Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
EMBOSSED MULTI-PLY TISSUE PRODUCTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/177957
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed are embossed, multi-ply tissue products having consumer preferred physical properties and an aesthetically pleasing appearance. The products may comprise a first embossed tissue ply and a second embossed tissue ply arranged in facing relation and defining an interior portion there between, the first ply comprising a plurality of first embossments oriented towards the interior portion of the product and the second ply comprising a plurality of second embossments oriented away from the interior portion. The products generally have improved sheet bulk, such as a sheet bulk greater than about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g), and improved softness, such as an Average TS7 less than about 12.0.

Inventors:
KRUCHOSKI BENJAMIN J (US)
BUYESKE JOSPEH W (US)
SIERRA BENJAMIN P (US)
AVERY MEGAN E (US)
LOCY SCOTT C (US)
WATSON BRYAN (US)
JOBS DENNIS M (US)
HAMMETT DAVID (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2020/021074
Publication Date:
September 10, 2021
Filing Date:
March 05, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KIMBERLY CLARK CO (US)
International Classes:
A47K10/16; B31F1/07; D21H27/02; D21H27/40
Foreign References:
CN110359319A2019-10-22
JP2010148803A2010-07-08
US5846636A1998-12-08
CN103350527A2013-10-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SULLIVAN, Michael J. et al. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. An embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising a first embossed tissue ply and a second embossed tissue ply arranged in facing relation and defining an interior portion there between, the first ply comprising a plurality of first embossments oriented towards the interior portion of the product and the second ply comprising a plurality of second embossments oriented away from the interior portion of the product.

2. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 1 having a basis weight from about 20 to about 60 grams per square meter (gsm) and a sheet bulk of about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g) or greater.

3. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 1 wherein the first embossments comprise line elements.

4. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 3 wherein the first embossments are free from dot embossments and cover from about 10 to about 30 percent of the first ply surface area.

5. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 4 wherein the first embossments comprise wave-like linear elements.

6. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 1 wherein the second embossments are dot embossments wherein at least one of the embossments has a shape selected from the group consisting of circles, squares, rectangles, diamonds, and combinations thereof.

7. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 6 wherein the dot embossments are arranged to form wave-like linear elements.

8. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 1 wherein the second embossments are substantially free from line emboss elements and cover from about 5 to about 10 percent of the second ply surface area.

9. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 1 wherein the first and second tissue plies are adhesively bonded to one another at a plurality of bonded regions.

10. An embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising a first tissue ply and a second tissue ply arranged in facing relation and defining an interior portion there between, the first tissue ply comprising a plurality of first embossments oriented towards the interior portion of the product and the second tissue ply comprising a plurality of second embossments oriented away from the interior portion of the product, wherein the first tissue ply has a geometric mean tensile strength that is at least about 20 percent greater than the geometric mean tensile (GMT) strength of the second tissue ply.

11 . The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 wherein the product has a GMT from about 700 to about 1 ,200 g/3”.

12. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 wherein the first tissue ply has a GMT greater than about 500 g/3” and the second tissue ply has a GMT less than about 500 g/3”.

13. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 wherein the first tissue ply has a MD Tensile greater than about 750 g/3” and the second tissue ply has a MD Tensile less than about 550 g/3”.

14. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 having a basis weight from about 20 to about 60 grams per square meter (gsm) and a sheet bulk greater than about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g).

15. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 wherein the first embossments consist essentially of line emboss elements and the second embossments consist essentially of dot emboss elements.

16. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 10 wherein the second embossments are substantially free from line emboss elements and cover from about 5 to about 10 percent of the second ply surface area.

17. An embossed multi-ply tissue product having a first and a second outer surface comprising: a. a first embossed tissue ply having plurality of first embossments formed as depressions and having an embossment plane lying below the surface plane of the first outer surface; and b. a second embossed tissue ply having a plurality of second embossments formed as protrusions and having an embossment plane lying above the surface plane of the second outer surface.

18. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 17 wherein the first outer surface of the tissue product has a TS7 value that is at least about 10 percent greater than the TS7 value of the second outer surface of the tissue product.

19. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 17 wherein the first embossed tissue ply has a GMT greater than about 500 g/3” and the second embossed tissue ply has a GMT less than about 500 g/3” and the difference in GMT between the two plies is at least about 20 percent.

0. The embossed multi-ply tissue product of claim 17 wherein the first embossments consist essentially of line emboss elements and the second embossments consist essentially of dot emboss elements.

Description:
EMBOSSED MULTI-PLY TISSUE PRODUCTS

BACKGROUND

In the manufacture of paper products, particularly tissue products, it is generally desirable to provide an aesthetically pleasing final product with as much bulk as possible without compromising other product attributes, including softness, flexibility, absorbency, hand feel, and durability. However, most papermaking machines operating today utilize a process known as "wet-pressing”. In "wet-pressing” a large amount of water is removed from the newly formed web of paper by mechanically pressing water out of the web in a pressure nip. A disadvantage of the pressing step is that it densities the web, thereby decreasing the bulk and absorbency of the sheet. One problem encountered in the past by first wet web pressing and/or then dry embossing is the difficulty in obtaining a tissue basesheet with good functionality, such as absorbency and softness, in combination with a pleasant appearance. This wet pressing step, while an effective dewatering means, compresses the web and causes a marked reduction in web thickness, thus reducing bulk. In addition, using embossing to apply signature designs to a dry web generally results in a paper product that is gritty to hand feel, stiffer at the pattern edges, and with decreased absorbency.

Alternatives to wet-pressing such as through-air drying generally subject the web to less compression during manufacturing. For example, through-air drying typically involves forming a wet web from a papermaking furnish on a forming media, such as a forming fabric or wire. Then, the wet web is transferred to a permeable through-air-drying fabric around an open drum and non-compressively dried by passing hot air through the web while in intimate contact with the fabric. Through-air drying is a preferred method of drying a web because it avoids the compressive force of the dewatering step used in the conventional wet press method of tissue making. The resulting web optionally may be transferred to a Yankee dryer for creping. Such processes are typically referred to as creped through-air dried (CTAD). Because the web is substantially dry when transferred to the Yankee dryer, the process does not densify the sheet as much as the wet press process, however, embossing may still be needed to provide a tissue product having consumer preferred sheet bulk and designs. As with wet pressed webs, embossing has the drawback of a product that is gritty to hand feel, stiffer at the pattern edges, and with decreased absorbency.

An alternative to CTAD is the uncreped through-air dried (UCTAD) process described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,591 ,309 and 5,593,545. By eliminating the creping step, the resulting web has relatively high bulk, good compressibility, and high resiliency, with the attendant benefits of increased absorbency and improved fiber utilization. While the web's improved bulk and resiliency may be desirable traits from a consumer perspective, they make the web difficult to emboss. Often patterns imparted by embossing an UCTAD web are poorly defined and fade over time as the resilient web relaxes.

Because it is poorly suited to embossing, tissue makers wishing to create UCTAD webs with design motifs have often resorted to using patterned through-air drying fabrics. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,749,719 and 7,624,765 disclose fabrics useful in the formation of tissue webs having design elements using the UCTAD process. While these fabrics may provide webs having design elements, they also impart the web with an overall textured background pattern. Thus, it may be difficult to discern the design elements. Further, the addition of design elements to the through-air drying fabrics reduces their air permeability, which in turn reduces manufacturing efficiency.

Accordingly, there remains a need in the art for imparting molded through-air dried webs with an embossing design without negatively affecting the web's physical properties or the efficiency with which the webs are manufactured. There also remains a need for an embossing method, particularly a method for embossing high bulk, molded through-air dried tissue webs that provides both an aesthetically appealing multi-ply product and improved sheet bulk.

SUMMARY

The present inventors have now discovered that an embossed multi-ply tissue product having a high degree of bulk and softness may be achieved by providing both the bottom and top plies of a multi ply product with embossments. More particularly, the inventors have discovered that the bottom ply may be provided with a plurality of embossments that protrude from the bottom ply surface plane. Thus, unlike prior art tissue products having bottom ply embossments, which are oriented towards the inner, portion of the product, the instant products have embossments that protrude and are contacted by a user in use. Despite having a bottom ply with protruding embossments, the tissue products of the present invention have a high degree of softness.

Flence in one embodiment, the present invention provides an embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising a first embossed tissue ply and a second embossed tissue ply arranged in facing relation and defining an interior portion there between. The embossments of the first tissue ply are oriented towards an interior portion of the product and the embossments of the second tissue ply are oriented away from the interior portion. In certain instances, the first and second embossed tissue plies are attached to one another by an adhesive disposed between the interior oriented embossments of the first ply and the second embossed tissue ply.

The inventive multi-ply tissue products generally have improved sheet bulk, such as a sheet bulk greater than about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g), and improved softness, such as an Average TS7 less than about 12.0 and more preferably less than about 11.0, such as from about 10.0 to about 12.0. The foregoing Average TS7 values may be obtained at a product geometric mean tensile strength (GMT) from about 800 to about 1 ,200 g/3”, such as from about 800 to about 1 ,000 g/3”. Thus, the inventive tissue products are both strong enough to withstand use and soft enough for everyday use.

In another embodiment the present invention provides a multi-ply tissue product comprising first and second embossed tissue plies arranged in facing arrangement and defining an interior portion there between. The first embossed tissue ply comprises a plurality of line embossments, which in certain embodiments are discrete, oriented towards the interior portion of the tissue product. In this manner the embossments are depressions lying below the surface plane of the first ply. The second embossed tissue ply comprises a plurality of discrete embossments, which in certain embodiments are dot embossments, oriented away from the interior portion of the tissue product. In this manner the embossments on the second ply protrude outwardly from the surface plane of the ply and may be contacted by a user in use.

In another embodiment, the present invention provides an embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising a first embossed tissue ply having a molded topographical pattern and a plurality of line embossments; a second embossed tissue ply having a molded topographical pattern and a plurality of dot embossments, wherein the dot embossments protrude outward. In certain embodiments the embossed multi-ply tissue product has a basis weight from about 20 to about 60 grams per square meter (gsm) and a sheet bulk greater than about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g).

In another embodiment, the present invention provides a method of manufacturing a high bulk embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising the steps of: (a) providing a first and a second tissue ply having a molded topographical pattern; (b) conveying the first tissue ply through a first embossing nip formed between a first backing roll and a first engraved embossing roll; (c) embossing a first embossed pattern onto the first ply, the first embossed pattern consisting essentially of line emboss elements; (d) conveying a second tissue ply through a second embossing nip formed between a second backing roll and a second engraved embossing roll; (e) embossing a second embossed pattern onto the second ply, the second embossed pattern consisting essentially of a plurality of dot emboss elements; and conveying the first and second tissue plies through a third nip formed between the first engraved embossing roll and a marrying roll to bring the first and second plies into facing arrangement with one another; wherein the first and second embossing patterns are arranged such that when the first and second plies are brought into facing arrangement to form a multi-ply tissue product having an interior space between the first and second plies, the dot embossments are oriented away from the interior space. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a multi-ply embossed tissue product according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an embossing pattern useful in the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of an embossing pattern useful in the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of another embossing pattern useful in the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a schematic view of an embossing process useful in preparing tissue products according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 6 - 9 are top plan views of embossing patterns used to prepare various tissue product samples described herein;

FIG. 10 is a graph comparing the sheet bulk of various inventive tissue products; and

FIG. 11 illustrates preparation of a sample for testing using a tissue softness analyzer as described in the Test Methods section below.

DEFINITIONS

As used herein the term "Basesheet” refers to tissue web formed by any one of the papermaking processes described herein but has not been subjected to further processing to convert the sheet into a finished product, such as embossing, calendering, perforating, plying, folding, or rolling into individual rolled products.

As used herein the term "Tissue Product” refers to products made from tissue webs and includes bath tissues, facial tissues, paper towels, industrial wipers, foodservice wipers, napkins, medical pads, and other similar products. Tissue products may comprise one, two, three or more plies.

As used herein the term "Ply” refers to a discrete tissue web used to form a tissue product. Individual plies may be arranged in facing relation to each other such that adjacent plies contact one another.

As used therein, the term "Background Pattern” generally refers to a predominant overall pattern disposed on one surface of a tissue product, such as a molded topographical pattern or an embossed pattern.

As used herein, the term "Surface Plane” generally refers to the plane of the predominant surface of an object, such as the surface of an engraved embossing roll or the surface of a tissue ply or product. As used herein the term "Continuous" when referring to an element disposed on the surface of a tissue product, such as a linear element, a design element or a pattern, means that the element extends throughout one dimension of the tissue product surface.

As used herein the term "Discrete" when referring to an element disposed on the surface of a tissue product, such as a line emboss element, a dot emboss element, a molded element, or a pattern, means that the element is visually unconnected from other elements.

As used herein, the term "Embossing Pattern” generally refers to arrangement of one or more design elements on the surface of a tissue product, resulting from the tissue product being conveyed through a nip comprising an engraved embossing roll. The design elements may be discrete, semi- continuous or continuous and may comprise a line emboss element, a dot emboss element, or combinations thereof. The embossing pattern generally comprises a portion of the tissue product lying out of plane with the surface plane of the tissue product.

As used herein the term "Dot Embossment" generally refers to an embossment having a ratio of embossment length, measured along the longest dimension of the embossment, to embossment width, measured along the shortest dimension of the embossment, of about 1 :1 . Non-limiting examples of dot embossments are embossments that are shaped like circles, squares, rectangles or diamonds. A plurality of spaced apart dot embossments that are substantially visually connected may form a linear element despite the embossments being spaced apart from one another.

A used herein the term "Line Embossment” generally refers to an embossment having a ratio of embossment length, measured along the longest dimension of the embossment, to embossment width, measured along the shortest dimension of the embossment, of greater than 1 .

As used herein, the term "Embossment Plane” generally refers to the plane formed by the upper surface of the depressed portion of the tissue product forming the embossment. In certain embodiments the tissue product of the present invention may have a single embossing element plane, while in other embodiments the structure may have multiple embossing element planes. The embossing element plane may be determined by imaging a cross-section of the tissue product and drawing a line tangent to the upper most surface of an embossment where the line is generally parallel to the x-axis of the tissue product.

As used herein the terms "Protuberance” and "Embossing Element” generally refer to any protuberance, boss, lug, finger, head, step, surface, or the like, disposed on the surface of a roll and having a z-directional height when measured from the axis of the roll, or some other common reference point. Generally, the height is measured from the "base surface” of the roll, which is understood to be the peripheral surface of the roll having the least radial height when measured from the axis of the roll, or some other common reference point.

As used herein the term "Basis Weight” (BW) generally refers to the bone-dry weight per unit area of a tissue and is generally expressed as grams per square meter (gsm). Basis weight is measured using TAPPI test method T-220. While basis weight may be varied, tissue products prepared according to the present invention generally have a basis weight greater than about 10 gsm, such as from about 10 to about 80 gsm and more preferably from about 30 to about 60 gsm.

As used herein, the term "Caliper” is the representative thickness of a single sheet (caliper of tissue products comprising two or more plies is the thickness of a single sheet of tissue product comprising all plies) measured in accordance with TAPPI test method T402 using a ProGage 500 Thickness Tester (Thwing-Albert Instrument Company, West Berlin, NJ). The micrometer has an anvil diameter of 2.22 inches (56.4 mm) and an anvil pressure of 132 grams per square inch (per 6.45 square centimeters) (2.0 kPa). The caliper of a tissue product may vary depending on a variety of manufacturing processes and the number of plies in the product, however, tissue products prepared according to the present invention generally have a caliper greater than about 600 pm, more preferably greater than about 700 pm and still more preferably greater than about 800 pm, such as from about 600 to about 900 pm.

As used herein the term "Sheet Bulk” refers to the quotient of the caliper (generally having units of pm) divided by the bone-dry basis weight (generally having units of gsm). The resulting sheet bulk is expressed in cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g). While sheet bulk may vary depending on any one of a number of factors, tissue products prepared according to the present invention may have a sheet bulk greater than about 15.0 cc/g, such as from about 15.0 to about 20.0 cc/g, such as from about 16.0 to about 18.0 cc/g.

As used herein, the term "Geometric Mean Tensile” (GMT) refers to the square root of the product of the machine direction tensile strength and the cross-machine direction tensile strength of the tissue product. While the GMT may vary, tissue products prepared according to the present invention may have a GMT greater than about 700 g/3”, such as from about 700 to about 1 ,400 g/3”, such as from about 800 to about 1 ,200 g/3”.

As used herein, the term "Stretch” generally refers to the ratio of the slack-corrected elongation of a specimen at the point it generates its peak load divided by the slack-corrected gauge length in any given orientation. Stretch is an output of the MTS TestWorks™ in the course of determining the tensile strength as described in the Test Methods section herein. Stretch is reported as a percentage and may be reported for machine direction stretch (MDS), cross-machine direction stretch (CDS) or as geometric mean stretch (GMS), which is the square root of the product of machine direction stretch and cross machine direction stretch. While the stretch of tissue products prepared according to the present invention may vary, in certain embodiments tissue products prepared as disclosed herein have a GMS greater than about 8 percent, more preferably greater than about 10 percent and still more preferably greater than about 12 percent, such as from about 8 to about 14 percent, such as from about 10 to about 12 percent.

As used herein, the terms "TS7” and "TS7 value” refer to the output of the EMTEC Tissue Softness Analyzer (commercially available from Emtec Electronic GmbH, Leipzig, Germany) as described in the Test Methods section. TS7 has units of dB V2 rms, however, TS7 may be referred to herein without reference to units. The TS7 value is the frequency peak that occurs around 6.5 kHz on the noise spectrum graph output from the EMTEC Tissue Softness Analyzer. This peak represents the softness of the sample. Generally, softer samples produce a lower TS7 peak.

As used herein, the term "Average TS7” generally refers to the TS7 value for a first and a second side of a tissue product. In certain embodiments the invention provides an embossed multi-ply tissue product, such as a through-air dried tissue product, having an Average TS7 less than about 12.0 and more preferably less than about 11.0, such as from about 10.0 to about 12.0. The foregoing Average TS7 values may be obtained at a product GMT from about 800 to about 1 ,200 g/3”, such as from about 800 to about 1,000 g/3”.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present inventors have now discovered that multi-ply tissue products having improved softness and sheet bulk may be produced by embossing each of the plies. More particularly, the inventors have discovered that tissue products having improved properties may be produced by providing a first ply with embossments that are oriented towards the interior of the product and a second ply with embossments that are oriented away from the interior so as to protrude from the surface. In certain instances, the first and second embossed tissue plies are attached to one another by an adhesive disposed between the interior oriented embossments and the second embossed tissue ply.

With reference now to FIG. 1, one embodiment of a multi-ply tissue product 100 according to the present invention is illustrated. The tissue product 100 comprises first and second embossed tissue plies 102, 104. The first and second plies 102, 104 are arranged in facing arrangement with one another and form an interior portion 110 there between. While the product of FIG. 1 is illustrated as consisting of only a first and second ply, the invention is not so limited. For example, the tissue product may comprise additional plies disposed between the first and the second plies, such that the first and second plies face one another, but do not contact one another. The first embossed tissue ply 102 comprises a plurality of embossments 106 in the form of depressions oriented towards the interior portion 110. In this manner the embossments 106 are in the form of depressions having a distal end 107 lying in an embossment plane 109 below the surface plane 103 of the first ply 102. An adhesive 112 may be used to attach the first and second plies 102, 104. In certain preferred embodiments, such as illustrated in FIG. 1, the adhesive 112 may be disposed at the distal end 107 of the first ply embossments 106 and brought into contact with the second ply 104 to attach the plies 102, 104.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, the second tissue ply 104 also comprises a plurality of embossments 108, however the embossments 108 are not oriented towards the interior portion 110. Instead, the second ply embossments 108 protrude outward from the second ply surface plane 105. In this manner, the embossments 108 have distal ends 115 oriented away from the interior portion 110 and below the bottom ply surface plane 105. As the second ply embossments 108 protrude outwardly from the second ply surface plane 105 they may be contacted by a user in use.

In certain instances, the embossments disposed on the first and the second plies may differ in at least one regard. For example, the first ply embossments may be in the form of lines and the second ply embossments may be in the form of dots. One particularly preferred first ply embossment is illustrated in FIG. 2. The embossments 106 are arranged in a pattern 130 on the first ply 102 and extend below the surface 122. In this manner the first ply embossments are generally formed as depressions lying below the surface plane. The embossments 106 are arranged to form a pattern comprising a plurality of discrete, curvilinear line elements 132a-132c. The curvilinear line elements 132a-132c, which are wave like in shape, are arranged so as to be visually connected and form a continuous pattern 130 extending from a first edge 135 to a second edge 137 of the first ply 102.

Referring now to FIG. 3, one embodiment of an embossing pattern 140 that may be incorporated into the second ply of a tissue product in accordance with the present invention is illustrated. As shown, the embossing pattern 140 comprises a plurality of dot emboss elements 144a, 144b that are arranged to form the pattern 140. In the illustrated embodiment, the dot emboss elements 144a, 144b are arranged to form spaced apart, continuous, curvilinear elements 142a, 142b having a wave-like shape that is substantially oriented in the machine direction (MD). In those embodiments where one or more of the patterns consist of a wave-like shape, such as a sinusoidal wave, the amplitude may range from about 10 to about 40 mm and still more preferably from about 18 to about 22 mm, and the wavelength may range from about 50 to about 200 mm and still more preferably from about 80 to about 120 mm.

Another embodiment of a dot emboss pattern 140 useful in the present invention is shown in FIG. 4. Like the pattern of FIG. 3, the dot emboss pattern of FIG. 4 is wave-like and comprises a plurality of dot emboss elements 144a, 144b arranged to form spaced apart, continuous, curvilinear elements 142a, 142b. The wave-like pattern 140 of FIG. 4, however, has a shorter period than the wave-like pattern of FIG. 3. Accordingly, in certain embodiments, the second ply may include a dot embossed pattern comprising a plurality of wave-like curvilinear elements having a wavelength from about 50 to about 200 mm, such as from about 80 to about 120 mm.

In addition to curvilinear design elements, particularly wave-like elements such as sine waves, other the dot emboss patterns disposed on the second ply may include other shapes such as zigzag or helix-like designs. In still other embodiments the dot emboss pattern may not be an overall pattern disposed substantially uniformly across the surface of the second tissue ply. Rather, the dot emboss pattern may include additional designs and patterns incorporated into the background pattern.

In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, the dot emboss elements are present at a density from about 10 to about 25 embossments per square centimeter. In other embodiments the density of dot emboss elements present on the second ply may range from about 5 to about 25 embossments per square centimeter, such as from about 7.5 to about 20, such as from about 10 to about 15 embossments per square centimeter. The spacing of dot emboss elements within a given linear element may be varied, as well as the spacing of linear elements relative to one another, to provide for the desired density. For example, in the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, within each linear element the dot emboss elements are spaced about 0.16 cm from the center of one embossment to the center of an adjacent embossment. The distance between adjacent linear elements is about 0.24 cm from the center of one element to the center of an adjacent element. In this embodiment, the embossments themselves have a longest dimension of about 0.14 cm.

In certain embodiments both the spacing between dot emboss elements within a given linear element and dot embossments in adjacent elements may be substantially uniform for a given pattern. In other embodiments the spacing may be varied amongst intra-element dot emboss elements and inter element dot emboss elements. Accordingly, in certain instances the dot emboss element density may be substantially uniform throughout a given pattern and in other instances the density may vary within a given pattern to have areas of higher and lower density.

The various illustrated dot emboss patterns are merely a few examples of patterns that may be used in accordance with the present invention. In certain embodiments the dot embossments are disposed in a pattern such that at least about 2 percent, and more preferably at least about 5 percent, of the tissue surface area is covered by dot embossments. In other embodiments the percentage of the tissue surface area covered by dot embossments may range from about 2 to about 15 percent, such as from about 5 to about 10 percent. In other instances, the size of the pattern created by the dot embossments may be increased and decreased. For example, the density of dot emboss elements within a pattern may range from about 7.5 to about 20, particularly from about 7.5 to about 15 embossments per square centimeter and still achieve a soft and high bulk tissue product according to the present invention. Further, dot emboss elements themselves may take various shapes such as, for example, circles, ovals, diamonds, hexagons, triangles or any other suitable geometric formation. In particularly preferred embodiments the dot emboss elements are circular and have a diameter from about 0.075 to about 0.25 cm.

In certain preferred embodiments the improved tissue product properties may be achieved by embossing the first and second plies with different embossing patterns, such as embossing patterns having different element shapes, size, scale or density. The use of two different embossing patterns not only improves the properties of the tissue product but may also be used to impart the product with two unique patterns that provides a distinctive look and is appealing to consumers.

Providing the first and second plies with different embossing patterns not only provides an aesthetically pleasing tissue product, the resulting product may also have certain improved physical properties. For example, the tissue product may have plies of differing strengths, such as a first ply that is stronger than the second ply. Accordingly, in certain embodiments the invention provides a tissue product having a first ply having a geometric mean tensile (GMT) strength greater than 500 g/3”, such as from about 500 to about 600 g/3” and a second ply having a GMT less than 500 g/3”, such as from about 300 to about 500 g/3”. Preferably the difference in the GMT between the first and second plies is at least about 10 percent, more preferably at least about 20 percent and still more preferably at least about 30 percent, such as from about 10 to about 50 percent and more preferably from about 20 to about 50 percent and still more preferably from about 30 to about 50 percent.

In other embodiments the invention provides a tissue product having a first ply having a machine direction tensile (MDT) strength greater than 700 g/3”, such as from 700 to about 900 g/3” and a second ply having a MDT of about 600 g/3” or less, such as from about 400 to about 600 g/3”. Preferably the difference in the MDT between the first and second plies is at least about 10 percent, more preferably at least about 20 percent and still more preferably at least about 30 percent, such as from about 10 to about 50 percent and more preferably from about 20 to about 50 percent and still more preferably from about 30 to about 50 percent.

The difference in tensile strength between the first and second plies may result in a product having different softness on each of its outer surfaces. For example, in certain embodiments the multi ply tissue product of the present invention has a first stronger ply having an outer surface having a first softness value, generally measured as TS7, and a second weaker ply having an outer surface having a second softness value that is less than the first softness value. In one embodiment the first outer surface of the tissue product has a TS7 value that is at least about 10 percent greater than the TS7 value of the second outer surface of the tissue product. For example, the first ply may have a TS7 greater than about 11.5, such as from about 11.5 to about 13.0 and the second ply may have a TS7 less than about 11, such as from about 10 to about 11.

In still other embodiments the multi-ply tissue products generally have improved sheet bulk, such as a sheet bulk greater than about 15 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g), and improved softness, such as an Average TS7 less than about 12.0 and more preferably less than about 11.0, such as from about 10.0 to about 12.0. The foregoing Average TS7 values may be obtained at a product geometric mean tensile strength (GMT) from about 800 to about 1,200 g/3”, such as from about 800 to about 1,000 g/3”.

In particularly preferred embodiments, the first and second embossing patterns may be combined with a tissue product having a molded pattern. The molded pattern, which may comprise a plurality of parallel, spaced apart linear elements, may form an overall background pattern over which the embossing pattern may be applied. For example, the tissue product may comprise a first and a second ply, where each ply comprises a molded background pattern consisting essentially of a plurality of parallel substantially machine direction (MD) oriented, continuous, wave-like ridges spaced apart from one another by valleys. The first ply may further comprise a first embossed pattern consisting essentially of line elements, such as continuous curvilinear elements. The second ply may comprise a second embossed pattern consisting essentially of a plurality of dot emboss elements, which in certain instances may be arranged to form a curvilinear element.

Thus, in certain preferred embodiments, the tissue products may be manufactured using a first and a second embossing roll having first and second embossing patterns that are different. For example, the first embossing pattern may comprise linear elements, which may be discrete or continuous, and the second embossing pattern may comprise non-linear elements. While in certain instances the first and second embossing patterns may be different, they may be related to one another. For example, the patterns may both comprise curvilinear elements that are visually related and provide the tissue product with an overall aesthetic that is desirable to a consumer.

The multi-ply tissue products of the present invention may be manufactured using the apparatus shown in FIG. 5. To produce a first embossed ply, a first tissue ply 201, which will form the uppermost ply of the finished tissue product, is unwound from a first parent roll 202 and conveyed past a series of idler rollers 220 towards a first embossing nip 210 located between a first engraved embossing roll 212 and a first impression roll 211. The engraved embossing roll 212 rotates in the counterclockwise direction while the impression roll 211 rotates in the clockwise direction.

The engraved embossing roll 212 is generally a hard and non-deformable roll, such as a steel roll, and comprises a plurality of protuberances 216, also referred to herein as embossing elements, extending radially from a first peripheral surface 219. The protuberances are arranged so as to form at least a first embossing pattern. One example of an embossing pattern formed on the outer surface of the first engraved embossing roll is shown in FIG. 2. The protuberances have a radial height generally measured from the first peripheral surface of the roll, which is understood to be the circumferential surface of the roll having the least radial height when measured from the axis of the roll, or some other common reference point. In certain embodiments the radial height of the protuberances may be about 1.30 mm or greater, such as from about 1.30 to about 1.50 mm and more preferably from about 1.35 to about 1.45 mm.

The protuberances of the first engraved roll may comprise a first pattern consisting of linear elements, and more preferably continuous line elements, where the linear elements are spaced apart from one another to form land areas there between. The land areas may be continuous or discontinuous within a given dimension of the engraved roll depending on the arrangement of linear elements forming the first pattern. The pattern may be continuous along at least one dimension of the engraved roll and even more preferably is a regular, repeating pattern disposed across at least one dimension of the engraved roll.

The spacing and arrangement of the elements forming the first pattern may vary depending on the desired tissue product properties and appearance. The shape of the element may also be varied to provide the desired tissue product properties and appearance. For example, in one embodiment, the linear elements forming the first pattern are curvilinear and more preferably sinusoidal and are arranged substantially parallel to one another such that none of the elements intersect one another. In other embodiments the linear elements may occur as wave-like patterns that are arranged in-phase with one another such that the spacing between adjacent elements is substantially constant. In other embodiments the linear elements may form a wave pattern where adjacent elements are offset from one another.

Regardless of the particular first element shape and the resulting motif and pattern, or whether adjacent elements within a pattern are in or out of phase with one another, it is generally preferred that there is some portion of the roll surface along which adjacent elements within a pattern are separated from one another. In this manner the roll comprises land areas between adjacent elements. In a particularly preferred embodiment the first pattern comprises a plurality of spaced apart linear elements where the pattern is disposed continuously across both the x and y dimensions of the engraved roll surface and adjacent linear elements are spaced apart from one another in the y-dimension at least about 1.0 cm, such as from about 1.0 to about 5.0 cm and more preferably from about 2.0 to about 4.0 cm.

With reference again to FIG. 5, the first engraved embossing roll 212 is urged against the first impression roll 211 , which preferably has a substantially smooth deformable outer surface. In certain instances, the impression roll 211 may be a roll with a covering made of natural or synthetic rubber, for example, polybutadiene or copolymers of ethylene and propylene, or the like. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the outer surface of the impression roll 211 has a hardness greater than about 40 Shore (A), such as from about 40 to about 100 Shore (A) and more preferably from about 40 to about 80 Shore (A). By providing an impression roll with the foregoing hardness levels, the designs of the engraved embossing roll 212 are not pressed into the impression roll 211 as deep as in conventional apparatuses.

The first impression roll 211 and the first engraved embossing roll 212 are urged together to form a first embossing nip 210 through which the first tissue ply 201 passes to impose a first embossing pattern thereon. Generally a force or pressure is applied to one or both of the rolls such that the rolls are urged against one another causing the impression roll to deform about the protuberances such that when the ply is pressed about the protuberances and onto the landing areas (i.e. the outer surface areas of the roll surrounding the protuberances) an embossment results. As the embossed first tissue ply 205 exits the first embossing nip 210 it comprises a plurality of embossments 230 having distal ends 232.

To form a two-ply tissue product, a second parent roll 202 is unwound and the second tissue ply 204 is conveyed around an idler roller 220 and is then passed into a second embossing nip 215 formed between a second impression roll 217 and a second engraved embossing roll 213. The second impression roll 217 generally has a smooth outer surface, which may be deformable. In certain instances, the second impression roll 217 has an outer covering comprising a natural or synthetic rubber and may have a hardness greater than about 40 Shore (A), such as from about 40 to about 100 Shore (A). The second engraved embossing roll 213 generally comprises a plurality of protuberances 222 extending from its peripheral surface 221. The protuberances are generally in the form of dot elements and form a second embossing pattern. In certain embodiments the protuberances disposed on the second engraved embossing roll 213 may have a height of at least about 0.4 mm, such as from about 0.4 to about 2.0 mm.

As the second ply 204 passes through the second embossing nip 215 it is imparted with a plurality of dot emboss elements 231, which may be arranged to form a pattern. The embossed second ply 224 is then conveyed and brought into facing relation with the embossed first ply 205 using a marrying roll 240, as will be described in more detail below. While in certain instances the second engraved embossing roll 213 and impression roll 217 may be arranged relatively close to the first pair of rolls 211 , 212 and the marrying roll 240, this is not necessary as the present method does not relying upon registration of the first and second embossing patterns with one another. In this manner, the present method differs from so called nested-method embossing, such as that described in U.S. Publ. No. 20120156447, where the embossing elements of the first embossing roll and the embossing elements of the second embossing roll are arranged such that the embossed elements of the first embossed ply and the embossed elements of the second embossed ply fit into each other similar to a gearing system.

After the embossed second ply 224 leaves the second embossing nip 215 it is brought into facing relationship with the embossed first ply 205. The two embossed plies 205, 224 are conveyed through a third nip 242 formed between the first engraved embossing roll 212 and a marrying roll 240, which may be a steel roll having a substantially smooth outer surface. The first and second embossed plies 205, 224 are joined together as they pass through the third nip 242 to form a multi-ply tissue product 280.

With continued reference to FIG. 5, in certain embodiments, after exiting the first embossing nip 210 the first embossed ply 205 encounters a gluing unit 250, which comprises an adhesive 251 disposed in a reservoir and an applicator roll 252. Adhesive 251 is transferred to the applicator roll 252 and applied to the distal ends 232 of the embossments 230 that are formed on the exterior surface of the embossed first tissue ply 205 by virtue of contact with the first protuberances 216. The embossed first tissue ply 205 with the applied adhesive 251 then advances further to the third nip 242 between the first engraved embossing roll 212 and the marrying roll 240. At this point, the embossed second ply 224 is attached to the embossed first ply 205 and then conveyed through the third nip 242 to form an adhesively laminated two-ply tissue product 280 which is subsequently wound into a roll (not shown).

The resulting two-ply tissue product 280 comprises embossed first and second plies 205, 224 with the first embossed ply 205 forming the upper most surface of the tissue product 280 and the second ply 224 forming the bottom most surface. In certain embodiments the first embossed ply may comprise a first embossed pattern consisting essentially of a plurality of continuous, curvilinear line element embossments and the second ply may comprise a plurality of dot emboss elements disposed thereon in a pattern consisting essentially of curvilinear elements. Further, although not illustrated in FIG. 5, each of the first and second tissue plies comprises a molded topographical pattern, which is generally imparted to the plies prior to embossing.

In certain embodiments, to improve processability and one or more physical properties, one or more of the fibrous plies may be subjected to preconditioning to impart moisture and/or heat to the tissue plies prior to entering an embossing nip. For example, preconditioning mechanisms may be positioned upstream of the nip located between the engraved roll and the impression role to introduce moisture and/or heat to the first tissue ply prior to embossing. Methods and arrangements for applying moisture and heat (e.g., steam) to tissue webs are known to skilled artisans and can be employed and fall within the scope of the present invention. By way of example, steam can be applied to either or both sides of a web prior to embossing.

Tissue webs useful in forming the multi-ply tissue products of the present invention may be formed using any one of several well-known manufacturing processes. For example, in certain embodiments, tissue products may be produced by a through-air drying (TAD) manufacturing process, an advanced tissue molding system (ATMOS) manufacturing process, a structured tissue technology (STT) manufacturing process, or belt creped. In particularly preferred embodiments the tissue product is manufactured by a creped through-air dried (CTAD) process or uncreped through-air dried (UCTAD) process.

Tissue webs produced by the foregoing processes may be imparted with a first pattern by wet molding. For example, one or more design elements may be formed by wet molding the web during manufacture using a patterned papermaking fabric, such as a patterned through-air drying fabric which imparts the pattern on the tissue web as it is dried. The dried web, which retains the molded pattern, may then be subjected to converting, such as embossing, to impart a second pattern on the web.

In one embodiment, tissue webs useful in the present invention are formed by the UCTAD process of: (a) depositing an aqueous suspension of papermaking fibers (furnish) onto an endless forming fabric to form a wet web; (b) at least partially dewatering the wet web; (c) transferring the partially dewatered web to a through-air drying fabric having a pattern thereon; (d) molding the web to the patterned through-air drying fabric to impart a first pattern on the web; (e) through-air-drying the web; and (f) embossing the web to impart a second pattern on the web.

Multi-ply tissue products produced according to the present invention not only have first and second patterns that may be aesthetically pleasing to a consumer, they may also have favorable physical properties, such as sufficient strength to withstand use while also being soft and having good hand-feel. Accordingly, in one embodiment the present invention provides an embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising: a first tissue ply having a first side and an opposite second side, the first side having a molded topographical pattern and a first embossed pattern comprising a plurality of embossed elements disposed thereon; a second tissue ply having a first side and an opposite second side, the first side having a molded topographical pattern and a second embossed pattern comprising a plurality of dot emboss elements disposed thereon, wherein the tissue product has a basis weight from about 10 to about 100 gsm, and more preferably from about 15 to about 60 gsm and a sheet bulk greater than about 15.0 cc/g and more preferably greater than about 16.0 cc/g, and still more preferably greater than about 17.0 cc/g, such as from about 15.0 to about 20.0 cc/g.

In addition to having the foregoing basis weights and sheet bulks, multi-ply tissue products prepared according to the present invention may have a geometric mean tensile (GMT) greater than about 700 g/3”, such as from about 700 to about 1,400 g/3”, and more preferably from about 800 to about 1 ,200 g/3” and still more preferably from about 800 to about 1 ,000 g/3”. At these tensile strengths the tissue webs and products have relatively low Average TS7 values, such as less than about 12.0 and more preferably less than about 11.0, such as from about 10.0 to about 12.0.

In one particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention an embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising: a first tissue ply having a first side and an opposite second side, the first side having a molded topographical pattern and a first embossed pattern comprising a plurality of embossed elements disposed thereon; a second tissue ply having a first side and an opposite second side, the first side having a molded topographical pattern and a second embossed pattern comprising a plurality of dot emboss elements disposed thereon, wherein the tissue product has a basis weight of about 45 gsm or greater, a GMT from about 700 to about 1,000 g/3”, an Average TS7 less than about 12.0 and a sheet bulk greater than about 15.0 cc/g.

TEST METHODS

Sheet Bulk

Sheet Bulk is calculated as the quotient of the dry sheet caliper (pm) divided by the bone dry basis weight (gsm). Dry sheet caliper is the measurement of the thickness of a single sheet of tissue product (comprising all plies) measured in accordance with TAPPI test method T402 using a ProGage 500 Thickness Tester (Thwing-Albert Instrument Company, West Berlin, NJ). The micrometer has an anvil diameter of 2.22 inches (56.4 mm) and an anvil pressure of 132 grams per square inch (per 6.45 square centimeters) (2.0 kPa).

Tensile

Tensile testing was done in accordance with TAPPI test method T-576 "Tensile properties of towel and tissue products (using constant rate of elongation)” wherein the testing is conducted on a tensile testing machine maintaining a constant rate of elongation and the width of each specimen tested is 3 inches. More specifically, samples for dry tensile strength testing were prepared by cutting a 3 ± 0.05 inch (76.2 ± 1.3 mm) wide strip in either the machine direction (MD) or cross-machine direction (CD) orientation using a JDC Precision Sample Cutter (Thwing-Albert Instrument Company, Philadelphia, PA, Model No. JDC 3-10, Serial No. 37333) or equivalent. The instrument used for measuring tensile strengths was an MTS Systems Sintech 11 S, Serial No. 6233. The data acquisition software was an MTS TestWorks® for Windows Ver. 3.10 (MTS Systems Corp., Research Triangle Park, NC). The load cell was selected from either a 50 Newton or 100 Newton maximum, depending on the strength of the sample being tested, such that the majority of peak load values fall between 10 to 90 percent of the load cell's full scale value. The gauge length between jaws was 4 ± 0.04 inches (101.6 ± 1 mm) for facial tissue and towels and 2 ± 0.02 inches (50.8 ± 0.5 mm) for bath tissue. The crosshead speed was 10 ± 0.4 inches/min (254 ± 1 mm/min), and the break sensitivity was set at 65 percent. The sample was placed in the jaws of the instrument, centered both vertically and horizontally. The test was then started and ended when the specimen broke. The peak load was recorded as either the "MD tensile strength” or the "CD tensile strength” of the specimen depending on the direction of the sample being tested. The geometric mean tensile (GMT) strength was calculated and is expressed as grams-force per 3 inches of sample width. Tensile energy absorbed (TEA) and slope are also calculated by the tensile tester. TEA is reported in units of gm*cm/cm 2 . Slope is recorded in units of kg. Both TEA and Slope are directionally dependent and thus MD and CD directions are measured independently. Geometric mean TEA and geometric mean slope are defined as the square root of the product of the representative MD and CD values for the given property.

The product tensile strength, and related tensile properties, were tested as multi-ply products and results represent the tensile strength of the total product. For example, a two-ply product was tested as a two-ply product and recorded as such. Five representative specimens were tested for each multi ply product and the arithmetic average of all individual specimen tests was recorded as the appropriate tensile property of the sample.

The tensile strength, and related tensile properties, of individual plies of a multi-ply product were tested as individual single plies. Prior to testing each individual ply, care was taken to separate each ply of a multi-ply product to ensure that the ply was undamaged. Plies having any tears or defects were discarded. Five representative specimens were tested for each multi-ply product, with each ply being tested individually, and the arithmetic average of all individual specimen tests was recorded as the appropriate tensile property of the given ply.

Tissue Softness

Tissue softness was measured using an EMTEC Tissue Softness Analyzer ("TSA”) (Emtec Electronic GmbPI, Leipzig, Germany). The TSA comprises a rotor with vertical blades which rotate on the test piece applying a defined contact pressure. Contact between the vertical blades and the test piece creates vibrations, which are sensed by a vibration sensor. The sensor then transmits a signal to a PC for processing and display. The signal is displayed as a frequency spectrum. For measurement of TS7 values the blades are pressed against the sample with a load of 100 mN and the rotational speed of the blades is two revolutions per second.

The frequency analysis in the range of approximately 200 to 1000 Hz represents the surface smoothness or texture of the test piece. The peak in the frequency range between 200 to 1000 Hz is herein referred to as the TS750 value and is expressed as dB V 2 rms. A high amplitude peak correlates to a rougher surface.

A further peak in the frequency range between 6 and 7 kHz represents the softness of the test piece. The peak in the frequency range between 6 and 7 kHz is herein referred to as the TS7 value and is expressed as dB V 2 rms. The lower the amplitude of the peak occurring between 6 and 7 kHz, the softer the test piece.

In addition to TS750 and TS7, the analyzer reports a stiffness parameter (D) having units of mm/N. The stiffness parameter (D) is the deformation of the sample under a defined load.

Test samples were prepared by cutting a circular sample having a diameter of 112.8 mm. All samples were allowed to equilibrate at TAPPI standard temperature and humidity conditions for at least 24 hours prior to completing the TSA testing. The softness of the outer most surface of each ply is tested separately. As illustrated in FIG. 11 , a multi-ply product 300 having first and second outer surfaces 301 , 303 is separated into individual plies 302, 304, taking care not to damage the individual plies. Each ply 302, 304 is tested separately by placing an individual ply 302 or 304 in the TSA. The outer surface 301 or 303 of the ply 302 or 304 is faced upward in the TSA and is the surface contacted by the testing apparatus 310 during analysis.

The sample is secured, and the measurements are started via the PC. The PC records, processes and stores all of the data according to standard TSA protocol. The reported values are the average of five replicates, each one with a new sample.

EXAMPLES

Basesheets were made using a through-air dried papermaking process commonly referred to as "uncreped through-air dried” ("UCTAD”) and generally described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,607,551, the contents of which are incorporated herein in a manner consistent with the present disclosure. Basesheets with a target bone dry basis weight of about 26 grams per square meter (gsm) were produced. The base sheets were then converted by calendering, embossing, plying and winding to yield embossed two-ply tissue products.

In all cases the base sheets were produced from a furnish comprising northern softwood kraft and eucalyptus kraft using a layered headbox fed by three stock chests such that the webs having three layers (two outer layers and a middle layer) were formed. The two outer layers comprised eucalyptus kraft pulp (each layer comprising 30 percent weight by total weight of the web) and the middle layer comprised northern softwood kraft pulp (comprising 30 percent weight by total weight of the web). The center layer contained temporary wet strength, Fennobond 3000 (commercially available from Kemira, Atlanta, GA), which was added at 2 kg per metric ton of furnish. In certain instances, the softwood furnish was refined to control strength.

The tissue web was formed on a Voith Fabrics TissueForm V forming fabric, vacuum dewatered to approximately 25 percent consistency and then subjected to rush transfer when transferred to the transfer fabric. The transfer fabric was the fabric described as "Fred” in U.S. Pat. No. 7,611,607 (commercially available from Voith Fabrics, Appleton, Wl). The web was then transferred to a through- air drying fabric comprising a printed silicone pattern disposed on the sheet contacting side. The silicone formed a wave-like pattern on the sheet contacting side of the fabric. The pattern had a height of about 0.6 mm, a wavelength of about 100 mm and an amplitude of about 10 mm. The elements within the pattern were spaced apart from one another about 3.08 mm (center-to-center spacing). Transfer to the through-drying fabric was done using vacuum levels of greater than 10 inches of mercury at the transfer. The web was then dried to approximately 98 percent solids before winding.

The basesheet was calendered using two conventional polyurethane/steel calenders. The first calender comprised a 40 P&J polyurethane roll on the air side of the sheet and a standard steel roll on the fabric side at a load of 75 pli. The second calender comprised a 15 P&J polyurethane roll on the air side of the sheet and a standard steel roll on the fabric side at a load of 50 pli.

The calendered basesheet was then converted into two-ply rolled tissue products, substantially as illustrated in FIG. 1 , by embossing the first and second plies separately and laminating the embossed plies to form a two-ply tissue product. The first ply was embossed using an embossing roll engraved with a pattern substantially similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2. The second ply was embossed using several different engraved rolls to assess their effect on the resulting tissue product properties. The properties of the engraved rolls used to emboss the second ply are summarized in Table 1 below.

TABLE 1 The two-ply tissue product was subjected to physical testing, the results of which are shown in Table 2, below.

TABLE 2

Embossing the second ply increased tensile degradation, particularly when the second ply was embossed with a pattern in the form of a sinusoidal wave. Embossing the plies also had the effect of providing each ply with different tensile and softness properties. For example, as illustrated in Tables 3 and 4 below, the first ply was generally at least about 10 percent stronger than the second ply, while the second ply was generally softer than the first ply.

TABLE 3

TABLE 4

Embossing the second ply increased tensile degradation, particularly when the second ply was embossed with a pattern in the form of a sinusoidal wave. Embossing the second ply with a patterned embossment, particularly a wave-like embossing pattern, was also particularly effective in increasing the sheet bulk of the finished product. Generally, providing the second ply with a wave-like embossing pattern increased sheet bulk from about 8 to about 11 percent compared to a similar product comprising an unembossed second ply, as shown in Table 5, below. The increase in bulk was also observed compared to embossing the second ply with an overall background pattern. The increase in bulk is further illustrated in FIG. 10.

TABLE 5

EMBODIMENTS First embodiment: An embossed multi-ply tissue product comprising a first embossed tissue ply and a second embossed tissue ply arranged in facing relation and defining an interior portion there between, the first ply comprising a plurality of embossments oriented towards the interior portion of the product and the second ply comprising a plurality of embossments oriented away from the interior portion. Second embodiment: The product of the first embodiment wherein the plurality of embossments disposed on the first ply comprise a plurality of line embossments.

Third embodiment: The product of the first or second embodiments wherein the embossments disposed on the first or second plies comprise wave-like linear embossments.

Fourth embodiment: The product of any one of the first through third embodiments wherein the embossments disposed on the first ply are continuous and curvilinear.

Fifth embodiment: The product of any one of the first through fourth embodiments wherein the embossments disposed on the first ply are substantially free from dot embossments and the embossments cover from about 10 to about 30 percent of the first ply surface area.

Sixth embodiment: The product of any one of the first through fifth embodiments wherein the embossments disposed on the second ply are dot embossments and have a shape selected from the group comprising circles, squares, rectangles, diamonds, and combinations thereof.

Seventh embodiment: The product of any one of the first through sixth embodiments wherein the embossments disposed on the second ply are dot embossments arranged to form wave-like linear elements. Eighth embodiment: The product of any one of the first through seventh embodiments wherein the first and second tissue plies are adhesively bonded to one another at a plurality of bonded regions.