Title:
Decorative Cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Provided, among other things, is a cover for a soap or sanitizer dispenser comprising a dress made of spandex-containing knit fabric having a main body-covering portion and a neck-covering portion, the fabric comprising an outer coating of PVC, polyurethane or mixture thereof, the dress adapted to conform to a soap or sanitizer dispenser.



Inventors:
Mccroskey, Suzanne (Princeton, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/423505
Publication Date:
12/13/2007
Filing Date:
06/12/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/40
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINLEY, CHRISTOPHER BRIAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Moser Taboada / Art Jackson (SHREWSBURY, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A cover for a soap or sanitizer dispenser comprising a dress made of spandex-containing knit fabric having a main body-covering portion and a neck-covering portion, the fabric comprising an outer coating of PVC, polyurethane or mixture thereof, the dress adapted to conform to a soap or sanitizer dispenser.

2. The cover of claim 1, adapted to conform to a flask-shaped soap or sanitizer dispenser.

3. The cover of claim 1, adapted to conform to a rounded, flask-shaped soap or sanitizer dispenser.

4. The cover of claim 1, adapted to conform to a squared, flask-shaped soap or sanitizer dispenser.

5. The cover of claim 1, wherein the outer coating is PVC.

6. The cover of claim 1, wherein the outer coating is polyurethane.

7. The cover of claim 1, wherein the dress is formed with seams including a full-length seam and a dart seam.

8. The cover of claim 1, wherein the dress has a printed pattern.

9. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

10. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 11-12 cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

11. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 11-12 cm height and 7.5-10 oz volume.

12. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 11.5-12.5 cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

13. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 11.5-12.5 cm height and 7.5-10 oz volume.

14. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 12-13 cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

15. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 12-13 cm height and 7.5-10 oz volume.

16. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 12.5-13.5 cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

17. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 12.5-13.5 cm height and 7.5-10 oz volume.

18. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 13.5-14.5 cm height and 7-9 oz volume.

19. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 13.5-14.5 cm height and 7.5-10 oz volume.

20. The cover of claim 1, wherein the cover fits a range of flask-shaped dispensers of 12.0-13.0 cm height and 10.5-12.5 oz volume.

21. A method of decoratively covering a soap or sanitizer dispenser that has a neck portion and a body portion, the method comprising slipping a decorative dress over the neck of the dispenser and conforming the dress to the dispenser until the body of the dispenser is decoratively covered, wherein the dress is made of spandex-containing knit fabric and has a main body-covering portion and a neck-covering portion, the fabric comprising an outer coating of PVC, polyurethane or mixture thereof.

Description:
The present invention relates to decorative covers for soap or sanitizer dispensers.

Hand soap is increasingly used in liquid form, dispensed from a pump dispenser. The dispensers in which the soap is typically sold are very utilitarian in aspect, made of unappealing clear plastic, and covered with labeling. In this form these dispensers are typically not a desirable addition to a stylish bathroom or kitchen. A search through a home products store will find any number of substitute dispensers of various decorative motifs. What is not found in such a store is a simple fabric cover. With a fabric cover, any number of decorative patterns can be marketed to the consumer to help the consumer match home decor.

One can speculate that would-be developers of fabric covers discovered what Applicant discovered: That the fabric and decorative pattern quickly becomes stained or saturated by soap residue, rapidly undermining the decorative value of the cover. Applicant also learned that the fabric should be elastic enough to fit snugly enough around the dispenser so that the cover does not shift significantly when the dispenser is picked up. Applicant discovered that knitted fabric containing spandex (e.g., Lycra®) coated on at least the outer surface with protective polymer nonetheless retained the needed elasticity, while sufficiently protecting the fabric to allow soap residue to be readily removed by rinsing or hand washing.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Provided, among other things, is a cover for a soap or sanitizer dispenser comprising a dress made of spandex-containing knit fabric having a main body-covering portion and a neck-covering portion, the fabric comprising an outer coating of PVC, polyurethane or mixture thereof, the dress adapted to conform to a soap or sanitizer dispenser.

Further provided is a method of decoratively covering a soap or sanitizer dispenser that has a neck portion and a body portion, the method comprising slipping a decorative dress over the neck of the dispenser and conforming the dress to the dispenser until the body of the dispenser is decoratively covered, wherein the dress is made of spandex-containing knit fabric and has a main body-covering portion and a neck-covering portion, the fabric comprising an outer coating of PVC, polyurethane or mixture thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a front and side view of a decorative cover as applied to a round-shaped and flask-shaped 7.5 oz. dispenser.

FIG. 2 shows a front and side view of a decorative cover as applied to a flask-shaped 7.5 oz. dispenser with squared sides.

FIG. 3 shows a fabric pattern for making a decorative cover.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a decorative cover (or dress) 21 applied to a round-shaped and flask-shaped 7.5 oz. dispenser. The dispenser is flask-shaped in that it is wider from one side view than from the other. The cover is a dress in that it is a shaped sleeve that can be fitted over the dispenser by sliding the bottom of the dress over the cap and pump assembly 11, and then sliding the dress the rest of the way to cover the dispenser body (covered in the illustration). The cover has a main body portion 21B, and a neck portion 21N. In one mode of manufacture, there can be a seam 22. With this mode of manufacture, typically the opposite side view shall have a full-height seam (such as illustrated in FIG. 2). Cap and pump assembly 11 protrudes through neck portion 21N.

FIG. 2 shows a decorative dress 41 applied to a flask-shaped 7.5 oz. dispenser with squared sides. The cover has a main body portion 41B, and a neck portion 41N. In one mode of manufacture, there can be a seam 42. Cap and pump assembly 31 protrudes through neck portion 41N.

The spandex-containing fabric can be shaped in any manner known in the art, including by stitching, heat sealing, adhesion, or the like, or including by a circular knit process. The polymer coating can be applied by painting, spraying, laminating, or the like. Where solvent is used to deliver the coating polymer, the solvent is selected to not damage spandex-containing fabric. The vinyl (PVC) or polyurethane coating can be on the outer surface, or on both surfaces. The resultant coated fabric is water resistant, though not necessarily water impermeable.

FIG. 3 shows a piece of fabric 62 prior to the formation of seams joining edges 62A and edges 62B. If the edges are sewn, a portion of the fabric near the edges will be incorporated into the seams. Edges 62A will form a dart seam, while edges 62B will form a full-length seam. The fabric cover favorably is shaped with seams, because flat precursor fabric is more readily coated with polymer and decorated with a printed pattern.

The spandex-containing fabric will typically contain 5 to 10% (of total yarn) of spandex fiber. The spandex provides reproducible shape recovery, in addition to enhancing the elasticity of the knit fabric. The remaining fabric content can be, for example, polyester, cotton, or nylon, or a mixture thereof.

The spandex-containing fabric can be decorated by printing. Printing can be, for example, by a wet print process or a heat transfer process.

The flex in the coated fabric can allow the cover to fit a variety of dispensers of similar height and volume. One reason for the height adjustability is that more or less of the cap assembly can be covered. Another reason is that a small portion of the bottom of the dispenser body can be visible (to close inspection), without losing the decorative effect.

Examples of size ranges are presented below with the height being the height of the dispenser up to the bottom of the cap and pump assembly. For flask-shaped dispensers:

Exemplary BrandHeight Range (cm)Volume Range (oz)
SoftSoap ™ (11 cm, 7.5 oz)10.5–11.57–9
(207–266 ml)
11–127–9 or
7.5–10
Wegman's store brand11.5–12.57–9 or
(11.75 cm, 7.5 oz)7.5–10
12–137–9 or
7.5–10
Dial ™ (12.8 cm, 7.5 oz)12.5–13.57–9 or
7.5–10
Ivory ™ (13.8 cm, 7.5 oz)13.5–14.57–9 or
7.5–10
Dial ™ (12.7 cm, 11.25 oz)12.0–13.010.5–12.5

In certain embodiments, the range fitted is a range included within one of the ranges set forth above, such as a range for which one or more of the endpoints is offset from an above-listed range by a multiple of 0.1 (such as a range of 10.6-11.5). The range fitted may not include every flask-shaped dispenser in the range, as very eccentric shapes can be used for the dispenser, but should include a broad assortment of dispensers in the range.

The decorative cover can be marketed with packaging or promotional material that displays instruction by word or illustration on how the decorative covers are to be used to cover and decorate soap and sanitizer dispensers. Such instruction can be on the packaging, within the packaging, secured to the product with a temporary tether, or the like.

The following examples further illustrate the present invention, but of course, should not be construed as in any way limiting its scope.

EXAMPLE

A pattern is printed on a knitted fabric containing spandex using a wet print process. The fabric is laminated on the print side with a 1 mil sheet of Fabuthane™ brand polyurethane. The coated fabric is then cut to the shape of fabric 62 (FIG. 3), and the appropriate edges sewn to form a cover dress as in FIG. 1.

Fabuthane™ brand polyurethane has the following typical properties:

Test
TYPICAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIESMethodValue
Specific GravityD-792   1.14
Durometer (Shore A)D-224090
Ultimate Tensile StrengthD-8828500 psi
Ultimate ElongationD-882450%
Modulus @ 100% (MD/CD Ave.)D-8821800 psi
Modulus @ 300% (MD/CD Ave.)D-8825500 psi
Tear Resistance (MD/CD Ave.)D-882 425 psi
Processing Range (deg. F.)390–410
Approx. Yield (sq.ft./lb. @ 1 mil)170 

Definitions

The following terms shall have, for the purposes of this application, the respective meanings set forth below.

Conform

A dress made of spandex-containing fabric conforms to a dispenser body if (i) it fits snugly enough that the dispenser can be picked up without the cover shifting enough to cause discomfort or unease in handling the dispenser, and (ii) it covers a sufficient part of the dispenser body (below the cap and pump assembly) so that uncovered portions do not have a substantial impact on the decorative impact of the covered dispenser.

Publications and references, including but not limited to patents and patent applications, cited in this specification are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety in the entire portion cited as if each individual publication or reference were specifically and individually indicated to be incorporated by reference herein as being fully set forth. Any patent application to which this application claims priority is also incorporated by reference herein in the manner described above for publications and references.

While this invention has been described with an emphasis upon preferred embodiments, it will be obvious to those of ordinary skill in the art that variations in the preferred devices and methods may be used and that it is intended that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the claims that follow.





 
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