Title:
SOCK, ESPECIALLY ATHLETIC SOCK
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a knitted fabric comprising a first low-extensible area (1) and a second high-extensible area (2) which is seamlessly connected thereto. The aim of the invention is to provide a knitted fabric which can be used to produce a compression article, having areas of different high compression and wherein the difference in compression of the individual areas is as high as possible and can be obtained in a manner which is as simple and economical as possible. According to the invention, the knitted fabric is formed from at least one knitted thread (3), which forms a basic knit, and welt threads (4) which are integrated therein. The differing amounts of extensibility of the two areas (1; 2) arises from different integration of the weft threads (4) into the basic knit. The invention also relates to a compression article, particularly a compression hose which is produced from the inventive knitted fabric.



Inventors:
Achtelstetter, Karl (Dasing-Wessiszell, DE)
Application Number:
11/467250
Publication Date:
02/15/2007
Filing Date:
08/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WORRELL JR, LARRY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PAUL D. BIANCO: FLEIT, KAIN, GIBBONS,;GUTMAN, BONGINI, & BIANCO P.L. (21355 EAST DIXIE HIGHWAY, SUITE 115, MIAMI, FL, 33180, US)
Claims:
1. Knitted fabric with a first region (1) with low extensibility and a second region (2) with high extensibility connected seamlessly to this first region, characterized in that the knitted fabric is formed from at least one stitch thread (3) forming a basic knit and weft threads integrated into the stitch thread, wherein the different amounts of extensibility of the two regions (1; 2) are created by different amounts of integration of the weft threads (4) into the basic knit.

2. Knitted fabric according to claim 1, characterized in that the weft threads (4) are integrated into the basic knit in a non-stitch forming way.

3. Knitted fabric according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the weft threads (4) are elastic threads, especially elastomeric threads.

4. Knitted fabric according to claim 3, characterized in that the weft threads (4) are formed by core threads braided with polyamide.

5. Knitted fabric according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the basic knit is a circular knit.

6. Knitted fabric according to claim 5, characterized in that a weft thread (4) is integrated into every second stitch row (m−4, m−2, m, m+2) of the basic knit.

7. Knitted fabric according to claim 6, characterized in that in the region with higher extensibility (2), a weft thread (4) is integrated into every second stitch row (m−4; m−2; m; m+2) and in the region with lower extensibility (1), it engages in two stitch rows (m−4, m−3; m−2, m−1; m, m+1) lying above.

8. Knitted fabric according to one of claims 5 to 7, characterized in that the basic knit is formed as a right-left knit in the region with lower extensibility (1), wherein every nth stitch, where n≧2, is missing in every second stitch row (m) and the stitch of the underlying stitch row (m−1) under this missing location is pulled up to the stitch row (m+1) lying above and is knitted there into this stitch row (m+1).

9. Knitted fabric according to claim 8, characterized in that the weft thread (4) in a stitch row (m) in the region with lower extensibility (1) is pulled up together with the stitch thread (3) of the underlying stitch row (m−1) into the stitch row (m+1) lying above.

10. Knitted fabric according to one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the basic knit is a flat knit.

11. Knitted fabric according to claim 10, characterized in that the basic knit is formed both in the first region (1) with lower extensibility and also in the second region (2) with higher extensibility by a first stitch thread (3) and that in the region with lower extensibility (1) a second stitch thread (5) is knitted with the first stitch thread (3).

12. Knitted fabric according to claim 11, characterized in that the first stitch thread (3) is assembled from a base thread (3a) and a plaiting thread (3b).

13. Knitted fabric according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the stitch density of the basic knit is higher in the first region (1) with lower extensibility than in the second region (2) with higher extensibility.

14. Knitted fabric according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the boundary line (G) between the first region (1) with lower extensibility and the second region (2) with higher extensibility runs perpendicular to the weft threads (4).

15. Compression article, especially compression sock (6) or compression bandage, produced from a knitted fabric according to one of the preceding claims.

16. Sock or stocking (7), especially for use in athletic activities, comprising a leg (8) and a foot part (9), produced from a knitted fabric according to one of claims 1 to 14.

17. Sock or stocking according to claim 16, characterized in that the compression pressure in the calf region (10) is lower and in the region of the shin (11) is higher than in the underlying region (12) of the leg (8).

18. Sock or stocking according to claim 17, characterized in that the compression pressure in the calf region (10) is lower by at least 10% than in the underlying region (12) of the leg (8).

19. Sock or stocking according to claim 18, characterized in that the calf region (10) exerts a compression pressure that decreases continuously or in steps from the bottom upwards.

20. Sock or stocking according to claim 18, characterized in that the calf region (10) has a first region (10a) with a compression pressure that is lower relative to an underlying leg region (12) and has at least one other area (10b) with a compression pressure that is further reduced relative to the first region (10a).

21. Sock or stocking according to one of claims 16 to 20, characterized in that the transition region (13) between the foot part (9) and the leg (8) has a lower compression pressure than the bordering regions (14, 15; 12) of the foot part and the leg.

22. Sock or stocking according to one of claims 16 to 20, wherein the calf region (10) is formed from the knitted fabric region (2) with higher extensibility and the underlying (12) of the leg (8) is formed from the knitted fabric region (1) with lower extensibility.

Description:

The invention relates to a knitted fabric according to the preamble of Claim 1, as well as to a compression article produced from such a knitted fabric.

For producing compression articles, for example, compression socks or compression bandages, typically elastic knitted fabrics are used, which exhibit a certain amount of extensibility. Due to this extensibility of the elastic knitted fabric, the compression article applied to limbs, for example, an arm or a leg, exerts a compression pressure on the extremities. In this way, the compression effect exerted on the extremities is inversely proportional to the extensibility of the elastic knitted fabric, i.e., an elastic knitted fabric with low extensibility exerts a higher compression pressure than an elastic knitted fabric with high extensibility. Here, extensibility is understood to be the amount of force that is necessary to expand the knitted fabric by a certain amount.

From the state of the art, compression articles with compression effect varying zone by zone are already known. For example, CH 447 475-A describes a circular knitted compression sock with compression effect varying zone by zone, with the differing compression effect of each zone having the effect that the stitching of the compression sock contains elastic interlining threads, which have varying elasticity zone by zone and which are inserted into the stitching of the knitted fabric. In addition, DE 100 84 580 C2 describes a knitted compression glove with at least one adapted region, wherein this adapted region is integrated seamlessly into the knitted fabric of the glove and features an extensibility that deviates from any adjacent parts of the compression glove. The differing extensibility in the individual regions is created either by the use of different types of knitted fabrics or by the use of threads that can be thermoset zone by zone through the use of heat.

The invention is based on the problem of providing a knitted fabric for producing a compression article, which has regions of different high compression, wherein the difference in the extensibility of the individual regions should be as high as possible and should be obtainable in a manner which is as simple and economical as possible.

This problem is solved with a knitted fabric with the features of Claim 1. Advantageous configurations, as well as uses, of this knitted fabric follow from the subordinate claims. The invention is described in more detail below using embodiments with reference to the enclosed drawings. The drawings show:

FIG. 1, schematic representation of the stitching of a knitted fabric according to the invention, which here is embodied as a circular knit fabric;

FIG. 2, schematic representation of the stitching of a knitted fabric according to the invention, which here is embodied as a straight knit fabric;

FIG. 3, schematic representation of a compression sock produced from a knitted fabric according to the invention.

FIG. 1 shows the stitch pattern of a circular knit fabric according to the invention. The knitted fabric has a first region 1 with a certain amount of extensibility. A second region 2 with higher extensibility is seamlessly attached to the region 1. The two regions 1 and 2 are stitched together. Both regions 1, 2 have a basic knit, which is formed by a stitch thread 3 and which is formed in the embodiment according to FIG. 1 as a right-left knitted fabric with stitches 7 arranged in stitch rows m. Both regions 1 and [2] are passed through by weft threads 4. In the second region 2, in every second stitch row a weft thread 4 is drawn in. In the stitching cut out shown in FIG. 1, these stitch rows are the rows with the numbering m−4, m−2, m, and m+2. In this way, every weft thread 4 is integrated into the basic knit formed by the stitch thread 3 in a non-stitch forming way.

Both the stitch thread 3 and also the weft threads 4 are formed from an elastic thread, for example, a core thread braided with polyamide with the weft thread 4 being thicker than the stitch thread 3.

In the first region 1, in every second stitch row for the right-left knitted fabric, thus in the rows m, m+2, m−2 in the cut out shown in FIG. 1, every second stitch is left out, in that the stitch thread 3 at the corresponding position is not formed into a stitch but is instead laid flat. The stitch lying under this missing position of the stitch row underneath (in FIG. 1, with regard to row m, this is the row m−1) is drawn up to the stitch row lying above (thus the row m+1) and there stitched into this stitch row m+1. The stitches elongated in this way are characterized in FIG. 1 with reference symbol 8. Likewise, the weft thread 4 also in the stitch row m in the first region 1 is pulled together with the stitch thread 3 of the stitch row m−1 lying underneath into the stitch row m+1 lying above and there integrated into this stitch row but not stitched.

Due to this different integration of the weft threads 4 into the regions 1 or 2, these regions exhibit different amounts of extensibility relative to each other. The extensibility of each region is namely determined essentially by the extensibility of the drawn-in weft thread 4. In the second range with higher extensibility, the weft thread has a relatively small free length, i.e., the weft thread 4 is integrated over a considerable region of its length between the stitches. In contrast, the free length of the weft thread 4 in the first range 1 is significantly larger, i.e., the weft thread 4 there has significantly larger lengths, which are not bound into a stitch. That is because the weft thread 4 in the first region 1 is drawn up by a stitch in a stitch of the stitch row lying above, that is, into an elongated stitch 8. In the region between the stitch row m and the stitch row m+1 lying above, in which the weft thread 4 is drawn up, this lies free and is freely movable in this length range. Therefore, the knitted fabric in the first region 1 can be more easily extended than in the second region 2. The boundary line G, which separates the two regions 1 and 2 from each other, here runs essentially perpendicular to the weft thread 4.

As an alternative to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, instead of every second stitch, every nth stitch in every stitch row m can be let out, with n≧3, i.e., every third or every fourth, etc., stitch in every stitch row m can be missing and the stitch of the underlying stitch row m−1 under this missing point can be pulled up to the stitch row m+1 above.

In FIG. 2, the stitch pattern of a flat knitted fabric is shown according to the invention. The flat knitted fabric is assembled according to the invention, in turn, from a first region 1 with low extensibility and a second region 2 with higher extensibility connected seamlessly to this first region. In both regions 1 and 2, a basic knit with right stitches r and left stitches 1 is formed by a first stitch thread 3. The stitch thread 3 is hereby assembled from a main thread 3a and a thin plaiting thread 3b. The main thread 3a consists of a thin elastic thread, for example, a spandex thread, which is braided with polyamide. The plaiting thread 3b is formed by a polyamide thread.

In the second region 2 (which, in FIG. 2, lies on the left side of the stitch pattern in contrast to the representation of FIG. 1), in each stitch row m, every second stitch is formed shorter than the stitch 7 of the basic knit. These shorter stitches k are knitted with a second stitch thread 5, as shown in FIG. 2. The second stitch thread 5 creates the stitching of the short stitches k of the stitch row m with the stitches k lying above or below of the stitch row m+1 or m−1 lying above or below. In this way, the stitch density in the first region 1 is higher than in the second region 2.

Both regions 1 and 2 are passed through, in turn, by weft threads 4 in a non-stitch forming way. The weft threads 4 are integrated between the right r and left 1 stitches of the basic knit. As in the circular knit fabric according to FIG. 1, the weft threads 4 are integrated to different degrees into the basic knit also for the flat knitted fabric of FIG. 2 in the two regions 1 and 2, whereby, in turn, a different extensibility is produced in the two regions 1 and 2, respectively. Hereby, in the first region 1, there is a higher stitch density, which leads to a stronger integration of the weft threads 4. Therefore, the extensibility of the first region 1 is less than that of the second region 2 with lower stitch density. As in the embodiment of FIG. 1, here the boundary line G between the first region 1 and the second region 2 also extends approximately perpendicularly to the weft threads 4.

Relative to the knitted fabrics known from the state of the art with different amounts of extensibility zone by zone, the knitted fabric according to the invention distinguishes itself in that the difference in the extensibility of each zone can be significantly larger. Compared with the known knitted fabrics, in which the difference in the extensibility is achieved by the use of different types of yarn in the individual zones the knitted fabric according to the invention can be created significantly more easily and also inexpensively.

FIG. 3 shows a compression sock 6 produced from a knitted fabric according to the invention. This sock is distinguished by a first region 1 with lower extensibility and a second region 2 with higher extensibility connected seamlessly to this first region. According to the different amounts of extensibility of the regions 1 and 2, when the compression sock is put on, different levels of compression are exerted on the leg. Corresponding to its low extensibility, the first region 1 with low extensibility exerts a higher compression on the leg than the second region 2 with higher extensibility. The second region 2 with higher extensibility and consequently lower compression effect is arranged in the area of the calf for a compression sock. In this way, the sock in the calf region exerts lower compression on the leg than in the other area, whereby the calf muscles are protected while walking.

Comparison measurements on a sock produced from a knitted fabric according to the invention have shown that the compression pressure exerted on the leg by the sock in the region 1 with lower extensibility can be set between 15 and 40 mm Hg, while the compression pressure in the second region 2, that is, in the embodiment of FIG. 3 in the calf region, equals at most 20% to 50% of the compression pressure in the bordering region 1 with lower extensibility.

From the knitted fabric according to the invention, other compression articles, e.g., a compression bandage for an arm or for the chest area (thorax), can be produced. For a compression bandage for an arm, the region with lower compression effect lies, for example, in the elbow area, in order to relieve stress on the elbow. The arrangement of the regions 1 and 2 with higher and lower compression effect, respectively, depends on the individual application of the compression article and is selected accordingly.

In FIG. 4, a sock or stocking is shown, which is produced from a knitted fabric according to the invention. The shown sock 7 is suitable especially for use in athletic activities. The sock 7 consists of a leg 8 and a foot part 9, The foot part 9 comprises a tip 17, in which preferably an antibacterial silver thread is worked in, in order to prevent, e.g., the formation of athlete's foot. The foot part 9 further contains an instep area 16, which is formed from a soft, honeycomb-pattern knitted fabric, in order to cushion the instep area as much as possible. The rear end of the foot part 9 is closed on the top side by a stretching zone 14 and on the bottom side by a heel 15. The stretching zone 14 is formed from an especially soft knitted fabric, for example, terry cloth or plush material, in order to prevent folds and pressure points on the skin. The heel 15 is formed from a knitted fabric with fibers that are as smooth as possible, in order to prevent the sock from rubbing against the heel area. The leg 8 is assembled from a bottom leg region 12, a calf region 10, and a shin region 11. The leg 8 is produced from a knitted fabric described above with different amounts of extensibility. Here, the bottom calf [sic; leg] region 12 has an average extensibility (and thus an average compression effect). Relative to the bottom leg region 12, the calf region 10 has a higher extensibility (and thus a lower compression effect) and the shin region 11 has a lower extensibility (and thus higher compression effect) relative to the bottom leg region 12. Preferably, the bottom leg region 12 has a compression pressure between 18-21 mm Hg and the compression pressure in the calf region 10 is less by at least 10% than in the underlying region 12 of the leg 8. In contrast, the compression pressure in the region 11 of the calf is higher by more than 10% than in the underlying region 12 of the leg 8. An especially good wearing comfort is produced, for example, when the compression pressure in the calf region 10 is smaller by ca. 12% than in the underlying region 12 of the leg 8 and when simultaneously the compression pressure around the region 11 of the shin is higher by ca. 12% than in the underlying region 12 of the leg 8. Hereby, in the region 11 of the shin, an especially good stabilization of the foot, as well as good blood circulation, is promoted. Through the lower compression pressure in the calf region 10, the calf muscles are relieved from stress and therefore tend not to tire as quickly, which is an advantage especially when wearing these socks during athletic activities.

In an especially preferred embodiment, the compression pressure in the calf region 10 decreases continuously or in steps from the bottom upwards. In FIG. 4, for example, an embodiment is shown, in which the calf region 10 has a first, bottom region 10a with a compression pressure that is lower relative to the underlying leg region 12 and another region 10b, which is adjacent to this first area at the top and in the back and which has a further reduced compression pressure relative to the first region 10a. Thus, for example, the compression pressure in the bottom calf region 10a equals approximately 55% of the force of the underlying leg region 12 and the compression pressure of the topmost calf region 10c arranged at the back equals only 50% of this compression pressure.

At the top end, the leg 8 is closed by an elastic collar 18. The collar 18 is formed from a soft knitted fabric, which contacts the calf of the user as much as possible without folding.

The transition region 13 between the foot part 9 and the leg 8 likewise has a tower compression pressure than the adjacent regions of the foot part 9 and the leg 8, that is especially the lower leg region 12 or the heel 15 and the stretching zone 14. Through the lower compression effect in the transition region 13, better movement is guaranteed.





 
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