Title:
Positionable brassiere shoulder strap pad
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a shoulder strap pad having a pad assembly and a fabric cover. The fabric cover is connected to the pad assembly along each side or axial edge by a binder to form an opening or channel therebetween. The shoulder strap of the brassiere is positioned in the channel formed by the fabric cover and the pad assembly. The shoulder strap pad is movably positionable anywhere along the shoulder strap of the brassiere, thereby maximizing the comfort level provided to the wearer. The fabric cover has a first end positioned toward the front of the wearer and a second end positioned toward the back of the wearer. The first or front end is cut along a diagonal on one end to provide a larger opening for receipt of a brassiere shoulder strap. This diagonal first end also facilitates easier movement of the shoulder strap pad along the brassiere shoulder strap.



Inventors:
Falla, Gloria (Demarest, NJ, US)
Batcha, Deborah (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/108764
Publication Date:
10/02/2003
Filing Date:
03/28/2002
Assignee:
Playtex Apparel, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41F15/00; (IPC1-7): A41C3/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles N.J. Ruggiero, Esq. (Stamford, CT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A brassiere shoulder strap pad comprising: a first fabric layer having one or more longitudinal edges, said first fabric layer having a first end and a second end, said first end being cut on a diagonal at an acute angle with respect to said second end; a pad assembly having longitudinal edges that mate with said longitudinal edges of said first fabric layer, said pad assembly having a first end and a second end; a binder for connecting together said longitudinal edges of said first fabric layer and said longitudinal edges of said pad assembly, and forming a channel therebetween; wherein a brassiere shoulder strap is positioned between said first fabric layer and said pad assembly.

2. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said shoulder strap pad is movably positionable along said brassiere shoulder strap.

3. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said channel has a front opening and a rear opening.

4. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 3, wherein said front opening is directed toward a breast cup of brassiere and said rear opening is directed toward a back panel of a brassiere.

5. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 3, wherein said front opening is larger in width than said rear opening.

6. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 3, wherein said rear opening is cut in a line perpendicular to said brassiere shoulder strap.

7. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said first fabric layer is made of a rigid fabric.

8. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 3, wherein said rigid fabric is a material selected from the group consisting of nylon, polyester and a combination of nylon and polyester.

9. The brassiere shoulder strap of claim 1, wherein said first end of said first fabric layer is cut on an angle of 40 degrees.

10. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said pad assembly is comprised of a top layer, a bottom layer, and a cushion layer positioned in between said top layer and said bottom layer.

11. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said top layer is made of nylon.

12. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said top layer is made of a three bar tricot or knit marquisette fabric.

13. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said bottom layer is made of polyester fleece.

14. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said bottom layer is a two bar tricot knit fabric.

15. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said cushion layer is made of a non-woven fiberfill web.

16. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said cushion layer is made of polyester.

17. The brassiere shoulder strap pad of claim 1, wherein said pad assembly has an elongated oval shape.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates generally to a shoulder strap pad. More particularly, the present invention relates to a positionable or moveable shoulder strap pad for use in a brassiere shoulder strap.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] A well known problem associated with a brassiere shoulder strap is the discomfort caused by the strap on the shoulder of the wearer. Specifically, each brassiere strap will normally cause either a depression or irritation in the shoulder and may even interfere with arterial or venous drainage. Numerous attempts have been made to relieve this discomfort. Some attempts have included use of shoulder pads of cotton or foam or rubber that are interposed between the strap and the wearer's shoulder, and some are releasably attachable to the strap.

[0005] Significantly, such pads have proven to be bulky and unsightly. Also, there are inconveniences attendant with such attachments since such pads will normally need to be removed, and subsequently reattached, each time the brassiere is washed.

[0006] Some brassiere straps have attempted to incorporate a pad structure in the strap itself. Such brassiere straps may have achieved a modicum of success in relieving discomfort. However, such brassieres have limited user life since they fail to maintain their desired appearance after several machine washings apparently due to the effect cleaning detergents have on the construction and materials of the brassiere strap. For example, pads and straps made of foam have been found to yellow after a few washings. It is also common that brassieres that have incorporated a pad therein have a knotted or bumpy appearance after repeated machine washings.

[0007] Other attempts to relieve discomfort, yet provide a modicum of pleasing appearance, have included widening the shoulder strap to better distribute the weight in the shoulder area. Still other attempts have been to incorporate elastic bands with a padded cover in the strap to provide more flexibility and thus attempt to better distribute the pressure in the shoulder area.

[0008] All such attempts have, heretofore, failed to achieve the desired results, namely relief of the discomfort in the shoulder area, with a smooth attractive appearance that is maintained even after repeated wear and machine washing. Thus, long wear life and comfort have evaded prior art shoulder straps.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It is an object of the present invention to provide a shoulder strap pad that is movable along the shoulder strap of a brassiere.

[0010] It is another object of the present invention to provide a shoulder strap pad that is positionable along the strap, and thus anywhere along the shoulder of a wearer.

[0011] It is still another object of the present invention to provide a shoulder strap pad that may be utilized by wearers of varying body types.

[0012] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a shoulder strap pad that has that conforms to the anatomy of the shoulder area of the wearer.

[0013] It is a further object of the present invention is to provide such a brassiere shoulder strap that has one and, preferably, all of the following attributes: alleviates discomfort and irritation of the shoulder area of the wearer, has a non-bulky, aesthetic appearance, and has a long wear life.

[0014] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention are achieved by a shoulder strap pad having a pad assembly and a fabric cover. The fabric cover is connected to the pad assembly along each side or axial edge by a binder to form an opening or channel therebetween. The shoulder strap of the brassiere is positioned in the channel formed by the fabric cover and the pad assembly. The shoulder strap pad is movably positionable anywhere along the shoulder strap of the brassiere, thereby maximizing the comfort level provided to the wearer. The fabric cover has a first end positioned toward the front of the wearer and a second end positioned toward the back of the wearer. The first or front end is cut along a diagonal on one end to provide a larger opening for receipt of a brassiere shoulder strap. This diagonal first end also facilitates easier movement of the shoulder strap pad along the brassiere shoulder strap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] The objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention, in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

[0016] FIG. 1 is a front view of a brassiere having a pair of the brassiere straps each incorporating the shoulder strap pad of the present invention;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the brassiere of FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 3 is a top view of the shoulder strap pad of FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the shoulder strap pad of FIG. 1;

[0020] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the shoulder strap pad taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] Referring to the figures and, in particular, FIG. 1, there is provided a brassiere generally represented by reference numeral 10. Brassiere 10 has a pair of breast cups 100 and a pair of shoulder straps 150. Each shoulder strap 150 has positioned thereon, as shown more clearly in FIG. 2, a shoulder strap pad 20 of the present invention. As seen in FIG. 2, brassiere 10 also has a pair of back panels 125 each connected to a separate one of the pair of breast cups 100.

[0022] As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, shoulder strap pad 20 is made of a fabric cover 200 and a pad assembly 300. Shoulder strap pad 20 is preferably in the shape of an elongated oval. More preferably, shoulder strap pad 20 is kidney shaped. The shape of shoulder strap pad 20 deviates from the vertical plane created by a conventional brassiere strap. This deviation permits the shoulder strap pad 20 to fit, as desired, in accordance with the contour or anatomy of the shoulder of the wearer. Shoulder strap pad 20 has an outer curve 260 and an inner curve 270. Shoulder strap pad 20 is positioned on the shoulder of a wearer such that outer curve 260 is directed toward the wearer's neck. This allows shoulder strap pad 20 to conform to the shape of the wearer's shoulder.

[0023] Fabric cover 200 is connected to pad assembly 300 along each longitudinal edge by a binder 205. Referring to FIG. 5, binder 205 creates a channel or opening 230 between fabric cover 200 and pad assembly 300. Channel 230 provides for receipt and movement along of shoulder strap 150.

[0024] Fabric cover 200 has a first end 210 directed toward the front of brassiere 10, and thus breast cups 100, and a second end 220 directed toward back panel 125. First end 210 of fabric cover 200 is cut along a diagonal so as to provide a larger than normal front opening 240 for receipt of shoulder strap 150. Shoulder strap 150 does not consume all of front opening 240 so that it moves easier through the front opening. Thus, front opening 240 facilitates easier movement of shoulder strap pad 20 along shoulder strap 150.

[0025] Preferably, first end 210 of fabric cover 200 is cut at an acute angle with respect to the axis of shoulder strap 150. This angle is about 35 degrees to about 45 degrees, and preferably about 40 degrees. The diagonal may be angled either toward or away from the breast of the wearer.

[0026] In this embodiment, rear end 220 of fabric cover 200 is cut in a line that is almost perpendicular to the axis of shoulder strap 150. Accordingly, rear end 220 creates a rear opening 250 with pad assembly 300 that is sized, as shown in FIG. 3, so that there is very little space on either side of shoulder strap 150. Accordingly, rear opening 250 acts as a guide for shoulder strap 150. With front opening 240 and rear opening 250, fabric cover 200 does not cover portion 330, 340 of pad assembly 300. Accordingly, portions 330, 340 act as surfaces that absorb the initial movement of shoulder strap 150 through shoulder strap pad 20 and, thus avoids frictionally contacting the wearer's shoulder. Since shoulder strap pad 20 is movably positionable along the axis of shoulder strap 150, shoulder strap pad 20 can be positioned anywhere along the shoulder of the wearer to provide the maximum amount of comfort to the wearer.

[0027] Referring to FIG. 5, fabric cover 200 is made of a rigid material, such as nylon or polyester or a combination of nylon and polyester. Preferably, fabric cover 200 is made of one hundred percent nylon.

[0028] Pad assembly 300 has three portions, namely a top layer 305, a bottom layer 315, and a cushion layer 310 that is positioned between top layer 305 and bottom layer 315. Preferably, top layer 305 is made of one hundred percent nylon. More preferably, top layer 305 is made of a three bar tricot or knit marquisette fabric. Bottom layer 315 forms the outer or bottom part of the shoulder strap pad that contacts the skin of the wearer.

[0029] Preferably, bottom layer 315 is made of one hundred percent polyester fleece. However, bottom layer 315 may be made of other materials, for example cotton or nylon. More preferably, bottom layer 315 is made of a two bar tricot knit fabric. Cushion layer 310 is made of a one hundred percent polyester non-woven fiber web, marketed under the trade name Densafil®.

[0030] The present invention provides relief from the normal discomfort associated with shoulder straps, while maintaining the desired aesthetic appearance even after repeated machine washings.

[0031] The present invention having been thus described with particular reference to the preferred forms thereof, it will be obvious that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.