Title:
COMBINATION TOWEL AND OUTDOOR FURNITURE COVER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The towel cover for a chair having two armrests covers at least the seating surface and backrest surface of the chair and the armrests, including insulating the chair user from contact with armrest supports from within or without the chair, and covering the top, front, each side, and rear surface of each armrest. The towel cover is also functional as a towel. The towel cover may have fabric ties for retaining the towel cover on the chair. Metallic and hook-and-loop fasteners are avoided. A stretch terry, in whole or in part, may be used to adapt to reclining chairs, such as reclining lawn chairs. The towel cover may be made of a single piece of cloth or may be fastened together from a plurality of pieces of cloth.



Inventors:
Renda, Frank (Maricopa, AZ, US)
Application Number:
13/093746
Publication Date:
10/27/2011
Filing Date:
04/25/2011
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WHITE, RODNEY BARNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KEITH L. JENKINS, Registered Patent Attorney, LLC (Maricopa, AZ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A towel cover for an outdoor chair having first and second armrests, comprising: a. at least one towel fabric panel; b. said at least one towel fabric panel comprising a cover shaped and fitted to cover surfaces of said chair that a user of said chair may contact when said chair is in ordinary use by such user; c. wherein said first and second armrests each comprise at least two of: i. a top surface; ii. a first armrest support having a first armrest support surface; iii. a second armrest support having a second armrest support surface; iv. a front surface; v. a rear surface; vi. an inner side surface; and vii. an outer side surface; d. wherein said at least one towel fabric panel comprises a cover fitted for covering said surfaces of said first and second armrests.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of provisional patent application Ser. No. 61/327,576 filed Apr. 23, 2011 to the same inventor.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to the field of beach and pool towels that are sized, shaped and arranged to be used as patio furniture covers. The present invention is particularly related to a towel that completely covers the armrests of a patio furniture chair or lounge.

BACKGROUND

Covers for lawn chairs and the like, all differing from the present invention, are known. Some do not cover the arms, others cover the arms only partially, others use hook-and-loop fasteners to secure armrest wraps which may be coupled to a towel. Hook-and-loop fasteners and zippers are inconsistent with use as a towel, as such fasteners tangle the hair of the user. Snaps and other metallic fasteners heat up in the sun, and so are inconsistent with the objective of protecting the user from contact with uncomfortable hot objects.

SUMMARY

A shaped and fitted towel for use on a lawn chair to protect the user from hot surfaces of the chair. By covering all touchable surfaces of the lawn chair, the user is protected from accidental contact with hot surfaces as the lawn chair becomes heated by exposure to the sun. The towel is preferably shaped and fitted to cover the surfaces of lawn chair that would be touched by a seated person; particularly, the back, seat, outer surface of armrests, front of armrests, top of armrests, inside surface of armrests, and armrest supports, are covered by the towel to insulate the chair user from hot surfaces in the ordinary use of the chair. Preferably, the towel has no metal or plastic fasteners, as such fasteners would be heated by the sun and cause burns to the user, and no zippers or hook-and-loop fasteners as such fasteners tangle the hair when the towel cover is in use as a towel. Preferably, the towel is fully functional as an absorbent towel for pool, patio, car, or beach use. The towel may include stretch terry fabric.

A lawn chair typically reclines, so the towel is preferably constructed to adapt to this movement, preferably by virtue of ease in the arm panels or by elastic fabric between the armrests and the back of the towel. Fabric ties or elastic may optionally be used to help secure the towel to the lawn chair.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view illustrating a first exemplary towel cover disposed on a first exemplary lawn chair and defining cross section 4-4, according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view illustrating the first exemplary towel cover disposed on the first exemplary lawn chair, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view illustrating the first exemplary towel cover disposed on the first exemplary lawn chair, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view illustrating the cross section 4-4 of the first exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view illustrating an alternate embodiment of cross section 4-4 of the first exemplary towel cover, as a preferred alternate embodiment to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the first exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the first exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a foot-end view of the first exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a head-end view of the first exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a second exemplary towel cover on a second exemplary lawn chair in a first position, according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the second exemplary towel cover on the second exemplary lawn chair in a second position, according to the preferred embodiment of the FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the second exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the second exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 10;

FIG. 13 is a foot-end view of the second exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14 is a head-end view of the second exemplary towel cover, according to the preferred embodiment of FIG. 10.

DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a side elevation view illustrating a first exemplary towel cover 100 disposed on a first exemplary lawn chair 102 and defining cross section 4-4, according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 shows a towel cover 100 disposed on lawn chair 102. Preferably, towel cover 100 covers all of the touchable surfaces of lawn chair 102, including the seating surface 302, frame 110, 112, and the armrest 104, including front end 106 and rear end 108 of the armrest 104, as well as the armrest supports 116 (one of two labeled). By covering all touchable surfaces of lawn chair 102, the user is protected from accidental contact with hot surfaces as lawn chair 102 becomes heated by exposure to the sun. This is especially important in desert climates, where a lawn chair can easily become hot enough in the sun to cause first and second degree burns.

Lawn chair 102 is preferably a reclining plastic and metal folding lawn chair, with armrests 104 that do not move when the back 122 of the lawn chair 102 reclines. Lawn chair 102 may be any sort of chair, having armrests 104, that is in use in outdoor, pool, beach, or spa areas, or for use in a car. For example, lawn chair 102 may be a folding chair, a wooden Adirondack chair, a deck chair, a Captains chair, a molded plastic patio chair, a wicker chair, a poolside upholstered chair, an automobile seat, etc., with the provision that lawn chair 102 has two armrests 104.

As shown in FIG. 1, towel cover 100 is preferably shaped and fitted to cover all of the surfaces of lawn chair 102 that would be touched by a seated person; particularly, the back 122, seat 132, outer surface of armrests 104, front 106 of armrests 104, top 134 of armrests 104, and inside surface of armrests 10 and armrest support 116 are all covered by towel cover 100. Preferably, towel cover 100 has no metal or plastic fasteners, as such fasteners would be heated by the sun and cause burns to the user. Preferably, towel cover 100 is fully functional as an absorbent towel for pool or beach use. Preferably, towel cover 100 is an absorbent towel, such as a terrycloth or velour towel fabric. Preferred towel cover 100 materials include cotton, polymer/cotton blends, and artificial fibers such as polyester, rayon, Tencel, nylon, etc. An absorbent terrycloth or velour towel that is stretchy and elastic is also contemplated. Towel cover 100 optionally includes antibacterial additives, stain repellents, fire retardants, or other additives as known in the art of bath and pool towels.

Preferably, towel cover 100 comprises back sleeve panel 120 and seat panel 114. Towel cover 100 further comprises two armrest covers 136 and 236 on either side of towel cover 100, as shown in FIG. 2. Armrest cover 136 comprises armrest inner panel 210; armrest top panel 124; armrest front panel 212; armrest outer panel 128, and armrest back panel 304 (see FIG. 3). Armrest panel 236 comprises armrest inner panel 208; armrest top panel 214; armrest front panel 206; arm outer panel 228; and armrest back panel 306 (see FIG. 3). The armrest 104 is covered in front 106 by front panel 212 and in back 108 by back panel 304, which is a novel aspect of the present invention. Both armrests 104 are symmetrically covered. Those of skill in the art, enlightened by the present disclosure, will appreciate that towel cover 100 will also be useful on a chair with no armrests 104.

Preferably, back sleeve panel 120 covers at least part of the rear surface of the back of lawn chair 102, and connects to seat panel 114 along the top and side edges thereof, to form a pocket to secure towel cover 100 onto the back 122 of lawn chair 102; as shown especially in FIG. 3. Preferably, seat panel 114 covers the seating 132 and back 122 surface of lawn chair 102.

Preferably, armrest inner panel 208, 210 entirely covers the inside arm 104 of lawn chair 102 adjacent a seated person. Preferably, arm top panel 124, 214 entirely covers the top surface of the armrest 104 of lawn chair 102. Preferably, arm front panel 206, 212 entirely covers the front end 106 of the armrest 104 of lawn chair 102. Preferably, armrest rear panel 304, 306 entirely covers the rear end 106 of the armrest 104 of lawn chair 102. Preferably, armrest outer panel 128, 228 entirely covers the outer surface of the armrest 104 of lawn chair 102. Preferably, seat panel 114 extends over and covers the edges of the seating 138 area of lawn chair 102, and extends down the legs of lawn chair 102 to and edge 132, optionally as far as to the ground. Armrest panels 136, 236 extend their respective exterior panels to an edge 126 that preferably extends below the seat 138 of the lawn chair 102 which edge may extend to the ground.

The foot end of the towel cover 100, when installed as a cover, overhangs 130 the foot end of lawn chair 102. In a preferred embodiment, the towel cover 100 is fitted to a specific lawn chair 100 with seams to fit the overhang 130 to the lawn chair 102. The towel cover 100 may be sold with lawn chair 102 in a kit. In an alternate embodiment, towel cover 100 drapes over the foot end of the lawn chair 102 to form overhang 130. In a variation on such alternate embodiment, ties may secure such draped overhang 130 to the lawn chair 102. Hook and loop fasteners are disfavored for towel covers 100, as the hook side entangles hair.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation view illustrating the first exemplary towel cover 100 disposed on the first exemplary lawn chair 102, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Lawn chair 102 is constructed of members 110, 112, 202, and 204, armrest supports 116, and armrests 104. The front armrest panels 206 and 212 are illustrated as partial covers of the front ends 106 of armrests 104. In an alternate embodiment, the front armrest panels 206, 212 may extend lower than shown, or may be sewn to inner and outer panels 208,228 or 210, 128, to wrap underneath armrests 104. The top of seat panel 114 forms a cap with back panel 120 to cover member 202. Preferably, back panel 120 is a folded over extension of seat panel 114.

FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view illustrating the first exemplary towel cover 100 disposed on the first exemplary lawn chair 100, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Exemplary plastic fabric lattice work 302 is fastened to members 110, 112, 202, 204, and 308 to provide seat 138 and back 122. Armrest cover back panels 304 and 306 are separate from back 122, as the armrests 104 of lawn chair 102 do not move when back 122 reclines. The case where the armrests 104 move when back 122 reclines is discussed in detail below.

FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view illustrating the cross section 4-4 of the first exemplary towel cover 100, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. The cross sectional view ignores chair 102. Side panels 132 may be sewn to seat panel 114. Panels 228, 214, 208, 114, 210, 124, and 128 may be one continuous sheet of fabric. In a preferred embodiment, seat panel 114 is a separate panel and armrest covers 236, 136 are sewn to seat panel 114.

FIG. 4B is a cross-sectional view illustrating an alternate embodiment of cross section 4-4 of the first exemplary towel cover 100, as an alternate to the embodiment of FIG. 1. The cross sectional view ignores chair 102. Side panels 132 may be folds in panel 114 and/or inner armrest panels 208 and 209. Panels 228, 214, 208, 114, 210, 124, 128, and side panels 132 may be one continuous sheet of fabric.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the first exemplary towel cover 100 with the armrest covers 136, 236 folded out, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Inner armrest panels 208 and 210 are visible. The width and length of seat panel 114 is preferably greater than the width and length of lawn chair 102, to allow for side panels 132, overhang 130, and room within the cap formed by seat panel 114 and back panel 120.

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the first exemplary towel cover 100 with the armrest covers 136, 236 folded out, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. Outer armrest panels 228 and 128 are visible in folded over configuration. Back panel 120 is preferably a folded over extension of seat panel 114 and is fastened along the sides by stitching or other conventional means. Snaps, hook-and-loop fasteners, and zippers are disfavored, as they interfere with the use of the towel cover 100 as a towel.

FIG. 7 is a foot-end view of the first exemplary towel cover 100, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1 and FIG. 5. The view in FIG. 7 is of the configuration of FIG. 5, but with the flexible towel cover 100 illustrated as rigid for the purpose of illustrating the structure. Side panels 132 are as in FIG. 4A. Back side panels 702 and 704 are an alternate to sewing the edges of back panel 120 and seat panel 114 directly. The gap between back panel 120 and seat panel 114 receives member 202 and portions of members 112 when installed on a lawn chair 102.

FIG. 8 is a head-end view of the first exemplary towel cover 100, according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. In an alternate embodiment, rear armrest panels 206 and 212 are extended inward to side panels 132, enabling the rear armrest panels 206 and 212 to become garment shoulders when the cap formed by seat panel 114 and back panel 120 is worn on a human head. In such an alternate embodiment, the armrest covers 136, 236 become sleeves.

FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a second exemplary towel cover 900 on a second exemplary lawn chair 902 in a first position, according to an embodiment of the present invention. Lawn chair 902 has an armrest 904 that is rotationally coupled to seat back member 912 so that the armrest 904 moves when the seat back 922 reclines. First armrest support 916 is rotationally coupled to armrest 904 and to seat side member 910. Second armrest support 918 is likewise pivotably coupled to member 910 and to armrest 904. In a preferred embodiment, second armrest support 918 is a portion of seat back member 912. Armrest cover 936 is coupled to a seat-back portion of seat panel 914, such that the armrest cover 936 may be pulled back when seat back 922 reclines. Armrest cover 936, as well as towel cover 900, is preferably made of a stretch fabric, such as stretch terry cloth. Outer panel 928 and its corresponding inner panel (not shown) will change shape when the seat back 922 reclines. In a particular embodiment, the portion of stretch terry engaging the

The front end 906 of armrest 904 is covered by front panel 932 of armrest cover 936, in a similar fashion to front panels 212 and 214. In a particular embodiment, the portion of cover 900 engaging the underside of front panel 932 may be reinforced with additional layers of fabric. Rear end 908 of armrest 904 is covered by rear end panel 930.

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the second exemplary towel cover 900 on the second exemplary lawn chair 902 in a second position, according to the embodiment of the FIG. 9. FIG. 10 illustrates the changed shape of armrest cover, and outer panel 928 in particular, when the seat back 922 is reclined.

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of the second exemplary towel cover 900, according to the embodiment of FIG. 10. Armrest inner panels 1102 and 1104 have extensions, as compared to towel cover 100, linking armrest inner panels 1102 and 1104 to a portion of the seat panel 114 which covers a lower portion of the seat back 922. Such extensions allow the armrest covers 936 and 1136 to move with the reclining seat back 922.

FIG. 12 is a bottom plan view of the second exemplary towel cover 900, according to the embodiment of FIG. 10. Armrest outer panels 928 and 1202 of armrest covers 936 and 1136 are coextensive with armrest inner panels 1102 and 1104, respectively.

FIG. 13 is a foot-end view of the second exemplary towel cover 900, according to the embodiment of FIG. 10, and is similar to FIG. 7 as to structure, except for back end armrest panels 930 (underside viewed), which connect across inner and outer panels 1102, 1202 and 928, 1104 along the extended edges thereof.

FIG. 14 is a head-end view of the second exemplary towel cover 900, according to the embodiment of FIG. 10. Back end armrest panels 930 can be directly seen. The second exemplary towel cover 900 is adapted to lawn chairs 900 that having armrests 904 that move when seat back 922 reclines. In both exemplary embodiments, both the front ends 106, 906 and the rear ends 108, 908 are covered.

Depending on the sewing pattern used, the various panels of towel cover 100 may be a single continuous piece of fabric, or any number of pieces of fabric, sewn into the shape described. In addition to sewn seams, adhesive, heat-welding, or ultrasonic welding may be used to connect the panels, as long as the basic functionality of a soft usable towel is maintained.

Back panel 120 may be a shallow pocket, or may extend down the back of lawn chair 102 optionally as far as to the ground. Any of the seams or edges of towel cover 900 may be elasticized to assist towel cover 900 to stay on lawn chair 102. In particular, the lower edge of back panel 120 may be elasticized to fit towel cover 100 onto the back 122 of lawn chair 102. In an additional embodiment, the edges of seat panel 114 are elasticized to hold towel 100 onto the seat portion of lawn chair 120. In an additional embodiment, armrest cover outer panels 928 are elasticized to hold towel cover 900 onto the armrests 904 of lawn chair 902.

In another preferred embodiment, fabric ties are provided to secure towel cover 900 to lawn chair 902. In yet another preferred embodiment, fabric ties are provided to secure various panels of towel cover 900 to each other for fitting towel cover 900 to lawn chair 902. In an additional embodiment, fabric ties may hold towel cover 900 onto the seat portion 938 of lawn chair 902. In an additional embodiment, arm outer panel 928 uses fabric ties to hold towel cover 900 onto the armrest 904 of lawn chair 902. The use of fabric ties must not compromise the complete coverage of lawn chair 902 in order to prevent burns to the user caused by exposed areas of lawn chair 902.

Towel covers 100, 900 may comprise colors, indicia, woven patterns, textures, etc., as are known in the art of bath and beach towels. Preferably, towel cover 100, 900 is a light color in order to stay cooler in the sun.

Towel cover 100, 900 may be provided as part of a kit. Preferably, a kit comprises towel cover 100, 900 and at least one of: one or more lawn chairs 102, 902; sunscreen; sunglasses; a storage case or pouch; packaging; instructions; a surf board; a bathing suit; a cooler; etc.

Towel cover 100, 900 may be provided with accoutrements such as: one or more pockets; one or more pillows or pads; a built-in storage pouch for folding towel cover 100, 900 into; additional panels for covering the user while the user is seated; or other additions, as long as the basic functionality of a soft usable towel is maintained.

While at least one exemplary embodiment has been presented in the foregoing detailed description, it should be appreciated that a vast number of variations exist. It should also be appreciated that the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments are only examples, and are not intended to limit the scope, applicability, or configuration of the invention in any way. Rather, the foregoing detailed description will provide those skilled in the art with a convenient road map for implementing the exemplary embodiment or exemplary embodiments. It should be understood that various changes can be made in the function and arrangement of elements without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims and the legal equivalents thereof.