Title:
BRASSIERE AND SUPPORTING FRAMES THEREOF
United States Patent 3702614


Abstract:
A brassiere frame is made up of an elongated arcuate wire-like support element of metal or plastic and end elements of plastic engaged with the end portions of the support element and each including a socket portion in which the respective end portion of the support element is longitudinally slidable and a relatively thin tab or flange portion extending from the socket portion and being adapted to be sewn through. A brassiere frame, as aforesaid, is positioned in the usual fabric tunnel or pocket provided along the lower arcuate perimeter of each cup-forming section of a brassiere and the tab or flange portions of the end elements are secured within the tunnel by stitching passing therethrough. Upon shrinking of the brassiere, the end elements of each frame slide longitudinally relative to the support element to insure that the ends of the frame will not tear through the ends of the fabric tunnel.



Inventors:
MILLER RICHARD
Application Number:
05/167994
Publication Date:
11/14/1972
Filing Date:
08/02/1971
Assignee:
MAID-MAR IND. INC.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41C3/12; (IPC1-7): A41C3/00
Field of Search:
128/465,471,472,473,474,475,476
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3114374Covered wire1963-12-17Chalfin et al.
2829650Wire supported brassiere1958-04-08Guide
2762055Wire for brassieres1956-09-11Bermuller
2700768Adjustable wire frame brassiere1955-02-01Kress
2539396Brassiere1951-01-30Basch
1837958Bust support1931-12-22Ferrero et al.



Foreign References:
FR1256118A
Primary Examiner:
Schroeder, Werner H.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. A brassiere frame comprising an elongated, arcuate wire-like support element, and end elements of plastic on the opposite end portions of said support element, each of said end elements including a socket portion in which the respective end portion of said support element is freely longitudinally slidable and a tab portion extending from said socket portion and being sufficiently thin so as be adapted to be sewn through.

2. A brassiere frame according to claim 1, in which said support element is of a resiliently rigid plastic.

3. A brassiere frame according to claim 1, in which said support element is of metal.

4. A brassiere frame according to claim 1, in which said arcuate wire-like support element, at least between said end portions thereof, has an elongated cross-sectional shape with the major axis of said elongated cross-sectional shape extending generally radially with respect to the curvature of the arcuate support element.

5. A brassiere frame according to claim 4, in which said end portions of the support element also have said elongated cross-sectional shape, and said socket portions of the end elements have internal cross-sections corresponding to said elongated cross-sectional shape of the respective end portion of the support element slidable longitudinally therein.

6. A brassiere frame according to claim 1, in which at least said end portions of said support element have circular cross-sections, and said socket portions of the end elements have circular internal cross-sections corresponding to said cross-sections of the end portions slidable longitudinally therein.

7. A brassiere frame according to claim 1, in which each of said end elements is constituted by a length of plastic tubing which is flattened at one end to define said tab portion.

8. A brassiere comprising fabric sections defining a pair of breast-receiving cups each having an arcuate lower perimeter along which a fabric tunnel extends, and a supporting frame in each said tunnel including an elongated, similarly arcuate wire-like support element and end elements of plastic on the opposite end portions of said support element, each of said end elements including an elongated socket portion in which the respective end portion of said support element is freely longitudinall slidable and a tab portion extending from said socket portion and being sufficiently thin to permit sewing therethrough, said support element being longitudinally dimensioned so that, with said end portions thereof only partly inserted in the socket portions of said end elements, the overall length of said supporting frame is substantially as large as the distance along the respective fabric tunnel, whereby upon shrinkage of the fabric sections and tunnels of the brassiere, the end portions of each support element can enter further into the socket portions of the respective end elements to avoid excessive pressure of the respective supporting frame against the ends of the fabric tunnel in which it is located.

9. A brassiere according to claim 8, further comprising means passing through said tab portion of each of said end elements for securing the latter in the respective fabric tunnel adjacent one of said ends of the latter.

10. A brassiere according to claim 9, in which said means for securing each end element is constituted by stitching passing through said top portion thereof.

11. A brassiere according to claim 8, in which each said support element is of a resiliently rigid plastic.

12. A brassiere according to claim 8, in which each said support element is of metal.

13. A brassiere according to claim 8, in which each said arcuate wire-like support element, at least between said end portions thereof, has an elongated cross-sectional shape with the major axis of said elongated cross-sectional shape extending generally radially with respect to the curvature of the arcuate support element.

14. A brassiere according to claim 13, in which said end portions of the support element also have said elongated cross-sectional shape, and said socket portions of the end elements have internal cross-sections corresponding to said elongated cross-sectional shape of the respective end portion of the support element slidable longitudinally therein.

15. A brassiere according to claim 8, in which at least said end portions of each said support element have circular cross-sections, and said socket portions of the respective end elements have corresponding circular cross-sections.

16. A brassiere according to claim 8, in which each of said end elements is constituted by a length of plastic tubing having an end portion thereof flattened to constitute said tab portion.

Description:
This invention relates generally to brassieres, and more particularly is directed to improved supporting frames for brassieres.

It has been previously proposed to provide brassieres having a pair of breast-receiving cups with arcuate, generally U-shaped supporting frames which extend along the side and bottom peripheral portions of the cups. Such supporting frames have been formed of wire having a round cross-section, or a substantially rectangular cross-section having its longer dimension extending radially with respect to the curvature of the frame, for example, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,705,800 and in U.S. Pat. No. 2,746,052. In brassieres provided with the described supporting frames, it has been the usual practice to secure each frame to the body of the brassiere along the entire length of the frame by enclosing the latter in an arcuate tunnel or tube of fabric which extends along the perimeter of the breast-receiving cup and is stitched to the fabric body of the brassiere along both sides of the tunnel and at the ends thereof. Each supporting frame is made to be substantially coextensive, in the longitudinal direction, with the fabric tunnel that receives the supporting frame. However, when the brassiere is repeatedly washed, its fabric portions are more or less subject to shrinkage with the result that the fabric tunnel receiving each supporting frame is reduced in length, whereby the ends of the frame bear strongly against the adjacent ends of the fabric tunnel and eventually tear through the stitching or fabric of the latter and become a source of extreme discomfort to the wearer.

It has been proposed, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 2,463,319, to provide a metal brassiere supporting frame of the kind mentioned above with plastic end caps which are securely attached or fastened on the end portions of the metal brassiere frame. These plastic end caps have extensions projecting beyond the ends of the metal brassiere frame and being laterally flexible. However, the effective length of the assembly of the metal supporting frame and plastic end caps fixed thereon is substantially unchangeable. Although the end caps, as aforesaid, have less tendency to tear through the adjacent ends of the fabric tunnel receiving the brassiere frame than do the bare metal ends of the supporting frame itself, it has been found that, upon substantial shrinkage of the fabric tunnel, the resulting pressure of the plastic end caps secured on the ends of the metal brassiere frame against the adjacent sewed ends of the tunnel does, in time, cause tearing of the ends of the tunnel and exposing of the end caps, whereupon the brassiere frame is free to be longitudinally displaced within the tunnel for increasing exposure through the torn end of the latter.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved brassiere frame for association with each breast-receiving cup of a brassiere, as described above, and which positively avoids tearing of the end or ends of the fabric tunnel receiving each brassiere frame even when the brassiere is subject to repeated launderings causing shrinkage thereof.

Another object is to provide a brassiere supporting frame, as aforesaid, which is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce.

In accordance with an aspect of this invention, a brassiere frame is made up of an elongated, arcuate wire-like support element of metal or plastic and end elements of plastic which are longitudinally slidable on the end portions of the support element so that the overall length of the brassiere frame is changeable and automatically adjusts itself to the corresponding length of the fabric tunnel receiving the brassiere frame, whereby, even upon shrinkage of the brassiere, the ends of the brassiere frame do not bear excessively against the ends of the fabric tunnel and therefore do not cause tearing of the latter.

More specifically, in a brassiere frame according to this invention, each of the end elements thereof includes a socket portion in which the respective end portion of the arcuate support element is longitudinally slidable and a relatively thin or tab portion extending from the socket portion and adapted to be sewn through so that stitching or the like can be employed for positively positioning the end elements of the brassiere frame within the respective ends of the fabric tunnel receiving the brassiere frame.

The above, and other objects, features and advantages of this invention, will be apparent in the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments thereof which is to be read in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a back elevational view of the front or body portion of a brassiere incorporating supporting frames according to this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, detail sectional view taken along the line 2--2 on FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarge elevational view of one of the supporting frames according to this invention that are incorporated in the brassiere of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a further enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 4--4 on FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view taken along the line 5--5 on FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 5, but showing another embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is a detail sectional view similar to that of FIG. 4, but showing still another embodiment of this invention.

Referring to the drawing in detail, and initially to FIG. 1 thereof, it will be seen that a brassiere 10 adapted to be provided with brassiere frames in accordance with this invention may be of any conventional type, either strapless or with shoulder straps, as shown, and generally includes a central front panel 11 having a pair of forwardly projecting, breast-receiving cups 12, and body encircling bands or panels 13a and 13b extending from the opposite sides of front panel 11 and carrying interengageable, conventional fastening means, at their free ends (not shown), by which the body encircling bands 13a and 13b can be secured together in back of the wearer for holding the brassiere in position on the wearer's body. The brassiere 10 may further have adjustable shoulder straps 14 extending from the top margins of cups 12 to the body encircling bands 13a and 13b adjacent the free ends of the latter.

As is conventional in brassieres having supporting frames, the brassiere 10 is shown to have an arcuate fabric tunnel 15 extending along the lower arcuate perimeter of each cup 12, preferably at the back surface of front panel 11, that is, against the surface of front panel 11 intended to contact the wearer's body. As shown on FIG. 2, each tunnel 15 may be formed of a length of fabric tape folded lengthwise upon itself and being secured to the fabric panel 11 by stitching 16 along the opposite longitudinal margins of the tunnel 15 and across the ends of the latter.

Each of the fabric tunnels 15 encloses a brassiere frame 17 which, in accordance with this invention, generally comprises an elongated, arcuate wire-like support element 18 and end elements 19 engaged with the end portions 20 of support element 18 (FIG. 3). As particularly shown on FIGS. 3 and 4, each of end elements 19 includes a socket portion 21 defining a bore 22 (FIG. 4) opening at one end of element 19 and in which the respective end portion 20 of support element 18 is freely slidable in the longitudinal direction. Further, each end element 19 includes at least one tab portion 23 extending from the respective socket portion 21. Each end element 19 is suitably formed of a plastic resin, such as, for example, polypropylene, polyethylene, or the like, and its tab portion 23 is made sufficiently thin so as to be adapted to be sewn through. In the embodiment of the invention shown on FIGS. 3 and 4, each end element 19 is formed of a length of plastic tubing extruded with a circular cross section, and then having one of its end portions flattened, as by the application of heat and pressure, so as to form the tab portion 23 of the end element.

The support element 18 of a brassiere frame 17 according to this invention may be formed of a suitably resilient metal, such as, steel, or of a resiliently rigid plastic, such as, for example, the linear polyoxymethylene type acetal resins that are commercially available under the trade names Delrin and Celcon from E.I. DuPont and the Celanese Corporation of America, respectively. In either case, that is, whether the support element 17 is formed of metal or a resiliently rigid plastic resin, such support element may have its end portions 20 formed with circular cross sections (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5), while the remainder of the support element 18 has an elongated cross-sectional shape, for example, a rectangular cross-section, with the major axis or dimension of such elongated cross-sectional shape extending generally radially with respect to the curvature of the arcuate support element (FIGS. 2 and 3). Alternatively, the support element 18 may be of circular cross-section along its entire length, or the end portions of the support element, as well as the major length of the support element extending between its end portions, may have the elongated cross-sectional shape, for example, rectangular cross-sections, as indicated at 20a on FIG. 6, in which case the socket portion 21a of each end element 19a has an internal cross-section corresponding to the elongated cross-sectional shape of the respective end portion 20a of the support element which is slidable longitudinally therein.

Although the end element 19 has been described as being formed from a plastic tube having one end portion flattened to define the tab portion 23 thereof, it should be understood that the end elements of brassiere frames according to this invention can be otherwise formed, for example, by molding or other techniques conventional in the plastics industry. Thus, for example, as shown on FIG. 7, an end element 19b according to this invention may be molded to have a socket portion 21b defining a bore 22b opening at one end of the socket portion, and a pair of fins or tab portions 23b projecting laterally from socket portion 21b adjacent the closed end of the latter.

The support element 18 and end elements 19 of brassiere frame 17 according to this invention are longitudinally dimensioned so that, when end elements 19 are positioned on end portions 20 of element 18 to provide an effective or overall length L (FIG. 3) substantially equal to the corresponding dimension of the fabric tunnel 15 to receive the brassiere frame, the end portions 20 are only partly inserted in socket portions 21, that is, a longitudinal clearance remains between the closed end of bore 22 and the adjacent end of support element 18, as clearly shown on FIGS. 4 and 7. When each brassiere frame 17 is installed in its respective fabric tunnel 15, each of end elements 19 may be securely positioned adjacent the respective end of the tunnel, for example, by stitching 24 (FIG. 1) passing through the fabric of tunnel 15 and the tab portion 23 or portions 23b of the respective end element. Thus, the installed brassiere frame 17 retains an overall length equivalent to that of the tunnel and provides the requisite support for the respective breast-receiving cup. However, in the event that the brassiere shrinks as a result of repeated laundering, each brassiere frame 17 accommodates the decrease in the effective length of its fabric tunnel 15 by increasing the distance that each end portion 20 of the support element extends into the respective end element 19. Therefore, the ends of brassiere frames 17 never exert undue pressure or stress against the adjacent ends of the respective fabric tunnels 15 and tearing of such ends of the tunnels is positively avoided.

Although illustrative embodiments of this invention have been described in detail herein with reference to the accompanying drawing, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to those precise embodiments, and that various changes and modifications may be effected therein by one skilled in the art without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention.