US20070118976A1 - Reinforcement for garments - Google Patents

Reinforcement for garments Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070118976A1
US20070118976A1 US11264423 US26442305A US2007118976A1 US 20070118976 A1 US20070118976 A1 US 20070118976A1 US 11264423 US11264423 US 11264423 US 26442305 A US26442305 A US 26442305A US 2007118976 A1 US2007118976 A1 US 2007118976A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
coil
reinforcement
garment
flexible
spring
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11264423
Inventor
John Wong
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Taltech Ltd
Original Assignee
Tal Apparel Ltd
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41FGARMENT FASTENINGS; SUSPENDERS
    • A41F9/00Belts, girdles, or waistbands for trousers or skirts
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A41WEARING APPAREL
    • A41DOUTERWEAR; PROTECTIVE GARMENTS; ACCESSORIES
    • A41D27/00Details of garments or of their making

Abstract

A flexible reinforcement for garments includes a filament that is made of a spring material shaped to have a plurality of turns so as to form an elongated helical spring coil, caps located over the ends of the spring coil; and a cloth channel which receives the elongated coil. The channel is adapted to be sewn into a garment at a location to reinforce its shape. The spring coil may have a diameter of from about 1/32 to 3/16th inches. The caps may be made of plastics, Teflon, metal or similar material and shaped to be round and smooth so as to act to prevent the ends of the spring from penetrating the garment or poking the wearer.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a reinforcement for garments that is designed to maintain the shape of the garment and, more particularly, to a flexible reinforcement for garments that permits them to return to their original shape after being deformed.
  • 2. Discussion of the Related Art
  • After a garment has been worn, washed or dry cleaned, folded or shipped, the garment may lose its original shape and lose some of its appeal. Reinforcements have been used for many years to help garments maintain their shape. In some cases the reinforcement is in the form of stiffening members incorporated into the garments to make them rigid, thereby preserving the desired shape of the garment. Various stiffening materials have been used, including linings, interlinings, wire, fabric panels, or plastic stiffening strips. In addition, wire strips have been used to create a wire frame to support the garment's shape.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 2,706,295 of Schlegel discloses stiffening strips in outer and under garments, including coats. Schlegel also discloses a stiffening strip of extruded nylon which can be sewn or otherwise fastened to a garment, and which is unaffected by normal washing or cleaning, pressing, folding or other forms of handling of the garment. The stiffening strips may be applied in other forms or shape to outer garments, such as coats and dresses in order to obtain the desired shape of the garment.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,481,761 of Lichi shows a sleeve stay which includes a plastic strip. U.S. Pat. No. 2,440,121 of Schwartz and U.S. Pat. No. 2,433,623 of Perlmutter show shoulder pads reinforced with rods. Other patents, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,730,641 of Brown, show various types of other garment stiffening devices, including under wires for bras. The Brown patent also mentions the problem caused by the ends of the under wire piercing the fabric of the brassiere and irritating the wearer. The solution which Brown mentions from the prior art is the use of end caps or tips on the under wire. However, Brown proposed the use of kidney shaped members positioned at the ends of the wires.
  • The wire and rod stiffeners of the prior art can withstand some deformation and still return to their original shape. However, if a stiffener is deformed or bent beyond the elastic limit of the material, it remains permanently deformed. Once the stiffener has been permanently deformed, the garment will not return to its original desired shape. Often, these stiffeners become permanently deformed during the garment cleaning or pressing process or when the garment is excessively handled.
  • Thus it would be desirable to have a reinforcement for a garment that can withstand the deformation that occurs during cleaning, drying, ironing, folding, storing and other forms of typical handling without losing its shape or punching through the garment.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to preventing garments from losing a desired shape by providing a flexible tightly-wound elongated helical spring that forms part of a reinforcement that retains its shape even when the garment is washed or dry cleaned, dried or pressed, folded, packed, shipped or otherwise handled.
  • In an exemplary embodiment of the invention, a flexible reinforcement is incorporated into the shoulder region of a suit jacket. The flexible reinforcement is formed at least in part from a filament or thin metal wire that has been formed into a helical coil spring. Preferably, the filament is closely-wound, i.e., it is turned or coiled, so that adjacent coils or turns are touching. The diameter of the coils may be small relative to the total length of the flexible reinforcement, giving the flexible coil an elongated appearance.
  • The flexible elongated coil can then be placed in a strip of fabric or other material that is formed into a folded channel. Additionally, the ends of the flexible elongated coil can be covered with caps made of plastic, rubber, Teflon or other material to prevent it from punching through the cloth of the garment or poking the wearer. The cloth channel of the flexible reinforcement is then sewn into the shoulder region of the suit jacket.
  • The presence of the flexible reinforcement helps maintain the desired shape of the shoulder, which may be substantially semi-circular in form, circular, oval or any other desirable shape. When a force is imparted to the flexible reinforcement, such as when the suit is being dry cleaned or pressed, the reinforcement flexes. As long as the elastic limit of the reinforcement is not exceeded during the bending, it will return to its original shape, and thus, return the suit to its desired shape. As a result of the coil spring shape of the reinforcement, it can withstand more severe bending than the prior art rods and still return the suit to its desired shape. Additionally, the presence of the flexible reinforcement helps to prevent the fabric at the shoulder seam from bunching up, which can occur after washing. The flexible reinforcement also helps maintain a consistent shape between the left and right shoulders of the suit jacket.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing and other features of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description and drawings of an illustrative embodiment of the invention in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a view of an elongated coiled spring suitable for forming part of a flexible reinforcement in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a view of the flexible elongated spring useful for forming a part of the reinforcement, but with protective caps on the ends in accordance with the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a plan view of the interior of a suit jacket with a flexible reinforcement in accordance with the present invention inserted to maintain the shape of the shoulders; and
  • FIG. 4 is a right side top perspective view of half of a suit jacket with a flexible reinforcement in the shoulder region of the suit jacket in accordance with the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS
  • FIG. 1 shows a flexible coil spring 10 for use in forming a garment reinforcement in accordance with the present invention. Such a reinforcement will typically include an elongated coil spring, caps on the end of the spring and a cloth channel which holds the spring and which can be sewn into the garment at an appropriate location to provide the proper reinforcement.
  • The spring 10 is made from a filament or wire material that can be turned or wound into a coil, which will also retain the coil shape, e.g., steel, spring wire, or memory wire. Similarly, raw material can be formed into a coil shape using alternative processes, e.g., by extruding the material into a coil. The filament would be wound into the shape of a helix so that the filament takes the shape of an elongated coil comprising a number of individual turns or coils, much like a typical extension or compression spring. The filament can be wound such that as each individual turn is touching the adjacent turn. Alternatively, the filament can be wound so that there is a space between adjacent turns.
  • The diameter of the flexible coil should preferably be small, which makes the reinforcement thin and thus, more flexible and able to handle a greater degree of bending. Springs with diameters of 1/32 to ⅛ inch are particularly useful. In principle, the thicker the fabric of the garment, the larger the diameter of the coil may be, so that coil diameters of 3/16 inch may find an application in, for example, overcoats. Such a small diameter helps to reduce any discomfort a person may experience from contact with an area having the reinforcement while wearing a garment equipped with it. These springs can have any convenient length, but typically are in the range of 8 to 10 inches when used for reinforcing the upper part of the shoulders of suits for adult males. Where the reinforcement is designed to extend over the full circumference of the armhole, the spring would be even longer.
  • The diameter and spacing of the individual coils or turns comprising the flexible reinforcement, and the diameter of the filament used to form the coils and the filament material, may be adjusted to obtain the desired stiffness for various uses in various garments. Further, the diameter and spacing of the coils can be varied along the length of the reinforcement to give it different characteristics along its length. For example, if formed into an arch, oval or circle for reinforcement of the shoulder of a garment, it can be made thin and more flexible at its center near the top of the arch (top and bottom of the oval or circle) and more rigid toward the ends (the sides of the oval or circle).
  • FIG. 2 should be considered a schematic view of the elongated coil 10 used to form the reinforcement of the present invention. The turns in section A are tightly wound and touching, but those in section B have space between them. FIG. 2 further shows the ends covered with protective caps or tips 220. The caps 220 can be made from plastic, rubber, Teflon, metal or other material of appropriate shape. The caps 220 act to prevent the reinforcement from punching through the cloth of the garment and/or poking the wearer.
  • FIG. 3 shows a partially completed suit jacket 310 folded open so the lining 312 is visible. Also, a collar 314 adjoins lapels 316 and openings 318 are provided to which sleeves will be attached. The figure shows a flexible reinforcement 340 that is incorporated into the shoulder region 320 of the suit jacket. The reinforcement may have a semi-circular, circular, oval or other shape as desired.
  • In order to facilitate the attachment of reinforcement 340 to the jacket 310, a piece of fabric formed into a channel 330 is sewn along the upper arch of the sleeve opening 318. The coil spring 10 can then be inserted into the channel 330 to complete the reinforcement 340. Alternatively, the coil spring 10 can first be inserted in the channel 330 and then the combination which forms the reinforcement is sewn into the shoulder region 320 of the suit jacket. The coil spring is shown in dotted line in FIG. 3 because it is contained within the cloth channel 330. While the reinforcement has a arch shape in FIG. 3, it should be understood that it can have whatever shape is necessary, e.g., circular, oval, square, triangular, etc.
  • FIG. 4 shows a half of a suit jacket 410 lapels 316 and sleeves 412. The location of a flexible reinforcement 340 is shown in dotted line in the shoulder region of the suit jacket because it would not be visible in the completed garment. Further, FIG. 4 shows the shoulder region of the suit jacket 410 being maintained in the desired shape by the presence of the reinforcement 340.
  • The shape of the flexible reinforcement of the present invention, e.g., the helical spring coil with or without a cloth channel, helps to maintain the shape of the jacket after it has been distorted. The coil shape permits the reinforcement to withstand a high degree of bending without becoming permanently deformed.
  • While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (11)

  1. 1. A flexible reinforcement for garments comprising:
    a filament that is made of a spring material shaped to have a plurality of turns so as to form an elongated helical coil; and
    a cloth channel which receives the elongated coil, said channel being adapted to be attached to a garment at a location to reinforce its shape.
  2. 2. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1, wherein the elongated coil is formed such that the individual turns are in contact with adjacent turns.
  3. 3. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1, wherein the elongated coil is formed such that there is a space between at least some of the individual turns.
  4. 4. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1 wherein the elongated coil is formed such that the spacing between individual turns varies over the length of the coil.
  5. 5. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1, wherein the filament is made from spring steel.
  6. 6. The flexible reinforcement of claim 5 wherein the diameter of the elongated coil is in the range of from about 1/32 to 3/16th inches.
  7. 7. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1, wherein the filament is made from memory wire.
  8. 8. The flexible reinforcement of claim 1, wherein the reinforcement further includes caps located on at least one of the ends of the elongated coil to prevent the end of the elongated coil from penetrating the garment or contacting and poking a person wearing the garment.
  9. 9. The flexible reinforcement of claim 8, wherein the caps are formed into a smooth, rounded shape and are made of at least one of plastics, rubber, Teflon, or metal.
  10. 10. A method for incorporating a flexible reinforcement into a garment comprising:
    creating a channel from a piece of cloth material;
    inserting a flexible coil spring into the channel, wherein said coil spring is made from a filament of spring material that is formed into a helical coil; and
    sewing the cloth channel containing the flexible coil spring into a garment.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10 wherein the reinforcement is shaped into one of an arch, oval or circle, and is sewn about the arm hole of a garment.
US11264423 2005-10-31 2005-10-31 Reinforcement for garments Abandoned US20070118976A1 (en)

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Citations (40)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US50420A (en) * 1865-10-10 Flat-wire spring
US213846A (en) * 1879-04-01 Improvement in wire-brim hats
US225754A (en) * 1880-03-23 Dress-stiffener
US232066A (en) * 1880-09-07 Hat-brim
US263379A (en) * 1882-08-29 avbet
US316852A (en) * 1885-04-28 Chaeles thtjet and sosthene db bassegoubt
US373720A (en) * 1887-11-22 Stiffening for corsets
US388936A (en) * 1888-09-04 Benjamin f
US501221A (en) * 1893-07-11 Hermann heinrich wagener
US527795A (en) * 1894-10-23 Flexible cord
US581457A (en) * 1897-04-27 Flattened coiled-wire spring
US645444A (en) * 1899-06-10 1900-03-13 John P F White Corset stay or stiffener.
US676210A (en) * 1901-01-15 1901-06-11 Bertha Scheck Spring for corset-stiffeners or similar articles.
US709565A (en) * 1901-05-25 1902-09-23 Bertha Scheck Corset stiffener.
US845444A (en) * 1906-07-25 1907-02-26 Daniel B Allsup Gate.
US876210A (en) * 1908-01-07 John H Miller Carbureter.
US926621A (en) * 1908-05-29 1909-06-29 Marianne Watt Sutherland Shirt-waist adjuster.
US1022364A (en) * 1910-12-02 1912-04-02 George E Hawes Corset-stay.
US1500474A (en) * 1922-05-31 1924-07-08 Tove Riven Corset stay
US1508200A (en) * 1922-10-14 1924-09-09 Tove Riven Corset clasp stay
US1609237A (en) * 1923-03-10 1926-11-30 George H Barlow Flexible extension for front clasps and steel stays
US1636712A (en) * 1925-09-24 1927-07-26 Elmer E Peck Suspender attachment
US2550532A (en) * 1948-04-02 1951-04-24 Cipkar Paul Foundation for garment coats and method of making the same
US2644946A (en) * 1949-06-17 1953-07-14 Menz Emil Corset spring
US2644947A (en) * 1949-07-15 1953-07-14 S & S Ind Brassiere
US2653322A (en) * 1952-04-12 1953-09-29 Blair David Undergarment
US2709814A (en) * 1952-03-13 1955-06-07 Crest Specialty Collar stay for soft collars
US2711536A (en) * 1953-05-19 1955-06-28 Formfit Company Brassiere
US2779022A (en) * 1954-08-31 1957-01-29 Hazel B Tucker Undergarment
US2852781A (en) * 1954-03-08 1958-09-23 Ganser Marie Flexible stay, especially for corsets
US2941211A (en) * 1958-08-26 1960-06-21 Albert J Less Collar attachment
US3140494A (en) * 1961-07-31 1964-07-14 Magidson Herbert Stiffening means
US5113526A (en) * 1990-08-27 1992-05-19 Wang Enoch Y S Protective clothing incorporating coil springs
US5873768A (en) * 1998-04-21 1999-02-23 Edie Fleischman-Ament Active-wear garment
US6102774A (en) * 1999-04-14 2000-08-15 General Science And Technology Corp. Garment having multifilament twisted and drawn or swaged support elements and adapted to support a female chest
US6175961B1 (en) * 1999-11-19 2001-01-23 Nigel A. Linden T-shirt modifications
US6206753B1 (en) * 1998-08-27 2001-03-27 Lisa M. Werner Brassiere with helical underwire
US20030055198A1 (en) * 1998-02-23 2003-03-20 Mnemoscience Gmbh Shape memory polymers
US6780080B2 (en) * 2003-01-07 2004-08-24 S & S Industries, Inc. Narrow profile soft tip for underwire
US20060117452A1 (en) * 2004-12-04 2006-06-08 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Protective garment containing malleable insert

Patent Citations (40)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US876210A (en) * 1908-01-07 John H Miller Carbureter.
US213846A (en) * 1879-04-01 Improvement in wire-brim hats
US225754A (en) * 1880-03-23 Dress-stiffener
US232066A (en) * 1880-09-07 Hat-brim
US263379A (en) * 1882-08-29 avbet
US316852A (en) * 1885-04-28 Chaeles thtjet and sosthene db bassegoubt
US373720A (en) * 1887-11-22 Stiffening for corsets
US388936A (en) * 1888-09-04 Benjamin f
US501221A (en) * 1893-07-11 Hermann heinrich wagener
US527795A (en) * 1894-10-23 Flexible cord
US581457A (en) * 1897-04-27 Flattened coiled-wire spring
US50420A (en) * 1865-10-10 Flat-wire spring
US645444A (en) * 1899-06-10 1900-03-13 John P F White Corset stay or stiffener.
US676210A (en) * 1901-01-15 1901-06-11 Bertha Scheck Spring for corset-stiffeners or similar articles.
US709565A (en) * 1901-05-25 1902-09-23 Bertha Scheck Corset stiffener.
US845444A (en) * 1906-07-25 1907-02-26 Daniel B Allsup Gate.
US926621A (en) * 1908-05-29 1909-06-29 Marianne Watt Sutherland Shirt-waist adjuster.
US1022364A (en) * 1910-12-02 1912-04-02 George E Hawes Corset-stay.
US1500474A (en) * 1922-05-31 1924-07-08 Tove Riven Corset stay
US1508200A (en) * 1922-10-14 1924-09-09 Tove Riven Corset clasp stay
US1609237A (en) * 1923-03-10 1926-11-30 George H Barlow Flexible extension for front clasps and steel stays
US1636712A (en) * 1925-09-24 1927-07-26 Elmer E Peck Suspender attachment
US2550532A (en) * 1948-04-02 1951-04-24 Cipkar Paul Foundation for garment coats and method of making the same
US2644946A (en) * 1949-06-17 1953-07-14 Menz Emil Corset spring
US2644947A (en) * 1949-07-15 1953-07-14 S & S Ind Brassiere
US2709814A (en) * 1952-03-13 1955-06-07 Crest Specialty Collar stay for soft collars
US2653322A (en) * 1952-04-12 1953-09-29 Blair David Undergarment
US2711536A (en) * 1953-05-19 1955-06-28 Formfit Company Brassiere
US2852781A (en) * 1954-03-08 1958-09-23 Ganser Marie Flexible stay, especially for corsets
US2779022A (en) * 1954-08-31 1957-01-29 Hazel B Tucker Undergarment
US2941211A (en) * 1958-08-26 1960-06-21 Albert J Less Collar attachment
US3140494A (en) * 1961-07-31 1964-07-14 Magidson Herbert Stiffening means
US5113526A (en) * 1990-08-27 1992-05-19 Wang Enoch Y S Protective clothing incorporating coil springs
US20030055198A1 (en) * 1998-02-23 2003-03-20 Mnemoscience Gmbh Shape memory polymers
US5873768A (en) * 1998-04-21 1999-02-23 Edie Fleischman-Ament Active-wear garment
US6206753B1 (en) * 1998-08-27 2001-03-27 Lisa M. Werner Brassiere with helical underwire
US6102774A (en) * 1999-04-14 2000-08-15 General Science And Technology Corp. Garment having multifilament twisted and drawn or swaged support elements and adapted to support a female chest
US6175961B1 (en) * 1999-11-19 2001-01-23 Nigel A. Linden T-shirt modifications
US6780080B2 (en) * 2003-01-07 2004-08-24 S & S Industries, Inc. Narrow profile soft tip for underwire
US20060117452A1 (en) * 2004-12-04 2006-06-08 Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. Protective garment containing malleable insert

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Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: TAL APPAREL LTD., CHINA

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:WONG, JOHN;REEL/FRAME:017246/0525

Effective date: 20060206

AS Assignment

Owner name: TALTECH LTD., VIRGIN ISLANDS, BRITISH

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TAL APPAREL LTD.;REEL/FRAME:017558/0257

Effective date: 20060425