Patent application title: METHOD AND DEVICE FOR THREADING NEEDLES
Beverly A. Youngman (Innsbrook, MO, US)
IPC8 Class: AD05B8700FI
Class name: Apparel apparatus needle threaders
Publication date: 2009-11-12
Patent application number: 20090277934
A method and device for inserting a strand of a selected thread or yarn
through the eyelet of a needle, in which the device is made from an
elongate, unitary non-metallic monofilament having end zones and an
intermediate central zone forming a closed strand-carrying loophole; and
the method including the steps of forming the device by bringing the end
zones into a parallel relationship and bonding them together to form a
threading stem and also form the central zone into the closed loophole,
placing an end portion of the selected strand through the loophole,
inserting the stem into the needle eyelet, and pulling the threading stem
to draw the loophole and strand entirely through the needle eyelet.
1. A threading device for threading the eyelet of a needle with selected
thread or yarn, said threading device comprising a preselected length of
non-metallic monofilament constructed and arranged with end zones bonded
together in an elongate parallel relationship to form a threading stem,
and a central zone of the strand intermediate of said end zones being
formed into a loop for manipulating the selected thread or yarn through
the needle eyelet.
2. The threading device of claim 1, in which the bonded end zones are of substantial length extending away from the loop.
3. The threading device of claim 2, in which the end zones are long enough to provide a finger curling end area for pulling the device.
4. The threading device of claim 2, in which the end zones of the monofilament are substantially conterminous in length.
5. The threading device of claim 4, in which the end zones have adjacent free ends that are bevel-cut to form a leading eyelet-entering edge on one of the free ends.
6. The threading device of claim 2, in which one end zone of the monofilament extends beyond the other end zone whereby the one end zone has a leading needle-eye entering end and the other end zone closes the loop and provides additional linear rigidity to the one end zone.
7. The threading device of claim 2, in which the bonded end zones are compressed together to form a tapered spike.
8. The threading device of claim 1 in which the end zones have a substantial length and are twisted together.
9. The threading device of claim 8, in which the end zones have adjacent free ends that are bevel-cut across the stem to form a leading eyelet-entering edge thereon.
10. A needle threading device useful for threading the eyelet of a needle with a selected sewing thread, the device comprising a unitary length of plastic monofilament having end portions and a central portion, the central portion being formed into a closed loop with the end portions being joined together to extend away from the loop and form an elongate threading spine having substantial linear rigidity relative to the sewing thread whereby the spine is adapted to be pushed into the eyelet of a needle without flexing, and the spine having a length to be grasped and pulled to draw the central loop portion through the eyelet of a needle and thereby carry the selected sewing thread therein into an operative threaded position.
11. The needle threading device of claim 10, in which the length of said spine is sufficient to provide a finger curling end area adjacent to the end of the spine.
12. The needle threading device of claim 10, in which the end portions have adjacent free ends that are cut at an angle to form a leading edge and a trailing edge.
13. The method of threading a needle using a needle threading device comprising the steps of:(1) forming a needle threading device from single length of non-metallic monofilament by bonding the end portions together to make a semi-rigid end spike and forming the intermediate center portion into a closed loophole;(2) placing a selected strand of thread/yarn through the closed loophole;(3) inserting the end spike into and through the eyelet of a needle; and(4) moving the end spike and thread-carrying loophole entirely through the needle eyelet to carry the thread/yarn therethrough into threaded orientation.
14. The method of claim 13, including forming the end portions long enough to be grasped with a finger curl for controlled manipulation of the threading device in pulling the loophole through the needle eyelet.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/052,489, filed May 12, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates generally to the domestic sewing field, and more particularly to an improved needle threading method and a device therefor.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
One of the properties of threads and yarns used in the sewing field for stitching, embroidery and the like is that they have no linear strength and tend to be limp, flimsy or pliant and therefore bend during a needle threading exercise. Thus most persons dampen the end of the thread strand to stiffen it enough to be inserted into the eyelet of a needle. Even so it still requires some eye/hand coordination and dexterity, even for a skilled seamstress or tailor. For those of diminished eyesight or unsteady hands, some type of sewing aide in the form of a threading device has been found to be especially useful. In the past, such needle threading devices have typically been made of metal wire formed as a U-shaped or V-shaped bend to be compressed as it is pushed by one hand through the one side of the eye of a needle held in the other hand where it will spring apart and be re-formed as a larger loop on the other side. The thread itself is then placed through the expanded loop and the threader is then pulled back through the eye to draw the thread into place through the eye. Besides the handling sequence, the problem with all such prior needle threaders is that the thin wire forming the loop is subject to rapid metal fatigue after a few repeated flexings as the loop is squeezed through the needle eye and breakage occurs. This wire breakage not only makes the threader unusable, but creates the potential for causing the hand of the person wielding the threader to be pierced or punctured by the broken wire.
It is thus an overall objective of the present invention to create a safer, long-lasting and efficient method and device for threading needles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention is embodied in a method and device for threading the eye of a needle with a strand of a selected thread or yarn, comprising a needle threading device made from a non-metallic unitary monofilament having end zones bonded in an elongate parallel relationship to thereby constitute a stiffened threading stem and form an intermediate central zone of the monofilament into a closed loop or loophole for carrying the selected thread or yarn. The method of the needle threading invention includes the steps of forming a threading device having a closed, thread carrying loop and a needle-eyelet insertable spine, placing a selected thread or yarn through the central loophole, inserting the spine of the thread-carrying device through the needle eyelet, and then pulling the threading stem entirely through the eyelet to draw the loop and the thread or yarn therethrough.
In one aspect of the invention the end zones may be twisted to strengthen or rigidify the spine, and, in this aspect and other embodiments, the device may be formed from a monofilament of small diameter. In another aspect of the invention, the device may have the end zones bonded by pressure and/or heat; and in a further aspect the end zones are elongated and form a spike for easier placement into the eyelet of a needle; and in a still further aspect the end zones have a bevel-cut free end.
In yet another aspect, a needle threading device is formed from a unitary flexible monofilament having end zones with an intermediate central zone that is formed into a loophole by bonding the end zones with staggered outer free ends to form a primary threading stem.
The principal object of the invention is to provide a non-metallic needle threading device and method of use thereof that is safer to use, more efficient in operation and of long durability. These and other objects and advantages will become more apparent hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention is further embodied in the drawings which form a part of the disclosure and wherein like parts are identified by like numbers.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a needle being threaded using the method and device of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevational view of a needle threading device embodying the invention;
FIGS. 3a and 3b are views illustrating two sizes of monofilament strands for forming the needle threading device;
FIG. 4A is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2, and FIG. 4B is a similar view showing an alternate cross-sectional configuration and/or compression of the adjoined strands;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged elevational view showing a preferred embodiment of the threading device;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged view showing a fourth embodiment of the threading device; and
FIG. 7 is an enlarged view showing still another embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the invention in its simplest form is embodied in a needle threading device 10 (FIG. 2) formed from a single non-metallic length of microfilament 12 (FIGS. 3a and 3b) of a selected plastic material. The monofilament 12 has a central loop-forming zone 14 and outer first and second end zones 16, 18 with free ends 20, 22 respectively. The flexible monofilament 12 is bent or folded to form the central zone 14 into a closed loop or loophole or snare 24 (FIGS. 1, 2) with the end zones or portions 16, 18 extending outwardly in a side by side or parallel and abutting relationship to form a threading spike, spine or stem (shown generally at 26).
FIG. 1 also illustrates the method of the invention in which the device 10 is used to thread the elongate eyelet 40 of a typical needle N; and it should be noted that the device and method is also applicable to needles having round eyelets although the smaller eyelet will of course reduce the applicable range of needle sizes. The spine or stem 26 of the device 10 is inserted through the eyelet 40, and it should be noted that the monofilament material--although flexible in its length--has some degree of axial or linear rigidity, which is further increased by being doubled to form the spine. Thus the end (20, 22) of the spine (26) is more easily pushed through the needle eyelet 40 without flexing or bending. The thread T (or yarn) is placed through the loop 24 either before or after positioning the spine 26 through the eye 40let. The inserted end of the stem 26 is then grasped and pulled to draw the thread carrying loop 24 into and entirely through the eyelet to complete the threading operation in a simple and rapid manner.
A feature of the invention is to form the spine 26 with an extended body length that enables a firmer grip than simply pinching the end of the spine, by wrapping the spine 26 around the user's finger to provide a more positive control and purchase on the device 10 as it is pulled or tugged through the eye 40 of the needle N. In FIG. 1 it will be seen that the stem or spine 26 is long enough to be curled (at 27) around the finger--this aspect sometimes being called a "finger curl" for reference purposes. Such feature is particularly useful to give the threading device an extra tug when threading smaller needles with round eyelets.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the device 10 may be made from different sizes of monofilament material (which can be compared to fishing line to more simply understand the nature of the material being used). For instance the thin monofilament of FIG. 3A may be like a 10 lb. test line having a diameter of about 0.012 inch--and it is believed that the filament size may be even smaller when used in the form of the embodiment shown in FIG. 7, to be discussed. It may be noted that larger sizes of filaments (FIG. 3B) will have greater linear rigidity for easy insertion into the needle eye 40, but that the application becomes more difficult when threading smaller needles with small eye openings. It is also known that large needles N having relatively larger eyelets 40 will be easier to thread with the device than the smaller ones, particularly when working with soft yarn or multiple threads.
FIGS. 4a and 4b illustrate the side-by-side parallelism of the end portions 16, 18 in the FIG. 2, 6, 7 embodiments. The filament 12 is usually circular in cross-section (FIG. 4A) but may be extruded or otherwise formed with a different cross-sectional configuration (FIG. 4B) that enables a larger surface-to-surface abutment area along the legs 16, 18. The legs when brought together to form the spine 26 can be bonded by fusing under heat and/or pressure or by adhesive attachment.
Another feature of the invention is seen best in the FIG. 2 and FIG. 5 embodiments in which the end zones 16, 18 (116, 118) may be different lengths so that the free ends 20, 22 (120, 122) respectively, are staggered or offset (FIG. 2) or beveled (FIG. 5) so as to provide a smaller or sharper eye-entering edge or surface of the spine 26, 126.
FIG. 6 shows another embodiment in which the end zones 216, 218 are staggered in length and tapered to form a more pointed and easily insertable spine 226.
FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of the needle threading device 310 in which smaller diameter filament (FIG. 3A) is utilized, but in which the end zones or legs 316, 318 are constructed and arranged to form a stronger, more rigid spine 326. In this embodiment the legs are twisted together or braided with a few turns and pressed by heat and/or pressure to form a unified spine body that is resistant to separation--even with extensive usage. In this embodiment, the end zones are long enough to provide a finger curl for pulling action. It should again be noted that the bevel-cut of the face ends 320, 322 of the two spine-forming legs 316, 318 is a preferred feature as it provides the smallest entry edge for eyelet insertion.
The method of using the threading device of the invention is the same for each of the embodiments. The thread T (or yarn or multiple threads--as for embroidery) is positioned through the loophole (24, 124, 224, 324), the spine is inserted through the eyelet 40 of the needle N and the entire device 10 (10, 110, 210, 310) is pulled completely through the eyelet 40 to draw the thread T into place.
Having described the invention in detail, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.