Title:
Rolled bath tissue product for children
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rolled tissue product that can help a child's progress in the toilet training process is generally disclosed. The rolled tissue product can have a pattern, located on the tissue web, such that the pattern helps the child determine the appropriate amount of bath tissue that should be used. Also, some perforations in the tissue web can be weaker than other perforations to help the child cleanly tear the appropriate amount of bath tissue from the roll. Some of the perforations in the tissue web can have visual cues to indicate where the perforation is located.



Inventors:
Shannon, Thomas G. (Neenah, WI, US)
Mohr, Rebecca C. (Appleton, WI, US)
Sherman, Crystal E. (Menasha, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/220378
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/31/2005
Assignee:
Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
162/117, 162/118, 162/204, 428/34.2, 428/156
International Classes:
D21F11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
O'HERN, BRENT T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORITY & MANNING, P.A. (GREENVILLE, SC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rolled tissue product comprising: a tissue web spirally wound onto a roll, said tissue web defining a first surface, said tissue web formed from tissue sheets separated by perforations along said tissue web; and a repeating pattern located on said first surface, said pattern comprising characters, said pattern extending over a distance of from about 2 to about 5 tissue sheets before repeating, wherein said characters within said pattern are unregistered with respect to the perforations extended over by said pattern.

2. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein said repeating pattern comprises consecutive alphanumeric characters.

3. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein a perforation is registered between each repeating unregistered pattern.

4. A rolled tissue product as in claim 3, wherein said perforation registered between each pattern is weaker than other perforations located on said web.

5. A rolled tissue product as in claim 3, comprising a visual cue indicating where said perforation registered between each pattern is located.

6. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein each said pattern extends over about 3 tissue sheets.

7. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein each said pattern extends over about 4 tissue sheets.

8. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein each said pattern comprises different characters arranged such that no two adjacent characters are identical throughout said tissue web.

9. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein said tissue sheets are standard bath tissue sheets.

10. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein each said pattern extends for a length from about 8 inches to about 20 inches.

11. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, further comprising instructions explaining to a parent how to use the rolled tissue product to help a child learn the appropriate amount of tissue web to use.

12. A rolled tissue product as in claim 11, wherein said instructions are provided in the form of an insert located within the roll, an insert into a package containing the rolled tissue product, a removable sheet adhered to an outside surface of a package containing the rolled tissue product, or instructions printed onto an outer surface of a package containing the rolled tissue product.

13. A rolled tissue product as in claim 1, wherein each said repeating pattern has been digitally printed onto said tissue web such that no two identical characters in adjacent patterns comprise the same color.

14. A rolled tissue product comprising: a tissue web spirally wound onto a roll, said tissue web defining a first surface, said tissue web formed from tissue sheets separated by perforations along said tissue web; and a design located on said first surface, said design comprising, groups, each said group comprising a repeating character, wherein each said group comprises a different repeating character than the adjacent groups on said tissue web, each said group extending over a distance of from about 2 to about 5 tissue sheets.

15. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein each said group comprises a repeating alphanumeric character, wherein said groups are oriented such that said design comprises groups of consecutive alphanumeric characters.

16. A rolled tissue product as in claim 15, wherein no two groups of alphanumeric characters are the same throughout said tissue web.

17. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein a perforation is registered between each group.

18. A rolled tissue product as in claim 17, wherein said perforation registered between each group is weaker than other perforations located on said web.

19. A rolled tissue product as in claim 17, comprising a visual cue indicating where said perforation registered between each group is located.

20. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein said characters within each said group are unregistered with respect to the perforations extended over by each said group.

21. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein each said group extends over about 3 tissue sheets.

22. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein each said group extends over about 4 tissue sheets.

23. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein each said group extends over a distance from about 8 inches to about 20 inches.

24. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, wherein said tissue sheets are standard bath tissue sheets.

25. A rolled tissue product as in claim 14, further comprising instructions to a parent explaining how to use the rolled tissue product to help a child learn the appropriate amount of tissue web to use.

26. A rolled tissue product comprising a tissue web spirally wound onto a roll, said tissue web formed from tissue sheets separated by perforations along said tissue web, wherein a portion of said perforations are weaker than the other perforations, said weaker perforations being spaced apart from each other such that at least one other perforation is located between each said weaker perforation.

27. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein said weaker perforations have less than 60% of the strength of the other perforations in the tissue web.

28. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein said weaker perforations are spaced apart at a repeating distance from each other.

29. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein said weaker perforations are spaced every third perforation along the tissue web.

30. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein said weaker perforations are spaced every fourth perforation along the tissue web.

31. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, comprising a visual cue associated with said weaker perforation to help distinguish said weaker perforation from the other perforations.

32. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein said tissue web defines a first surface, the rolled tissue product further comprising a pattern located on said first surface to distinguish said weaker perforations from the other perforations.

33. A rolled tissue product as in claim 32, wherein said pattern is a repeating pattern, said pattern comprising characters, said pattern extending over a distance of from about 2 to about 5 tissue sheets before repeating, each said weaker perforation being registered between each said repeating pattern.

34. A rolled tissue product as in claim 32, wherein said pattern comprises groups of repeating characters, wherein no two adjacent groups comprise the same character, said groups extending over a distance of from about 2 to about 5 tissue sheets, said groups being registered with respect to the weaker perforations such that a weaker perforation is located between each group.

35. A rolled tissue product as in claim 26, wherein further comprising instructions to a parent that explain how to use the rolled tissue product to help train a child to learn the appropriate amount of tissue web to use.

36. A method for preparing a rolled tissue product comprising forming an aqueous suspension of papermaking fibers; depositing the aqueous suspension of papermaking fibers onto a forming fabric, an impression fabric, or a through air dryer fabric to form a web; dewatering and drying the web to form a paper sheet; wherein a pattern is formed onto the paper sheet during the forming, depositing, or dewatering steps, wherein the pattern has characters, and wherein the pattern can help a child determine the appropriate amount of bath tissue to use; perforating the paper sheet into tissue sheets; and converting the paper sheet into a rolled bath tissue product.

37. The method of claim 36, wherein the characters within the pattern are unregistered with respect to the perforations extended over by the pattern.

38. The method of claim 36, wherein the rolled bath tissue product is manufactured at a speed of greater than about 500 feet per minute.

39. The method of claim 36, wherein the rolled bath tissue product is manufactured at a speed of greater than about 1500 feet per minute.

40. The method of claim 36, wherein the pattern formed on the paper sheet is created by the forming fabric, the impression fabric, or the through air dryer fabric.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

One of the many challenges that exist during the training of a child to use a toilet is teaching the child to use an appropriate amount of bath tissue. In situations where a child uses more bath tissue than actually needed, not only is there waste of the excess bath tissue, but also the excess bath tissue can create a mess within the bathroom, potentially even clogging the toilet or related plumbing. Furthermore, any mess or clogs resulting from the use of excess bath tissue could frustrate the child and discourage his or her progress in the training.

The difficulties with children learning to use the appropriate length of bath tissue can be associated with the difficulty that children can have in determining both an appropriate amount and the sheet count of the bath tissue. For example, the child may not intuitively know what amount of bath tissue is appropriate to use without a visual cue or other pattern on the bath tissue.

To help the child during the training process, a parent or other teacher may instruct the child to use a certain amount of bath tissue. Typically, a parent would instruct or suggest an amount of bath tissue to use, measured by the sheet count of the bath tissue. For example, if a parent instructs the child to use 3 or 4 sheets, it may be difficult for the child to determine and count 3 or 4 sheets. This difficulty can be created by the difficulty is seeing the perforations separating the sheets of bath tissue. Also, very young children may have difficulty in counting to 3 or 4, especially with the added pressure of the toilet training process.

In addition, a child in the toilet training process may have difficulty in separating the toilet tissue from the rolled product in a neat manner, such as on the perforations. The child may not be able to see or feel the perforations between the sheets. Even if the child can find the perforations, the child could also have difficulty cleanly tearing on the perforation.

Many previous rolled tissue products have incorporated designs or pictures on the base web. These designs are typically directed to making the tissue product more aesthetically pleasing to a child, or even to an adult. Some designs may even be directed to a side benefit of helping to teach a child the alphabet or numbers. However, the previous rolled tissue products may not be successful in teaching the child an appropriate amount of bath tissue to use.

As such, a need exists for a bath tissue that can help a child realize what the appropriate amount of bath tissue to be used, especially during the toilet training process. Also, a need exists for a rolled tissue product that is easier for a child to cleanly tear or separate the appropriate amount of bath tissue to use from the rolled product.

A need also exists for a rolled tissue product that is suitable to be used by any individual, and does not necessitate a need for two products providing the same function within the bathroom. For example, there is a need to have a product that can function in a manner such that older individuals are not encumbered by the need to pay attention to the specific pattern on the tissue web, yet, disregard by the older person for the usage pattern does not provide a disruption to the ability of a younger child to successfully use the product without confusion thereafter.

Also, a need exists to make products that can be manufactured at high speeds. Manufacturing processes and systems that require significant restrictions of process speed may increase the cost of manufacturing of a product.

DEFINITIONS

A tissue product as described in this disclosure is meant to include paper products made from base webs such as bath tissues, facial tissues, paper towels, industrial wipers, food-service wipers, napkins, medical pads, and other similar products.

A tissue sheet as described herein refers to the material between adjacent lines of weakness, or perforations, in the cross-machine direction (CD) direction of the spirally wound sheet. Sheet length, as used herein, refers to the distance in the machine direction (MD) direction between adjacent lines of weakness. For example, sanitary bath tissue products generally have a sheet length from about 3 inches to about 8 inches, such as from about 3 inches to about 7 inches. For example, in one particular embodiment, the sheet length of a bath tissue can be from about 3 inches to about 5 inches, such as about 4 inches. However, variation of sheet length may occur within the roll.

Roll Bulk in cc/g=3.142×(Roll Diameter squared in cm2-outer Core Diameter squared in cm2)/(4×Sheet length in cm×sheet count×Basis Weight in g/cm2) or Roll Bulk in cc/g=0.785×(Roll Diameter squared in cm2-outer Core Diameter squared in cm2)/(Sheet length in cm×sheet count×Basis Weight in g/cm2). Roll bulk of the products of the present invention is not overly critical to the invention and can vary widely such as from about 4 cc/g to about 30 cc/g, such as from about 5 cc/g to about 25 cc/g, such as from about 6 cc/g to about 20 cc/g.

Tissue products can be distinguished from other paper products in terms of their bulk. For various rolled products of this invention, the single sheet bulk of the sheet on the roll can be about 5 cubic centimeters per gram or greater, such as about 7 cubic centimeters per gram or greater, such as about 8 cubic centimeters per gram or greater, such as from about 6 cubic centimeters per gram to about 24 cubic centimeters per gram.

Single sheet bulk is calculated by taking the single sheet caliper and dividing by the conditioned basis weight of the product. The term “caliper” as used herein is the thickness of a single tissue sheet, and may either be measured as the thickness of a single tissue sheet or as the thickness of a stack of ten tissue sheets and dividing the ten tissue sheet thickness by ten, where each sheet within the stack is placed with the same side up. Caliper is expressed in microns. Caliper is measured in accordance with TAPPI test methods T402 “Standard Conditioning and Testing Atmosphere For Paper, Board, Pulp Handsheets and Related Products” and T411 om-89 “Thickness (caliper) of Paper, Paperboard, and Combined Board” optionally with Note 3 for stacked tissue sheets. The micrometer used for carrying out T411 om-89 is a Bulk Micrometer (TMI Model 49-72-00, Amityville, N.Y.) or equivalent having an anvil diameter of 4 1/16 inches (103.2 millimeters) and an anvil pressure of 220 grams/square inch (3.3 g kilo Pascals.)

The basis weight and bone dry basis weight of the tissue sheet specimens are determined using TAPPI T410 procedure or a modified equivalent such as: Tissue samples are conditioned at 23° C.±1° C. and 50±2% relative humidity for a minimum of 4 hours. After conditioning a stack of 16-3″×3″ samples is cut using a die press and associated die. This represents a tissue sheet sample area of 144 in2 or 929 cm2. Examples of suitable die presses are TMI DGD die press manufactured by Testing Machines, Inc., Islandia, N.Y., or a Swing Beam testing machine manufactured by USM Corporation, Wilmington, Mass. Die size tolerances are ±0.008 inches in both directions. The specimen stack is then weighed to the nearest 0.001 gram on a tared analytical balance. The basis weight in grams per square meter is calculated using the following equation:
Basis weight=stack wt. in grams/0.0929

A sheet of tissue can be defined as the material between the adjacent lines of weakness in the continuous sheet that comprises the rolled product. The sheet length is defined as the distance between adjacent lines of weakness and the sheet width as defined as the edge to edge distance of the sheet perpendicular to the sheet length. The sanitary bath products of the present invention preferably have single sheet lengths of from about 3 inches to about 8 inches, such as from about 3.25 inches to about 7 inches such as from about 3.5 inches to about 6 inches, such as from about 3.75 inches to about 5 inches. The sanitary bath products of the present invention preferably have sheet widths of from about 3 inches to about 6 inches, such as from about 3.25 inches to about 5 inches such as from about 3.5 inches to about 4.75 inches.

Papermaking fibers, as used herein, include all known cellulosic fibers or fiber mixes comprising cellulosic fibers. Fibers suitable for making the webs of this invention comprise any natural or synthetic cellulosic fibers including, but not limited to nonwoody fibers, such as cotton, abaca, kenaf, sabai grass, flax, esparto grass, straw, jute hemp, bagasse, milkweed floss fibers, and pineapple leaf fibers; and woody fibers such as those obtained from deciduous and coniferous trees, including softwood fibers, such as northern and southern softwood kraft fibers; hardwood fibers, such as eucalyptus, maple, birch, and aspen. Woody fibers can be prepared in high-yield or low-yield forms and can be pulped in any known method, including kraft, sulfite, high-yield pulping methods and other known pulping methods. Fibers prepared from organosolv pulping methods can also be used, including the fibers and methods disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,793,898, issued Dec. 27, 1988, to Laamanen et al.; U.S. Pat. No. 4,594,130, issued Jun. 10, 1986, to Chang et al.; and U.S. Pat. No. 3,585,104. Useful fibers can also be produced by anthraquinone pulping, exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 5,595,628, issued Jan. 21, 1997, to Gordon et al. A portion of the fibers, such as up to 50% or less by dry weight, or from about 5% to about 30% by dry weight, can be synthetic fibers such as rayon, polyolefin fibers, polyester fibers, bicomponent sheath-core fibers, multi-component binder fibers, and the like. An exemplary polyethylene fiber is Pulpex®, available from Hercules, Inc. (Wilmington, Del.). Any known bleaching method can be used. Synthetic cellulose fiber types include rayon in all its varieties and other fibers derived from viscose or chemically modified cellulose. Chemically treated natural cellulosic fibers can be used such as mercerized pulps, chemically stiffened or crosslinked fibers, or sulfonated fibers. For good mechanical properties in using papermaking fibers, it can be desirable that the fibers be relatively undamaged and largely unrefined or only lightly refined. While recycled fibers can be used, virgin fibers are generally useful for their mechanical properties and lack of contaminants. Mercerized fibers, regenerated cellulosic fibers, cellulose produced by microbes, rayon, and other cellulosic material or cellulosic derivatives can be used. Suitable papermaking fibers can also include recycled fibers, virgin fibers, or mixes thereof. In certain embodiments capable of high bulk and good compressive properties, the fibers can have a Canadian Standard Freeness of at least 200, more specifically at least 300, more specifically still at least 400, and most specifically at least 500.

Other papermaking fibers that can be used in the present invention include paper broke or recycled fibers and high yield fibers. High yield pulp fibers are those papermaking fibers produced by pulping processes providing a yield of about 65% or greater, more specifically about 75% or greater, and still more specifically about 75% to about 95%. Yield is the resulting amount of processed fibers expressed as a percentage of the initial wood mass. Such pulping processes include bleached chemithermomechanical pulp (BCTMP), chemithermomechanical pulp (CTMP), pressure/pressure thermomechanical pulp (PTMP), thermomechanical pulp (TMP), thermomechanical chemical pulp (TMCP), high yield sulfite pulps, and high yield Kraft pulps, all of which leave the resulting fibers with high levels of lignin. High yield fibers are well known for their stiffness in both dry and wet states relative to typical chemically pulped fibers.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure is generally directed to a rolled tissue product comprising a tissue web spirally wound onto a roll. The tissue web defines a first surface and is formed from tissue sheets separated by perforations along the tissue web. For example, in one embodiment, the tissue sheets can be standard bath tissue sheets.

In one embodiment, a repeating pattern is located on the first surface and extends over a distance from about two to about five tissue sheets, such as about 3 or about 4 sheets, before repeating. For example, each pattern can extend for a length from about 8 inches to about 20 inches. The pattern can comprise characters, such as consecutive alphanumeric characters. The characters within the pattern can be unregistered with respect to the perforations extended over by the pattern. For example, the repeating pattern can also comprise different characters arranged such that no two adjacent characters are identical. In one embodiment, each repeating pattern can be digitally printed onto the tissue web such that no two identical characters in adjacent patterns comprise the same color.

A perforation can be registered between each repeated pattern. For example, the perforation registered between each pattern can be weaker than the other perforations located on the web. Also, in one embodiment, the rolled tissue product can also comprise a visual cue indicating where the perforation registered between each pattern is located.

In one embodiment, instructions can be provided with the rolled tissue product. For example, the instructions can explain to the parent how to use the v-rolled tissue product to help a child learn the appropriate amount of tissue web to use. For instance, the instructions can be provided in the form of an insert located within the roll, an insert into the package containing the rolled tissue product, a removable sheet adhered to an outside surface of a package containing the rolled tissue product, or instructions printed onto an outer surface of a package containing the rolled tissue product.

In another embodiment, the wound tissue web can comprise a design located on the first surface. The design can comprise groups of a repeating character. Each group can extend over a distance of from about two to about five tissue sheets, such as about 3 or about 4 sheets. Each group can comprise a different repeating character than the adjacent groups on the tissue web. In one embodiment, each group can have a repeating group of alphanumeric characters. The groups can be oriented such that the design comprises groups of consecutive alphanumeric characters. For example, in one embodiment, no two groups of alphanumeric characters are the same throughout the tissue web.

The repeating characters within each group can be registered or unregistered with respect to the perforations extended over by the group. A perforation can be registered between each group of characters. For example, the perforation registered between each group can be weaker than other perforations located on the web. Also, a visual cue can indicate where the perforation registered between each group is located.

In yet another embodiment, the present disclosure is generally directed to a rolled tissue product comprising a tissue web spirally wound onto a roll. The tissue web is formed from tissue sheets separated at perforations along the tissue web. A portion of the perforations can be weaker than the other perforations. For example, the weaker perforations can have less than 40% of the strength of the other perforations in the tissue web, such as less than about 50% of the strength of the other perforations. The weaker perforations can be spaced apart from each other such that at least one other perforation is located between each of the weaker perforations. For example, the weaker perforations can be spaced apart at a repeating distance from each other, such as spaced every third or fourth perforation along the tissue web. Also, a visual cue can be associated with the weaker perforation to help distinguish the weaker perforation from the other perforations of the tissue web.

In yet another embodiment, the present disclosure is generally directed to a method of preparing a rolled tissue product. The method can comprise the steps of forming an aqueous suspension of papermaking fibers, depositing the fibers onto a forming fabric, an impression fabric, or a through-air dryer fabric, to form a web, and dewatering and drying the web to form a paper sheet. A pattern can be formed during these steps such that the pattern has characters and can help a child determine the appropriate amount of bath tissue to use. The method can also comprise the steps of perforating the paper sheet into tissue sheets and converting the paper sheet into a rolled bath tissue product.

Various features and aspects of the present invention will be made apparent from the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

A full and enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the specification, including reference to the accompanying Figures in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a rolled tissue product in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another exemplary embodiment of a rolled tissue product in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of yet another exemplary embodiment of a rolled tissue product in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an additional exemplary embodiment of a rolled tissue product in accordance with the present invention.

Repeated use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference now will be made to the embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are set forth below. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, not as a limitation of the invention. In fact, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the invention without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. For instance, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used on another embodiment to yield a still further embodiment. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover such modifications and variations as come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the present discussion is a description of exemplary embodiments only, and is not intended as limiting the broader aspects of the present invention, which broader aspects are embodied in the exemplary constructions.

In general, the present disclosure is directed to rolled tissue products, such as rolled bath tissues. For example, the rolled tissue product of the present disclosure can be a tissue web that is spirally wound on a roll. According to the present disclosure, a pattern or design can be located on at least one side of the tissue web. For example, the pattern can extend for, or otherwise help distinguish, a predetermined length of the tissue web, such as an appropriate amount of the tissue web that should be used by a child during the toilet training process.

Also, the pattern or design can be aesthetically appealing to help calm and encourage the child during the toilet training process, which can be frustrating to both the child and the parent (or other teacher). For example, the pattern or design can have characters that are easily recognizable by a child, such as cartoon-like characters or geometric shapes. Additionally, the pattern can be alphanumeric characters, such as numbers and/or letters, to help supplement the child's development and learning processes. For example, the pattern or design can contain consecutive alphanumeric characters that can help the child learn the alphabet or how to count.

Referring to the exemplary embodiments depicted in FIGS. 1-4, a rolled tissue product 10 is shown in the form of a bath tissue. A pattern of characters 28 and 30 is located on tissue web 14. In these embodiments, the pattern is only visible on first surface 16 of tissue web 14. However, in other embodiments, the pattern can be visible on both first surface 16 and second surface 18 of tissue web 14.

The tissue web 14 is spirally wound around roll 20 and can be made of multiple tissue sheets 22 separated by perforations 24. In the embodiments shown, the tissue sheets 22 are substantially the same size and shape between perforations 24 and are substantially square. However, tissue sheets 22 can be any shape capable of forming the tissue web 14. For example, tissue sheets 22 can be rectangular. Also, tissue sheets 22 can be substantially the same size or can differ in size throughout tissue web 14. In fact, any size tissue sheet 22 can be used in accordance with the present disclosure.

For example, in one particular embodiment, the tissue web 14 can be a rolled product having standard bath tissue sheets 22 separated at perforations 24. As used herein, a standard tissue sheet of bath tissue is a substantially rectangular or square tissue sheet, each side measuring from about 3.8 to about 4.2 inches, such as a substantially square tissue sheet with each side measuring about 4 inches. However, it is understood that minor variations of tissue sheet size may occur throughout the tissue web 14.

According to the present disclosure, the pattern or design can be oriented to help a child determine a predetermined distance of the tissue web, such as a distance covering an appropriate amount of bath tissue that a child should use. The appropriate amount of paper product can vary with the intended use of the paper product. In fact, the appropriate amount may even vary with the individual user's preference or opinion. As such, any appropriate amount of bath tissue can be predetermined, such as from about 8 to about 24 inches of tissue web. For example, the typical amount of standard bath tissue can be from about 8 to about 20 inches, such as about 12 to about 16 inches.

Measuring the bath tissue quickly can involve counting the number of tissue sheets of the tissue web that is used. For example, an appropriate amount of bath tissue can be 2 or more tissue sheets. For example, in some embodiments, the appropriate amount of bath tissue can be from about 2 to about 5 standard tissue sheets, such as about 3 or about 4 standard tissue sheets.

Referring to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 1, a design is visible on the first surface 16 of tissue web 14. The design is made of groups 26. Each group 26 is made of repeating alphanumeric characters 28. Each group 26 extends over a distance of four tissue sheets 22. However, in other embodiments, each group 26 can extend over any predetermined distance, such as at least about two tissue sheets. For example, in one embodiment, each group can extend over 3 tissue sheets. Also, in other embodiments, groups 26 may have varying or alternating lengths.

In this embodiment, all of the characters 28 within a particular group 26 are the same. For example, group 26(a) contains the alphanumeric character, “A” (referenced as 28(a)), repeating over four tissue sheets 22. Then, the next group 28(b) begins on the next tissue sheet 22 and contains the alphanumeric character, “B” (referenced as 28(b)), repeating over the next four tissue sheets 22. In this embodiment, the groups 26 of repeating alphanumeric characters 28 can be oriented such that the design comprises groups 26 of consecutive alphanumeric characters. Thus, following group 26(b) would be a group (not shown) having the alphanumeric character “C” repeating over the next four tissue sheets.

In one embodiment, each group 26 can comprise a different repeating character 28 or 30, such that no group 26 has the same characters 28 or 30 within it. For example, in one embodiment, the rolled tissue product 10 can be a tissue web 14 having a design comprising groups 26 each having a different repeating alphanumeric character 28. For example, the tissue web can be made of about 100 tissue sheets 22, with twenty-five groups 26 of repeating alphanumeric characters 28 starting with the letter “A” to the letter “Y.”

Instead of alphanumeric characters 28, other characters can be located within pattern 12. In fact, any character, geometric shape, or other depiction can be used instead of alphanumeric characters 28, especially those characters that are easily recognizable by a child. For example, referring to FIG. 2, group 26(c) has repeating characters 30(a) that are cartoon-like depictions of ghosts. Group 26(d) has repeating characters 30(b) that are cartoon-like depictions of fish.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, each group 26 signifies the appropriate amount of the tissue web 14 that should be used. For example, a child can be taught or instructed that the appropriate amount of bath tissue is the distance that each group extends. Thus, the child can be taught to tear the paper product between different characters, which signifies that a new group of characters is beginning. Also, when alphanumeric characters are present in the design, the child's learning process can be supplemented with the alphanumeric characters located on the tissue web.

Referring now to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 3, a repeating pattern is located on the first surface 16 of the tissue web 14. The pattern has consecutive alphanumeric characters 28(a-c). The pattern extends over a distance of three tissue sheets 22 before repeating. However, in other embodiments, the pattern of consecutive alphanumeric characters 28 can extend over any predetermined distance before repeating, such as more than two tissue sheets. For example, the pattern of alphanumeric characters 28 can extend over from about two to about five tissue sheets before repeating, such as about four tissue sheets 22.

Thus, a child can be taught that the appropriate amount of tissue web 14 to use is the distance of each pattern before it repeats. As such, referring to FIG. 3, the child can be instructed to tear the paper product after the alphanumeric character “C” (referred to as 28(c)), leaving the alphanumeric character “A” (referred to a 28(a)), on the tissue web. Also, the use of consecutive alphanumeric characters 28 can help the child's learning and development processes.

In one embodiment, the repeating pattern can comprise characters arranged such that no two adjacent characters of the repeating pattern are identical. Each sheet in the roll preferably contains at least one character or a portion of at least one character of the repeating pattern. The pattern can be arranged such that at any point on the tissue web comprising the roll of tissue, the next occurrence of the identical character is at a length equivalent to the amount desired for usage by the child. For example, the repeating pattern may consist of consecutive alphanumeric characters such that the next occurrence of an identical alphanumeric character occurs every third or fourth sheet, or approximately every about 9 inches to about 16 inches.

In this embodiment, the pattern enables the product to be used by older individuals without the need to pay attention to the repeating pattern. The tearing at any specific point in the roll will not create confusion on the part of the younger child, and ensures that the younger child can still use the same amount of tissue repeatedly regardless of the behavior of the previous user.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3, only alphabet characters 28 are shown. However, the scope of the present disclosure is not limited to alphabet letters. For example, in other embodiments, any alphanumeric characters, including letters of the alphabet of any language and/or numbers of any language, could be used in the same manner as the letters of either FIG. 1 or 3. For instance, FIG. 4 depicts a repeating pattern of numbers. Also, as stated above, any other pattern or design could be used within the scope of the present disclosure. In fact, the pattern can be any design, especially those designs capable of recognition by a child. For instance, in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2, the pattern is shown as a combination of cartoon-like characters of ghost and fish designs.

Also, the pattern can be situated to be readable in any manner on the tissue sheets 22. For example, referring to FIG. 1, the pattern is situated such that the alphanumeric characters 28 are readable in a manner perpendicular to the length (MD) of the tissue web 14. Alternatively, FIG. 3 shows that the alphanumeric characters 28 are readable when the rolled tissue product 10 is positioned horizontally on a conventional dispenser and the tissue web 14 is pulled vertically.

In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3, one character 28 is located on each tissue sheet 22. In yet other embodiments, more than one character 28 or 30 can be located on each tissue sheet 22. For example, two or three characters 28 or 30 can be located on each tissue sheet 22. Also, when the characters 28 and 30 are unregistered with respect to the perforations 24 separating the tissue sheets 22, the number of characters 28 or 30 on each sheet may not be a whole number and may vary throughout the tissue web. For instance, in the embodiment of FIG. 4, more than two, but not quite three alphanumeric characters 28 are located on each tissue sheet 22 because of the unregistered orientation of the characters 28 with respect to the perforations.

In FIGS. 1-2, the pattern is registered between perforations 24 such that no portion of the pattern or design is located on or covering a perforation 24. As used herein, the term “registered” means that no portion of a character in the pattern or design covers or extends over a perforation. Alternatively, FIGS. 2 and 4 depict patterns being unregistered with respect to perforations 24. As used herein, “unregistered” means that the pattern or design is not specifically oriented with respect to perforations 24, such that some of the pattern or design can be located on or covering a perforation. In one embodiment, every perforation 24 in tissue web 14 extended over by a pattern or design can be unregistered.

For example, referring to FIG. 2, no portion of the design is registered with respect to any perforations 24. Unregistering the entire pattern or design located on the tissue web 14 can simplify the manufacturing process. Typically, when registering designs located on the tissue web, the patterns or designs are printed, embossed, or otherwise put onto the tissue web in a step prior to creation of the perforations. The design or pattern must be spread apart at certain distances in order to allow them to be registered. Then, to create the perforations on the tissue web, the tissue web must be carefully aligned into the perforating machine to create the perforations between the characters. However, the tissue web can stretch while moving through the perforation equipment, creating complications when trying to register the perforations.

In one embodiment, the design or pattern can be embossed into the tissue web during the tissue forming process. Such methods of incorporating patterns or designs are well known in the art and can be accomplished by, for example, having a contoured forming fabric, an impression fabric, or a through-air dryer fabric, in the paper making process. Processes for manufacturing such sheets are described in, but are not limited to, such processes as described in U.S. Publication No. 2005/0067125 A1 by Burazin, et al., U.S. Publication No. 2003/0102098 A1 by Allen, et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 6,398,910 by Burazin, et al., all of which are incorporated herein by reference.

For example, the forming fabric, impression fabric, or through-air dryer fabric can have characters indented into or raised onto it at spaced distances. Thus, the tissue web can be formed with a design or pattern in the forming step, without the need for a separate embossing or printing step. For instance, the forming fabric can have a repeating pattern or different groups located on it such that the tissue web will be formed with such a pattern or design embossed into the tissue web. In one embodiment, the forming fabric can be at least the length of the tissue web, allowing it to provide a pattern or design over the entire tissue web, even if the design does not have the same repeating characters. Thus, the fabric could be utilized to make any of the rolled tissue product embodiments described herein.

In the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 4, the pattern extends over four tissue sheets 22 before repeating. The characters 28, which are the numbers 1-9, of the pattern are unregistered before repeating. However, the pattern is registered when it repeats with respect to every fourth perforation 24 of the tissue web 14. As such, in this embodiment, there will always be a registered perforation between the alphanumeric characters “9” and “1,” signifying that the pattern is repeating.

Any method of applying the pattern or design to the base web 14 can be utilized in accordance with the present disclosure. For example, the pattern can be applied to any sheet-like product by any suitable technique. For instance, the pattern can be applied to the tissue web 14 by printing, spraying, coating, embossing, and the like. Typical methods of printing a pattern onto the tissue web 14 can include, but are not limited to, flexographic printing, gravature printing, and ink-jet printing.

In one particular embodiment, ink-jet printing, such as digital printing, can be used to print the characters 28 and 30 onto the tissue web 14. Digital printing can provide an easier method of printing different designs or patterns onto the tissue web 14 than other types of printing. In one embodiment, digital printing can be used to create products that have different colors throughout the roll. For example, referring to the embodiments of FIGS. 3 and 4, each repeating pattern can have identical characters 28, however each pattern can be a different color. Alternatively, each character within each pattern can be a different color. Also, referring to the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, each group 26 can have different colors within the group 26. Alternatively, each group 26 can be a different color, such that no two adjacent groups 26 are the same color. The changing color element allows for continued interest by the child.

The pattern can be applied to single-ply or multi-ply products. For example, each ply can be made out of single-ply or multi-layer paper webs, which can contain two plies, three plies, or a greater number of plies. When forming multi-ply tissues, at least one ply has a pattern located on it, for instance, as shown in FIGS. 1-4. In one embodiment, for instance, the pattern can be applied to one or both outside surfaces of the tissue web 14. Alternatively, when the product contains multiple plies, the pattern can be applied to an internal surface, as long as the pattern is visible from at least one side of the product. Likewise, when the tissue web contains multiple layers of the paper web, the pattern can be applied to an internal web as long as the pattern is visible from at least one side of the tissue web.

Perforations 24 are shown to be substantially perpendicular to the length of the tissue web 14 which is in the CD direction. However, perforations 24 can be situated in any manner such that tissue sheets 22 can be separated from the rolled tissue product 10. Typically, perforation lines traverse the rolled tissue web to define the web into individual sheets or wipes. The perforation lines define a tear line for each sheet or wipe. The perforation lines typically comprise alternating bonds and perforations which, in most conventional products, are of uniform length and spacing. The perforations are typically rectangular slits having a traverse orientation.

Perforations 24 can be made by any method. Perforating devices for defining perforation lines in any manner of rolled paper or nonwoven products are well known in the art. For example, conventional perforating devices are incorporated into almost all bathroom tissue and towel liners in a typical manufacturing and converting plant. These devices comprise a perforator roll, which holds a number of perforation (perf) blades, and a stationary anvil head which holds a number of anvil assemblies. The anvil assemblies are typically positioned helically on the stationary anvil head so as to keep all of the perf blades from striking all of the anvils at the same time. In the process, a balance must be struck between having the perforation lines with sufficient bond strength to operate efficiently without breaks on the converting equipment, and yet have a low enough bond strength to provide easy and undamaged sheet detaching for the consumer.

In one embodiment, perforations 24 can vary in strength. For example, a perforation at a predetermined distance, such as an appropriate amount of bath tissue, can be weaker than the other perforations in the tissue web. For instance, every second, third, fourth, or fifth perforation can be weaker than the other perforations in the tissue web. For example, the weaker perforations can be at least 50% weaker than the other perforations in the tissue web, such as at least 60% weaker than the other perforations. To make some of the perforations weaker than others, the perforations can be longer, resulting in less bonded areas. In one embodiment, the weaker perforations can be positioned in accordance with a pattern or design such that the appropriate perforation, in conjunction with the pattern or design is weaker than the other perforations in the tissue web. For example, referring to FIG. 1, the perforation 24 between the group 26(a) and group 26(b) can be weaker than the other perforations 24 in the tissue web 14. Likewise, referring to FIG. 3, the perforation 24 between the repeating pattern 12 can be weaker following the character 28(c).

Also, some perforations can be associated with visual cues to indicate which perforations 24 should be used to tear the appropriate amount of the tissue web 14 from the rolled tissue product 10. For example, referring to FIG. 4, every fourth perforation is highlighted to indicate that this perforation should be torn. As shown, the highlighted perforation is oriented in conjunction with the pattern such that the highlighted perforation is located between the repeating pattern. In other embodiments, the visual cue associated with a predetermined distance can be the only marking on the tissue web 14.

In some embodiments, the perforation associated with a visual cue can be weaker than the other perforations in the tissue web. For example, referring again to FIG. 4, the highlighted fourth perforation can be weaker than the other, unhighlighted perforations in tissue web 14.

The rolled tissue products can have any length tissue webs. For example, in some embodiments, the tissue web can have greater than about 60 tissue sheets, such as about 100 tissue sheets, about 200 tissue sheets, about 300 tissue sheets, about 400 tissue sheets, about 500 tissue sheets, about 600 tissue sheets, or more.

The tissue webs of the present disclosure can be any tissue web, which can vary depending upon the particular application. In general, any suitably made tissue web may be used in the process of the present disclosure. Further, the webs can be made from any suitable type of fiber. For instance, the tissue web can be made from pulp fibers, other natural fibers, synthetic fibers, and the like.

Papermaking fibers useful for purposes of this disclosure include any cellulosic fibers which are known to be useful for making paper, particularly those fibers useful for making relatively low density papers such as facial tissue, bath tissue, paper towels, dinner napkins and the like. Suitable fibers include virgin softwood and hardwood fibers, as well as secondary or recycled cellulosic fibers, and mixtures thereof. Especially suitable hardwood fibers include eucalyptus and maple fibers. As used herein, secondary fibers means any cellulosic fiber which has previously been isolated from its original matrix via physical, chemical or mechanical means and, further, has been formed into a fiber web, dried to a moisture content of about 10 weight percent or less and subsequently re-isolated from its web matrix by some physical, chemical or mechanical means.

Paper webs made in accordance with the present disclosure can be made with a homogeneous fiber furnish or can be formed from a stratified fiber furnish producing layers within the single ply product. Stratified base webs can be formed using equipment known in the art, such as a multi-layered headbox. Both strength and softness of the base web can be adjusted as desired through layered tissues, such as those produced from stratified headboxes.

For instance, different fiber furnishes can be used in each layer in order to create a layer with the desired characteristics. For example, layers containing softwood fibers have higher tensile strengths than layers containing hardwood fibers. Hardwood fibers, on the other hand, can increase the softness of the web. In one embodiment, the single ply base web of the present invention includes a first outer layer and a second outer layer containing primarily hardwood fibers. The hardwood fibers can be mixed, if desired, with paper broke in an amount up to about 10% by weight and/or softwood fibers in an amount up to about 10% by weight. The base web further includes a middle layer positioned in between the first outer layer and the second outer layer. The middle layer can contain primarily softwood fibers. If desired other fibers, such as high-yield fibers or synthetic fibers may be mixed with the softwood, fibers in an amount up to about 10% by weight.

When constructing a web from a stratified fiber furnish, the relative weight of each layer can vary depending upon the particular application. For example, in one embodiment, when constructing a web containing three layers, each layer can be from about 15% to about 40% of the total weight of the web, such as from about 25% to about 35% of the weight of the web.

The tissue product of the present disclosure can generally be formed by any of a variety of papermaking processes known in the art. In fact, any process capable of forming a paper web can be utilized in the present disclosure. For example, a papermaking process of the present disclosure can utilize adhesive creping, wet creping, double creping, embossing, wet pressing, air pressing, through-air drying, as well as other steps in forming the paper web.

In one embodiment, the rolled tissue product of the present disclosure can also have instructions explaining how to use the pattern or design to teach a child the appropriate amount of tissue product. For instance, the instructions can be directed to a parent or other teacher explaining how to use the rolled tissue product in the toilet training of a child. For example, the instructions can be printed on a packaging material of the rolled tissue product. Alternatively, the instructions can be an insert into the rolled tissue product. For instance, the instructions can be an insert into the core of the roll 20. Alternatively, the instructions can be located on an insert into the outer most roll, such that when the first tissue sheet 22 is removed from roll 10, the instructions are readable.

These and other modifications and variations to the present invention may be practiced by those of ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention, which is more particularly set forth in the appended claims. In addition, it should be understood that aspects of the various embodiments may be interchanged both in whole or in part. Furthermore, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the foregoing description is by way of example only, and is not intended to limit the invention so further described in such appended claims.