Title:
Napkin adapted to cradle a stemmed glass
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A napkin adapted to cradle a stemmed glass and a kit having such a napkin in combination with, and configured to mate with, a stemmed glass. The napkin of the present invention includes an absorbent body made of either cloth or paper. The napkin includes a centralized slit aperture with a depth equal to the portion of the napkin proximately surrounding it. The slit aperture, which can be bolstered to maintain its dimensional integrity, is preferably either longitudinal or diagonal across the face of the napkin.



Inventors:
Hester, James W. (Woodbridge, VA, US)
Hester, Lisa A. (Woodbridge, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/607566
Publication Date:
06/05/2008
Filing Date:
12/01/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/576, 220/694, 220/737
International Classes:
B65D90/12; B65D25/00; B65D69/00; B65D90/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRAIG, PAULA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Da Vinci''s Notebook, LLC (Manassas, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cloth napkin for cradling the stem of a glass, said napkin comprising: a substantially planar, absorbent, and portable body with a height and a surface having a length, and width; said body defining a substantially uniform and substantially centralized slit aperture having a slit aperture depth equal to said height of a proximate portion of said body.

2. The napkin of claim 1 wherein said length of said body measures less than 10 inches, and said width of said body measures less than 10 inches.

3. The napkin of claim 2 wherein said length of said body measures less than 8 inches, and said width of said body measures less than 8 inches.

4. The napkin of claim 3 wherein said length of said body measures less than 6 inches, and said width of said body measures less than 6 inches.

5. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture comprises a slit aperture buttress.

6. The napkin of claim 5 wherein said slit aperture buttress includes an elastic periphery.

7. The napkin of claim 5 wherein said slit aperture buttress includes bolstered stitching.

8. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture further defines a central stem recess.

9. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture is diagonal.

10. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture comprises a multi-directional slit aperture.

11. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture is curved.

12. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture proximate portion comprises a self-supporting material.

13. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture proximate portion of said body includes a friction surface.

14. The napkin of claim 4 wherein said slit aperture proximate portion of said body includes a thermal barrier.

15. A celebratory kit for ingesting spirits, said kit comprising: a drinking glass comprising: a bowl having a bowl perimeter and dimensioned to retain a liquid; a solid stem, affixed to said bowl, having a stem perimeter substantially smaller than said bowl perimeter; a base, affixed to said stem, having a base perimeter substantially larger than said stem perimeter; and a cloth napkin for cradling the stem of a glass, said napkin comprising: a substantially planar, absorbent, and portable body with a height and a surface having a length, and width; said body defining a substantially uniform and substantially central slit aperture dimensioned to accept said base of said drinking glass and having a slit aperture depth equal to said height of a proximate portion of said body

16. The kit of claim 15 wherein said solid stem is an elongate solid stem.

17. The napkin of claim 16 wherein said length of said body measures less than 10 inches, and said width of said body measures less than 10 inches.

18. A napkin for cradling the stem of a glass, said napkin comprising a substantially planar, absorbent, and portable paper rectangular body with a height and a surface having a length, and width; said body defining a substantially uniform centralized slit aperture having a slit aperture depth equal to said height of a proximate portion of said body.

19. The napkin of claim 18 wherein said body comprises multiple plies of uniformly dimensioned, absorbent paper.

20. The napkin of claim 19 wherein said length of said body measures less than 6 inches, and said width of said body measures less than 6 inches.

21. The napkin of claim 20 wherein said slit aperture is a perforated slit aperture.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of sanitary products and more specifically to the field of napkins.

BACKGROUND

Where one finds food, a napkin is sure to be in the proximity. Napkins serve many important purposes, they: shield clothing from food particles; clean clothing stained by liquids; remove food residue from hands; and act as a barrier for hot and cold foods and drinks. However, in addition to these general napkin purposes, highly specific napkin structures have evolved to assist the diner in more specialized dining pursuits.

Napkins exist that act as a repository for eating utensils, see e.g. U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,978,553 and 4,800,108. There are napkins designed to attach to specific portions of the body as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,187,813. There are even napkins designed for use with specifically-shaped food items as in U.S. Pat. No. 4,938,515. However, there is no satisfactory napkin structured to grip and cradle a stemmed drinking glass.

Glasses with stems have stems for two reasons: the first reason is aesthetic, the shape is generally pleasing to the eye; the second reason is function, it ensures that the glass may be held without contacting the bowl. A diner directly contacting the bowl with his hands adheres greasy fingerprints on it, and holding a glass by its stem ensures that warmth from the hand does not increase the temperature of the liquid within the bowl—which is often served chilled.

Therefore, there is a need for a napkin suitable to grip and cradle a stemmed drinking glass, capable of shielding the contents of the glass bowl from the hand temperature of a user and vice versa, and maintain structural orientation while in use.

SUMMARY

The present invention is directed to a napkin adapted to cradle a stemmed glass. The napkin of the present invention includes an absorbent body made of either cloth or paper. The napkin body includes the characteristic flat dimensions of a napkin, i.e. minimal height with a substantially greater length and width. The body is sized to be portable.

The napkin body contains in a centralized location a slit aperture with a depth equal to the portion of the napkin proximately surrounding it. The slit aperture, which can be bolstered to maintain its dimensional integrity, is preferably either longitudinal or diagonal across the face of the napkin. Other embodiments might include grip surfaces upon the body of the napkin or a thermal barrier layer.

In embodiments of the present invention utilizing the paper body, perforations might be beneficial to versions of paper napkin embodiment. In a still further embodiment of the present invention, a kit is provided that combines a stemmed drinking glass with a napkin adapted to accept the base of that particular drinking glass.

It is a further aspect of the present invention to provide a device and method capable of shielding the contents of the glass bowl from the hand temperature of a user.

It is a further aspect of the present invention to provide a device and method capable of shielding the hands of a user from the temperature of the contents of the glass bowl.

It is a further aspect of the present invention to provide a device and method to cradle a stemmed drinking glass with a napkin that maintains its structural orientation while in use.

These aspects of the invention are not meant to be exclusive. Furthermore, some features may apply to certain versions of the invention, but not others. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art when read in conjunction with the following description, and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the napkin of the present invention.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the kit of the present invention.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the kit of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the kit of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring first to FIG. 1, a basic embodiment of the napkin 100 for cradling a stemmed drinking glass is shown. The napkin 100 includes a body 102 and a slit aperture 104. The body 102 of the napkin 100 includes a length L, a width W, and a height H (not shown).

Turning now to FIG. 2, the length (not shown), width (not shown), and height H should be dimensioned such that the body 102 of the napkin 100 is substantially planer. In other words, the length and width, which define the body surface, should have the dominant proportions in the napkin body, and the height H should be generally minimal. The height of the napkin will primarily depend upon the material from which the body is fabricated. The height, with respect to the material from which the body is fashioned, should be such that the body of the napkin in generally pliant and can conform to a given surface. The length and the width are dimensioned more for matters of personal taste regarding foreseen uses. Embodiments of the napkin designed primarily for restaurants might utilize embodiments having a length and width of twelve inches by twelve inches, while embodiments directed towards household parties might have length and width dimensions of six inches by six inches. In all cases, however, the napkin body is portable. The size allows the napkin to be easily gripped, and easily transported along with a stemmed drinking glass.

Returning to FIG. 1, the body 102 of the napkin 100 should be absorbent. Materials commonly used in the napkin arts will suffice for the present invention. Cotton cloth may be used for some embodiments, paper for other embodiments. The absorbency need only be present to the extent to absorb moisture and liquid from surfaces.

The body 102 of the napkin 100 includes a slit aperture 104. The slit aperture 104 allows portions, particularly the base, of a stemmed drinking glass to slide through the body 102 of the napkin 100. The slit aperture 104 is substantially uniform throughout its entirety. That is to say that any interior portions of the slit aperture 104 are not frayed or rough, but are instead generally continuous from the cleanly cut nature of the slit aperture 104.

The slit aperture 104 is substantially centralized within the body 102 of the napkin 100. Some portion of the slit aperture 102 should pass near the general, though it need not be exact, center of the napkin body. A centralized position can include any position spaced from the periphery of the napkin body that allows a fair sized slit to be maintained, and allows portions of the napkin body 102 to be free to grip a stemmed drinking glass.

Now turning to FIG. 2, it can be seen that the slit aperture has a depth D equal to the height H of a proximate portion of the body 102. The slit aperture 104 penetrates the entire of H of the body 102. However, because it is not necessary that the napkin 100 have a single, uniform height throughout the body, it is merely necessary that the slit aperture depth D be equal to the body height H immediately surrounding the slit aperture 104. The slit aperture 104 allows a portion of a stemmed drinking glass to pass completely through the body 102.

FIG. 3 depicts an embodiment of the napkin 100 of the present invention having a slit aperture 104 with an accompanying buttress 106. The buttress 106 acts as a structural stabilizer that supports the peripheral material of the slit aperture 104. The buttress could achieve structural integrity via multiple materials and methods. A preferred buttress includes an elastic band about the periphery of the slit aperture 104. Another preferred buttress includes additional material, preferably of the same variety as used in the body, to increase the volume of the body immediately surrounding the slit aperture. A stabilizer might be fashioned—depending upon the embodiment of the invention—to maintain the planar nature of the slit aperture, to maintain the slit-like dimensions of the slit aperture, or to make the portions of the body immediately surrounding the slit aperture substantially self-supporting.

As can be seen in FIG. 4, the slit aperture 104 need not be confined to a single slit. A multi-directional slit 104—i.e. a single slice, but in multiple directions—may be desired in some embodiments of the present invention. The number of directions in which the slits may point is not fundamental to the present invention. For example, a single opening having eight directions could be desired in some napkin embodiments. As shown in FIG. 5, further embodiments of the present invention could include a slit aperture 104 having a centrally disposed stem recess 190 for accepting the stem of a glass. The centrally disposed recess 190 need not have the narrow dimensions of the slit aperture 104; as the recess 190 is adapted to circumscribe a stem, it should be shaped to achieve that function. As most stems of glasses include a roughly cylindrical shape, it is preferred that the recess 190 have a circular configuration. As FIG. 6 illustrates, the shape of the slit aperture 104 can include many variations. In this arc slit aperture embodiment, the slit aperture 104 is curved to accept the base most common to stemmed drinking glasses: a circle. As FIG. 7 shows, the slit aperture 104 size can be any which is dimensioned to accept a stemmed drinking glass; as stemmed drinking glass come in multiple shapes and sizes, the slit aperture size is accordingly unrestricted.

FIG. 8 depicts a circular body napkin 100 of the present invention. The napkin 100, although functional, can be styled to have a body that is suited to the taste of relevant consumers. In addition to rectangles; circles, triangles, diamonds, and other roughly planar geometric shapes are envisioned to be used with the present invention.

As FIG. 9 shows, when the napkin 100 of the present invention uses paper as a body material, the napkin can include multiple plies of paper and a perforated slit aperture 204. In the embodiment shown, a first ply 202 and a second ply 302 compose the body 102. Furthermore, other intricacies relevant to the paper napkin art may be applied to paper embodiments of the present invention. For example, it might be advantages to include a single body that is folded upon itself to produce a desired thickness or the body might include dimpling or designs.

FIG. 10 shows a kit 900 embodiment of the present invention. The kit 900 includes a stemmed drinking glass 500 and the napkin 100 of the present invention. The napkin 100 embodiment of the kit 900 includes a slit aperture 104 specially sized to mate with the stemmed drinking glass 500. The sizing should be such that the napkin 100 slides over the base 506 of the stemmed drinking glass 500 with minimal aperture space remaining. The slit aperture 104 includes dimensions sufficient to accept the base 506 with preferably minimal remaining slit aperture space. As FIG. 11 depicts, after accepting the base (not shown) of the stemmed drinking glass 500 through the body 102 of the napkin 100 the slit aperture 104 will then close upon the stem 504 of the stemmed drinking glass 506. In embodiments featuring the elastic slit aperture buttress, such closure would occur automatically; in many embodiments the user would simply fold the napkin upon the stem. As can be seen, the napkin is capable of a range of motion about the stem between the bowl 502 and the base (not shown), and is selectively restricted by the perimeters of the aforementioned structures. It is selectively restricted in the sense that a user, when finished with the napkin may again remove it via the base of the stemmed drinking glass, or in napkin embodiments simply tear the napkin away.

As FIG. 12 shows, cloth embodiments of the kit of the present invention should include a slit aperture 104 sized to accept the base (not shown) of the stemmed drinking glass 500 yet further sized so that the weight of the body 102 of the napkin 100 will not pull the napkin 100 past the base (not shown). The napkin body 102 is capable of hanging from the base. A further solution to such a problem would include some form of the slit aperture buttress.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions would be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.