Window shade

A window curtain assembly is disclosed. The window curtain assembly includes a headrail, take up member, a pair of panels affixed to the headrail, and a pair of lift cords attached to the take up member and each panel. Rotation of the take up member winds the lift cords around the take up member moving the panels upwardly and away from each other to open the curtain.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Window coverings are utilized for shading light or blocking the view through a window opening, or for otherwise providing an aesthetic appearance to a window. Some well-known types of window coverings include Venetian blinds, Roman blinds, Cellular shades, and curtains. Each of these types of window coverings are designed to provide various aesthetic qualities and variable amounts of window opening coverage ranging from complete coverage, partial coverage, to providing no coverage at all.

A standard store purchased window covering assembly, such as a Venetian blind assembly, is a self-contained unit for mounting adjacent a window. A typical Venetian blind assembly consists of a headrail, a lift mechanism, and a tilt mechanism and a plurality of horizontally extending slats suspended from the headrail by a ladder cord. Operation of a cords or chains coupled to the lift mechanism causes the plurality of slats to move towards or away from the headrail, thus moving the blind between open and closed positions. The tilt mechanism enables tilting of the slats between open and closed positions. Desirable features of such window covering are ease of mounting and the ability to open and close the blinds with relative ease by a single actuation mechanism such as the tilt mechanism or the lift mechanism.

Curtains also have been utilized for years as window coverings. Generally, these types of window coverings include at least two curtain panels constructed of either a translucent or a substantially opaque fabric material coupled to a curtain rod. When closed, the panels may substantially block the window opening. When open, the panels are disposed on either side of the window, thereby allowing for full visibility through the window and light to enter therethrough. Variations in this standard window curtain do exist; however, most curtains are configured in this manner.

While aesthetically pleasing and suitable for their purpose, both the ease of assembly and operation of such curtains could be improved. Typically, the assembly process involves installing appropriately sized curtain rods and hanging individual curtain panels thereon. The installation of appropriately sized curtain rods alone is often difficult, requiring the proper fixed placement of curtain rod holders with respect to one another and the window. This requires selecting the proper height so that the curtain panels hang in a normal fashion. Furthermore, the hanging of the curtain panels necessarily requires assembling the panels to the rod. Problems not only arise in the installation of the curtain rods and assembly of the curtains to the rods, but also in the selection of the various elements, i.e. matching complementary curtain panels and curtain rods to provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Additionally, the opening and closing of a standard curtain set in which the top portion of the set remains in a relatively fixed position with respect to the curtain rod requires that each curtain panel must be moved individually. Some curtain sets also require each panel to be restrained on either side of the window, and require tiebacks and associated hardware. This is cumbersome compared to the many other window covering options, which provide a single cord or chain for opening and closing such assemblies. Although curtain designs do exist that permit opening and closing of a curtain panel by pulling on a chain or a cord, typically in these assemblies, the entire curtain panel moves away from the window opening as the top of the curtain slides along a curtain rod or headrail. However, these curtains do not have the same aesthetic appeal as curtains in which the top portion of the curtain remains relatively fixed in position with respect to the curtain rod. While existing curtain assemblies have provided satisfactory results, it would be desirable to provide improvements in the operation of curtain assemblies. Namely, it would be advantageous to provide a self-contained window curtain assembly that has a pleasing appearance and is easy to mount and operate.

There have been several attempts at solving the problems associated with the assembly and operation of standard curtain assemblies. However, none of these solutions provide for a window curtain assembly that can be easily assembled and operated by the end user. Therefore, there exists a need for a window curtain assembly that can be easily installed and operated by an end user and has an aesthetically pleasing appearance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to window coverings, and more specifically to a curtain mounted to a headrail, the curtain capable of being opened through the operation of a cord or chain.

According to a first embodiment of the present invention a window curtain assembly is provided that comprises a pair of panels, each panel having a top edge, a side edge, and a bottom edge, the side edges of each panel being positioned proximate each other; and a headrail including a winding mechanism mounted thereto, the winding mechanism including an elongate rod coupled to at least a first take up mechanism for winding a pair of cords affixed to the panels, the top edge of each panel immovably affixed to the headrail, wherein rotation of the at least one spool causes the cords to move at least a portion of the side edges upwardly to open the curtain.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a window curtain assembly is provided that comprises a headrail having a longitudinal axis extending between first and second ends; an elongate rod mounted to the headrail and coupled to at least a first spool and a clutch; first and second panels each having a top edge, a bottom edge, an inside edge, and an outside edge, each top edged of the first and second panels affixed to the headrail; and a pair of lift cords each having a first end and a second end, each first end being attached to the spool and one of the second ends being attached adjacent the inside edge of the first panel, the other of the second ends being attached adjacent the inside edge of the second panel. The elements of the window curtain assembly according to this embodiment are arranged such that actuation of the clutch rotates the spool and winds the lift cords around the spool, moving the inside edges of the panels upwardly and away from each other.

The window curtain assembly according to this embodiment may have a headrail that includes a pair of spools, each spool being attached to a different lift cord. The window curtain assembly may also include a pull mechanism operatively engaged with the clutch. The pull mechanism may be a chain or cord in the form of a loop, multiple chains or cords, or others. Movement of the pull mechanism rotates the elongate rod. The window curtain may further include at least one ring on each of the panels for guiding the pair of lift cords. In certain embodiments, there may be a plurality of rings that are arranged in various patterns. For example, the rings may be arranged in arcuate or straight patterns. The panels according to this embodiment may be constructed of a fabric material and may be opaque. At least a portion of the first and second panels may overlap with each other. Finally, the top edge of the panels may be removably affixed to the headrail, and/or the second ends of the pair of lift cords may be removably attached to the panels.

According to another embodiment of the present invention, a window curtain assembly is provided that comprises a headrail having a longitudinal axis extending between first and second ends; an elongate rod mounted to the headrail and operatively engaged with a first spool, a second spool, and a clutch; a first panel having a first top edge, a first bottom edge, a first inside edge, and a first outside edge, the first top edge being immovably affixed to the headrail; a second panel having a second top edge, a second bottom edge, a second inside edge, and a second outside edge, the second top edge being immovably affixed to the headrail; a first lift cord having a first end and a second end, the first end being attached to the first spool and the second end being attached adjacent the first inside edge of the first panel; and a second lift cord having a third end and a fourth end, the third end being attached to the second spool and the fourth end being attached adjacent the second inside edge of the second panel. The elements of the window curtain assembly according to this embodiment are arranged so that engagement of the clutch rotates the elongate rod and spools and winds the first lift cord around the first spool and the second lift cord around the second spool, thereby moving the first inside edge and the second inside edge upwardly and away from each other.

The window curtain assembly according to this embodiment may also have variations. For example, a central portion of the first and second inside edges may move upwardly and away from each other. The window curtain assembly may also further include a pull mechanism for engaging the clutch. The window curtain assembly may include a single or plurality of rings on the panels arranged in an arcuate, straight or other pattern. At least a portion of the first and second panel may overlap one another, and the panels may be made of a fabric material that is opaque. Finally, the top edges of the panels may be removably affixed to the headrail and the lift cords may be removably attached to the panels.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention a window curtain assembly is provided that comprises a headrail; first and second fabric panels affixed to the headrail in a side-by-side relation, each panel having an inner edge and an outer edge; and means for moving the inner edges upwardly and away from each other with a single pull mechanism.

According to yet another embodiment of the present invention a window curtain assembly is provided that includes only one panel. This type of window curtain assembly may be utilized on any sized window, preferably a window having a relatively narrow width. The assembly according to this embodiment comprises at least one panel, the at least one panel having a top edge, a side edge, and a bottom edge; and a headrail including a winding mechanism mounted thereto, the winding mechanism including an elongate rod coupled to at least a first cord take up mechanism for winding at least on lift cord affixed to the side edge of the at least one panel, the top edge of the at least one panel affixed to the headrail, wherein rotation of the at least one take up mechanism causes the at least one lift cord to move at least a portion of the side edge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete appreciation of the subject matter of the present invention and the various advantages thereof can be realized by reference to the following detailed description in which reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a window curtain assembly according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a front plan view of the window curtain assembly according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the headrail of the window curtain assembly according to FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a front plan view of the curtain panels according to FIG. 1 in a fully closed position.

FIG. 5 is a front plan view of the curtain panels according to FIG. 1 in a partially open position.

FIG. 6 is a front plan view of the curtain panels according to FIG. 1 in a fully open position.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of a window curtain according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a window curtain having only one panel according to another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of a window curtain according to another embodiment of the present invention with its curtain panels in a closed position.

FIG. 10 is a rear perspective view of the window curtain according to FIG. 9 with its curtain panels in an open position.

FIG. 11 is a rear perspective view of a window curtain according to another embodiment of the present invention with its curtain panels in a closed position.

FIG. 12 is a rear perspective view of the window curtain according to FIG. 11 with is curtain panels in an open position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In describing the preferred embodiments of the subject matter illustrated and to be described with respect to the drawings, specific terminology will be used for the sake of clarity. However, the invention is not intended to be limited to any specific terms used herein, and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents which operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

Referring to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals represent like elements, there is shown in the Figures, in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention, a window curtain assembly designated generally by reference numeral 10. Window curtain assembly 10 is used in selectively covering and uncovering a window. In a preferred embodiment, window curtain assembly 10 includes a first panel 12, a second panel 14, a headrail 16, an elongate rod 18, a clutch 20, take up member including a first spool 22 and a second spool 24, a pull mechanism which may be in the form of a chain or a cord 26, a first lift cord 28, and a second lift cord 30. However, it is contemplated that other embodiments may include additional or fewer elements. For example, it is contemplated that in other embodiments the take up member can comprise a single spool mounted to the rod or simply an elongate rod having a diameter sufficient to take up the lift cords upon rotation of the rod.

In one embodiment, first panel 12 and second panel 14 are constructed from a substantially opaque fabric material, as is known in the window covering art. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that nonopaque materials may be used, as is known in the art. Many standard window curtains are constructed of such a material, and therefore, the present invention includes a window covering that provides an appearance that substantially resembles the appearance of a traditional curtain assembly. Hence, the present invention is designed to be utilized in place of existing window curtain assemblies. First panel 12 is defined by top edge 12a, bottom edge 12b, inside edge 12c, and outside edge 12d. Second panel 14 is similarly defined by top edge 14a, bottom edge 14b, inside edge 14c, and outside edge 14d. As shown in the Figures, the various edges of the panels define substantially rectangular hanging sections. However, it is contemplated that any shaped and/or sized panel can be utilized in conjunction with the present invention. For example, panels 12 and 14 can be square-shaped or include rounded edges, or have any shape appropriate to function as a window covering for a particular window opening.

As shown in the Figures, headrail 16 defines a longitudinal axis extending between first and second ends. An elongate rod 18, clutch 20, first spool 22, and second spool 24 are associated with headrail 16, and make up a winding mechanism for curtain 10. Headrail 16 can be any headrail suitable for opening and closing first and second panels 12 and 14, and may be similar to those headrails known to persons of ordinary skill in the art. According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-8, headrail 16 is constructed of a metallic material and configured with a generally U-shaped configuration.

As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, elongate rod 18 is disposed lengthwise within the cavity created by the U-shape of headrail 16. Elongate rod 18 has a substantially square cross-section. However, it will be understood that the cross-section of elongate rod 18 can be a wide variety of shapes, for example circular. In fact, a wide enough diameter circular rod 18 might perform the same function as first and second spools 22 and 24. Rod 18 is suspended and allowed to rotate by rod holders 44 and 46, at or near the ends of rod 18. At the end closest to rod holder 44, rod 18 is coupled to clutch 20. However, it is contemplated that clutch 20 can be configured so as to couple with rod 18 at any portion along its length. Spools 22 and 24 are also coupled with rod 18 on opposite sides of its midpoint. While the preferred embodiment includes a first spool 22 and a second spool 24, it is also contemplated that other embodiments can include any number of spools. For example, another embodiment in accordance with the present invention includes a single spool coupled with rod 18. In yet another embodiment, as mentioned above, it is contemplated that rod 18 may not include any spools, and the rod 18 has a diameter sufficient to function by itself as a take up member for the lift cords when the rod 18 is rotated. Finally, headrail 16 may include end caps 40 and 42 attached at either ends of the headrail. These end caps close the open ends created by the substantially U-shaped configuration of headrail 16. However, it should be noted that end caps 40 and 42 are not necessary for the proper operation of curtain 10.

Clutch 20 can be a standard clutch typically used in Venetian blinds or the like. The clutch is preferably a continuous loop clutch available from Rollease, Inc. of Stamford, Conn. However, it will be understood that other clutch mechanisms can be used in accordance with certain embodiments, examples of which are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,372,432 and 6,685,592, both of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. It is also contemplated that instead of clutch 20, a cord lock, as is known in the art, or an electrical motor could be utilized. This will be further discussed below.

Actuation of clutch 20 causes rod 18, to which clutch 20 is connected, to rotate. In the embodiment shown, clutch 20 is engaged with a pull mechanism 26 in the form of a loop to provide a continuous or endless cord or chain, so that motion applied to the cord or chain imparts similar motion onto clutch 20. As shown in the drawings, pull mechanism 26 is wrapped around at least a portion of the circumference of the substantially circular clutch 20. Any force or torque applied to pull mechanism 26 therefore causes the rotation of clutch 20 in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. It is contemplated that pull mechanism 26 need not be an endless cord or chain. For example, other embodiments may include multiple cords or chains attached to opposing sides of clutch 20, where operation of one chain or cord would impart clockwise rotation and the other would impart counterclockwise rotation. However, any number of cords or chains may be utilized.

In the embodiment shown, top edges 12a and 14a of panels 12 and 14 respectively are affixed to headrail 16. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, panels 12 and 14 are fixably or immovably attached to a front side 16a of headrail 16. This will be discussed further below. In a preferred embodiment, panels 12 and 14 are fixably attached by utilizing means well known in the art for achieving the attachment. For example, gluing or mechanically coupling panels 12 and 14 to front side 16a of headrail 16. However, it is contemplated that panels 12 and 14 may be removably attached to headrail 16 by means such as Velcro. While fixably holding panels 12 and 14 in place, this type of attaching means would also allow a user to remove the panels when it was desired. This is advantageous in that the ability to remove the panels might allow a user to wash them in a standard washing machine. Also in the embodiment shown in the Figures, panels 12 and 14 are aligned with respect to one another so that at least a portion first panel 12 overlaps at least a portion of second panel 14. This in turn causes inside edge 14c of second panel 14 to be overlapped by first panel 12, along its entire length. This overlapping allows the window to be substantially covered when panels 12 and 14 are in their respective closed positions. It is contemplated that any amount of panel 12 may overlap panel 14. Similarly, it is also contemplated that either panel may overlap the other, or any configuration for the overlap can be utilized. In certain embodiments, panels 12 and 14 may wrap around the ends of headrail 16 and may cover end caps 40 and 42. The aforementioned removable attachment may also be utilized in this embodiment.

First lift cord 28 and second lift cord 30 are best shown in FIG. 2. Lift cords 28 and 30 are essentially fabric cords, but may be of any type suitable for being wound around a take up member and attached to a fabric panel, for example, monofilament cord. Other variations can be used as well, such as a beaded cord, a flat ribbon or a chain, or combinations thereof.

First lift cord 28 has two ends, the first end being attached to first spool 22 and the second end being attached to first panel 12 at first cord attachment point 36. Second lift cord 30 has two ends, the first end being attached to second spool 24 and the second end being attached to second panel 14 at second cord attachment point 38. In a preferred embodiment, first and second cord attachment points 36 and 38 are located at or adjacent inside edges 12c and 14c of first and second panels 12 and 14 respectively.

The method of attachment of lift cords 28 and 30 to the respective spools 22 and 24 can be accomplished by many different means. For example, in one embodiment, the spools may include holes or other attachment devices that the lift cords can engage. Thereafter, rotation of the spools causes the lift cord to wrap around the take up member. Similarly, the method of attachment of lift cords 28 and 30 to the respective panels 12 and 14, at attachment points 36 and 38 may be accomplished by many different means. For example, the ends of the lift cords may be sewn into the panels or attached by glue or pins. In a preferred embodiment shown in the Figures, lift cords 28 and 30 are attached to panels 12 and 14 by rings 33 and 35 connected to the panels at points 36 and 38 respectively. In this embodiment, lift cords 28 and 30 are tied to rings 33 and 35, but may be attached to the rings in any other fashion as is known in the art. Similarly, like that of their attachment to the spools, many different types of connections may be employed in attaching lift cords 28 and 30 to panels 12 and 14.

Lift cords 28 and 30 may also be coupled with panels 12 and 14 respectively at multiple points. In a preferred embodiment, as shown best in FIG. 2, a set of rings 32 is disposed on the side of first panel 12 adjacent to a window (i.e.—hidden from view when facing the front of curtain 10), and a set of rings 34 is disposed on the side of second panel 14 closest to the window. Curtain assembly 10 is therefore configured so that, once installed, the lift cords 28 and 30 and the sets of rings 32 and 34 cannot be viewed from the front of the curtain assembly. In certain embodiments, lift cords 28 and 30 are threaded through each ring in sets 32 and 34, with the ends of each cord attached to their respective spool and rings 33 and 35 at attachment points 36 and 38, as disclosed above. The attachment of lift cords 28 and 30 to rings 33 and 35 may be such that the cords may be easily removed from the rings. This, coupled with the aforementioned removable attachment of panels 12 and 14 to headrail 16, would allow a user to easily remove the panels for cleaning, ironing, and/or other use.

The sets of rings include at least one ring, but may include any number of rings. In the embodiment shown in the Figures, the rings are arranged on their respective panels in an arcuate configuration. The type of configuration that the sets of rings 32 and 34 are laid out in determines that path for which lift cords 28 and 30 are pulled in. This configuration may allow for panels 12 and 14 to be opened and closed in a specific manner. For example, the arcuate configuration of the rings in the preferred embodiment shown in the Figures causes first panel 12 and second panel 14 to open in a different manner than a straight line configuration would. Essentially, rings 32 and 34 will determine the appearance of the blind when the panels are retracted. However, it is noted that a particular configuration of the rings is not required for curtain 10 to operation properly. Furthermore, the sets of rings 32 and 34 may be connected to panels 12 and 14 in various ways. For example, in certain embodiments, the rings may be sewn into the fabric of the panels or attached with clips or pins.

The various elements of curtain 10, as disclosed above, interact with each other to provide a self-contained window curtain assembly. As shown in FIG. 4, in the closed position of curtain assembly 10, panels 12 and 14 substantially cover a window. Depending upon the level of opaqueness of each individual panel, the amount of light/visibility blocked by curtain assembly 10 is determined. It is also noted that the overlapping of first panel 12 over second panel 14 allows curtain 10 to completely cover the window, remedying a typical shortcoming of prior art curtain setups. The present invention is designed so that panels 12 and 14 can be partially opened as shown in FIG. 5, or fully open as shown in FIG. 6, as well as many positions in between. Obviously, a user may determine at which level of openness he/she desires to displace panels 12 and 14.

In operation, lift cords 28 and 30 are wound around spools 22 and 24, thus causing the second ends of each lift cord to move towards headrail 16. Since the second ends of lift cords 28 and 30 are coupled with panels 12 and 14 at attachment points 36 and 38 respectively, the movement of the second ends of lift cords 28 and 30 cause panels 12 and 14 to follow. The inside edges 12c and 14c are generally moved upwardly and away from each other. Furthermore, the aforementioned sets of rings 32 and 34 provide direction to the movement of panels 12 and 14. It is contemplated that the positioning of spools 22 and 24, attachment points 36 and 38, rings 33 and 35, and ring sets 32 and 34 can cause panels 12 and 14 to follow different paths in their respective movements.

The winding of lift cords 28 and 30 around spools 22 and 24, is due to the rotation imparted on spools 22 by the remainder of the components associated with headrail 16. In operation, cord or chain 26 is actuated, thereby causing clutch 20 to rotate. This rotation of clutch 20 causes the freely rotatable elongate rod 18 to rotate, and with it the connected spools 22 and 24. In opening curtain 10 to either the partially opened position shown in FIG. 5 or the fully opened position shown in FIG. 6, cord or chain 26 is pulled in a first direction, thereby causing either a clockwise or counterclockwise rotation of clutch 20. When the desired level of openness of panels 12 and 14 is achieved, cord or chain 26 is no longer pulled and clutch 20 prevents the unwinding of lift cords 28 and 30. In fact, absent an opposite force, clutch 20 will allow lift cords 28 and 30 to remain wound indefinitely and will prevent unintentional opening of the curtain assembly 10. From this position, cord or chain 26 can either be pulled in the same direction as initially pulled, thereby further opening panels 12 and 14, or cord or chain 26 can be pulled in an opposite direction, thereby closing panels 12 and 14.

As mentioned above, various embodiments of the present invention may include fewer or additional elements, which allow curtain 10 to operation in a substantially similar manner. For example, it is contemplated that in place of a loop of cord or chain 26, two or more cords or chains 26a and 26b may be utilized (best shown in FIG. 7). In this embodiment, one cord or chain would open panels 12 and 14, while another may close panels 12 and 14. It is also contemplated that the various cords or chains could extend through a hole 27 (also shown in FIG. 7) in order to allow for easier access. In other embodiments, it is contemplated that elongate rod 18 may not include any spools. In these embodiments, lift cords 28 and 30 would be attached directly to rod 18. It should be noted that rod 18 should be appropriately sized in these embodiments, to allow for the winding of lift cord 28 and 30 in an efficient manner (i.e.—without having to excessively rotate rod 18). Finally, it is contemplated that clutch 20 is not required, but rather desired to prevent inadvertent opening and closure of panels 12 and 14. In other embodiments, other mechanisms for preventing the rotation of rod 18 can be used, for example braking mechanisms or cord locks as used in certain Venetian blind assemblies or an electric motor might be utilized in order to both impart and prevent rotation to rod 18. It is contemplated that embodiments that utilize braking mechanisms or cord locks, such a device may not impart motion to rod 18. For example, a cord lock can be utilized with another device, such as a lift assist motor, for imparting motion to rod 18, where the cord lock would merely prevent such motion.

Another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 8. Window curtain assembly 110 operates in the same manner as the aforementioned window curtain assembly 10, however, is designed to include only one panel 112. This type of design is best suited for windows having relatively narrow widths, but can be utilized for any type of window. For example, window curtain assembly 110 can be sized so that panel 112 substantially covers a window having the same dimensions as that for which curtain assembly 10 was utilized. It is contemplated that all of the various elements, different embodiments, and modes of operation discussed above for assembly 10 may apply to window curtain assembly 110.

Another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. Window curtain assembly 210 operates in a similar manner to the aforementioned window curtain assemblies, however, includes a differently designed headrail 216. Headrail 216 includes a rod 218 that is supported on the underside of headrail 216 by hanging supports 220 and 222. Rod 218 is configured and dimensioned to allow for lift cords 228 and 230 to be taken up directly onto rod 218, as was previously discussed above. Rod 218 is connected to a clutch assembly 224 on one end that includes a pull mechanism 226. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 9 and 10, pull mechanism 226 is in the form of a continuous cord or chain, however, it is contemplated that other designs, including non-continuous cords or chains, can be employed. Clutch assembly 224 is designed so that operation of pull mechanism 226 imparts rotational motion to rod 218. At the same time, the wrapping of lift cords 228 and 230 causes each cord to push against supports 220 and 222, respectively, thus imparting translational motion in the direction of arrow A to rod 218. This design allows for an even winding of lift cords 228 and 230 onto rod 218, without the lift cords wrapping upon themselves. In operation, a user pulls pull mechanism 226 to rotate rod 218, and thus move curtain panels 212 and 214 to an open position. This open position is shown in FIG. 10. The other components of window curtain 210 are similar in design as to those disclosed in the other embodiments discussed above, and may include any of the different variations and embodiments discussed above. For example, a single panel design, like that shown in FIG. 8, is envisioned with a headrail similar to headrail 216.

Yet another embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. Window curtain assembly 310, like that of curtain assembly 210, also operates in a similar manner to the aforementioned window curtain assemblies, however, includes a differently designed headrail 316. Headrail 316 does not include a rod, but rather a hanging cord lock 320, and hanging pulleys 322 and 324. In a preferred embodiment, cord lock 320 is configured for allowing curtain 310 to remain in an open position. Lift cords 328 and 330 both extend through and wrap around cord lock 320 and their first ends hang therefrom. Lift cord 330 extends through and wraps around pulley 322, and extends downward where its second end is attached to panel 314. Lift cord 328 extends through pulley 322, extends through and wraps around pulley 324 and extends downward where its second end is attached to panel 312. In operation, a user pulls the first ends of lift cords 328 and 330 to open panel 312 and 314, as shown in FIG. 12. Certain embodiments may include another pulley in place of cord lock 320. However, it is contemplated that these embodiments may require that lift cords 328 and 330 be fixed in position by the use of other elements. For example, it is contemplated that the lift cords may be wrapped around an external hook to prevent the closing of panels 312 and 314, when no cord lock is utilized. It is also contemplated that lift cords 328 and 330 may be operated separately from each other. Once again, the other components of window curtain 310 are similar in design as to those disclosed in the other embodiments discussed above, and may include any of the different variations and embodiments discussed above.

Although the invention herein has been described with reference to particular embodiments, it is to be understood that these embodiments are merely illustrative of the principles and applications of the present invention. It is therefore to be understood that numerous modifications may be made to the illustrative embodiments and that other arrangements may be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Claims

1. A window curtain assembly comprising:

a pair of panels, each panel having a top edge, a side edge, and a bottom edge, the side edges of each panel being positioned proximate each other; and
a headrail including a winding mechanism mounted thereto, the winding mechanism including an elongate rod coupled to at least a first cord take up mechanism for winding a pair of lift cords affixed to the panels, the top edge of each panel affixed to the headrail, wherein rotation of the at least one take up mechanism causes the lift cords to move at least a portion of the side edges upwardly and away from each other.

2. The window curtain assembly according to claim 1, further comprising a clutch mechanism coupled to the elongate rod, wherein actuation of the clutch mechanism causes rotation of the elongate rod.

3. The window curtain assembly according to claim 2, further comprising a pull mechanism coupled to the clutch mechanism for actuating the clutch mechanism.

4. The window curtain assembly according to claim 3, wherein the pull mechanism is a chain or cord in the form of a loop or is multiple chains or cords.

5. The window curtain assembly according to claim 1, further comprising at least one ring on each panel for guiding the lift cords.

6. The window curtain assembly according to claim 5, further comprising a plurality of rings, wherein the plurality of rings is arranged in an arcuate pattern or in a straight pattern.

7. The window curtain assembly according to claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the inside edges of said panels overlaps one another.

8. The window curtain assembly according to claim 1, wherein the top edge of each panel are removably affixed to the headrail and the pair of lift cords are removably affixed to said panels.

9. A window curtain assembly comprising:

a headrail;
first and second fabric panels affixed to the headrail in a side-by-side relation, each panel having an inner edge and an outer edge; and
means for moving the inner edges upwardly and away from each other operatively engaged with a pull mechanism to open said panels.

10. The window curtain assembly according to claim 9, further comprising means for preventing unintentional opening or closure of said curtain.

11. The window curtain assembly according to claim 10, wherein said means for preventing unintentional opening or closure of said curtain is a conventional cord lock.

12. The window curtain assembly according to claim 10, wherein said means for moving the inner edges upwardly and away from each other is a take up member operatively engaged with the means for preventing unintentional moving of the inner edges.

13. The window curtain assembly according to claim 12, wherein the means for preventing unintentional opening and closure of said curtain includes a clutch mechanism.

14. The window curtain assembly according to claim 13, wherein the take up member includes an elongate rod and at least one spool.

15. A window curtain assembly comprising:

at least one panel, said at least one panel having a top edge, a side edge, and a bottom edge; and
a headrail including a winding mechanism mounted thereto, the winding mechanism including an elongate rod coupled to at least a first cord take up mechanism for winding at least one lift cord affixed to the side edge of said at least one panel, the top edge of said at least one panel affixed to the headrail, wherein rotation of the at least one take up mechanism causes the at least one lift cord to move at least a portion of the side edge.

16. The window curtain assembly according to claim 15, further comprising a clutch mechanism coupled to the elongate rod, wherein actuation of the clutch mechanism causes rotation of the elongate rod.

17. The window curtain assembly according to claim 16, further comprising a pull mechanism coupled to the clutch mechanism for actuating the clutch mechanism.

18. The window curtain assembly according to claim 17, wherein the pull mechanism is a chain or cord in the form of a loop or is multiple chains or cords.

19. The window curtain assembly according to claim 18, further comprising a plurality of rings on said at least one panel for guiding the at least one lift cord, wherein the plurality of rings is arranged in an arcuate pattern or in a straight pattern.

20. The window curtain assembly according to claim 19, wherein the top edge of said at least one panel is removably affixed to the headrail and the at least one lift cord is removable affixed to said at least one panel.

Patent History

Publication number: 20060196614
Type: Application
Filed: Mar 3, 2005
Publication Date: Sep 7, 2006
Applicant: Springs Window Fashions LP (Fort Mill, SC)
Inventors: Toralf Strand (Madison, WI), Yihong Zhang (Madison, WI)
Application Number: 11/071,076

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: 160/124.000
International Classification: A47H 1/00 (20060101);