HAWKINS-MAXWELL, Victoria, Lynn (2124 Edington Place, El Dorado Hills, CA, 95762, US)
|What is claimed is:
1. A landscape/erosion control apparatus, comprising: a support structure; and a plurality of splines extending from the support structure; wherein at least a portion of the support structure is textured or otherwise roughened-up to create an increased-friction surface of the support structure.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the support structure is landscape fabric.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the splines are attached to the support structure at approximately every two inches.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the increased-friction surface is formed by sanding.
5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein a drum sander is used to form the increased- friction surface.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the increased-friction surface is formed by folding the support structure a plurality of times and rubbing the folded support structure against itself.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the increased-friction surface is created by blowing fibers of organic or non-organic materials onto the increased-friction surface.
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the fibers are formed by spun-blown, spun- lace, or melt-blown processes.
9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein blowing or shooting threaded fiber like materials is used to roughen the increased-friction surface.
10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the increased-friction surface includes loose fibers extending in a plurality of directions.
This application is being filed on 7 October 2009, as a PCT International Patent application in the name of Slope Hugger, LLC, a U.S. Limited Liability Company, applicant for the designation of all countries except the US, and Victoria Lynn Hawkins-Maxwell, a citizen of the U.S., applicant for the designation of the US only.
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 61/103,940 filed on October 9, 2008, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
 This application is related to U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/692,941 filed on October 24, 2003, now U.S. Patent No. 7,001,111, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Figure 1 is a perspective view of an example landscape/erosion control apparatus.
 U.S. Patent No. 7,001,111 discloses an improved erosion control system that has a field of spines disposed on a support structure. The spines capture landscaping material that is placed on top of the erosion control system, hiding the landscape/erosion control system. The spines are arranged in relation to each other and to the lower support structure such that spaces exist between most of the distal portions of the spines, and the spines are relatively stiff such that the distal ends of the spines stand away from the lower support structure when in a rest position to capture the landscape material.
 Referring now to Figure 1, an example landscape/erosion control apparatus 100 is shown. The apparatus 100 is similar to those disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 7,001,111, with noted exceptions below.
 The apparatus 100 is a polypropylene-based commercial landscape fabric 104 with splines 102 attached to the fabric approximately every 2 inches. The rows of the splines 102 are offset in each row and the edge on one side of the fabric 104 is without splines 102 in order to join two or more rows together when applied and stapled to the ground. The splines 102 of the apparatus 100 are effective with all types of mulch, hay or like landscape materials.
 The apparatus 100 includes a surface 110 of the fabric 104 that is textured or otherwise roughened-up to create an increased-friction surface of the landscape fabric 104. This roughened surface 110 can hold smaller pieces of landscape material (e.g., mulch that is less than 1 inch long), while the splines 102 hold the larger particles. This double friction trap improves the outcome of trapping landscape materials, such as mulch, to the fabric 104 and minimizes erosion of the landscape materials.  In some embodiments, the roughened surface 110 is created by sanding one side of the base landscape fabric 104 to loosen the fibers after or during the manufacturing process. In one example, a drum sander is used to roughen up the surface 110 of the fabric 104. In other examples, a comb/brush type apparatus or any rough surface material rotated or rubbed repeatedly onto the surface 110 can be used to create the surface 110. In other examples, the fabric 104 can be folded on itself a plurality of times and the surface 110 rubbed against itself to create the desired rough surface 110.
 hi yet another example, the roughened surface 110 is created by blowing fibers of organic or non-organic materials, such as polypropylene, polyester or other like materials, to the base of the fabric. In the process of making the base fabric 104, technologies include, spun-blown, spun-lace and melt-blown. This additional process could be added to the base fabric 104 once the initial manufacturing process is completed. Blowing or shooting light, threaded fiber like materials can be used to roughen the base fabric 104 under the splines 102 to hold the smaller particles of landscape material.
 hi a preferred embodiment, the resulting surface 110 of the fabric 104 has loose fibers extending in a plurality of directions. After this surface 110 is created, the splines 102 can be attached to the same surface 110 of the fabric 104.  The various embodiments described above are provided by way of illustration only and should not be construed to limiting. Various modifications and changes that may be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the true spirit and scope of the disclosure.
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