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The instant invention claims priority of Provisional Application No. 60/496,949 filed Aug. 20, 2003.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention applies to pant type apparel in the form of pants, shorts, Capri's, trousers or any other garment having two openings known as pant legs that may be worn to cover the lower extremities. The current invention excludes skirts and dresses or any other garments that do not contain fabric that wraps around the crotch area from anterior to posterior from a point beginning at the top of the inseam and down to the bottom of the gusset panel. For the purpose clarity in this current patent description the garment that will be referred to as containing the invention in question will be “pant”.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The current invention addresses an age-old problem that has inflicted many people throughout the ages. The problem of chafing or the skin irritation caused by friction against the dermis layer of the skin and another entity be it organic or inorganic such as another body part or a fabric such as that which is used as clothing. Chafing is a painful condition that may result in minor abrasions with localized swelling to more severe cases of third degree burns that can become infected and are difficult to heal.
Chafing can be traced back historically to the middle ages when knights wore chain mail and metal armor when engaged in combat situations to protect the wearer's body from weapons. The wearer often spent long periods of time wearing the armor in hot conditions that caused their bodies to perspire. If the armor was ill fitting or rubbed their skin in anyway, it was not uncommon for chafing to occur.
The obese population of humans has problems with chafing as the subcutaneous adipose tissue (excess body mass in the form of fatty tissue) that is present rubs against each other causing friction. This can occur any place where friction is caused between masses of skin though it is most common between the inner thighs due to the necessity to walk which causes the friction to occur which leads to chafing. While the more body mass a person has may increase the likely hood of chafing to occur, the occurrence of chafing between the inner thighs also has to do with other physiological factors such as the proximity body parts to one another on the wearer's body. For instance, if a person is has genu valgum more commonly known as “knock-knees” the likely hood of chafing to occur between their legs is much higher than that of a person with genu varum or bow-legged as these physiological conditions determine the proximity of the inner thighs to one another for the person with the condition.
Chafing is an issue that is often cited in athletic running circles and if the inspiration for the current invention. In the case of runners, moisture condensates in moisture prone areas under increased physical exertion and/or rising atmospheric temperatures and if the “hot spot” is not taken care of as soon as it forms it can worsen and become the painful bum or abrasion known as chafing. Distance runners often have the most problems associated with chafing between their legs on the upper inner thigh and under their armpits. In a running race situation, the participant has little chance to stop and apply a messy lubricant common to attempting to treat and prevent chafing. Many distance runners have vivid stories of painful chafing situations.
Current treatment of chafing is similar to healing a minor burn or abrasion with antibiotic ointments, creams, aloe, etc. The healing process is often extensive as it is difficult to stop friction from occurring between the legs long enough for the wound to heal. This is a function of the necessity to be mobile in terms of walking coupled with the location of the wound between the inner thighs, not a function of a chafing wound itself.
As is the nature of humans, keeping the inflicted area immobile long enough to completely heal is difficult. Because of this, preventative treatment improves the odds that the chafing wound will not be as severe or not occur at all. Current preventive treatments include wearing tight cycling shorts to compress the thighs to prevent them from rubbing. Along that same method, distance runners have even taken to running in women's nylons for a lightweight embodiment of the previous preventative treatment. Other common treatments include salves that help the inner thighs glide on each other. All of these preventative treatments require an extra step. That is, each of these treatments requires that the person attempting to prevent chafing applies something or wears an uncomfortable or additional garment. The current invention falls under the heading of preventive treatment but alleviates the extra steps necessary in the discussed preventative treatments while dramatically impeding chafing between the inner thighs. In fact, the current invention allows the wearer to do nothing more uncommon than putting on their pants.
While chafing between the inner thighs isn't an affliction that commonly affects a person's life to a catastrophic degree, it can cause a severe annoyance and pain.
Prior art inventions that were embodied by clothing that directly addressed the issue of chafing included Majkutewicz's U.S. Pat. No. 6,085,750 which involved a breathable shield with fasteners inserted between rubbing body parts to minimize chafing. This patent addressed the friction reduction that is important to preventing chafing but is cumbersome and actually adds external elements that could possibly cause skin irritations.
Other prior art inventions begin to address the issue of chafing using a seamless gusset crotch. Specifically, Zawacki's U.S. Pat. No. 4,261,060 cites the seamless gusset construction of the crotch prevents possible chafing that could occur due to the presence of seams. While the seamless nature of the gusset crotch is an important starting point, these patents only touched on the chafing issue peripherally and were more concerned with the freedom of movement the seamless crotch provides.
Prior art inventions also address the need for breathable garments that reduce the amount of moisture on the skin to help prevent chafing. These inventions focus on moisture management on the skin for the sake of comfort and only peripherally touch on the subject of chafing and more specifically address issues of feminine hygiene and comfort (see Marx et al. U.S. Pat. No. 5,152,014) as well as temperature control of the male reproductive organs (see Lydon U.S. Pat. No. 6,243,879).
The necessity for stretch in the construction of a crotch gusset to help prevent stress on stress bearing seams is addressed by Carman U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,718. The stretch prevents a common problem described here as “crotch blowout” where the wearer's movements that stress the fabric throughout the crotch to its maximum stretch capacity result in seams throughout the back of the pant tearing apart due to the stress on the crotch. Crotch blowout is a common problem that is prevalent in other seamless crotches cited. Adding stretch to the gusset is not a method that is unique to this current patent but combining stretch with the other attributes of this current patent is unique.
The present invention applies to a seamless or gusseted, highly breathable, multi-layered, stretchable crotch that is embodied by a simple pant. The gusset extends from below the crotch area on the inner thigh of each leg and takes the form of a modified arch from a frontal and posterior view and extends throughout the crotch area.
The wealth of this current patent lies within the interdependent relationship between the functioning elements of the design to create a simple, cost effective solution to chafing: the seamless crotch eliminates seems that may chafe, the smooth nature of the fabric used for the gusset allows a friction reduced environment between the wearer's skin and the pant leg, the multi-ply layering of the fabric allows for the transfer of any friction between the wearer's skin and the fabric to be absorbed within the friction reduced relationship of the layers, the highly breathable fabric allows moisture to escape in an area that is highly prone to moisture condensation, the stretch of the fabric allows the fabric to move with the wearer more effectively than a non-stretch fabric which creates resistance between the fabric and the wearers skin when the wearer's lower limb movement pushes the fabric to its maximum stretch potential- this resistance abrades the skin and can result in chafing while also can cause adjoining seams to blowout.
Common to other prior art inventions, the seamless crotch eliminates seems throughout the crotch of the pant and applies a stretchable, breathable fabric. The current invention is the first known invention to build on and combine discussed prior art with new techniques to create a comfortable, mobile pant that aids in the prevention of chafing in a simple unobtrusive manner.
To further explicate the current invention reference is made to the following description in conjunction with accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is an anterior perspective of the embodiment of the current invention applied to a short
FIG. 2 is a posterior perspective of the embodiment of the current invention applied to a short
FIG. 3 is a side view perspective of the embodiment of the current invention applied to a short
FIG. 4 is a laid flat view of the pattern of the invention in question
FIG. 5 is a perspective of the pattern of the invention in question showing the dual-layers
FIG. 6 is an illustration of how the direction of fabric stretch is to be positioned
FIG. 1 shows the embodiment of the current invention in the form of a short. The current invention comprises of the gusset that is shown with numerical 1 and 2 and alpha notations A through L.
FIG. 5 shows the two plys of highly breathable mesh prior to seam G being sewed. The preferred embodiment of the crotch gusset is a nylon stretch mesh though other similar fabrics can be substituted by those skilled in the art.
Two mirror pieces are cut with the stretch of the fabric between point A and B.
Panels 1 and 2 placed on top of each as shown in FIG. 5 with both sides of the fabric face up.
Panels 1 and 2 are sewn together along the periphery in accordance with specifications set forth by those skilled in the art. This creates the gusset panel.
The panel in FIG. 5 (after seam G is closed) is sewn into the preferred corresponding body of the short using techniques known by those who are skilled in the art.
The fabric for the body (everything not including the gusset crotch) may vary or substituted by those skilled in the art though the preferred embodiment discussed here is a lightweight, fast drying, breathable material different from that of the crotch such as Tazlan Nylon to aid in the overall breathability of the short thus enhancing the its ability to keep the skin dry. Using different materials for the crotch and body is done for aesthetic purposes creating a short that looks nice while at the same time utilizing the beneficial totality of the crotch gusset.
Details of the specific pattern, cutting method of the body of the short and the gusset crotch panel, and thread used are not shown herein as this information is not per se relevant to the current invention, and further such techniques are well known by those skilled in the art.
The preferred embodiment shows an elastic waistband though other means of affixing and securing the waist may be acceptable to the scope of the claims herein.
The current invention can be applied to other areas where friction occurs between fabric and skin therefore, the current invention is not intended to be limited solely to the above specifically discussed embodiment. It is within the spirit and scope of this invention to make such variations and substitutions of equivalents as would be necessary or obvious to a person of ordinary skill in this art.