Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
GIFT BAG ACCENT AND TOPPERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/036256
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Gift bag and decorative accent article comprising at least one sheet of birefringent polymeric multilayer optical film, wherein the film is preferably a colored mirror film, that is, a film that is highly reflective over much of the visible spectrum but which exhibits at least one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum and the resulting accent article exhibits striking color shifts as viewing angle is changed and is enhanced with the addition of wrinkling.

Inventors:
KELLER JANET T
GONZALEZ BERNARD A
DOTTERMAN PERRY S
Application Number:
PCT/US1998/026105
Publication Date:
July 22, 1999
Filing Date:
December 09, 1998
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MINNESOTA MINING & MFG (US)
International Classes:
B32B7/02; B44F1/14; G02B5/30; (IPC1-7): B32B7/02; B32B27/36; B44F1/14; G02B5/08; G02B5/30
Domestic Patent References:
WO1996019347A21996-06-27
Foreign References:
EP0491551A21992-06-24
EP0404463A21990-12-27
US3576707A1971-04-27
US4937134A1990-06-26
US5084351A1992-01-28
US3711176A1973-01-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Peters, Carolyn V. (MN, US)
VOSSIUS & PARTNERS (Siebertstrasse 4 Munchen, DE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:
1. l. A decorative accent article, at least in part comprising: a film comprising alternating layers of at least a first and second layer type ; wherein the first layer type comprises a strain hardening polymer, has at least one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum with a maximum transmission of at least about 70%, such that the transmission band at normal incidence varies by less than about 25 nm over a surface area of at least 6 cm 2. The decorative accent article according to claim 1, wherein the strain hardening polymer is a polyester.
2. 3 The decorative accent article according to claim 1, wherein wherein at least some of the alternating layers have an optical thickness between about 0.07 micrometers and 0.45 micrometers.
3. The decorative accent article according to claim 1, wherein the film has exactly one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum.
4. A decorative accent article comprising at least one sheet of birefringent polymeric multilayer optical film.
5. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the birefringent polymeric multilayer film is a colored mirror film, that is highly reflective over much of the visible spectrum but which exhibits at least one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum.
6. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the birefringent polymeric multilayer film has two major surfaces and that on one side of the film is a colorant layer.
7. The decorative accent article according to claim 7. wherein the colorant layer is a paint or other pigment containing layer.
8. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the multilayer birefringent color shifting film and other optical bodies have a relationship between the refractive indices of successive layers for light polarized along mutually orthogonal inplane axes (the xaxis and the yaxis) and along an axis perpendicular to the inplane axes (the zaxis).
9. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the multilayer birefringent color shifting film has at least one reflection band.
10. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the multilayer birefringent color shifting film having at least one optical stack in which the optical thicknesses of the individual layers change monotonically in one direction over a first portion of the stack, and then change monotonically in a different direction or remain constant over at least a second portion of the stack.
11. The decorative accent article according to claim 5, wherein the multilayer birefringent film has main peaks in the transmission spectra separated by regions of high extinction, and in which the high extinction bands persist at all angles of incidence for ppolarized light, even when immersed in a high index medium.
12. A decorative accent article comprising at least one sheet of birefringent polymeric multilayer optical film, wherein the film is a colored mirror film, that is, a film that is highly reflective over much of the visible spectrum but which exhibits at least one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum and the resulting accent article exhibits striking color shifts as viewing angle is changed and is enhanced with the addition of wrinkling.
Description:
Gift Bag Accent and Toppers Field of the Invention The present invention relates to decorative and gift bag accents and bag toppers having unique optical characteristics.

Background of the Invention Gift bags are increasing in usage. Consumers are who are looking for quick and easy way to wrap a gift are using gift bags. Consumers who receive bags are also interested in reusing gift bags. Traditional ways to decorate and conceal a gift are stuffing a gift bag with tissue/liner or with shred/bag stuffing. Some consumers even tape a bag shut and attach a curled bow to the bag handles as a decoration. Several new forms have been created that"sit"and/or top a gift bag.

The decorative forms, gift bag accents, are manufactured so that the consumer can quickly and easily"top"a bag similar to the behavior of attaching a bow to a wrapped box. Presently consumers have to spend time making the tissue conceal a gift and also decorate the bag. There is a great deal of frustration trying to form the tissue so that it had the appropriate decorative look.

There is thus a need in the art for a an easy and convenient way to create inexpensive, highly reflective, available in a wide variety of colors, and catching to the eye means of decorating or accenting gift packages. These and other needs are met by the decorative accent articles of the present invention, as hereinafter described.

Summary of the Invention In one aspect of the present invention, a gift bag and decorative accent article is provided comprising at least one sheet of birefringent polymeric multilayer optical film. The multilayer film is preferably a colored mirror film, that is, a film that is highly reflective over much of the visible spectrum but which exhibits at least one transmission band in the visible region of the spectrum. The colored mirror films used in making the gift bag accents of the present invention preferably have an optical stack formed of alternating layers of at least a first and second polymeric material whose indices of refraction differ by more than about

U. 05 along first and second in-plane axes, but differ by less than about 0.05 along a third axis which is mutually orthogonal to the first and second axes. The resulting article exhibits striking color shifts as viewing angle is changed.

In another aspect of the present invention, a gift bag and decorative accent article is provided comprising a sheet of color shifting film, wherein the film has two major surfaces and that on one side of the film is a colorant layer. The resulting article exhibits striking color shifts as viewing angle is changed.

The present invention provides gift bag and decorative accent articles, at least a portion of which comprises a multilayer birefringent color shifting film and other optical bodies having particular relationships between the refractive indices of successive layers for light polarized along mutually orthogonal in-plane axes (the x-axis and the y-axis) and along an axis perpendicular to the in-plane axes (the z-axis).

In another aspect, the present invention provides gift bag and decorative accent articles at least a portion of, which comprises a color shifting film having at least one reflection band.

In a further aspect, the present invention provides gift bag and decorative accent articles, at least a portion of which comprises a color shifting film having at least one optical stack in which the optical thicknesses of the individual layers change monotonically in one direction (e. g., increasing or decreasing) over a first portion of the stack, and then change monotonically in a different direction or remain constant over at least a second portion of the stack.

The present invention uses layers of multilayer birefringent color shifting films and other optical bodies having particular relationships between the refractive indices of successive layers for light polarized along mutually orthogonal in-plane axes (the x-axis and the y-axis) and along an axis perpendicular to the in-plane axes (the z-axis). In particular, the differences in refractive indices along the x-, y-, and z-axes (Ax, Ay, and Az, respectively) are such that the absolute value of Az is less than about one half the larger of the absolute value of Ax and the absolute value of Ay (e. g., (jazz < 0.5k, k = max {IXW Yl}). Films having this property can be made to exhibit transmission spectra in which the widths and intensities of the

transmission or reflection peaks (when plotted as a function of frequency, or I/A) for p-polarized light remain substantially constant over a wide range of viewing angles. Also for p-polarized light, the spectral features shift toward the blue region of the spectrum at a higher rate with angle change than the spectral features of isotropic thin film stacks.

In another aspect, color shifting films having at least one reflection band are particularly useful in the application of the present invention. With the proper choice of the numeric signs of the layer birefringence, the z-index mismatch, and the stack f-ratio, either the short or long wavelength band edges of the reflection bands for s-and p-polarized light are substantially coincident at all angles of incidence. Films of this type, when designed using the band edge sharpening techniques described herein, exhibit the maximum color purity possible with a thin film stack designed for use over large angle and wavelength ranges. In addition to sharp color transitions and high color purity, such films are advantageous in applications requiring non-polarizing color beamsplitters.

In a further aspect, the gift bag and decorative accent articles use color shifting films having at least one optical stack in which the optical thicknesses of the individual layers change monotonically in one direction (e. g., increasing or decreasing) over a first portion of the stack, and then change monotonically in a different direction or remain constant over at least a second portion of the stack.

Color shifting films having stack designs of this type exhibit a sharp band edge at one or both sides of the reflection band (s), causing the film to exhibit sharp color changes as a function of viewing angle. The resulting film is advantageous in applications such as displays where sharp, eye-catching shifts in color are desirable.

In still another embodiment, the present invention comprises, at least in part a film in which the main peaks in the transmission spectra are separated by regions of high extinction, and in which the high extinction bands persist at all angles of incidence for p-polarized light, even when immersed in a high index medium. The film exhibits a high degree of color saturation at all angles of incidence.

In yet another contemplated embodiment, the present invention comprises a film that reflects near IR radiation with high efficiency, but does not reflect a

significant amount of visible light at normal incidence. Such a film may comprise a two material component quarterwave stack, or may comprise three or more materials to make an optical stack that suppresses one or more of the higher order harmonics of the main reflection band or bands, which in turn may be achieved by utilizing an optical repeating unit comprising polymeric layers A, B and C arranged in an order ABCD and by effecting a certain relationship among the refractive indices of these materials. This relationship may be understood by assigning polymeric layer A refractive indices nXn and nya along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, polymeric layer B refractive indices nxb and nyb along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, polymeric layer C refractive indices nXC and nyc along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, and polymeric layers A, B and C refractive indices nza, nzb and n, c, respectively, along a transverse axis z perpendicular to the in-plane axes. The proper relationship is then achieved by requiring nXb to be intermediate nxa and nc with nXa being larger than n, c (e. g., nx > nXb > nec), and/or by requiring nyb to be intermediate to nya and ny C with nya being larger than nyc (e. g., nya > nyb > nyc), and by requiring either that at least one of the differences nza-nZb and nzb-nzC is less than 0 or that both said differences are essentially equal to 0 (e. g., max { (nza- nzb), (nZb-nzC)} < 0). In addition to the above film stack construction, band edge- sharpening techniques may be applied to create a sharp transition from high transmission of visible light to high extinction of the near IR light.

In still another aspect, the present invention comprises to a multilayer color shifting film made from strain hardening materials which exhibits a high degree of color uniformity at a given angle of incidence, and to a method for making the same, wherein at least some of the primary reflection bands in the film arise from an optical stack within the film having optically thin layers (i. e., layers whose optical thickness is within the range 0.01 to 0.45 micrometers). The layers within the optical stack have a high degree of physical and optical caliper uniformity. In accordance with the method of the invention, the distortions in layer thickness and optical caliper encountered in prior art non-strain hardening films is avoided by biaxially stretching the cast web by a factor of 2x2 to 6x6, and preferably, about 4x4, which tends to make the lateral layer thickness variations, and therefore the color variations, much less abrupt. Furthermore, a narrower die can be used in

making stretched film compared to making cast film of the same width, and this allows for the possibility of fewer distortions of the layer thickness distribution in the extrusion die because of the significantly less melt flow spreading occurring in the narrower die. Additional control over layer thickness and optical caliper is achieved through the use of a precision casting wheel drive mechanism having a constant rotation speed. The casting wheel is designed and operated such that it is free of vibrations that would otherwise cause web thickness chatter and subsequent layer thickness variations in the down-web direction. It has been found that, absent these controls, the normal vibrations encountered in the extrusion process are sufficient to noticeably affect color uniformity, due in part to the low tensile strength in the molten state of the strain hardening materials that are employed in making the optical films of the present invention. Consequently, the method of the invention has allowed the production, for the first time, of color shifting films made from polymeric materials which have a high degree of color uniformity at a particular viewing angle (e. g., films in which the wavelength values of the band edges of the spectral bands of light which are transmitted or reflected at a particular angle of incidence vary by less than about 2% over an area of at least 10 cm2. The films resulting from the method exhibit essentially uniform layer thickness and optical caliper within the optical stack, thereby resulting in color shifts that are sharper and more rapid as a function of viewing angle as compared to films having a lower degree of physical and optical caliper uniformity.

Useful films to construct the articles of the present invention include color shifting films that behave as-polarizers over one or more regions of the spectrum.

Such films exhibit color shifts when viewed in transmission, or when viewed in reflection after being laminated to (or coated with) a white, diffusely reflective background such as cardstock. The color shifting polarizers may also be combined with other polarizers or mirrors to produce a variety of interesting optical effects.

The gift bag and decorative accent articles according to the present invention may be in any of a variety of desired shapes (e. g., ribbons, bundles, wrapping paper, boutonnières, 3-dimensional shapes, garlands, streamers, florals, abstract shapes). The gift accents are typically used to accent gift boxes and bags.

The articles could also be used as accents for decorative table settings and the like.

A film/material has been formed or folded that is decorative in nature out also fills the top of the gift bag creating a cover or top that hides the gift inside.

Materials that are useful for constructing the decorative accent articles of the present invention include foamed polypropylene, metallized film, colored biaxally oriented polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, paper, a multilayer colored film, holographic film. It could also be a nonwoven or even a fabric. The film may be translucent to opaque in nature. It may possess mirror qualities but it is not required. The preferred materials are multilayered color films.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment In general, the color shifting films used in the present invention may be designed with a wide variety of reflective spectral features to produce varying optical effects. For example, band edge sharpening may be used to render a more dramatic change in color with angle, or this feature may be combined with light sources that have one or more narrow emission bands. Alternatively, softer color changes may be achieved by increasing the band edge slope, or by the use of films that do not reflect light of a given polarization state equally along orthogonal film planes. This is the case, for example, with asymmetrically biaxially stretched films, which have weaker reflectivity for light with the E-field along the minor stretch axis than for light with the E-field along the major stretch axis. In such films, the color purity of both transmitted and reflected light will be lessened.

The decorative and gift accents of the present invention use multilayer birefringent color shifting films and other optical bodies having particular relationships between the refractive indices of successive layers for light polarized along mutually orthogonal in-plane axes (the x-axis and the y-axis) and along an axis perpendicular to the in-plane axes (the z-axis). In particular, the differences in refractive indices along the x-, y-, and z-axes (Ax, Ay, and Az, respectively) are such that the absolute value of Az is less than about one half the larger of the absolute value of Ax and the absolute value of Ay (e. g., (jazz < 0.5k, k = max {lAxl, ) Ay}). Films having this property can be made to exhibit transmission spectra in which the widths and intensities of the transmission or reflection peaks (when

plotted as a function of frequency, or 1/k) for p-polarized light remain substantially constant over a wide range of viewing angles. Also for p-polarized light, the spectral features shift toward the blue region of the spectrum at a higher rate with angle change than the spectral features of isotropic thin film stacks.

Alternatively, color-shifting films having at least one reflection band can be used to constructs the articles of the present invention. With the proper choice of the numeric signs of the layer birefringence, the z-index mismatch, and the stack f- ratio, either the short or long wavelength band edges of the reflection bands for s- and p-polarized light are substantially coincident at all angles of incidence. Films of this type, when designed using the band edge sharpening techniques described herein, exhibit the maximum color purity possible with a thin film stack designed for use over large angle and wavelength ranges. In addition to sharp color transitions and high color purity, such films are advantageous in applications requiring non-polarizing color beamsplitters.

Yet other color shifting films useful in the construction of the present invention have at least one optical stack in which the optical thicknesses of the individual layers change monotonically in one direction (e. g., increasing or decreasing) over a first portion of the stack, and then change monotonically in a different direction or remain constant over at least a second portion of the stack.

Color shifting films having stack designs of this type exhibit a sharp band edge at one or both sides of the reflection band (s), causing the film to exhibit sharp color changes as a function of viewing angle. The resulting film is advantageous in applications such as displays where sharp, eye-catching shifts in color are desirable.

A fourth alternative is a film that reflects near IR radiation with high efficiency, but does not reflect a significant amount of visible light at normal incidence. Such a film may comprise a two material component quarterwave stack, or may comprise three or more materials to make an optical stack that suppresses one or more of the higher order harmonics of the main reflection band or bands, which in turn may be achieved by utilizing an optical repeating unit comprising polymeric layers A, B and C arranged in an order ABCD and by effecting a certain relationship among the refractive indices of these materials. This relationship may

De understood by assigning polymeric layer A refractive indices nxa and nya along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, polymeric layer B refractive indices nXb and nb along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, polymeric layer C refractive indices nXC and nyc along in-plane axes x and y, respectively, and polymeric layers A, B and C refractive indices nza, nZb and n, c, respectively, along a transverse axis z perpendicular to the in-plane axes. The proper relationship is then achieved by requiring nxb to be intermediate nXa and nXC with nXa being larger than nXC (e. g., nXa > nxb > nec), and/or by requiring nyb to be intermediate to nya and ny with nya being larger than nyc (e. g., nya > nyb > nu'), and by requiring either that at least one of the differences nza-nZb and nZb-nzC is less than 0 or that both said differences are essentially equal to 0 (e. g., max {(nza-nZb), (nzb-nzC)} < 0). In addition to the above film stack construction, band edge-sharpening techniques may be applied to create a sharp transition from high transmission of visible light to high extinction of the near IR light.

Particularly useful color shifting films that be used in the present invention behave as-polarizers over one or more regions of the spectrum. Such films exhibit color shifts when viewed in transmission, or when viewed in reflection after being laminated to (or coated with) a white, diffusely reflective background such as cardstock. The color shifting polarizers may also be combined with other polarizers or mirrors to produce a variety of interesting optical effects.

The color shifting films of the present invention may be used advantageously as low absorbence materials in displays, providing bright display colors with high luminous efficiency. The display colors may be readily derived by coupling a source of broadband light to the optical film in such a way that various colors of the source light can be viewed in either transmission or reflection. In certain embodiments, the film may also be combined with a broadband mirror.

Thus, for example, when the films are combined with a broadband mirror such that the film and the mirror are approximately parallel but are separated by a small distance, an article is obtained which exhibits 3-D"depth". The film may be formed into several different geometries and combined with different light sources

to advantageously utilize the high spectral reflectivity and angular selectivity or tne film.

The multilayer color shifting films suitable for use in making gift and decorating accents of the present invention preferably have sufficient inter-layer adhesion to prevent delamination during the conversion (i. e., rotary die cutting) process. For example, if the inter-layer adhesion is insufficient, delamination of the film may clog the rotary die thereby reducing the efficiency of the conversion process.

Optionally, the films used in the present invention can include coatings such as colorant or pigment layers, abrasion-resistant or hard coatings, anti-static coatings, ultra-violet light absorbing coatings, metal coatings, tinted coatings, adhesion primers or promoters, adhesive materials, and/or the like to improve or provide certain properties. These additional coatings are most easily applied to sheets of film material during the film making process.

Suitable abrasion resistant coatings, and techniques for applying the same, are known in art. Such materials include acrylic hardcoats (available, for example, under the trade designations such as"ACRYLOID A-11"and"PARALOID K- 120N"from Rohm & Haas, Philadelphia, PA); urethane acrylates (including those described in U. S. Pat. No. 4,249,011, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference; as well as those available from Sartomer Corp., Westchester, PA); and polyurethane hardcoats obtained from the reaction of an aliphatic polyisocyanate (available, for example, under the trade designation"DESMODUR N-3300"from Miles, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA) with a polyester polyol (available, for example, under the trade designation"TONE POLYOL 0305"from Union Carbide, Houston, TX.

Suitable antistatic coatings or films, and techniques for applying the same, are known in art. Such materials, which may improve the processability of the film for the particulating process, and or the flowabilty of the individual particles, include VI-05 and salts of sulfonic acid polymers, carbon (including carbon black), and metals. A preferred vanadium oxide antistatic coating is described in U. S. Pat.

No. 5,407,603 (Morrison), the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Suitable ultra-violet (UV) light absorbing coatings or films, and techniques for applying the same, are known in art. Such materials, which may provide protection from UV radiation, include UV stabilized films and coatings such as those which incorporate benzotriazoles (available from Ciba Geigy Corp., Hawthorne, NY) or hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS) (available, for example, under the trade designation"TINUVIN 292", from Ciba Geigy Corp.), and those which contain benzophenones or diphenyl acrylates (available, for example, from BASF Corp., Parsippany, NJ). Ultra-violet (UV) light absorbing coatings or films may be particularly useful in applications where the glitter particles are exposed to a significant amount of light in the UV region of the spectrum (e. g., when used outdoors in the day light).

Suitable adhesion promoters, and techniques for applying the same, are known in art.

Examples of colorant layers, which can be applied using techniques known in the art (e. g., pyrolysis, powder coating, vapor deposition, cathode sputtering, and ion plating) include silver, gold, copper, aluminum, (chromium, nickel, tin, titanium), pigmented coating, such as paints or other pigment containing coatings, incorporating pigments or other colorants in the extruded film layers or using printing methods known to those skilled in the art for applying a colorant layer.

Examples of polymeric matrix materials include thermoplastics (high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, ethylene/vinyl acetate, polystyrene, polymethylpentene, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), poly (vinyl butyral), poly (vinyl chloride), polytetrafluoroethylene, poly (vinyl fluoride), polyamides (e. g., nylon), poly (methyl methacrylate), urethanes, polycarbonate, poly (ethylene terephthalate), poly (butylene terephthalate); thermosets (phenolics, amino resins, epoxies, unsaturated polyesters, and crosslinked polyurethanes); and elastomers (natural and synthetic rubber (including vulcanized rubber)), polyacrylates, polyester and polyether urethanes, polybutadiene, silicone elastomers, isobutene-isoprene copolymer (butyl), and acrylonitrile-butadiene copolymer (nitrile).

Sheets of film material used to construct the articles of the present invention may comprise a single layer or a plurality of layers (i. e., a multiple-

layered construction). Multiple layer constructions may have color shifting turn in one or more of the layers, and may optionally contain different shapes, sizes, and concentrations of film in different layers.

In one typical method for making a multilayer optical polarizer, a single drawing step is used. This process may be performed in a tenter or a length orienter. Typical tenters draw transversely (TD) to the web path, although certain tenters are equipped with mechanisms to draw or relax (shrink) the film dimensionally in the web path or machine direction (MD). Thus, in this typical method, a film is drawn in one in-plane direction. The second in-plane dimension is either held constant as in a conventional tenter, or is allowed to neck in to a smaller width as in a length orienter. Such necking in may be substantial and increases with draw ratio. For an elastic, incompressible web, the final width may be estimated theoretically as the reciprocal of the square root of the lengthwise draw ratio times the initial width. In this theoretical case, the thickness also decreases by this same proportion. In practice, such necking may produce somewhat wider than theoretical widths, in which case the thickness of the web may decrease to maintain approximate volume conservation. However, since volume is not necessarily conserved, deviations from this description are possible.

In one typical method for making a multilayer mirror, a two step drawing process is used to orient the birefringent material in both in-plane directions. The draw processes may be any combination of the single step processes described that allow drawing in two in-plane directions. In addition, a tenter that allows drawing along MD, e. g., a biaxial tenter that can draw in two directions sequentially or simultaneously, may be used. In this latter case, a single biaxial draw process may be used.

In still another method for making a multilayer polarizer, a multiple drawing process is used that exploits the different behavior of the various materials to the individual drawing steps to make the different layers comprising the different materials within a single coextruded multilayer film possess different degrees and types of orientation relative to each other. Mirrors can also be formed in this manner. Such optical films and processes are described further in U. S. Serial No.

u/006455 entitled"An Optical Film and Process for Manufacture Thereof, tueu on January 13.1998, and incorporated herein by reference.

Drawing conditions for multilayer optical polarizer films are often chosen so that a first material becomes highly birefringent in-plane after draw. A birefringent material may be used as the second material. If the second material has the same sense of birefringence as the first (e. g., both materials are positively birefringent), then it is usually preferred to chose the second material so that is remains essentially isotropic. In other embodiments, the second material is chosen with a birefringence opposite in sense to the first material when drawn (e. g., if the first material is positively birefringent, the second material is negatively birefringent). For a positively birefringent first material, the direction of highest in-plane refractive index, the first in-plane direction, coincides with the draw direction, while the direction of lowest in-plane refractive index for the first material, the second in-plane direction, is perpendicular to this direction. This terminology in the art of film orientation conflicts somewhat with the standard optical definition of positive birefringence. In the art of optics, a uniaxially positive birefringent film or layer is one in which the z index of refraction is higher than the in plane index. A biaxially stretched polymer film such as PET will have high in plane indices, e. g., 1.65, and a low out of plane or z axis index of 1.50. In the film making art such a material as PET is said to be positively birefringent because the index increases in the stretch direction, but in the art of optics, the same material, after biaxially stretching to film is said to have uniaxial negative birefringence because the z index is lower than the in plane indices which are substantially equal. The term positive birefringence for a material as used herein will be that of the polymer film art, and will mean that the index of refraction increases in the stretch direction. Similarly, the term negative birefringence for a material will mean that the index of refraction of a film decreases in the direction of stretch. The terms uniaxially positive or uniaxially negative birefringent layer will be taken to have the meaning in the optics sense.

Additional details regarding additional processes for preparing the films used in the present invention U. S. Serial No. 08/006591, filed January 13,1998, entitled"Color Shifting Film,"and incorporated herein by reference.

The gift accents according to the present invention may be in any of a variety of desired shapes (e. g., ribbons, bundles, wrapping paper, boutonnières, 3-dimensional shapes, garlands, streamers, florals, abstract shapes). The gift accents are typically used to accent gift boxes and bags. The articles could also be used as accents for decorative table settings and the like.

A film/material can be formed or folded that is decorative in nature but also fills the top of the gift bag creating a cover or top that hides the gift inside. The film can be a foamed polypropylene, metallized film, colored biaxally oriented polypropylene, polyester, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, paper, a multilayer colored film, holographic film. It could also be a nonwoven or even a fabric. The film may be translucent to opaque in nature. It may possess mirror qualities but it is not required.

Alternatively, the color shifting film useful in the present invention could also be mechanically manipulated, such as embossing the surface, wrinkling, the film, crimping the film, folding, perforating the film, or otherwise creating a textured surface, which in turn causes additional color shifting and multi-angularity.

Film thicknesses used for such applications range in thickness is typically less than about 125 micrometers, more typically less than 75 micrometer, and preferably less than 50 micrometers.

Examples Several examples follow illustrating two main groups of products. One group decorates and conceals a gift. The other group adds an accent or decorative nature to a gift bag while only slightly hiding the gift. This group requires gift bag tissue or shred to completely conceal a gift inside a bag. All of the concepts can be "attached"to a bag by: resting on top of the gift, adhering to the outside or inside of the bag using an adhesive, attaching to the gift bag handles or a side with a tie or mechanical clip, creating a snug form that fits the interior of a bag. Similarly the concepts of these examples can be utilized as decorative accents.

Example I A multilayer color film with the approximate sheet size of 18 inch x 20 inch (46 cm x 51 cm) was first crinkled by hand to give it a slightly textured appearance. Then the sheet was held in the center and with the other hand, fingers were circled around the sample. The film sample was pulled through the fingers.

Next a paper ring was placed around the center which is now called the base. The paper ring holds the structure in place. This form can now be placed into a gift bag creating a decorative finish while achieving gift hiding.

Example 2 An improved bag shred was prepared using a multilayer color film 16 inch x 22 inch (10 cm x 56 cm) sheet of multilayer film was folded in half and then in half again. On the selvage edge that was opposite the fold, approximately 3/8 inch wide by 3 inch (1 cm x 7.5 cm) long strands were cut into the 4 inch (10 cm) wide folded film. The full 22 inch (56 cm) length of the film was converted. Starting from one edge, the converted film sample was folded onto itself. The length of the fold was dependent on the width of the gift bag, matching the width of the gift bag.

The folded sample was placed into a gift bag creating a decorative top.

Example 3 Two sheets of 12 inch x 12 inch (31 cm x 31 cm) crinkled multilayered color film was manipulated as described in Example 1 above to form two pieces.

Then the two pieces were glued together forming a bouquet. The bouquet formed an attractive article for decorating and hiding a gift in a bag.

Example 4 A second bouquet was formed according to Example 3 except that it was attached to a card stock piece that sits in the bag. The card stock piece was 9 inches in length (23 cm) and had a 1.5 inch (4 cm) diameter cone at the top that the ornament was glued or stapled onto.

Example 5 One piece of film 16 inch x 18 inch (41 cm x 46 cm) was folded in the center and inserted into the cone at the top of the card stock piece. The resulting article gave the appearance of a torch protruding out of the gift bag.

Conventionally gift wrapping tissue paper was also used and provided a unique decorative appearance.

Example 6 An other article was prepared by placing a 13 inch x 13 inch (33 cm x 33 cm) multilayered color film inside a 13 inch x 13 inch (33 cm x 33 cm) crinkled multilayered sheet. The two sheets were held together by sliding the two through a slit in a 2.5 inch x 3.5 inch (6.5 cm x 9 cm) card stock backcard. A decorative ornament was created that decorated, while simultaneously concealing a gift in a bag. Alternatively the article was used as a wrapped box bow ornament.

Example 7 A package accent was is prepared by die cutting one edge of an approximately 4 inch wide by 16 inch (10 cm x 41 cm) long multilayered color film. The film size is not limiting because the size of the film depended on the look and design of the die cut. The die cut edge design was an irregular saw tooth pattern although this was not intended to be limiting. The die cut film was rolled up and stapled together at the base. It was then attached to a backcard for display.

This gift bag accent or ornament can be used with existing gift bag tissue wrapping paper. The tissue was placed in the bag and the accent was inserted into the tissue.

Example 8 Two pieces of multilayered color film were crinkled. One piece was round with an approximate diameter of 8 inches (20 cm). A second piece of film was 3 inches wide by 10 inches (25.4 cm) in length. The second piece was wadded and glued to the inside of the first piece of film. The composite was held in one hand and with the other hand pulled through encircled fingers forming a carnation- shaped bow ornament. The base was sealed together using pressure sensitive adhesive tape.

Example 9 Two strips of multilayer optical film were rolled together and attached at the bottom creating the image of an artistic rose.

Example 10 Multilayer optical film was converted into flower petal shapes and attached to florist wire using with a 3M Brand Super 77 spray adhesive (available from 3M Company, St. Paul, MN). The shape of the petals was not intended to be limiting.

Example Il Multilayer optical film was adhered to a card stock A bib was cut out with a slit in the middle that fit over the gift bag handles. The resulting accent hid the gift and decorated the top of the bag. Attaching the film to card stock was not necessary to achieve the hiding and decorative properties.

Example 12 A 6.5 inch long by 5.5 inch (16.5 cm x 14 cm) wide sample of multilayer color film was folded into 3/8 inch (1 cm) wide corrugations in the length of the film. The sample was then folded down the middle of the 5.5 inch (14 cm) width.

Then the fold was brought together and attached using a double stick tape to create a fan image. The decorative fan was attached to the top of a gift bag. The top was folded over and the fan forced upward creating a decorative appearance while concealing the gift inside.

Example 13 Multilayer color film was constructed into a decorative garland and then attached a bag using a pressure sensitive adhesive. The garland decorated the sides of the gift bag. It was an accent but did not necessarily conceal the gift inside. The garland is prepared by converting one edge of a 4 inch (10 cm) wide by 24 inch (61 cm) in length sample of film into 1/8-1/2 inch (32 mm-130 mm) wide by 3 inch (8 cm) in length strands. The strands could be straight or curled. The end of the strands could be scalloped (patterned) or straight. The size of the garland was not intended to be limiting, it was for illustration only.

Example 14 A decorative bunny was made with tissue and multilayer optical film. The bunny was approximately 20 inches (51 cm) in length and 15 inches (38 cm) in height. The bunny was made out of tissue and laminated with multilayer film. On

both sides of the bunny a piece of multilayer film was attached. The size of the film was approximately 17 inches (43 cm) by 12 inches (31 cm).

Various modifications and alterations of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention, and it should be understood that this invention is not to be unduly limited to the illustrative embodiments set forth herein.