Title:
Seat cushion construction for reclining chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A furniture member cushion includes an exterior cover having opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening. A first slit is created through the cover proximate to the cushion fill opening. A foam cushion member is disposed through the cushion fill opening and substantially fills the interior cavity. A second slit is created in the cushion member, and aligned with the first slit when the cushion member is disposed in the interior cavity. A plurality of seams are sewn through the opposed walls and the cushion member, at least one aligned with the first and second slits.



Inventors:
Lawson, Steve H. (Pikeville, TN, US)
Chavis, Patricia A. (Spring City, TN, US)
Mcclung, Mark D. (Grandview, TN, US)
Braden, Robert B. (Soddy Daisy, TN, US)
Barnett, Jeffrey L. (Chattanooga, TN, US)
Application Number:
11/385937
Publication Date:
10/12/2006
Filing Date:
03/21/2006
Assignee:
La-Z-Boy Incorporated
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A furniture member cushion, comprising: an exterior cover having opposed walls defining an interior partially enclosed cavity; a cushion fill opening created in the exterior cover; a polymeric foam cushion member disposable through the cushion fill opening and operable to substantially fill the interior cavity; and a plurality of sewn seams disposed through the opposed walls and the cushion member, the plurality of sewn seams defining a plurality of sub-sections of the furniture member cushion.

2. The cushion of claim 1, further comprising: at least one first slit created through the exterior cover proximate to the cushion fill opening; and at least one second slit created in the cushion member and positionable proximate to the cushion fill opening and alignable with the first slit when the cushion member is disposed in the interior cavity; wherein at least one of the plurality of sewn seams is operably alignable with both the first and second slits.

3. The cushion of claim 2, wherein the at least one first slit further comprises a plurality of first slits each equidistantly separable from at least a proximate one of the plurality of first slits.

4. The cushion of claim 3, wherein the at least one second slit further comprises a plurality of second slits each equidistantly separable from at least a proximate one of the plurality of second slits and each alignable with one of the plurality of first slits.

5. The cushion of claim 2, wherein the at least one first slit is created through a first one of the opposed walls of the exterior cover.

6. The cushion of claim 2, wherein the at least one first slit is created through both a first and a second one of the opposed walls of the exterior cover.

7. The cushion of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of pre-determined portions of the cushion member each separable into one of the plurality of sub-sections of the cushion by the sewn seams.

8. The cushion of claim 1, further comprising at least one strap connected to a first one of the opposed walls and operable to connect the cushion to a furniture member.

9. A furniture member cushion system, comprising: a furniture member having a frame; a cushion releasably connectable to the frame, the cushion including: an exterior cover having opposed first and second walls and first and second cover ends, the first and second walls fixedly joined at each of first and second sealed ends, the first and second walls and the first and second cover ends together defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening at the first cover end; a plurality of first slits created through the first wall proximate the first cover end and the cushion fill opening; a first plurality of second end slits created in the first wall proximate to the second cover end alignable with individual ones of the plurality of first slits; a polymeric foam cushion member disposable through the cushion fill opening and operable to substantially fill the interior cavity; and a plurality of sewn seams created through each of the first and second walls and the cushion member, individual ones of the plurality of sewn seams alignable with individual aligned ones of the first slits and the first plurality of second end slits.

10. The cushion system of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of second slits created through the second wall proximate the cushion fill opening, individual ones of the second slits alignable with individual ones of the first slits.

11. The cushion system of claim 10, further comprising a second plurality of second end slits created in the second wall proximate the second cover end and individually alignable with individual ones of the first plurality of second end slits.

12. The cushion system of claim 9, further comprising a first plurality of cushion slits created at a cushion first end and individually alignable with individual ones of the plurality of first slits.

13. The cushion system of claim 12, further comprising a second plurality of cushion slits created at a cushion second end individually alignable with individual ones of the first plurality of second end slits.

14. The cushion system of claim 9, further comprising a plurality of sub-sections of the cushion separable by the sewn seams.

15. The cushion system of claim 9, wherein any one of the plurality of first slits is equidistantly separable from a proximate one of the plurality of first slits.

16. The cushion system of claim 9, wherein the furniture member further comprises a reclining chair.

17. The cushion system of claim 9, further comprising at least one strap fixedly connected to one of the first and second walls operable to releasably connect the cushion to the frame.

18. The cushion system of claim 9, wherein the opposed first and second walls each further comprise an extending section fastenably connectable to the frame of the furniture member.

19. A method for creating a furniture member cushion, the cushion including opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening; and a polymeric foam cushion member, the method comprising: disposing the polymeric foam cushion member through the cushion fill opening to substantially fill the interior cavity; and sewing a plurality of seams each extending through the opposed walls and the polymeric foam cushion member.

20. The method of claim 19, further comprising creating a first slit through the exterior cover proximate to the cushion fill opening.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising creating a second slit in the cushion member positionable proximate to the cushion fill opening.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising aligning the second slit with the first slit during the disposing step.

23. The method of claim 22, further comprising aligning one of the plurality of sewn seams with both the first and second slits.

24. A method for creating a cushion connectable to a furniture member, the cushion including opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening; and a polymeric foam cushion member, the method comprising: disposing the polymeric foam cushion member through the cushion fill opening to substantially fill the interior cavity; sewing a plurality of seams each extending through the opposed walls and the polymeric foam cushion member; connecting at least one strap to one of the opposed walls; and releasably joining the at least one strap to the furniture member to operably join the furniture member cushion to the furniture member.

25. The method of claim 24, further comprising creating a first slit through the exterior cover proximate to the cushion fill opening.

26. The method of claim 25, further comprising creating a second slit in the cushion member positionable proximate to the cushion fill opening.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising aligning the second slit with the first slit during the disposing step.

28. The method of claim 27, further comprising aligning one of the plurality of sewn seams with both the first and second slits.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/670,181, filed on Apr. 11, 2005. The disclosure of the above application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates in general to cushions for furniture members and more specifically to a seat cushion device and method for creating a seat cushion for a reclining chair.

BACKGROUND

Reclining chairs are chairs generally having an upright or folded position and an extended position. Reclining chairs typically provide foldable or extendable leg supports which are mechanically connected to a chair structure. Seat cushions for reclining chairs are attached to the chair structure typically using mechanical connectors such as staples to prevent their dislocation during change from the upright to the extended positions or vice versa. The seat cushions are created using a variety of materials such as leather, cloth, and/or polymeric material as an outer cover, and are generally filled with a cushioning material such as loose fiber.

Seat cushions are commonly sewn in predetermined patterns to establish a functional and visually pleasing series of sub-cushion sections. The sub-cushion sections function to retain the loose fiber material within the sub-cushion section(s), which prevents the cushion material from being forced away from user contact locations and causing a “flattened” or non-supportive condition. Specific sub-cushion sections are normally pre-defined for specific points of support such as lumbar, leg and foot areas.

As an occupant uses and/or shifts their position or weight on the seat cushion, the loose fiber fill material shifts within the cushion. Due to the loose nature of the fiber fill material, it is difficult to maintain the fiber fill within any specific region of any of the sub-sections during use. This can lead to hard or non-cushioned regions within the sub-sections. Furniture manufacturers can increase the quantity of sub-sections to control fiber fill displacement, however, this increases the manufacturing cost of the seat cushion. Increasing the quantity and/or location of stitching normally used to create the sub-sections also creates areas with little or no cushion support directly at and proximate to the stitching, which therefore is counterproductive to producing a comfortable seat cushion.

SUMMARY

According to several embodiments of a seat cushion construction for a reclining chair of the present disclosure, a furniture member cushion includes an exterior cover having opposed walls defining an interior cavity. A cushion fill opening is created in the exterior cover. A polymeric foam cushion member is disposed through the cushion fill opening and substantially fills the interior cavity. A plurality of sewn seams are created through the opposed walls and the cushion member.

According to other embodiments of the present disclosure, a furniture member cushion includes an exterior cover having opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening. A first slit is created through the cover proximate to the cushion fill opening. A foam cushion member is disposed through the cushion fill opening and substantially fills the interior cavity. A second slit is created in the cushion member, and aligned with the first slit when the cushion member is disposed in the interior cavity. A plurality of seams are sewn through the opposed walls and the cushion member, at least one aligned with the first and second slits.

According to still other embodiments, a method for creating a furniture member cushion, the cushion including opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening; and a polymeric foam cushion member, includes a step for disposing the polymeric foam cushion member through the cushion fill opening to substantially fill the interior cavity. The method further includes a step for sewing a plurality of seams each extending through the opposed walls and the polymeric foam cushion member.

According to yet still other embodiments, a method for creating a cushion connectable to a furniture member, the cushion including opposed walls defining an interior cavity and a cushion fill opening; and a polymeric foam cushion member, includes disposing the polymeric foam cushion member through the cushion fill opening to substantially fill the interior cavity. The method further includes a step for sewing a plurality of seams each extending through the opposed walls and the polymeric foam cushion member. The method still further includes a step for connecting at least one strap to one of the opposed walls. The method yet still further includes a step for releasably joining the at least one strap to the furniture member to operably join the furniture member cushion to the furniture member.

A seat cushion construction for a reclining chair of the present disclosure offers several advantages. By first inserting a polymeric foam seat cushion member into a seat cushion cover and sewing through both the cover and the foam seat cushion member, the foam seat cushion member is divisible by the sewn seams into a plurality of cushion sub-sections. Because of the foam material, the foam in each of the sub-sections does not displace and cause hard or unsupported areas during use. At least one slit created in the seat cushion cover and corresponding slits created in the foam seat cushion member are aligned with each other when the foam seat cushion member is placed within the cover. The aligned slits are used to align one or more of the sewn seams. By using the prealigned slits, the cushion sub-sections are predetermined in size and location, each receiving a predetermined portion of the foam seat cushion member.

Further areas of applicability of the present disclosure will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating several embodiments of the disclosure, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present disclosure will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a reclining chair assembly having a seat cushion construction for a reclining chair of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view similar to FIG. 1, further showing a partially extended position for the leg support section of the reclining chair;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an exterior cushion cover according to several embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a foam cushion member of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the exterior cushion cover of FIG. 3, further identifying exemplary sewn seams of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description of several embodiments is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the disclosure, its application, or uses. It should be understood that throughout the drawings, corresponding reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts and features.

As best seen in reference to FIG. 1 and according to several embodiments of a seat cushion construction for a reclining chair of the present disclosure, a reclining chair assembly 10 includes a first side frame member 12, a second side frame member 14, and a back support member 16 connected between first and second side frame members 12,14. A cushion assembly 18 is connected to reclining chair assembly 10 and is operable to support an occupant of reclining chair assembly 10.

Cushion assembly 18 includes a back support section 20, a leg support section 22, and a foot support section 24. A right arm rest 26 and a left arm rest 28 can be fastenably connected to first side frame member 12 and second side frame member 14, respectively, or in other embodiments of the present disclosure, right and left arm rests 26, 28 are connectively attached to cushion assembly 18. A rotatable lever 30 is exemplary of a device used to rotate both leg support section 22 and foot support section 24 to or from the closed or chair-upright position shown in FIG. 1. Other embodiments of rotatable lever 30 (not shown) can also include a push button or a finger pull lever.

Cushion assembly 18 further includes a right side sub-section 32, a left side sub-section 34 and a central support sub-section 36. A back support sub-section 38 and a head support sub-section 40 are also provided in back support section 20. A body support section 35 is also provided. At least leg support section 22 and body support section 35 are divisible into right side sub-section 32, left side sub-section 34, and central support sub-section 36. In a further embodiment (not shown) foot support section 24 is divisible into right side sub-section 32, left side sub-section 34, and central support sub-section 36. Cushion assemblies 18 of the present disclosure are not limited to the quantity or type of sub-sections identified in FIG. 1. Cushion assemblies 18 can include more or fewer sub-sections than shown, at the discretion of the designer. Reclining chair assembly 10, including cushion assembly 18, is typically provided with a cloth material covering, however various polymeric materials and/or leather can also be used as covering materials.

Referring generally now to FIG. 2, when rotatable lever 30 is actuated by rotating about a lever rotation arc “A”, a mechanism 42 extends leg support section 22 and foot support section 24 about a rotation arc “B”. An extended or reclining position of reclining chair assembly 10 is thereby created. A first cushion support member 43 forms part of a structural frame of reclining chair assembly 10 and further supports cushion assembly 18. A second cushion support member 44 is connectable to mechanism 42 and fastenably receives at least foot support section 24. Cushion assembly 18 can be connected to the structural frame of reclining chair assembly 10 using a variety of devices. For example, hook and loop fastener elements can be connected to opposite ones of either cushion assembly 18 or the structural support members of reclining chair assembly 10. Fasteners such as staples, rivets, and/or zippers can also be used to connect cushion assembly 18 to reclining chair assembly 10. It is desirable that cushion assembly 18 be initially adjustably connectable to reclining chair assembly 10.

As best seen in reference to FIG. 3, a cushion exterior cover 45 forms a portion of cushion assembly 18. Cushion exterior cover 45 is generally provided of the same cover material used for reclining chair assembly 10. Cushion exterior cover 45 includes a first wall 46 and an opposing second wall 48. First and second walls 46, 48 are joined at each of a first sealed side 50 and a second sealed side 52. First and second sealed sides 50, 52 can be joined using a variety of joining methods, including but not limited to, sewing, hook and loop fastening, adhesively bonding, and/or stapling. Cushion exterior cover 45 further includes a first end 54 and an opposed second end 56. A cavity 58 is defined between first and second walls 46, 48, which is accessible through an opening 59 provided between first and second walls 46, 48 at one or both of first and second ends 54,56.

To aid in aligning subsequent sewn seams, a plurality of slits 60 are created proximate to first end 54 and spaced at predetermined intervals. The “predetermined intervals” of the present disclosure can be determined in several ways. A fixed distance between slits can be used, a distance measured to each slit from one of the first or second sealed sides 50,52 can be used, or a die with fixed slit intervals can be used. Similarly, a plurality of second slits 62 can be created proximate to an opposed wall end 63 of second wall 48. Each of the plurality of second slits 62 are aligned with individual ones of the plurality of slits 60. For example, an aligned pair of slits 60, 62 are defined by an alignment axis 64. A plurality of second end slits 66 can also be created proximate to second end 56. For clarity, second end slits 66 are shown formed only in first wall 46, but can also be formed in similar (aligned) positions at second end 56 in second wall 48. Exemplary aligned pairs of slits 60 and second slits 62 are shown as slits 60′, 62′ and 60″, 62″. The disclosure is not limited to the use of both slits 60 and second slits 62. In another embodiment, only one of the sets of slits 60 or second slits 62 is used. In still another embodiment, only a single slit is provided in cushion exterior cover 45.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a foam cushion member 68 provided of a polymeric foam material is sized to be slidably received within cavity 58 of cushion exterior cover 45 through opening 59. Foam cushion member 68 includes at least one and preferably a plurality of first end slits 70 each spatially separated and alignable with individual ones of slits 60. Similarly, a plurality of first end second slits 72 can also be provided, each alignable with individual ones of second slits 62. For example, an exemplary first end slit 70′ and 70″ are each alignable with slit 60′ and slit 60″ respectively when foam cushion member 68 is disposed within cavity 58. One purpose for the variety of slits of the present disclosure is to visually aid the alignment of foam cushion member 68 within cushion exterior cover 45 for subsequent sewing.

By predetermining the position of the various slits and aligning predetermined ones of the slits with each other, a predetermined partial volume of foam cushion member 68 can be positioned in each of the sub-sections 32 through 40 of cushion assembly 18. Each of first end slits 70 and first end second slits 72 are positioned proximate to a cushion member first end 74. A plurality of cushion second end slits 76 can also be positioned proximate to a cushion member second end 78.

Referring next to FIG. 5, following insertion of foam cushion member 68 into cushion exterior cover 45, cushion assembly 18 is completed using a plurality of sewn seams which extend through each of first wall 46, foam cushion member 68 and second wall 48. According to one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, cushion assembly 18 includes a first sewn seam 80 longitudinally aligned between each of slit 60′ and second end slit 66′. A second sewn seam 82 is similarly aligned between each of slit 60″ and second end slit 66″. A plurality of cross seams are created in back support section 20, including a first cross seam 84 and a second cross seam 86. In this embodiment, first and second sewn seams 80, 82 are stopped at a third cross seam 88 separating leg support section 22 and foot support section 24. A fourth cross seam 90 defines a boundary between back support section 20 and body support section 35. A fifth cross seam 92 defines a boundary between body support section 35 and leg support section 22. In one aspect of the disclosure, each cross seam is aligned substantially parallel with the other cross seams. Third cross seam 88 and fifth cross seam 92 also each provide an axes of rotation for cushion assembly 18 when reclining chair assembly 10 is repositioned to the extended or reclining position shown in FIG. 2.

First and second sewn seams 80,82 further divide cushion assembly 18 into multiple sub-sections of right side sub-section 32, left side sub-section 34 and central support sub-section 36. Examples are identified as sub-sections 32′, 32″, 32′″, 34′, 34″ and 34′″. The disclosure is not limited to these examples.

According to one several process, a laser is used to illuminate a visual laser-line between individual aligned ones of slits 60,66. The appropriate sewn seam is then made by following the line indicated by the laser. A machine such as a long-arm sewing machine can be used to sew the individual sewn seams. The cross seams can also be made using a laser sighting line or visually without the laser line, with distances between proximate cross seams each having a pre-determined spacing dimension.

A plurality of straps 96 are connected to a reclining chair assembly facing side, for example second wall 48, which are subsequently used to assist in adjustably connecting cushion assembly 18 to reclining chair assembly 10. Each of the plurality of straps 96 are provided with a plurality of fastener connections 98. Fastener connections 98 can be either a plurality of hooks or a plurality of loops and thereby form half of a hook and loop assembly. A mating strap (not shown) for each of the plurality of straps 96 are positioned on the support structure of reclining chair assembly 10 and aligned to receive each of the plurality of straps 96. Straps 96 provide for adjustable connection of cushion assembly 18 to reclining chair assembly 10. One purpose for straps 96 is to aid in alignment between cushion assembly 18 and reclining chair assembly 10.

According to several embodiments of the present disclosure, a plurality of attachment members 100, 102, 104 and 106 are connected such as by sewing to cushion assembly 18. Attachment members 100, 102, 104 and 106 are provided to permanently connect cushion assembly 18 to reclining chair assembly 10. Permanent connection of cushion assembly 18 can be accomplished using a plurality of techniques, including but not limited to stapling, pinning and/or riveting through each of attachment members 100, 102, 104 and 106. Attachment members 100, 102, 104 and 106 are preferably positioned where they are out of visual sight once connected to structure of reclining chair assembly 10. For example, attachment members 104, 106 can be connected to cushion assembly 18 in locations which are subsequently visually hidden beneath left arm rest 28 and right arm rest 26 respectively.

To ensure that foam cushion member 68 is completely retained by cushion exterior cover 45, an over-extension section 108 and an over-extension section 110 of foam cushion member 68 each extend beyond cushion exterior cover 45 when the sewing operations are complete. Over-extension sections 108, 110 are generally folded over or under other material when cushion assembly 18 is connected to reclining chair assembly 10 to prevent subsequent visibility of either over-extension section 108 or 110. Each of first and second ends 54, 56 of cushion exterior cover 45 are sewn similar to the cross seams to fix foam cushion member 68 in position within cushion exterior cover 45.

A seat cushion construction for a reclining chair of the present disclosure offers several advantages. By first inserting a polymeric foam seat cushion member into a seat cushion cover and sewing through both the cover and the foam seat cushion member, the foam seat cushion member is divisible by the sewn seams into a plurality of cushion sub-sections. Because of the foam material used, the foam in each of the sub-sections does not displace and cause hard or unsupported areas during use. At least one slit created in the seat cushion cover and at least one corresponding slit created in the foam seat cushion member are aligned with each other when the foam seat cushion member is placed within the cover. The aligned slits are used to further align one or more of the sewn seams. By using the prealigned slits, the cushion sub-sections are predetermined in size and location, each receiving a predetermined volume or portion of the foam seat cushion member.

The description of the disclosure is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the disclosure are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.