Title:
Rain grip sports and golf glove for dry handed play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A glove for use in wet conditions which is a three dimensional glove construction having reduced seams and reduced seam junctions. The glove has surfaces including a suede leather or a synthetic suede leather outer layer and a waterproof breathable inner layer secured to the outer layer. The seams between the parts of the glove construction are covered by a waterproof seam sealer which creates a waterproof breathable glove which is not bulky and is three dimensional in pattern so that it fits the wearer's hand in active situations.



Inventors:
Widdemer, John D. (Gloversville, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/435651
Publication Date:
02/19/2004
Filing Date:
05/01/2003
Assignee:
WIDDEMER JOHN D.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/164
International Classes:
A41D19/015; A63B71/14; (IPC1-7): A41D19/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MORAN, KATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PETER D. AUFRICHTIG (WHITE PLAINS, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A glove for use in wet conditions, comprising: a three dimensional glove construction having reduced seams, the glove having surfaces including a suede leather or a synthetic suede leather outer layer and a waterproof breathable inner layer secured to the outer layer; the seams between the parts of the glove construction being covered by a waterproof seam sealer.

2. The glove of claim 1 wherein the three dimensional glove construction includes four pieces.

3. The glove of claim 2 wherein the four pieces include a main portion, a thumb portion and two back finger sections.

4. The glove of claim 3 wherein there are four seams.

5. The glove of claim 4 wherein the seam sealer is applied to all four seams to provide a waterproof seal for the glove.

6. The glove of claim 1 further including a sealer for permanently and securely attaching the outer layer to the inner layer of the glove.

7. A method of making a three dimensionally patterned wet weather gripping glove, comprising: Attaching a waterproof, breathable film to a surface of a suede leather or a synthetic suede leather so that the film will be the inner surface of the glove and the suede leather or synthetic suede leather will be the outer surface of the glove; Cutting the leather and film into four pieces in accordance with a pattern which has only four seams; Joining the four pieces along the four seams into a glove; and Sealing the four seams.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the seams are joined by sewing.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the seams are joined by sewing with a stitch length of 13 stitches per inch or fewer.

10. The method of claim 7 wherein one of the four pieces is a circular thumb inset and it is sewn to one of the other pieces.

11. The method of claim 7 wherein two of the four pieces are the two central finger sheaths (for covering the central fingers except for the palm sides) and the method further includes joining and then inserting them with a “U” shaped seam on the back side of the glove.

Description:

[0001] This application claims the priority of provisional application serial No. 60/377,188 filed May 1, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention is directed to a glove for golfers and other sports players for use in rainy or wet conditions, that will have the special gripping power of wet suede, but will also keep a player's hands dry and comfortable.

[0003] Wet conditions cause grain surfaced leathers and grain simulated synthetic leathers that are normally used for golf and sports gloves that will grip best in dry weather to become slippery when wetted so good control of a golf club, other instrument, or ball is lost. Many sports gloves have been developed for use in the rain. The most effective ones are made of suede or synthetic suede, either natural leather suede or synthetic suede. Suede grips well when wet because the grain surface that is very dense is removed and the fleshy, fibrous part of the skin is exposed. This surface, or else the sueded inner surface, of the skin is used for contact with the club or instrument grip. Suede is very porous and absorbs water instead of allowing it to form a slippery film on its surface and the long, exposed fibers, that form the suede glove surface are roughly textured and have a much greater total contact area than smooth grain leather. The suede glove grips best when the suede is wetted thoroughly through.

[0004] The disadvantage of previous suede sports or golf gloves designed for rainy weather use is that they are extremely porous and players' hands stay wet inside the gloves throughout the duration of play. This causes a distracting and unpleasant feeling and can be cold as well. Wrinkling and softening of the wet skin can occur making it more vulnerable to abrasions and blisters. Although the very thin suede leather, or synthetic leather, used in previous gloves designed for wet conditions can be made temporarily water resistant with chemical treatments such as Scotch Guard, it soon becomes saturated with water and a wearer's hands become wet. Also, while the water resistance remains, the suede lacks the gripping power of fully wetted through material.

[0005] Rain Grip gloves can also be used in marine applications such as fishing, aquatic fowl hunting and boating where the hands must often be inserted in water. In these activities thick and cumbersome Neoprene gloves have been used traditionally and are both clumsy to use and not durable. Therefore a need exists for skin-tight gloves that grip well in wet conditions, but also keep the hands dry and comfortable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The invention is directed to a glove for wet weather use, most particularly sports, constructed of suede leather or suede synthetic leather, to which a very thin layer of waterproof micro-porous (therefore breathable) film has been bonded and which is formed as a three dimensional glove made in accordance with a pattern that substantially reduces the length, number and complexity of the seam patterns and enables effective seam sealing.

[0007] Still other objects and advantages of the invention will, in part, be obvious and apparent from the specification.

[0008] The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the construction as hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is made to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the palm side of a Rain Grip sports and golf glove constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the back side of the glove of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3A is a top plan view of the main portion of the glove of FIG. 1;

[0013] FIG. 3B is a top plan view of the back of the index finger of the glove of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 3C is a top plan view of the back of the middle finger of the glove of FIG. 1;

[0015] FIG. 3D is a perspective view of the partially assembled thumb portion of the glove of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] The invention is directed to a glove 100 for wet weather use, most particularly sports, constructed of suede leather or suede synthetic leather, to which a very thin layer of waterproof micro-porous (therefore breathable) film has been bonded. A film of this type and a method of applying it to suede are available from Nextec Company of Milan, Italy. This film allows the suede layer of the glove to be soaked for best grip, but the inside surface of the lamination stays dry against the hand. At the same time the film, which is micro-porous, allows the transfer of moisture vapor and perspiration from the hand to pass out through the film and into the suede keeping the hand dry and comfortable. Older waterproof non-porous films would cause moisture from perspiration to accumulate inside the glove, defeating the purpose of the film layer. Although the Nextec film is the current preferred embodiment, other porous films on the market which allow passage of moisture vapor but prevent water from passing can be used as well. There are a number of these films available from different sources. The particular brand or type of poromeric material of the film is not critical to the operation of the glove. The film application solves only part of the problem, because sports gloves, and especially golf gloves, are constructed with many sewn seams, all of which would normally leak during use in wet weather or immersion. To the extent that the films are pierced with a stitch the waterproof nature of the glove is compromised. The traditional seams are highly complex with many junctions and sharp turns and are impractical to waterproof either by scam sealing solution or seam sealing tape.

[0017] Therefore, the invention is also directed to a method of glove design and construction to greatly reduce seams, making it practical to seal them on the inside of the glove with a liquid, non-toxic, seam sealer that can be applied either by airbrush or hand brushing. Non-toxic seam sealers specially formulated to adhere permanently to polyester or polyurethane surfaces, such as the Nextec type film, are available from a variety of sources including Trondak, Inc of Everett, Wash. Again, seam sealers, which tend to be water soluble before application and become water insoluble after application and drying are well known in the art and the particular sealer used is not critical. Generally, any seam sealer, which is designed to adhere to the film used and the suede will be suitable. The total seam lengths in the glove of the invention are designed to be about 50% less than in traditional gloves and the many sharp turns and junctions, difficult to seal, of a traditional glove are largely eliminated, leaving only four seams and four seam junctions.

[0018] Reference is made to FIGS. 1 and 2, which show a glove constructed with reduced seam lengths in accordance with the invention and FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D, which show the four parts of the glove. Traditional seams cannot be waterproofed practically.

[0019] While in the past gloves have been designed with reduced number of seams, most have been “two dimensional”, usually made of matching palm and back panels joined with a seam around the outer edge. Since the human hand becomes longer on the back side and shorter on the palm side in a gripped position, and since the finger bases of a hand are about {fraction (3/4)} inch longer on the back than on the palm two dimensional gloves made from matching panels do not fit accurately enough to meet the demands of golfers and other sportsmen to whom a smooth, “skin tight” fit is essential.

[0020] Gloves have been waterproofed by inserting separate molded or sealed breathable liners such as are made by Gore-Tex but these are only useful in bulky gloves like ski gloves because they are necessarily very oversized (or else they would tear) and fit loosely inside the glove shells. This is not satisfactory for a “skin tight” glove fit as required by many sports.

[0021] The rain gripping glove in accordance with the invention has been designed with only four simple seams, but still retains the fitting characteristics of a three dimensional glove. Reference is made to FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D, wherein main palm and back part 110 with thumb hole 114, ring finger back section 111, middle finger back section 112 and thumb portion 113 with seam 115 along the side of the thumb facing index finger are depicted. To assemble, main portion 110 is folded along dotted line 116, which is added merely for purposes of showing the way in which the portion 110 is folded, and is not on the actual portion 110. Thumb 113 is placed in thumb hole 114 and secured by Seam 4 which goes around the base of thumb 113 and up the thumb 113 including seam 115. Back pieces 111 and 112 are secured to main portion 110 and each other with Seams 1 and 2. The final seam, Seam 3 secures the remaining open surfaces, sealing the open edges of main portion 110, including the sides of the hand starting at point A, then securing the front and back portions of the pinky (parts of portion 110), the front and back portions of the ring finger (part of portion 110 and part 111), the front and back of the middle finger (part of portion 110 and part 112) and finally the front and back portions of the index finger (parts of portion 110) to point B.

[0022] Seam 1 (approximately four inches long) is a “U” shaped seam connecting the two center finger backs 111 and 112 to the main portion 110 of the glove back. Seam 2 is a very short seam about 1.5 inches long attaching the two center finger backs 111 and 112 to each other. Seam #3, about 21 inches, runs from the base of the glove on the little finger side, from the point marked A in FIG. 1 entirely around the periphery of the palm side, attaching the palm to the back and finger backs in a continuous stitch line ending at the outer tip of the forefinger marked B. Seam #4 is a simple small circle about six inches in length that fastens the thumb 113 to the palm section of portion 110 and then up seam 115 on the thumb 113. Total length of the four seams in the three dimensional Rain Grip glove is about 32 inches, while in a conventionally made three dimensional glove there are at least 12 seams, many with small sharp turns and junctions, totaling about 66 inches.

[0023] Suede leather is prepared for the film application by buffing or splitting away the grain surface of a tanned skin. The skin is then turned over and the inner, or flesh side, which has longer fibers than the outer surface, is further buffed with a coarse paper to raise the fibers creating a rough, fibrous surface that will provide maximum grip when wet. Synthetic suede, which is generally made from a non-woven or a knitted polyester or nylon base material impregnated with polyurethane, is buffed to raise the surface fibers, creating a surface similar to that of real leather suede.

[0024] Skins are then layered on the side that once contained the grain surface with microporous film, such as is available from Nextec, using special adhesives and heat. This permanently bonds the film to the skin surface. The adhesives are generally available for each of the different types of films, varying depending on the material used for the film.

[0025] Gloves are then cut with specially designed dies, in accordance with the layout described above, that reduce seam lengths to a minimum and eliminate sharp seam curves and corners as much as possible, about 50% less than in traditional gloves. FIGS. 1 2 and 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D, show the front and back of such a glove structure and the individual parts included therein.

[0026] The gloves are constructed so that the film will be inside, against the hand. Sewing is accomplished with very tight machine tensions and very short stitch lengths to create seams that are as tight as possible to form a good base for the seam sealing and to prevent seam spreading that could later break the waterproof seal. The seams are sewn with edges butted together on the outside of the finished glove (opposite to traditional sports glove construction in which seams are overlapped), to form the smoothest possible inner seam surfaces for sealing and comfort against the hand. Gloves are then turned inside out and put on hand forms that stress all seams so that the seam sealer will penetrate as deeply as possible into the seams. While on the forms a narrow width of non-toxic seam sealer is applied around the entire length of the seam either with an air brush or by hand with a stiff brush so that the seam sealer penetrates the seams as deeply as possible. The seams are then allowed to dry (initial drying time is preferably about 15 minutes). The gloves are removed from the forms and the seam sealer is allowed to season for 24 hours. Once the seam sealer is seasoned it is water impermeable. The gloves are then turned right side out and can be filled with water to test for leaks. Any leaks are repaired. Preferably, the glove is sewn with a stitch length of 13 stitches per inch or fewer. To avoid large stitch holes this close together that could cause tearing of the suede, a special needle developed by Groz-Beckert, Postfach 10 02 49, D-72432, Albstadt, Germany preferably is used. This needle uses a new geometry in a “U” shape that allows a much thinner shaft than normal to be used without breaking or distortion at high speeds. The preferred needle is SAN-10 CIB X 5 575/11. Other needles, which prevent tearing by including a thin shaft can also be used. To eliminate several seams and junctions the glove as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is designed without fourchettes (the complex gussets inserted between the fingers of traditional gloves). Also to reduce seam lengths and junctions the thumb is inserted with a circular seam.

[0027] Accordingly, an improved rain grip sports and golf glove for dry handed play and method of constructing a waterproof glove, is provided.

[0028] It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent in the preceding description, are efficiently obtained and, since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.

[0029] It is also understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described and all statements of the scope of the invention, which, as a matter of language might be said to fall therebetween.