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About Chenille

The present invention concerns chenille yarns that have significantly improved abrasion resistance and lower pile loss with methods for their production. In particular, the invention concerns chenille yarn in which the effect fibers are fused to a retaining core using bonding filament yarns manufactured from such polymers as ethylene-octene copolymer, quad nylon polymer and nylon 11 polymer and other low melting point binding yarns. Among the uses for the improved chenille are residential upholstery fabrics, decorative throws, contract (office furnishings) fabrics and automotive fabrics. The invention also provides a low cost chenille upholstery fabric having superior abrasion resistance properties and the method for its production. In particular the invention concerns a method for economically manufacturing such a fabric using conventional chenille manufacturing machines and a standard latex tenter frame apparatus. This method also produces the higher abrasion resistant chenille using a standard heat setting machine.

Chenille upholstery fabric is formed by weaving chenille yarn into the fabric. The chenille yarn is first formed on a yarn manufacturing device that twists together two basic components. The first component of the yarn is a core component comprised of two or more continuous yarns twisted together. This first component provides strength to the resulting chenille yarn. It also retains the second component, called the pile, which consists of discontinuous cut fibers. The pile fibers are gripped between and protrude transversely all around the core yarns.

The pile fibers are normally held in place mechanically by friction. This construction results in a certain amount of pile loss during normal consumer use of the fabric formed from the chenille yarn due to this inherent design. Such pile loss causes restrictions in the use of fabrics that can be designed with the normal chenille yarns. These restrictions for flat woven fabrics include: being able to design open soft residential fabrics, the design of contract and automotive fabrics, the design of decorative throws whose fringes will not lose the pile on the chenille in use. For example, these restrictions impose a limit on the extensive use of chenille in upholstery fabrics, since such fabrics are necessarily subject to friction resulting in the unsightly removal of pile. Thus, prior to the present invention chenille has not played a significant role in the fabrication of high quality upholstery fabrics.

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What is 3D chenille?

One color of chenille with a contrasting chenille shade on a contrasting felt backing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This invention improves the pile loss characteristic of current designs and allows the creation of a much wider variety of fabric designs. The invention allows chenille yarns to be used in contract and automotive fabrics that heretofore have had abrasion specifications that could not be met by current chenille yarns and allows high quality upholstery fabrics to be produced without latex backing.

To significantly improve pile fiber retention, chemical bonding between pile and core is necessary. This is achieved by incorporating particular low melt components into the core of the chenille either during the spinning step in a chenille machine, or previously by air texturing with the binder yarn. Where the incorporation takes place during spinning, these additional yarns are integrated into the core of the chenille yarn as it is twisted. When heat is subsequently applied to the chenille yarn, the low melting point polymer yarn loses its integrity as a fiber and becomes points of adhesion between the core and the pile.

The present invention concerns an improved chenille yarn that allows for significant improvements in the abrasion resistance of various types of upholstery fabric. In one embodiment the invention concerns an improved chenille upholstery fabric using filling yarns of olefin chenille and a latex backing.

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