Title:
Seamless knit garments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment having a body and one or more garment elements joined to the body is provided. The body has a first portion integrally knit to a second portion. The first portion has a first knit construction and the second portion has a second knit construction. The first knit construction include knits that have one stitch formed on each needle all of the time so that an intermeshing of stitches are formed in the same direction on the technical face of the fabric and a series of loops are formed on the technical back of the fabric. The second knit construction includes knits that use any combination of a plain knitted loop, a held loop with no stitch, and a tuck loop.



Inventors:
Starbuck, Michael (Earl Shilton, GB)
Application Number:
10/971747
Publication Date:
06/02/2005
Filing Date:
10/22/2004
Assignee:
Sara Lee Corporation
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D04B1/24; D04B9/46; (IPC1-7): D04B9/46
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WORRELL JR, LARRY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON (US) LLP (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A garment comprising: a body having a first portion integrally knit to a second portion, said first portion having a first knit construction and said second portion having a second knit construction; and one or more garment elements joined to said body.

2. The garment as in claim 1, wherein the garment is a garment selected from the group consisting of an intimate apparel garment, an outerwear garment, and a sportswear garment.

3. The garment as in claim 1, wherein the garment is a circularly knit garment.

4. The garment as in claim 1, wherein the garment is a flat knit garment.

5. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said first knit construction comprises knits selected from the group consisting of a plain double knit, a plain single jersey knit, and any combinations thereof.

6. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said second knit construction comprises knits selected from the group consisting of a spacer knit, a rib knit, a pointelle knit, a mesh knit, a sheer knit, a quilted knit, an eyelet or open knit, and any combinations thereof.

7. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said first and second portions are positioned to provide a seamless patterned effect to the garment.

8. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said one or more garment elements are integrally knit to said body.

9. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said one or more garment elements are secured to said body by a seam.

10. The garment as in claim 9, wherein said seam is selected from the group consisting of a sewn seam, a welded seam, a glued seam, and any combinations thereof.

11. The garment as in claim 1, wherein said body comprises a length and an inner diameter, said inner diameter varying along said length so that said body includes one or more shaped sections.

12. A garment comprising: a plurality of first portions each having a first knit construction, said first knit construction being selected from the group consisting of a plain double knit, and a plain single jersey knit; and a plurality of second portions each having a second knit construction, said second knit construction being selected from the group consisting of a spacer knit, a rib knit, a pointelle knit, a mesh knit, a sheer knit, a quilted knit, and an eyelet or open knit, said plurality of first and second portions being integrally knit to one another.

13. The garment as in claim 12, wherein the garment is a garment selected from the group consisting of an intimate apparel garment, an outerwear garment, and a sportswear garment.

14. The garment as in claim 12, wherein the garment is a circularly knit garment or a flat knit garment.

15. The garment as in claim 12, wherein said plurality of first and second portions are positioned to provide a seamless patterned effect to the garment.

16. The garment as in claim 12, further comprising one or more garment elements.

17. The garment as in claim 16, wherein said one or more garment elements are integrally knit to the garment.

18. The garment as in claim 16, wherein said one or more garment elements are secured by a seam.

19. The garment as in claim 18, wherein said seam is selected from the group consisting of a sewn seam, a welded seam, a glued seam, and any combinations thereof.

20. The garment as in claim 12, further comprising a garment length and a garment inner dimension, said garment inner dimension varying along said garment length so that the garment includes one or more shaped sections.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/513,815, filed Oct. 23, 2003 the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to seamless knit garments. More particularly, the present invention relates to knit garments having one or more of a first knit construction seamlessly integrated with one or more of a second knit construction.

2. Description of Related Art

Seamless knit garments can be knit on flat and/or circular knitting machines. Such machines are commercially available from, for example, the Monarch Knitting Machinery Corporation of Glendale, N.Y., Santoni S.p.A. of Brescia, Italy, Shima Seiki Manufacturing Limited of Wakayama, Japan, and others.

Some knitting machines can knit only a first knit construction such as, but not limited to, a plain double knit stitch or a plain single jersey knit stitch. Other knitting machines can produce a second knit construction such as, a spacer knit stitch, a rib knit stitch, a pointelle knit stitch, a mesh knit stitch, a sheer knit stitch, a quilted knit stitch, and others.

In order to provide garments having more than one portion with the first knit construction and/or to combine the first and second knit constructions, two or more knitted fabrics have been required. Here, the desired fabrics have been joined by way of a seam (e.g., sewing, welding, and gluing).

In many garments, seams and discontinuities can be physically and/or aesthetically unpleasing. For example, seams in many outerwear garments and sportswear garments can chaff, exert pressure points and, thus, can be a source of physical discomfort. In addition, seams in intimate apparel garments (e.g., a brassiere, a panty, a camisole, and others) can often be visible through outer clothing, which can be aesthetically unpleasing.

Accordingly, there is a need for garments having the first and second knit constructions seamlessly integrated therein.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide seamless knit garments.

It is another object of the present invention to provide garments having a first portion knitted with a first knit construction seamlessly knit to a second portion knitted with a second knit construction.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide garments having a combination of double and single jersey knit structures seamlessly knit to other knit structures such as, but not limited to, three-dimensional knit structures, sheer knit structures, decorative single jersey knit structures, or any combinations thereof.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide knit garments having a plurality of portions each with a different type of a first knit construction and/or second knit construction, where the plurality of portions are seamlessly knit to one another.

It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide a knit garment having a patterned effect provided by the seamless integration of portions having different knit constructions.

The above-described and other features and advantages of the present invention will be appreciated and understood by those skilled in the art from the following detailed description and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a first exemplary embodiment of a camisole according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the camisole of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a brief-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the panty of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a string-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of the panty of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a brassiere according to the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a front view of a second exemplary embodiment of a camisole according to the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a rear view of the camisole of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a short-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 11 is a front view of a second exemplary embodiment of a brief-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 12 is a front view of a second exemplary embodiment of a brassiere according to the present invention;

FIG. 13 is a front view of a third exemplary embodiment of a camisole according to the present invention;

FIG. 14 is a rear view of the camisole of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a string-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 16 is a rear view of the panty of FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a front view of a third exemplary embodiment of a brief-style panty according to the present invention;

FIG. 18 is a front view of a third embodiment of a brassiere according to the present invention;

FIG. 19 is a front view of a portion of a fourth exemplary embodiment of a brassiere according to the present invention;

FIG. 20 is a stitch diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a first knit portion seamlessly integrated with a second knit portion;

FIG. 21 is a front view of a first exemplary embodiment of a shirt according to the present invention;

FIG. 22 is a rear view of the shirt of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a front view of a second exemplary embodiment of a shirt according to the present invention;

FIG. 24 is a rear view of the shirt of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a pair of pants according to the present invention; and

FIG. 26 is a rear view of the pants of FIG. 25.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the figures and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a garment according to the present invention is generally represented by reference numeral 10. Garment 10 is a camisole having a knit body 12, a pair of shoulder straps 14, preferably at an upper edge of body 12, and/or a welt 16, preferably along a lower edge of the body. In a preferred embodiment, straps 14 are joined to body 12 by a seam 18. Similarly, welt 16 can be joined to body 12 by seam 18. Seam 18 can be formed by sewing, welding, gluing, or any combinations thereof. Alternately, straps 14 and/or welt 16 can be integrally knit as part of body 12. Accordingly, garment 10 can include one or more garment elements (e.g., straps 14, welt 16, and the like) integrally knit to body 12 and/or joined to the body by seam 18.

Body 12 can have a generally tubular shape defined by one or more first portions 20 and one or more second portions 22. Body 12 is knitted using a knitting process so first and second portions 20, 22 are integrally knitted to one another. Thus, body 12 is free of seams joining first and second portions 20, 22 to one another. For example, body 12 can be knitted using a circular or weft knitting process, a flat knitting process, and others.

First portion 20 is knit with a first knit construction, while second portion 22 is knit with a second knit construction. As used herein, the phrase “first knit construction” shall mean knits that have one stitch formed on each needle all of the time so that an intermeshing of stitches are formed in the same direction on the technical face of the fabric and a series of loops are formed on the technical back of the fabric. For example, the first knit construction includes any one of the following knits a plain double knit, a plain single jersey knit, or any combinations thereof. The phrase “second knit construction” shall mean knits that use any combination of a plain knitted loop, a held loop with no stitch, and a tuck loop. The second knit construction can have any of these loops transferred from one set of needles to another set of needles and can have any of these loops knit stitched, tuck stitched, and miss stitched individually on each set of needles. For example, the second knit construction includes any one of the following knits a spacer knit, a rib knit, a pointelle knit, a mesh knit, a sheer knit, a quilted knit, an eyelet or open knit, or any combinations thereof.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 1, first portion 20 has a plain single jersey knit 24 and second portion 22 has a sheer knit 26, which provides a transparent or opaque aesthetic quality or look to the second portion. For example, sheer knit 26 can be knitted by two sets of needles, where one set of needles knits a foreground layer, while the second set of needles knits a background layer. The foreground layer can include a lace or embroidered pattern defined therein.

First and second portions 20, 22 can also be positioned in body 12 to provide a seamless patterned effect to garment 10. For example, first and second portions 20, 22 are illustrated by way of example in FIGS. 1 and 2 extending in a curvilinear manner vertically across body 12. Namely, first and second portions 20, 22 extend from the lower edge of body 12 to the upper edge of the body in a curvilinear manner. Of course, it is contemplated by the present invention for first and second portions 20, 22 to have shapes other than curvilinear such as a linear shape and/or combinations of curvilinear and linear shapes.

In some embodiments of the present invention, garment 10 can be a shaped or fitted garment. For example, body 12 can have a length as measured from straps 14 to welt 16 and an inner diameter (not shown). The shaped aspect of garment 10 is provided by varying the inner diameter along the length of body 12. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, body 12 includes a central shaped section 25 that is narrowed with respect to other portions of the body. For example, body 12 has its maximum inner diameter where straps 14 and welt 16 are secured to the body and a minimum inner diameter at central shaped section 25. Of course, it is contemplated by the present invention for shaped section 25 to be wider than other portions of body 12 and/or for the shaped section to be located non-central to the body.

Garment 10 is illustrated by way of example in FIGS. 1 and 2 as a camisole having a combination of single jersey knit structures 24 seamlessly knit with sheer knit structures 26 in a manner that provides a seamless patterned effect to the garment.

It is also contemplated by the present invention for garment 10 to be any garment such as, but not limited to, a brief-style panty 28 as in FIGS. 3 and 4, a string-style panty 30 as in FIGS. 5 and 6, a brassiere 32 as in FIG. 7, and other intimate apparel garments, as well as outerwear garments, sportswear garments, and others.

The brief-style panty 28 as in FIGS. 3 and 4 and the string-style panty 30 as in FIGS. 5 and 6 each include a combination of single jersey knit structures 24 seamlessly knit with sheer knit structures 26 in a manner that provides a seamless patterned effect to the garment. The brassiere 32 of in FIG. 7 includes a combination of single jersey knit structures 24 seamlessly knit with sheer knit structures 26 and rib knit structures 27 in a manner that provides a seamless patterned effect to the garment.

It is also contemplated by the present invention for first portion 20 and/or second portion 22 to extend horizontally and/or diagonally across body 12 as in the brassiere 32 of FIG. 7. Further, it is contemplated by the present invention for first portion 20 to surround second portion 22 as in the panty 30 of FIG. 5.

Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, a second exemplary embodiment of a garment illustrated as a camisole 34 is shown. Camisole 34 has a knit body 36 and a pair of shoulder straps 38. Body 36 has a plurality of second portions 40, each having a different second knit construction. Advantageously, body 36 is knit so that the second portions 40 are seamlessly or integrally knitted to one another. Thus, body 36 is free of seams joining the plurality of second portions 40 to one another. For example, body 36 can be knitted using a circular or weft knitting process, a flat knitting process, and others.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 8 and 9, body 36 has four-second portions 40, each having a different second knit construction. Here, body 36 includes a second portion 42 having a pointelle knit, a second portion 44 having a mesh knit, a second portion 46 having an eyelet or open knit, and a second portion 48 having a rib knit. Thus, camisole 34 has a combination of pointelle knit portions 42, mesh knit portions 44, open knit portions 46, and rib knit portion 48 seamlessly knit with one another.

Body 36 can include a central shaped section 45. Here, body 36 has a maximum inner diameter at its upper and lower extents and a minimum inner diameter at central shaped section 45.

Advantageously, second portions 40 can be selected and/or positioned in body 36 to provide a patterned effect to camisole 34. For example, pointelle knit portions 42 are illustrated along the upper and lower edges of body 36. Open knit portions 46 define a pair of breast cups 50, a front panel 52, a rear panel 54, and a pair of sides 56 in body 36. Mesh knit portions 44 are illustrated in front and rear panels 52, 54, while rib knit portions 48 are illustrated in sides 56 and breast cups 50.

As can be seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, the type of the second knit construction and position of portions 42, 44, 46, 48 within body 36 are used to provide a seamless patterned effect to camisole 34.

Again, FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the garment as a camisole 34. Of course, it is contemplated by the present invention for the garment to be any garment such as, but not limited to, a short-style panty 58 as in FIG. 10, a brief-style panty 60 as in FIG. 11, a brassiere 62 as in FIG. 12, and other intimate apparel garments, as well as outerwear garments, sportswear garments, and others.

It should also be recognized that garment 34 is illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 by way of example as having four second portions 40 (e.g., four portions with the second knit construction). Of course, it is contemplated by the present invention for garment 34 to have as any desired number of second portions 40 such as, but not limited to, two second portions as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12, three second portions as illustrated in FIG. 10, and more than four second portions. In some embodiments, the first and/or second portions 40, 42 can define a moldable portion of garment 34 as seen in the breast cup area of FIG. 12.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 and 14, a second exemplary embodiment of a garment illustrated as a camisole 64 is shown. Camisole 64 is a camisole having a knit body 66, a pair of shoulder straps 68, and a welt 70.

Body 66 includes one or more first portions 72 and one or more second portions 74. Again, body 66 is knitted so that first and second portions 72, 74 are integrally knitted to one another. Thus, body 66 is free of seams joining first and second portions 72, 74 to one another. First portions 72 can be knit with the same or different first knit constructions. Similarly, second portions 74 can be knit with the same or different second knit constructions.

In the illustrated embodiment, first portions 72 have a plain single-jersey knit stitch 76, while second portions 74 have a number of different second knit constructions. For example, second portions 74 can include one or more quilt knit portions 78, and one or more sheer knit portions 80. Quilt knit portions 78 can be a two-yarn quilt (e.g., no filler) and/or a three-yarn quilt (e.g., filler). Further, quilt knit portions 78 can define quilted regions 82, quilted lines 84, or any combinations thereof.

Advantageously, first and second portions 72, 74 can be selected and positioned in body 66 to provide a patterned effect to camisole 64. Specifically, the stitch type and position of the first and second portions 72, 74 within body 66 can be used to provide a seamless patterned effect to camisole 64.

Again, while FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the garment as camisole 64, it is contemplated by the present invention that the garment can be any garment such as, but not limited to, a string-style panty 86 as in FIGS. 15 and 16, a brief-style panty 88 as in FIG. 17, or a brassiere 90 as in FIG. 18.

Referring now to FIG. 19, a third exemplary embodiment of a garment according to the present invention is shown as a brassiere 92. Brassiere 92 has a knit body 94, a pair of shoulder straps 96, and a welt 98.

Body 94 has one or more first portions 100 and one or more second portions 102. Again, body 94 is knitted so that first and second portions 100, 102 are integrally knitted to one another. Thus, body 94 is free of seams joining first and second portions 100, 102 to one another.

First portion 100 is knit with first knit construction, while second portion 102 is knit with the second knit construction. In this embodiment, first portion 100 has a plain single jersey knit and second portion 102 has a spacer knit 104. Spacer knit 104 has two separate face fibers combined with an inner spacer yarn or yarns in a warp-knitted construction. The spacer yarns contribute engineered properties such as thickness, elasticity, compression, physical spaces and channels, or any combinations thereof. The face fibers provide such qualities as density, water-repellency, antimicrobial attributes, softness, breathability, UV or chemical resistance, fire retardation, texture, or any combinations thereof. Spacer knit 104 can be thick or thin, and the thickness can vary across its width.

Referring now to FIG. 20, a stitch diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a first portion 106 seamlessly integrated with a second portion 108 is illustrated. First portion 106 is knitted with a plain single jersey knit, while second portion 108 is knitted with a rib knit.

Referring now to FIGS. 21 and 22, an alternate exemplary embodiment of a garment according to the present invention shown as a seamless sports shirt 110. Shirt 110 is knitted using a flat knitting process such as can be found on machines commercially available from Shima Seiki Manufacturing Limited of Wakayama, Japan.

Shirt 110 includes a plurality of first portions 120 and a second portion 122 seamlessly integrated with one another to form the whole garment. Here, first portions 120 are knit with the first knit construction, while second portion 122 is knit with the second knit construction. In addition, first and second portions 120, 122 can provide a seamless patterned effect to shirt 110.

The plurality of first portions 120 include a main body 124, a pair of armbands 126, and a waist band 128. Main body 124 is knit with a plain single jersey knit stitch to define the arms and torso sections of shirt 110. Main body 124 can include a pleated section 130, providing additional mobility and flexibility to this region of shirt 110. Arm and waist bands 126, 128 are knit with a plain double knit stitch having elastic yarns so that the arm and waist bands assist in maintaining shirt 110 in the desired position when worn.

Second portion 122 is knit with a spacer knit to define the shoulder sections of shirt 110. The spacer knit of second portion 122 provides attributes such as warmth, wind protection, and/or water protection to shirt 110.

In the illustrated embodiment, waistband 128 is shown as a shaped band as shown and described in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/404,918 filed on Apr. 1, 2003, the contents of which are incorporated by reference herein. Also show in the illustrated embodiment, main body 124 includes a central shaped section 125. Here, main body 124 has a maximum inner diameter at its upper and lower extents but a minimum inner diameter at central shaped section 125.

Referring now to FIGS. 23 and 24, another alternate exemplary embodiment a garment according to the present invention is shown as a seamless leisure shirt. Shirt 130 is knitted using a flat knitting process.

Shirt 130 includes a plurality of first portions 132 and a plurality of second portions 134 seamlessly integrated with one another to form the whole garment. Here, first portions 132 are knit with the first knit construction, while second portions 134 are knit with the second knit construction. In addition, first and second portions 1320, 134 can provide a seamless patterned effect to shirt 130.

The plurality of first portions 132 include a pair of side regions 136 and a pair of cuff bands 138. Side regions 136 are knit with a plain single jersey knit. Side regions 136 can include one or more pocket sections 140. In addition, side regions 136 can include one or more pleated sections 142 that provide additional mobility and flexibility to this region of shirt 130. Cuff bands 138 are knit with a plain double knit stitch having elastic yarns so that the cuff bands assist in maintaining shirt 130 in the desired position when worn.

In the illustrated embodiment, shirt 130 includes a central shaped section 145. Here, shirt 130 has a maximum inner diameter at its upper and lower extents but a minimum inner diameter at central shaped section 145.

The plurality of second portions 134 includes a vest area 144 and a seat area 146. Vest and seat areas 144, 146 are knit with a spacer knit to provide attributes such as warmth, wind and/or water protection, and padding to shirt 130.

Referring now to FIGS. 25 and 26, yet another alternate exemplary embodiment of a garment according to the present invention is shown as a seamless jog pant. Pant 150 is also knitted using a flat knitting process.

Pant 150 includes a plurality of first portions 152 and a plurality of second portions 154 seamlessly integrated with one another to form the whole garment. Again, first portions 152 are knit with the first knit construction, while second portions 154 are knit with the second knit construction and provide a seamless patterned effect to pant 150.

The plurality of first portions 152 include an inner region 156 and a pair of cuff bands 158. Inner regions 156 are knit with a plain single jersey knit. Inner region 156 can include one or more pocket sections 160. In addition, inner region 156 can include can include one or more pleated sections 162, providing additional mobility and flexibility to this region of pant 150. Cuff bands 158 are knit with a plain single jersey knit having elastic yarns so that the cuff bands assist in maintaining pant 150 in the desired position when worn.

The plurality of second portions 154 includes an outer region 164 and a waistband 166. Outer region 164 and waist band 166 are knit with a spacer knit to provide attributes such as warmth, wind and/or water protection, and padding to pant 150. In addition, waistband 166 is knit with elastic yarns so that the waistband assists in maintaining pant 150 in the desired position when worn. Waistband 166 can include one or more pleated sections 168, providing additional mobility and flexibility to this region of pant 150.

Accordingly, some embodiments of the present invention provide for seamless integration of two or more second knit constructions to one another. Other embodiments provide for seamless integration of one or more second knit constructions with one or more first knit constructions. The shape, size, and/or type of knit construction can be selected and/or positioned to provide the resultant garment with any desired patterned effect.

It should be recognized that the first and second knit constructions are described herein by way of example. Of course, it is contemplated for other first and/or second knit constructions, as defined herein, to fall within the scope of the present invention.

In addition, it should be noted that the garments of the present invention are described herein by way of example as intimate apparel garments (e.g., a brassiere, a panty, a camisole, and others). However, it is contemplated by the present invention for garment to be any garment such as, but not limited to, outerwear garments, sportswear garments, intimate apparel garments, or other garments.

Also, it should be noted that the terms “first”, “second”, “third”, “upper”, “lower”, and the like may be used herein to modify various elements. These modifiers do not imply a spatial, sequential, or hierarchical order to the modified elements unless specifically stated.

While the present invention has been described with reference to one or more exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the present invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the present invention not be limited to the particular embodiment(s) disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.





 
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