Title:
Drink sleeve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a drink sleeve that includes a first layer, a second layer and a tab. The first layer includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges. The second layer also includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges. The lateral edges of the first layer are bonded to the lateral edges of the second layer such that a pocket is formed between the first and second layers. The pocket is adapted to receive a beverage container that is inserted between the top ends of the first and second layers. The tab extends between the bottom end of the first layer and the bottom end of the second layer. The tab includes a fold which unfolds as the beverage container is inserted into the pocket. Once the beverage container is fully inserted into the pocket, the tab forms a coaster.



Inventors:
Mace, Tamara (Marietta, GA, US)
Mckee, Rodney (Woodstock, GA, US)
Sharp, Cecilia Berger (Atlanta, GA, US)
Brunner, Michael S. (Roswell, GA, US)
Bradley, Stephen S. (Roswell, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/300791
Publication Date:
06/21/2007
Filing Date:
12/15/2005
Assignee:
Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DORITY & MANNING, P.A. (GREENVILLE, SC, US)
Claims:
1. A drink sleeve for holding a beverage container, the drink sleeve comprising: a first layer that includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges; a second layer that includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges, the lateral edges of the first layer being bonded to the lateral edges of the second layer such that a pocket is formed between the first and second layers, the pocket being adapted to receive a beverage container that is inserted between the top ends of the first and second layers, wherein the top end of the first layer and the top end of the second layer each include a cuff; and a tab extending between the bottom end of the first layer and the bottom end of the second layer; the tab including a fold which unfolds as the beverage container is inserted into the pocket such that the tab forms a coaster once the beverage container is inserted into the drink sleeve.

2. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the first layer and the second layer have a substantially identical shape.

3. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the lateral edges of the first and second layers are bonded together by thermal bonding.

4. (canceled)

5. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the tab includes a first section and a second section, the fold being between the first and second sections.

6. The drink sleeve of claim 5, wherein the first section and the second section of the tab have a substantially identical shape.

7. The drink sleeve of claim 6, wherein the first section of the tab becomes wider as the first section extends further from the bottom end of the first layer, and the second section of the tab becomes wider as the second section extends further from the bottom end of the second layer.

8. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the first layer, the second layer and the tab are formed of a nonwoven laminate material.

9. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the first layer, the second layer and the tab are an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is parallel to the fold and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation.

10. A drink sleeve for holding a beverage container, the drink sleeve comprising: a first layer that includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges; a second layer that includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges, the lateral edges of the first layer being bonded to the lateral edges of the second layer such that a pocket is formed between the first and second layers, the pocket being adapted to receive a beverage container that is inserted between the top ends of the first and second layers; and a tab extending between the bottom end of the first layer and the bottom end of the second layer; the tab including a fold which unfolds as the beverage container is inserted into the pocket such that the tab forms a coaster once the beverage container is inserted into the drink sleeve, wherein the first layer, the second layer and the tab are an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is orthogonal to the fold and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation while being substantially inelastic in a direction that is parallel to the fold.

11. The drink sleeve of claim 1, wherein the tab is integral with the first layer and the second layer.

12. A method of fabricating a drink sleeve, the method comprising: moving a web in a machine direction; forming a plurality of openings in the web; folding the web to form a first layer, a second layer that overlaps the first layer and a plurality of tabs that extend between the first layer and the second layer; and bonding the first layer to the second layer in a cross direction to form lateral edges of each drink sleeve.

13. The method of claim 12, further comprising cutting the web to form individual drink sleeves.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein bonding the first layer to the second layer in a cross direction includes placing parallel bonds in the cross direction and then cutting perforations in the web between the parallel bonds.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein forming a plurality of openings in the web includes forming openings such that the tab in each drink sleeve includes a first section that extends from a bottom end of the first layer and a second section that extends from a bottom end of the second layer, the tab further including a fold that is between the first and second sections.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein moving a web in a machine direction includes folding both edges of the web to form cuffs on both edges of the web.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein moving a web in a machine direction includes joining a first cuff with the web at one edge of the web and joining a second cuff with the web at an opposing edge of the web.

18. A method of fabricating a drink sleeve, the method comprising: moving a first layer in a machine direction; bonding a second layer to the first layer in the machine direction and a cross direction to form lateral edges on each drink sleeve and a bottom end of each drink sleeve; forming a plurality of openings in the first and second layers to form a plurality of tabs that extend between the first layer and the second layer; and cutting the first and second layers to form a plurality drink sleeves such that each drink sleeve is joined to at least one other drink sleeve along one of the lateral edges of each drink sleeve.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein forming a plurality of openings in the first and second layers is done simultaneously with cutting the web to form a plurality drink sleeves.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein forming a plurality of openings in the first and second layers includes forming openings such that the tab in each drink sleeve includes a first section that extends from a bottom end of the first layer and a second section that extends from a bottom end of the second layer, the tab including a fold that is between the first and second sections.

21. The method of claim 18, further comprising folding the plurality of drink sleeves along the joined lateral edges to form a z-folded stack of drink sleeves.

22. The method of claim 18, further comprising: placing a first cuff in the cross direction along the first layer; and placing a second cuff in the cross direction along the second layer, wherein the first and second cuffs end up at a top end of each drink sleeve once the first and second layers are cut to form a plurality of drink sleeves.

23. A method of fabricating a drink sleeve, the method comprising: moving a web in a machine direction; forming a plurality of openings in the web; cutting the web to form a cut section that will eventually include at least one drink sleeve; folding the cut section to form a first layer, a second layer that overlaps the first layer and a tab that extends between the first layer and the second layer on each control sleeve; and bonding the first and second layers to form lateral edges on each drink sleeve.

24. The method of claim 23, wherein cutting the web to form a cut section includes cutting the web to partially form a plurality of drink sleeves such that each drink sleeve is adjacent to at least one other drink sleeve.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein bonding the first and second layers to form lateral edges on each drink sleeve includes forming perforations between the lateral edges of adjacent drink sleeves.

Description:

FIELD

The present invention relates to a drink sleeve for a beverage container, and in particular to a drink sleeve that provides thermal insulation to a beverage container.

BACKGROUND

Drink sleeves are commonly used to thermally insulate a beverage container. In addition, many drink sleeves provide protection against discomfort or burning that can occur when an individual holds a beverage container which is too hot or cold due to the temperature of the liquid inside the beverage container.

One example of when a container may be too hot relates to when a person attempts to hold a hot cup of coffee. Depending on the temperature of the coffee, the cup may get too hot for someone to comfortably hold the cup.

Many individuals typically try to form a crude beverage holder by wrapping a napkin around a hot beverage container. Napkins typically provide inadequate thermal insulation unless so many napkins are used that the container becomes difficult to handle. In addition, napkins will not usually stay in place when the container is set down such the napkins must be manipulated each time the container is picked up.

An example of when a container may be too cold relates to when a person attempts to hold a cold soft drink. Depending on the temperature of the soft drink, and the temperature and humidity of the ambient air, condensation may form on the container. Condensation is undesirable because it will often times drip or flow onto hands, clothes and/or surfaces. In addition, cold beverages are often subject to rapid warming (e.g., on a hot summer day) such that the beverage quickly becomes less refreshing.

Coasters are often used to keep surfaces from getting wet due to condensation which can drip or flow from containers that are used to hold cold beverages. One drawback with coasters is that they provide limited thermal insulation to a beverage container.

Some drink sleeves are made from insulating materials in order to help maintain the temperature of the beverage. One drawback with many insulating drink sleeves is that it is often difficult to fit them over containers which have different sizes and/or shapes.

Another drawback with many drink sleeves is that they are relatively bulky in size such that it can be difficult to store the drink sleeves when they are not in use. In addition, it is often difficult to place such drink sleeves into cup holders. The size of many drink sleeves typically makes it impractical to carry the drink sleeves from one location to another (e.g., in a bag or purse).

In addition, the cost of many drink sleeves and coasters is often high enough such that it is hard to justify throwing the device away if it becomes dirty or difficult to store. When drink sleeves and coasters are made cheap enough to be readily disposable, they typically lack sufficient desirable qualities.

There is a need for an insulating drink sleeve that is comfortable to hold and is easily positioned on a beverage container. The drink sleeve should be able to fit onto a variety of different types of beverage containers and have the ability to be folded for storage when the drink sleeve is not in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a drink sleeve that is able to provide thermal insulation to a variety of different types of beverage containers. The configuration of the drink sleeve allows many types of beverage containers to be readily inserted into the drink sleeve and easily removed from the drink sleeve. In addition, the drink sleeve may be semi-durable but still manufactured relatively cheaply so that the drink sleeve may be reused if desired or readily replaced if the drink sleeve becomes dirty or is lost.

The drink sleeve includes a first layer and a second layer. The first layer includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges. The second layer also includes a top end, a bottom end and lateral edges.

The lateral edges of the first layer are bonded to the lateral edges of the second layer such that a pocket is formed between the first and second layers. The pocket is adapted to receive a beverage container that is inserted between the top ends of the first and second layers.

The drink sleeve further includes a tab that extends between the bottom end of the first layer and the bottom end of the second layer. The tab includes a fold which unfolds as the beverage container is inserted into the pocket. Once the beverage container is fully inserted into the pocket, the tab forms a coaster.

The tab includes a first section and a second section with the fold positioned between the first and second sections. It is contemplated that the tab may be any type of tab that is capable of forming a coaster once the beverage container is inserted into the drink sleeve.

As an example, the first section of the tab may become wider as the first section extends further from the bottom end of the first layer. In addition, the second section of the tab may become wider as the second section extends further from the bottom end of the second layer.

One or more of the first layer, the second layer and the tab may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in every direction and then be able to recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. Forming one or more of the first layer, the second layer and the tab of an elastic material may facilitate placing the drink sleeve onto a variety of types of beverage containers.

In some embodiments, one or more of the first layer, the second layer and the tab may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is parallel to the fold and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. The first and second layers and the tab in such embodiments may be relatively less elastic in other directions.

In other embodiments, one or more of the first layer, the second layer and the tab may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is orthogonal to the fold and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. The first and second layers and the tab in such embodiments may be relatively less elastic in other directions.

The present invention also relates to a method of fabricating a drink sleeve. The method includes moving a web in a machine direction and forming a plurality of openings in the web. The method further includes folding the web to form a first layer, a second layer that overlaps the first layer and a plurality of tabs that extend between the first layer and the second layer. The method further includes bonding the first layer to the second layer in a cross direction to form lateral edges of each drink sleeve.

In some embodiments, bonding the first layer to the second layer may include placing parallel bonds in the cross direction and then cutting perforations in the web between the parallel bonds. Positioning the perforations between each of the drink sleeves allows a plurality of drink sleeves to be held together for shipment and or packaging. When a drink sleeve is required to hold a beverage container, one of the drink sleeves may be torn away from the rest of the drink sleeves.

Another example method of fabricating a drink sleeve includes moving a first layer in a machine direction and bonding a second layer to the first layer in the machine direction and a cross direction to form lateral edges of each drink sleeve, and a top and bottom of each drink sleeve. The method further includes forming a plurality of openings in the first and second layers to form a plurality of tabs that extend between the first layer and the second layer. The method further includes cutting the first and second layers to form a plurality of drink sleeves such that each drink sleeve is joined to at least one other drink sleeve along one of the lateral edges of each drink sleeve.

In some embodiments, forming a plurality of openings in the first and second layers may be done simultaneously with cutting the first and second layers to form a plurality of drink sleeves. Simultaneously forming the openings and cutting the first and second layers may promote efficient fabrication of the drink sleeves.

The method may further include folding the plurality of drink sleeves along the joined lateral edges to form a z-folded stack of drink sleeves. It should be noted that the number of drink sleeves that get z-folded will depend in part on the size of each drink sleeve and the width of the first and second layers.

Another example method of fabricating a drink sleeve includes moving a web in a machine direction and forming a plurality of openings in the web. The method further includes cutting the web to form a cut section that will eventually include at least one drink sleeve. The method further includes folding the cut section to form a first layer, a second layer that overlaps the first layer and a tab that extends between the first layer and the second layer on each drink sleeve. The method further includes bonding the first layer to the second layers to form lateral edges on each drink sleeve.

Additional features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of illustrated embodiments exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently perceived.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIGS. 1-7 illustrate an example drink sleeve.

FIG. 8 illustrates another example drink sleeve.

FIGS. 9-12 illustrate example methods of fabricating a drink sleeve.

DEFINITIONS

As used herein, the term “web” refers to any substrate, layer or film. A web may also be formed of multiple layers that are made from the same or different materials.

As used herein, the term “machine direction” refers to the direction along the length of a web, layer or film in which it is produced, and the term “cross-machine direction,” refers to the direction that is generally perpendicular to the machine direction.

As used herein, the term “elastic material” refers to a material that upon application of a biasing force is stretched in at least one direction by at least 20 percent and which will recover at least 50 percent of its elongation upon release of the biasing force after about a minute.

As used herein, the term “elongation” refers to the amount that an elastic material is stretched.

As used herein, the term “retract” refers to relaxation of a stretched material upon removal of a biasing force. As an example, if a material has an unbiased length of one (1) inch and was elongated by 50 percent (0.5 inch), the material would have a stretched length that is 50 percent greater than the relaxed length. If after releasing the biasing force the material recovers to a length of one and one quarter (1.25) inches, the material would have recovered 50 percent (0.25 inch) of its elongation.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

FIGS. 1-7 illustrate an example drink sleeve 10 of the present invention. The drink sleeve 10 includes a first layer 20 and a second layer 30. The first layer 20 includes a top end 21, a bottom end 22 and lateral edges 23A, 23B. The second layer 30 includes a top end 31, a bottom end 32 and lateral edges 33A, 33B.

The lateral edges 23A, 23B of the first layer 20 are bonded to the lateral edges 33A, 33B of the second layer 30 such that a pocket P (see FIGS. 1 and 8) is formed between the first and second layers 20, 30. The pocket P is adapted to receive a beverage container C (see FIGS. 1-3) that is inserted between the top ends 21, 31 of the first and second layers 20, 30.

The drink sleeve 10 further includes a tab 40 that extends between the bottom end 22 of the first layer 20 and the bottom end 32 of the second layer 30. The tab 40 includes a fold 44 which unfolds as the beverage container C is inserted into the pocket P (see FIGS. 2 and 6). Once the beverage container C is fully inserted into the pocket P, the tab 40 forms a coaster (see FIGS. 1 and 2). It should be noted that that the tab 40 may cover some (or all) of the bottom of the beverage container C.

The lateral edges 23A, 23B of the first layer 20 may be bonded to the lateral edges 33A, 33B of the second layer 30 by any method that is known now or discovered in the future. As examples, lateral edges 23A, 23B of the first layer 20 may be bonded to the lateral edges 33A, 33B of the second layer 30 by ultrasonic bonding, thermal bonding or the use of adhesives (among others).

In the example embodiment that is illustrated in FIGS. 1-7, the first layer 20 and the second layer 30 have a substantially identical shape. It should be understood that the first layer 20 and the second layer 30 may be different shapes and are not restricted to a particular size, shape and/or type.

The tab 40 includes a first section 45 and a second section 46 with the fold 44 positioned between the first and second sections 45, 46 (see FIG. 2). In the illustrated example embodiments, the first and second sections 45, 46 of the tab 40 have a substantially identical shape.

It is contemplated that the tab 40 may be any type of tab 40 that is capable of forming a coaster once the beverage container C is inserted into the drink sleeve 10. In some embodiments, the tab 40 may be integral with the first layer 20 and the second layer 30, while in other embodiments the tab 40 may be separately attached to the first and second layers 20, 30.

As an example, the first section 45 of the tab 40 may become wider (see dimension W in FIG. 4) as the first section 45 extends further from the bottom end 23 of the first layer 20. In addition, the second section 46 of the tab 40 may become wider as the second section 46 extends further from the bottom end 33 of the second layer 30.

It should be understood that the tab 40 is not restricted to a particular size, shape or type. The type of tab 40 that is used in the drink sleeve 10 will depend in part on the material which is used for the drink sleeve 10 and the types of beverage containers that are to be held by the drink sleeve 10 (among other factors).

In some embodiments, the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 may be formed of the same the material while in other embodiments the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 may be formed from different materials. One example material that may be used for the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 is a nonwoven laminate (among other materials). Other example materials are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos., which are incorporated herein by reference.

One or more of the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in every direction and then be able to recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. It should be noted that the elasticity for the various parts of the drink sleeve 10 will depend in part on the material that is used for the drink sleeve 10 and the types of beverage containers that are likely to be held by the drink sleeve 10 (among other factors). Forming one or more of the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 of an elastic material may facilitate placing the drink sleeve 10 onto a variety of types of beverage containers C.

In some embodiments, one or more of the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is parallel to the fold 44 and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. The first and second layers 20, 30 and the tab 40 in such embodiments may be relatively less elastic in other directions.

In other embodiments, one or more of the first layer 20, the second layer 30 and the tab 40 may be formed of an elastic material that is able to stretch to greater than 20 percent of an original length in a direction that is orthogonal to the fold 44 and then recover at least 50 percent of the elastic deformation. The first and second layers 20, 30 and the tab 40 in such embodiments may be relatively less elastic in other directions.

FIG. 8 shows an example embodiment of the drink sleeve 10 where the top end 21 of the first layer 20 and the top end 31 of the second layer 30 each include cuffs 49A, 49B. The cuffs 49 may be included in the drink sleeve 10 to provide support to the drink sleeve 10 at the top ends 21, 31 of the first and second layers 20, 30.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show an example method 100 of fabricating a drink sleeve 10. The method 100 includes 110 moving a web 101 in a machine direction M and 120 forming a plurality of openings 122 in the web 101. The method 100 further includes 130 folding the web 101 to form a first layer 20, a second layer 30 that overlaps the first layer 20 and a plurality of tabs 40 that extend between the first layer 20 and the second layer 30. The method 100 further includes 140 bonding the first layer 20 to the second layer 30 in a cross direction D to form lateral edges of each drink sleeve 10.

It should be noted that the openings 122 may be formed at any time during the method 100. In the example embodiments that are illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the openings 122 are formed before the web 101 is folded. In other embodiments, the openings 122 may be formed after web 101 is folded or after the first layer 20 and the second layer 30 are bonded together.

The type of bonding that is between the first layer 20 and the second layer 30 will depend in part on (i) the material of the web 100; (ii) the configuration of the first and second layers 20, 30; and (iii) the desired strength of the bonding (among other factors). Some example types of bonding include ultrasonic bonding, thermal bonding or the use of adhesives (among others).

In some embodiments, 140 bonding the first layer 20 to the second layer 30 may include placing parallel bonds 146A, 146B in the cross direction D and then cutting perforations 147 in the web 101 between the parallel bonds 146A, 146B. Positioning the perforations 147 between each of the drink sleeves 10 allows a plurality of drinks sleeves 10 to be held together for shipment and or packaging (e.g., in a z-fold or a roll). When a drink sleeve 10 is required to hold a beverage container C, one of the drink sleeves 10 may be torn away from the rest of the drink sleeves 10.

One alternative to cutting perforations 147 in the web 101 may include cutting the web 101 to form individual drink sleeves 10 (not shown in FIGS. 9 and 10). It should be noted that web 101 may be cut by any method that is known now or discovered in the future.

In the example embodiment that is shown in FIG. 9, 110 moving a web 101 in a machine direction M may include folding both edges 102A, 102B of the web 101 to form cuffs 49A, 49B along both edges of the web 101. It should be noted the edges 102A, 102B of the web 101 may be folded by any method that is known now or discovered in the future.

In the example embodiment that is shown in FIG. 10, 110 moving a web 101 in a machine direction M may include joining a first cuff 49A with the web 101 at one edge 102A of the web 101 and joining a second cuff 49B with the web 101 at an opposing edge 102B of the web 101. The cuffs 49A, 49B eventually end up at a top end of each drink sleeve 10. The type of attachment between the first and second cuffs 49A, 49B and the web 101 will depend in part on the material of the web 101 and the material of the first and second cuffs 49A, 49B (among other factors).

FIG. 11 shows another example method 200 of fabricating a drink sleeve 10. The method 200 includes 210 moving a first layer 20 in a machine direction M and 220 bonding a second layer 30 to the first layer 20 in the machine direction M and a cross direction D to form lateral edges 223 of each drink sleeve 10 and a top and bottom of each drink sleeve 10. The method 200 further includes 230 forming a plurality of openings 232 in the first and second layers 20, 30 to form a plurality of tabs 40 that extend between the first layer 20 and the second layer 30. The method further includes 240 cutting the first and second layers 20, 30 to form a plurality drink sleeves 10 such that each drink sleeve 10 is joined to at least one other drink sleeve 10 along one of the lateral edges 223 of each drink sleeve 10.

In some embodiments, 230 forming a plurality of openings 232 in the first and second layers 20, 30 may be done simultaneously with 240 cutting the first and second layers 20, 30 to form a plurality drink sleeves 10. Simultaneously 230 forming the openings 232 and 240 cutting the first and second layers 20, 30 may promote efficient fabrication of the drink sleeves 10.

In addition, 230 forming a plurality of openings 232 in the first and second layers 20, 30 may include forming openings 232 such that the tab 40 in each drink sleeve 10 includes a first section 45 that extends from a bottom end 22 of the first layer 20 and a second section 46 that extends from a bottom end 32 of the second layer 30 (only the first section 45 is visible in FIG. 11). The tab 40 includes a fold 44 that is between the first and second sections 45, 46.

The method may further include 250 folding the plurality of drink sleeves 10 along the joined lateral edges 223 to form a z-folded stack 255 of drink sleeves 10. It should be noted that the number of drink sleeves 10 that get z-folded will depend in part on the size of each drink sleeve 10 and the width of the first and second layers 20, 30. In other embodiments, the plurality of drink sleeves 10 may be cut to form individual drink sleeves 10.

In the example embodiment that is illustrated in FIG. 11, 210 moving a first layer 20 in a machine direction M may include placing a first cuff 49A in the cross direction D along the first layer 20, and placing a second cuff 49B in the cross direction D along the second layer 30 (only the second cuff 49B is visible in FIG. 11). The first and second cuffs 49A, 49B eventually end up at a top end of each drink sleeve 10 once the first and second layers 20, 30 are cut to form a plurality of drink sleeves 10.

FIG. 12 shows another example method 300 of fabricating a drink sleeve 10. The method 300 includes 310 moving a web 301 in a machine direction M and 320 forming a plurality of openings 312 in the web 301. The method 300 further includes 330 cutting the web 301 to form a cut section 315 that will eventually include at least one drink sleeve 10. The method further includes 340 folding the cut section 315 to form a first layer 20, a second layer 30 that overlaps the first layer 20 and a tab 40 that extends between the first layer 20 and the second layer 30 on each drink sleeve 10. The method 300 further includes 350 bonding the first and second layers 20, 30 to form lateral edges 343 on each drink sleeve 10.

In the example embodiment illustrated in FIG. 12, 330 cutting the web 301 may include cutting the web 301 to partially form a plurality of drink sleeves 10 such that each drink sleeve 10 is adjacent to at least one other drink sleeve 10. In other embodiments, 330 cutting the web 301 may include cutting the web 301 to form individual drink sleeves 10.

In some embodiments, 350 bonding the first layer 20 to the second layer 30 may include forming perforations 347 between the lateral edges 343 of adjacent drink sleeves 10. The method 300 may further include folding the plurality of drink sleeves 10 between the lateral edges 343 of adjacent drink sleeves 10 to form a z-folded stack of drink sleeves 10.

It should be noted that the method 300 may include adding cuffs to the top of each drink sleeve 10 in any manner that is described or referenced above relative to methods 100 and 200. In addition, the cuffs may be added at any time during the method 300. The means by which the cuffs are added to each drink sleeve 10 as part of the method 300 will depend in part on the material of the web 301 and the desired size of the cuffs (among other factors).

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to certain illustrated embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the scope and spirit of the present invention as defined in the following claims.