Title:
Fabric for use as a lining material
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fabric for use as a lining material woven from warp and weft strands contains at least one segment in which all the warp strands are woven together, and at least one other segment in which the warp strands are divided into groups and woven separately. If the divided segment of the fabric is both preceded and followed by a unified section, the divided section intrinsically forms a transversal channel in the fabric. This fabric is well suited for use as a window covering. Window coverings often require transversal stiffening members to ensure that the fabric folds correctly upon opening and closing. Stiffeners can be inserted into the channels formed during the weaving process, without any additional processing of the fabric.



Inventors:
Amrani, Aviv (Tel-Aviv, IL)
Application Number:
11/633520
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
12/05/2006
Assignee:
Amrani Aviv Ltd. (Tel-Aviv, IL)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
28/100, 28/103, 139/35
International Classes:
D03D13/00; A47H99/00; D06M23/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070006978Folding door and shutter guide deviceJanuary, 2007Krauetler
20100024992BARRIER SYSTEMS AND ASSOCIATED METHODS, INCLUDING VAPOR AND/OR FIRE BARRIER SYSTEMSFebruary, 2010Cloninger et al.
20090242151WHOLE-COVERED SUNSHADE ASSEMBLYOctober, 2009Chen
20020053408Support hook for holding and supporting supplemental window decorationsMay, 2002Zvonik
20070199662Bracket assembly for rolling shutter systemAugust, 2007Miller
20060243397Cordless blind structureNovember, 2006Liang
20020092627Vertical blind muralsJuly, 2002Whitney
20060080770Pocket-equipped shower curtainApril, 2006Rich
20010042348IMPROVED WINDOW SCREEN SYSTEMNovember, 2001Lundahl
20070029054Transverse cloth blindFebruary, 2007Nien
20080110581Safety mechanism for window blindMay, 2008Lin



Primary Examiner:
MUROMOTO JR, ROBERT H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Martin D. Moynihan (Arlington, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A fabric for use as a lining material, wherein said fabric is woven from warp and weft strands, comprising: at least one regular section in which the warp strands are woven together; and, at least one pocket section in which the warp strands are divided into at least two groups, wherein each group of warp strands is woven separately.

2. A fabric for use as a lining material according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one stiffener located within said pocket section.

3. A fabric for use as a lining material according to claim 1, in use as a lining material.

4. A fabric according to claim 1, further comprising: at least one loop woven on said pocket section, and having drawstrings associated with said loops.

5. A fabric for use as a lining material according to claim 2, wherein said stiffener is removably located within said pocket section.

6. The woven fabric of claim 1, wherein; at least one closed shape defined by stitching on one layer of said pocket section, such that said closed shape is cuttable without degrading the integrity of said fabric.

7. A woven fabric according to claim 6, further comprising: more than one closed shape defined by stitching on at least one layer of said pocket section, wherein said closed shapes are operable to provide places of insertion of stiffeners into said pocket section.

8. A woven fabric according to claim 6, further comprising: more than one stiffener, insertable into said pocket through openings cut in said closed shapes.

9. A woven fabric according to claim 8, the fabric being bendable at least one of the intersections between adjacent stiffeners.

10. A woven fabric according to claim 9, in use as a window covering.

11. A woven fabric according to claim 7, having two lengthwise edges, and wherein said pocket is sealed on both lengthwise edges of the woven fabric.

12. The woven fabric of claim 1, comprising at least one stiffening member attached thereto by hook and loop fastener, the fastener having a first element associated with said fabric and a second element associated with said stiffening member.

13. A method of forming a lining material, comprising the steps of: weaving a fabric from warp and weft strands; separating a segment of the warp into at least two groups of warp strands; continuing the fabric by weaving each group of warp strands separately for a predetermined length; recombining the groups of warp strands into a single warp; and, continuing to weave the fabric, thereby forming a pocket in said fabric.

14. A method of forming a stiffened fabric, comprising the steps of: aligning a stiffening member, which stiffening member has a hook and loop fastener element thereon, across a fabric, which fabric has at least one segment of a second side of a hook and loop fastener element thereon; and, pressing the stiffening member to the fabric so that the hook and loop fasteners adhere, thereby attaching the stiffening member to the fabric.

Description:

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates in a first aspect to a fabric for use as a lining material and more particularly but not exclusively to fabrics and lining materials for use as window coverings.

The window shade industry has developed many methods and apparatus for covering windows that provide privacy and thermal insulation while being aesthetically pleasing. Such window coverings should be capable of being raised and lowered as access to the window and other factors dictate. It would be advantageous to provide a window covering fabric that can be assembled into a blind or shade with little additional processing.

One attempt to provide such a window covering is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. Re. 30,254 to Rasmussen. Rasmussen shows a honeycomb curtain structure that operates as a venetian-type window cover. Rasmussen accomplished this by forming a curtain structure from a series of foldable cells adhered together. Each cell has opposed side portions and a connected part. Thus, when the cells are connected, the top and bottom connected portions of each cell form the lamellae or slats of the venetian type structure. The features of the slat structure are limited by all the other requirements of the cell construction.

Another attempt to provide such a venetian-type window covering is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,384,591 to Froget. Froget shows a composite cloth, which may be used as a blind. When the cloth is used as a blind, it is comprised of two transparent sheets connected by movable and opaque blades, which are, parallel to one another and are regularly separated and welded to the sheets. Welding or bonding the edges of these blades or slats is difficult to accomplish and the features of the slats are compromised to that end.

Colson in U.S. Pat. No. 5,490,553 and Moser in his German Patent No. DE 3525515 A1 show slats inserted into pockets formed by portions of the front and back layers. Although this allows for a different selection of materials for the slat than in Froget and Rasmussen, it is still limited by the necessity or difficulty of sliding a slat into a long narrow pocket.

Judkins in U.S. Pat. No. 6,033,504 provides a honeycomb window covering structure that operates as a venetian. Judkins' window covering structure has two sheets of material. The sheets are spaced apart and are oriented so as to be generally parallel to one another. A series of elongated slats or threads connects the first and second sheets of material. Judkins' material requires significant processing to the two sheets of material in order to form them into a honeycomb structure.

Fernandez Lopez in U.S. Pat. No. 5,791,392 describes a woven fabric for use as a shade in a roller blind which is rolled and unrolled, the woven fabric including a continuous flexible woven sheet. The sheet includes a plurality of bands extending across the sheet in a transverse direction and integrally woven therewith. Each band includes a front ply having an inner surface and an outer surface which forms part of the front surface of the sheet, and a rear ply having an inner surface and an outer surface which forms part of the rear surface of the sheet, the outer surface of the rear ply being provided with at least one opening disposed proximate at least one of the side edges and adapted to allow the insertion of a rod therethrough. The front and rear plies are spaced apart from each other to form a pocket between their respective inner surfaces, the pocket being adapted to accommodate the rod. A pair of transverse cords, integrally woven with the rear ply, are disposed in the center of the outer surface of the rear ply. The pair of cords are spaced apart from the rear ply in at least one location to form at least one eyelet having an opening adapted to allow the passage of a thread therethrough. The fabric may also include a wide lower band for holding a weight. An upper portion of the sheet may have a hook and/or loop member that is integrally woven in the sheet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric for use as a lining material, wherein the fabric is woven from warp and weft strands, comprising:

    • at least one regular section in which the warp strands are woven together; and,
    • at least one pocket section in which the warp strands are divided into at least two groups, wherein each group of warp strands is woven separately.
      One embodiment further comprises at least one stiffener located within the pocket section. Another embodiment comprises the fabric in use as a lining material. An additional embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the pocket section, having drawstrings associated with the loops. In an additional embodiment the stiffener is removably located within the pocket section.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a fabric for use as a lining material, comprising fibers in a first direction woven between fibers in a second perpendicular direction wherein for a section of the fabric, some of the fibers in the first direction are separated from others of the fibers in the first direction and separately woven with different fibers in the second perpendicular direction, thereby to form a doubled section of the woven fabric. One embodiment further comprises at least one stiffener located within the doubled section. Another embodiment comprises the fabric in use as a lining material. An additional embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the doubled section, having drawstrings associated with the loops. In an additional embodiment the stiffener is removably located within the doubled section.

According to a third aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric having warp strands, comprising:

    • at least one regular section in which the warp strands are woven together;
    • at least one pocket section in which the warp strands are divided into at least two groups, wherein each group of warp strands is woven separately; and,
    • at least one closed shape defined by stitching on one layer of the pocket section, such that the closed shape is cuttable without degrading the integrity of the fabric.
      One embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the pocket section, having drawstrings associated with the loops. In another embodiment the closed shape is operable to define a place of insertion of a stiffener into the pocket section. Another embodiment further comprises at least one stiffener, wherein the stiffeners are insertable into the pocket through an opening cuttable within the closed shape. In an embodiment the pocket is sealed on both edges of the woven fabric. A further embodiment is for the fabric in use as a window covering. Another embodiment further comprises more than one closed shape defined by stitching on at least one layer of the pocket section, wherein the closed shapes are operable to provide places of insertion of stiffeners into the pocket section.

In an additional embodiment, the woven fabric further comprises more than one stiffener, insertable into the pocket through openings cut in the closed shapes. In an additional embodiment the fabric is bendable at least one of the intersections between adjacent stiffeners. One embodiment of this fabric is in use as a window covering. In a further embodiment the fabric has two lengthwise edges, wherein the pocket is sealed on both lengthwise edges of the woven fabric.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric having warp strands, comprising:

    • at least one regular section in which the warp strands are woven together; and,
    • at least one pocket section in which the warp strands are divided into at least two groups, wherein each group of warp strands is woven separately, wherein the warp strands of at least one region continuous with the pocket section are woven together without being divided into groups.
      One embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the pocket section, having drawstrings associated with the loops. Another embodiment further comprises a stiffener insertable into the at least one pocket section. An additional embodiment is for the fabric in use as a window covering.

According to a fifth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric comprising fibers in a first direction woven between fibers in a second perpendicular direction wherein for a section of the fabric, some of the fibers in the first direction are separated from others of the fibers in the first direction and separately woven with different fibers in the second perpendicular direction, thereby to form a doubled section of the woven fabric, and wherein for at least one segment continuous with the doubled section in the second direction the fibers of the first direction are woven so as to form a single layer of fabric. An embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the doubled section, and having drawstrings associated with the loops. An embodiment further comprises a stiffener insertable into the at least one doubled section. An additional embodiment is for the fabric in use as a window covering.

According to a sixth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric comprising fibers in a first direction woven between fibers in a second perpendicular direction wherein for a section of the fabric, some of the fibers in the first direction are separated from others of the fibers in the first direction and separately woven with different fibers in the second perpendicular direction, thereby to form a doubled section of the woven fabric, and wherein at least one closed shape is defined by stitching on one layer of the pocket section, such that the closed shape is cuttable without degrading the integrity of the fabric. An embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on the doubled section, and having drawstrings associated with the loops. In an embodiment the closed shape is operable to define a place for insertion of a stiffener into the doubled section. An embodiment further comprises at least one stiffener insertable into the at least one doubled section through an opening cuttable within the closed shape. In another embodiment the doubled section is sealed on both edges of the woven fabric. An additional embodiment is for the fabric in use as a window covering.

Another embodiment further comprises more than one closed shape stitched onto one layer of the doubled section, wherein the closed shapes are operable to provide places of insertion of stiffeners into the pocket section. Another embodiment further comprises more than one stiffener, insertable into the doubled section through openings cut in the closed shapes. An additional embodiment is for a woven fabric that is bendable at least one of the intersections between adjacent stiffeners. Another embodiment is for such a fabric in use as a window covering. In another embodiment the doubled section is sealed on both lengthwise edges of the woven fabric.

According to a seventh aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a woven fabric comprising at least one stiffening member attached thereto by hook and loop fastener, the fastener having a first element associated with the fabric and a second element associated with the stiffening member. In one embodiment the stiffening members are attached to the fabric in a transversal direction. In another embodiment the second hook and loop fastener element is an integral part of the stiffening members. In a different embodiment the second hook and loop fastener element is attached to the stiffening member. In one embodiment the first hook and loop fastener element is an integral part of the fabric. In another embodiment first hook and loop fastener element is attached to the fabric. In a further embodiment the length of the stiffening member is substantially larger than the radial dimension of the stiffening member.

One embodiment is for such a fabric in use as a window covering. In one embodiment the fabric is mounted on a window such that the stiffening members are aligned substantially horizontally. In another embodiment, the fabric has two lengthwise edges, wherein a hem is formed on at least one of the lengthwise edges of the fabric, and wherein at least one end of the stiffening member is located within an opening in the hem, thereby attaching the member more firmly to the fabric. Another embodiment is for such a fabric with hems in use as a window covering. In one embodiment the fabric is mounted on a window such that the stiffening members are aligned substantially horizontally.

In one embodiment a fabric has the stiffening element is located on a front of the fabric. Another embodiment further comprises at least one loop woven on a back of the fabric, and having drawstrings associated with the loops. In one embodiment a fabric has the stiffening element is located on a back of the fabric. Another embodiment further comprises at least one hook attached to the stiffening element, wherein the hooks are operable to have drawstrings passed through them.

In another embodiment, the fabric comprises a plurality of stiffening members aligned to form a stiffened axis with at least one break across the fabric. An additional embodiment is for a fabric that is bendable at least one break between adjacent stiffening members. Another embodiment is for such a fabric in use as a window covering.

According to an eighth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a method of forming a lining material, comprising the steps of:

    • weaving a fabric from warp and weft strands;
    • separating a segment of the warp into at least two groups of warp strands;
    • continuing the fabric by weaving each group of warp strands separately for a predetermined length;
    • recombining the groups of warp strands into a single warp; and,
    • continuing to weave the fabric, thereby forming a pocket in the fabric.

According to a ninth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a method of forming a stiffened fabric, comprising the steps of:

    • weaving a fabric from warp and weft strands;
    • separating a segment of the warp into at least two groups of warp strands;
    • continuing the fabric by weaving each group of warp strands separately for a predetermined length;
    • recombining the groups of warp strands into a single warp; and,
    • continuing to weave the fabric, thereby forming a pocket in the fabric;
    • stitching at least one closed shape onto one layer of the pocket section;
    • cutting within the stitched shape to create an opening in the fabric; and,
    • inserting a stiffener through the opening.
      One embodiment further comprises the steps of:
    • stitching more than one closed shape onto one layer of the pocket section;
    • cutting within the stitched shapes to create openings in the fabric; and,
    • inserting more than one stiffener through the opening.
      Another embodiment further comprises the step of:
    • bending the fabric between adjacent stiffeners to form an angled fabric.

According to a tenth aspect of the present invention there is thus provided a method of forming a stiffened fabric, comprising the steps of:

    • aligning a stiffening member, which stiffening member has a hook and loop fastener element thereon, across a fabric, which fabric has at least one segment of a second side of a hook and loop fastener element thereon; and,
    • pressing the stiffening member to the fabric so that the hook and loop fasteners adhere, thereby attaching the stiffening member to the fabric.
      In one embodiment the second hook and loop fastener element is an integral part of the fabric, created as part of the fabric when the fabric is formed. In another embodiment the second hook and loop fastener element is attached to the fabric. In one embodiment the hook and loop fastener element is an integral part of the stiffening member, created as part of the stiffening member when the stiffening member is formed. In another embodiment the hook and loop fastener element is attached to the stiffening member.

An additional embodiment further comprises the steps of:

    • aligning a plurality of stiffening members, which stiffening members have at least one hook and loop fastener element thereon, transversally across a fabric, which fabric has at least one segment of the second side of a hook and loop fastener element thereon; and,
    • pressing the aligned stiffening members to the fabric so that the hook and loop fastener elements adhere, thereby attaching the stiffening members across the fabric.
      An additional embodiment further comprises the step of:
    • bending the fabric at least one of the intersections between adjacent stiffening members to form an angled fabric.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the invention and to show how the same may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1a and 1b illustrate back and side views respectively of a prior art material consisting of a backing and attached strips forming transversal channels or pockets.

FIG. 2 illustrates a woven fabric in which a section of the fabric is divided and woven separately.

FIG. 3 illustrates a material in which a section of divided fabric is both preceded and succeeded by a section of unified fabric.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of a single piece of woven fabric containing a channel or pocket.

FIG. 5 is a simplified illustration of a fabric with woven channels, in which the channel does not extend for the entire width of the fabric.

FIG. 6 illustrates a woven fabric with pockets with closed areas of stitching on the pocket.

FIG. 7 illustrates a woven fabric with pockets in which the pocket stitching is cut open in order to insert a stiffener into the pocket.

FIG. 8 illustrates a woven fabric with pocket stitching in which the edges of the fabric are closed.

FIG. 9 illustrates a woven fabric with pockets in which the pocket stitching is cut open in several locations in order to insert several stiffeners into the pocket.

FIGS. 10a and 10b illustrate an above view of an angled window covering formed from a material containing several stiffeners.

FIG. 11 is a simplified illustration of a cross-section of a fabric with stiffeners attached to it by hook and loop fastener.

FIG. 12 is a simplified illustration of a stiffening member with a hook attached.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Reference is now made to FIGS. 1a and 1b, which illustrate back and side views respectively of a prior art window covering material. Transversal channels 3a, 3b, and 3c allow stiffening members to be inserted. As shown in FIG. 1a, the channels are created by attaching strips 2a, 2b, and 2c to a backing material 1. The strips are attached to the backing by, for example, stitching them together or gluing them together with an adhesive. The strips are not an inherent part of the backing material, and some process must be used to connect them together to form the channels.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, which shows a preferred embodiment for a fabric according to this invention. A fabric 10 is formed by interweaving warp 4 and weft 7 strands as above. The warp 4 is formed of numerous strands, where the number of strands depicted is by way of example only. The weft 7 is woven through these strands, thereby forming a fabric. The fabric is woven in this manner for a predetermined length, and then the warp strands are separated into groups 5 and 6 of alternate strands. The number of groups and the manner of dividing the warp strands shown are for example only, although in practice two groups would generally be used, which two groups extend over the entire width of the fabric. Each group of warp strands is woven separately. For example, warp 5 is woven with weft 8 whereas warp 6 is woven with weft 9, thereby forming a doubled section of the woven fabric. The number of layers formed depends on the manner in which the warp strands are divided.

Reference is now made to FIG. 3, which illustrates the formation of a pocket section within the fabric. The warp strands are woven together for a predetermined length 11, divided and woven separately for a predetermined length 12, and then united and woven together for a predetermined length 13, thereby forming a channel 14 within the woven fabric, where the number of channels and the manner of dividing the warp strands shown in the drawing are for example only and in practice the channel may extend for the width of the fabric.

Reference is now made to FIG. 4, which shows a side view of a woven fabric 16 with integral channels 15a and 15b, as described above. This fabric may be used as a lining material for any fabric, and is particularly suitable for use as a window covering such as a roman shade that requires transversal stiffeners. Generally the lining material is attached to a decorative fabric, but it can be attached to any fabric. In one embodiment the lining material is glued to the fabric. In another embodiment the lining material is sewn on to the fabric.

The stiffeners can be inserted into the integral channels formed during the weaving process, without requiring further processing to attach external strips to the fabric. The stiffening element can be made from a variety of materials, for example, metal, plastic or wood.

When the fabric of this embodiment is used for a blind requiring drawstrings, such as a roman blind, loops may be integrally woven onto the pocket section of the fabric for the drawstring to go through.

Reference is now made to FIG. 5, which is a simplified illustration of another embodiment of a fabric 15 with woven channels 16, in which the channel 16 does not extend for the entire width of the fabric. In this embodiment, a section of the warp strands continuous with the channel is not divided prior to weaving with the weft strands. In this section a single layer is woven. This single layer section provides another point of access 17 for insertion of the stiffening elements into the channel. This point of access 17 is useful in cases in which the lengthwise edges of the fabric are hemmed or otherwise sealed. In these cases the stiffeners cannot be inserted through the openings at the edge of the fabric and an alternate opening must be created to enable stiffener insertion.

Reference is now made to FIG. 6, which is a simplified illustration of a woven fabric 20 with pocket 22. The pocket 22 comprises a closed area 24, which is defined by stitching 26 on the periphery thereof, the stitching preferably being integrally made onto one layer of pocket 22. Area 24 is shaped rectangularly, for purposes of example, but can be in any closed shape. In this embodiment, the closed area within the stitching is cut open, thereby enabling the insertion of the stiffener through the hole that is thereby formed. The type of stitch used to form the closed shape is selected so that cutting an opening within the shape does not lead to tearing or unraveling of the woven fabric. Preferably the stitching 26 is introduced during the weaving stage, and may be an integral part of the weave.

Reference is now made to FIG. 7, which is a simplified illustration of a woven fabric 30 with lateral pockets 34 with stitching 36 on these pockets. As described above, some of the pockets 34 have been opened 38, and a stiffener 40 is inserted via such an opening.

Reference is now made to FIG. 8, which is a simplified illustration of a woven material 50 with pocket stitching 52 in which the edges of the material 54 56 are hemmed or otherwise sealed. In this embodiment, the pockets 58 in the material are sealed from the edges. In this embodiment, stiffeners cannot be inserted from the edges of the fabric. Stiffener access into the pockets is through openings in the stitched area.

Reference is now made to FIG. 9, which is a simplified illustration of a woven material 60 with pocket stitching 62. Several stitched areas 64.1 64.2 have been opened in a single pocket, and stiffeners 66.1 66.2 have been inserted into the openings. In this embodiment, more than one stiffener, where the number of stiffeners is for example only, is inserted into each pocket, thereby forming a supported fabric that can be angled or bent. This embodiment is suited for use as a window covering for angled, curved, or bay windows.

FIGS. 10a and 10b show a simplified view from above of a fabric according to the above embodiment. The fabrics have been angled into several sections, where the number of sections is for example only. In practice, the number of sections is determined by the number of stiffeners inserted into each pocket.

Reference is now made to FIG. 11, which is a simplified illustration of a cross-section of another embodiment of a stiffened fabric, in which the stiffeners are attached to the fabric with hook and loop fastener. Stiffener 72 has a hook and loop fastener element 70 on at least one surface of the stiffener 72. Such a stiffening element 72 is generally elongated. A hook and loop fastener element of the opposite type 74 is attached in the desired direction to fabric 76. The stiffener 72 is attached to the fabric 76 by pressing it to the fabric 76, so that the hook and loop fastener elements 70 and 74 connect.

In the preferred embodiment the hook and loop fastener element 70 is an integral part of the stiffener 72, and is created during the stiffener 72 manufacturing process. In another embodiment the hook and loop fastener element 70 is not an integral part of the stiffener, but is attached to the stiffener 72 by some other means, such as gluing or stapling.

The hook and loop fastener element on the fabric has similar embodiments. In the preferred embodiment the hook and loop fastener element 74 is an integral part of the fabric 76, and is created during the weaving process. In another embodiment the hook and loop fastener element 74 is not an integral part of the fabric 76, but is attached to the fabric 76 by some other means, such as gluing or sewing.

When the stiffener is attached to the fabric using hook and loop fastener, the stiffeners may be easily removed for cleaning the fabric. The fabric may be used as the body of a blind or as a lining material for any fabric requiring stiffening members.

In an additional embodiment a hem is sewn along the length of fabric, and the stiffening element inserted into pockets in the hem. This strengthens the attachment of the fabric to the stiffener.

In one preferred embodiment the stiffening members are attached to the front of the fabric. The stiffening members serve as decorative elements, and may be made from a variety of materials, for example polyurethane or wood, and in a variety of colors and patterns. When the fabric of this embodiment is used for a blind requiring drawstrings, such as a roman blind, loops may be integrally woven into the rear of the fabric for the drawstring to go through.

In another embodiment, the stiffeners are attached to the rear of the fabric. The fabric of this embodiment can be used independently, or as a lining material for another fabric.

Reference is now made to FIG. 12, which is a simplified illustration of a stiffening member 90 with hooks 92.1 and 92.2 attached. When the fabric of the embodiment with rear stiffeners is used for a blind requiring drawstrings, a series of hooks 92 may be attached to the stiffener 90 for the drawstring to go through, where the number of hooks varies according to the design of the blind.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination.

It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and includes both combinations and subcombinations of the various features described hereinabove as well as variations and modifications thereof which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description.