Title:
SIZE ADJUSTABLE SPORTS CAP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A size adjustable sports cap having a crown constructed from a plurality of triangularly shaped panels, substantially all of which are expandable and contractible, and which form a crown of the cap adapted to be disposed over the crown of wearer's head. The crown has a lower margin and secured to that lower margin is a multi-section band having a plurality of spaced apart stretchable band sections separated by a plurality of spaced apart non-stretchable band sections. This band thereupon forms an opening which is size adjustable to receive the crown of a wearer's head. One of the important aspects of the invention is that there is no deformation of the crown of the cap and the construction allows for a more natural wearing fit of the sports cap.



Inventors:
Siegel, Wade L. (Playa Del Rey, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/760288
Publication Date:
09/19/2002
Filing Date:
01/12/2001
Assignee:
SIEGEL WADE L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/22; (IPC1-7): A42B1/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT J. SCHAAP (Woodland Hills, CA, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the invention, what I desire to claim and secure by Letters Patent is:



1. A size adjustable sports cap in which the head receiving opening thereof is adapted to fit a multitude of head sizes, said sports cap comprising: a) a cap crown sized to overlie the crown of a wearer's head and having a lower margin thereof; and b) a multi-section band secured to the cap crown at the lower margin and having a plurality of spaced apart band sections which are separated by a plurality of non-stretchable band sections, such that each stretchable band section has opposite ends which are both attached to non-stretchable band sections thereby defining a head receiving opening on the cap crown, whereby the multi-section band allows for generally uniform size adjustable expansion and contraction of head receiving opening without permanent deformation of the cap crown and allows for a more natural wearing fit of the sports caps.

2. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that a bill forms part of said sports cap and extends forwardly therefrom at the lower margin of said cap crown.

3. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said multi-section band comprises a pair of non-stretchable band sections separated by a pair of stretchable band sections.

4. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said multi-section band comprises a pair of side band sections which are stretchable and front and rear band sections which are non-stretchable.

5. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 3 further characterized in that said pair of non-stretchable band sections comprises a pair of outer layers formed of a generally non-stretchable material and an inner layer which is formed of a stretchable material.

6. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said stretchable band sections are uniaxially stretchable.

7. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said cap crown is comprised of a plurality of pre-shaped crown sections which are secured to one another.

8. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said crown sections are secured to one another by stitched retaining bands.

9. The size adjustable sports cap of claim 7 further characterized in that said crown sections are formed of a uniaxially stretch able material.

10. An improvement in a size adjustable sports cap in which the sports cap comprises a crown with a head receiving opening adapted to fit a multitude of head sizes and a multi-section band surrounding the lower end of the crown, the improvement comprising a multi-section band having a plurality of spaced apart band sections which are separated by a plurality of non-stretchable band sections, such that each stretchable band section has opposite ends which are both attached to non-stretchable band sections thereby defining a head receiving opening on the cap crown, whereby the multi-section band allows for generally uniform size adjustable expansion and contraction of the head receiving opening without permanent deformation of the cap crown and allows for a more natural wearing fit of the sports cap.

11. The improvement in the size adjustable sport cap of claim 10 further characterized in that a bill forms part of said sports cap and extends forwardly therefrom at the lower margin of said cap crown.

12. The improvement in the size adjustable sport cap of claim 1 further characterized in that said multi-section band comprises a pair of non-stretchable band sections separated by a pair of stretchable band sections.

13. The improvement in the size adjustable sport cap of claim 12 further characterized in that said multi-section band comprises a pair of side band sections which are stretchable and front and rear band sections which are non-stretchable.

14. The improvement in the size adjustable sport cap of claim 12 further characterized in that said pair of non-stretchable band sections comprises a pair of out layers formed of a non-stretchable material and an inner layer which is formed of a stretchable material.

15. The improvement in the size adjustable sport cap of claim 10 further characterized in that said stretchable band sections are uniaxially stretchable.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates in general to certain new and useful improvements in sports caps and, more particularly, to size adjustable sports caps which allow for a natural wearing fit by a user and which essentially conforms to the head of the wearer, such that the cap is adapted to universally fit with a large number of differing head sizes.

[0003] 2. Brief Description of Related Art

[0004] Sports caps of the type have a crown portion and a forwardly extending bill or so-called “visor” are well known in the prior art. In fact, the art of replete with various types of sports cap constructions which comprise a crown portion adapted to fit upon the crown of a wearer's head and forwardly extending bill or visor. Representative of these various sports cap constructions are:1

U.S. Pat. No.Patent DateTitle
4,662,007May 5, 1987Elastic Hingeless Cap
4,952,210July 17, 1990Quick-Exchange Sweat Band
5,615,415April 1, 1997Custom Fit Cap
5,715,540Feb. 10, 1998Free-Size Cap
5,025,504June 25, 1991Liner for a Helmet, Hat,
Cap or Other Head
Covering
5,099.524March 31, 1992Segmented Cap Assembly

[0005] Each of the aforesaid sports caps all include a lower opening adapted to receive the crown of a wearer's head. Some of these prior art patents and, for that matter, prior art constructions use elastic bands in which to obtain size adjustability of the cap on the wearer's head. Recently, there has been a proposed cap construction for a size adjustable cap which utilizes some stretchable panels forming part of the cap crown and some non-stretchable panels forming part of that cap crown. This construction also relies upon a two part band at the lower end of the crown which has a non-stretchable front portion, but a stretchable rear portion, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,966,742, dated Oct. 19, 1999, to Cunliffe for Adjustable Cap.

[0006] The Cunliffe patent, as well as the other prior art patents, and for that matter the proposed prior art constructions, do not provide a cap which is size adjustable but yet naturally fits a wearer's head. This is particularly true when the cap is universally sized to fit a large number of differing head sizes.

[0007] Although several proposed cap constructions have allowed for adjustability to fit differing head sizes, none of the cap constructions presently available eliminate the “one-way size fits all” problem in which that one size rarely fits all but a few of the potential users while maintaining the desired shape and appearance of the article. The same holds true with sports caps, in that the adjustably sized sports caps frequently contain crown portions which blossom on small head sizes and appear to be ill fitted. Moreover, for large head sizes, the stretchable band does not fully accommodate many of the wearer's heads in a comfortable manner.

[0008] Another one of the problems encountered in the prior art sports caps is the fact that the material forming non-stretchable panels in the crown portion do not stretch, whereas the band does stretch, at least in some portion. This causes distortion in the overall shape of the cap and clearly appears as though it is not a proper fit.

[0009] When considering the fact that the front and the rear portion of the head are generally round, the sides of the head and, particularly, in the regions have the temples of the head, are the regions which have the greatest need for size adjustability. Nevertheless, and heretofore, there has not been any cap in which size adjustability is provided primarily along the sides of the head of the wearer.

[0010] There has been one attempt to produce a cap with a continuous elastic band. However, this has also been found to result in the distorted shape. Nevertheless, with the prominent demand for sports caps, many users are desirous of obtaining a sports cap which has a custom fit tailored appearance to the cap.

[0011] It would be desirable to provide a size adjustable sports cap which had a natural wearing appearance and which also allowed for comfort of wear with a large number of differing sized users.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0012] It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a size adjustable sports cap which fits naturally and appears as though it was sized constructed for each of a large number of differing sized users.

[0013] It is another object of the present invention to provide a size adjustable sports cap of the type stated in which a crown portion of the sports cap is constructed of a plurality of stretchable panels.

[0014] It is a further object of the present invention is to provide a size adjustable sports cap of the type stated which uses an elastic band at the lower margin of the crown having a plurality of stretchable band sections with each separated by a non-stretchable band section.

[0015] It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a size adjustable sports cap of the type stated which can be constructed at a relatively low cost and which is high effective in use.

[0016] It is also an object of the present invention to provide a size adjustable sports cap of the type stated which is capable of fitting a variety of head sizes and which still appears to have a tailor fit custom design.

[0017] It is another salient object of the present invention to provide a method of making a low cost size adjustable sports cap which provides a natural fit to any of a large number of differing head sized wearers.

[0018] With the above and other objects in view, my invention resides in the novel features of form, construction, arrangement and combination of parts and components presently described and pointed out in the claims.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The present invention relates in broad terms to a size adjustable sports cap of the type having a cap crown along with a forwardly extending bill or visor projecting from the lower margin of the crown.

[0020] The size adjustable sports cap of the invention employs a crown constructed of a plurality of triangularly shaped panels, frequently referred to as “gores” and which are stitched together so that the apex of each of the triangular panels or gores meet at a common top point of the cap. Frequently, a button may be provided at this top point where the individual panels meet. In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, each of the panels are formed of a stretchable material, such that all panels will stretch in order to conform to the size of a wearer's head. Moreover, and even more preferably, each of the panels are bi-axially stretchable, that is, they will stretch in two perpendicular directions.

[0021] The individual panels are all preferably stitched together along their respective sides thereby forming a continuous lower margin and which lower margin defines a head receiving opening for the cap. The panels forming the cap crown are preferably formed of a cotton material containing some nylon or rayon and also preferably containing a material which lends some elasticity to the panels. For this purpose, light weight rubber materials can be blended in with the other materials forming the fabric of the individual panels.

[0022] The actual construction of either uniaxially or bi-axially stretchable fabrics are well known in the art and are therefore neither discussed nor illustrated in any further detail herein.

[0023] Secured to the lower margin of the crown is a band which is also stretchable to allow automatic size adjustability and allow for conformance to the head of a wearer. The band is comprised of a plurality of spaced apart stretchable band sections which are separated by non-stretchable band sections. In accordance with this construction, each stretchable band section has opposed ends which are attached to non-stretchable band sections. In this way, the multi-section band allows for a generally uniform sized adjustable expansion and contraction of the head receiving opening without any permanent deformation of the crown of the cap. This, in turn, allows for a more natural wearing fit of the sports cap.

[0024] In a more preferred embodiment of the invention, the multi-section band comprises a pair of non-stretchable band sections and each of which are separated by stretchable band sections. Even more particularly, a pair of band sections on the sides are stretchable and the front and rear of the multi-section band is non-stretchable.

[0025] The stretchable sections of the multi-section band preferably comprises an inner layer which faces the crown of the wearer's head and an outer layer facing the crown of the cap and which are preferably a soft fabric and one which is generally non-stretchable. The inner layer and outer layer receive and are secured to an interior layer which is located between the inner and outer layers of the band and which interior layer is stretchable. Moreover, the stretchable band sections are preferably uniaxially stretchable.

[0026] This invention possesses many other advantages and has other purposes which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of the forms in which it may be embodied. These forms are shown in the drawings forming a part of and accompanying the present specification. They will now be described in detail for purposes of illustrating the general principles of the invention. However, it is to be understood that the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings are not to be taken in a limiting sense.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0027] Having thus described the invention in general terms, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings in which:

[0028] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a sports cap constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention;

[0029] FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the sports cap of FIG. 1;

[0030] FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along essentially line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

[0031] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;

[0032] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2; and

[0033] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view, partially in section and showing a portion of the crown of the sports cap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0034] Referring now in more detail and by reference characters to the drawings, which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the present invention, A designates a sports cap having a crown 10 and a forwardly extending bill or visor 12. By reference to FIG. 1, it can be observed that the visor 12 extends forwardly from a lower margin of the crown 10.

[0035] The visor 12 is essentially of conventional construction and may include a rigid or semi-rigid component forming a part thereof so as to provide some body to the visor. Nevertheless, it should be capable of being bent somewhat to conform to a desired shape of a user.

[0036] The crown 10 is preferably comprised of a plurality of individual panels or so-called “gores” 14. By reference to FIG. 1, it can be seen that each of these panels 14 are generally triangularly shaped and have a pair of side edges 16 along with a lower edge 18. Each of the panels are secured together by lines of stitching or overlying bands 20 which are stitched to adjacent panels at these side margins. These panels have upper apexes which meet at a common top point of the cap crown and which is covered by a button 22.

[0037] In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, each of the panels 14 are preferably formed of a stretchable material. Even more preferably, the individual panels 14 are formed of a bi-axially stretchable material, that is, one which stretches vertically toward the top of the cap and one which stretches sideways perpendicular to a vertical direction. Even more so, all of the panels, or at least a major portion of the panels, are formed of this stretchable material.

[0038] It can be observed that when each of the individual panels are secured together, they form a lower head receiving opening 26. The lower margins of each of the panels 14 define a lower crown margin 28 and secured to the lower margin of the crown is a multi-section size adjustable band 30. The band 30 is comprised of a pair of uniaxially stretchable band sections 32 which are located along the sides of the cap. In addition, each of these uniaxially stretchable band sections 32 are separated by front and rear non-stretchable band sections 34 and 36, respectively. It has been found that this type of construction is preferable to form a multi-section band which allows for generally universal fitting of the cap on different sized heads and which nevertheless provides for a comfortable fit.

[0039] In the aforesaid Cunliffe patent, for example, the stretchable band section was located at the rear of the cap and the remaining portion of the band section was generally non-stretchable. As a result, the cap did not provide for a uniform fit without any bulging effect or other ill fitting contribution to the wearing appearance. It has been found that the construction presented in the instant application is far superior to any of these prior art constructions, in that the cap does fit comfortably and, moreover, provides a natural wearing fit. The applicant has found that size adjustability and conformance to the head of a wearer is most critical in the area of the head around the temple region of the head. This is due to the fact that the temple portion tends to protrude somewhat and does not present the rounded appearance which is available both along the forehead and the rear of the head. Consequently, the sports cap of the present invention accommodates by providing size adjustability through the band along the side of the cap and provides the greatest degree of conformance to the head of the wearer to provide a fit of a custom tailored appearance. The individual stretchable panels forming part of the crown also operate in conjunction with the multi-section band to provide this natural fitting appearance and, again, which is not available in the prior art.

[0040] By reference to FIG. 3, it can be observed that the various panels 14 forming part of the crown 10 have an interned edge 40. Moreover, the front and rear band sections 34 and 36 are each formed of a non-stretchable band material and usually comprise any single non-elastic ply, such as a nylon ply 44. This ply is secured to an inturned edge 46 of each of the crown panels 14 in the manner as best shown in FIG. 4.

[0041] The stretchable band sections, such as the band sections 32, on each of the opposite sides of the sports cap are also secured to an interned edge 48, as best shown in FIG. 3. Each of these stretchable band sections are comprised of a U-shaped loop of an outer non-stretchable material, including outer band layers 50 and 52, which together enclose a stretchable band ply 54. In addition, each of the stretchable band plies along with the outer layers 50 and 52 are secured to the interned edge 40 through a line of stitching 56. The upper edges of the band segments are secured together, but not to the outer panels 14, through a line of stitching 58, all as best shown in FIG. 3 of the drawings.

[0042] By reference to FIG. 5, it can be seen that there is a stretchable section, such as a band section 28, secured to a non-stretchable band section, such as the rear band section 36. In this case, the rear band section, which is formed of a single ply of material, as aforesaid, also has a pair of inturned vertical edges 60. These inturned vertical edges are each secured to an inturned vertical edge 62 of opposite stretchable band sections 28. Moreover, the stretchable band section 28 similarly is provided with another upwardly struck tab 64 to hold the stretchable ply 54 within the layers 50 and 52. The vertically inturned edges 60 and 62 are thereupon stitched together.

[0043] Thus, there has been illustrated and described a unique and novel size adjustable sports cap which thereby fulfills all of the objects and advantages which have been sought. It should be understood that many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering the specification and the accompanying drawings. Therefore, any and all such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention.