Title:
Display package for gloves in compressed state
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Display packaging comprising a support or backing member (5) upon which at least one item can be located; at least one compression member (6, 8) movably connected or attached to the support member, said compression member being moveable to a position to compress the item located on the support member, and a cover member (30) such as a sleeve, bag, envelope or shrink wrap film is capable of being located around the compression member and item when located on the support member. The package is a blank made from cardboard and has holdings tabs (7, 11) that engage with slots (20, 22). Compressing the item inside the package removes trapped air thereby reducing the size of the item and/or package. The package can be used for gloves (50) or socks in which the items are compressed to occupy a smaller space or volume as compared to a rest or unrestrained size of the items.



Inventors:
Withers, Philip Craig (Victoria, AU)
Application Number:
10/581879
Publication Date:
05/17/2007
Filing Date:
12/02/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/18; B65D85/07
View Patent Images:
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20070193918Protective housing for remote controlAugust, 2007Coyne et al.
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20040007486Adjustable partition device for portable containersJanuary, 2004Bergh et al.
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Volpe And, Koenig P. C. (UNITED PLAZA, SUITE 1600, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103, US)
Claims:
1. A package for at least one item, comprising: a support member upon which the item can be located; at least one compression member moveably connected or attached to the support member, said compression member being located over the item and being moveable so as to be capable of compressing the item when located substantially on the support or support member; and a shrinkable cover member substantially enveloping the arrangement of the compression member, item and supporting member, wherein the cover member is shrunk in size thereby moving the compression member towards the support member so as to compress the item inside the package thereby forming a package in which the size of the item and/or package containing the item is reduced.

2. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the cover member is a flexible cover made from a shrinkable film, sheet, membrane or other flexible planar element which can shrink from a first size to a second size.

3. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the cover member is a shrink wrap film, sheet or covering.

4. A package for at least one item according to claim 3, in which the shrink wrap film, sheet or covering is shrunk through the application of heat.

5. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the support member is a blank having a planar central portion or panel for supporting the item.

6. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which each compression member is attached to part of a lateral side of the support member.

7. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which each compression member is hingedly connected to the support member.

8. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the support member and compression members are provide with complementary fastening elements which are releasably securable with one another.

9. A package for at least one item according to claim 8, in which the complementary fastening elements comprise a tab which can be releasably secured within a slot.

10. A package for at least one item claim 1, in which the cover completely envelops the arrangement of the item, supporting member and compression member forming a sealed package.

11. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the cover member is substantially transparent.

12. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the item is provided with cavities, pockets, folds or similar in which air can accumulate or be trapped to resist compression of the item during packaging.

13. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the item are made from flexible material.

14. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the item are gloves.

15. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the front or rear sides or faces or both faces or sides of the support member are provided with printing.

16. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the support member also has an attachment means for attaching the package to a hook or display means.

17. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the support or support member is provided with a display portion over which the compression member is not folded or superposed allowing the item within the package to be visible at the point of sale when the cover member is in place.

18. A package for at least one item according to claim 1, in which the support member of the present invention is made from cardboard or similar paper or cardboard products.

19. A method of packaging at least one item, comprising the steps of: placing at least one of the items between a supporting or support member and at least one compression member, the compression member being moveably connected or attached to the support member; substantially enveloping the arrangement of the item, supporting member and compression member with a shrinkable cover member; and causing the cover member to shrink in size so as to move the compression member towards the support member so as to compress the item inside the package, thereby forming a package in which the cover member compresses the item between the compression member and the support member thereby reducing the size of the item and/or package containing the item.

20. A method of packaging at least one item according to claim 19, using a package for at least one item, comprising: a support member upon which the item can be located; at least one compression member moveably connected or attached to the support member, said compression member being located over the item and being moveable so as to be capable of compressing the item when located substantially on the support or support member; and a shrinkable cover member substantially enveloping the arrangement of the compression member, item and supporting member, wherein the cover member is shrunk in size thereby moving the compression member towards the support member so as to compress the item inside the package thereby forming a package in which the size of the item and/or package containing the item is reduced.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to packaging of products, particularly a package for products allowing display of the products. More particularly, the present invention relates to packaging for displaying individual items, or pairs or groups of items or the like, such as pairs of identical or substantially identical items in which the items are compressed to occupy a smaller volume by the packaging.

The present invention finds particular application for the packaging of gloves, such as rubber or latex gloves or similar products for display in a retail environment, such as for example, for sale in a department store, a supermarket or other retail establishment in which it is desirable to have packaging of a reduced volume. Therefore, while the present invention will hereinafter be described with particular reference to one form of packaging for one form of gloves, it is to be understood that the scope of the present invention is not restricted to the described embodiments, but rather the scope of the present invention is more extensive so as to include other forms and arrangements of the packaging, the packaging of products other than gloves and to other methods of packaging items or the like.

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

Gloves, particularly domestic rubber gloves or the like are either available loose or are typically packaged loosely within glossy plastic pockets or envelopes such as for example plastic bags. The gloves inside the pockets are not typically secured within the pocket but rather are placed inside the package in a loose or free manner. Such currently available packaging is easy to manufacture and permits the glove to be readily inserted into the plastic bag.

However, currently available packaging of this type for products such as rubber gloves tend to occupy unnecessary free volume due to the internal volume occupied by the gloves and the packaging. In this regard, some gloves, particularly domestic rubber gloves or the like, tend to adopt a slightly expanded/inflated condition in the package due to the semi-rigid or flexible material or construction and additionally because of the method of manufacturing the gloves and their intended use the gloves. This effect is particularly noticeable when the gloves are folded within the package which sometimes traps air in sealed cavities within the glove formed when the glove is folded. The sealed cavities prevent air from being expelled from the gloves and contribute to the gloves being bulky or inflated. The increased bulk and volume of the packaging results in transportation costs being higher than is necessary and the space available for displaying such packaging on the supermarket shelves or the like is greater than would otherwise be required.

Thus, there is a need for packaging of rubber gloves that is suitable for displaying the gloves yet occupies a lesser amount of space both in transportation and during display by allowing the gloves to compress during packaging and/or be maintained in a compressed state until the package is opened to retrieve the gloves for use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a package for at least one item, comprising:

a support member upon which the item can be located;

at least one compression member moveably connected or attached to the support member, said compression member being moveable so as to be capable of compressing the item when located substantially on the support or support member; and

a cover member capable of being located around the compression member and item when located on the supporting member,

thereby forming a package containing the item in which the cover member moves the compression member towards the support member so as to compress the item inside the package thereby reducing the size of the item and/or package containing the item.

According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of packaging at least one item, comprising the steps of: placing at least one of the items between a supporting or support member and at least one compression member; substantially enveloping the arrangement of the item, supporting member and compression member using a cover member; and causing the cover member to reduce in volume, thereby forming a package in which the cover member compresses the item between the compression member and the support member so as to compress the item inside the package thereby reducing the size of the item and/or package containing the item.

The present invention therefore uses at least one compression member in conjunction with a cover member to compress the at rest volume of the item inside the package. This packaging therefore reduces the typical pack size for items, giving the package a more compact appearance and preferably allowing more items to be displayed on a typical retail shelf space than previous packages for the products.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the support member comprises a flat, planar sheet. However, it is to be understood that the two dimensional shape of the support member can be of any desired shape, as long as support member has a sufficient planar area onto which the items or items can be placed. Therefore, the overall size and shape of the support member is substantially determined by the size, shape and orientation of the items to be packaged within the glove package of the present invention.

In one embodiment of the invention, the support or backing member is a blank having a central portion or panel for supporting the item or items. More particularly the central portion is planar. More typically the central panel is of a complex shape having a square or rectangular portion and a curved or semi circular portion. More typically, the rectangular portion is a lower portion and the curved portion is an upper portion.

Typically, the central panel is provided with a locator for locating the item or items on the central panel. More typically, the locator is located along the lower edge of the central panel. Even more typically, the locator is a groove, rebate, cut-out, slot, cut-away, or the like over which the item is folded. Even more typically, the ends of the locator are inclined, preferably oppositely inclined to one another, to assist in locating the item in the folded condition on the central panel. The inclined ends are angled to prevent the folded glove from being displaced from the backing sheet by cooperative engaging the sides of the glove. In another embodiment the ends of the locator are guide means for guiding the gloves into position. Typically, the guide means is a shoulder, preferably a rectilinear shoulder.

Preferably, the support member also has an attachment means for attaching the package to a hook or display means. Preferably, the attachment means comprises a hole or aperture formed in an appropriate location on the support board. Typically, the aperture is formed in an upper region of the support member so as to allow the package to be hung on a display means in an upright orientation.

Typically, the backing or support member of the present invention is made from cardboard or similar paper or cardboard products.

The compression member is also typically a flat planar board. The size and shape of the compression member must be such that a sufficient contact area is provided with the glove to suitably compress the item or items between the compression member and the support board once the cover member is applied. Accordingly, it is preferable that the items or items covers a sufficient area of the support board to substantially compress the items located between the compression member and support board.

It is also preferable that the compression member and support board are formed from a single piece of material. Typically, the combined support board and compression member or members is in the form of a blank.

Therefore, the compression member is typically secured to at least one edge of the support board. More preferably, the compression member is part of the support board and is hingedly connected to the backing member. This allows the compression member to be substantially folded over the support board once the item or items are placed on the support board.

The package can include at least one compression member or two or more compression members. Typically, the or each compression member is hingedly connected to the backing member so as to be moveable between an open position allowing the glove to be placed on the central panel of the backing member and a closed position for applying compression to the item or items.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the package includes two compression members, each of which are hingedly connected to the backing member. Typically, one compression member is attached on one side of the backing member whereas the other compression member is attached on the other side of the backing member. Typically, the or each compression member is attached to part of a lateral side of the central panel. More typically the first compression member is hingedly moveable to be superimposable over the front face of the backing member whereas the second compression member is hingedly moveable to be superimposable on the reverse face thereby forming a multi-layer or multi-component system or arrangement.

Typically, any free end of the compression member can be attached to a complementary surface or end of the support member using a fastening means. The fastening means can be any means of affixing an edge of the compression member to a portion of the support member. In one embodiment of the present invention, the securing means comprises a resin, adhesive, glue, adhesive tape or other type of adhesive product. In another embodiment of the invention, the backing member is provided with a first fastening element. More typically, the compressing member is provided with a second fastening element. Preferably, the first and second fastening elements are complementary to one another. Even more typically, the fastening elements are releasably securable. Even more typically, the fastening elements are cooperatively engageable with one another.

One form of the fastening elements can be a tab, lug, tongue, tag, or the like. Another form of the fastening element can be a slot, groove, aperture, slit, mouth, cutout or similar. Yet a further form of the fastening element comprises a hook like device which can be secured into a ring like device affixed to a portion of the support member. Typically, the support or backing member is provided with a display portion over which the compression member is not folded or superposed. More typically the display portion allows the item within the package to be visible at the point of sale when the cover member is in place.

The front or rear sides or faces or both faces or sides of the central panel can be provided with printing. Typically, the outwardly facing face or side of one or all or any combination of folded compression members on side panels are provided with printing so that no additional insert or frame containing printing is required to complete the package.

The cover is typically a flexible cover made from a film, sheet, membrane or other flexible planar element or the like. The cover is preferably moveable. More preferably, the cover is compressibly moveable. Furthermore, the cover member is also typically substantially transparent. Accordingly, the item or items, compression board and support member are visible through the shrink wrap. With substantially transparent shrink wrap, any printing desired for the packaging is preferably applied to a surface of the support member and/or the compression member, typically the reverse side of the compression member. In this respect, the printing does not have to be applied to the shrink wrap but can be inexpensively applied to the paper or end product.

In one embodiment of the invention, the cover member is a shrink wrap film, sheet or other covering. Typically, the shrink wrap film or sheet is compressible or contractible by the application of heat. More typically, the cover forms the outer layer of the package on both sides of the package. Typically, the cover is a fully sealed bag that compresses the items to form a package of reduce volume. It is preferable that the shrink wrap substantially compresses any gap between the or each compression member and support member to be substantially compressed by the application of the shrink wrap cover. Accordingly, sufficient heat must be applied to sufficiently shrink the shrink wrap around the compression member, item or items and support member combination.

Typically, the item or items are made from flexible material. More typically, the flexible material is natural or synthetic. More typically, the item is provided with cavities, pockets, folds or similar in which air can accumulate or be trapped to resist compression of the item during packaging.

In one embodiment of the invention, the item or items are gloves. Typically, the gloves are made from rubber or latex or similar product. The package is preferably arranged in a sandwich construction in which the gloves are squeezed between the compressible member and the backing member. In one embodiment of the invention, a first part of the glove is squeezed between the first compressible member and the backing sheet whereas a second part of the glove is squeezed between a second compression member and the backing plate. In this embodiment, when the glove or gloves are folded about the backing member the folding is performed in such a manner that air is expelled from the interior of the glove so that the glove is substantially free of air or at least is of a reduced volume when compared to the normal size or volume adopted by the glove. In one embodiment the finger portion of the glove is placed upon the backing member and the wrist portion of the glove is folded over thereby allowing air to be expelled through the open end of the glove.

In an embodiment of the invention, the gloves are placed on the support member in a folded state. Here the glove may be folded lengthways, widthways or a combination of two or more different folds or the like. In another embodiment of the present invention, the glove is folded around an edge of the support member so that part of the glove is on one side of the support member and another part of the glove is on another side of the support member i.e. on the obverse face and on the reverse face. Further embodiments of the present invention could use rolled gloves, unfolded gloves or the like. In each case, the support member is sized to substantially fit the shape of the glove to be packaged in accordance with requirements.

In order to substantially compress a glove or gloves located between the compression member and support member, it is preferable that the compression member overlaps at least ⅓ the glove placed on the support member on which the glove is placed. Therefore, the compression member-covers at least ⅓ the surface area of the support member on which the glove is placed. More preferably, the compression member overlaps at least ½ the glove placed on the support member on which the glove is placed. Typically, not all the glove is covered by the compression member. This is to allow a consumer to inspect the appearance of the glove through the shrink wrap, provided the shrink wrap is substantially transparent.

It is also possible to have more than one compression member to compress a glove packaged in the glove packaging of the present invention. In one embodiment of the present invention, the glove package comprises two compression members. Preferably, each compression member is placed over a portion of a glove on different sides of the support member. Preferably, each compression member compresses each portion of the glove against the support member separately after the shrink wrap has been applied to the compression member, glove and support member combination.

In one form of the package, the glove is folded around an edge of the support member such that a first portion of the glove is positioned on one side of the support member and a second portion of the glove is positioned on another side of the support member. A first compression member is placed on top of the first portion of the glove and a second compression member is placed over the second portion of the glove. This arrangement compresses the glove in two locations after the shrink wrap has been applied to the compression member, glove and support member combination.

In another embodiment of the invention, the support member contains a recess or aperture in an edge or face through which the glove can be passed. In this manner, a first portion of the glove can be positioned on one side of the support member, part of the glove passed through or around the aperture so that a second portion of the glove is positioned on another side of the support member. Again, this arrangement compresses the glove in two locations after the shrink wrap has been applied to the compression member, glove and support member combination.

As note above, it is preferable that the compression member and support member are formed from a single piece of material. Therefore, each compression member is typically secured to at least one edge of the support member. More preferably, the or each compression member is secured to a different edge the support member. Even more preferably, each compression member is secured to an opposite edge the support member. This allows each compression member to be folded substantially over the support member once the glove is placed on the support member over opposite but proximate areas of the glove and support member.

As both the compression member and support member are used to compress the glove within the package, it is preferable that the support member and compression member are constructed of a stiff material such as thick paper, cardboard, paperboard, plastic or similarly stiff material. More preferably, the compression member and support member comprises the same material as the support member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described with reference to the figures of the accompanying drawings, which illustrate a particular preferred embodiment thereof by way of non-limiting example, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a first form of a blank comprising the backing member in the form of a central panel and two compression members in the form of side panels extending outwardly from either lateral side of the central panel.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the embodiment of a glove and blank illustrated in FIG. 1 showing location of the glove in an unfolded condition on the front side of the backing member.

FIG. 3 is top perspective view of the form of the glove and blank of FIG. 2 in a partially folded condition held in place by the locator on the front face of the backing member.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the glove and blank of FIG. 3 in a fully folded condition on the backing member with the rear compression member in a compression condition and the front compression member in an open position.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view similar to that of FIG. 4 but showing the front compression member in the process of being folded over to compress the glove.

FIG. 6 is a top perspective view of the glove and blank of FIG. 2 showing the front compression member in a fully compressing condition.

FIG. 7 is a partial fragmentary view of part of the bottom right hand corner of the arrangement of glove and blank of FIG. 6 showing the engagement of the slot and tab connectors of the blank in more detail.

FIG. 8 is a top perspective view of a first form of the complete package showing the cover film in a fully shrink wrapped condition forming a compact package.

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a second form of a blank comprising the backing member in the form of a central panel and a single compression member in the form of a side panel extending outwardly from the left lateral side of the central panel.

FIG. 10 is a side perspective view of the embodiment of a glove and blank illustrated in FIG. 9 showing the steps in folding of the glove from an unfolded condition to a folded condition for placement on the front side of the backing member.

FIG. 11 is top perspective view of the form of the glove and blank of FIG. 10 in a fully folded condition placed on the front face of the backing member.

FIG. 12 is a top perspective view of the glove and blank of FIG. 10 in a fully folded condition on the backing member with the compression member being moved from an open position to a closed position.

FIG. 13 is a top perspective view similar to that of FIG. 12 but showing the compression member in the process of being folded over to compress the glove.

FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of the glove and blank of FIG. 10 showing the compression member in a fully compressing condition.

FIG. 15 is a partial cut-out view of part of the bottom right hand corner of the arrangement of glove and blank of FIG. 14 showing the engagement of the slot and tab connectors of the blank in more detail.

FIG. 16 is a top perspective view of a second form of the complete package showing the cover film in a fully shrink wrapped condition forming a compact package.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following detailed description relates to a package containing a pair of typical domestic rubber gloves. However, it should be understood that the invention does have broader application in the packaging of other items or pairs or groups of items. Examples of the item include other types of gloves, socks or other compressible articles or the like.

A typical domestic rubber glove 50 includes finger portions 52 for covering the a user's four fingers respectively and a thumb portion 53 for receiving the thumb of a user's hand. Each of the finger portions 52 and thumb portion 53 extends to a body or palm portion 54 which covers the palm and backhand of a hand of a user. The body portion 54, inturn, extends down to a substantially tubular like wrist portion 56 which contains at its free end, an opening 58 to allow a hand to be inserted into the interior of the glove.

FIGS. 1 to 8 illustrate an example of a first form of the package of the present invention, generally denoted as 2, which can be used to package such a glove. Package 2 includes a cardboard blank 4 having a central panel 5 acting as a support or backing member and two side panels 6, 8 acting as two separate compression members.

Central panel 5 has an upper portion 10 that is essentially curved or semi-circular or similarly shaped such as elliptical and a lower portion 12 which is essentially rectangular. However, it is to be noted that the shape of the panel can be any suitable shape. A hanging aperture 14 is provided at or towards the top of curved portion 10 for hanging package 2 for display from a display hook or the like when displaying the package 2 at a point of sale.

First side panel 6 is hingedly connected to central panel 5 along fold line 16 located along one edge of lower portion 12 and is adapted to be moveable between an outwardly extending position as shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 and 4 which is an open position allowing glove 50 to be folded onto the backing member 5 and a compressing position in which side panel 6 is folded about fold line 16 to overlie the central panel 5 and the finger and/or palm portion of the glove 50 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 so as to compress the glove between the compression member, and the backing member 5. Side panel 6 is provided with a tab 7 along a part of the distal edge 9 of panel 6. Tab 7 extends outwardly from the lower part of edge 9. Tab 7 is for fastening the panel 6 to the backing member 5.

The second side panel 8 is also hingedly connected to central panel 5 but along the other side of lower portion 12 by means of fold line 18. Side panel 8 is hingedly moveable about fold line 18 to be superposable on the reverse side of central panel 5 so as to compress gloves 50 between the second side panel 8 and the backing member 5. Side panel 8 is provided with tab 11 extending outwardly from the upper part of distal edge 13. Tab 11 is for fastening side panel 8 to backing member 50.

A slot 20 is provided in the upper part of fold line 16 for receiving tab 11 and a slot 22 is provided in the lower part of fold line 18 for receiving tab 7.

First side panel 6 and second side panel 8 can take any suitable shape or size. A locator in the form of a rebate 24 is formed along a part of lower edge 26 of central panel 5. Rebate 24, in one form, is provided with a pair of oppositely inclined edges 28, 30 in the form of hooks or similar for cooperatively engaging with the sides of glove 50 so as to retain the glove in position on the central panel as the glove is being folded as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. It is to be noted that the ends of rebate 24 can get as guides for glove 50 either in addition to inclined edges 28, 30 for retaining the glove 50 in rebate 24 or in place of inclined edges 28, 30. Typically, the guides are square shoulders (not shown). In addition, the outwardly facing face or side of each panel when in a folded or compressing condition can be printed so as to provide information to a potential customer. A clear film of shrink wrap material 30 in the form of an envelope or similar is located over the arrangement of the glove 50, backing member 5 and compressing elements 6, 8 to form the package 2 in a compressed state as shown in FIG. 8.

In forming the first form of the package 2, a blank 4 having central panel 5 and two side panels 6, 8, having tabs 7, 11 together with foldlines 16, 18 and slots 20, 22 is formed in the appropriate size, shape, style, configuration or the like to suit the particular form of glove 50. A pair of rubber or latex gloves 50 is formed and placed against the front face of central panel 5 so that the finger 52 and/or palm portion 54 of the gloves 50 are in contact with the central panel 5. A single glove 50 is illustrated in the drawings for reasons of clarity. The wrist portion 56 and open end portion 58 of the gloves 50 is draped over the lower edge 26 of central panel 5 and is located in rebate 24 with the sides of glove 50 being held by oppositely angularly inclined ends 28, 30 located at either end of rebate 24 in the lower edge 26 of lower portion 12 of central panel 50 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The open end part of the glove 58 is folded about the lower edge in such a manner allowing air to be expelled from inside the gloves 50.

Either simultaneously or sequentially with folding of the glove 50, the side panel 8 is hingedly folded about fold line.18 to contact the palm portion 54 of glove 50 to assist in expelling air from inside the glove 50. As shown in FIG. 3 side panel 8 is hinged in the direction of arrow ‘A’ so that tab 11 can be moved in the direction of arrow ‘B’ of FIG. 4 to be retained in slot 20. When side panel 8 is securely in place side panel 6 is hingedly moved in the direction of arrow ‘C’ of FIG. 4 to overlie glove 50. Tab 7 is moved in the direction of arrow ‘D’ to be securely retained in slot 22 to secure side panel 6 in place and to partially compress glove 50 as shown in FIG. 6.

With the arrangement of the glove 50 and backing member 5 maintained in position a sleeve, bag, envelope, or the like of a shrink wrap film 40 or similar material is placed over the combined arrangement.

Shrink wrapping is a packaging process in which a product is wrapped in a plastic film, such as a polyolefin, and the plastic is then shrunk around the product using a heating process so as to compress the package to a reduced size. In addition to using shrink wrap material, the package can be vacuum packed in which air is expelled from the package prior to sealing thereby forming a reduced size package.

Accordingly, heat is applied to the shrink wrap material 40 to shrink the bag onto the glove arrangement to form the package 2. The open end or ends of the shrink wrap bag or sleeve 40 is heat sealed simultaneously or sequentially with shrinking the material thereby forming a sealed package 2 in which the gloves 50 are compressed so that the package 2 occupies a smaller volume than that occupied by a package that contained gloves 50 not in a compressed state.

In another embodiment of the package 102 of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 9 to 16. Again, the package 102 includes a cardboard blank 104 having a central panel 105 acting as a support or backing member and a single side panel 106 acting as a compression members.

Central panel 105 has an upper portion 110 that is essentially curved or semi-circular or similarly shaped such as elliptical and a lower portion 112 which is essentially rectangular. A hanging aperture 114 is provided at or towards the top of curved portion 110 for hanging package 102 for display from a display hook or the like when displaying the package 102 at a point of sale.

Side panel 106 is laterally extending panel having a tab 107 located along the distal end 108 of the side panel 106. Side panel 106 is hingedly connected to central panel 105 along fold line 16 located along the proximal end 108 of the side panel 106. The side panel 106 is adapted to be moveable between an outwardly extending position as shown in FIGS. 9, 10, 11 and 12 which is an open position allowing glove 150 to be folded onto the central panel 105 and a compressing position in which side panel 106 is folded about fold line 116 to overlie the central panel 105 and the finger and/or palm portion of the glove 150 as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 so as to compress the glove between the side panel 106, and the central panel 105.

The central panel 105 is provided with a longitudinally extending slot 120 used to receive tab 107 of the side panel 106. Tab 107 is located along a part of the distal edge 109 of side panel 106. The tab 107 is used to secure the side panel 106 to the central panel 105 after the side panel 106 is folded over the front face of the central panel 105 compressing the glove 150 located on the central panel 105. The tab 107 is constructed in the shape of an arrow so as to provide securing lugs 111A and 111B which are used to secure the tab 107 within slot 120. In this respect, the dimensions of the arrow head of the tab 107 a larger than the slot 120. Therefore when the arrow tab 107 is inserted through the slot 120, the lugs protrude past the length of the slot and engage the surface of the central panel 105, as shown in FIGS. 14 and 15.

As shown in FIG. 16, a clear film of shrink wrap material 30 in the form of an envelope or similar is located over the arrangement of the glove 150, central panel 105 and side panel 106 to form the package 102 in a compressed state.

In forming the second form of the package 102, a blank 104 having central panel 105 and a single side panel 106, having tab 107 together with foldline 116 and slot 120 is formed in the appropriate size, shape, style, configuration or the like to suit the particular form of glove 150.

In this embodiment, only a single side panel 106 or compression member is used to compress the glove between itself and the central panel 105 forming the backing member. Accordingly, as illustrated in FIG. 10, the glove 150 is folded upon itself either before placing on the central panel 105 or are folded upon itself after placing on the central panel 105 but before folding the side panel 106 to compress the glove 150. This allows the side panel 106 to sandwich the folded glove 150 between the central panel 105 and the side panel 106.

As shown in FIGS. 11, 12 and 13 side panel 106 is hinged in the direction of arrow ‘X’ so that tab 107 can be moved in the direction of arrow ‘Y’ of FIG. 13 to be received in slot 120. Therefore, side panel 106 is removably secured to the central panel 105 by folding tab 107 around the outer edge 122 of the central panel 105 and around to the underside 122 of the central panel 105, as shown in FIGS. 13, 14 and 15. Tab 107 is then inserted into the slot 120 and emerges on the innerside 126 of the central panel 105. The lugs 111A and 111B of the tab 107 extend past the length of the slot 120, thereby capturing the tab 107 within the slot 120. The placement of the side panel 106 over the glove 150 serves to partially compress glove 150, as shown in FIG. 14.

As with the first embodiment of the package 2, a shrink wrap film 140 or similar, material is placed over the combined arrangement of the glove 150, side panel 106 and central panel 105. Heat is applied to the shrink wrap material 140 to shrink the bag onto the glove arrangement to form the package 102. The open end or ends of the shrink wrap bag or sleeve 140 is heat sealed simultaneously or sequentially with shrinking the material thereby forming a sealed package 102 in which the gloves 150 are compressed so that the package 102 occupies a smaller volume than that occupied by a package that contained gloves 150 not in a compressed state.

An additional advantage given by each of the described packages 2 and 102 is the reduction in printing costs for limited production runs of packaging. In this respect, the existing glossy plastic pockets currently used to package gloves are typically printed upon to indicate the brand, price, barcode or the like. Accordingly, the existing glossy plastic pockets can be costly to produce in limited production runs as the printing of the packaging on a per item basis is expensive due to the necessity to produce printing plates that are able to print the pockets and the cost of the specialised ink etc. The production of the printing plates is very costly which costs can only be defrayed over a small number of packages. The cost of using such printing techniques is prohibitive unless the production runs are exceedingly large. Thus, it would be advantageous to reduce the cost of packaging of individual, pairs or groups of items, particularly for small production runs.

Accordingly, the cardboard blank formed from the compression side panel(s) and central panel are ideal for printing upon. Therefore, the shrink wrap cover does not have to be printed upon. As cardboard or similar paper products are cheaper to print upon, this can help reduce the cost of the packaging for limited production runs of packaging. This configuration therefore avoids the high cost of printing on the external surface of the gloves.

The described arrangement has been advanced by explanation and many modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, which includes every novel feature and novel combination of features herein disclosed.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the invention described herein is susceptible to variations and modifications other than those specifically described. It is understood that the invention includes all such variations and modifications which fall within the spirit and scope.

In the following claims and the preceding description of the invention, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word “comprise” or variations such as “comprises” or “comprising” is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments of the invention.