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1. Field of the Invention
This invention is in the field of heat insulating oven mitts and particularly reversible oven mitts usable on either the right hand or the left hand of the user.
2. Prior Art
The prior art includes numerous oven mitts and oven gloves which are usually made of thick cotton and/or synthetic layers having good heat insulation properties. Oven mitts typically have one small pocket for the thumb and a large pocket for the four fingers, and oven gloves typically have five individual pockets for the thumb and the fingers. Such oven mitts or gloves are flexible so that the user can easily bend his or her thumb and fingers when holding a pot or pan that is being moved to, from or on a stove or into or out of an oven. Many of such oven mitts and oven gloves have similar front and back surfaces so that they can function for both right handed and left handed persons.
A field somewhat related to that of oven mitts and gloves is the field of trivets and hot plates, which are typically flat pads with or without legs and having heat insulating properties so that hot pots or dishes of food can be placed on trivets without damaging a table or other support surface. Trivets may be made of fabric similar to that used for oven mitts, but since trivets do not need the flexibility of oven mitts, trivets are often made of rigid or simi-rigid material which includes wood, plastic, bamboo, rubber and silicone which have heat insulating properties. Such stiff trivets have sufficient heat insulating properties that there would be no need to combine or laminate this material with still another for the purpose of being a functional trivet.
A first object of this invention is to provide an improved oven mitt which combines superior heat insulation properties with bending flexibility, for comfort and safety from burns and for gripping security when handling hot pots and pans.
Another object of this invention is to provide a new oven mitt that has a frictional palm surface to enhance the gripping capability.
A further object is establishing said frictional surface with a silicone layer fixed onto the palm of the oven mitt, this silicone layer having a plurality of spaced apart silicone buttons extending from and contiguous from and contiguous with the exposed side of the silicone layer.
An additional object of this invention is to situate the buttons on the silicone layer in rows that extend generally perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis of the mitt that runs from the cuff to the finger tips area.
A still further object is to form the back of the mitt to be the mirror image of the palm of the mitt, so that a user can use a single mitt on either the right or the left hand.
Another object is to provide the desired properties in a new oven mitt that is economical to manufacture.
The first embodiment disclosed herein is an oven mitt of traditional design, which has a large pocket or finger portion for the four fingers at the far end, a cuff portion at the rear end and a palm portion between the finger and cuff portions. Adjacent the finger pocket area is a smaller thumb pocket. This mitt has a palm side panel and an opposite back side panel; however, these palm and back side panels are mirror images of each other, so that a person can use the glove on either his or her right or left hand. This mitt is thus reversible, and for convenience only the palm side will be described herein.
The palm side panel is constructed as a sandwich or laminate of fabric layers which include a cotton batting or fill layer that is bounded on the inside with a liner to lie against the user's skin, and on the outside with a protective and supportive twill layer. Attached to the outside of the twill layer is a silicone layer having rows of spaced apart buttons of the same silicon projecting outward. These rows extend in generally parallel lines which are generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the mitt extending from the cuff to the finger top area of the mitt. Consequently, the mitt will bend naturally along these parallel lines, transverse to the longitudinal axis, when the user bends or curls his or her fingers or otherwise grips a hot article while wearing this mitt.
The buttons on the outer surface of the silicone layer provide a frictional surface to enhance the user's ability to securely and safely grip hot pots or pans. Furthermore, the silicone in the region of the buttons is approximately double the thickness of the silicone in the bend paths between the buttons. Thus, a user gets the benefit of substantially added heat insulation properties without added stiffness or reduced flexibility. The silicone layer is secured on the palm side of the finger pocket, palm and thumb regions, since these are the areas where the user's hand is likely to have pressure contact with a hot article. The fabric layers beneath the silicone may vary as regards selection of material and in thickness, so long as the result provides adequate heat insulation properties for the intended use.
The second embodiment of this invention differs from the first by the addition of a layer of terry cloth either: (a) outward of the fill layer and beneath the silicone layer, or (b) inward of the fill layer. The terry cloth layer adds bulk, cushioning and additional heat insulation.
A third embodiment of the present invention, called the puppet style oven mitt, has (a) a finger pocket at the far end, with central and opposite side areas, and (b) a thumb pocket overlying said central area of the finger pocket, whereby the thumb and finger pockets can be urged together like pincers. This is in contrast to the traditional oven mitt where the thumb pocket is generally in a common plane with the finger pocket and is adjacent the side of the finger pocket and where the fingers curl. In this third embodiment the orientation of the rows of buttons in the outer surface of the silicone layer is not as important as in the first embodiment, because in this pincer-type closure there is less bending of the fingers.
Furthermore, in this third puppet-style embodiment the silicone layer is situated both on the inner or palm surface of the finger pocket and on the outer surface of the thumb pocket which lies adjacent the central area of the finger pocket. Beneath the silicone layer there is the same twill layer, batting and inner lining as described above for the first embodiment oven mitt.
This puppet style mitt is reversible because a user can insert either the right or left hand into the mitt, and the thumb pocket is wide enough to accept the thumb whether it is directed to the right or to the left. In this embodiment the silicone layer is only on the palm side of the finger pocket and on the inner side of the thumb pocket facing the palm side of the finger pocket.
The fourth embodiment, called a bean shape or heart shape mitt, has a single large pocket on the palm side which receives the user's fingers in one area of the pocket and the user's thumb in an adjacent area of the pocket. This mitt is reversible in a manner somewhat similar to that of the third embodiment described above, because this mitt with the palm side facing upward can receive either the right or left hand with the palm side facing upward. On the left and right areas of the palm surface are zones where a silicone layer patch is attached. These zones correspond generally to the areas where the fingers and thumb are located, namely where pressure contact is made with hot objects. This mitt further includes a line of stitches along the central longitudinal axis in the palm side layers which helps create a natural bend line as the user closes his or her thumb portion of the mitt toward the fingers portion when grasping a hot article.
In all four embodiments the mitt is sewn together in a typical manner, usually with optional binding and piping along the edge junctions for enhanced appearance and/or construction. The silicone layer is either sewn or adhered by cement to the palm layer. The cuff regions are made long if extra protection is desired for the user's wrist area. In the preferred embodiments disclosed herein the silicone layer does not extend to the cuff area, because it is only the palm area and fingers and thumb which have the pressure contact when grasping hot articles. Thus, the cuff remains thinner, and without the extra silicone layer, remains flexible and comfortable. However, the cuff area still has fill or terry cloth padding as protection against heat transmission, in case that area of the mitt should engage a hot surface.
While the composition of the layers that form the palm and back panels of the different oven mitts may vary, in the preferred embodiments of oven mitts the inner liner is a non-woven synthetic fabric, the outer liner is cotton twill fabric, the padding layer is cotton or synthetic fill, and the terry cloth layer, when used, is cotton, cotton/synthetic or synthetic fiber with loop texture on one or both sides. Finally, the silicone layer has buttons on the exposed surface which adds thickness to the base layer. The buttons are spaced apart from each other and preferably are arranged in parallel rows. The finger tip area and the cuff area of the palm surface have no silicone layer.
The above-mentioned first preferred embodiment may be exemplified as a reversible oven mitt for a user's right or left hand, said mitt having an open near end and an opposite closed tip end, said mitt including
The above-mentioned third preferred embodiment may be exemplified as an oven mitt for a user's right or left hand comprising:
The above-mentioned fourth preferred embodiment may be exemplified as an oven mitt for a user's right or left hand, said mitt having a generally heart shape formed of opposite wing-like halves separated by a central longitudinal axis about which said wing-like halves are bendable to a position closely adjacent each other, said oven mitt having
In a further embodiment of this heart or bean shaped oven mitt the silicone layer is situated in the upper outer portion of each of said wing-like parts on said top panel of the oven mitt.
In a still further embodiment of this heart or bean shaped oven mitt there is a line of stitches extending along the central longitudinal axis in said top panel, said line of stitches forming a bend line about which said oven mitt is readily bendable about said central longitudinal axis.
The oven mitt of the present invention is designed to be used safely in typical have oven and stove environments, which include temperatures during oven mitt contact of up to about 650° Fahrenheit for as long as four minutes.
The above and related objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the presently preferred, albeit illustrative, embodiments of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a first embodiment of the oven mitt of my new invention,
FIG. 2 is a left side elevation view thereof,
FIG. 3 is a sectional elevation view taken along line 3-3 across the palm of the oven mitt in FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line 4-4 across the junction of the palm and the cuff of the oven mitt in FIG. 1,
FIG. 5 is a sectional elevation view taken along line 5-5 across the cuff in FIG. 1,
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional elevation view taken along line 6-6 across the edge of the cuff in FIG. 1,
FIG. 7 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 3, showing a second embodiment of the new oven mitt,
FIG. 8 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 4, showing further construction of the second embodiment,
FIG. 9 is a top plan view of a third embodiment of the new puppet style oven mitt of my invention,
FIG. 10 is a right side elevation view of the oven mitt of FIG. 8,
FIG. 11 is a bottom elevation view thereof,
FIG. 12 is a sectional elevation view taken along line 12-12 of the thumb and palm portions of the mitt in FIG. 9,
FIG. 13 is a sectional elevation view taken along line 13-13 of the cuff in FIG. 9,
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a fourth embodiment of the new oven mitt,
FIG. 15 is a right side elevation view thereof,
FIG. 16 is a bottom plan view thereof, and
FIG. 17 is a sectional view taken along lines 17-17 in FIG. 16.
Referring now to the drawings, four preferred embodiments of oven mitts are illustrated, the first shown in FIGS. 1-6, the second in FIGS. 7 and 8, the third in FIGS. 9-13 and the fourth in FIGS. 14-17. Where appropriate the same reference numbers are used for the same corresponding components in the different embodiments. All these oven mitts are reversible, in the sense that each can be used for a person's left or right hand. Certain features common to these embodiments may also be employed in traditional non-reversible oven mitts, as discussed later.
The first embodiment seen in FIGS. 1-6 is a traditional style oven mitt 10 having a top or palm side panel 11, a bottom or back side panel 11A, a large central internal space 12 comprising a fingers pocket portion 13 and an adjacent thumb pocket portion 14, a palm area 16, cuff area 18 and central longitudinal axis X-X extending through said cuff, palm and fingers pocket areas.
As seen in FIG. 1, the exposed or palm side 20 of the finger, thumb and palm areas indicate that this mitt is for a person's right hand; however, in this mitt the opposite side 22 is the mirror image of side 20, so that a user can simply turn the mitt over and insert his/her left hand.
The inner construction of this mitt is seen in the sectional views FIGS. 3-6, where the palm side 20 and back side 22 are shown as identical and opposite parts. Also in these figures, the mitt's interior space 12 is illustrated, for convenience, as a single open rectangle. In actual oven mitts interior space 12 would appear as a thin slit, since top and bottom panels 11 and 11A respectively would be closely adjacent until spaced apart by insertion of a person's hand. Also in these figures the thicknesses of the component layers of the top and bottom panels are not accurately drawn to scale in order to more clearly show the different layers.
In FIG. 3 the central space 12 is enclosed by inner liner 26, which is overlaid by fill layer 28, which is overlaid by outer liner 30, and which is overlaid finally by silicone layer 32 with its buttons 34. Below central space 12 is inner liner 26A, followed by fill layer 28A, followed by outer liner 30A and followed finally by silicone layer 32A and its buttons 34A.
Typically, the inner liner 26, fill layer 28 and outer liner 30 are manufactured as a unitary laminate, with stitching between the three layers at spaced intervals along the surface to keep the fill properly distributed in the area between the inner and outer liners. The silicone layer 32 is secured to the outer liner 30 by stitching 36 or by adhesive (not shown). For enhanced appearance and structural integrity, piping 38 may be included when the above-mentioned layers are sewn together in stitch area 40.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view showing a sewn junction 17 between palm area 16 and cuff area 18. Both the palm and cuff areas are constructed of inner liner 26, fill layer 28 and outer liner 30, but the palm area has the additional silicone layer 32. In junction 17 a mid-area binding 42 is added for improved appearance and strength, and cuff edge 18A, binding, silicone layer edge 32E and outer liner edge 30E are sewn together.
FIGS. 5 and 6 further illustrate construction of the cuff portion 18 which includes inner liner 26, fill layer 28 and outer liner 30. FIG. 5 shows the opposite side edges 44 and 46 sewn together, and FIG. 6 shows the near end edge of the cuff 18B neatly enclosed and sewn within cuff-edge binding 48.
In this preferred embodiment the thin inner liner 26 is a non-woven fusible synthetic sheet, the fill or batting 28 is polyester fiber fill about ¼″ to ½″ thick, with a 24 ounce weight rating, and the outer liner 30 is 100% cotton twill which may have a yarn count of 76+28.
In the embodiment of FIG. 7 the added layer is 100% cotton woven or knit terry cloth about ⅛″ thick with a weight rating of 1½ to 2½ pounds. The silicone layer having thickness of about 2 cm, weight of about 0.78 gm per cm2 and buttons about 5/32″ in diameter spaced apart about 3/32″ from each other and arranged in parallel rows, is commercially available under the name Silicone Rubber from Stand In Company, Hong Kong. Variations in these dimensions for the silicone are permissible within the scope of this invention so long as the silicone layer remains substantially flexible.
FIGS. 7 and 8 disclose cross-sectional views of a second embodiment very similar to the cross-sectional views of FIGS. 3 and 4 of the first embodiment. The difference in FIGS. 7 and 8 is the addition of a terry cloth layer 49 between outer liner 30 and silicone layer 32. This terry cloth layer provides additional heat insulation, bulk and softness. Except for this difference, FIGS. 1-6 illustrating the first embodiment are equally applicable to this second embodiment.
FIGS. 9-13 illustrate the puppet style mitt 50 having a cuff 51 and cuff opening 52, a main body part 53, a thumb pocket portion 54, a fingers pocket portion 55 and space 56 for receiving a pot handle or other hot article. While the overall shape of this oven mitt is different from the above-described first embodiment, the wall construction, as seen in FIGS. 12 and 13, is basically similar and is illustrated with the same reference numbers for the same components. More specifically, FIG. 12 shows that thumb pocket portion 54 has inner liner 26 at both the top and bottom of thumb pocket portion 54. Next is fill layer 28, followed by outer liner 30. On the facing surfaces of the thumb pocket 54 and finger pocket 54 are silicone layers 32. The various layers of thumb pocket 54 are sewn together at junction 58, and corresponding layers of the finger pocket 55 are sewn together at junction 59. FIG. 13 illustrates the panel construction of layers 26, 28 and 30 joined by etching 35 in the cuff region where there is no silicone layer.
Initially, a person's hand is inserted into the cuff opening 52 (see FIGS. 9, 10 and 12) and maneuvered distally until the thumb and fingers enter the thumb and finger pockets 54, 55 respectively. When used the thumb pocket 54 is moved in a pincer movement toward and away from the palm and finger pocket 55 as indicated by arrows 57. The shape and position of the thumb pocket 54 permits use by either the left or right hand. As seen in FIGS. 9, 10 and 12, the silicone layer 32 is located in appropriate areas to protect the fingers, palm and thumb, and there is no silicone layer in the cuff area.
FIGS. 14-17 illustrate the bean shape embodiment 60, which is also reversible for left or right hand use. As seen in FIGS. 14 and 15, the top of this mitt defines an opening 61 leading to a large pocket 62 for the user's whole hand. As seen in FIGS. 14 and 16, central longitudinal axis Z-Z extends through this bean shape oven mitt. As seen in FIGS. 15-17 the bottom panel 63 has silicone patches or layers 64A, 64B. This panel is constructed similarly as the palm side panel of the first embodiment seen above in FIGS. 1 and 7, except that the bean shape mitt has two relatively small patches of silicone 64A, 64B instead of the single, large silicone layer 16 in FIG. 1. Between these two patches of silicone 64A, 64B is stitch line 65 which helps establish a natural bend line so that the mitt folds easily along this bend line when a user moves his/her thumb toward the palm for grasping a hot article.
The silicone layer described above in connection with the first embodiment of a reversible oven mitt, may be employed also with a comparable oven mitt that is not reversible by merely constructing separate right and left hand mitts.
The puppet style and bean shape oven mitts may have panel construction without the terry cloth layer as seen in the FIG. 1 embodiment or with the terry cloth layer as seen in the FIG. 7 embodiment. Also, within the scope of this invention, additional compositions and combinations of layers are possible, which still utilize a flexible silicone layer in the designated areas, and particularly silicone layers which include the button-like projections situated in rows to enhance heat insulation and to establish natural bend lines to enhance flexibility.
Now that the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described in detail, various modifications and improvements thereon will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, the spirit and scope of the present invention is to be limited only by the appended claims, and not by the foregoing specification.