Title:
Athletic sock with printed strip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An athletic sock for insertion into a shoe, the sock defining a generally tubular body having a mouth at one end, the mouth for engagement by the foot of a person, a first portion of the tubular body including a resilient elastomeric compound, at least a fraction of the first portion of tubular body destined to be exposed out from the shoe during use, the first portion defining an external surface having a fine grain, and a high resolution printed design layout being mounted to the external surface of the first sock portion integral thereto.



Inventors:
Garneau, Louis (St.-Augustin-De-Desmaures, CA)
Application Number:
09/876245
Publication Date:
02/28/2002
Filing Date:
06/08/2001
Assignee:
GARNEAU LOUIS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B11/00; (IPC1-7): A43B17/00; A41B11/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LESPERANCE & MARTINEAU (MONTREAL, QC, CA)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A sock having a main leg and an instep coextensive to the main leg, and a separate straight up top portion attached to and opening from the outer end of the main leg, said straight up top portion for use in supporting an advertisement display printed thereon, wherein said straight up top portion includes a stretchable compound that maintains a substantially constant fine grain in external appearance from an unstretched condition to a streched condition thereof.

2. A sock as in claim 1, wherein said stretchable compound includes two elements: polyester, and an elastomeric compound.

3. A sock as in claim 2, wherein said elastomeric compound is an elastomeric polyurethane compound.

4. A sock as in claim 2, wherein the percentage in weight of polyester in said stretchable compound, is greater than 50%.

5. A sock as in claim 3, wherein the percentage in weight of elastomeric polyurethane compound is about 20%, while that of polyester is about 80%.

6. A sock as in claim 1, wherein said straight-up top portion is sown to said outer end of the main leg.

7. A sock as in claim 3, wherein said straight-up top portion is sown to said outer end of the main leg.

8. A sock as in claim 5, wherein said straight-up top portion is sown to said outer end of the main leg.

9. A sock having a cotton-based main leg and a cotton-based instep coextensive to said main leg, a separate straight up top portion attached to and opening from the outer end of the main leg, and an advertisement display printed layer on an external surface of said straight-up top portion, wherein said straight up top portion is cottonless and includes a stretchable elastomeric compound that maintains a substantially constant fine grain in external appearance for said advertisement display from an unstretched condition to a streched condition thereof.

10. A sock as in claim 9, wherein said advertisement display is in colour, and is obtained by a four colour process.

11. A sock as in claim 9, wherein said straight-up top portion further includes polyester.

12. A sock as in claim 11, wherein said elastomeric material is elastomeric polyurethane.

13. A sock as in claim 12, wherein there is about 80% polyester and about 20% elastomeric polyurethane in said straight-up top portion.

14. A sock as in claim 13, wherein said fine grain of said straight-up top portion is about 240 micrometers.

15. A sock as in claim 1, wherein said fine grain of said straight-up top portion is about 240 micrometers.

16. An athletic sock for insertion into a shoe, said sock defining a generally tubular body having a mouth at one end, said mouth for engagement by the foot of a person, a first portion of said tubular body including a resilient elastomeric compound, at least a fraction of said first portion of tubular body destined to be exposed out from the shoe during use, said first portion defining an external surface having a fine grain, and a high resolution printed design layout being mounted to said external surface of said first portion integral thereto.

17. An athletic sock as in claim 16, wherein said elastomeric compound is elastomeric polyurethane.

18. An athletic sock as in claim 17, further including polyester as as additional element of said first portion of tubular body.

19. An athletic sock as in claim 18, wherein there is 20% in weight of elastomeric polyurethane in said first portion of tubular body, and 80% in weight of polyester in said first portion of tubular body.

20. An athletic sock as in claim 19, wherein said printed design layout is a four-colour process print, at a fineness of about 240 micrometers.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE DATA

[0001] The co-pending Provisional Patent Application No. 60/228,455 filed Aug. 29, 2000 in incorporated by way of reference to the present patent application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Conventional socks are usually made with knitted cotton cloth, often being reinforced with some nylon or the like synthetic material intermeshed with the cotton strand at the toe and heel portions of the sock for increased durability. Sometimes, the sock manufacturers will use the sole or leg portion of the sock as an advertising support for promoting the trademarks of the manufacturer, of sponsors, or the like.

[0003] A problem with the use of these conventional socks as advertising media, is that the quality of reproduction of the logo or work trademark on the sock, is poor. The reason for this poor quality of reproduction comes from the nature of knitted cotton cloth, which by definition incorporates a coarse grain. When the word mark or design mark is applied on this coarse grain surface, one obtains an appearance which is not clear and sharp as one would like. This lack of clearness and sharpness becomes substantially compounded when the sock is stretched, as is typical when an individual fits the sock around his/her foot and the sock is stretched to conformingly fit around the contour of the foot. Therefore, in the normal slightly stretched use of the sock, the applied trademark becomes blurred, defeating the purpose of using this clothing material as an advertising medium.

[0004] According to the present invention, there is provided a non-cotton based, stretchable straight-up top portion, sown to the leg of a sock, and colour or black and white printing of an advertisement is applied to this top leg. This separate straight-up portion defines a fine grain publicity image support, and this fine grain retains its full fineness even when the sock top leg is stretched.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The invention relates to a sock having a main leg and an instep coextensive to the main leg, and a separate straight up top portion attached to and opening from the outer end of the main leg, said straight up top portion for use in supporting an advertisement display printed thereon, wherein said straight up top portion includes a stretchable compound that maintains a substantially constant fine grain in external appearance from an unstretched condition to a streched condition thereof.

[0006] Preferably, said stretchable compound includes two elements: polyester, and an elastomeric compound. Most preferably, said elastomeric compound is an elastomeric polyurethane compound. The percentage in weight of polyester in said stretchable compound, is preferably greater than 50%. The percentage in weight of elastomeric polyurethane compound is most preferably about 20%, while that of polyester is about 80%.

[0007] Said straight-up top portion could be sown to said outer end of the main leg.

[0008] The invention also relates to a sock having a cotton-based main leg and a cotton-based instep coextensive to said main leg, a separate straight up top portion attached to and opening from the outer end of the main leg, and an advertisement display printed layer on an external surface of said straight-up top portion, wherein said straight up top portion is cottonless and includes a stretchable elastomeric compound that maintains a substantially constant fine grain in external appearance for said advertisement display from an unstretched condition to a stretched condition thereof.

[0009] The advertisement display could be in colour, and obtained by a four colour process

[0010] The fine grain of said straight-up top portion is preferably about 240 micrometers.

[0011] This invention also relates to an athletic sock for insertion into a shoe, said sock defining a generally tubular body having a mouth at one end, said mouth for engagement by the foot of a person, a first portion of said tubular body including a resilient elastomeric compound, at least a fraction of said first portion of tubular body destined to be exposed out from the shoe during use, said first portion defining an external surface having a fine grain, and a high resolution printed design layout being mounted to said external surface of said first portion integral thereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a sock according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;

[0013] FIG. 2 is a bottom edge view of the sock of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view at an enlarged scale, taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1; and

[0015] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the sock of FIG. 1, shown inserted into the foot of a person, the leg of this person shown in phantom lines.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

[0016] In the drawings, there is shown an athletic sock 5 according to the present invention. Sock 5 defines two main coextensive tubular portions: a main leg 6 and a coextensive instep 8. The outer end of main leg carries a separate straight-up top portion 10, defining a mouth 12 for engagement by an individual foot. A heel portion 14 is formed at a bottom end portion of the sock intermediate the main leg 6 and the instep 8. A toe portion 16 is formed at the outer end of the instep 8, opposite the sock mouth 12. A sole portion 18 is formed beneath the instep 8 and integral therewith, extending between the heel and toe portions 14 and 16.

[0017] The heel portion 14 and the toe portion 16 are both preferably made from nylon or other strong material. The sole portion 18 is preferably made from 100% polyester, such as the COOLMAX (TM) material manufactured by the Dupont company. The main leg 6 and instep 8 should be made from knitted cotton or other soft material.

[0018] The straight up top portion 10 is made up from a stretchable material that maintains a fine grain external appearance during stretching. Preferably, the material constituting portion 10 includes a combination of the following two components:

[0019] a) a synthetic material substrate, most preferably polyester; and

[0020] b) an elastomeric compound, most preferably a polyurethane elastomere.

[0021] The elastomeric material may be for example ELASTAN (a trademark). An example of material for the straight up top portion including the above two components could be LYCRA (a trademark from the DuPont company). The relative percentage in weight between the polyester and the elastomeric compound may vary, provided one obtains a sock portion that is stretchable for insertion of a person's foot, yet will maintain fine grain appearance for the advertisement display applied thereon. Best results will be achieved when there is more polyester than elastomeric compound by weight in sock portion 10, i.e. more than 50% in weight of polyester. Most preferably, the ratio will be the one found in LYCRA (TM), i.e. about 80% by weight of polyester, and about 20% by weight of elastomere polyurethane.

[0022] This top leg 10 forms an annular strip, separate from the main leg portion 6 of the sock and attached thereto by stitching lines 22. This top leg 10 is slightly stretchable, and a colour or black and white advertisement image is printed on the exterior face thereof, 10a, wherein a fine grain image is achieved. The fineness of the image grain on top leg 10 is not compromised by the stretching of the top leg, as when a foot fits inside the sock 5. This type of sock printing enables printing by the so-called “four colours process”. Fineness will be much better than with cotton, and can be as small as 240 micrometers. The band 10 is stretchable, yet does not crack, and has a memory of its shape.

[0023] The material making up the straight up top portion 10 can also be any other type of stretchable fabric, having a stitch line to attach this top portion as an add-on element to the leg of the sock. The important feature is that the quality of print of such advertising medium, is much higher then one could expect from a conventional knitted fabric, since the grain of the image is much finer, and will not be altered when the sock is stretched as when the user inserts his/her foot inside the sock. Usually, this would exclude cotton as a constituting material of the straight-up top portion 10.

[0024] Usually, the printed strip will appear on the straight-up top portion of the athletic sock, for maximum advertisement effect since the remainder of the sock is usually concealed inside the shoe and no advertisement effect would follow from having the advertisement printed strip inside the shoe. However, the scope of the invention does not exclude that some fraction of the printed strip would also extend inside the shoe, along the main leg of the sock.