Title:
Slipcover with secured corners for upholstered furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A one-piece or two-piece slipcover for covering upholstered furniture has a gathering device at each corner to gather any excess material of the slipcover to provide a neat, tailored look to the slipcover. The gathering device may be an elastic strip, a fabric tab having hook and loop fasteners secured to the surfaces thereof, or a drawstring.



Inventors:
Baines, David M. (New Canaan, CT, US)
Leuci, Dominick (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Bucovetsky, Harvey (Cote St. Luc, CA)
Application Number:
11/371095
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
03/09/2006
Assignee:
MAYTEX MILLS, INC. (Yonkers, NY, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCPARTLIN, SARAH BURNHAM
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Venable LLP (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, and two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; and at least two elastic strips, each of the elastic strips being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover assembly.

2. The slipcover assembly according to claim 1, wherein each of the elastic strips extends horizontally around the respective corner.

3. The slipcover assembly according to claim 2, wherein each elastic strip is sewn onto an interior portion of the respective corner.

4. The slipcover assembly according to claim 2, wherein the slipcover assembly further includes a tunnel formed on an interior portion of a corner of the slipcover body, and wherein the elastic strip is positioned inside the tunnel.

5. The slipcover assembly according to claim 1, wherein the bottom portion includes a cinch located at approximately the horizontal center of the bottom portion.

6. The slipcover assembly according to claim 1, wherein the back portion includes a cinch located at approximately the horizontal center of the back portion.

7. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, and two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; and at least two fabric tabs having a hook and loop fastener on the surface thereof, each of the fabric tabs being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover.

8. The slipcover assembly according to claim 7, wherein each of the fabric tabs extends horizontally around the respective corner.

9. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, and two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; a tunnel formed on an interior portion of at least two corners of the slipcover body; and a drawstring positioned in each of the at least two corners of the slipcover body, the drawstring having stopper means slidably positioned thereon.

10. The slipcover assembly according to claim 9, wherein the stopper means is a duffle clip.

11. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, and at least one removable seat cushion supported on the base section, the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; at least two elastic strips, each of the elastic strips being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover assembly; and a separate cushion slipcover for covering the at least one removable seat cushion.

12. The slipcover assembly according to claim 11, wherein each of the elastic strips extends horizontally around the respective corner.

13. The slipcover assembly according to claim 12, wherein each elastic strip is sewn onto an interior portion of the respective corner.

14. The slipcover assembly according to claim 12, wherein the slipcover assembly further includes a tunnel formed on an interior portion of a corner of the slipcover body, and wherein the elastic strip is positioned inside the tunnel.

15. The slipcover assembly according to claim 11, wherein the bottom portion includes a cinch located at approximately the horizontal center of the bottom portion.

16. The slipcover assembly according to claim 11, wherein the back portion includes a cinch located at approximately the horizontal center of the back portion.

17. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, and at least one removable seat cushion supported on the base section, the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; at least two fabric tabs having a hook and loop fastener on the surface thereof, each of the fabric tabs being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover; and a separate cushion slipcover for covering the at least one removable seat cushion.

18. The slipcover assembly according to claim 17, wherein each of the fabric tabs extends horizontally around the respective corner.

19. A slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture having a base section, a back extending from the base section, two arms extending from opposite ends of the base section, and at least one removable seat cushion supported on the base section the slipcover assembly comprising: a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture; two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture; a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture; a tunnel formed on an interior portion of at least two corners of the slipcover body; a drawstring positioned in each of the at least two corners of the slipcover body, the drawstring having stopper means slidably positioned thereon; and a separate cushion slipcover for covering the at least one removable seat cushion.

20. The slipcover assembly according to claim 19, wherein the stopper means is a duffle clip.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/666,507, filed Mar. 29, 2005, the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

I. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the covering of upholstered sofas and more particularly it concerns novel coverings for upholstered sofas and chairs as well as upholstered sofas and chairs as so covered. The slipcovers use a gathering device, such as an elastic strip, a hook and loop fastener (e.g., Velcro®), or a drawstring, in the corners, front, and back of the slipcover, so as to eliminate the need for traditional slipcover ties to hold the slipcover in place and to create a neat, tailored appearance.

II. Description of the Related Art

Conventional slipcovers, while supposedly relatively easy to use, present the user with several functional and aesthetic problems. Use of a slipcover requires the user to position the slipcover over the piece of furniture to be covered. With a conventional one-piece slipcover, a single unit of material covers both the seat cushions and the base section of the piece of furniture. When the slipcover is in place, the user is then required to tuck any excess material between, for example, the base section and the cushions, to help delineate the contours and shape of the piece of furniture.

While the user may be able to tuck material under a cushion and/or between the base section and a cushion, there is no suitable location for tucking or stowing excess material along the sides of a piece of furniture, particularly at the corners of the base section. As a result, conventional slipcovers have incorporated ties at the corners. The ties are lengths of fabric extending from the seams. These ties allow the user to gather excess material along the base of the furniture and secure the gathered material at the corner.

Conventional slipcover ties present several problems to the user. One problem is that the appearance of the ties is generally not aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, the ties are subject to becoming loosened and/or untied, which is a problem because the user must spend considerable time and effort retying the ties. Additional time and effort are needed to ensure that the ties are tied in a manner that provides a balanced look so that the slipcover does not appear sloppy. Further, if the user of the slipcover has children or pets, the tendency of the ties to become loosened and/or untied increases, which may require the user to tie the ties multiple times a day. Additionally, when untied, there is a greater chance that the slipcover ties will become dirty and stained, detracting from the overall appearance of the slipcover. Moreover, if a consumer does not find the look of ties appealing, the user is limited in his or her options for selecting an appealing slipcover. Finally, because upholstered furniture comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, it can be difficult and time consuming to obtain a proper and secure fit with a conventional slipcover.

The problems presented with the use of ties is not new. In fact, there have been attempts to create slipcovers that can provide a tailored look without using ties. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,832,812 to Riley et al. describes a slipcover in which material at the corners is folded flat against an upholstered piece of furniture. The folded material is then placed underneath a wrap band. The wrap band begins at an exterior position along a lower, front corner, passes through a tunnel formed along a side of the slipcover, emerges from the tunnel and terminates at an exterior position along a lower, rear corner. Since the folded material is placed under the wrap band at each corner, a mechanism is needed to cover the wrap band, particularly at the front corners, so as to make the slipcover aesthetically pleasing. Accordingly, the Riley et al. slipcover utilizes a cover skirt that can be affixed to a corner of the slipcover. Use of the cover skirt, however, presents additional problems. For instance, the cover skirt itself may not be aesthetically pleasing to the user, and the cover skirt frequently may become detached from the slipcover, exposing the wrap bands.

An additional slipcover design that does not utilize ties is the design described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,320,407 to Tell. The Tell slipcover incorporates channels formed along the seams connecting various panels of the slipcover. In each channel is a drawstring which may be utilized to change the dimensions of the slipcover when placed on a piece of furniture. The numerous drawstrings incorporated into the Tell slipcover, however, can make adjustment of the slipcover difficult, particularly since there are three or four drawstrings intersecting at various points along the slipcover.

Therefore, what is needed is a slipcover that is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and that provides a neat, tailored appearance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Generally, the present invention is directed to a one-piece or two-piece slipcover for covering upholstered furniture.

One aspect the present invention is directed to a slipcover assembly for covering a piece of upholstered furniture. The slipcover assembly includes a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture, two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture, a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture, and at least two elastic strips, each of the elastic strips being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover assembly.

Embodiments of the present invention may include one or more of the following features. Each of the elastic strips extend horizontally around the respective corner. Each elastic strip is sewn onto an interior portion of the respective corner. Additionally, a tunnel can be formed on an interior portion of a corner of the slipcover body, and the elastic strip positioned inside the tunnel.

The slipcover assembly may further include a cinch located at approximately the center of the bottom portion.

In another embodiment, the cinch may be located at approximately the center of the back portion.

In another aspect of the present invention, the slipcover assembly includes a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture, two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture, a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture, and at least two fabric tabs having a hook and loop fastener on the surface thereof, each of the fabric tabs being positioned on a respective corner of the slipcover.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, the slipcover assembly includes a back portion for covering the back of the piece of upholstered furniture, two side portions for coving the two arms of the piece of upholstered furniture, a bottom portion for covering the base section of the piece of upholstered furniture, a tunnel formed on an interior portion of at least two corners of the slipcover body, and a drawstring positioned in each of the at least two corners of the slipcover body.

In still yet another aspect of the present invention, the slipcover assembly may further include a separate cushion seat cover for covering at least one removable seat cushion of the upholstered piece of furniture.

These and other objects, aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a slipcovered sofa secured with elastic at the corners under the arms.

FIG. 2 is a view of the back of a slipcovered sofa with an elastic cinch in the center of the back of the slipcover.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a slipcovered sofa having an elastic cinch in the center of the front, forming an inverted box pleat.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a slipcovered sofa secured with Velcro®-lined fabric strips on the corners under the arms.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the underside of a slipcover configured to be fastened using a drawstring running through a tunnel formed on the interior side of the slipcover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The slipcovers of the present invention provide a clean, tailored appearance through the use of elastic, drawstrings, or any other suitable gathering device located at the corners under the arms, and/or at the center of the front or back of the slipcover.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, a sofa 1 is covered with a two-piece slipcover. The sofa has a base section which supports a back, a pair of arms at opposite ends of the sofa. The base section also serves as a horizontal cushion support surface between the arms. The slipcover of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 has a base section slipcover 2 and a separate cushion slipcover 4. The base section slipcover 2 is configured to fit over the base section of a piece of upholstered furniture, and accordingly has a bottom portion 3, a back portion 5, two side portions 6 at opposite ends of the base section of the slipcover 2, and a portion 10 for covering the horizontal cushion support surface (see FIG. 3). The various slipcover configurations discussed below are equally applicable to other types of upholstered furniture including chairs, love seats, etc.

Additionally, although the slipcover of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1 includes a base section slipcover 2 and a separate cushion slipcover 4, the invention is not so limited. For instance, the present invention also includes a one-piece slipcover that covers both the base section and the seat cushions of a piece of upholstered furniture. A one-piece slipcover would have the same configuration as the base section slipcover 2, except the portion 10 for covering the horizontal support surface would be positioned higher vertically so that that section of the slipcover could cover the seat cushions positioned on the horizontal cushion support surface of the furniture.

With the slipcover depicted in FIG. 1, the separate cushion slipcover 4 may be, for example, in the form of an elongated bag. The separate cushion slipcover 4 may have an opening along the back of the slipcover to allow one or more removable seat cushions to be placed inside the slipcover. (Of course, the position of the opening is not limited. For example, the opening may be along the side of the slipcover.) Indeed, depending on the piece of furniture as many as three, four, or more cushions of various shapes (e.g., rectangular or T-shaped) may be placed within the separate cushion slipcover 4, and cushions of different shapes may be simultaneously contained within the separate cushion slipcover 4. Once the removable seat cushions have been placed in the separate cushion slipcover, the elongated opening may be closed by any suitable fastening mechanism, such as a zipper, buttons, or a hook and loop faster (e.g., Velcro®, and any excess material of the separate cushion slipcover may be folded under the cushions so as to conform the shape of the separate cushion slipcover to the shape of the removable seat cushions contained therein. Alternatively, the slipcovered cushions may be placed on the base section of the piece of furniture, and any excess material may be tucked between the cushions and the base section. Either way, the result is a clean, tailored appearance to the slipcovered removable seat cushions.

Returning to FIG. 1, the corners of the slipcover, near the point at which the arms join the base section are provided with horizontal strips of elastic 7. The strips of elastic 7 function as a gathering device to gather any excess slipcover material, to help provide a clean, tailored appearance to the slipcover. The dimensions of the elastic are not limited to any particular size; however, preferably, the elastic strips 7 measure approximately 12-14 inches in length when pulled flat and approximately 1.25 inches in width. The elastic may be secured to the slipcover by any suitable means. For example, the elastic may be sewn onto the interior portion of the slipcover or the elastic strips may be positioned inside a tunnel formed on the inside of the slipcover. Additionally, when, for example, the elastic strips measure 12-14 inches in length (when stretched), each corner of the slipcover has approximately 12-14 inches of fabric taken out, resulting in a finished gathering of approximately 6 inches. The elasticized corners obviate the need for slipcover ties and provide a secure fit for the slipcover. The corners also make the slipcover easier to install, because the slipcover securely assumes and maintains a proper position upon being pulled over the sofa or chair arms due to the action of the elastic straps.

FIG. 2 depicts another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the back of the base section of the slipcover 2 includes a back cinch 8 to help maintain a neat, tailored look. Horizontally, the back cinch 8 is positioned at roughly the center of the back. Vertically, the back cinch 8 is positioned generally at the same position as the elastic strips described with reference to FIG. 1. The back cinch 8 is preferably an elastic strip, but other suitable means (e.g., a drawstring) for providing a cinch may be used. When an elastic strip is used as the back cinch 8, the dimensions of the elastic strip are not limited to any particular size, but the length is preferably approximately 12-14 inches when the elastic is pulled flat. The elastic may be secured to the slipcover in any suitable manner. For example, the elastic may be sewn onto the inside of the slipcover or may be secured into a tunnel formed on the inside of the slipcover. The cinch may be used in conjunction with the elastic corners 7 (as shown in FIG. 2) or may be used alone.

FIG. 3 depicts yet another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the base section slipcover 2 includes a front cinch 9 in the front center of the sofa. The cinch is positioned along the horizontal cushion support surface 10, just under the front of the cushion section of the sofa. In this embodiment, the cinch forms an inverted box pleat on the front skirt portion of the slipcover. Of course, other types of pleats or other methods of gathering the fabric may be used without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The front cinch 9 may be of any suitable type, but, preferred is an elastic cinch. The elastic may be secured to the slipcover in any suitable manner. For example, the elastic may be sewn onto the inside of the slipcover or may be secured inside a tunnel formed on the inside of the slipcover. The dimensions of the elastic for the front cinch 9 are not limited to any particular size. Preferably, however, the elastic is approximately 12-14 inches in length when pulled flat. The front cinch 9 may be used in conjunction with any of the back cinch 8 and elastic corners 7, as discussed above, or with any of the embodiments discussed below.

FIG. 4 depicts yet another embodiment of the present invention. This embodiment is similar to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, except that the elastic corners 7 of that embodiment have been replaced by fabric tabs 11 having hook and loop fasteners (e.g., Velcro®) on the surfaces thereof. Two tabs of Velcro® may be secured to the corner of the slipcover by any suitable means at a distance apart from each other of approximately 12 inches (or any other suitable distance). Once the slipcover has been placed over the piece of furniture, the material at the corner can be gathered. Then, the fabric tabs 11 having a length of approximately 6 inches and a width of approximately 2 inches mate with the Velcro® tabs located on the slipcover. That is, if the Velcro® tabs on the slipcover have loops, then the Velcro® on the fabric tabs 11 have hooks. In this regard, the fabric tabs 11 serve as a gathering device for securing the excess material of the slipcover without the need for ties. Of course, any sort of fastener may be used to fasten the tabs, such as snaps, buttons, zippers, etc. It should be noted too, that the features of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 4 may be used in conjunction with or instead of any of the features of any of the other embodiments described above or below.

FIG. 5 depicts yet another embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, a drawstring 12 is used in place of elastic or fabric tabs at a corner of the slipcover. As depicted in FIG. 5, the drawstring 12 is placed in a tunnel formed on the underside of the fabric of the slipcover. One end of the drawstring 12 is secured at an end of the tunnel, and the other end extends beyond an opening 13 in the tunnel. The end that extends from the tunnel is formed into a knot 14. The knot 14 is larger than the opening 13 in the tunnel so as to prevent the drawstring 12 from completely entering the tunnel. Positioned on the drawstring between the opening 13 of the tunnel and the knot 14 is an adjustable stopper 15. Although the type of adjustable stopper 15 is not limited to a particular structure, a duffle clip, which is a spring tension device that has a hole for inserting the drawstring, is preferred. The duffle clip may be made of any suitable material such as, for example, plastic. Additionally, the duffle clip may be of any suitable shape such as, for example, cylindrical.

Operation of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5 is relatively straightforward. Once the slipcover is properly positioned over the piece of furniture, the user slides the duffle clip (or other suitable stopper) along the length of the drawstring 12. In the process, the fabric of the slipcover is gathered. Once the desired fit of the slipcover on the corner has been achieved, the user releases the duffle clip, finishing the process. The result is a neat, tailored, and customized look to that particular corner of the slipcover. The user then repeats the process for the remaining corners of the slipcover containing a drawstring. It should be noted, too, that the features of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 5 may be used in conjunction with or instead of any of the features of any of the other embodiments described above. For example, a drawstring as depicted in FIG. 5 may be used in place of the elastic used for the back cinch 8 depicted in FIG. 2 or the front cinch 9 depicted in FIG. 3.

Although specific embodiments of the present invention have been described above in detail, it will be understood that the descriptions are merely for purposes of illustration. Various modifications of and equivalent structures corresponding to the disclosed aspects of the preferred embodiments in addition to those described above may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the present invention which is defined in the following claims, the scope of which is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass such modifications and equivalent structures.





 
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