A drying mat having an open-hole mesh with jersey backing top layer and a terry cloth bottom layer.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to drying mats, and in particular to bonding two or more layers into a drying mat constructed to provide for fast drying of persons, animals or objects while providing a surface for receiving the persons, animals or objects or subjects which prevents damage or discomfort to the persons, animals or objects.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Drying mats for people, animals and objects are well known in the art. These drying mats include one layer of absorbent material for receiving wet objects such as both dinnerware and silverware after being washed, fruit or vegetables after being washed and wet persons and animals after they have been washed, caught in the elements or after swimming. There are one-layer materials including different types of paper and various textiles such as terry cloth. These types of one-layer materials often receive water drippings which drippings are either absorbed to cause the one-layer material to remain wet, or to transfer the water drippings to the counter, floor or other support surface upon which the one-layer material is resting. These one-layer materials usually provide a damp surface which can cause damage to the support surface or to make the support surface become slippery causing possible damage or injury due to slipping or falling, and provide an environment for the presence of unhealthy microbes or other disease-causing matter. Furthermore, the one-layer drying mats often remain damp or wet, causing the object, person or animals resting upon them to remain partially damp or wet, and further leaving an odoriferous atmosphere after use.
Multi-layer drying mats are also known. These can be two-layer mats, but usually include at least three-layer drying mats composed of at least three layers for receiving wet people, animals or objects, and receiving water drippings therefrom and absorbing such water drippings to facilitate the drying of the objects, persons or animals. For example, U.S. Patent Publication Nos. 2010/0143640, 2010/0143645 and 2010/0209661 (all to Wilmsen, 2010) each describes a drying mat which respectively includes a first microfiber layer and a second microfiber layer sandwiching a foam layer, the layers being held together by adhesive layers between the respective foam layer and the respective microfiber layers. A binding around the perimetrical edges of the microfiber layers and the foam layers assist in attaching them together. The microfiber layers allegedly have a soft and cushioning nature which cushions stemware and glasses and protects countertops from dishes and cookware while drying. The microfiber also allegedly has a wicking action. The foregoing microfiber is non-woven. It has a honeycomb or other pattern for increasing the surface area of the drying mat. The foam layer allegedly serves the purpose of absorbing water and cushioning dishes placed thereon. The microfiber layers have honeycombed surfaces to increase their absorbency by reason of their wicking action and by reason of gravity. To produce the foregoing product, the microfiber layers are bonded to the foam layer by heat compression, and the binding material is connected to the laminate material by sewing. A shortcoming of the foregoing type of drying mat is the requirement that it has three layers, and there is no structure suggested for making the foregoing mats attractive when in use. Another shortcoming is limited absorbent capacity of the microfiber material. Although the foregoing drying mat allegedly can absorb four to five times its own weight in water, there is no allegation that the foregoing drying mat retains such absorbed water. Therefore, water can ooze from the drying mat or be forced therefrom by the weight of dishes, glasses, a person, etc., disposed thereon, causing possible damage to the surface upon which the drying mat rests which and possibly re-wets the dishes, glasses, person, etc., disposed thereon. A serious shortcoming is that these prior drying mats become odoriferous following use, and they fall apart upon repeated washings. Importantly, there is no provision in the foregoing drying mat that permits air flow in the mat for evaporating moisture absorbed in the mat, causing the above-described mat not to dispense the absorbed moisture. The foregoing drying mats presently on the market are three-ply having matching top and bottom layers using polyester woven into a waffle-type weave (called “waffle dobby”), and its middle portion is an inexpensive polyurethane foam.
Other drying mats are also known. There are various disposable drying mats usually composed of cellulose material such as absorbent paper products, but these can be cumbersome to store and discard, and are not frequently used for aiding in the drying of dishes and the like, nor for assisting in the drying of persons or animals. Disposable drying mats are discussed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,251,372 (Nicholson 1941), 3,616,134 (Palenske 1971), 4,328,275 (Vargo 1982) and 7,208,216 (Ackerman 2007), and in U.S. Patent Publication 2006/0093788 (Behm et al. 2006). Another disposable mat for absorbing oil and other liquids is U.S. Pat. No. 5,500,267 (Canning 1996), which is composed of a plastic sheet with an oil-absorbing layer and additional layers.
As mentioned above, there are known a couple of one-layer towels (not drying mats) composed of something more than plain terry cloth. These include U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,961,969 (Nichols 2005) and 7,137,157 (Nichols 2006) which disclose towels with an absorbent base layer and non-absorbent projections.
There were also four patents located describing mats having two layers. A two-layer sorbent article is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,733,629 (Insley 1998) having a sorbent layer with a texturized polymeric skin layer secured to a surface of the sorbent layer to give the article a non-slip property. U.S. Pat. No. 6,579,816 (Lockett 2003) describes a cut-resistant and shred-resistant absorbent sheet having an absorbent and cut- and shred-resistant layer and a base layer. In U.S. Pat. No. 6,774,067 (Demott et al. 2004), there is described a mat having micro-knitted plush polyester fabric to which is bonded a rubber backing.
There are included in known mat constructions complicated drying mats having many layers (four or more) with presumably added manufacturing costs. The latter drying mats are discussed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,962,350 (Krotine 1999—a floor mat), 6,899,940 (Leriget 2005) and 6,911,407 (Sherrod et al 2005).
Also known are drying mats having three layers. One such mat is the subject of U.S. Pat. No. 7,067,174 (Carkeek 2006) which discloses a mat having a non-slip backing layer, a top absorbent layer and an intermediate stabilizing layer. U.S. Patent Publication 2004/0229535 (Tang 2004) describes an anti-slide mat having a woolly layer, a base layer and an anti-slide layer formed with an anti-slide paste. U.S. Pat. No. 4,684,562 (Hartkemeyer 1987) has a cardboard layer that is liquid absorbent and permeable, a liquid absorbent, cork intermediate layer, and a liquid-resistant, foil protected bottom support layer.
There are also other patents disclosing products which may be of general interest although they are not relevant to drying mats. A container, shelf or drawer liner is explained in U.S. Pat. No. 6,926,862 (Fontenot et al. 2005) as having a liquid impervious layer and an absorbent layer containing a material for controlling odors. U.S. Pat. No. 7,208,216 (Ackerman 2007) is directed to a disposable cutting sheet for use with food items and has a cut-resistant layer made of apertured thermoplastic ply, an absorbent ply and a liquid-impervious layer.
Included in the latter group of patents are yoga and exercise mats. A composite yoga mat and straps is described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,485,071 (Edwards 2009) and its divisional U.S. Publication 2005/0192158 (2005), which disclose a product composed of an absorbent terry cloth or other absorbent sheet embedded on one side with a flexible foam coating of frictional material for protecting the flooring from sweat, and to prevent moisture from moving up out of the ground when the mat is used outside. The foam allegedly provides a cushioning effect. U.S. Publication 2004/0250346 (Vasishth 2004) describes an anti-slip, multi-layer exercise mat having an upper fabric layer, a lower pliable foam layer and an intermediate adhesive layer.
There are presently no known drying mats composed of two plies which are bonded together which provide both for air circulation and are very absorbent. Furthermore, no such construction of drying mats is known which prevent substantial water penetration and are economical to make and use. The inventor is also unaware of drying mats having a three-ply construction which enable air circulation, are very absorbent, and provide a cushioning effect to prevent damage to either persons or animals or objects placed thereon and to protect the counter, floor or other surface for supporting the drying mat.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a drying mat which both enables the circulation of air therethrough and provides for the absorption of water.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a drying mat for drying of dishware, dinnerware and cookware, including dishes, glasses, stemware, eating implements, cooking implements and the like which is water absorbent, protects countertops from both chipping damage and water stains and enables the draining of objects placed thereon without subjecting such objects to damage by being chipped, broken or scratched due to being tipped over or against other objects, this feature being due to thickness and cushioning effect of the drying mat.
Another object is to provide a drying mat for persons or animals which provides great water absorbency, air circulation, and limits water penetration therethrough to protect the floor, countertop or other supporting surface for the drying mat against water stains.
It is another object to provide a two-ply laminated drying mat which is effective in operation, durable, washable and inexpensive to produce.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a drying mat which is highly water absorbent yet provides for sufficient evaporation to prevent the drying mat from being saturated or retaining excessive moisture which would prevent the objects, or persons or animals disposed thereon from remaining wet or damp.
It is still an additional object of the present invention to provide a drying mat for cushioning objects, or persons or animals placed thereon which is absorbent, durable, does not retain absorbed water, limits the flow of water therethrough, is protective of both persons or animals and objects disposed thereon and is protective of the surface supporting the drying mat.
Yet still an additional object of the present invention is the provision of a drying mat having the provisions discussed above which can be provided with attractive colors and designs.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a drying mat with a highly water absorbent characteristic and is attractive, durable and resists water penetration therethrough.
These and other objects are achieved by the invention described hereinafter and from the appended claims.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, a drying mat is provided composed of a knit double-face, open-hole mesh with a jersey backing and a double-faced terry cloth layer for absorbing water. The open-hole mesh with a jersey backing both absorbs water and enables air circulation within the mat to evaporate water from the terry cloth layer. The drying mat also has a border binding for securing the open-hole mesh with jersey backing layer and the terry cloth layer. An important aspect of the present invention is the bonding of the two layers together, yielding a very efficient and effective drying mat. The drying mat of the present invention is unusually beneficial for its drying function due to the unique placement of the holes of the open-hole mesh to allow for any fluid and moisture movement while the portions of the top layer lacking holes supports objects, persons or animals on top of the drying mat. Drying mats according to the present invention enable air to circulate in the mat to evaporate moisture absorbed or otherwise in the mat causing it to dry unusually quickly.
As shown in
The double-sided terry cloth has been specifically knitted in the above blend of microfiber polyester and polyamide to provide for heavier and more dense loops to add higher absorbency than conventional cotton terry cloth. The foregoing terry cloth had the following test results for water absorption:
In the event that higher absorption is required, such as for bath mats, terry cloth with loops 23 can be replaced with terry cloth with cut loops or with cut pile. The terry cloth could be quilted with stitching, and designs could be put in the terry cloth using stitching such as a diamond pattern and stripes.
Other types of fine circular knits in variations of terry cloth can also be used for different appearances. Some which can be used are 3/up and 1/down (three rows of loop terry up and one row down with no loops), 2×3/up box terry (alternating rows of two and three rows of loop terry and one row down with no loop) about ½ cm. thick, and 2/up and 1/down terry (two rows of loop terry up and one row down with no loops) composed of 88% biconstituent fiber (composed of 78% micro-polyester and 22% polyamide nylon) and 12% polyester.
The top layer of drying mat 10 according to the preferred embodiment of the invention is open-hole mesh and a jersey backing. Layer 14 is composed of an open-hole mesh front face 33 and a jersey backing 34, as shown in
Jersey backing 34, like front face 33, is a type of knit fabric made from 100% polyester. Jersey backing 34 is flexible, stretchy and soft, and has small, even, closed-grained stitches. Open-hole mesh with jersey backing top layer 14 is heat bonded completely to terry cloth bottom layer 12. Binding 18 is stitched along the opposing outer edges of mat 10 to assure the edges of mat 10 will have a clean professional finish. The binding material weight is preferably 111 GSM. The jersey backing 34 is a flat material which enhances the heat bonding to the adjacent fabric.
The combination of open-hole mesh with jersey backing top layer 14 and terry cloth bottom layer 12 enables air circulation for air flowing through openings 36 of open-hole mesh front face 33 into jersey backing 34 and then to the atmosphere. The purpose of this air circulation is to effect the evaporation of water from objects placed on mat 10, and to expedite the wicking of moisture into terry cloth bottom layer 12; terry cloth bottom layer 12 dries faster than other drying mats and conventional terry cloth because of the microfiber construction. This is shown schematically in
The foregoing embodiment can be modified in various ways. Referring to
Furthermore, an inner absorbent layer could be added, such as a jersey layer (called a “chamois”), or an additional terry cloth layer could be employed. As shown in
Another variation would be to add printed latex/rubber dots of an appropriate size, such as 1 cm ½ drop repeat, for engaging the floor, countertop or whatever support surface is provided, to prevent the drying mat from slipping or skipping. It may be necessary to use a shorter exterior loop from terry cloth bottom layer 12 to use a practicable dot.
Drying mats according to the invention have different opposing surfaces. They can be S-folded, as shown in
Drying mats according to the invention have many uses for drying, ranging from small parts, dishes, tableware, pots, pans, etc., which mats could be relatively small, such as for example 16″ by 18″, to larger objects, people and animals, in which case the drying mats would be larger. Drying mats according to the invention dry extremely well, and may well be the best drying mats for their intended function in existence. Drying mats made as described above wash very well in warm water. The drying mats discussed above are attractive in appearance and can be made without any wrinkles on either of their surfaces. They can be made inexpensively, and are ideal household items.
The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to its preferred embodiments, but variations and modifications may occur to those skilled in the art from the foregoing description and from the following claims.
1. A drying mat comprising of the following layers:
- a first layer comprising an open face material; and
- a second layer comprising a terry cloth layer for absorbing moisture transferred to said terry cloth layer;
- wherein said first layer enables air to circulate through said first layer and to absorb moisture from said terry cloth layer to dry said terry cloth layer and said drying mat.
2. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said first layer comprises an open-hole mesh with a jersey backing.
3. A drying mat according to claim 2, wherein said first layer is made from yarn having the construction 75D/36F×68D/24F.
4. A drying mat according to claim 2, wherein said open-hole mesh with a jersey backing is the top layer of said drying mat, said open-hole mesh facing the exterior of said drying mat, and said terry cloth layer is the bottom layer of said drying mat.
5. A drying mat according to claim 4, wherein said terry cloth layer is the bottom layer of said drying mat, said terry cloth layer being double knit having loops extending to the interior of said drying mat and having loops extending to the exterior of said drying mat.
6. A drying mat according to claim 5, wherein said loops leading to the interior of said drying mat are at least as long as said loops leading to the exterior of said drying mat.
7. A drying mat according to claim 5, wherein the loops to the exterior of said mat are no greater than 1/32″ long and the loops to the interior of said mat are at about 1/16″ long.
8. A drying mat according to claim 4, wherein said open-hole mesh with jersey backing is composed of 100% polyester.
9. A drying mat according to claim 8, wherein said open-hole mesh with jersey backing weighs in the range of 230 to 245 grams per square meter.
10. A drying mat according to claim 8, wherein said open-hole mesh has holes of a size in the range of 1/16″ to ¼″.
11. A drying mat according to claim 2, wherein said open-hole mesh comprises holes having the size of 1/16″.
12. A drying mat according to claim 4, wherein said bottom layer has an exterior bottom side facing the exterior of said drying mat, and said exterior bottom side has a plurality of rubber-like dots imprinted thereon to prevent skidding and slipping of said mat.
13. A drying mat according to claim 4, and further including a chamois layer disposed between said top layer and said bottom layer.
14. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said first layer and said second layer are heat-bonded with a heat-activated bonding agent.
15. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said terry cloth layer weighs in the range of 320-340 grams per square meter.
16. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said terry cloth layer has an overall content of 88% biconstituent fiber and 12% polyester, said biconstituent fiber being a blended yarn composed of 78% micro-polyester and 22% polyamide nylon.
17. A drying mat according to claim 16, wherein said terry cloth layer has blended yarns with the yarn size and filament count 100D/18F×150D/144F in the transverse directions.
18. A drying mat according to claim 1, and further comprising an edge binding attached along the respective edges of said drying mat.
19. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said terry cloth is composed of materials selected from the group consisting of the following terry cloth materials: 3/rows of loop terry and 1/row down/no loop, alternating rows of 2 and 3 loops terry and 1/row down/no loop, and 2/rows of loop terry and 1/row down/no loop.
20. A drying mat according to claim 1, and further including at least one line of stitching extending across said drying mat to enable the folding of the drying mat along the respective lines of stitching.
21. A drying mat according to claim 1, wherein said drying mat is S-folded.
International Classification: D03D 9/00 (20060101);