Title:
Pillow with Concealed Storage Compartment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pillow in which comprises a storage compartment which can be accessed by putting one's arm into a pillow mouth opening generally central to the front side of a pillow. In a preferred embodiment, an opening cover is provided which serves to further conceal the pillow mouth. Preferably, a sash which circumscribes the pillow is employed, and a user may put his or her hand under the sash to access the pillow mouth and the storage compartment to which it leads. The compartment may store any objects and is desirable for storage of items that need to be hidden but readily accessible such as contraceptives, self-defense items, or household objects such as remote controls or keys.



Inventors:
Heinsius, Richard E. (Flower Mound, TX, US)
Heinsius, Debra G. (Flower Mound, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/954476
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/12/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C20/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LIU, JONATHAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Eugenia S. Hansen (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A pillow having a concealed compartment, comprising a front side and a back side secured to one another at side edges, said front side having a pillow mouth opening located inwardly from the side edges, said pillow mouth opening attached to a compartment which is adapted to receive items for storage, said compartment surrounded by stuffing material.

2. The pillow of claim 1, wherein said front side comprises a left portion and a right portion each having an outer side and an inner side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge and a center edge and wherein said left and right portions are secured to each other along said center edge with two seams, one of said seams extending from said top edge downward and the other extending from said bottom edge upward, each of said seams having a length which ends so that a pillow mouth opening is defined in said front portion along said center edge.

3. The pillow of claim 1, wherein said compartment is formed from a rectangular piece of material from about 4″×8″ to about 8″×14″ and wherein said pillow dimensions are about 16 inches to about 34 inches in length and from about 5 inches to about 14 inches in width.

4. The pillow of claim 1, wherein said compartment is formed from a piece of material which is circular in shape and wherein said pillow has a circumference from about 36 inches to about 57 inches.

5. The pillow of claim 1, further comprising an opening cover.

6. The pillow of claim 5, wherein said opening cover is a piece of cloth which serves to conceal the pillow mouth from a viewer when the pillow is displayed in an area.

7. The pillow of claim 6, wherein said opening cover is a sash which circumvents the pillow.

8. The pillow of claim 7, wherein said sash is employed such that a user can reach under it without removing it and access the storage compartment.

9. A pillow having a concealed compartment, comprising a front side and a back side secured to one another at side edges, said front side having a pillow mouth opening located inwardly from the side edges, said pillow mouth opening attached to a compartment which is adapted to receive items for storage, said compartment surrounded by stuffing material, wherein said front side comprises a left portion and a right portion each having an outer side and an inner side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge and a center edge and wherein said left and right portions are secured to each other along said center edge with two seams, one of said seams extending from said top edge downward and the other extending from said bottom edge upward, each of said seams having a length which ends so that a pillow mouth opening is defined in said front portion along said center edge, wherein said compartment is formed from a rectangular piece of material from about preferably formed of a rectangular piece of cloth having the dimensions from about 4″×8″ to about 8″×14″ wherein said pillow is rectangular and has the dimensions of about 16 inches to about 34 inches in length and from about 5 inches to about 14 inches in width.

10. The pillow of claim 9, further comprising an opening cover.

11. The pillow of claim 10, wherein said opening cover is a piece of cloth which serves to conceal the pillow mouth from a viewer when the pillow is displayed in an area.

12. The pillow of claim 11, wherein said opening cover is a sash which circumvents the pillow.

13. The pillow of claim 12, wherein said sash is employed such that a user can reach under it without removing it and access the storage compartment.

14. A pillow subassembly, comprising a front side comprises a left portion and a right portion each having an outer side and an inner side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge and a center edge and wherein said left and right portions are secured to each other along said center edge with two seams, one of said seams extending from said top edge downward and the other extending from said bottom edge upward, each of said seams having a length which ends so that a pillow mouth opening is defined in said front portion along said center edge, and a compartment comprising material secured to said pillow mouth opening.

15. The pillow subassembly of claim 14, wherein said compartment material is formed from a rectangular piece of material from about from about 4″×8″ to about 8″×14″.

16. A method for storing items in a concealed matter at or near the putative place of use, comprising the steps of: (a) providing a pillow having a concealed compartment, comprising a front side and a back side secured to one another at side edges, said front side having a pillow mouth opening located inwardly from the side edges, said pillow mouth opening attached to a compartment which is adapted to receive items for storage, said compartment surrounded by stuffing material, wherein said front side comprises a left portion and a right portion each having an outer side and an inner side, a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge and a center edge and wherein said left and right portions are secured to each other along said center edge with two seams, one of said seams extending from said top edge downward and the other extending from said bottom edge upward, each of said seams having a length which ends so that a pillow mouth opening is defined in said front portion along said center edge, wherein said compartment is formed from a piece of material having compartment edges, said compartment edges secured to said pillow mouth opening; (b) storing objects in said compartment; (c) retrieving said objects at a convenient time by inserting one's hand into said pillow mouth opening and grasping said object and bringing it out of said compartment for use.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein said objects are contraceptives.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein said objects are useful for self-defense from intruders.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein said objects are household objects.

20. The method of claim 16, wherein said pillow is decorative and further comprises a sash which circumscribes said pillow and is passed through a buckle.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to the field of pillows containing a storage compartment within which to store various items.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the invention according to FIG. 1 with the sash and clasp removed;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the invention according to FIG. 1 illustrating the pocket within the invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the invention according to FIG. 1 illustrating the seams of the interior pocket.

FIG. 5 is a front view of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Herein disclosed is a pillow or cushion in which is constructed a concealed centrally accessible storage compartment. The compartment may be used to store any objects a user wishes to be conveniently located to the area where such objects will be used, while providing easily accessibility to the user while remaining concealed from or inconspicuous to other persons who may come into to the area. The compartment is concealed from view because it is integral to a common household object, namely a pillow or other cushion but it is not immediately conveyed upon casual observation by such others that the pillow has a storage compartment. The pillow may be placed upon a bed or other conventional locations in a household and in such placement appears to serve solely a decorative purpose. The proximity of the invention to the location of use of the stored objects allows for convenient access for situations in which rapid retrieval of stored objects is desirable or necessary. Examples of objects which may be advantageously stored in the invention include, but are not limited to: contraceptive items such as condoms, other items which may be used in marital relations, and/or toiletries. Other items could include self-defense items such as pepper sprays that a homeowner may want to have at hand in case of a home intrusion. Items commonly lost in a household but used in locations where pillows or cushions are commonly placed include remote controls, guides and keys. These items may also be conveniently stored in the invention, keeping them handy for the user but hidden from others who are not aware of the storage compartment.

Hereafter, the invention will be referred to as a pillow, although it should be understood that it may also be a cushion or any item which commonly contains stuffing matter which can surround the compartment as described.

A preferred embodiment of the pillow comprises an outer casing which itself comprises a back side and a front side. The front side comprises a left portion and a right portion. Each of the back side and the front side portions has an outer side and an inner side. Each of the left and right portions has a top edge, a bottom edge, a side edge and a center edge. The assembled product has the preferred dimensions of from about 13 to 20 inches long to about 13 to 26 inches wide. Most preferred are standard bed pillow sizes and half standard bed pillow sizes which are conventionally utilized in most home décor.

In a preferred construction method, the outer side portions of said left and right portions of said front side are placed adjacent one another, center edges together and two seams are sewn which secure said left and right portions to one another along the center edge. The first of said two seams runs along the center edge from the top edge to from about 7 inches to about 3.5 inches from the midpoint of the center edge, and the second of said two seams runs along the bottom edge from the bottom edge to about 7 inches to about 3.5 inches from the midpoint of the center edge, thus defining a pillow mouth edge generally in the center of the pillow, said pillow mouth edge from about 4 inches wide to about 8 inches wide.

A pocket portion preferably formed of a rectangular piece of cloth has the dimensions from about 4″×8″ to about 8″×14″. This rectangular pocket portion has a continuous edge and a lining side and an inner side. The lining side is intended to lie adjacent any stored objects and the inner side is intended to lie adjacent stuffing that will be used in the pillow. The lining side of the pocket portion continuous edge is preferably secured to the outer side of the pillow mouth edge by sewing or by another attachment means such as fabric adhesive. After this operation is complete, a front subassembly has been created. The front subassembly has a central seam running from the top edge to the pillow mouth opening and a central seam running from the pillow mouth opening to the bottom edge. The unfinished edges of the central seam are located adjacent the inner side of the front portion. The pillow mouth opening has a pocket secured thereto.

In the next step of the preferred assembly method, the front subassembly is secured to the pillow back. This may be done by putting the outer sides adjacent one another and forming a seam nearly all the way around the outer edges, leaving a small unstitched or unsecured area which will allow the outer sides to be pulled through, thus forming a pillow casing with finished seams and an opening. Stuffing material is then inserted into the opening until the desired degree of cushioning is achieved. The storage compartment will be preferably surrounded on all sides by stuffing material in order to conceal any stored contents from the outside of the pillow. Once the desired amount of stuffing is inserted, the opening can be closed by methods used in the pillow making art, such as slip stitching.

In an alternative construction method, the front subassembly is constructed as described, but the pocket portion is either not secured or only partially secured to the pillow mouth opening. The front side of the pillow can be secured to the back side, outer sides together with a seam sewn completely around the outer edges. The pillow mouth opening or partial opening can then be used to turn out the outer sides, and can be used for receiving the stuffing. The pocket portion can then be completely secured to the pillow mouth opening by sewing or gluing.

In another embodiment, the side seams are eliminated by constructing the pillow out of a single length of cloth having two side edges so that the side edges meet to form the center of the front edge of the pillow. Seams may be sewn or made via other means along the top and bottom edge of the pillow with the outer side of the cloth together and then turned. Raw edges are placed at the center front of the pillow and the center seams are then created via hand sewing or other attachment means, such as fabric glue, in such as way that the pillow mouth opening is created. The pocket portion is then attached to the pillow mouth opening by stitching or fabric glue, or any other means which will create the structure desired.

In another alternate embodiment, the pillow may be constructed in a round shape, with both the front side and the back side secured to each other as outlined above. In this embodiment, the circumference of the pillow will be from about 40 inches to about 114 inches.

In all of the steps described, additional steps may be employed such as clipping the raw seams or corners to provide a smoother outer seam after turning the outer side, and other techniques known to the art. Each embodiment includes stuffing which supports the concealed portion of the pocket portion.

Once the pillow has been constructed, the pillow mouth opening in the front side can be easily accessed by the human hand to store and retrieve objects. Preferably, the stored items are better concealed by the stuffing surrounding the pocket portion.

It is also desirable to conceal the opening so that only the user knows that the pillow has a storage compartment. One way to conceal the opening is to place the pillow so that the front side which has the opening is next to bedding and the back side faces any observers. Preferably, however, the opening faces upwardly with the back side next to bedding and the pillow further comprises an opening cover comprising a piece of cloth which conceals the opening. The opening cover may be attached to the pillow with any removable fastener, such as fastening tape consisting opposing hook and pile interlocking material, such as Velcro brand fastening tape, or any other fasteners which will allow the opening cover to be at least partially removed so that a user may access the storage areas.

Most preferably, the opening cover is a sash having two ends, which sash circumscribes the width of the pillow. The two ends of the sash may be passed through a buckle or secured together with a fastening means. Preferably, the sash is of sufficient length to allow a decorative buckle to be used with one sash end visible on the outside of the pillow and the other sash end tucked underneath the sash. When a sash is used, access to the compartment is convenient as a user may reach under the sash directly into the pillow mouth opening and retrieve items stored there. The sash in this embodiment need not be removed from the pillow in order for the user to access the compartment, but it effectively serves to conceal the opening. In this embodiment, the sash comprises a single piece of fabric measuring from about 24 inches to about 46 inches in length and from about 8 inches to about 26 inches in width. A partial sash may be employed which does not circumscribe the pillow but is only on the side of the opening. In this embodiment, two lengths of a sash may be sewn into the outer edge seam so that they can be tied together or run through a buckle over the pillow mouth opening. In the said embodiment, the lengths of sash comprise two separate pieces of fabric each measuring from about 6 inches to about 12 inches in length and from about 8 inches to about 26 inches in width. A single length may be used, sewn in one seam of the pillow, and secured to the pillow front itself in the area below the pillow mouth opening. For example, a button may be attached to the pillow near the bottom seam, and the single length may have a button hole which secures to the button.

The pillow of the invention is preferably constructed of decorative material to complement the decor of the user's home, such as the bedspread or comforter used in the bedroom or the fabric used on a living room sofa or chair, for example. Preferred materials are: silk, satin, polyester, or any other material with similar tactile and aesthetic qualities. The pocket compartment may be made of the same or a different material from the rest of the pillow. For example, it may be desirable to utilize a heavy duty fabric or industrial fabric for the pillow compartment if heavy objects such as remote controls or self-defense items are to be stored there.

The following Figures are provided to better illustrate the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention from a perspective view. In this embodiment, the pillow (1) is girdled by a sash (2) which is in turn held on by the clasp (4). Friction is responsible for keeping the sash in place on the outer casing (3). However, it can be appreciated that the sash may be secured to the pillow if desired by means of fastening tape, small stitches, or other fasteners to keep the sash from separating from the pillow or to better keep it in place. Ideally, if attachment is desired, the sash can be secured to the back of the pillow to allow for greater aesthetics on the front, but such attachment can occur at any location along the pillow.

In this view, the pillow appears to be an ornamental object suitable for placement on a bed or other location within a household. In this embodiment, the bottom seam (9A) and top seam (9B) are clearly visible on the long ends of the pillow.

FIG. 2 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention from a perspective view. The sash (not visible) has been removed to clearly expose the center seam (6) which bisects the front side of the pillow (1) on a line essentially equidistant from both short ends of the pillow. The center seam is discontinuous in the middle of the pillow, thereby defining the pillow mouth (7). Inside the mouth the pocket lining (8A) is visible. Pocket (8) is illustrated with phantom lines inside the pillow. The top edge of pocket lining 8A is attached

FIG. 3 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention from a side view facing the bottom seam (9A). Pocket (8) is illustrated with phantom lines inside the pillow (1). Inside pocket is a box (10) to illustrate a potential use of pocket. Around the center of the pillow the sash (2) can be seen secured via the clasp (4).

FIG. 4 shows the preferred embodiment of the invention from a perspective view. Pillow (1) is illustrated with phantom lines except for pocket (8). Pocket lining (8A) is marked with lines indicating seams of pocket inside the invention.

FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment of the invention in a circular form. In this view, a partial sash is employed as an opening cover and one of the lengths is turned back to illustrate the position of the pillow mouth opening (7). This type of partial sash may be used on rectangular styles of pillows as well. Although other closures may be used, the illustration shows a button (12) and buttonhole (10).





 
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