Title:
Perspiration absorbency product for shirts
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A perspiration absorbency product is in the form of a strip which can be removably attached to the inside of a shirt collar. The strip is composed of SMS polypropylene. The base of the strip has a back side with pressure-sensitive adhesive disposed thereon. The adhesive is selected so that the strip can be secured readily to the inside of the shirt collar, so that it does not readily detach through normal wear, and so that, upon removal of the strip, little to no residue remains on the inside of the shirt collar. The SMS polypropylene structure of the strip results in less friction against the wearer's neck by the front side of the strip, while allowing for sufficient absorbency to trap oils and other stain-inducing compounds from perspiration within the strip, thereby protecting the shirt from “ring around the collar.”



Inventors:
Pennington, Damon (Bensalem, PA, US)
Nordine Jr., Null Harris (Bensalem, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/304594
Publication Date:
05/27/2004
Filing Date:
11/25/2002
Assignee:
PENNINGTON DAMON
HARRIS NORDINE
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/16; (IPC1-7): A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAMON PENNINGTON (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A shirt collar liner comprising: an adhesive back side for attachment to the collar; and an absorbent strip made of SMS polypropylene having a thickness not exceeding about 0.0125 inches, whereby the strip does not significantly reduce the inner circumference of the collar.

2. The liner of claim 1, wherein said product is rectangular and has rounded corners.

3. The liner of claim 1 wherein the absorbent strip has a front side which opposes the wearer's neck and wherein the front side is finished to reduce the coefficient of friction, thereby making the liner less likely to chafe the wearer's neck.

4. The liner of claim 1, wherein the back side has a pressure-sensitive adhesive disposed thereon, the pressure-sensitive adhesive being selected from the group of textile adhesives which are sufficiently strong to remain secure to the shirt collar during its wear and which have a composition which leaves no residue on the shirt collar after removal of the strip therefrom.

5. The liner of claim 1, wherein the liner has a length sufficient to substantially cover the inside of the shirt collar.

6. An absorbent shirt collar liner, comprising: a base layer formed of spunbond polymer, the base layer having a back side with a pressure-sensitive adhesive applied thereto, the adhesive having sufficient tack to remain secure when the collar is buttoned around the wearer's neck; a spunbond top layer having an upper surface adapted to oppose the wearer's neck; and an intermediate layer formed of melt-blown polymer and having first and second opposite surfaces, the intermediate layer located between the base layer and the top layer; wherein the layers are heat-bonded in overlying relation to each other to form an SMS polypropylene strip, the strip being sufficiently thin as to be interposable between the inside of the shirt collar and the wearer's neck without significantly reducing the neck size of the shirt, the strip being sized to remain substantially hidden from view when secured to the inside of the shirt collar, and to substantially cover the inside of the shirt collar when the strip is secured below the shirt collar edge.

7. The absorbent shirt collar liner of claim 6, wherein the liner is rectangular and has rounded corners.

8. The liner of claim 6, wherein the front side which opposes the wearer's neck is finished to reduce the coefficient of friction, thereby making the liner less likely to chafe the wearer's neck.

9. The liner of claim 6, wherein the layers are selected so that the combined thickness of the layers is about 0.0125 inches.

10. A method of preventing ring around the collar of a shirt, the method comprising the steps of: providing a polypropylene strip sized to line the collar; placing the strip between the inside of the collar and a wearer's neck; securing the strip to the inside of the collar; and removing the strip from the collar after the shirt has been worn.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to personal hygiene products, and more particularly, to absorbent strips that are attached to clothing items, especially the inside of shirt collars, to collect perspiration.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Removing stains from shirt collars, that is, getting out “ring around the collar,” has been an age-old challenge. A variety of stain treatments and detergents have attempted to tackle this problem, with mixed results.

[0003] Another approach has been to line the collar with absorbent material. Such absorbent material may take the form of absorbency strips, which in the current art, are air-laid sheets similar to paper towels. Such absorbency strips also suffer from various drawbacks and disadvantages. For example, the strips are often relatively heavy, bulky, thick, and expensive to produce. Bulkiness or thickness is all the more disadvantageous in the case of an item lining a collar, because shirt-collars are often already snug against the wearer's neck, making every millimeter count. In addition, the surfaces of traditional collar absorbency strips, in order to be absorbent, are generally relatively rough or otherwise possess a relatively high coefficient of friction. As such, these absorbent but rough surfaces may irritate the skin which contacts such absorbency strips.

[0004] It is likewise important for collar absorbency strips to remain relatively smooth, that is, without folds or creases which may also irritate the skin. Unfortunately, absorbency strips currently are shaped in such away that, during use, corners or edges are prone to folding and thereby prone to sticking into the wearer's neck.

[0005] Furthermore, collar absorbency strips of the current art are sometimes not sized to cover the entire garment to be protected, such as the collar of the shirt. As such, portions of the shirt collar or other clothing garment are exposed to perspiration and oil produced by the skin, thus defeating the very purpose of the absorbency strip.

[0006] Still further, adhesive used on traditional absorbency strips, in many cases, is not strong enough to secure the strip to the clothing item or shirt collar during use. Current adhesives also leave a residue, at times, after removal of the strip from the shirt collar.

[0007] There is thus a need for a collar absorbency strip which overcomes the above-mentioned shortcomings of the current art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] According to one aspect of the invention, an adhesive absorbency strip is in the form of a shirt collar liner. The shirt collar liner has an adhesive back side for attachment to the collar, and the absorbent strip is made of SMS polypropylene having a thickness not exceeding about 0.0125 inches. The absorbent strip of the shirt collar liner has a front side which opposes the wearer's neck. The front side is optionally finished to reduce the co-efficient of friction thereof, thereby making the shirt collar liner less likely to chafe the wearer's neck. The back side of the shirt collar liner preferably has a pressure-sensitive adhesive disposed thereon.

[0009] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, an absorbent shirt collar liner includes a base layer formed of spunbond polymer, the base layer having a back side with a pressure-sensitive adhesive applied thereto, the adhesive having sufficient tack to remain secure when the collar is buttoned around the wearer's neck. The absorbent shirt collar liner, in this version, also includes a spunbond top layer with an upper surface which faces the wearer's neck. Between the top and bottom spunbond layers is an intermediate layer formed of melt-blown polymer. The two spunbond layers and the intermediate layer are heat bonded in overlying relation to each other to form the SMS polypropylene strip. The liner is preferably rectangular and has rounded corners. A method of preventing ring around the collar on a shirt includes the steps of providing a polypropylene strip sized to line the collar. The strip is then placed between the inside of the collar and the wearer's neck. The strip is secured to the inside of the collar, and after the shirt is worn, the strip is removed from the collar.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a perspiration absorbency product, according to the present invention, in the form of a strip for the inside of shirt collars;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the product shown in FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the product in FIGS. 1 and 2; and

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing the product adhered to a clothing item.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0014] Referring now to the drawing and, in particular, to FIG. 4, a perspiration absorbency product in the form of absorbency strip 21 is removably adhered to a location on clothing likely to be exposed to perspiration, such as the inside of shirt collar 27. Absorbency strip 21 thus preferably comprises a shirt collar liner which inhibits passage of perspiration from the wearer's neck to the shirt collar when strip 21 is interposed between the neck and the shirt collar. In such location, absorbency strip or shirt collar liner 21 absorbs perspiration and oil given off by the skin of the user. As a result, strip 21 helps protect shirt collar 27 from the need for extensive cleaning, thus avoiding the associated wear and tear of such cleaning, and also avoiding the unsightliness of “ring around the collar.”

[0015] Significantly, strip 21 is formed of polypropylene rather than paper or pulp. Also significantly, the polypropylene is formed of three layers: a spunbond top layer 28, a melt-blown intermediate layer 29, and a spunbond base layer 30. The layers 28, 29, and 30 are heat-bonded to each other and run to form a basis weight of 1.5 oz. per square yard.

[0016] Top layer 28 is thus formed as a spunbond polymer by any of the available methods for generating such spunbond layers. In one such method, layer 28 is formed by spinning a filament of polypropylene polymer through a nozzle (bidener) continuously. As the polymer exits the nozzle in a random pattern, the fibers fuse with each other to form a polymer layer.

[0017] Top layer 28 has an upper surface or front side 22 which is intended to contact the wearer's skin. In this embodiment, top layer 28 retains the finish produced by the spunbond method described above, which finish is smoother than those associated with pulp or paper products, thus reducing friction between strip 21 and the wearer's neck. The fibers forming the spunbond layer 28 are relatively fine and, when fused together, cause little or no irritation. By opposing the wearer's skin, top layer 28 initially contacts any perspiration or oil exuding therefrom.

[0018] Second layer 29 of absorbency strip 21 is melt-blown plastic or polymer. The melt-blown method used to form layer 29 is somewhat similar to the spunbond method; however, in this method, the polypropylene is spun more extensively. This causes the spray to be finer in the melt-blown method than in the spunbond method. As such, when the spray is applied according to the melt-blown method, it produces a plastic or polymer layer with a finer mesh. This mesh, in turn, has the ability to absorb or otherwise trap oils generally more readily than the spunbond method.

[0019] A third or base layer 30 of absorbency strip 21 is also a spunbond layer of polymeric or plastic material, similar to top layer 28 in material. Exposed surface or back side 23 of base layer 30 has a suitable textile adhesive applied thereto, for adhering strip 21 to the clothing item, preferably to the inside of the shirt collar 27 shown in FIG. 4. The exposed surface of base layer 30 is optionally treated or coated with a suitable finish to improve application of adhesive thereto and the adhering properties of such adhesive.

[0020] The multiple layers 28, 29, 30, heated bonded in overlying, stacked relation to each other, form an integral SMS polypropylene sheet whose properties are well suited to application to clothing garments, particularly shirt collars. The two spunbond layers 28, 30 “sandwich” layer 29, that is, layers 28, 30 are heat-bonded to opposite surfaces of intermediate layer 29. In this manner, layers 28, 30 improve the tensile strength of resulting strip 21 and its overall structural integrity, especially in view of the fact that the intermediate, melt-blown layer has relatively less tensile strength.

[0021] Release or backing sheets 25 are preferably applied to cover the adhesive applied to back side 23 until it is time to apply strip 21 to the desired shirt collar. At time of application, the pair of backing sheets 25 are manually peeled off back side 23, such as by pulling out at opposing corners 21 of seam 43 at opposing edges of backing sheet 25.

[0022] The preferred dimensions of absorbency strip 21 are about 12 inches long by about 1.375 wide. This length provides good coverage of a wide range of shirt collars. The strip 21 is only about 0.0125 inches in thickness, yet its SMS polypropylene construction gives it sufficient absorbency and oil-trapping characteristics to minimize “ring around the collar” without constricting the neck of the wearer.

[0023] The outside corners 24 of strip 21 are preferably rounded for added comfort during use of the strip. In particular, if strip 21 were to have square corners, should such square corners become unattached from shirt collar 27 (FIG. 4), it is more likely that the pointed angle of such corners would be felt by the wearer and thus cause discomfort. Conversely, the rounded corners 24 in the preferred embodiment, should they become unattached, are less likely to irritate the wearer's skin because they do not present pointed angles upon detachment from the clothing item.

[0024] Front side 22 of absorbency strip 21 is naturally smooth, as mentioned previously. This is due to the fact that the fibers in the top, spunbond layer 28 have a fine denier. This feature enhances comfort of the wearer by reducing the coefficient of friction likely to be encountered between the front side 22 and the wearer's neck or other body part. Otherwise stated, the smooth finish provided by front side 22 allows strip 21 to slide readily relative to the wearer's neck, thereby minimizing the irritation. Optionally, front side 22 can be subject to further finishing steps be further reduce its coefficient of friction, so long as such finishing does not unduly diminish the ability of top layer 28 to wick perspiration from the wearer.

[0025] Textile adhesive 23 is a pressure-sensitive type adhesive and is selected to remain adhered to the corresponding clothing item, even when subject to body heat, perspiration and the shearing forces likely to be encountered from wearing the strip adjacent to the wearer's skin. At the same time, adhesive 23 must not be so pervasive as to leave a residue on the clothing item to which it is adhered, after removal of strip 21 therefrom.

[0026] The front side 22 of strip 21 is preferably white or near white in color, so that strip 21 is difficult to detect on men's white shirts or on women's white blouses, such white garments being generally more prevalent in business environments. Even so, the size and shape of strip 21 is selected so that strip 21 is generally not visible to others when secured on the inside of the collar of the garment.

[0027] The operation and use of absorbency strip 21 is apparent from the foregoing description. Strip 21 is attached to a clothing item at a location to collect perspiration, preferably to the inside of a shirt collar 27 (FIG. 4). In particular, protective tabs 25 are removed from back side 23 of strip 21 to expose the adhesive disposed thereon. The wearer then positions strip 21 at the appropriate location on the clothing item, in this case, on the inside of shirt collar 27. It is preferable for strip 21 to be placed on shirt collar 27 so that no portion of strip 21 is visible above shirt collar 27, and also so that no portion of the inside of shirt collar 27 comes in contact with the wearer's neck during wear. Such placement keeps others from seeing strip 21 and wondering what the wearer has placed inside his or her collar, while also protecting such collar from contact with the perspiration from the wearer's neck.

[0028] Pressure-sensitive adhesive on back side 23 is pressed against the inside of the collar 27 with sufficient manual pressure to adhere it to the shirt collar 27. Shirt 26 can thus be worn with front side 22 of strip 21 opposing and against the wearer's neck instead of having collar 27 in direct contact with the wearer's neck. As such, when the wearer perspires, the moisture, including oils and other stain-inducing compounds, contacts front side 22 and is wicked or absorbed into strip 21. The perspiration is generally contained within strip 21, especially by intermediate melt-blown layer 29. The base layer 30, being relatively less permeable than layer 29, generally inhibits perspiration from passing through back side 23 of strip 21 and undesirably entering shirt collar 27. Passage of moisture from back side 23 into shirt collar 27 is especially prohibited when back side 23 has been optionally finished with treatment to allow adhesive 23 to be uniformly applied thereto.

[0029] Adhesive 23 itself inhibits passage of perspiration from strip 21 into shirt collar 27. In this manner, the absorbency of strip, 21 along with the finish and formation of its three layers 28, 29, 30, inhibit the deposit of perspiration onto shirt collar 27, thereby reducing incidents of “ring around the collar.”

[0030] Adhesive 23 is preferably a hot-melt, rubber-based pressure sensitive adhesive. Suitable physical properties for a preferred adhesive are as follows: 1

180 degree peel (60 sec/75 F., 1 mil)  4 lbs/inch
molten gardner color  5.5
viscosity at 250 F.16,000 cP (mPa · s)
viscosity at 275 F. 6,750 cP (mPa · s)
viscosity at 300 F. 3,500 cP (mPa · s)
viscosity at 350 F. 1,200 cP (mPa · s)
SAFT (500 GMS/in2 load) 148.5 degrees F.
recommended application temp.:  325 F.

[0031] In addition to the advantages apparent from the forgoing description, the SMS polypropylene of the present invention is relatively less expensive to manufacture than strips of the current art.

[0032] The relative thinness of strip 21 has at least two advantages. First, the thinner strip 21 is more comfortable to wear because it avoids constriction of the neck. Every unit of thickness counts when dealing with the space around the wearer's neck. Second, more absorbency strips 21 can be packed per unit height. This makes strips 21 easier to ship and sell, which is cost effective.

[0033] The strip's thinness, its corners being rounded, and the natural smoothness of its spunbond front side—each such feature makes the present invention considerably more comfortable to wear than before.

[0034] As still a further advantage, the SMS polypropylene of the current invention is lighter and stronger than the pulp non-woven material used in traditional strips.

[0035] It is understood that the forgoing description has been described with reference to certain preferred embodiments and alternatives thereto. Still further variations and alternatives can be readily contemplated by one skilled in the art, and such alternatives are within the scope of the present invention, as well as other alternatives which skill or fancy may suggest. Thus, the scope of the present invention is defined by the following claims and the equivalents thereto.