Title:
Body cozy throw
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A body cover throw construction including a stitched structure which opens to surround and cover the feet of a person who is in a sitting, reclining or laid-back position in a reclining chair, sofa or the like. The inventive body cover-throw comprises a length of fabric rectangular in shape that is hemmed to finish both ends then folded and stitched at one end, referred to as the bottom, to form three compartments within the folded layers, a centrally located compartment that has a slit opening to accommodate the feet and two are sealed compartments, one on each side of the folded layers, that provide localized areas of increased density and stability that effectively positions the bottom of the throw to catch and cover the user's feet with a scooping action when the throw is spread over and beyond the feet then pulled back over the user's feet.



Inventors:
Bank, Marshall P. (Wilson, NC, US)
Application Number:
12/012940
Publication Date:
10/23/2008
Filing Date:
02/07/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/494
International Classes:
A47G9/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILLIAMS, MARK A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Marshall Bank (Wilson, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A body cover throw to facilitate covering the feet of a person who is in a sitting, reclining or laid-back position in a reclining chair, sofa or the like; this throw comprising a rectangular shape sheet of fabric with a folded and stitched structure that provides a mechanism for catching and covering the user's feet in a centrally positioned compartment with a slit entry for the feet located between stabilizing sealed compartments, wherein the user's feet are covered by said foot compartment to maintain body heat for keeping warm and cozy.

2. The body cover throw in claim 1, wherein the sealed compartments have increased density and/or mass to stabilize spreading action which effectively positions and opens the slit into the cavity of the centrally located compartment to catch and cover the user's feet with a scooping action when the throw is spread over and beyond the feet and then pulled back over the user's feet and upward to cover the user's body.

3. The body cover throw in claim 1, wherein one or both of the smaller compartment(s) have an opening for insertion of other items but restricts entry of any part of the user's feet due to dimensions and/or location around the perimeter of said compartment(s).

4. The body cover throw in claim 2, wherein material for additional mass and/or cushioning is contained within the sealed compartments.

5. The body cover throw in claim 3, wherein the opening to the smaller compartments has a means for closure by affixing flaps with buttons, zippers, or Velcro type fasteners, etc.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based on Provisional application No. 60/903,252, filed on Feb. 22, 2007

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of blanket cover used for warmth and relaxation; and more particularly to a body cover throw that accommodates the user's feet.

In its most basic form a throw is a square or rectangular shaped single-layer of cloth distinguishable from blankets and quilts because throws are not intended for bedcovering and are characteristically smaller by comparison, lighter in weight and generally more decorative. Body cover throws, sometimes referred to as blanket throws, are intended for use as temporary cover over a portion of a person's body while seated in a reclining position or lying on a sofa or otherwise relaxing. The main purpose of a throw is to keep localized areas of the user's body warm, and the feet are typically one of the areas that the user wants to cover. A person reclining in a chair or on a sofa will normally toss and/or pull a throw over their lower body and in most cases, with a conventional throw, the person's feet will protrude or “pop-out” of the end of the throw. Covering ones feet with a throw is rather difficult and requires the help of another person, or the user must twist and turn their feet so that they wrap the bottom end of the throw around their feet. This covering process reduces the effective useful length of the conventional throw by the amount of material tucked under the feet, thus, limiting the coverage to body areas generally well below the user's chest; therefore, there isn't much covering left, if any, for the upper chest area.

Ordinary blankets and quilts, prevailingly used as bedcover while on a bed, have often been used as cover by persons who need extra warmth while resting in places other than in a bed, such as in a chair or on a sofa, etc. However, blankets and quilts do not offer the comfort and convenience of a throw because most are too big and bulky, making them more difficult to maneuver than a smaller and lighter weight throw. For example, a person in a reclining chair usually finds it difficult to spread a blanket over their body in a manner that provides cover for their feet, then any shifting or movement of the user may cause the blanket to slide off or pull away and uncover the feet, and sometimes tangle, or otherwise hinder the person's ability for reading a book or performing other functions with use of their hands.

Known prior art includes a variety of wraps and blanket type items designed to provide pockets or pouches to contain the user's feet, for use alone or while covered in bed. Some of the prior art items are classed as “apparel of bag form or having means to close the lower part to form a bag”; others are described as “bed clothing, including blankets, intended to receive the human body for the purpose of repose”.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,916,756 to Nancy D. Barrett shows a blanket to be worn in covering relation to the front of the user's body, comprising a square blanket having one corner removed at a 45 degree angle and a piece of another blanket material attached to provide a pocket for feet. It is difficult for the user to achieve even coverage of the body because this foot pocket blanket is worn diagonally making it hard to arrange for covering the front of the user's body and there is no means for keeping the cover from sliding off the shoulders and knee areas of a person that moves. To cover the feet with this blanket the user must position the opening to the foot receiving pocket then thrust his or her feet into the pocket after which the top opening is drawn closer around the legs of the user. Also, it is difficult for the user to slip their feet out of the pocket to remove this blanket cover.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,970,542 to Steven R. Mays shows a foot pouch blanket comprising a blanket that is folded at the bottom and stitched on each side to form a pouch that extends across the full width of the blanket, with a dart placed in the top center of the foot pouch. It is difficult for the user to cover their feet because the open layer of the pouch hangs unevenly due to sagging on each side of the dart and it is difficult to place the dart between the feet and legs of the user; when both feet are in one side of the pouch the blanket cannot provide even cover to the upper legs and chest areas.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,643,870 to Francette Bertrand shows a blanket to surround the chest, arms and legs of a person seated or lying down, comprising a lower pocket to contain the feet of the person formed from the lower central part of the blanket attached to other blanket material with the two side lower parts of the blanket removed. The shape of this blanket provides for wrapping around the user's body and a means for fastening the sides and top of the blanket to hold it in place. It is difficult to wrap oneself in this blanket and while wrapped and fastened it is difficult for a person to uncover themselves; furthermore, since the foot pocket is not as wide as the uncut portion of the blanket there is a gap in coverage of the legs just above each side of the pocket that contains the feet. Cold air from outside the blanket cover may creep in through such gaps to cause discomfort to the user.

U.S. Pat. No. D527,562 S to Mele Luana Manning claims a design for a leg blanket with a foot pocket that is described as a cover for legs and feet. The description of the design shows the foot pocket is not as wide as the portion of the blanket cover for the legs. The design does not provide full cover for the legs because there is a gap in coverage just above each upper side of the foot pocket. Due to the limited coverage such leg blanket is neither intended nor suitable for filling the needs served by this present invention.

Somewhat related prior art include a variety of special use blankets that are disclosed in patents, such as infants receiving blankets folded and stitched to form a pocket for the feet, U.S. Pat. No. 3,412,407 to Virginia Key; a child's foot bag blanket with foot pockets for wrapping children while in car seats, U.S. Pat. No. 6,948,200 to Loran Lewis Wyman; and a quilt for use in wheelchairs with a pouch for the feet of the wearer, U.S. Pat. No. 4,363,141 to Elizabeth Doser. Also, designs for sleeping bags, robes, pouches and bags which provide covering of only the feet and lower legs for keeping feet warm while in bed, and ancient disclosures of a lap robes with foot pockets to keep a person warm while riding in a horse drawn carriage. Such items were neither intended nor suitable for filling the needs served by this present invention.

With all the aforementioned items of prior art it remains difficult for a person, particularly someone with limited dexterity, to manipulate their feet to enter pockets or pouches for covering their feet, or to reach down and wrap their feet in a foot containment. This present invention substantially differs from conventional concepts and designs of the prior art by providing a body cover throw of customary length with a centrally located accommodation for the feet at the bottom end and a mechanism primarily developed to facilitate the covering of the user's feet, and also designed for easy removal.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object and advantages of the present invention are to provide a throw of customary length with an accommodation for the user's feet and a mechanism which facilitates the covering of a person's feet while the person is sitting, reclining or in a laid-back position, and to keep them and their feet warm and cozy. A particular feature of this inventive throw is a mechanism consisting of a stitched structure fabricated at the bottom end which opens to surround and cover the feet of a person who is in a sitting, reclining or laid-back position in a reclining chair, sofa or the like. When the bottom portion of this inventive throw is spread or tossed over the user's legs and beyond the feet then pulled laterally back over the user's feet toward the user's lower body with feet slightly lifted, the user's feet are surrounded and wrapped inside a centrally located compartment with a slit opening formed by two layers of folded fabric joined together by stitches at the bottom and both sides and positioned between sealed compartments. When lowered, the feet serve as an effective anchor assisted by the sealed compartments to keep the throw evenly distributed side to side and prevent it from shifting or sliding off when the user moves or changes position. The top or upper portion of this throw may be adjusted as desired to cover other portions of the user's body.

The throw of this invention comprises a length of fabric rectangular in shape with finished side edges and hemmed to finish both ends, then folded and stitched at one end, referred to as the bottom, to create a unique sewn structure that provides a mechanism for catching and covering the user's feet and keeping them covered. The unique sewn structure consists of a functional hem along the edge of the bottom layer of the folded component and a path of stitches inserted to secure the crease line of the fold and to form three compartments within the folded layers, two are sealed compartments, one on each side of a centrally located compartment that has a slit opening to accommodate the feet. The sealed compartments provide localized areas of increased density and stability that effectively positions the bottom of the throw to catch and cover the user's feet with a scooping action when the throw is spread over and beyond the feet then pulled back over the user's feet.

The construction of the sewn structure provides a mechanism, based on principals of gravity, momentum and aerodynamics, that spreads the layers and opens the centrally located compartment for receiving the user's feet as the assembly is pulled laterally back over the user's slightly lifted feet.

Further objects and advantages are to provide a throw which does not restrain the feet while covered and permits the feet to be easily slipped out of the folded compartment as desired or when removing the throw from the user's body.

A particularly preferred embodiment comprises a rectangular shaped portion of cloth previously manufactured to the desired width with clean finished edges on each side and cut to the desired length with allowance for fabricating the folded structure. Both ends of the rectangular shaped portion of cloth are folded-under, backside to backside, and stitched to produce finished hems, a two-inch wide hem along the edge, that will be designated as the top of the throw, and a one-inch wide hem along the edge of the other end. After forming the one-inch hem, a portion of that end of the material is folded backside to backside to produce a widthwise fold and to position the one-inch hem a distance of twelve inches from and parallel to the crease of the fold which is now established as the bottom of the throw. The two layers of folded material are stitched together, first by a line of stitches along the folded bottom edge to secure the crease line, next, along each side edge by stitching from the crease up to the outer edge of the one-inch hem, then across the hemmed edge for a distance of approximately nine inches toward the center line of the throw and back down to the crease line at the bottom edge of the folded material to produce two rectangular shaped sealed compartments, one on each side of the compartment that has a slit opening. The areas occupied by the two sealed compartments are stitched around their full perimeter to hold two layers of the folded fabric in close proximity to each other which results in localized areas of higher density than the adjoining two layers of the fold that form the open cavity centered between the two sealed compartments

The design of this invention provides an improved throw of the customary full length for use in covering the user's body, in most cases extending up to the neck of the average person. Additionally, the omission of the conventional end fringes eliminates the bothersome nature of these fringes. One version of the present invention utilizes decorative stripes across the width of the material that are formed during the manufacture of the fabric and located at distances for positioning across the top hem and on each side of the stitched folded edge of the bottom of the throw.

(The throw according to this invention may be made of a variety of materials, including woven, knitted and non-woven textile fabrics containing natural, synthetic or blended fiber components. Woven high pile double-faced fleece fabric consisting of 100% polyester texturized yarn are especially desirable materials because of their aesthetic properties and cozy attributes: they are very soft and provide excellent insulating properties; also, such materials provide superior durability, resistance to wear and are economical and easy to care for. However, this invention is not limited to any particular type of material.

The design of this inventive throw also provides for inexpensive manufacture. The stitching that joins the two layers of the folded material may be performed in steps. However, to prevent time consuming stop & go sewing that requires lifting and adjustment of the sewing mechanism, the stitching is best accomplished by following a course that begins from the edge of the crease formed by the folded material, previously defined as the bottom of the throw, at a point located at a distance of approximately 9 inches from either side of the rectangular shaped structure. From that point the stitching follows a path that proceeds toward the top of the throw in a direction parallel to the center-line of the rectangular shaped structure for a distance of approximately 12 inches to intersect the stitching that secures the one-inch hem that was constructed before making the fold, then turns at a right angle from the center line to form stitches for a distance of 9 inches in a direction toward the closest side to securely join the one-inch hem in the shorter layer to the longer layer of the folded fabric, then turns at a right angle and continues toward the bottom of the folded structure to join the two layers along the side for a distance of approximately 12 inches to the folded crease, then turns at a right angle and proceeds all the way across the folded bottom edge to a point near the edge of the other long side of the rectangular shaped structure, forming stitches to securely join both layers along the fold to set the crease line, then turns at a right angle and proceeds along the side toward the top of the throw for a distance of approximately 12 inches to intersect the stitching that secures the one-inch hem, then turns at a right angle to form a line of stitches toward the center line of the rectangular shaped structure for a distance of approximately 9 inches to securely join the one-inch hem and to the longer layer of the folded fabric, after which the path of stitching turns at a right angle and continues in a direction toward the bottom of the throw to form a line of stitches parallel to the center-line for a distance of approximately 12 inches, and thus ending at the bottom edge of the folded crease.

The sealed compartments may be filled with “beans” or plastic pellets to provide additional mass for those two localized areas, or left open on one side.

The throw according to the invention is illustrated by drawings of the form that is presently preferred; it being understood that this invention is not limited to the precise construction shown in respect to dimensions and arrangements of the various components or the selection of materials.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates the throw as viewed from the underside to reveal dimensional and construction details of the body of the throw and the three compartments.

FIGS. 1-A and 1-B are cross-sectional views that show the construction of the sealed compartments and the open space under the fold between the two sealed compartments.

FIG. 2 illustrates the utility of the invention, showing a view of a user lying down with the front of user's body facing upward.

FIG. 3 illustrates the utility of the invention, showing a user lying on his/her side while cuddled under the throw with feet entirely wrapped by the fold-under opening between the two sealed compartments.

In all the Figures, the same reference numbers are affixed to the respective components of the throw and related items. CL DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates the underside of the Throw 4 that is constructed from a single layer of cloth 5 having a face side 5A and a back side 5B by performing the following steps: a piece of cloth, previously manufactured to the desired width and length to form the rectangular shape of the body cover throw 4. The edges of both ends of the rectangular shaped portion of cloth are folded-under and stitched to produce hemmed edges that generally conform to ASTM Standard D-6193 (Formerly Federal Standard 751a) Class EFb-2 using Stitch Type 301 as indicated by a dotted line 7 to produce a two-inch wide hem 6 along the top edge and a one-inch wide hem along the bottom edge 6A. After forming the one-inch hem, a twelve inch portion of cloth at that end of the material, now established as the bottom of the throw, is folded backside to backside and the two layers are stitched together, indicated by dashes 8, along the folded bottom edge to secure the crease line, up both side edges of the folded material, and from each side edge across the one-inch hem toward the center line of the throw for a distance of nine inches, and back down to the bottom stitched edge of the folded material which forms two rectangular shaped sealed compartments 9, one on each side of the open compartment 10 of the folded material at the bottom of the throw that serves to catch and cover the user's feet when the throw is pulled upward over the user's feet and lower body.

In the preferred embodiment shown the dimensions of the finished throw is forty eight inches wide by sixty inches long as finished with hems and a twelve inch stitched down fold, thus producing a compartment with a slit opening measuring thirty inches wide by twelve inches deep to scoop and wrap the feet, between two sealed compartments, each measuring nine inches wide by twelve inches deep. The component fabric, broadly classed as a double faced fleece fabric with a fabric density of approximately five and one-half ounces per square yard, is a woven, high pile double-faced fleece fabric, consisting of 100% polyester textured yarn purchased from Yiwn Houzhai Jiahui Tactel Mill in China, However, this invention is not limited to any particular type of material and may be constructed from a variety of textile materials, including knitted, woven or non-woven fabrics and may be adapted for other dimensions.

FIG. 1A is a cross sectional view of the throw of FIG. 1 taken along the edge of the left side, indicated by lines 1-1, that illustrates the folded cloth portion of the throw and the location of stitches 8 that join both layers along the bottom edge of the folded crease line and from the folded crease line to the one-inch hem of the lower layer and secure portions of the one-inch hem to the upper layer from each side to the slit opening to the centrally located compartment. As viewed from the left side, FIG. 1A also illustrates a cross sectional view of the throw in FIG. 1 taken along lines indicated as 3-3 and 3′-3′ that track the stitches through both layers of cloth that form partitions between the three compartments and complete the closing of the sealed compartment(s) 9 on the left and right sides, respectively; and taken along lines 1′-1′ which represents the stitching that joins the two layers together at the right side of the throw.

FIG. 1B is a cross sectional view of the throw of FIG. 1 taken along the center line, indicated by lines 2-2 that illustrates the position of the folded layers, stitching and hems in the open compartment.

FIG. 2 illustrates the utility of the invention, showing a view from above the user 13 who is lying down with the front of his/her body facing upward while partially covered by the throw 4 from feet to across the chest area. FIG. 2 shows the user's feet inside the open compartment 10 of the folded portion of the throw; the user's feet are under the throw's upper layer and above the lower layer. The sealed compartment(s) 9 are closed by stitches, indicated by dashes 8, which join both layers of cloth to close all four sides of the sealed compartments. The stitching in the portion of the hem that extends across the open space in the fold is indicated by a dotted line 7.

FIG. 3 illustrates the utility of the invention, showing a view of a user 13 who is reclining on his/her side with feet inside the open compartment 10 with the throw 4 positioned to also cover other parts of the body up to the shoulder. FIG. 3 also illustrates a cross sectional view of the throw in FIG. 1 taken along the center line, previously identified as lines 2-2, to illustrate how the user's feet are captured and covered by the unique opening in the folded area between the sealed compartments in a manner that serves as an effective anchor for the bottom of the throw to prevent it from shifting or sliding off when the user moves or shifts position.

The present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to a certain preferred version as illustrated in the drawings. These aspects of the invention are not intended to exclude the use of alternative components or to limit the dimensional features of the throw or the open space formed between the two sealed compartments. It will be apparent by those skilled in the art that other versions and modifications could be made without deviating from the spirit of this invention.





 
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