Title:
Synthetic thatched umbrella
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A thatched umbrella, particularly, a weather resistant, synthetic thatched umbrella capable of being collapsed to a closed position. The thatching of the umbrella is constructed of synthetic fibers attached to an acrylic lining and the umbrella is capable of resisting a variety of weather conditions.



Inventors:
Goodman, Lloyd (Hialeah, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/056499
Publication Date:
08/31/2006
Filing Date:
02/11/2005
Assignee:
PAVILION FURNITURE, INC.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/15.1
International Classes:
A45B25/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
YIP, WINNIE S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOTT & FISCHER, P.L. (CORAL GABLES, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A thatched umbrella, comprising: a canopy wherein synthetic thatching is attached to an acrylic fabric lining in a layered pattern; an umbrella pole; and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member wherein the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to open and close.

2. The thatched umbrella of claim 1, wherein the synthetic thatching is composed of acrylic and polypropylene material.

3. The thatched umbrella of claim 2, wherein the synthetic thatching is solution dyed.

4. The thatched umbrella of claim 1, wherein the umbrella pole is made of aluminum reinforced fiberglass.

5. The thatched umbrella of claim 1, wherein the rib members and arm members are composed of fiberglass.

6. The thatched umbrella of claim 1, wherein the hub is composed of nylon.

7. A synthetic, weather resistant, closeable thatched umbrella comprising: a synthetic thatching attached to a fabric lined canopy; an umbrella pole composed of fiberglass; and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member; wherein the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member, the rib members attach the frame to the canopy and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to close.

8. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the synthetic thatching is composed of acrylic and polypropylene material.

9. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the synthetic thatching is solution dyed.

10. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the fabric lined canopy is composed of acrylic material.

11. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the synthetic thatching is attached to a fabric lining in a layered pattern.

12. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the umbrella pole is made of aluminum reinforced fiberglass.

13. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the rib members and arm members are composed of fiberglass.

14. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the hub is composed of nylon.

15. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the rib members attach the canopy to the frame by the canopy receiving a distal end of the rib members in a pocket structure.

16. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the umbrella is capable of withstanding winds in excess of eighty miles per hour.

17. The thatched umbrella of claim 7, wherein the thatched umbrella is capable of withstanding a variety of weather conditions, including wind resistance and fade resistance.

18. A weather resistant, closeable, synthetic, thatched umbrella comprising: a synthetic thatching composed of polypropylene and acrylic materials attached to an acrylic fabric lined canopy in a layered pattern; an umbrella pole composed of aluminum reinforced fiberglass; and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member; wherein the rib members and arm members are composed of fiberglass, the hub member is composed of nylon, the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member, the rib members attach the frame to the canopy and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to close.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to a thatched umbrella and in particular to a weather resistant thatched umbrella capable of being collapsed to a closed position. The thatching of the umbrella is constructed of polypropylene and acrylic fibers attached to an acrylic lining and the umbrella is capable of resisting weather conditions, including strong winds.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The patio furniture industry places great importance on unique, durable patio furniture, capable of withstanding a variety of weather conditions, while retaining the furniture's original appearance.

While many varieties of umbrellas exist, the traditional grass thatched umbrellas typically require frequent maintenance and are incapable of being folded or collapsed into a closed position. Grass thatched umbrellas are also susceptible to fading in the sun and are incapable of withstanding a great amount of wind. A strong wind causes the thatching to be torn from the umbrella. Accordingly, grass thatched umbrellas have inherent disadvantages.

First, a thatched umbrella is typically constructed of real dried grass, leaves or other natural fibers or plant materials. Such an umbrella requires maintenance and often, replacement of the grass or leaves on a regular basis. Additional disadvantages to the current method of construction of thatched umbrellas are derived from the use of real grasses or leaves. The use of real grass or leaf thatching in the construction of the umbrella can cause leaks in the canopy of the umbrella. The real grass or leaf thatching is also more susceptible to weather conditions, including wind, sun, and rain. The grass or leaf thatching can fray or be displaced by the wind. The grass or leaf thatching can be bleached by the sun causing the grass or leaves to lose their natural coloring. The use of real grass and leaf thatching also makes the umbrella susceptible to supporting growths of mildew, mold, fungus and bacteria. The real grass or leaf thatching becomes brittle and is difficult to clean. Finally, due to its construction, the traditional thatched umbrella is incapable of being closed or folded, which becomes cumbersome if the umbrella is required to be moved or put away. This is particularly problematic during windy storms or hurricanes, when it is imperative that the umbrella be moved inside or closed.

Previous attempts have been made to provide a thatched umbrella composed of artificial grasses; however, these umbrellas are not comprised of durable, weather resistant polypropylene and acrylic grasses or thatching. Nor do these umbrellas employ a strong fiberglass frame capable of withstanding strong winds.

Additionally, attempts have been made to provide artificial thatching for building structures such as described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,715,251 to Yang (the '251 patent). The '251 patent describes a decorative simulated thatch unit. The thatch unit is designed to be mounted on a roof covered with a waterproofing plastic film. It appears that the thatch unit would be applied to the roof like a shingle. The thatch unit is comprised of decorative cords clamped into a press strip wherein the cords are retained in a receiving space by teeth. Plastic cords are used to create the appearance of thatching.

Attempts have also been made to develop a closeable thatched umbrella. U.S. Pat. No. 6,802,325 to Apple (the '325 patent) describes a closeable umbrella made with a circular one-piece woven thatch. The leaves used for the thatch are real leaves and may be coconut palm, banana palm, or sugar cane leaves. Although such an umbrella is closeable, the natural thatched leaves are subject to various weathering elements, including wind, rain and sun bleaching. The natural thatching would also support growths of mildew, mold, fungus and bacteria. Additionally, such thatching cannot be applied in layers, rather it must be applied as a continuous woven circular thatch. The umbrella described in the '325 patent would not be capable of opening and closing if thatching were applied in layers. Natural thatching, when applied in layers, is brittle and is likely to crack, tear or otherwise be destroyed, when the umbrella is closed.

None of the devices mentioned above describe a weather resistant, synthetic thatched umbrella capable of being collapsed into a closed position. Nor do the devices describe a thatched umbrella containing a strong fiberglass frame capable of withstanding strong winds.

Therefore, there is a need in the art for an umbrella that appears to be of thatched material, but which is capable of withstanding a variety of weather conditions, including wind resistance and fade resistance, and which is capable of being collapsed into a closed position.

There is a further need in the art for a thatched umbrella that is light weight in construction and easily movable. There is still a further need in the art for a thatched umbrella that is available in multiple sizes.

There is yet a further need in the art for a thatched umbrella that is easy to clean due to thatching comprised of durable synthetic fibers. There is also a need for a thatched umbrella wherein the umbrella is capable of receiving a lining that is both decorative and functional.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The current invention satisfies the needs in the industry by providing a weather resistant synthetic thatched umbrella capable of being collapsed to a closed position.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the thatched umbrella comprises a canopy wherein synthetic thatching is attached to an acrylic fabric lining in a layered pattern, an umbrella pole, and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member wherein the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to open and close.

It is further object of the present invention to provide a synthetic, weather resistant, closeable thatched umbrella comprising a synthetic thatching attached to a fabric lined canopy, an umbrella pole composed of fiberglass, and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member; wherein the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member, the rib members attach the frame to the canopy and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to close.

It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a weather resistant, closeable, synthetic, thatched umbrella comprising a synthetic thatching composed of polypropylene and acrylic materials attached to an acrylic fabric lined canopy in a layered pattern, an umbrella pole composed of aluminum reinforced fiberglass, and a frame composed of rib members, arm members and a hub member, wherein the rib members and arm members are composed of fiberglass, the hub member is composed of nylon, the arm members connect the rib members to the hub member, the rib members attach the frame to the canopy and the hub member slidably engages the umbrella pole to enable the canopy to close.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention may be better understood and appreciated from the following detailed description of the embodiments thereof, selected for purposes of illustration and shown in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front view of the thatched umbrella.

FIG. 2 shows a view of the underside of the umbrella.

FIG. 3 shows a front view of the umbrella in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In a preferred embodiment, the synthetic thatched umbrella 11 of the present invention is generally comprised of an umbrella pole 2 and a canopy assembly 1 as depicted in FIG. 1. The canopy assembly 1 comprises synthetic grass thatching 12, preferably, polypropylene and acrylic grass thatching, backed with an acrylic fabric lining 10. The acrylic fabric lining 10 is both decorative and functional. The acrylic fabric lining 10 is a water-proof material that serves to keep the canopy 1 from leaking. The acrylic fabric lining 10 can be a custom color and/or a patterned fabric. The synthetic grass thatching 12 is attached to the acrylic fabric lining 10 of the canopy 1 in horizontal layers. The synthetic grass thatching 12 can be sewn onto the acrylic fabric lining 10 or attached by any known method. The layering of the thatching 12 assists to create the look of an authentic grass thatched umbrella.

The synthetic grass thatching 12 is easy to clean and prevents growth of mold and mildew or sun bleaching due to the durability of the synthetic fibers. The synthetic grass thatching 12 is also soft to the touch as opposed to stiff natural thatching. This makes closing and storing the umbrella 11 feasible. The synthetic thatching 12 can be solution dyed to any desired color.

The umbrella pole 2 may include a finial 3 above the canopy 1. The umbrella pole 2 may be made of metal, plastic or wood, but is preferably a simulated wood pole made of aluminum reinforced fiberglass. The umbrella 11 includes pulley 5, which assists in opening and closing the umbrella canopy 1. The umbrella 11 has a base 4 made of a durable material suitable for weighting down the umbrella 11. Suitable material for the base 4 may be metal or plastic. The base 4 can be further weighted with any known material, for example sand. The umbrella pole 2 is removable from the base 4 for easy transport. The fiberglass construction of the frame and umbrella pole 2 makes transport of the umbrella 11 easy due to the lightweight properties of fiberglass. The lightweight, unified construction also provides advantages when shipping the umbrella 11. Natural thatched umbrellas are generally shipped in two pieces and are heavy. The natural thatched umbrellas must be assembled on site. The synthetic thatched umbrella 11 of the invention can be shipped in one piece, eliminating any required assembly.

FIG. 2 shows the underside of the umbrella 11. The canopy assembly 1 includes a frame which supports the weight of the canopy 1 and assists in opening and closing the umbrella canopy 1. The frame includes rib members 7 which extend along the underside of the canopy 1. The rib members 7 are preferably composed of fiberglass. The rib members 7 attach the canopy 1 to the frame by the canopy 1 receiving a distal end of the rib member 7 in a pocket structure 13. Additional attachment methods known in the industry can be employed to attach the canopy 1 to the frame. The rib members 7 are supported by arms 6 which distribute the weight of the canopy 1 to the umbrella pole 2 by attachment to the central hub 8. The distal portion of the arms 6 attach to the rib members 7 midway along the length of the rib members 7. The proximal end of the arm members 6 attach to a central hub 8 which slidably engages the umbrella pole 2. The central hub 8 is preferably composed of nylon. Just below the central hub 8 is a pin 9 which serves to hold the central hub 8 in place when the umbrella 11 is open. The pin 9 serves to hold the umbrella canopy 1 in an open position. When the pin 9 is removed, the central hub 8 slides down the umbrella pole 2 to approximately midway down the pole 2, and the canopy 1 collapses or folds into the closed position.

FIG. 3 shows the umbrella 11 in the closed or collapsed position. The synthetic grass thatching 12 folds compactly to form an umbrella canopy 1 capable of being stored or transported. The canopy 1 does not need to be removed from the umbrella pole 2 during transport or storage. While this is the preferred embodiment, different types of synthetic or artificial grasses or leaves can be attached to the acrylic fabric lining 10 and varying patterns or layers can be used on the umbrella canopy 1.

Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 3, improvement to the traditional thatched umbrella is achieved by the present invention because the umbrella 11 has the appearance of a natural thatched umbrella while being capable of being collapsed into a closed position, preventing leaks through the canopy 1 and being durable and resisting weather conditions winds. Additionally, the synthetic thatched umbrella 11 of the invention is capable of withstanding winds in excess of eighty miles per hour. Traditional umbrellas composed of frames made of metal or wood, will fail when subjected to winds in excess of eighty miles per hour.

The canopy 1 of the present invention is capable of being made in a variety of sizes. For example, the synthetic thatched umbrella 11 can be made with a canopy 1 diameter of seven, nine and eleven foot. Traditional natural thatched umbrellas which utilize natural grass or leaf thatching are typically available in only one size.

Accordingly, it will be understood that the preferred embodiment of the present invention has been disclosed by way of example and that other modifications and alterations may occur to those skilled in the art.