Title:
Customizable gloves
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to customizable apparel and in particular to customizable support gloves) made from conventional spandex fabric, generally having seams reinforced by a plurality of back lock stitches. More particularly, a first hand shaped portion is secured by a hem to a second hand shaped portion to form a plurality of stitched together finger pockets, with the hem extending along the outer edges of the first and second hand shaped portions. Next, a first set of reinforcing back lock stitches sewn on top of the hem. Additionally, a second set of reinforcing back lock stitches sewn on top of the first set of reinforcing stitches. This combination of reinforcing stitches prevents the seams of the glove from unlocking when the finger pockets are cut to a shorter length, thus making the gloves of the present invention ideally suited for customization to the needs or preferences of a user. The use of spandex fabric is preferred since it will not unravel when cut.



Inventors:
Tencer, Alan (Miller Place, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/146873
Publication Date:
11/20/2003
Filing Date:
05/15/2002
Assignee:
TENCER ALAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00; (IPC1-7): A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AMSTER, ROTHSTEIN & EBENSTEIN LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A customizable glove comprising: a first hand shaped portion secured by a hem to a second hand shaped portion to form a plurality of stitched together finger pockets, wherein said hem extends along the outer edges of said first and second hand shaped portions; a first set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said hem and said stitched together finger pockets; and a second set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said first set of reinforcing stitches.

2. The customizable glove a claim 1, wherein said first and second sets of reinforcing stitches are back lock stitches.

3. The customizable glove of claim 1, wherein said hem is formed by marrow sewing.

4. The customizable glove of claim 3, wherein said marrow sewing comprises interlocking loops.

5. The customizable glove of claim 1, wherein said glove is spandex.

6. A customizable glove comprising: a wrist-shape portion secured by a hem to a hand shaped portion having a plurality of stitched together finger pockets, wherein said hem extends along the outer edges said wrist-shaped potion and the outer edges of said hand shaped portion; a first set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said hem and said stitched together finger pockets; and a second set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said first set of reinforcing stitches.

7. The customizable glove a claim 6, wherein said first and second sets of reinforcing stitches are back lock stitches.

8. The customizable glove of claim 6, wherein said hem is formed by marrow sewing.

9. The customizable glove of claim 8, wherein said marrow sewing comprises interlocking loops.

10. The customizable glove of claim 6, wherein said glove is spandex.

11. A customizable glove comprising: a first fabric pattern having five finger shaped portions; a second fabric pattern corresponding in size and shape to said first pattern, wherein said second fabric pattern is secured to said first fabric pattern by a first hem to form a hand shaped portion; a third fabric pattern having a wrist shaped pattern; a fourth fabric pattern corresponding in size and shape to said third fabric pattern, wherein said fourth fabric pattern is secured to said third fabric pattern by a second hem to form a wrist shaped portion; a third hem securing said wrist shaped portion to said hand shaped portion; straight loop stitches sewn on top of said first and second hems and said straight loop stitches continuing around said finger portions; a first set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said straight loop stitches; and a second set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said first set of reinforcing stitches.

12. The customizable glove of claim 11, where said first and second sets of reinforcing stitches are back lock stitches.

13. The customizable glove of claim 11, wherein said first, second third and fourth fabric patterns are spandex.

14. The customizable glove of claim 11, wherein said first hem is formed by a first set of marrow stitches, said second hem is formed by a second set of marrow stitches, and said third hem is formed by a third set of marrow stitches.

15. The customizable glove of claim 14 wherein said first, second and third sets of marrow stitches are interlocking loops.

16. A customizable garment comprising: at least a first material and a second material; a seam connecting said first material to said second material; a first set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said seam; and a second set of reinforcing stitches sewn on top of said first set of reinforcing stitches.

17. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is a mitten.

18. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is a shirt.

19. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is pants.

20. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is a sock.

21. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is a sleeve.

22. The garment of claim 16, wherein said first and second sets of reinforcing stitches are lock back stitches.

23. The customizable garment of claim 16, wherein said garment is made from spandex.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to customizable apparel and in particular to customizable support gloves, made from conventional spandex fabric, generally having seams reinforced by a plurality of back lock stitches. This combination of reinforcing stitches prevents the seams of the glove from unlocking when the finger pockets are cut to a shorter length, thus making the gloves of the present invention ideally suited for customization to the needs or preferences of a user. The use of spandex fabric is preferred since it will not unravel when cut.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Often, a glove wearer wishes to have at least one of his or her fingers exposed with the remaining fingers covered by the glove. There are many reasons why a glove wearer would desire to customize a glove to expose his or her finger(s) in this manner. Indeed, customized gloves are useful in a variety of occupations, including, for example, a toll collector wherein warmth and support are desirable and the ability to have at least some fingers exposed is necessary to facilitate the handling of money. Similarly, a mechanic working outdoors in cold weather may need gloves for warmth yet also need to have certain figures exposed in order to feel the tools.

[0003] Although a glove wearer may attempt to customize a conventional glove by cutting off those finger portions which the wearer desires to have exposed, such conventional gloves are not suitable for customization since the seams which hold the gloves together, and often the material from which the glove is made, will unravel when cut. This problem is attributable to the manner in which conventional gloves have been previously assembled. Typically, the manufacture and assembly of conventional gloves involves several steps. In particular, to make a conventional glove, a first glove shaped pattern is cut from a sheet of fabric to have five finger shaped portions and a wrist shaped portion. Similarly, a second glove shaped pattern is cut from a segment of fabric to correspond in shape and size to the first glove shaped pattern. To assemble the glove, the first and second glove shaped patterns are stitched together, using a single set of stitches to form a seam around the periphery of the glove. The result is a glove which may be worn on a hand. However, such gloves are not suitable for customization since the single set of stitches around each finger portion will unravel when cut. Likewise, if the base fabric of the glove is conventional woven fabric, the fabric itself will also unravel.

[0004] The gloves of the present invention, on the other hand, implement a combination of stitches which reinforce the glove seam, and thus, will not unlock when cut. As a result, the gloves of the present invention are ideally suited for customization. Similarly, the gloves of the present invention are preferably made of knitted spandex fabric which also will not unravel when cut. Also, it is well known that spandex fabric when properly sized provides a mild compressive force which many glove wearers find comfortable and soothing.

[0005] Additionally, there are a variety of known gloves which are manufactured such that at least one of the finger portions of the glove is open. Such gloves are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,164,043, 4,408,358, 4,964,174, 5,768,709, 5,943,701 and 6,026,513. However, these gloves are not customizable since the glove wearer may not change the length of the finger portions that already having openings. The present invention, on the other hand, is fully customizable as the glove wearer decides which fingers shall have openings.

[0006] While the prior art is of interest, the known methods and apparatus of the prior art present several limitations which the present invention seeks to overcome.

[0007] In particular, it is an object of the present invention to provide a fully customizable glove.

[0008] It is another object of the present invention to implement a stitch combination along the seams of the glove which will not unlock when cut.

[0009] It is another object of the present invention to provide a customizable glove made from base materials which will not unravel.

[0010] It is another object of the present invention to solve the shortcomings of the prior art.

[0011] Other objects will become apparent from the foregoing description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0012] It has now been found that the above and related objects of the present invention are obtained in the form of a glove which is fully customizable such that the finger portions of the glove may be cut off without disturbing the structural integrity of the glove. The glove of the present invention is assembled such that the seams of the finger pockets of the glove are reinforced by a combination of multiple sets of back lock stitches. The gloves are preferably made of conventional spandex knitted fabric since such fabric will not unravel when cut.

[0013] More particularly, a preferred embodiment of the customizable gloves of the present invention comprises: a first fabric pattern having five finger shaped portions; a second fabric pattern corresponding in size and shape to the first pattern, wherein the second fabric pattern is secured to the first fabric pattern by a first set of marrow stitches to form a hand shaped portion. Straight loop stitches are sewn on top of the first set of marrow stitches and the straight loop stitches continue around the finger portions. A first set of reinforcing stitches are sewn on top of the straight loop stitches; and a second set of reinforcing stitches are sewn on top of the first set of reinforcing stitches.

[0014] In another preferred embodiment, the customizable glove also includes a third fabric pattern having a wrist shaped pattern and a fourth fabric pattern corresponding in size and shape to the third fabric pattern, wherein the fourth fabric pattern is secured to the third fabric pattern by a second set of marrow stitches to form a wrist shaped portion with the marrow stitches securing the wrist shaped portion to the hand shaped portion.

[0015] Thus, the present invention enables a user to customize the glove by cutting the finger pockets on a finger by finger or joint by joint basis such that the seams of the glove will not disengage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The above and related objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following, detailed description of the preferred, albeit illustrative, embodiment of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying figures, wherein:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a front view of the inner surface of the gloves of the present invention as constituted after completion of the first assembly step described herein;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a detailed view of one embodiment of the stitches implemented in the glove shown in FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a front view the inner surface of the gloves of the present invention as constituted after completion of the second assembly step described herein;

[0020] FIG. 4 represents the inner surface of the gloves of the present invention as constituted after completion of the third assembly step described herein; and

[0021] FIG. 5 represents a glove of the present invention that has been customized by a wearer by removing a portion of the glove in the area of the thumb and forefinger.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The present invention relates to customizable gloves manufactured with a combination of stitches that prevent the seam enclosing the finger pockets of the gloves from unraveling when the finger pockets are cut to a shorter length. The gloves of the present invention are assembled in several steps. However, before describing each of these steps, the fabric patterns which are assembled to form the glove are first described.

[0023] Referring to the drawings, glove shaped patterns are cut from sheets of fabric. Referring to FIG. 1, a first fabric pattern 11 is cut from a sheet of fabric to have a shape that resembles a human hand. In the preferred embodiment, this glove shape has a thumb and four finger portions. The first fabric pattern 11 includes five finger portions 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21. A second fabric pattern (not shown) is also cut from a sheet of fabric to correspond in size and shape to the first fabric pattern 11. Additionally, a third fabric pattern 23 is cut from a sheet of fabric to resemble the shape of a human wrist. Similarly, a fourth fabric pattern (not shown or numbered) is cut from a sheet of fabric to correspond in size and shape to the third fabric pattern 23. Preferably, the first, second, third and fourth fabric patterns are made from spandex material, such as Lycra®, since such material will not fray or unravel when cut. However, other knitted fabrics of similar construction may also be used.

[0024] As described below, these fabric patterns are sewn together to create a hem and a seam along the edges of the fabric patterns, thus forming a wearable glove. The seam is reinforced by an inventive combination of stitches which prevent the seam from unraveling when cut. In the preferred embodiment, the gloves of the present invention are assembled in three steps (although assembly could be accomplished by any number of steps) such that a series of stitches overlap one another to form and reinforce a seam around the edge of the finger pockets of the glove. Each of these steps of assembly are now described.

[0025] Specifically, in the first step of assembly of the gloves of the present invention, the first and second fabric patterns 11 are sewn together as shown in FIG. 1. More particularly, the outer side edges 25 of the first fabric pattern 11 and second fabric pattern are sewn together to form a hem by a conventional sewing process known as marrow sewing. Those skilled in the art of glove manufacture would understand that marrow sewing generally refers to the process of joining and securing at least two pieces of fabric together so as to form a hem therebetween. It should be noted that although the use of marrow sewing is preferred, other conventional types of sewing could be used to form a hem. Referring to FIG. 2, a detailed view of the stitching used in the marrow sewing is shown. More particularly, marrow stitches 31 are a chain of interlocking loops which are stitched along the side edges 24 of the first, second, third and fourth fabric patterns.

[0026] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, marrow stitches 31 secure the first fabric pattern 11 to the second fabric pattern to form a hem 25 along the outer, side edges 24 of the finger portions 13 and 21, respectively. As a result, a hand shaped portion 12 is formed. Similarly, marrow stitches 31 secure the third fabric pattern 23 to the fourth fabric pattern to form a hem 27 along the outer, side edges 24 of the third fabric portion 23 and fourth fabric portion. As a result, a wrist shaped portion 22 is formed. Thereafter, the wrist shaped portion 22 and hand shaped portion 12 are connected by marrow stitches 31 to form a hem 29 therebetween. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the hem 25 extends to the upper, outer portion of the finger portions 13 and 21, respectively. However, the hem 25 does not extend to the inner portion of the finger portions 13 and 21 (i.e., the portions adjacent to finger portions 15 and 19, respectively). It should be noted, however, that the hem 25 can be extended around these portions or shortened if so desired.

[0027] Thus, after the first assembly step is completed, the glove is partially sewn such that the hems 27 and 25 are formed (by marrow sewing) along the outer edges of the wrist shaped portion 22 and hand shaped portion 12, respectively. As a result, the wrist shaped portion 22 includes an opening through which a wearer's hand may be inserted and the hand shaped portion 12 includes a pocket in which the wearer's hand is nested. However, the finger portions 15, 17 and 19 remain fully open as they have not yet been stitched and finger portions 13 and 21 remain partially open as they have only been partially stitched by the marrow sewing.

[0028] Once the marrow sewing is completed, the second step of assembly is performed. In this regard, back lock stitches 34 are sewn along the bottom edges of the wrist shaped portion 22 in order to provide reinforcement to the marrow stitches 31. Preferably, the back lock stitches are approximately 0.5″ in length. However, the back lock stitches may be of other lengths if so desired. Back lock stitches are well known in the art of sewing and glove manufacture and are shown in a magnified view in FIGS. 3 and 4. Additionally, straight loop stitches 33 are sewn on top of the marrow stitches 31 and continue around the periphery of the glove with the finger portions 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21 being stitched together. Straight loop stitches are well known in the art of glove manufacture. As a result, the straight loop stitches 33 form a seam around the periphery of the gloves whereby the finger portions 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21 are enclosed, thereby forming finger pockets 13a, 15a, 17a, 19a and 21a in which a wearer's fingers will nest. At this stage in the assembly process, the seam enclosing the finger pockets 13a, 15a, 17a, 19a and 21a will unravel if the finger pockets are cut to a shorter length. Thus, in order to provide for suitable customization of the gloves of the present invention, the seam must be reinforced by additional stitching.

[0029] Accordingly, the seam of the gloves of the present invention is reinforced in a third assembly step. In this regard, a first and second set of back lock stitches 35, 37, respectively, are sewn on top of the seam of the gloves formed by the first and second assembly steps described above. More particularly, the first set of back lock stitches 35 is sewn on top of the seam of the glove (i.e., on top of the marrow stitches 31 and the straight loop stitches 33) as shown in FIG. 3. Thereafter, the second set of back lock stitches 37 is sewn on top of the marrow stitches 31, the straight loop stitches 33 and the first set of back lock stitches 35. Preferably, the first and second back lock stitches 35, 37 are approximately 0.5″ in length. However, the length of these stitches can be varied. With this arrangement, it has been found that the seam enclosing the finger pockets 13a, 15a, 17a, 19a and 21a is reinforced such that the seam will not unravel when the finger pockets 13a, 15a, 17a, 19a and 21a are cut to a shorter length. Rather, the stitches remain securely locked together. As a result, each finger pocket 13a, 15a, 17a, 19a and 21a can be cut to shorter length (i.e., customized) while avoiding the problems of the prior art.

[0030] Additionally, it has been found that the number of sets of reinforcing stitches can be varied. Thus, it is possible to make the gloves of the present invention without the second set of back lock stitches 37. Likewise, additional sets of back lock stitches could be implemented (i.e., a third set, a fourth set, a fifth set, etc.) to provide for further reinforcement along the seams. Advantageously, the use of three sets of stitches provides sufficient resistance to prevent unraveling and is most economic to construct. It should be noted that the gloves shown in FIGS. 1-4 represent the inner surface of the gloves. Therefore, generally before the gloves are worn, they are turned inside out and the stitches shown in these figures will not be visible. However, if desired, the stitches can be left on the outside.

[0031] It should be understood that the gloves of the present invention can be made from a pattern constructed and arranged so that the wrist portion 22 is integral with the hand shaped portion 12. Such construction avoids the need for marrow sewing 29. However, the use of separate pieces does have the advantage of allowing fabrics of different construction, thickness or other properties to be used in the different areas of the glove. Also, if the fabric has a particular orientation (i.e., more stretch in a particular direction), such properties can be utilized by orienting the fabric differently in the hand and wrist patterns when the glove of the present invention is assembled.

[0032] By use of the foregoing combination of stitches, the gloves of the present invention allow a wearer to cut the finger pockets on a finger by finger or joint by joint basis such that the seam of the glove will not unravel. Referring to FIG. 5, a glove made in accordance with the assembly method described herein has been customized such that the finger pockets 13a and 15a have been cut to shorter lengths, thereby exposing the thumb and index finger of the wearer. It should be noted, however, that any combination of finger pockets can be cut to suit the wearer's needs.

[0033] Now that the preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described in detail, various modifications and improvements thereon will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Indeed, the combination of stitches implemented in the present invention could be used to reinforce seams on other garments, such as mittens, pants, shirts, socks, etc. thereby rendering such garments suitable for customization. For example, pant legs having a seam reinforced by the stitch combination of the present invention could be cut to a shorter length without the pant seam unraveling. Additionally, the combination of the stitches implemented in the present invention could be used to reinforce the seams of support garments. In this regard, a protective knee or elbow support could be made from a sleeve having the stitches of the present invention. Such sleeve could be cut to a desired length and be worn as a knee and/or elbow support. Apparel customized in such manner could be advantageously used for various sports. Accordingly, the spirit and scope of the present invention is to be construed broadly and limited only by the appended claims and not by the foregoing specification.





 
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