Interlocking ring curtain liner and curtain systems thereof
Inactive Publication Date: 2020-03-12
WELLS INT LLC
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AI-Extracted Technical Summary
Problems solved by technology
Although many types of window curtains and curtain liners have been designed and commercialized, installation and operation of them are often cumbersome.
When they are assembled on the same curtain rod, sliding them open or close often is not smooth...
Benefits of technology
The present invention provides improvements over the existing curtain systems w...
Improved curtain liners comprising a plurality of fabric loops for convenient hanging on a curtain rod through clip hanging rings, with the liner panel, fabric loops, and clip hanging rings all hidden from the view of front curtain, and the curtain systems comprising such improved curtain liners are disclosed.
Structural engineeringMechanical engineering
- Experimental program(1)
The present invention provides a curtain liner system comprising uniquely designed hanging loops in combination with clip hanging rings.
In one aspect, the present invention provides a curtain liner comprising: a liner panel having a top horizontal hem attached with a plurality of vertical fabric loops, each fabric loop capable of interlocking with a clip hanging ring, which clip hanging ring can click-open from or close onto a curtain rod, wherein the liner panel can fit snugly behind a curtain hanging on the same curtain rod and open or fold smoothly along with the curtain, when the hanging rings slide along the curtain rod.
In one embodiment of this aspect, the liner panel is substantially rectangular-shaped having a bottom horizontal hem at substantially the same height as, or slightly higher than, for example, less than 5 inches, less than 4 inches, less than 3 inches, less than 2 inches, less than 1 inch, or less than 0.5 inches higher than, the bottom hem of the front curtain when both the liner and the front curtain are hung on the curtain rod.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the plurality of the vertical fabric loops is the same as that of the hanging means on the front curtain.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the spacing between each pair of adjacent loops is determined based on the spacing of corresponding pair of adjacent hanging means on the front curtain such that the clip hanging rings can smoothly slide along the curtain rod along with the hanging means of the front curtain.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the plurality of the vertical fabric loops is eight so that the curtain liner fits with an 8-grommet curtain.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the dimensions of the liner panel and of the fabric loops on the top hem of the liner panel are determined based on the size and dimensions of the front curtain such that the liner panel, the fabric loops, and the clip hanging rings are substantially or completely hidden from view of the front curtain.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the dimensions of the liner panel and of the fabric loops on the top hem of the liner panel are substantially as described in the specification and the Figures.
As a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand, any two or more, or all, of the above-described embodiments can be combined to form yet another embodiment.
In another aspect, the present invention provides a curtain system comprising a curtain liner according to one or more embodiments described above, or any combination thereof, a front curtain comprising a curtain panel having a top hem and a bottom hem, with a plurality of hanging means aligned horizontally close to the top hem, and a curtain rod, wherein the curtain liner and the front curtain can hang on the curtain rod together in an aligned way such that the curtain liner is hidden from view of the front curtain.
In one embodiment of this aspect, the hanging means of the front curtain comprises grommets with diameter larger than the diameter of the curtain rod.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the curtain is an 8-grommet window curtain.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the curtain is an 8-grommet 84″ window curtain system.
In another embodiment of this aspect, the curtain liner or curtain system is substantially as depicted or described.
In another aspect, the present invention provides a method of preparing a curtain liner according to any embodiment as described, comprising making a plurality of fabric loops, (2) sewing or stitching the fabric loops onto a liner panel with spacing between adjacent loops pre-determined according to spacing of hanging means of the curtain to which the curtain liner matches, and (3) optionally selecting clip hanging rings for hanging the curtain liner onto curtain rod behind the curtain.
In one embodiment of this aspect, the step of making fabric loops comprises the steps of: (a) cutting a fabric into a substantially rectangular shape (e.g., in a size of 3″ W×4.5″ L); (b) folding and sewing the fabric into a double layer ribbon (e.g., in a size of 1″ W×4.5″ L); and (c) folding the ribbon at the mid-point to form a four-layer loop (e.g., in a size of 1″ W×2.25″ L).
In one embodiment of this aspect, the method of sewing or stitching the fabric loops comprises: (d) providing a curtain liner panel in substantially rectangular shape having a top hem and a bottom hem, wherein the top hem comprises a bottom line and a top line; (e) sewing or stitching the open end of the four-layer loop made in step (c) of claim 15 to the bottom line of the curtain liner top hem; and (f) sewing or stitching the loop onto the top line of the curtain liner top hem; wherein the step (e) and step (f) fasten the 4-layer loop onto the top hem of the curtain liner permanently and firmly.
Unless otherwise defined, all terms in this application take ordinary meanings as understood by those of ordinary skill in the art.
The term “substantially” as used herein means “for the most part”, “essentially”, or the like. For example, a design having dimensions slightly different in one way or another from what is disclosed or claimed herein, but overall its function and/or aesthetic effects are approximately the same, it can be considered substantially the same design.
The term “about,” as used herein, means that a number can vary up to ±10%, sometimes preferably within ±5%, and sometimes more preferably within ±2%. When “about” is used in front of a range, it applies to both upper and lower limits of the range.
The term “a,”“an,” or “the,” as used herein, represents both singular and plural forms. In general, when either a singular or a plural form of a noun is used, it denotes both singular and plural forms of the noun.
While the liner was designed to match with grommet window curtains, its utility is not so limited. It can be used to match with window curtains, window drapes, shower curtains, or the like, in any sizes or types, but it would preferably be used for grommet window curtains or drapes. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the curtain liner is used for an 8-grommet window curtain. While not intending to be limiting or bound by theory, in the following the invention will be illustrated by using a liner for an 8-grommet window curtain as an example.
The innovative part are the 8 fabric loops at the top hem of the liner designed so that the liner's hems cannot be seen through the front curtain, and the liner will seamlessly fit snugly behind the front curtain and flow with the folds of the front curtain. The spacing of each loop has been specifically designed to ensure this liner will work with all 8-grommet curtains on the U.S. market. With the addition of metal interlocking binder rings in each loop which easily clip onto the curtain rod, rather than most designs that attach to the front curtain, the process of adding a liner has been simplified.
The distinguishing features of this curtain liner includes, inter alia:  1) uniquely designed loop position;  2) specifically designed blocking area—a typical size for example, 50″×80″; and  3) combination of hanging loops and the clip open/close hanging rings (e.g., interlocking binder rings) for hanging the liner onto the curtain rod.
The following non-limiting example in one particular embodiment of the invention is provided to further illustrate certain aspects of the present invention through the Drawings.
Interlocking Ring Curtain Liner
FIG. 1 shows the liner construction. The liner comprises, or consists substantially of, the following three major parts:  1) 8 interlocking binder rings inserted through the loops;  2) 8 fabric loops installed on the top hem of the liner panel in a predetermined spacing according to the spacing of the 8 grommets on the front curtain; and  3) a main liner panel in a rectangular or substantially rectangular shape a size slightly small than the curtain panel, for example, about 50″×80″ blocking area.
FIG. 2 illustrates the designed loop positions. For 8-grommet curtains on the U.S. market, the grommet positions mostly are at the common positions as follows: From left to right, the first grommet inner circle center to the left edge is between 2.5″ to 3″; the eighth grommet inner circle center to right edge is between 2.5″ to 3″. All the rest of grommets in between are evenly spaced up.
When an 8-grommet curtain hangs on the rod, from the back view there are 4 sections of the rod onto which the interlocking rings can snap on.
According to the above grommet curtain features, through many sampling and testing, the spacing of each adjacent pair of loops has been specifically designed to fit with all 8-grommet curtains on the U.S. market and keep the liner in best balance.
To illustrate, the eight (8) 1″ wide fabric loops at the top hem of the liner were designed to have the following spacing arrangements:  a) First loop is 2.25″ from the left edge of the liner;  b) Second loop is 5″ from the first loop;  c) Third loop is 8.5″ from the second loop;  d) Fourth loop is 5″ from the third loop;  e) Fifth loop is 8.5″ from the fourth loop;  f) Sixth loop is 5″ from the fifth loop;  g) Seventh loop is 8.5″ from the sixth loop;  h) Eighth loop is 5″ from the seventh loop; and  i) Eighth loop 2.25″ to the right edge of the liner.
Based on the loop positions, the 8 loops were divided into 4 groups that are 8.5″ apart to fit into the 4 sections. Each group includes 2 rings that are 5″ apart to share the liner weight evenly.
FIG. 3 illustrates the liner panel in a rectangular shaped 50″×80″ blocking area that has been designed to perfectly match most widely used 8-grommet window curtains.
The liner panel shape was designed to make the liner most efficient for the blackout function and to make the front curtain look nice and elegant.
a. The 50″ Width
On the U.S. market, the common range of widths for 8-grommet curtains is between 50″ and 60″. The most widely used widths are 52″ and 54″. A 50″ liner is a perfect match for 52″ and 54″ curtains, but it also fits with all the other 8-grommet curtains within the common range of width. The present invention is not so limited. For example, it is applicable to any 8-grommet curtains with a width in the range of 30″ to 100″, preferably 40″ to 80″ and more preferably 50″ to 60″.
b. The 80″ Length
On 8-grommet window curtains in the U.S. market, the distance from 12 (the inner top point of the circular metal grommet) to 13 (the bottom seam of the grommet header) is no less than 2.25″. On the liner disclosed herein, the distance from 10 (the inner top point of the circular metal interlocking ring) to 11 (the top of the fabric header) is about 2.25″. The top loop and rings will be fully hidden behind the grommet header of the front curtain once the rings are clamped onto the rod and the liner fits in behind it. Most grommet curtains are made with a double or even a triple layer header to hold the metal grommets in place. Even on sheer curtains, most grommet headers are not see-through. Because of this liner's design, the top loops and rings are fully hidden behind the grommet header so the consumer will not notice the liner from the front view.
On the liner, the distance from 10 (the top point of the inner circle of the ring) to 14 (the bottom line of the liner) is about 82.25″. The distance from 12 (the inner top point of the circular metal grommet) to 15 (the bottom line of the grommet curtain) is no less than about 82.75″. Because of these measurements, when hanging on a rod together the liner will be shorter than the grommet curtain. Again, from the front view the consumer will hardly notice there is a liner behind the grommet curtain.
When the liner serves to protect the front curtain's appearance, it covers the maximum front curtain area that needs to be blocked from the sun light.
FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 illustrate certain advantages of adding the binder rings to a liner.
For example, the advantages of adding the loops (FIG. 4) include, inter alia:  1) The method of making of the loops makes them thick and sturdy.  2) The loops not only hold the strength but also control the liner header wave and tilt the rings in an angle to match the front curtain wave and grommet direction nicely.  3) Whether the front curtain is in the flat or a folding position, the loops make the liner match along with the front curtain as if it were an integral part of the curtain.
For illustration purpose, liner hanging loops can be made by a method containing the following steps (FIG. 5):  a) Step 1: Cut a 3″ W×4.5″ L thick blackout fabric;  b) Step 2: fold and sew the 3″ W×4.5″ L fabric into a double layer 1″ W×4.5″ L ribbon;  c) Step 3: fold the ribbon to make 1″ W×2.25″ L;  d) Step 4: stitch the ribbon bottom edge to the bottom line of the liner top hem;  e) Step 5: stitch the ribbon to the top line of the liner top hem;  f) The step 4 and step 5 strongly bounded the loop that is 4 layers with the top header.
With different testing on various methods, only the specifically designed loops were able to make the liner fit snugly behind the front curtain and flow with the folds of the front curtain.
The advantages of adding the binder rings to a liner (FIG. 6) include, but are not limited to:  a) Easy to install: simply by clipping the ring onto the rod without moving out the curtain or curtain rod. To compare with the traditional Pin-on liner and un-openable ring liner, the process of adding a liner has been much simplified.  b) Smooth sliding of curtain and curtain liner: we tested on rope, fabric ribbon, plastic open/lock ring and interlocking ring, and the interlocking ring provided the best result.  ii) rope or fabric ribbon liners were very hard to move with the front grommet curtain. During the sample test, the rope or ribbon had to be moved one by one, which indicates that a customer would have a hard time to open or close the curtains;  iii) plastic open/lock rings were easy to slide, but it was fragile only good for the temporary use. After tested a couple of times, it became broken;  iiii) interlocking rings were very sturdy and easy to slide during testing.  c) The inside diameter of the interlocking ring tested was 1.5″, which matches the grommet inner diameter. It will be able to fit onto most curtain rods that grommet curtains can fit.
The Curtain Liner Measurement Ranges
While not intended to be limiting, the curtain liner system functions well within the following measurement ranges (see FIG. 7):  1) The distance 10 (from the inner top point of the circular metal interlocking ring to the top of the fabric header) is between 1.5″ to 3.25″, in some embodiments between 1.5″ to 2.5″.  2) The distance 11 (the top point of the inner circle of the ring to the bottom line of the liner) is 81.5″ to 83.5″, in some embodiments 81.5″ to 82.5″.  3) The ring inner diameter range may be between 1″ to 2.75″, in some embodiments 1″ to 1.5″.  4) Eight (8) 1″ wide fabric loops at the top of the liner workable measurement range:  i) Distance 1 (the width between center of first loop to the left edge of the liner) may be between 1″ to 3″;  ii) Distance 2 (the width between “center of Second loop” to “center of first loop”) may be no less than 2.5″ and no more than the distance 3 (the width between “center of third loop” to “center of second loop”);  iii) Distance 3 (the width between center of third loop to center of second loop) may be no less than the distance 2 and no more than 12.5″;  iv) Distance 4 (the width between center of forth loop to center of third loop) may be no less than 2.5″ and no more than the distance 3 (the width between “center of third loop” to “center of second loop”);  v) Distance 5 (the width between center of fifth loop to center of forth loop) may be no less than the distance 2 and no more than 12.5″;  vi) Distance 6 (the width between center of sixth loop to center of fifth loop) may be no less than 2.5″ and no more than the distance 3 (the width between “center of third loop” to “center of second loop”);  vii) Distance 7 (the width between center of seventh loop to center of sixth loop) may be less than the distance 2 and no more than 12.5″;  viii) Distance 8 (the width between center of eighth loop to center of seventh loop) may be no less than 2.5″ and no more than the distance 3 (the width between “center of third loop” to “center of second loop”); and  ix) The width between center of eighth loop to the right edge of the liner may be between 1″ to 3″.
Other Sizes of Curtains and Curtain Liners
The most popular length for window curtains is 84″. Except 84″ length, there are other home textile industry standard lengths for 8-grommet curtain, such as 63″ curtain, 96″ curtain, 108″ curtain, and 120″ curtain. Accordingly, liners with liner panel sizes of 50″×59″, 50″×92″, 50″×104″, and 50″×116″, respectively, were designed to fit with them. As a person of ordinary skill in the art would understand, the design of the curtain liner of the present invention can be applied to any other widths or lengths of an 8-grommet curtain by modifying the dimensions of the relevant parts accordingly without losing the advantages of the invention.
The foregoing embodiments and examples are provided for illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Various changes and modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be apparent to those skilled in the art based on the present disclosure, and such changes and modifications may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
Description & Claims & Application Information
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