|1.||A fabric for drapery in which a plurality of the threads of the fabric is formed into a series of loops on one side of the fabric to create a pattern of loops so that one or more cords, clips or threads can be passed through some or all of the loops to enable the fabric to be rucked into a predetermined drapery arrangement.|
|2.||A fabric as claimed in Claim 1, in which each of said threads comprises two yarn filaments, one of which is interlaced with the other threads of the fabric in accordance with the structural pattern of the fabric, and the other of which is left free of the structure of the fabric at predetermined positions for a predetermined length to form the series of loops.|
|3.||A fabric as claimed in Claim 2, in which each of the yarn filaments forming the loops is of a thicker gauge than the other yarn filaments interlaced with the other threads of the fabric.|
|4.||A fabric as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 3, in which the fabric is woven and the looping threads comprise warp threads of the fabric.|
|5.||A fabric as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 4, in which the loops are arranged in pairs.|
|6.||A fabric as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 5, in which the loops or pairs of loops are spaced evenly across both the warp and the weft directions of the fabric.|
|7.||A fabric as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, in which the loops or pairs of loops are spaced further apart in the weft direction than they are in the warp direction of the fabric as woven.|
|8.||A fabric as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 7, in which the other side of the fabric is bonded to the reverse side of a second fabric.|
|9.||A fabric as claimed in any one of Claims 1 to 9, in which the loops are fastened together to make a permanently rucked drapery arrangement.|
|10.||A fabric for drapery substantially as described herein with reference to the accompanying drawings.|
The present invention relates to fabric for use in making drapery, particularly drapery that it is desired to ruck into a predetermined arrangement.
In order to produce curtains or valances which are to be rucked into a pattern, for example to make folding blinds or pleated drapes, a means has to be found of enabling the material to fold or pleat neatly into the desired arrangement. Conveniently, this is done by attaching lengths of tape to the material at regular intervals, which tape has a thread protruding therefrom to form a regular series of loops. Cords are then threaded through some or all of the loops so that when the cords are pulled, the fabric is rucked into the desired pattern.
For example, to make a folding blind of the type known as a "Roman" blind, in which the material is horizontally taut and folds into a series of horizontal pleats when the blind is drawn up, loop tapes as described above are stitched horizontally across the back side of the material at regular intervals equal to the width of one complete horizontal pleat of the material when the blind is fully drawn up. The position of the loops on the tape must be arranged on the material so that the loops line up vertically down the length of the blind. Cords are then attached to tape at the lowest edge of the blind and threaded vertically upwards through the loops so that each cord passes through one loop of each horizontal tape to the top of the blind, where all the cords are gathered to form a bundle. This bundle is threaded horizontally through a header tape to one side of the blind so that when it is pulled each of the cords is drawn upwards through the
loop. The lower edge of the blind is thus forced to rise and the blind folds, like a fan, with a series of horizontal pleats as the blind is raised.
It will be appreciated that to achieve this effect, considerable skill has to be exercised by the person making the blind. The position of the tapes on the material is critical as it is necessary for the tapes to be sewn on accurately in a parallel relationship with one another and in the correct orientation with respect to the material. Additionally, it is important that the loops line up as previously mentioned. In the production of even more intricately folding drapery and to produce complex rouched effects even more skill is required to position the tapes correctly.
The object of the present invention is to provide a fabric for use in making drapery to be rucked into a predetermined arrangement which obviates the need for looped tapes to be attached thereto.
According to the present invention there is provided a fabric for drapery in which a plurality of the threads of the fabric is formed into a series of loops on one side of the fabric to create a pattern of loops so that one or more cords, clips or threads can be passed through some or all of the loops to enable the fabric to be rucked into a predetermined drapery arrangement.
Preferably, each of said threads comprises two yarn filaments, one of which is interlaced with the other threads of the fabric in accordance with the structural pattern of the fabric, and the other of which is left free of the structure of the fabric at predetermined positions for a predetermined length to form the series
of l oops .
Preferably also, each of the yarn filaments forming the loops is of a thicker gauge than the other yarn filaments interlaced with the other threads of the fabric.
Preferably also, the fabric is woven and the looping threads comprise warp threads of the fabric.
The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-
Figure 1 shows a length of fabric in accordance with the invention;
Figure 2 is a view, to an enlarged scale, of a pair of loops shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a perspective view of a Roman blind made from fabric in accordance with the invention;
Figure 4 is a perspective view of an Austrian blind made from fabric in accordance with the invention;
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a rucked valance;
Figure 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the valance shown in Figure 5.
Figure 7 is a front view of a smocked effect, cushion panel ;
Figure 8 is a diagrammatic view of a piece of fabric in accordance with the invention showing the
rucking required to produce the smocked effect shown in Figure 7;
Figure 9 is a front view of another rucked valance; and
Figure 10 is a diagrammatic view of the reverse side of the valance shown in Figure 9 illustrating the rucking required to produce the decorative effect shown in Figure 9 .
With reference to Figures 1 and 2, the fabric 1 is an even weave fabric and can be woven on a conventional dobby loom. However at regular intervals across the weft of the fabric 1 a plurality of the warp threads 2 are made up of two yarn filaments 3, 4. In this preferred example, pairs of these warp threads 2 approximately 1/8" apart are arranged to occur about 5" apart across the weft of the fabric 1. This means that in a fabric of 63" width there are 13 rows of these pairs of warp threads 2 arranged evenly across the fabric, with the end pairs 5 1.5" in from each edge 6 of the fabric 1.
As is shown more clearly in Figure 2, one 3 of the two yarn filaments 3, 4 making up these special warp threads 2 is interlaced with the weft threads of the fabric 1 in accordance with the weave of the fabric 1.
However, the other filament 4 is left free of the structure of the fabric 1 at predetermined positions along its length for a predetermined distance so that it forms a series of loops 7 along the warp of the fabric
1. In the fabric 1 of this example, the warp filaments 4 are formed into loops at regular intervals of 4" down the warp so that the loops 7 form rows across the weft of the fabric 1 and the overall pattern of the loops 7 is that of a criss-cross. It will be appreciated,
however, that any predetermined pattern of loops 7 can be formed in the fabric 1.
The yarn filaments 3, which are woven into the fabric 1, are preferably the same type of filament as the rest of the warp threads making up the fabric, both in material and gauge. However, the filaments 4 forming the loops 7, are preferably of a thicker gauge then the rest of the warp threads and may be of a different material. The loops 7 should be formed on the back or "wrong" side of the fabric 1 so that, as a result of the warp filaments 3 being woven into the fabric 1 in accordance with its weave, there are no holes or variations in the weave of the fabric 1, when viewed from the front or "right" side.
It will be appreciated that the fabric 1 of the invention can be made from either natural or synthetic fibres according to the drapery that is to be made up from it. As is conventional, the fabric 1 can be made from pre-dyed yarn or yarns, or be dyed or printed after being woven. The fabric 1 may also be calendered.
Alternatively, the fabric 1 can be used as a backing or a lining for other material from which it is desired to make the drapery. In this case, the "front" side of the fabric 1 is preferably bonded to the back side of the drapery material so that the loops are left free. This bonding can be accomplished using any known process and would typically involve the application of an adhesive to the "front" side of the fabric 1, which would then be covered by the drapery material and bonded thereto by the application of pressure and heat. Such a process is capable of being carried out as part of a mass production process or on a custom made basis for any given length of drapery material required.
It will be appreciated that there are several advantages to bonding the fabric 1 to a drapery material. First, it means that the fabric 1 can be produced cheaply from inexpensive yarn; secondly, as some yarns are not suitable for use in the manufacture of the fabric 1, material made from these yarns can still be used for drapery and rucked by using fabric according to the invention as a backing cloth; and thirdly it extends the advantages of the invention for use in drapery to any other fabric.
Preferably, as the loops 7 are arranged to lie along the warp of the fabric 1, then when cords are to be employed passing through the loops 7 to operate blinds and the like, the fabric 1 is used so that the loops 7 lie perpendicular to the line of the cords. This means, in practice, that when the fabric 1 is used for drapery it is turned through 90° with respect to conventional fabric, with the warp threads lying substantially horizontally and the weft threads substantially vertically. For this reason, it may be convenient to produce fabric 1 which is wider than conventional fabric, for example with widths of 65" and 100" to cope with most "lengths" of material required for drapery such as curtains and blinds.
It should also be appreciated that the loops 7 are provided in pairs across the weft of the fabric 1 to give strength to the rucked arrangement it is desired to achieve. In this way the force exerted on the fabric when the loop 7 is pulled by an operating cord or clip is spread over the area occupied by the pair of loops 7, which are effectively treated as a single loop. However, with some fabrics or applications, pairs of loops 7 may not be necessary or desirable and the double warp threads 2 can be evenly spaced across the weft of the
fabr i c 1 .
Turning now to Figure 3, this shows a "Roman" blind made from a piece 8 of fabric 1, as shown in Figures 1 and 2. The blind is made by cutting the piece 8 with appropriate dimensions for the window area to be covered, the weft of the fabric 1 being arranged to run along the vertical axis of the blind and the warp along the horizontal axis of the blind. The edges 9 and bottom 10 of the piece 8 are hemmed in the usual way and a heading tape (not shown) is attached as is conventional. However, unlike a conventional blind, it is not necessary to stitch tape to the back side of the piece 8 to retain operating cords, the loops 7 in the fabric 1 are employed instead.
Operating cords or draw strings 11 are then attached to the bottom 10 of the piece 8 and passed vertically upwards so that each cord 11 passes through every other pair of loops 7A formed in the piece 8. Each of the cords 11 thus passes through the first two loops 7A formed by adjacent pairs of loops 7 in the piece 8, does not pass through the next pair of loops 7B hidden in the folds of the piece 8, then passes through the next two loops 7A and so on up the vertical length of the blind. At the top of the blind, all of the cords 11 are gathered into a bundle and attached to a conventional operating mechanism (not shown) for the blind.
It will be appreciated, that to raise the blind, as shown in Figure 3, the bundle of cords 11 is pulled so that each cord 11 is pulled upwards through the loops 7A and the bottom 10 of the blind is forced to rise. Because of the way in which the cords pass through some of the looks 7A, these loops 7A are drawn towards each
other and the piece 8 of fabric fold into pleats 12 with the loops 7B free from the cords 11 located at the centre of the folds of the pleats 12. This arrangement of loops 7A and cords 11 means that each of the pleat 12 is made up of a width of fabric 1 equivalent to twice the distance between adjacent pairs of loops 7 across the weft of the fabric 1. Thus for fabric wherein the pairs of loops 7 are spaced 5" apart across the weft of the fabric 1, each pleat 12 is made up of 10" of fabric in all. Naturally, this can be varied in different fabrics if required.
When the blind is let down, by releasing the cords
11, the bottom 10 of the blind descends and the pleats 12 f ll out so that both the piece 8 become flat, the cords 11 again running through the loops 7A and lying parallel with the piece 8.
If instead of a Roman blind it is desired to produce an "Austrian" blind, as shown in Figure 4, instead, then the arrangement of the cords 11 and the loops 7 can be altered. In an Austrian blind, the heading tape is used to gather the blind horizontally into a series of vertical pleats 14. Additionally, the blind is gathered into swags 15 by the operating cords
(not shown) as the blind is raised. This effect is achieved by passing each of the operating cords, which are regularly spaced horizontally across the blind, through each pair of loops vertically down the blind. Thus, as the blind is raised, the fabric is forced to pleat and form the swags 15 as shown in Figure 4.
Apart from using the fabric according to the invention to make blinds and other forms of rucked drapery by passing cords through the loops 7, it is also possible to employ conventional drapery clips to fasten
pairs of loops 7 together. Thread or yarn could also be used instead of clips.
Figure 5 shows one of the many effects that can be achieved by rucking the fabric using clips passing through the loops to produce a fixed predetermined arrangement, in this case a rouched or swagged valance
As shown in Figure 6, this effect is achieved by making up a valance 16 in the usual way by stitching a conventional heading tape 17 to a short length of fabric 18 according to the invention. The fabric 18 is again arranged so that the weft threads hang vertically downwards and the warp threads lie horizontally across the valance. This means that the pairs of loops 7 also lie horizontally. At regular intervals across the width of the valance 16 some of the pairs of loops lying in a vertical line down the valance 16 are clipped together using a conventional drapery clip 23.
To obtain the swagged effect shown in Figure 5, the first two pairs of loops 19 beneath the heading tape 17 are clipped to the next but one pair of loops 20 and the next but two pairs of loops 21 and so on down the length of the valance so that a series of pleats 22 of increasing depth is formed. Thus, when the valance is gathered and hung using the heading tape 17, a series of rucked swags is formed.
Figure 7 shows a smocked cushion panel using fabric 25, as shown in Figure 8, in which single loops 26 are spaced evenly both along the warp and the weft directions of the fabric 25. The smocked effect is achieved by clipping or preferably stitching together pairs of the loops as indicated in Figure 8 by the
arrows. Similarly, permanently smocked panels can also be used for clothing in jackets and skirts and the loops fastened together using thread by a machine bar tacker on the production line.
A similar smocked effect is shown in Figure 9 on the central panel 27 of a rucked valance 28 between a heading tape 29 and an attached bottom frill 30. Here, the loops 31 are arranged in pairs and the effect is achieved as shown in Figure 10 by connecting two pairs of the evenly spaced loops 31 together as indicated by the arrows. As with the cushion panel, the loops 31 can be connected by clipping or stitched threads but for a valance clips are more suitable. To produce a unified effect, the smocking of the valance can also be echoed on selected areas of a blind or a curtain to be used with it.
Thus it can be seen that the fabric of the invention enables drapery to be made which can be rucked into any predetermined arrangement. In fact, it is possible to change the arrangement as desired after the fabric has been made up simply by varying the loops through which the or which are clipped together. This facility is not possible with conventional rucking means such as tapes, which must be sewn on to fabric accurately according to the one arrangement it is desired to create. Hence, use of fabric according to the invention also has the advantages of permitting flexibility in the rucking arrangements it is possible to make, of obviating the need for tape and the effort required to sew it on, and of the speed with which the rucking effects can be achieved with respect to conventional means.