Title:
Detachable upholstery furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Detachable upholstery for use and application in the context of furniture, and furniture adapted to receive detachable upholstery. Furniture components having a frame comprising at least one piece of upholstery fabric, and means securely engaged with the frame of the furniture component for temporarily and securely engaging the upholstery fabric to the frame of the furniture component.



Inventors:
Callaghan, Beverley Anne (Prince Edward Island, CA)
Application Number:
11/999678
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/06/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frank J. Bonini, Jr. (Valley Forge, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A furniture component having a frame comprising: a. at least one piece of upholstery fabric; b. means securely engaged with the frame of the furniture component for temporarily and securely engaging the upholstery fabric to the frame of the furniture component.

Description:

The present invention relates to furniture, and more particularly relates to detachable upholstery for use and application in the context of furniture, and furniture adapted to receive detachable upholstery.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the context of the present description, the word “Upholstery” will refer to those materials and fabrics, whether fitted or not, that may be used to cover un-stuffed, stuffed, padded, and/or spring-cushioned furniture, such as chairs and sofas and the like.

Upholstery is susceptible to wear, physical damage from stains, spills, sharp or heavy objects, extended periods of time in sunlight or bright lighting conditions, and other harm or damage due to a wide variety of activities. Furthermore, over time, a once desirable upholstery pattern or material may no longer be desirable. For example, changing trends in interior decorating may encourage the owner of upholstered furniture to modify the upholstery covering.

While furniture coverings have previously been used to protect and/or modify the appearance of a piece of furniture, such furniture coverings may be ill fitting and may not readily stay in place. Furthermore, such furniture coverings may only come in limited colors, designs and sizes.

It is desirable to have furniture the upholstery of which may be modified or changed or replaced from time to time without the expense and effort of having to re-upholster the furniture, which may be a time-consuming and difficult task to undertake. It is also desirable to have upholstery which, if it becomes stained, dirty or damaged, can be readily removed from the furniture for washing, dry cleaning and/or replacement.

It is also desirable to have furniture the upholstery of which may be readily altered from one color to another, from one fabric, to another, from one material to another, from one style, to another, or to permit the upholstery to be “mixed and matched” amongst various colors, fabrics, materials, and styles.

For example, in a hotel lobby, the upholstered furniture is subjected to extensive wear, and it may be desirable to be able to easily remove the worn upholstery and install new upholstery on the furniture. This is particularly desirable in circumstances where the furniture is otherwise still usable in its current condition (that is, that is not sagging or otherwise damaged). Furthermore, such upholstered furniture may become stained, dirty or damaged, it may be desirable to quickly and easily remove the stained, dirty or damaged upholstery for washing dry-cleaning and/or replacement.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide furniture which is adapted to receive and secure replaceable upholstery.

Accordingly, it is another object of the present invention to provide furniture upholstery which may be readily modified or changed or replaced from time to time.

Accordingly, it is another object of the present invention to provide furniture upholstery which may be readily removed for cleaning and/or replacement in the event that it has become stained or dirty or damaged.

Accordingly, it is another object of the present invention to provide furniture upholstery which may be readily altered or replaced with upholstery of another color, fabric, material or style.

According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a furniture component having a frame comprising at least one piece of upholstery fabric and means securely engaged with the frame of the furniture component for temporarily and securely engaging the upholstery fabric to the frame of the furniture component.

The advantage of the present invention is that it provides furniture which is adapted to receive and secure replaceable upholstery.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides furniture upholstery which may be readily modified or changed or replaced from time to time.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides furniture upholstery which may be readily removed for cleaning and/or replacement in the event that it has become stained or dirty or damaged.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it provides furniture upholstery which may be readily altered or replaced with upholstery of another color, fabric, material or style.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a chair upon which has been positioned Velcro® tape in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective rear and bottom view of a chair upon which has been positioned Velcro® tape in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3A is a front perspective view of a chair with buttons thereon in one embodiment of the present invention positioned prior to the installation of the new back upholstery component;

FIG. 3B is a front perspective view of a back upholstery component of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a front covering component of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4A is a front perspective view of a chair with the broadcloth attached thereto in advance of the installation of the upholstery covering components;

FIG. 4B is a perspective view of an arm covering component of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a piece of foam for use in a cushion in one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5A is a front perspective view of a chair with the new back covering, new front covering, new arm coverings and new cushion covering installed thereon in one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5B is an upholstery cushion component of one embodiment of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In a preferred embodiment, the present invention may be utilized in the context of a piece of furniture, or a part thereof, to be covered (or re-covered) in whole or in part with upholstery fabric in accordance with the present invention.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, in one embodiment of the present invention, a non-upholstered armchair structure is provided, preferably having a hard wood frame, and preferably having springs, padding and other accessories positioned thereon, the padded sections of the non-upholstered armchair structure being substantially pre-covered with broadcloth (or other suitable fabric material hereinafter referred to as “broadcloth”), which broadcloth is closely fitted to and substantially covers padded sections of the chair structure and is affixed to the chair structure by tacks or staples or glue or in such a manner as is known to a person skilled in the art.

In the preferred embodiment, lengths or strips of, for example, Velcro® tape or other similar hook and loop fastener material are sewn (in the case of the attachment to the broadcloth) onto or otherwise fastened to the broadcloth and/or chair structure, it being understood that a wide variety of different methods may be used to provide for the secure engagement of the Velcro® tape to the broadcloth and/or chair structure, as would be known to a person skilled in the art (including, for example in the case of attachment to the chair structure, by way of tacks, staples and/or glue). In the context of the description provided herein, the word “Velcro® ” and the expression “Velcro® tape” is understood to mean any form of hook and loop fastener system known to a person skilled in the art.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the Velcro® tape is sewn to the broadcloth prior to the installation of the broadcloth onto the chair structure, it being understood that in some circumstances, it may be possible to fasten the Velcro® tape to the broadcloth after the installation of the broadcloth to the chair structure.

In the context of the chair structure such as is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the chair structure has already had the broadcloth affixed thereto, and has for example, a back 4, rear of back 14, arms 8, underside of arms 15, legs 10, front 12, top 2, and in a preferred embodiment, multiple pieces of Velcro® tape 6, 6A, 6B, 6C, 6D, 6E, 6F and 6G (with the “Velcro® hook fasteners thereon exposed outwardly for engagement with corresponding Velcro tape having loops thereon in a manner more fully described herein) have been securely sewn or otherwise affixed to the broadcloth positioned thereon and/or the chair structure itself (in which latter case the Velcro® tape is preferably tacked or stapled to the wooden frame of the chair structure). To provide enhanced engagement between the Velcro® tape and the chair, where possible, the Velcro® tape which has been sewn to the broadcloth, may also be tacked or stapled through the broadcloth to the underlying wooden frame chair structure in a manner known to a person skilled in the art.

In the context of the upholstery fabric, which may take the form of a single piece of fabric, such as is illustrated in FIG. 4, or alternatively may take the form of multiple pieces of fabric the seams of which are sewn together in a conventional manner, such as illustrated at 17 in FIG. 3B and at 42 in FIG. 4B, in a preferred embodiment, Velcro® tape, having on one side thereof, for example loop fasteners thereon, is sewn or otherwise securely fastened to the inside surface (that is, the surface that will not be outwardly exposed when the upholstery installation process has been completed) of the upholstery fabric so that the loop fasteners are exposed for engagement with corresponding Velcro hooks as more fully described herein, the location of the Velcro tape on the upholstery fabric corresponding to the location of the Velcro tape on the chair structure and/or broadcloth, so that when the upholstery fabric is positioned on the chair structure, the Velcro tape on the upholstery fabric is aligned with and may be securely engaged with the corresponding piece of Velcro tape affixed to the chair structure, and thereby securely and temporarily attach the upholstery fabric to the chair structure as more fully described herein.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, an outline of a seat cushion 7 is shown to illustrate that in some circumstances the edges of the upholstery fabric will be blocked from view by the seat cushion 7.

As illustrated in FIG. 3B, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, prefabricated upholstery fabric components, such as the back upholstery component generally shown as 17 in FIG. 3B or the arm upholstery component 42 in FIG. 4B are provided by sewing together two or more pieces of upholstery fabric together prior to the installation of the upholstery fabric component onto the chair. Additionally, as illustrated in FIG. 3B, the back upholstery component 17 has Velcro tape 20A and Velcro tape 20B preferably sewn or otherwise affixed thereto, which tape has the Velcro loops exposed for engagement with the corresponding Velcro hooks of the corresponding Velcro tape 6A and 6B affixed to the chair structure as illustrated in FIGS. 3A and 2 respectively. Likewise, as illustrated in FIG. 4B, the arm upholstery component 42 has Velcro tape 32, 33, 35, 36, and 44, preferably sewn or otherwise affixed thereto, which tape has the Velcro loops exposed for engagement with the corresponding Velcro hooks of the corresponding Velcro tape 6C, 6E, 6F, 6G and 6B respectively affixed to the chair structure as illustrated in FIGS. 4A, 2 and 3A. Likewise, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the front upholstery component 25 has Velcro tape 26, 28 and 30 preferably sewn or otherwise affixed thereto, which tape has the Velcro loops exposed for engagement with the corresponding Velcro hooks of the corresponding Velcro tape 6D, 6 and 6G respectively affixed to the chair structure as illustrated in FIGS. 4A and 2 (it being understood that the upholstery fabric is folded at about 90 degrees near to the Velcro tape 28 and 30 to properly form/bend the upholstery fabric relative to the chair structure for full and aligned engagement of the Velcro tape 28 and 30 on the front upholstery component with the corresponding Velcro tape 6 and 6G on the chair structure.

In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 3A and 3B, buttons 22 or similar devices may be arranged on the chair structure (attached to the broadcloth), the buttons passing through corresponding holes 16 in the back upholstery component. This provides decorative characteristics to the furniture, and reduces the possibility of a gap or sag forming in the back upholstery component relative to the broadcloth and chair structure.

Referring to FIG. 5, a piece of foam 55 (or other like material) having a generally rectangular shape (or such other shape as may be required), may be covered with a generally rectangular shaped (or shaped as may be required) upholstery cushion component 46 such as is illustrated in FIG. 5B, having an end panel 52 having Velcro® tape 50 preferably sewn or otherwise affixed thereto, which tape has the Velcro loops exposed for engagement with the corresponding Velcro hooks of the corresponding Velcro tape 48 affixed to an edge of the upholstery cushion component 46 such as is illustrated in FIG. 5B, so that when the foam 55 is inserted into the upholstery cushion component 46, and thereafter the end panel 52 is closed by rotating it as shown by the arrow 54 in FIG. 5B, the Velcro® tape 50 comes into contact with, and becomes securely and temporarily engaged with the Velcro® tape 48 to securely fasten the end panel 52 in the closed position. In this manner, a foam cushion is provided for use, for example, on a chair, as illustrated in FIG. 5A, or otherwise as required.

The upholstery components may be installed by placing them in the appropriate position on the underlying chair structure, and thereafter, the Velcro® tape on the upholstery components, being aligned with the corresponding pieces of Velcro® tape on the chair structure, one may apply pressure to the pieces of Velcro® tape on the upholstery component, thereby securely engaging the Velcro® tape on the upholstery component with the Velcro® tape on the chair structure to thereby securely and temporarily engage the upholstery component to the chair structure. A chair upholstered in the manner of one embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 5A. To remove the upholstery component from the chair structure, one may gently but firmly pull on the area of the upholstery component where the Velcro® tape is positioned, until the Velcro® tape on the upholstery component is separated from the Velcro® tape affixed to the chair structure. Thereafter, once each of the pieces of Velcro tape on a piece of upholstery component have been separated from the corresponding piece of Velcro tape on the chair structure, the upholstery component may be readily removed from the chair structure in a manner known to a person skilled in the art.

In the context of implementing the invention, it may be desirable to hide those edges of the upholstery components on which the Velcro® tape is attached, and where possible, it may be desirable to hide these edges below cushion lines (such as, in the case of the Velcro® tape 6 and 6B being positioned beneath the cushion in the context of the arm chair in FIG. 4A), and on the underside edge of the chair (such as, in the case of the Velcro® tape 6B, 6F and 6G in the context of the arm chair in FIG. 2), or using other techniques known to a person skilled in the art.

It is to be understood that the Velcro® tape provides a secure, yet easy removal and reattachment mechanism and methodology, and that alternative mechanisms and methodologies are known in the art to provide such functionality, including, for example, zippers, it being understood that all such mechanisms and methodologies are included within the context of the present invention.

In the context of the description of the invention provided herein, it is to be understood that as Velcro®-type hook and loop fastening systems require two pieces of tape to act together to provide a fastener, one piece of tape having hooks thereon, and the other piece of tape having loops thereon, and that for reasons of simplicity in describing the present invention herein, reference has been made to the Velcro tape on the furniture having hooks presented thereon while the Velcro tape on the upholstery fabric has loops presented thereon, it is to be understood that this may be reversed, namely that the Velcro tape affixed to the furniture may have loops presented thereon, while the Velcro tape affixed to the upholstery may have hooks presented thereon.

It is understood that the upholstery and the process and methodology described herein may also be used in the context of car seats, camper furniture and other products where upholstery/fabric is utilized. It is also understood that the upholstery and process and methodology described herein may be used in the context of furniture having welts, buttons (which can be readily attached using snaps or in another known manner so as to allow them to be easily replaced or interchanged as desired), skirting, extra padding and other design characteristics. Where extra padding is used, such as in the case of head rests, additional reinforcement may be required. This may be accomplished by providing additional Velcro tape strips on the furniture and padding material as would be known to a person skilled in the art. Additionally, it may be necessary to provide additional or reinforced broadcloth to ensure proper and appropriate reinforcement and strength.

The present invention has been described herein with regard to preferred embodiments. However, it will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that a number of variations and modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention as described herein.





 
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