Title:
Headwear visor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention is an article of headwear that incorporates a two piece composite visor. The visor includes a deformable portion and a non-deformable portion. The deformable portion contacts a wearer's head to provide a superior comfort and fit.



Inventors:
Taguchi, Jon Kazuo (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/051960
Publication Date:
08/10/2006
Filing Date:
02/04/2005
Assignee:
Nike, Inc. (Beaverton, OR, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SUTTON, ANDREW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (TEN SOUTH WACKER DRIVE, SUITE 3000, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
1. An article of headwear including: (a) a crown, the crown adapted to cover at least a portion of a head, the crown being formed from a plurality of panels; and (b) a visor secured to the crown, the visor comprising a deformable portion and a non-deformable portion, the deformable and the non-deformable portions composed of different materials, the deformable portion in contact with a wearer's forehead.

2. The article of headwear of claim 1, wherein the plurality of panels comprise an elastic material.

3. The article of headwear of claim 1, wherein the deformable and non-deformable portions are separated by stitching.

4. The article of headwear of claim 1, wherein the deformable portion includes a fabric covering.

5. (canceled)

6. The article of headwear of claim 1, wherein the deformable portion includes an internal deformable material.

7. The article of headwear of claim 6, wherein the internal deformable material comprises EVA foam.

8. The article of headwear of claim 6, wherein the internal deformable material comprises polyurethane.

9. A cap comprising: a crown adapted to cover at least a portion of a wearer's head; and a two piece visor attached to the crown, the two piece visor having a deformable portion and a non-deformable portion, the deformable portion in contacts with a wearer's forehead.

10. The cap of claim 9, wherein the deformable and non-deformable portions are separated by stitching.

11. The cap of claim 9, wherein the deformable portion includes a fabric covering.

12. (canceled)

13. The cap of claim 9, wherein the deformable portion includes an internal deformable material.

14. The cap of claim 9, wherein the internal deformable material comprises EVA foam.

15. The cap of claim 9, wherein the internal deformable material comprises polyurethane.

16. The cap of claim 9, wherein the non-deformable portion comprises a low density polyethylene.

17. A visor for a cap, the visor comprising: a deformable portion in contact with a wearer's forehead, the deformable portion including a fabric covering; a non-deformable portion, the non-deformable portion including a semi-rigid polymer visor board; stitching separating the deformable portion from the non-deformable portion; and wherein the deformable portion and the non-deformable portion comprise different materials.

18. The visor of claim 17, wherein the deformable portion comprises EVA foam.

19. The visor of claim 17, wherein the deformable portion comprises polyurethane.

20. (canceled)

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to headwear. The invention concerns, more particularly, a headwear visor having a two piece construction in order to provide superior comfort and fit.

2. Description of Background Art

The primary elements of a headwear visor or brimmed cap include a crown and visor. The crown is conventionally configured from multiple panels, also referred to as gore sections, that are sewn together to form a generally hemispherical, close-fitting covering for a head of a wearer. The visor extends in an outward direction from a front area of the crown to provide shade to the face and eyes of the wearer. A wide range of materials, natural or synthetic, may be used to form a headwear visor or brimmed cap.

A drawback of current headwear visors relates to the comfort and fit of the visor portion against a wearer's forehead. Current visor designs use a hard piece of cardboard or plastic which is shaped to fit a user's head. The cardboard or plastic material though enclosed in a fabric provides an inferior and uncomfortable fit. Therefore, there is a need in the art for a headwear visor or brimmed cap such as an athletic cap that provides a user with comfortable and superior fit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the invention include a headwear visor or brimmed cap having a two piece composite visor. The two piece composite visor includes a deformable portion in contact with a wearer's head and a non-deformable portion for providing rigidity to the visor. The non-deformable portion may include a semi-rigid polymer board. Stitching separates the deformable portion from the non-deformable portion, the deformable portion maybe comprised of EVA foam.

The advantages and features of novelty characterizing the invention are pointed out with particularity in the appended claims. To gain an improved understanding of the advantages and features of novelty, however, reference may be made to the following descriptive matter and accompanying drawings that describe and illustrate various embodiments and concepts related to the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an article of headwear having a crown and a visor in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a detailed view of the visor in accordance with an aspect of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following discussion and accompanying figures disclose an article of headwear 10 having a two piece composite bill system in accordance with the present invention. Headwear 10 is disclosed as having the structure of a baseball cap. The concepts and features of headwear 10 that are disclosed in the following discussion may, however, be applied to numerous other forms of brimmed hats and is not limited to baseball caps. For instance, hats worn by athletes in long distance races may incorporate aspects of the invention as well as hats worn by spectators or fans.

Referring to FIG. 1, headwear 10 includes two principal elements: a crown 20, and a visor 30. Crown 20 forms a generally hemispherical covering for a head of a user, and visor 30 extends outward in a generally horizontal direction from crown 20 to shade the face and eyes of the user. The materials forming crown 20 extend entirely around a circumference of the head to provide headwear 10 with the appearance of a fitted cap that accommodates a person with specific head dimensions.

Crown 20 includes a plurality of panels 21 that are attached together along abutting sides. Panels 21 may contain indicia such as works, names, designs, logos, symbols or colors, or patterns that are printed, embroidered, embossed, inscribed, engraved, or otherwise attached to panels 21. Panels 21 may be formed from an elastic material. Elastic material panels may deform in the presence of a tensile force, thereby stretching to accommodate wearers with various head dimensions. The elastic material may be any material with the ability to substantially return to an original size and shape following deformation. Accordingly, sheets of elastomeric polymer materials may be suitable. In order to enhance the air permeability and overall comfort of crown 20, however, the elastic material may also be a textile that incorporates elastomeric fibers, such as elastane, which is manufactured under the LYCRA trademark by E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company. Other suitable materials such as microfiber polyester may also be utilized.

Crown 20 may comprise a liner material, such as a textile, located on an interior surface (not shown) and adjacent to panels 21 to reinforce the front area of crown 20 and ensure an aesthetically rounded structure in the front area. The lower portion of panels 21 may be folded to form a band that extends around the interior of crown 20. As an alternative, a band of fabric may be attached to the lower portion of panels 21 to extend around the interior of crown 20.

Headwear 10 may also include a visor 30. Those skilled in the art will realize that visor configurations may take many different forms including different sizes and shapes all of which are contemplated for use with various aspects of the invention.

Visor 30 may comprise a deformable and non-deformable portion. In particular, visor 30 may include a deformable portion 34 which contacts a user's forehead. The deformable portion 34 may include a foam insert 35, such as an EVA foam insert. Those skilled in the art will realize that other foam type inserts or polyurethane may be utilized for use with the deformable portion 34. Deformable portion 34 may also include a fabric covering to enclose the EVA foam insert 35. The fabric covering may be made from various lightweight, breathable materials.

In another aspect of the invention, the deformable portion 34 may be hollow and include a fabric covering. The fabric covering would be deformable when placed against the forehead of a wearer.

Visor 30 may also contain a non-deformable portion 36. The non-deformable portion 36 of visor 30 may include a semi-rigid polymer visor board sandwiched between textile elements. The visor board may comprise polymer materials such as low density polyethylene, polyurethane, polyamide, polyester, polyolefin, or vinyl.

As an alterative, the visor board may comprise a cardboard or plastic material. The non-deformable section 36 may still be moldable for shaping as when a wearer shapes the visor of a new cap to their individual preference. However, the non-deformable portion 36 may not deform when situated on a wearer's head.

In an embodiment, stitching 37 may define the boundaries of or interface between deformable portion 34 and non-deformable portion 36. Additional stitching 38 may also be included on visor 30 in order to give support to visor 30 and/or to attach indicia such as works, names, designs, logos, symbols or colors, or patterns to visor 30. In an alternative, deformable portion 34 may be attached or bonded with the use of an adhesive to non-deformable portion 36. The bonding may be applied using an adhesive applied with the use of heat and/or pressure.

In an aspect of the invention, deformable portion 34 makes contact with a wearer's head when the headwear 10 in placed upon a wearer's head. The deformable portion 34 deforms in a direction 50 as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 2. The deformation of deformable portion 34 in the direction as indicated by FIG. 2 allows for a comfortable and superior fit for the wearer.

The amount of deformation of deformable portion 34 may depend upon the material comprising deformable portion 34 and the amount of force applied in direction 50. In another aspect of the invention as discussed above, the deformable portion 34 may be hollow and include a fabric covering. The fabric covering would be deformable when placed against the forehead of a wearer

In another aspect of the invention, non-deformable portion 36 may contact a wearer's forehead in at least two areas. For example, FIG. 2 illustrates two areas 40 and 41 where non-deformable portion 36 may contact a wearer's forehead at approximately the wearer's temples. These two contact points may provide a more secure fit for the wearer.

In another aspect of the invention, the Visor 30 may comprise a single material having properties in which a portion of the material is highly deformable but also very stiff and structurally supportive on the bottom such as variable density molded foams.

The present invention is disclosed above and in the accompanying drawings with reference to a variety of embodiments. The purpose served by the disclosure, however, is to provide an example of the various features and concepts related to the invention, not to limit the scope of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that numerous variations and modifications may be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the scope of the present invention, as defined by the appended claims.





 
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