WO2014066394A1 - Upholstery zipper joining method and article made by same - Google Patents

Upholstery zipper joining method and article made by same Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014066394A1
WO2014066394A1 PCT/US2013/066188 US2013066188W WO2014066394A1 WO 2014066394 A1 WO2014066394 A1 WO 2014066394A1 US 2013066188 W US2013066188 W US 2013066188W WO 2014066394 A1 WO2014066394 A1 WO 2014066394A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
zipper
seam
gap
extends
join
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2013/066188
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert D. Blair, Iii
Original Assignee
Johnson Controls Technology Company
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US201261716865P priority Critical
Priority to US61/716,865 priority
Application filed by Johnson Controls Technology Company filed Critical Johnson Controls Technology Company
Publication of WO2014066394A1 publication Critical patent/WO2014066394A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/58Seat coverings
    • B60N2/5816Seat coverings attachments thereof
    • B60N2/5825Seat coverings attachments thereof by hooks, staples, clips, snap fasteners or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/58Seat coverings
    • B60N2/5816Seat coverings attachments thereof
    • B60N2/5883Seat coverings attachments thereof by sewing, stitching or threading
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/58Seat coverings
    • B60N2/5891Manufacturing methods specially adapted therefor
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/58Seat coverings
    • B60N2/60Removable protective coverings
    • B60N2/6018Removable protective coverings attachments thereof
    • B60N2/6027Removable protective coverings attachments thereof by hooks, staples, clips, snap fasteners or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60NSEATS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR VEHICLES; VEHICLE PASSENGER ACCOMMODATION NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60N2/00Seats specially adapted for vehicles; Arrangement or mounting of seats in vehicles
    • B60N2/58Seat coverings
    • B60N2/60Removable protective coverings
    • B60N2/6018Removable protective coverings attachments thereof
    • B60N2/609Removable protective coverings attachments thereof by sewing, stitching or threading

Abstract

A zipper 32 may be used in conjunction with a join seam to unite to pieces of fabric. A particular sew pattern and tack element 90 may be applied to the pieces of fabric to prevent the formation of a discontinuity (e.g., gap) forming at the junction of the zipper and join seam. Such a method may be particularly desirable as applied to upholstered vehicle seats, but may also be applied in any instance wherein an upholstered item contains a junction between a zipper and a seam.

Description

UPHOLSTERY ZIPPER JOINING METHOD AND ARTICLE

MADE BY SAME

BACKGROUND

[0001] The invention relates generally to vehicle interior components, and more particularly to a method and pattern of sewing vehicle seating upholstery.

[0002] Vehicle seating may generally be upholstered with leather, plastics, fabrics, or a combination to provide comfortable seating for the vehicle occupants while creating aesthetic appeal within the cabin of the vehicle. Vehicle seat upholstery may be formed from several pieces of seat material that may be sewn together to form an upholstery shell prior to being placed over a frame and padding of a vehicle seat. The seating upholstery may include zippers, pockets, or other accessories to add functionality to the seats, and facilitate their installation and removal.

[0003] Zippers may be incorporated in the seat upholstery to provide ease of assembly when placing the upholstery shell over the seat frame and padding. Such zippers are generally located near the bottom or side of the seat to enable the upholstery to fit over the seat frame tautly once the zippers are closed. However, the taut material around the zippers may cause unsightly gapping between the pieces of upholstery along the zippers and particularly at the end of the zipper assembly. Further, the placement of the zippers may be disadvantageous for gaining access to interior components of the vehicle seats. There is a need in the art, therefore, for innovative solutions to integrating zippers in vehicle seat upholstery that improve accessibility to internal seat components without detracting from the aesthetic quality of the vehicle seats.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

[0004] The invention provides a novel method for creating an upholstered article, such as a vehicle seat, that is designed to respond to such needs. In accordance with certain aspects, a method of joining vehicle upholstery sections includes utilizing a tack element at the junction of a zipper and a join seam to couple upholstery sections to one another. The tack element may reduce discontinuities at the junction to improve the aesthetic appearance of the seat.

DRAWINGS

[0005] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood when the following detailed description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings in which like characters represent like parts throughout the drawings, wherein:

[0006] FIG. 1 is perspective view of an upholstered vehicle seat that may be created using an assembly sewing method in accordance with aspects of the present invention;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary portion of the upholstered vehicle seat of FIG. 1;

[0008] FIG. 3 is a 2D view of an exemplary sewing pattern that may be used to create the vehicle seat upholstery as in FIG. 2;

[0009] FIG. 4 is a 2D view of the sewing pattern of FIG. 3 with an attached tack element;

[0010] FIG. 5 is a 2D view of the sewing pattern and tack element of FIG. 4 having the tack element folded under; and

[0011] FIG. 6 is a 2D view of the sewing pattern and tack element with attached zipper segments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0012] Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary upholstered vehicle seat 10 in which the invention may be deployed. The vehicle seat 10 may generally include a lower portion 12 (i.e., a seat portion) and an upper portion 14 (i.e., a back rest portion). Each portion of the seat may include upholstery panels, such as a side panel 16 and a rear panel 18 on the upper portion 14. The panels 16 and 18 may enclose internal components of the vehicle seat 10 (e.g., cushions, sensors, assembly components, airbags, seat frame, etc.), while providing a comfortable seating surface for the vehicle occupants. Further, as the vehicle seats 10 occupy a large portion of the vehicle cabin, they should be aesthetically appealing to the occupants. As described in detail below, the seats 10 may incorporate particular sewing patterns and methods designed to enable access to the internal components of the seats 10 without compromising aesthetic appeal.

[0013] As shown in FIG. 2, an edge 28 is formed where the side panel 16 meets the rear panel 18 on the upper portion 14 of the seat 10. A portion of the edge 28 may include a join seam 30 that couples the side panel 16 and the rear panel 18 with repeated stitches (i.e., the panels 16 and 18 are sewn together). Additionally, a portion of the edge 28 may have a zipper 32 to couple the side panel 16 and the rear panel 18. As such, a zipper segment 34 may be located on each the side panel 16 and the rear panel 18. Each zipper segment 34 may include a row of teeth that alternatingly couple with teeth on another zipper segment 34 to couple the side panel 16 and rear panel 18 along a portion of the edge 28. Coupling of the teeth may be facilitated by a zipper pull 36, which moves vertically along the zipper segments 34. The zipper pull 36 may be visible or hidden to improve the aesthetic quality of the edge 28.

[0014] The join seam 30 and the zipper 32 may meet at an upper location 38 along the edge 28. The join seam 30 may extend from the upper location 38 over the top of the seat 10 and along the front of the seat 10. The zipper 32 may extend down from the upper location 38 to a lower location 40 near the bottom of the seat 10 (e.g., where the upper portion 14 meets the lower portion 12). Placing the zipper 32 such that it extends all the way to the upper location 38 may enable access to internal components of the seat 10 that may not be accessible when the zipper 32 is only located near the bottom of the seat 10. For example, an upper air bag assembly may be accessible via the zipper 32 at the upper location 38. As detailed further below, the upper location 38 may incorporate particular elements and/or procedures to ensure that the transition between the join seam 30 and the zipper 32 does not detract from the aesthetic quality of the seat 10. Further, to improve the aesthetic quality of the seat 10, a design stitch 42 may run adjacent to the join seam 30. [0015] FIG. 3 details a sew pattern 46 that may be used to improve the aesthetic quality at the upper location 38 where the join seam 30 and the zipper 32 meet. Particularly, the sew pattern 50 may prevent unsightly discontinuities (e.g., gaps) from forming at the upper location 38. The sew pattern 46 may have a right side 48 and a left side 50. In the depicted embodiment, the right side 48 is applied to an A- side (e.g., the side of the material that is exposed when the seat 10 is fully assembled) of the rear panel 18, and the left side 50 is applied to the A-side of the side panel 16. However, in general, either side 48 and 50 of the pattern 46 may be applied to either panel 16 and 18. Each side 48 and 50 of the sew pattern 46 may include a join sewing region 52 near the top of the pattern 46, a gap region 52 near the middle of the pattern 46, and a zipper region 56 near the bottom of the pattern 46. While particularly useful when applied to upholstery for vehicle seats 10, the sew pattern 46 may be used in any instance where it is desirable to join two pieces of material using a zipper and a seam while preventing a discontinuity from forming between the zipper and the seam.

[0016] The join sewing region 52 is located at the top of the sew pattern 46 on both the right and left sides 48 and 50. A join seam line 58 (shown as a solid line) extends divergently through the join sewing region 52. The join seam line 58 indicates where the join seam 30 should be sewn on each panel 16 and 18. A join selvage line 60 (shown as a dashed line) runs parallel to the join seam line 58. The join selvage line 60 may indicate an amount of excess material that should extend beyond the join seam line 58 to leave space for the sewing operation. As such, the join selvage line 60 may be located a join selvage width 62 away from the join seam line 58. The join selvage width 62 may be between approximately 8 mm and 15 mm for vehicle seats 10, and may vary for other applications. A first stopping indicator 64 may be located along the join seam line 58 and the join selvage line 60 on either side 48 or 50 of the pattern 46. In the depicted embodiment, the stopping indicator 64 is shown on the right side 48 (e.g., the rear panel 18) and has a notch shape. However, as stated, the stopping indicator 64 may be alternatively located on the left side 50. Further, the stopping indicator 64 may have a different geometry. The stopping indicator 64 may be used to indicate where a tack seam 66 terminates. As detailed below, the tack seam 66 may aid in preventing the formation of a discontinuity at the upper location 38. The tack seam 66 may extend from the gap region 54 to the stopping indicator 64 along the join seam line 58. In certain embodiments, the tack seam 66 may be approximately 30 mm long.

[0017] The gap region 54 is located near the middle of the sew pattern 46, between the join sewing region 52 and the zipper region 56. The gap region 54 includes a seam-free gap 68. The gap 68 may extend inward and downward from the join seam line 58 to form an external notch 70, which visually distinguishes the gap 68 for the operator manufacturing the seat 10. The gap 68 may extend a length 72, which remains intentionally unsewn (e.g., no seams extend into the gap 68). As detailed below, the gap 68 may be useful in preventing any discontinuities at the upper location 38. In certain embodiments, the length 72 of the gap 68 may be approximately 4 mm.

[0018] The zipper region 56 is located near the bottom of the sew pattern 46, commencing at the bottom of the gap 68. On both sides 48 and 50 of the pattern 46, a zipper seam line 74 (shown as a solid line) divergently extends through the zipper region 56 and indicates where the zipper segments 34 should be sewn onto the side and rear panels 16 and 18. A second stopping indicator 76 is located on both sides 48 and 50 of the pattern 46. The stopping indicator 76 may have a notch shape to visually indicate where the gap 68 ends and where the zipper seam line 74 begins. However, in other embodiments, the stopping indicator 76 may have another suitable shape that provides a visual indicator of location to the operator. The zipper region 56 of the pattern 46 may include zipper selvage lines 78 (shown as dashed lines). The zipper selvage lines 78 may indicate an amount of excess material (e.g., of the panels 16 and 18) that should extend beyond the zipper seam line 74 to leave space for the sewing operation used to attach the zipper 32. Accordingly, the zipper selvage line 78 may be located a zipper selvage width 80 away from the zipper seam line 74. In certain embodiments, the zipper selvage width 80 may be less than the join selvage width 62. For example, the zipper selvage width 80 may be between approximately 4 mm and 12 mm, depending on the application.

[0019] FIG. 4 depicts the side and rear panels 16 and 18 after the sew pattern 46 has been applied. Accordingly, the panels 16 and 18 may have been cut along the selvage lines 60 and 78. Further, as in the depicted embodiment, a tack element 90 may be provided to act as a pull strip throughout the sewing and stitching processes applied to the side and rear panels 16 and 18. Particularly, the tack element 90 may aid in preventing the formation of a discontinuity between the join seam 30 and the zipper 32 at the upper location 38 by providing a grasping location for the operator during sewing procedures of the panels 16 and 18. Further, the tack element 90 may provide a location for back tacking and reinforcement for stitching. The tack element 90 may be generally rectangular and may be made of any suitable fabric material.

[0020] In the depicted embodiment, the tack element 90 is coupled to the rear panel 18 since the rear panel 18 has the first stopping indicator 62. However, in other embodiments, the tack element 90 may be coupled to the side panel 16 if the side panel 16 incorporates the first stopping indicator 62. As described, the tack seam 66 may be used to couple the tack element 90 to the B-side (i.e., the side internal to the seat 10) of the rear panel 18. In FIG. 4, the portion of the tack element 90 that is disposed under the rear panel 18 is shown with a dashed line. As previously mentioned, the tack seam 66 may overlap with a portion of the join seam line 58 and extend from the first stopping indicator 62 to the top of the gap 68, without extending into the gap 68. In certain embodiments, the tack seam 66 may be 30 mm long; however, the tack seam 66 may vary in length depending on the application.

[0021] To provide a grasping location for the operator during assembly, the tack element 90 may be only partially coupled to the rear panel 18. Therefore, the tack element 90 may have a length 92 such that a portion of the tack element 90 extends beyond the tack seam 66 to form a loose end 94. For example, in certain embodiments, the length 92 of the tack element 90 may be approximately 100 mm long and have an approximately 30 mm tack seam 66, thereby making the loose end 94 of the tack element 90 approximately 70 mm long. The loose end 94 may extend beyond the gap region 54 and the second stopping indicator 76 into the zipper region 56.

[0022] FIG. 5 depicts the panels 16 and 18 after the sew pattern 46 has been applied and with the tack element 90 sewn to the B-side of the rear panel 18 with the tack seam 66. Further, the loose end 94 of the tack element 90 may be folded under itself towards the B-side of the rear panel 18 to prepare the panels 16 and 18 for the addition of the zipper segments 34. By folding the loose end 94 under, the operator may ensure that the loose end 94 does not accidentally become attached to the rear panel 18 when the zipper segment 34 is sewn to the rear panel 18 as the loose end 94 may be utilized as a grasping location at other points in the assembly process.

[0023] FIG. 6 depicts the panels 16 and 18 after the sew pattern 46 has been applied, with the tack element 90 affixed by the tack seam 66, and with the zipper elements 34 in place. As shown, both the side panel 16 and the rear panel 18 include the zipper segment 34. As such, the zipper segments 34 may fit together to couple the side panel 16 to the rear panel 18 along a portion of the edge 28 of the seat 10.

[0024] The zipper segments 34 may include a ribbon 102 with a row of teeth 104 (shown with the dotted pattern) that extends the length of the ribbon 102. In the depicted embodiment, the panels 16 and 18 are shown having the A-side up with the zipper segments 34 placed face down (i.e., the teeth 104 are on the bottom). In this arrangement, the zipper segments 34 may be coupled to the panels 16 and 18 with a zipper seam 106. The zipper seam 106 may be sewn along the zipper seam line 74 on each panel 16 and 18 and may extend from the second stopping indicator 76 through the zipper region 56. In this way, a portion of each zipper segment 34 may extend beyond the second stopping indicators 76 and remain unsewn to form free ends 108. As described below, the free ends 108 may be used with the gap 68 to create an aesthetic transition between the join seam 30 and the zipper 32. Additionally, the zipper seam 106 may be located laterally to the row of teeth 104, such that the teeth 104 may remain able to couple.

[0025] After the zipper segments 34 are coupled to the panels 16 and 18, the join seam 30 may be created in the join sewing region 52 to couple the side and rear panels 16 and 18 along a portion of the edge 28. To ensure the free ends 108 of the zipper segments 34 do not get caught in the join seam 30, they may be retained using a small fence or roller guide in the gap 68. The operator may fold the free ends 108 of the zipper segments 34 over themselves to clear the free ends 108 from the sewing path, using the fence to retain the folded portion of the zipper segments 34. The join seam 30 may overlap the tack seam 66 that is also located on the join seam line 58. Additionally, the design stitch 42 may be applied adjacent to the join seam 30. Further, the zipper pull 36 may be installed, which enables the operator to couple the zipper segments 34, resulting in the vehicle seat 10 shown in FIG. 2.

[0026] While only certain features and embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, many modifications and changes may occur to those skilled in the art (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter recited in the claims. The order or sequence of any process or method steps may be varied or re-sequenced according to alternative embodiments. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention. Furthermore, in an effort to provide a concise description of the exemplary embodiments, all features of an actual implementation may not have been described (i.e., those unrelated to the presently contemplated best mode of carrying out the invention, or those unrelated to enabling the claimed invention). It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation specific decisions may be made. Such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1. A method for joining upholstery sections comprising:
joining a tack element to a first section by a tack seam that extends from a first gap to a stopping point;
joining a first zipper segment to the first section by a first zipper seam that extends to the first gap but not into the first gap, the first zipper segment having a first free end that extends beyond the first gap;
joining a second zipper segment to a second section by a second zipper seam that extends to a second gap but not into the second gap, the second zipper segment having a second free end that extends beyond the second gap;
folding the first and second free ends back over the first and second gaps; and joining the first and second sections by a join seam that extends over the tack element.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the join seam extends to the first and second gaps but not into the first and second gaps.
3. The method of claim 1, comprising placing a fence adjacent to the gaps and prior to folding the first and second free ends back over the first and second gaps.
4. The method of claim 1, comprising performing a design stitch adjacent to the join seam.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the first section comprises a vehicle seat side panel and the second section comprises a vehicle seat rear panel.
6. The method of claim 1 , wherein the steps are performed in the order listed.
7. The method of claim 1, wherein the first and second gaps are approximately equal in length.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein a zipper salvage adjacent to the first and second zipper seams is different from a join salvage adjacent to the join seam.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the zipper salvage has a width smaller than a width of the join salvage.
10. An upholstered article comprising:
a tack element joined to a first section by a tack seam that extends from a first gap to a stopping point;
a first zipper segment joined to the first section by a first zipper seam that extends to the first gap but not into the first gap, the first zipper segment having a first free end that extends beyond the first gap;
a second zipper segment joined to a second section by a second zipper seam that extends to a second gap but not into the second gap, the second zipper segment having a second free end that extends beyond the second gap; and
a join seam joining the first and second sections and extending over the tack element.
11. The article of claim 10, wherein the join seam extends to the first and second gaps but not into the first and second gaps.
12. The article of claim 10, comprising a design stitch adjacent to the join seam.
13. The article of claim 10, wherein the first section comprises a vehicle seat side panel and the second section comprises a vehicle seat rear panel.
14. The article of claim 13, wherein the zipper extends from a lower location of the vehicle seat to an upper location, and wherein the join seam is adjacent to the upper location.
15. The article of claim 10, wherein the first and second gaps are approximately equal in length.
16. The article of claim 10, wherein a zipper salvage adjacent to the first and second zipper seams is different from a join salvage adjacent to the join seam.
17. An upholstered vehicle seat comprising:
a tack element joined to a one of a side panel and a rear panel by a tack seam that extends from a first gap to a stopping point;
a first zipper segment joined to the side panel by a first zipper seam that extends to the first gap but not into the first gap, the first zipper segment having a first free end that extends beyond the first gap;
a second zipper segment joined to the rear panel by a second zipper seam that extends to a second gap but not into the second gap, the second zipper segment having a second free end that extends beyond the second gap; and
a join seam joining the side and rear panels and extending over the tack element.
18. The seat of claim 17, wherein the zipper extends from a lower location of the vehicle seat to an upper location, and wherein the join seam is adjacent to the upper location.
19. The seat of claim 17, wherein the join seam extends to the first and second gaps but not into the first and second gaps.
20. The article of claim 17, comprising a design stitch adjacent to the join seam.
PCT/US2013/066188 2012-10-22 2013-10-22 Upholstery zipper joining method and article made by same WO2014066394A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US201261716865P true 2012-10-22 2012-10-22
US61/716,865 2012-10-22

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WO2014066394A1 true WO2014066394A1 (en) 2014-05-01

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PCT/US2013/066188 WO2014066394A1 (en) 2012-10-22 2013-10-22 Upholstery zipper joining method and article made by same

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2016215969A (en) * 2015-05-26 2016-12-22 ジョンソン コントロールズ テクノロジー カンパニーJohnson Controls Technology Company Back board fitting structure and vehicle seat

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2852801A1 (en) * 2003-03-28 2004-10-01 Metalplast Seat cover
WO2007072964A1 (en) * 2005-12-19 2007-06-28 Ts Tech Co., Ltd Cushion for seat

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR2852801A1 (en) * 2003-03-28 2004-10-01 Metalplast Seat cover
WO2007072964A1 (en) * 2005-12-19 2007-06-28 Ts Tech Co., Ltd Cushion for seat

Non-Patent Citations (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Title
None

Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2016215969A (en) * 2015-05-26 2016-12-22 ジョンソン コントロールズ テクノロジー カンパニーJohnson Controls Technology Company Back board fitting structure and vehicle seat

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