This invention relates to spacer fabrics and more particularly
to a novel spacer fabric and a mattress cover and composite mattress construction
Spacer fabrics have opposite face structures united and
held in spaced disposition by linking spacing threads. Many applications of spacer
fabrics are known, for example, from GB2042003, which describes a liquid absorbing
textile product, WO95/16416, which describes a compression bandage, WO95/12018,
which describes clothing articles, US5896758, which describes a fabric for footwear
and backpacks, WO99/05990, which describes a prosthetic fabric, WO96/01602, which
describes a mat, and US5834382, which describes a high temperature resistant covering.
In UK Patent No.GB2305191B there is described and claimed
a flexible spacer material, which comprises a fabric, providing a liquid permeable
and breathable upper surface and a heat and liquid dissipating spacer layer, and
a liquid impermeable lower surface layer. The spacer material is used for the production
of mattress covers, and more particularly for cot mattresses for babies and young
children. These are sold under the name SLEEPRIGHT (RTM) cot mattress by Mothercare
Whilst cot mattresses produced using the spacer materials
described in GB2305191B have vastly improved properties over conventional cot mattresses
and the product has proved to be commercially extremely successful, certain improvements
in the breathability and airflow properties of the spacer fabric would be very desirable,
together with improved work of compression, thickness recovery and compression recovery
Improved breathability obviously gives an improved safety
factor for the cot mattress, and improved air flow reduces the risk of over-heating,
thereby leading to even greater comfort for the infant.
Improved work of compression, thickness recovery and compression
recovery properties give greater softness and resilience to the cot mattress.
In our co-pending UK application no. GB2353048 there is
described and claimed a flexible spacer fabric, the fabric having a liquid permeable
and breathable upper surface layer, the upper surface layer comprising a knitted
mesh wherein the ratio of average hole diameter to average strand width is from
4:1 to 1:2, a heat and liquid dissipating spacer layer, and a dimensionally stable
lower surface layer.
Whilst a considerable improvement in some or all of the
above mentioned properties, can be obtained by increasing the ratio of hole size
to strand size in the upper surface layer as described in co-pending UK application
no. GB2353048, this improvement is not without its consequences, and in some circumstances
there can be a reduction in the liquid transport properties of the fabric. This
can be a disadvantage, since slower liquid transport can result in slower conveyance
of body fluids away from the body region, and possible discomfort for the infant.
DE 4336303 describes a double humidity transporting knitted
fabric with a spacing between its two webs.
DE-C-19635170 discloses a spacer fabric in which fibres
crossing between inner and outer layers have a wicking construction to enhance transport
of moisture between the layers.
It has now been found that the aforementioned disadvantages
can be overcome or at least obviated by using inherently wicking fibres in the manufacture
of the upper surface layer.
In a first aspect, the invention provides a flexible spacer
fabric as defined in claim 1.
In a further aspect, the invention provides a mattress
cover material which comprises a flexible spacer fabric according to the invention
and a liquid impermeable lower surface layer.
In another aspect the invention provides a cot mattress
comprising a foam plastics core or a spring mattress core and a cover comprising
a flexible spacer fabric according to the invention and a liquid impermeable lower
In a still further aspect, the invention provides a cot
mattress comprising a foam plastics core or a spring mattress core, a cover comprising
a flexible spacer fabric according to the invention, and, arranged between the mattress
core and the cover, a liquid impermeable layer.
The upper surface layer is preferably such that liquids
and air can easily pass there through and into the spacer layer and the spacer fabric
is preferably such that it has an enhanced ability to conduct liquid away from the
surface and dissipate it through the fabric structure, and such that it permits
passage of air through the structure.
The upper surface layer is a warp knitted mesh, having
holes of a size such that liquids can pass therethrough. Preferably the holes are
hexagonal, so that the upper surface layer has the appearance of a honeycomb.
The mesh hole size of the upper surface layer is preferably
as large as possible for drainage and ventilation purposes, but should not be so
large as to cause discomfort when placed next to the skin. A mesh average hole diameter
of from 1 to 3mm, preferably around 2mm has been found to give particularly good
The average width of the mesh strands in the upper surface
layer is preferably from 0.1 to 4 mm, more preferably from 0.5 to 3mm, such as,
for example, about 2 mm.
Preferably the ratio of the average hole diameter to the
average width of the mesh strands in the upper surface layer is from 3:1 to 1:2,
for example 1:1.
Preferably the upper surface layer of the spacer fabric
is such that liquids of viscosity of at least 20 dynes per centimetre and more preferably
of at least 30 dynes per centimetre can pass through the upper surface and into
the spacer layer without lying on the surface. Preferably the upper surface of the
spacer fabric has a grade of less than 1 when tested in accordance with the Oil
Repellency Rating AATCC method.
The breathability of the upper surface layer is preferably
such that, when placed face down on the fabric, a baby can continue to breath relatively
The air permeability test providing a measure of the breathability
of a fabric, i.e. the ease with which air passes through the fabric structure, is
BS 4578:1970 (1991) Measurement of Restriction of Airflow. Preferably the spacer
fabric has a value of less than 5mm H2O, more preferably less than 2.0mm
H2O, most preferably less than 1mm H2O, when tested in accordance
with BS 4578:1970 (1991).
In the fabric of the invention the upper surface layer
comprises inherently wicking fibres. In this specification the term "inherently
wicking fibre" means a monofilament fibre which, by virtue of its shape and configuration,
has inherent wicking properties, whereby liquid can be transported along the fibre
by capillary action. By "inherent" is meant enhanced, when compared with a fibre
of the same material having a round cross section and similar dTex.
Whilst the spacer fabric of GB2305191B undoubtedly has
excellent wicking properties, the upper surface layer is not stated to have any
special wicking properties independent of the total fabric structure.
The upper surface layer comprises a warp knitted mesh of
Wicking fibres for use in the upper surface layer are contained
in multifilament synthetic fibre yarns sold for their inherent wickability. Such
fibres have enhanced capillary action by virtue of their shape and configuration.
The enhanced wicking properties of inherently wicking fibres can be achieved, for
example, by various different fibre cross-sectional structures, providing at least
one longitudinal channel which permits faster liquid transport by capillary action.
All inherently wicking fibres will have a capability of wicking at a greater rate
than conventional multifilament yarns of similar dTex. They can, for example, have
a complex cross-section which provides a plurality of longitudinal channels to conduct
liquid along the fibre at a rate greater than a comparable conventional fibre with
a circular cross-section. Fabrics knitted from yarns of inherently wicking fibres
can have a drying rate of up to 20%, more preferably 30% and most preferably 50%
faster than cotton, and up to 5%, and more preferably 10%, faster than conventional
Preferably a fabric made from an inherently wicking fibre
has a moisture loss of at least 5%, more preferably at least 10%, greater than a
fabric made from a conventional synthetic fibre having a circular cross-section
after 30 minutes.
Suitable synthetic fibre yarns include polyesters and polyamides,
although polyesters are preferred, due to their greater heat stability. Preferred
multi-filament yarns have a dTex of from 40 to 340, more preferably from 40 to 180.
An example of a suitable wicking fibre is CoolMax™, which is a
four channel Dacron™ polyester fibre with a special cross-sectional
structure comprising three intersecting circles manufactured by Du Pont. Another
potentially suitable wicking fibre is CoolMax Alta™, also manufactured
by Du Pont.
In addition to its inherent wicking properties, the upper
surface layer can also aid liquid transport by allowing liquids to pass through
itself into the spacer layer.
In certain embodiments of the invention, at least the upper
surface layer of the spacer fabric can also comprise an anti-bacterial yarn which
is preferably of the type which also retards the growth of mould, mildew and fungus.
Incorporation of an inlay of the anti-bacterial yarn can provide a safer and more
hygenic spacer fabric. Other inlays which can be used include, for example, thermoregulating
The linking threads of the spacer layer preferably comprise
a mono-filament which traverses back and forth between the upper and lower surfaces.
It has been found that, by omitting multi-filament linker threads from the spacer
layer, the air volume of the spacer layer can be increased, providing improved air
permeability and heat dissipation. Omitting multi-filament linker threads makes
possible for example, a 50% reduction in the number of threads linking across the
spacer layer, compared to the current commercially available product. In a preferred
spacer fabric of the invention, the number of mono-filament linker threads in the
spacer layer is preferably from 100 to 400 threads per square centimetre, for example
about 286 threads per square centimetre.
Whilst the mono-filament linking threads in the spacer
layer can be individually spaced apart and perpendicularly arranged with respect
to the upper and lower surface layers, they are preferably arranged such that each
pair, or group, of threads is in the form of a V-shape, when the fabric is viewed
in cross-section, with the angle of the V preferably being from 50 to
550, for example about 270 to about 320. The V-shaped
pairs or groups of threads can form a zig-zag pattern, and each individual thread
can have a horizontal midsection which is inlaid into the upper surface layer.
Preferably at least 50% and more preferably 100% of the
linking threads are arranged in V-shaped formations.
By arranging for pairs or groups of threads linking the
upper and lower surfaces to lie at opposed angles to the perpendicular distance
between the upper and lower surfaces, it is possible to improve the resistance of
the spacer fabric to "flopping over" when subjected to a compressive force. This
"flopping over" is highly undesirable since it can result in the complete flattening
of the spacer fabric and a loss of the spacer layer with its properties of breathability
and heat dissipation. As the linking threads are angled in alternate directions
the spacer fabric can achieve a comfortable resilient feel whilst still retaining
breathability, heat dissipation and a resistance to crushing. The inlaid midsection
also helps to spread the load of the mono-filament thread on the upper surface layer.
The linking threads preferably have a sufficient stiffness
to resist complete crushing of the fabric by the distributed weight of the baby,
and yet have sufficient resilience to impart a springiness or "give" to the fabric
for comfort. Preferred mono-filaments for use as linking threads have a dTex of
from 22 to 115, and can be made, for example, from a polyamide such as Nylon, a
polypropylene, or most preferably a polyester.
Preferably the spacer fabric of the invention is such that
the spacer layer requires a work of compression, as measured by BS 4098:1975 of
at least 50 J/metre2, preferably at least 60 J/metre2, with
a maximum of around 350J/m2 and a thickness recovery of at least 50%,
preferably at least 75%, and a compression recovery of at least 65% preferably at
Preferably the spacer fabric of the invention is such that
in the spacer layer the ratio of the volume of free space to the volume of linker
threads is greater than 40, preferably greater than 100.
In preferred embodiments of the invention, the upper surface
layer has a construction wherein the mono-filament linker threads of the spacer
layer are effectively surrounded by softer multi-filament yarns in order to give
a softer surface feel. This construction can be achieved, for example, using a Liba-DPLM
machine, and a combination of closed and open stitches relative to the different
yarns and threads. Preferably an open stitch is applied to the surface multi-filament
yarns, and a closed stitch to the mono-filament linker threads.
Surrounding the mono-filament linker threads with multi-filament
yarns in the upper surface layer spreads the point of load of each mono-filament
linker thread over a larger area and imparts greater resilience and improved compression
anti-fatigue characteristics to the fabric.
In preferred spacer fabrics according to the invention
the surface mesh is fully supported by the mono-filament linker threads.
The dimensionally stable lower surface layer of the spacer
fabric of the invention is preferably knitted with stitches having a plurality of
loops, which can be achieved, for example, by using two guide bars instead of one,
and using a Liba-DPL machine. The number of stitches is reflected in the gauge of
the knitting machine used, and preferably the machine has a gauge of at least 16
and preferably 16, 22, 24 or 28. By "dimensionally stable" is meant that the lower
surface layer retains its integrity even after washing and crumpling.
In certain embodiments of the invention, the lower surface
of the spacer fabric is provided with a liquid impermeable layer which can be obtained,
for example, by direct coating of the lower surface of the fabric with a liquid-impermeable
polymeric material, by impregnation of a liquid-impermeable polymeric material,
or by transfer coating, or laminating a film of liquid-impermeable polymeric material
thereto, to provide a tightly adherent, liquid-impermeable, backing layer or impregnated
Preferably the liquid-impermeable layer is provided by
laminating a flexible backing layer of a suitable polymeric material, for example
a polyurethane film, to the lower surface of the fabric by means of an adhesive.
The layer of polymeric material is preferably from 10 to 30 microns in thickness,
and good results and good flexibility have been achieved using a 25 micron thick
polyurethane layer. Other polymeric film materials, such as, for example, polyethylene
and polyvinylchloride may also be used in appropriate circumstances.
Where an adhesive is used for laminating, this may be solvent
or heat activated, or cold-cured but the amount of heat and pressure used in the
lamination process must neither be sufficient to compress the resultant laminate
unduly, nor to cause permanent damage thereto. Preferably the adhesive, when set,
forms a flexible film in order to prevent crumpling and flexing of the material
without cracking of the film.
The backing layer is considered to be water impermeable
if it achieves a pass as waterproof when tested in accordance with BS EN 20811:1992.
The backing layer is preferably such that it can be repeatedly
machine washed and dried in a tumble dryer without undue shrinkage or permanent
The lower surface layer of the spacer fabric is preferably
a multi-filament or spun-filament warp knitted fabric, and, for example, there may
be used a multi-filament yarn having a dTex of from 40 to 230, for example, about
78 dTEX. Polyamide or polyester yarns are examples of suitable multifilament yarns
which can be used, although polyester yarns are preferred.
The spacer fabric as a whole should of course have a high
wickability, which is defined as the ability of the fabric to conduct liquid away
from the area of initial contact and form a relatively thin liquid film within the
fabric structure. Wickability of the fabric as a whole is measured in accordance
with TTM 1428:92 (FDC.348) by suspending test specimens from spring clips vertically
over a beaker of distilled water containing a suitable dye and measuring the height
to which the liquid rises in a given time. Preferably the spacer fabric is such
that the wicked liquid rises to a height of at least 50mm, preferably at least 100mm,
when tested in both the warp and weft directions, in a time of 30 minutes. Prior
to testing the specimens are conditioned for a minimum of 16 hours in a standard
atmosphere of 20°C/65% Relative Humidity ±2%.
The ability of the spacer fabric to take liquid away from
its surface and dissipate it through the fabric structure is measured using a water
dispersion test in which a solution containing a suitable dye is used to measure
the spread of liquid into and through the fabric. In this test, a measured amount
of liquid (0.5ml) is applied to the fabric upper surface. The dimensions of the
area stained due to the spread of liquid are measured over time. In a preferred
spacer fabric in accordance with the invention the dimensions of the spread of water
containing dye are at least 5.5cm by 2.5cm and the spread of liquid reaches near
equilibrium in about 15 minutes.
The fabric preferably has good heat dissipation, such that
it can dissipate heat rapidly away from a hot body. Preferably the fabric is such
that the temperature of the fabric when placed under a hot plate with an initial
temperature of 34°C does not exceed 25°C and more preferably 22°C
after 10 minutes.
In certain preferred constructions according to the invention,
where the liquid impermeable layer is not laminated to the spacer fabric, it is
found that the spacer fabric makes less noise when its surface is rubbed softly,
thereby improving the comfort of a cot mattress produced therefrom by reducing rustling.
Also, in the preferred embodiments, improved bounce and
resilience of the spacer fabric can be obtained by the omission of multi-filament
linker threads from the spacer layer, allowing the full properties of the monofilament
threads to be utilised.
In one embodiment according to the present invention, a
cot mattress can be formed by providing a mattress core, a mattress cover comprising
a spacer fabric according to the invention, and a liquid impermeable layer therebetween.
For example, a mattress core, which can be either a foam plastics core or a sprung
interior mattress core, can be provided with a liquid impermeable waterproof underlay,
and the spacer fabric of the invention can be formed into a removable mattress cover
therefor. An advantage of this construction is that the spacer fabric without the
waterproof laminated layer is likely to be more resistant to creasing and distortion
when washed at high temperatures. In this embodiment the mattress core is preferably
completely enclosed with a waterproof film layer in order to prevent liquids from
reaching the core. Complete enclosure of a foam mattress core, for example, by the
use of a water proof plastics underlay, is important, since if the mattress becomes
wet it can form depressions which do not recover when dry.
The resistance of a laminated mattress cover according
to another aspect of the invention, wherein the cover comprises the spacer fabric
and a waterproof plastics backing layer, to distortion and creasing during a 60°c
wash, may be improved by cross-linking the plastics layer, either before or after
the lamination step. Cross-linking can be carried out by, for example, electron
beam irradiation, chemical cross-linking, or other techniques known to the art.
In this aspect of the invention, cross-linking of the waterproof backing can be
applied to laminated mattress covers according to the present invention, and also
to the backing layer of laminated spacer materials produced in accordance with GB2305191B.
Preferred embodiments of spacer fabrics and mattress covers
according to the present invention have improved breathability and air flow properties
due to the increased ratio of hole size to strand size in the woven mesh of the
upper surface layer and have improved air permeability due to the increased air
space of the spacer layer. An improvement in softness is also achieved by the stitching
technique in which the linking mono-filaments are masked by softer multi-filament
yarns to form a softer surface.
The foam plastics core or body of the mattress preferably
comprises an open cell polymeric foam material, for example, a foamed polyurethane,
and very good results have been obtained using Vitafoam (RTM), a polyurethane foam
comprising Melamine as a fire retardant additive.
Preferably the foam plastics core or body is permeable
to air, although with certain spacer materials of high breatheability this may not
be essential. Perforation of the foam plastics core is not usually required.
Where the spacer fabric is used as a mattress cover or
mattress protector, it is preferably removable from the mattress core or body for
washing purposes and, for example, the cover material or mattress protector may
be a loose cover, or provided with a zip at one or more edge regions to permit such
In order to reduce the manufacturing cost of the cot mattress,
it is possible to provide the spacer fabric as the top surface layer only of the
mattress, the sides and lower surfaces being made of cheaper standard mattress cover
In preferred embodiments of the invention, the mattress
achieves a pass under BS Standard 7177 for Resistance to Ignition of Mattresses,
Divans and Bed Bases, and BS Standard 1877 Fire Retardancy Test for Mattresses and
Bumpers for Childrens' Cots, Perambulators and Similar Domestic Articles and is
devoid of fire retardant additives comprising antimony, phosphorus or arsenic.
Spacer fabrics can be knitted, for example, on Raschelmachines
with two needle bars. Depending upon the nature of the spacer fabric and its physical
requirements, a minimum of four guide bars, and normally four to six or more guide
bars, are used. In addition to the requirements set out hereto, the thickness of
the yarn used for the spacer threads is influenced by the distance between the upper
and lower surfaces, the desired softness of the upper surface and whether the central
layer is knitted with one guide bar or with two guide bars knitting in opposition
to each other. The manufacturing methods for spacer fabrics are discussed in the
brochure "Spacer Fabrics - Manufacturing Methods and Applications" published in
1994 by Karl Mayer Textilmaschinenfabrik GmbH,. In the spacer fabrics of the present
invention, the distance between the upper and lower surfaces, that is, the width
of the spacer layer, is preferably from 3 to 6 mm, more preferably about 4.5 mm.
Preferred embodiments of a spacer fabric and a cot mattress
and mattress cover according to the invention are described in the following Examples:
A spacer fabric for a material in accordance with the invention
is knitted on a RD6N machine using two needle bars and six guide bars. The sequence
of operation is as follows:
GUIDE BAR 1
GUIDE BAR 2
GUIDE BAR 3
GUIDE BAR 4
GUIDE BAR 5
GUIDE BAR 6
Guide bars 1 and 2 form the top mesh surface. The guide
bar movement to form the mesh may be varied to make an oval, hexagonal, diamond,
square, round, rectangular etc type mesh as desired.
Guide bars 3 and 4 could have different movements for the
linking threads, which could in an alternative manufacturing method use only one
instead of two guide bars. It would also be possible to use two half set guide bars
in opposition instead of one.
Guide bars 5 and 6 could again have different movements
for the production of different fabric backing types.
The construction notation is given in steps of 1 i.e. 0-1-2-3-4,
where each number represents a movement (or non-movement of the guide bar over one
Eg. 0-1 is a movement over one needle.
0-2 is a movement over two needle.
The numbers between the / marks represent the movement
with respect to a needle bar or bars.
Eg. 1-0/1-2// will mean the guide bar knitting over both needle bars (to use the
1-0-1-1/ will mean the guide bar knitting only on one needle bed, as there is no
movement (2-2) on the second needle bar.
In a preferred embodiment, by way of example only, the yarn dTEX (thickness) is
- Bars 1 and 2 - 78 dTEX polyester
- Bars 3 and 4 - 33 dTEX polyester
- Bar 5 & 6 = 78 dTEX polyester
The resultant spacer fabric has a thickness of 4.5mm, an
upper surface mesh hole average diameter of 2mm and an average mesh strand width
The spacer fabric can be slit to 60cm wide and made up
into a zip-off cover for a cot mattress. The foam core of the cot mattress is a
10cm thick polyurethane foam material of grade 35M.
All the polyester yarns used in the manufacture of the
spacer fabric exemplified, and the polyurethane foam of the mattress core, are chosen
to be substantially free of arsenic and antimony, and to contain less than 12 parts
per million, preferably to be substantially free, of phosphorus.
A spacer fabric spacer material and mattress produced as
described above are subjected to the following tests, with results and conclusions
as set out below:
1. Air Permeability Test
This is to assess the breathability of the fabric, i.e.
the ease with which air passes through the fabric structure.
Test Method: BS 4578:1970 (1991) Measurement of Restriction of Airflow.
The fabric of the invention is compared with a control
sample manufactured in accordance with GB2305191B.
The closer the result is to zero the better the airflow through the mattress cover.
The results are as follows:
Upper fabric surface
The results indicate that the spacer material mattress
cover of the present invention has a significantly higher permeability and thus,
After washing in accordance with BS49236A at 40°C
and line drying, the air flow restriction of the spacer material mattress cover
of the invention is still very low.
2. Liquid Dissipation Tests
These demonstrate the ability of the fabric to take liquid
away from the surface and dissipate it through the fabric structure.
The tests are in three parts:
2(a) Liquid Flow Test
Liquid flow from the surface of the fabric into the structure
of the fabric. Liquids with viscosities of from 27.3 to 31.5 dynes/cm are tested.
(Based on Oil Repellency Rating AATCC method).
2(b) Wicking test (Based on TTM1428:92(FDC.348))
The closer the grade is to zero, the more liquids are taken into the fabric.
Grade - less than 1
indicates that liquids of all tested viscosities soaked into the fabric structure
and proves liquid would not sit on the fabric surface.
Test specimens are suspended over a beaker of distilled
water and the height to which the liquid rises is measured over time.
The fabric is tested, and compared to a control sample
of a mattress fabric produced in accordance with GB 2304191B, in both directions
of the fabric.
The results are as follows:
Warp direction 1min
Warp direction 5 mins
Warp direction 30 mins
Warp direction 1 hr
Weft direction 1min
Weft direction 5mins
Weft direction 30 mins
1 x 120 mm
1 x exceeds clips
Weft direction 1hr
Whilst the results for the new fabric are slightly inferior
to those quoted in GB2305191B, they are comparable, especially in the weft direction,
and it can be seen that the presence of wicking fibres in the surface layer substantially
compensates for the increase in hole size to strand size.
2(c) Water Dispersion Test
A solution containing dye is used to measure the spread
of liquid into and through the spacer fabric.
3. Fire Retardancy Test
A measured amount (0.5ml) is applied to the fabric surface. The dimensions of the
area stained due to the spread of liquid are measured over time.
The fabric is compared with control samples of a woven cotton mattress fabric and
It is found that the spread of liquid in the spacer fabric reaches near equilibrium,
i.e. maximum spread, after about 15 minutes.
Both the cotton woven fabric and p.v.c. are found to have zero spread, and water
therefore sits on the surface of the fabrics.
Therefore, the spacer fabric is superior in taking liquid away from the surface
of the fabric and dissipating it through the fabric structure.
The mattress is tested for fire retardancy to the standard
laid down in the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988. The result
is a pass.
4. Washability Test
Washability tests are carried out. The suitable care instructions
5. Thickness Compression and Recovery Test
- (i) wash as synthetic - maximum temperature 60°C
- (ii) no bleach
- (iii)no iron
- (iv) no dry clean
- (v) tumble dry
Five samples of the fabric of the invention are tested
following the procedure described in BS4098:1975 the results averaged and compared
with the results obtained in GB2305191B.
Work of compression
The results show that the spacer material has a lower work
of compression and an improved thickness recovery and compression recovery after
6. Heat Dissipation Test
A rectangular hot plate with an initial temperature of
33.8°C is placed on a mattress cover according to the invention and the temperature
build-up of the mattress cover under the hot plate and up to 12 cms distant from
the edge of the hot plate measured using two sets of five thermocouples, the individual
thermocouples in each set being disposed at intervals of 4 cms apart. A 100% PVC
mattress cover is used as a control. Thermocouples 1 and 6 are disposed under the
hot plate in the central region thereof and 10cms apart. Thermocouples 2 and 7 are
disposed at the edge of the hot plate. Thermocouples 3 to 5 (and 8 to 10 similarly)
are disposed in a line, respectively 4cms, 8cms and 12cms from the edge of the hot
The results indicate that, using the mattress cover of
the invention, the temperature rises more slowly, and even after 75 minutes, the
temperature under the hot plate using the mattress cover of the invention is significantly
lower than that of the PVC control.
A second spacer fabric for a material in accordance with
the invention is knitted on a RD6N machine using two needle bars and six guide bars.
The sequence of operation is as follows:
GUIDE BAR 1
GUIDE BAR 2
GUIDE BAR 3
GUIDE BAR 4
GUIDE BAR 5
GUIDE BAR 6
The construction notation is given in steps of 2 i.e. 0-2-4-6-8,
where each number represents a movement (or non-movement of the guide bar over one
In a preferred embodiment, the yarn dTEX (thickness) is
- Bars 1 and 2 - 55 dTEX polyester
- Bars 3 and 4 - 69 dTEX polyester
- Bar 5 & 6 - 50 dTEX polyester
An embodiment of a spacer material according to the invention
is illustrated in the accompanying Drawings in which:
- Figure 1 shows the upper surface of a portion of the spacer material in plan
- Figure 2 shows a sectional side elevation of the spacer material of Figure 1.
Referring to the Drawings, the spacer fabric illustrated
generally at 1 has an upper surface 2 comprising a warp knitted multifilament mesh
having strands 3 of width 2mm with holes 4 of diameter 2mm. In Figure 2, there is
also shown the spacer layer 5, having monofilament polyester spacer threads 6, disposed
in generally V-shaped groups 7, with an acute angle, as illustrated, between threads
of opposed inclination. The lower surface 8 of the spacer fabric 1 is knitted from
multifilament polyester threads to form a substantially dimensionally stable layer.
Individual spacer linking threads such as 9, illustrated as a thicker line, have
sections 10,11, angled in opposed directions, and a horizontal midsection 12 which
is inlaid in the upper surface layer 2.