|Número de publicación||US3908250 A|
|Tipo de publicación||Concesión|
|Fecha de publicación||30 Sep 1975|
|Fecha de presentación||30 Jul 1973|
|Fecha de prioridad||23 Jun 1972|
|Número de publicación||US 3908250 A, US 3908250A, US-A-3908250, US3908250 A, US3908250A|
|Inventores||Jr Ernest W Agan, Grady P Childers, Walter Wade Frost, Jr John P Hunter|
|Cesionario original||Oxford Industries|
|Exportar cita||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Citas de patentes (9), Citada por (7), Clasificaciones (6)|
|Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Agan, Jr. et a1.
[451 Sept. 30, 1975 1 1 GARMENT PRODUCTION PROCESS  Inventors: Ernest W. Agan, Jr., Maiden; Grady P. Childers, Kings Mountain, both of NC; Walter Wade Frost, Vidalia; John P. Hunter, Jr., Dunwoody, both of Ga.
 Assignee: Oxford Industries, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.
 Filed: July 30, 1973  Appl. No.: 384,093
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 265,544, June 23, 1972, abandoned, which is a continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 252,318, May 10, 1972, abandoned.
 U.S. Cl. 28/76 T; 28/72 CS; 34/41; 68/205 R  Int. Cl D06h 7/02; D06h 7/22; D06c 29/00  Field of Search 28/76 T, 72 CS; 26/185; 34/41; 68/205 R [561 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,653,466 9/1953 McCusker 28/72 CS UX 2,969,580 1/1961 Wyner 28/72 CS 3,235,932 2/1966 Jones 26/185 3 340,617 9/1967 Carroll, ,lr 34/41 X 3 518,848 7/1970 Becker 68/205 R X 3,730,679 5/1973 Schuierer... 26/185 X 3 750,428 8/1973 Bruckner 68/205 R X 3,757,541 9/1973 Frohlich et a1. 28/76 T X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 612,495 11/1948 United Kingdom 28/76 T Primary E.\'aminer-Robert R. Mackey Attorney, Agent, or Firm.lones, Thomas & Askew I 5 7 ABSTRACT A garment production process wherein garment parts are knitted in a continuous length of knitted material with water soluble yarns being formed in the knit construction between the garment parts. The length of material is moved along its length and bathed with a heated aqueous solution to dissolve the water soluble yarns and separate the garment parts. The separated garment parts are dried and vibrated and passed to subsequent garment making stations. The temperature of thebathing and drying steps and the vibration of the garment parts serve to heat set the garment parts.
8 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Sept. 30,1975
GARMENT PRODUCTION PROCESS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of applica tion Ser. No. 265,544, filed June 23, 1972, now abandoned, which was a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 252,318, filed May 10, 1972, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In the manufacture of knitted garments the various garment parts such as shirt body portions, collars, and waistbands, require different knitting constructions and usually are fabricated by knitting the different type garment parts on separate knitting machines in continuous form. The continuous series of duplicate garment parts are subsequently separated into smaller pieces and connected with the various other pattern pieces to form a completed garment. For instance, a series of body parts of shirts would be knitted on one knitting machine while a series of collar parts for the same shirts would be knitted on a separate knitting machine.
Most of the knitting machines presently in use are of the circular type, and the circular knitting machines can be classified in two general groups: those producing yard goods in continuous form, and those producing strips," or otherwise known as body blanks. On both types of circular knitting machines the fabric is formed in tubular configuration. The method of fabrication of a piece of apparel depends on whether the fabric is produced in yard goods or strip form. The garment parts out and manufactured from continuous yardage fabrics have a conventional hem around the bottom of the body and sleeves. Similar garments produced from strips have a selvage at one end which eliminates the necessity for a conventional hem.
This application refers to the strip" type knitted fabrics. The knitting machine produces garment parts or strips in a chain form with each strip being connected to one another with separating yarns. The conventional method of preparation of knitted strips for cutting is to have a worker locate the separating yarns, pull them out and thus separate the strips. One technique of pulling the separating yarns is to arrange the connected strips in a series of accordion folds, preferably with the separating yarns located at the ends of each fold, thus to assist the worker in easily locating and pulling out the separating yarns. This causes the separated strips to be positioned in an upright stack and the stack is available for convenient subsequent handling.
While the pulling of separating threads in continuous lengths of knitted garment material causes the separation of the fabric to be accurateand minimizes waste, the forming ofa continuous length of material in accordion folds and the manual pulling of the separating yarns requires an interruption in the garment making process and the presence of material handlers to perform the steps. In addition, the separated fabric parts usually must be heat set" or shrunk prior to being connected together with other garment parts to form the completed garment. Again, this requires further interruption and manual handling of the garment parts.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described. the present invention comprises a garment production process wherein a long or "continuous length of knitted material is separated into short lengths without requiring the attention of an operator, and wherein the steps of accordion folding the fabric and seeking out and pulling of the separating yarns are eliminated. A series of garment parts are knitted in a continuous length of garment material with water soluble yarns formed in the knit construction between the garment parts along the length of the fabric. The continuous length of material is moved along its length through a processing path and is contacted with a heated aqueous solution which dissolves the soluble yarn so as to separate the fabric at the locations of the yarns. The separated garment parts continue to move individually along the processing path and are squeezed, heated and vibrated to dry and heat set the garment parts.
Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide a garment production process which functions automatically and expediently to accurately separate knitted garment parts from one another in a continuous length of knitted material and to heat set the garment parts.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the process of knitting a continuous length of tubular knitted fabric.
FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of the garment production process.
FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of the garment production process, similar to FIG. 2, but showing a modified process.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now in more detail to the drawing, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. I shows in schematic fashion the step of knitting a series of garment parts 9 in a continuous length of tubular knitted garment material 10 wherein a plurality of yarns 11 are taken from cones of yarn l2 and knitted together, as with a circular knitting machine (not shown). The continuous length of garment material is formed with dissolvable yarns 13 knitted into the garment fabric between the garment parts at intervals along the length of the fabric. The continuous length of garment material l0is accumulated in double thickness in a roll 14 at the knitting machine. The dissolvable yarns preferably comprise water soluble yarns. an example of which would be a long chain polyvinyl alcohol with a tensile strength sufficient to withstand the knitting operation. A commercially available yarn is the yarn designated by the trademark Aquasol manufactured by Hickory Dyeing and Winding Co., Inc., of Hickory, NC. This particular yarn is a long chain polyvinyl alcohol with a dry tensile strength of about three grams per denier. When the soluble yarns knitted in the fabric are bathed with heated water, the yarns tend to lose their tensile strength at approximately F and above, the yarns become an amorphous mass at approximately I30F and above, and the yarns become soluble at approximately F and above.
The roll 14 is taken from the knitting machine after a supply of knitted material has been accumulated thereon and transferred to a subsequent processing station as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. In the process disclosed in FIG. 2, the double thickness of tubular knitted material is fed out from roll 14 and passed along a path through a series of fabric treating stations by one or more sets of feed rollers 15. The material is first fed to bathing station 18 where it is received on endless belt conveyor system 19. The material is received on the downwardly inclined upper flight 20 of the conveyor system and is immersed in the heated aqueous solution 21. The conveyor belt and length of material pass beneath roller 22, then move up the upwardly inclined upper flight 23 out of the heated aqueous solution 21. The conveyor belt is fabricated from a porous Dacron material which allows the liquid to readily drain away from the fabric carried by the conveyor belt. After the fabric reaches a height sufficient to lift it out of the tank 24, it passes over guide roller 25 and resumes its horizontal direction of movement toward the pairs of squeeze rollers 27. The pairs of squeeze rollers 27 engage opposite sides of the conveyor belt and tend to squeeze the fabric and conveyor belt in order to extract the liquid from the material as it leaves bathing station 18. The liquid extracted from the material by squeeze rollers 27 falls into drain system 28 and is disposed of. The conveyor belt passes around a series of guide rollers 30 beneath tank 24 to return to the downwardly inclined upper flight 20.
After the length of knitted material leaves bathing station 18 it continues to move along its path through drying station 31. Drying station 31 also includes an endless belt conveyor system 32 for handling the lengths of material. The length of material is passed from the horizontal upper flight 29 of endless belt conveyor system 19 onto the horizontal upper flight 33 of endless belt conveyor system 32. A series of heating stations 35, 36, 37, 38, and 39 are spaced along the upper flight 33. Each heating station includes a radiant heater and a vent housing. For example, heating station includes radiant heater 40a and vent housing 41a. The radiant heaters are alternately disposed on opposite sides of upper flight 33, and the vent housing for each radiant heater is disposed on the opposite side of the upper flight 33. For example, radiant heaters 40a, 40c and 40e are positioned above upper flight 33 of the endless belt conveyor system 32 while vent housings 41a, 41c and 412 are positioned below upper flight 33. These radiant heaters are positioned closely adjacent upper flight 33 and are arranged to focus the radiant heat emitted therefrom toward the upper flight. Each vent housing is connected to the inlet of fan 42 through appropriate ductwork.
Belt vibrators 43, 44, 45, and 46 are positioned be tween each heating station 35-39. Each belt vibrator comprises a pair of rollers 47 and 48 connected at their ends to a pair of rotating arms 49. The rotating arms are rotatable about axle 50 and driven in the direction indicated by arrows 51 and by a motor and belt drive system (not shown). The rollers 47 and 48 of each vibrator sequentially engage the upper flight 33 of endless belt conveyor system 32 so as to continuously vibrate the upper flight.
Stacking station 54 is located at the end of drying station 31 and includes a conventional stacker 55 that receives the garment parts from the drying station 31 and stacks the garment parts in appropriate stacks 56.
As is illustrated in FIG. 3,.wherein a modified form of the invention is disclosed, the length of knitted material is taken from roll 14 and is passed along a path by one or more sets of feed rollers through a series of fabric treating stations. Bathing station 61 includes endless belt conveyor system 62 which receives the lengths of knitted material on its upper horizontal flight 63 and moves the material through the bathing station. A series of guide rollers 64 direct the conveyor belt of the conveyor system, and tank 65 is located beneath the upper flight 63. Pump 66 continuously directs the heated aqueous solution 67 from tank 65 through spray system 68. Spray system 68 functions to direct a downward flow of hot aqueous solution toward the upper.
flight 63 of the endless belt conveyor system and back into tank 65. One or more pairs of squeeze rollers 70 engage opposite sides of the upper flight 63 of the conveyor system and the length of fabric carried on the conveyor system and squeeze the aqueous solution from the length of fabric. The liquid removed by squeeze rollers 70 falls to drain system 71 and is disposed of.
Drying station 74 is positioned adjacent bathing station 61 and is similar to drying station 31 in that it includes a series of heating stations 75 with belt vibrators 76 disposed between adjacent ones of the heating stations. Stacking station 78 is located adjacent drying station 74 and is similar to stacking station 54.
While no liquid heaters are illustrated in the drawing, it will be understood that appropriate heaters are utilized in the system to maintain the aqueous solution in tanks 24 and 65 at the appropriate temperature level. The aqueous solution is chosen so as to be compatible with the fabric used in the knit as well as the soluble yarn knitted in the fabric. In most instances, the aqueous solution will comprise water and the solution is maintained at a temperature level high enough to dissolve the soluble yarns knitted in the length of material and to begin the shrinking or heat setting of the material.
Referring to FIG. 2, when the lengths of knitted material is received at bathing station 18, the material are moved down the downwardly inclined upper flight 20 of the belt conveyor system 19 into the heated liquid, passed beneath guide roller 22, then moved in an upward direction along upwardly inclined flight 23 until it emerges from the liquid. The temperature of the liquid is high enough to begin the heat setting or shrinking of the material. After the material moves beyond tank 24 it passes through the pairs of squeeze rollers 27, and a substantial amount of the liquid remaining in the material is squeezed from the material and falls to drain system 28. While the soluble yarns knitted in the material will have lost their tensile strength and will have become an amorphous mass while submerged in the liquid within tank 24, some of the soluble yarn residue is likely to be carried with the material out of the liquid in tank 24 to squeeze rollers 27. Squeeze rollers 27 therefore function to remove from the material a substantial amount of the residue left by the soluble yarn. The residue from the soluble yarn may affect the affinity of the dye for the material in a subsequent dyeing process, thus the disposal of the liquid squeezed from the material is desirable since it tends to keep the liquid in tank 24 from becoming contaminated with the soluble yarn residue. Also, the squeezing of the material by squeeze rollers 27 expedites the drying step which follows the bathing step.
When the now separated garment parts are received at drying station 31, the radiant heaters 40a-40e focus ment parts as they move along their path at spaced intervals along the path.
the material are alternately heated as the material is carried along the conveyor belt. This prevents overheating one side of the material. The evaporating liquid forms vapor in the vicinity of the radiant heaters, and the vent housings 4la-4Ie direct the vapors through the ductwork toward the inlet of fan 42. The velocity of the air flow through the ductwork is relatively slow since all that is required is to physically remove the vapor from the vicinity of the garment parts and to keep the work area about the system from becoming uncomfortable to the operators. Vibrators 43-46 function to vibrate the upper flight 33 of the conveyor system so that the garment parts do not tend to cling to the conveyor belt and so the garment parts are free to shrink uniformly. The vibration of the garment parts also tends to fluff the garment parts after the squeezing step performed by squeeze rollers 27, assist in removing the steam vapor from the vicinity of the garment parts, prevent the entrapment of dead air between the layers of garment parts, and remove any soluble yarn residue from the garment parts.
The process illustrated in FIG. 3 is substantially similar to that illustrated in FIG. 2 except for the process performed at the bathing station. The spray system of bathing station 61 functions to direct a spray of aqueous solution onto the material carried by the upper flight 63 of the conveyor system. The force of the spray can be regulated in accordance with the fabric material and the soluble yarn. The shrinking or heat setting of the garment part can be performed in the process of FIG. 3 by regulating the temperature of the liquid and of the radiant heaters at drying station 74. The fluid used in the spray system can be liquid or gas, for example, water or saturated steam. The higher temperature steam is effective to remove the water soluble yarns because of its higher heat as well as the velocity of impingement of the steam against the yarn. If desired, the flow of fluid against the fabric 10 can be continuous or intermittent.
While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinbefore and as defined in the appended claims.
1. A process of manufacturing garment parts or the like comprising knitting a length of material comprising a series of garment parts with yarns knitted into the length of material between the garment parts which are water soluble at temperatures above 125F., placing the length of material in a dry condition on a belt conveyor system, moving the length of material along its length with the belt conveyor system through a path,
bathing the length of the material as it moves along its path at its water soluble yarns with an aqueous solution at a temperature above 125F. to dissolve the water soluble yarns and separate the garment parts of the material, squeezing the garment parts as they move along their path to remove the aqueous solution from the garment parts, alternately heating the garment parts as they move along their path from opposite sides of the path to dry the garment parts, and vibrating the gar- 2. The processof claim 1 and wherein the step of bathing the length of material comprises directing a flow of aqueous solution onto the length of material at the portions thereof which contain the water soluble threads.
3. The process of claim 1 and wherein the step of bathing the length of material as it moves along its pathcomprises recirculating the aqueous solution, and wherein the step of squeezing the garment parts as they move along their path to remove the aqueous solution from the garment parts comprises disposing of the aqueous solution.
4. The process of claim 1 and wherein the step of alternately heating the garment parts as they move along their path from opposite sides of the path comprises applying radiant heat to the garment parts alternately from opposite sides of the path at a series of heating stations along the path and venting air from the opposite side of the path at each heating station.
5. A process of manufacturing garment parts or the like comprising knitting garment parts in a length of tubular material with water soluble yarns knitted into the length of material between adjacent ones of the garment parts, placing the double thickness of tubular material in a substantially dry condition on a belt conveyor system, moving the length of material and the belt conveyor-system along a path, bathing the length of material with a heated aqueous solution at a temperature high enough to dissolve the water soluble yarns and to separate the garment parts of the material from one another and to begin heat setting of the garment parts as they move along the path while continuing to support the garment parts on the belt conveyor system, and vibrating the garment parts at spaced intervals along the path while simultaneously drying the garment parts at a temperature high enough to continue the heat setting of the garment parts while continuing to support the garment parts on the belt conveyor system.
6. The process of claim 5 and further including the step of squeezing the garment parts after the step of bathing the length of material and before the step of drying the garment parts.
7. A process of manufacturing garment parts or the like comprising knitting a length of material comprising a series of garment parts with yarns knitted into the length of material between the garment parts which are water soluble at temperatures above F., placing the length of material in a dry condition on a belt conveyor system, moving the length of material along its length with the belt conveyor system through a path, submerging the length of the material as it moves along its path in an aqueous solution at a temperature above 125F. to dissolve the water soluble yarns and separate the garment parts of the material, squeezing the garment parts as they move along their path to remove the aqueous solution from the garment parts, alternately heating the garment parts as they move along their path from opposite sides of the path to dry the garment parts, and vibrating the garment parts as they move along their path.
8. In a process of manufacturing garment parts or the like wherein the garment parts are knitted in a length of material with water soluble yarns knitted into the length of material between adjacent ones of the garment parts, the improvement in the process comprising vibrating the garment parts at spaced intervals along the path while simultaneously heating and ventilating the separated garment parts as the garment parts continue to move along the processing path to dry and heat set the garment parts.
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|Clasificación de EE.UU.||28/168, 68/205.00R, 34/273|