherein a passage extends through the main body at an opening of the sleeve for enabling access into the sleeve through the blanket.

2. The blanket of claim 1, further comprising: a drawstring attached to the main body, wherein the drawstring extends at least partially around a central portion of the main body.

3. The blanket of claim 2 wherein: the main body includes a peripheral channel extending at least partially along the central portion of the main body; and the drawstring is slidably disposed within the peripheral channel.

4. The blanket of claim 3, further comprising: a plurality of loops disposed within the peripheral channel, wherein the drawstring is threaded through at least a portion of the loops.

5. The blanket of claim 1 wherein: the main body includes a pouch; the at least one sleeve is attached to the pouch; the passage extends through the pouch for enabling access into the sleeve through the pouch of the blanket; and the at least one sleeve is retractable into the pouch for facilitating storage of the at least one sleeve.

6. The blanket of claim 5, further comprising: a drawstring attached to the main body; and a plurality of loops; wherein the main body includes a peripheral channel extending at least partially along the central portion of the main body; wherein the drawstring is slidably disposed within the peripheral channel; wherein at least a portion of the plurality of loops are disposed within the peripheral channel; and wherein the drawstring is threaded through the loops disposed in the peripheral channel.

7. An adjustable wrap comprising: a blanket including a size adjuster; and at least one tubular cover attached to a surface of the blanket.

8. The adjustable wrap of claim 7, further comprising: a peripheral channel to contain the size adjuster.

9. The adjustable wrap of claim 8, wherein the size adjuster is a drawstring.

10. The adjustable wrap of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of loops attached to the blanket, wherein the drawstring is threaded through the loops.

11. The adjustable wrap of claim 7, wherein the blanket has an opening therethrough for access to the at least one tubular cover that is open at opposing ends thereof.

12. The adjustable wrap of claim 7, wherein the blanket has a size to cover a person's body for warmth and comfort, the size adjuster moves the blanket snugly closer around the body and the at least one tubular cover retains warmth around an arm of a person reaching through the blanket to pick up an object:

13. The adjustable wrap of claim 12, wherein the at least one tubular cover includes a pair of sleeves providing protection for both arms and freedom of movement for the hands of the person during retrieval of objects outside the blanket.

14. An adjustable wrap comprising: a blanket having an inner surface, an outer surface, and a peripheral channel, the blanket further including a pair of openings formed in the blanket to open to the inner surface and the outer surface, the blanket having a shape and size to cover a person's body for warmth and comfort; a plurality of loops attached to the blanket within the peripheral channel; a drawstring having a length contained in the peripheral channel and threaded through the loops to adjust the size of the blanket during variation in the length of the drawstring; and a pair of sleeves extending from the outer surface of the blanket, each of the pair of sleeves being open at its opposing ends to provide a passage from the inside surface of the blanket beyond the outer surface when an end of each of the pair of sleeves is attached around one of the openings of the blanket to provide warmth around each arm of a person reaching from the inner surface, through the blanket and sleeves, to pick up an object.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims priority to co-pending United States Provisional Patent Application having Ser. No. 60/566,998 filed Apr. 30, 2004, entitled “Couch Potato”, having a common applicant herewith and being incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The disclosures made herein relate generally to covering wraps positioned over and around a person's body to keep the person warm and comfortable and, more particularly, to a size adjustable blanket having sleeves extending from the blanket to retain warmth around the arms of a person reaching from inside the blanket to pick up an item outside of the blanket without otherwise disrupting the blanket from around the person's body.

BACKGROUND

A number of different ways are available to keep a person warm and protected from drafts and from exterior cold conditions associated with outdoor activities. Well known body-warming products include blankets, ponchos, sleeping bags, snow suits and children's sleep-suits and the like. For example, patents including U.S. Pat. No. D380,590; U.S. Pat. No. 4,507,805 and FR 2,446,622 refer to bag-like garments to be worn by people or used as sleeping bags for camping and related activities that may involve extended periods of time outdoors. During limited outdoor recreational pursuits, such as watching a ballgame at a stadium, people use blankets, seat cushions, and ponchos to shield themselves from cold weather. Patents including U.S. Pat. No. 5,946,723 and FR 2,483,760 are exemplary of these types of product.

People also use blankets and similar types of coverings for added warmth and comfort while relaxing indoors. While watching television, for example, a person may establish a cozy viewing environment by wrapping themselves in a blanket or a comforter, or throw cover while reclining comfortably on a sofa. Such a condition can be very relaxing unless there is a need to pick up an object such as a remote control or program schedule lying outside the blanket. Retrieval of the desired object involves raising a portion of the blanket and exposing an arm or hand to the relatively cold conditions outside the blanket. In addition, the raising of the blanket introduces cooling drafts around the person's body. It is also possible for cooling drafts to creep under the blanket after the person has attempted to tuck the blanket around his or her limbs. The simple re-positioning of a limb can disrupt a conventional blanket, causing a gap, between the cover and the sofa, which provides a way for cool air to penetrate beneath the cover.

Therefore, a blanket that overcomes limitations, shortcomings and/or drawbacks associated with conventional blankets, used as temporary covers, would be useful, advantageous and novel.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Embodiments of an adjustable blanket in accordance with the present invention alleviate the drawbacks described above with respect to conventional blankets and related heat insulating enclosures and clothing. More specifically, embodiments of the present invention allow a person to adopt a relaxed posture covered by a warm blanket that includes size adjustment for drawing the edges of the blanket around the person's body and limbs. An adjustable blanket in accordance with the present invention provides the added benefit that allows freedom for the person to reach from the inside to the outside of the blanket without disturbing the snug fit of the blanket around himself or herself.

One object of the present invention is to provide a cover in the form of a wrap or blanket that provides warmth to the user by maintaining body heat under the blanket. Useful warmth provided by a blanket in accordance with the present invention allows a lower temperature environment outside the blanket, which has the potential for reducing home heating expenses.

Also, an object of the present invention is to allow a person, wrapped in an adjustable blanket according to the present invention, to reach through an opening in the blanket to retrieve objects lying outside the blanket while the blanket remains snugly wrapped around them. One embodiment of the present invention includes tubular covers as sleeves accessible from inside the blanket. Retrieval of objects outside the blanket occurs with only the person's hands exposed to the surrounding environment. Essentially, the sleeves help the person to retain body heat while operating remote controls for audio/video components, for example, or for enjoying a snack or beverage, while wrapped more snugly than is possible with a regular blanket.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a size adjuster in a wrap comprising a blanket resembling a normal throw blanket that cinches relatively easily around a person's body. The size adjuster, in the form of a drawstring, operates to pull the edges of the blanket inwardly to cover a portion of a user's body that includes shoulders, legs and feet. Optimum positioning of an adjustable blanket around the portion of the user's body may require raising of the user's feet to allow movement of the blanket to a “tucked in” position.

For convenience, an object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable blanket resembling a conventional blanket in size, weight and thickness by way of an embodiment about seven feet long, from about four feet to about five feet wide and about half an inch to about an inch in thickness. Size variation considers the needs of children and people fitting into the categories of small, medium and large. Other considerations include the use and style of stain resistant, machine washable, highly pliable materials appearing like normal throw covers that have been selected, for example, to match living room or family room or children's playroom decor.

In yet another embodiment, an object of an adjustable blanket in accordance with the present invention it to allow persons of limited mobility to use the size adjuster to tuck themselves into a cozy blanket.

Embodiments of the present invention have been described in alternative terms including cover, comforter, blanket, main body, and wrap and the like, that have been further modified using descriptors such as throw and adjustable and the like. Such terms have been used interchangeably in support of subject matter claimed herein. Accordingly, the present invention advantageously overcomes one or more adverse aspects associated with conventional throw covers used by persons for comfort and relaxation.

Turning now to specific aspects of the present invention, in at least one embodiment the present invention provides a blanket, comprising a main body including a cover and an insulating material contained within the cover. At least one sleeve has attachment to a surface of the blanket such that a passage extends through the main body at an opening of the sleeve for enabling access into the sleeve through the blanket.

Having described the basic construction of an adjustable blanket in accordance with the present invention, the inclusion of additional features results in a variety of optional useful embodiments as follows:

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, an adjustable blanket further comprises a drawstring attached to the main body to extend at least partially around a central portion of the main body.

In at least one embodiment of the present invention, a peripheral channel extends at least partially along the central portion of the main body to accommodate the drawstring slidably disposed therein.

At least one embodiment of the present invention has a plurality of loops disposed within the peripheral channel, wherein the drawstring is threaded through at least a portion of the loops.

In at least one embodiment of the blanket of the present invention, the main body includes a pouch and at least one sleeve is attached to the pouch such that the passage extends through the pouch for enabling access into the sleeve through the pouch of the blanket. The at least one sleeve is retractable into the pouch for facilitating storage of the at least one sleeve.

A person wrapping themselves in a cover in accordance with the present invention is essentially using an adjustable wrap comprising a blanket having an inner surface, an outer surface, and a peripheral channel. The blanket further includes a pair of openings formed in the blanket to open to the inner surface and the outer surface of the blanket that has a shape and size to cover a person's body for warmth and comfort. A plurality of loops attached to the blanket within the peripheral channel accommodates a drawstring having a length contained in the peripheral channel and threaded through the loops to adjust the size of the blanket during variation in the length of the drawstring. The adjustable wrap also has a pair of sleeves extending from the outer surface of the blanket. Each of the pair of sleeves is open at its opposing ends to provide a passage from the inside surface of the blanket beyond the outer surface when an end of each of the pair of sleeves is attached around one of the openings of the blanket to provide warmth around each arm of a person reaching from the inner surface, through the blanket and sleeves, to pick up an object.

These and other objects, embodiments advantages and/or distinctions of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and associated drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in greater detail in the following way of example only and with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of an adjustable blanket in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosures made herein.

FIG. 2 depicts a detail view of a portion of the means for adjustment of the size of the blanket of FIG. 1

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of a throw pillow cover in accordance with an embodiment of the invention showing a storage compartment for a folded adjustable blanket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The figures are not necessarily to scale and some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

Referring to the figures, wherein like numbers refer to like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with an embodiment of the inventive disclosure. The main body of the blanket comprises an insulating material made from woven and non-woven fabrics. Fibrous materials suitable for manufacturing adjustable blankets 10 include conformable, supple materials including cotton, wool, polyester, and nylon and mixtures and blends thereof. In one embodiment the adjustable wrap or blanket 10 uses cotton or a blended fabric including cotton. Cotton is a durable material that adds quality and comfort to any product in which it is used. A further benefit is the preference for the use of cotton fabrics by individuals with sensitive skin. In another embodiment the heat insulating properties of fleece, or wool derived from fleece, make these materials attractive for blanket fabrication because of their soft texture and warmth.

Size variation of an adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention leads to other embodiments of the present invention. Taking into consideration the difference in size of blanket users, the production of adjustable blankets 10 would include the general sizes of small, medium, and large. Material thickness is another variable chosen to keep the product lightweight yet thick enough to keep the user warm and comfortable. These comfort criteria have been met using, for example, a fabric thickness of about a half inch.

An adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention has a pouch 12 attached to a surface of the main body. As shown in FIG. 1 the pouch 12 extends from what becomes the front or outer surface of a blanket 10 that is wrapped around a person for warmth. In this embodiment, the pouch communicates with an opening (not shown) in the main body of the blanket 10 providing a recess from the back surface or inner surface of the blanket 10 into the pouch 12. At each of its ends, the recess, inside the pouch 12, opens to a sleeve 14, 16 made from the same material or an alternative material as that selected for the main body of the blanket 10. The sleeves 14, 16 each provide a passage that allows a person, wrapped in a blanket 10; to reach from the recess of the pouch 12, through the passages until the person's hands emerge from the ends of the sleeves 14, 16. Also, the pouch 12 provides storage for retractable sleeves 14, 16 when not in use. A cuff 18 at the end of a sleeve 14, 16 may be gathered or have an elastic means included therein providing a relatively narrow opening that grips the wrist of a person whose arm has been inserted in a sleeve 14, 16 so that the person's hand extends from the cuff 18 of the sleeve 14, 16.

The pouch 12 and sleeves 14, 16 represent a distinguishing features of the present invention compared to conventional blankets in that they allow a person to reach outside the blanket 10 without lifting the main body of the blanket 10. In this way, the person enjoys the warm comfort of the blanket and avoids cooling drafts that could creep under the blanket 10 when it moves. A further benefit of the sleeves 14, 16 is the warmth they provide when covering the arms of a person reaching through them to easily and conveniently access nearby television, radio and video remote controls, reading material, phones and snacks and the like without having to remove the adjustable blanket 10 from their body. One of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that an embodiment according to the present invention is possible in which the pouch 12 has been omitted from the adjustable blanket 10 so that the sleeves 14, 16 extend from two separated locations of the main body of the blanket 10. Blankets 10 have similar functionality, with or without the pouch 12 illustrated in FIG. 1.

FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show means for adjusting the size of a blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention wherein the main body of the blanket 10 has at least a portion of a size adjuster 20 slidably retained in a peripheral channel 22 formed adjacent to the edges 24, 26 of two rectangular-shaped panels sewn together to form the main portion of the blanket 10. An alternative embodiment uses a single fabric panel having a peripheral channel attached thereto by stitching an overlying length of tape on to the fabric.

The size adjuster, shown in FIG. 2, is a drawstring 20 extending from one end of the peripheral channel 22 to the other. Only a portion of the drawstring 20 lies inside the peripheral channel 22 so that ends of the drawstring (not shown) extend from a position inside the blanket 10 allowing a user of the blanket 10 to tighten the drawstring 20, shortening the portion in the peripheral channel 22, to draw the adjustable blanket 10 fully around themselves, keeping them warm and comfortable.

A drawstring 20, as shown in FIG. 2, passes through a series of loops 30 sewn inside the peripheral channel 22 of the adjustable blanket 10. The loops 30 guide the drawstring 20 through the peripheral channel 22 and provide reinforced sections therein against which the drawstring 20 pulls as it is cinched up to draw the blanket 10 closer thereby providing a warm cozy cover around a person as they relax. Depending upon the design of an adjustable blanket 10, loops 30 providing reinforced sections could be evenly spaced along the length of the peripheral channel 22 or limited to corners thereof.

Although the ends of the drawstring 20 have been described as located inside the adjustable blanket 10, other optional placement of the drawstring ends is possible and includes positions inside and outside of the blanket 10 that the person using the blanket could reach from inside the blanket. As shown in FIG. 1, the ends of the drawstring would extend inside the blanket from ends 32,34 of the peripheral channel 22, shown by dashed line, close to the shoulders of a person covered by the adjustable blanket 10. In other embodiments of an adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention, the ends of the drawstring could emerge from a peripheral channel 22 inside the recess of the pouch 12 or from the front of the blanket 10 near the waist of the blanket user. It will be appreciated that the ends of the drawstring 20 could be accessible from other positions of the adjustable blanket 10 as long as the other positions are relatively convenient from which to draw the blanket 10 around a user in response to the effort of pulling the drawstring 20 to shorten the edges 24, 26 of the blanket 10 and reduce the portion of the drawstring 20 inside the peripheral channel 22.

FIG. 3 depicts a handy, stylish and machine-washable throw pillow cover 40 as an accessory to an adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention. The throw pillow cover 40 includes a zipper 42 to retain the blanket 10 after placing it in the throw pillow cover 40. When zippered inside the throw pillow cover 40, the adjustable blanket 10 acts as the filling for an attractive throw pillow that may be used as a sofa decoration containing a readily available comforter 10. Suitable throw pillow covers 40 include those manufactured in a wide variety of materials, colors, prints, decorations, etc., to suit personal tastes and styles.

After withdrawing a comforter, in the form of an adjustable blanket 10 from its throw pillow cover container 40 a user would simply drape the adjustable blanket 10 over themselves, like a traditional blanket. Using the drawstring, the user would draw the blanket 10 around body and limbs and thereby prevent the common and frustrating problem encountered with conventional blankets, which tend to gap inconveniently causing cooling of legs and feet that are closest to the edges of the conventional blanket. Using an adjustable blanket 10 in accordance with the present invention, an individual would be snugly wrapped and warm and comfortable while reading or watching television, helping to make relaxing more relaxing.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice embodiments of the present invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical, chemical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention. To avoid unnecessary detail, the description omits certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be reasonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.