Title:
Furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Articles of furniture having a frame are covered with a material made of a flexible backing sheet and an exterior breathable blanket formed of a mass of elastic filaments that are intertwined and looped upon themselves and form an intricate network body having thickness and a multitude of open spaces imparting compressibility and breathability to the material.



Inventors:
Kelley, Thomas Jeffrey (San Diego, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/996832
Publication Date:
06/08/2006
Filing Date:
11/24/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/02
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Primary Examiner:
NELSON JR, MILTON
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREER, BURNS & CRAIN, LTD. (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A process of making an article of furniture comprising the steps of providing a furniture frame and covering the furniture frame with a material comprised of a flexible backing sheet and an exterior breathable blanket comprised of a mass of elastic filaments that are intertwined and looped upon themselves and form an intricate network body having thickness and a multitude of breathable open spaces.

2. A process as set forth in claim 1 wherein the furniture comprises indoor/outdoor furniture.

3. A process as set forth in claim 1 wherein the furniture comprises outdoor or patio furniture.

4. A process as set forth in claim 1 wherein the furniture comprises a chaise lounge.

5. A process as set forth in claim 1 wherein the article of furniture comprises a hammock having a pair of spaced frames and including the steps of extending a sheet of said material between and securing the same at its ends to said frames.

6. A process as set forth in claim 1 including the steps of forming said mass of elastic filaments with weldable plastic filaments and welding a decorative pattern into said blanket.

7. A process as set forth in claim 1 including the step of forming said material with a flexible backing sheet having a first decorative appearance and an exterior blanket having a second decorative appearance and revealing the first decorative appearance of the backing sheet through the multitude of open spaces in the blanket.

8. A process as set forth in claim 7 including the steps of forming said mass of elastic filaments with weldable plastic filaments and welding a decorative pattern into said blanket.

9. In an article of furniture having a frame and a material covering the frame, the improvement wherein the covering material is comprised of a flexible backing sheet and an exterior breathable blanket comprised of a mass of elastic filaments that are intertwined and looped upon themselves and form an intricate network body having thickness and a multitude of open spaces.

10. The improvement claimed in clam 9 wherein the article comprises indoor/outdoor furniture.

11. The improvement claimed in claim 9 wherein the article of furniture comprises outdoor or patio furniture.

12. The improvement claimed in claim 9 wherein said mass of elastic filaments comprise weldable plastic filaments and a decorative pattern is welded into said blanket.

13. The improvement claimed in claim 9 wherein said flexible backing sheet has a first decorative appearance and said exterior blanket has a second decorative appearance and reveals the first decorative appearance of the backing sheet through the multitude of open spaces in the blanket.

14. The improvement claimed in claim 13 wherein said mass of elastic filaments includes weldable plastic filaments and a decorative pattern is welded into said blanket.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to furniture, particularly indoor/outdoor and patio furniture, and more particularly, covering materials for such furniture.

BACKGROUND

Indoor/Outdoor and patio furniture are comprised of a frame and a covering for the frame. The covering may comprise fabric or upholstery, in which case the furniture, or at least the upholstery, should be taken indoors after each use to avoid excessive deterioration due to climatic conditions. Flexible plastic strapping is employed quite extensively, but is not especially comfortable. Also, canvass and canvass like materials are frequently employed but they are, unless taken indoors, subject to rapid deterioration.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,029,272 and Des. 429,555 disclose beach footwear, e.g., sandals, utilizing industrial floor matting as a practical and decorative footbed for footwear. The industrial floor matting or carpet material is comprised of filaments of polyvinyl chloride intertwined to form a cushioning, breathable network body that is very attractive and that stands up to the abusive service to which sandals and beach footwear are subjected.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to use industrial floor matting, especially the floor matting above described, as a covering material for furniture, especially outdoor and patio furniture, hammocks, and the like.

A particular object of the invention is to provide a process of making furniture, and furniture made in accordance with a process, comprising the steps of providing a furniture frame and covering the furniture frame with a material comprised of a flexible backing sheet and an exterior, breathable blanket comprised of a mass of elastic filaments that are intertwined and looped upon themselves and form an intricate network body having thickness and a multitude of open spaces providing breathability.

The resultant furniture is attractive, comfortable and weather resistant. The blanket of intertwined filaments is decorative and, since it is compressible and breathable, it provides a comfortable surface for sitting and reclining. The covering is made entirely of weather-resistant plastic and therefore may be left outdoors all season long and need not be carried indoors after each use.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent to persons of reasonable skill in the art from the following detailed description as considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a chaise lounge covered in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a hammock covered in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross section of the material used as a furniture covering material in accordance with the invention; and

FIG. 4 is an enlarged and detailed cross sectional view of the industrial floor matting material used in accordance wit the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following is a detailed description of embodiments of the invention presently contemplated by the inventor to be the best mode of carrying out his invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a chaise lounge 10 having a frame 12 and a covering 14 secured to the frame. If the chaise has a reclining back, the covering 14 is comprised of two segments, namely, a segment 14a covering the horizontal part of the chaise and a segment 14b covering the reclining back. The covering, or each segment of the covering if made in more than one segment, is a continuous sheet of covering material to be described in detail in connection with FIG. 3.

FIG. 2 illustrates a hammock 20 comprised of a pair of frames 22a and 22b spaced apart from one another and a sheet 24 of covering material extending between and secured at its ends to the two frames. The sheet 24 is continuous and made of the covering material to be described in detail in conjunction with FIG. 3.

Referring to FIG. 3, the material used as a furniture covering material in accordance with the invention is indicated generally at 30 and is comprised of a flexible, preferably continuous, backing sheet 32 and a flexible, continuous, exterior, breathable blanket 34 comprised of a mass of intertwined flexible filaments 36. The filaments 36 are made of a weather resistant plastic, preferably polyvinyl chloride, and are preferably of uniform thickness or diameter. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the filaments are elongate and wound in loops upon themselves to form an intricate network body having thickness and a multitude of open spaces therein imparting breathability and compressability to the blanket. The backing sheet 32 for the blanket is likewise formed of a weather resistant plastic.

The material above described is available as industrial floor matting from Akro Corp. Canton, Ohio, under the brand name “Wayfarer”; 3M Company, St. Paul, Minn, under the brand name “Nomad”; and Union Looper Co. of Taichung, Taiwan.

Due to its compressibility and breathability, the blanket 34 provides a very comfortable surface for sitting and reclining. Also it is an attractive and decorative material, particularly in its unusual and incongruous use as a furniture covering material.

The decorative attractiveness of the covering material may be further enhanced by utilizing a backing sheet 32 having a first decorative appearance, e.g., a first color, and a blanket 34 of intertwined filaments having a second decorative appearance, e.g., a different color, and revealing through the open spaces in the blanket 34 the first decorative appearance of the backing sheet 32. Additional attractiveness may be achieved by welding decorative patterns into the blanket or mass of filaments 36 as taught in commonly owned, co-pending application Ser. No. 10/292,218, filed Nov. 11, 2002.

The objects and advantages of the invention have thus been shown to be attained in a convenient, economical, practical and facile manner.

While preferred embodiments of the invention have been herein illustrated and described it is to be appreciated that various changes, rearrangements and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.