Title:
Reinforced biased hem
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of pants has a stretchable fly panel section with a laterally extending reinforcement that functions to limit the stretching of the upper edge of the stretchable section. The reinforcement is preferably a hem along the upper border of the fly panel, which can be advantageously sewn to adjacent side panels. In preferred embodiments the fly panel is in a pair of shorts, and most preferably in a pair of board shorts.



Inventors:
Diamond, Eric (Dana Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/641198
Publication Date:
02/17/2005
Filing Date:
08/13/2003
Assignee:
Quiksilver, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/06; (IPC1-7): A41D1/06; A41D13/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080004588Perspiration absorbent pads for female breastsJanuary, 2008Gavitt
20080076326Brassiere cup underwireMarch, 2008Wan
20090271909Insulated Spectator BagNovember, 2009Hegland
20090276939SOCKNovember, 2009Sho et al.
20080196145Hood with enlargeable face openingAugust, 2008Grilliot et al.
20080201820DISPOSABLE OUTERWEARAugust, 2008Tepperman
20090049586Safety helmetFebruary, 2009Wirthenstaetter
20060005305Energy absorbing garmentJanuary, 2006Haskell
20050015858Head restraint device with back memberJanuary, 2005Ashline
20080072358Multi-Purpose GloveMarch, 2008Kleinert
20100037361FINGER CONDOMFebruary, 2010Liu



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUTAN & TUCKER, LLP (COSTA MESA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A pair of pants having a stretchable fly panel, with a lateral extending reinforcement.

2. The pants of claim 1 wherein the reinforcement comprises an upper hem of the fly panel.

3. The pants of claim 1 wherein the fly panel comprises a synthetic polymer.

4. The pants of claim 1 wherein the fly panel comprises at least one of Lycra™ and Nylon™.

5. The pants of claim 4 wherein the fly panel has a substantially truncated inverted triangular shape.

6. The pants of claim 1 wherein the fly panel is stretchable in multiple directions.

7. The pants of claim 1 further comprising first and second substantially non-stretchable panels that are sewn adjacent to the fly panel, and that are at least partially overlapping.

8. The pants of claim 7 wherein the first and second adjacent panels are coupled to the fly panel in a manner that provides a bottom opening below the fly panel.

9. The pants of claim 7 wherein each of the fly, first, and second panels are composed substantially of rapid drying materials.

10. The pants of claim 2 further comprising first and second adjacent panels that are sewn to both the fly panel and the hem.

11. The pants of claim 2 wherein the hem has a length of at least 5 cm.

12. The pants of claim 2 wherein the hem has a length of at least 10 cm.

13. The pants of claim 2 wherein the hem has a length of no more than 20 cm.

14. The pants of claim 1 further comprising first and second at least partially overlapping adjacent panels that are sewn to the fly panel, and wherein the reinforcement comprises an upper hem.

15. The pants of claim 14 wherein the first and second adjacent panels are coupled to the fly panel in a manner that provides a bottom opening below the fly panel.

16. The pants of claim 1 having leg portions with a length suitable for shorts.

17. The pants of claim 16 further comprising first and second at least partially overlapping adjacent panels that are sewn to the fly panel, and wherein the reinforcement comprises an upper hem.

18. The pants of claim 17 wherein the first and second adjacent panels are coupled to the fly panel in a manner that provides a bottom opening below the fly panel.

19. The pants of claim 16 having leg portions with a length suitable for board shorts.

20. The pants of claim 16 wherein the fly panel has an upper hem, and the reinforcement is sewn into the fly panel below the upper hem.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of the invention is clothing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

“Board shorts”, as well as other types of shorts used for swimming, surfing, and other water sports are currently fitted with a fly panel at the front of the shorts that serves to couple at least partially overlapping adjacent panels. Since these shorts usually do not contain a zipper, the fly panel facilitates putting on and removing the shorts. U.S. Pat. No. 6,199,215 to Hurley (March 2001), incorporated by reference in its entirety, describes various embodiments of shorts with fly panels, including examples of such shorts having an opening where the bottom of the fly panel would be expected to join with the adjacent panels. The function of the opening is reportedly to allow sand and other debris to pass through the pants.

In some models the fly panel comprises a stretchable fabric, which is commonly Lycra™, Nylon™, or other synthetic or natural polymers. This causes a potential for overstretching and even ripping, especially where the adjacent panels are either non-stretchable or significantly less stretchable. The problem can be solved by choosing materials that are less stretchable, but many manufacturers choose to use materials and thicknesses that are prone to these defects.

It is known to use reinforcements running laterally or diagonally across the body of a stretchable front panel of clothing for pregnant women, and for girdles and other undergarments. But those front panels are not fly panels, as the term is contemplated herein, because they do not couple at least partially overlapping adjacent panels. Apparently it has not been appreciated that reinforcements should or can be used on fly panels, perhaps because they are not intended to be subjected to constant lateral pulling as in the case of the prior art stretch panels.

Thus, there is a still a need for devices and methods that reduce the tendency of stretchable fly panels to overstretch or rip.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention addresses these problems by providing a lateral reinforcement section to a fly panel.

In a preferred embodiment the reinforcement is a non-stretchable, or at least a substantially less stretchable in the lateral direction, hem across the top of the fly panel. To prevent overstretching of the fly panel, the hem is preferably sewn to the adjacent panels. Contemplated hems are between about 5 and 20 cm in length. Alternative embodiments contemplate one or more reinforcements running laterally or diagonally across the body of the fly panel.

The laterally reinforced fly panel can be incorporated into any number of garments, including long pants, out wear shorts, and even underwear shorts. But the most preferred embodiments are with respect to the so-called board shorts, which have a relatively long leg and are made substantially from a relatively quick drying fabric.

The fly panel can advantageously comprise any suitably stretchable material, and is preferably stretchable in multiple directions. The fly panel can have any suitable shape, including a truncated V shape, and can be attached to side, front or other panels in any suitable manner.

Various objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, along with the accompanying drawings in which like numerals represent like components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of pants having a fly panel and hem according to the inventive subject matter.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the fly panel of the pants of FIG. 1, having a reinforced top hem of substantially non-stretchable or low stretch material.

FIG. 3 is a front view of an alternative fly panel having reinforcements across the body of the fly panel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In FIG. 1, a pair of pants 10 generally includes a waist band 12, fly panel 20, first and second at least partially overlapping adjacent panels 30, 32, and legs 40, 42.

Pants 10 is intended to portray a generalized pair of pants, whether outer pants, ski or other “over” pants, Capri pants, board shorts, swimming trunks, underpants, and so forth. In preferred embodiments, however, legs 40, 42 are short enough for the pants to be considered board shorts or other shorts. Substantially all of the material(s) used in the pants, including the various panels and thread, is preferably of a fast drying type. Pants 10 are also generalized in the sense that they represent men's and women's pants, girl's and boy's pants. Fly panel 20, first and second adjacent panels 30, 32, and legs 40, 42 are all contemplated to be sewn or together or otherwise attached in any suitable manner.

In FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 fly panel 20 is cut to a truncated inverted triangular shape, with a substantially horizontal top 22, downwardly converging sides 24A, 24B, and a substantially horizontal bottom 26. In alternative embodiments (not shown) the fly panel could be cut to some other shape, such as a substantially triangular shape without bottom truncation. The sides 24A, 24B need not even converge, so that the entire fly panel (not shown) could be substantially trapezoidal.

Fly panel is made from a material that is stretchable in at least the lateral (i.e. horizontal direction), but may also be stretchable in other directions. As used herein the term “stretchable” means being capable of repeated, reversible expansion or distention by hand without easily tearing or breaking. Especially preferred materials include Lycra™, Nylon™, or other natural or synthetic polymers.

The top 22 of fly panel 20 has a laterally extending reinforcement, hem 23, made from a material that is substantially non-stretchable in the lateral direction, or at least substantially less stretchable in the lateral direction than the fly panel 20. Top 22, sides 24A, 24B, and bottom 26 are preferably straight or only slightly curved for convenient production and sewing. The hem 23 advantageously runs the entire length of top 22, and is further sewn into adjacent panels 30, 32. Depending on the size of pants 10, hem is generally at least 5 cm, at least 10 cm, and at least 20 cm long. Preferred embodiments, however, have a hem between 5 cm and 20 cm. (All ranges specified herein are inclusive of the endpoints). Hem 23 is preferably sewn or otherwise attached to adjacent panels 30, 32. The bottom 26 is at least 1 cm long, providing an opening 14 in the pants 10 for sand and other debris to fall through.

In FIG. 3 an alternative fly panel 120 has top 122, sides 124A, 124B, and bottom 126. Bottom 26 is substantially pointed, or has a small horizontal section, rather than the large horizontal section shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Fly panel 120 also contains a reinforcement, but here instead a hem along the top margin of the panel, there are two laterally extending reinforcements 123A, 123B, extending across the body of the fly. These reinforcements 123A, 123B serve substantially the same function as the hem 23 in FIG. 1, which is preventing or at least significantly reducing overstretching and ripping of the flexible fly 120.

Reinforcements 123A, 123B can again made from any suitable material, preferably a material that is non-stretchable, or at least less stretchable in the lateral direction than the fly panel 120. The position of reinforcements 123A, 123B in FIG. 2 are not especially significant. All other suitable options are contemplated, provided they satisfy the purpose of preventing or at least significantly reducing overstretching and ripping of the flexible fly 120. In an alternative embodiment, for example, reinforcements could run diagonally from upper left to lower right, or visa-versa, and the reinforcements could run parallel, be crossed, or have some other relationship (not shown). The number of reinforcements is also not especially important. Contemplated pants have only a single reinforcement (not shown) running laterally across the fly panel a few cm below the upper hem.

Fly panel 120 is again intended to be used in any pair of pants, including especially whether board shorts and swimming trunks.

Thus, specific embodiments and applications of pants with a reinforced fly panel have been disclosed. It should be apparent, however, to those skilled in the art that many more modifications besides those already described are possible without departing from the inventive concepts herein. The inventive subject matter, therefore, is not to be restricted except in the spirit of the appended claims. Moreover, in interpreting both the specification and the claims, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced.