Title:
Adjustable Cuff System for Garments
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable cuff system for a garment includes a cuff having a cuff channel. A strip extends at least partially through the cuff channel and comprises a first connector attached to the strip. A second connector is attached to the cuff. The second connector is adapted to adjustably receive the first connector. The adjustable cuff system further comprises a tab extending from the cuff. The tab comprises a third connector adapted to secure the tab in a closed configuration.



Inventors:
Bush, Trent Eric (Boulder, CO, US)
Null -. (-, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/904634
Publication Date:
08/11/2005
Filing Date:
11/19/2004
Assignee:
SPYDER ACTIVE SPORTS, INC. (Boulder, CO, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/60, 2/170
International Classes:
A41B7/00; A41B11/12; A41D27/10; A41D27/16; A41F1/06; (IPC1-7): A41B7/00; A41D27/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DON E. ERICKSON (LA COSTA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable cuff system comprising: a cuff comprising a cuff channel; the cuff channel comprising an inner wall and an outer wall; a strip extending at least partially through the cuff channel; a first connector attached to the strip; a second connector attached to the cuff, the second connector to adjustably mate the first connector; a tab extending from the cuff; and a third connector attached to the tab, the third connector to secure the tab in a closed configuration such that the first connector and the second connector are substantially covered.

2. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the third connector mates with the second connector.

3. The adjustable cuff system of claim 2, wherein the third connector mates with the first connector and the second connector.

4. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the third connector mates with a fourth connector attached to the cuff.

5. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the cuff is coupled to a garment selected from the group of garments consisting of: a shirt, a jacket, a glove, a sock, a pant, or a shoe.

6. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the strip extends through all of the cuff channel.

7. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the strip comprises an elastic material.

8. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the first connector, the second connector, and the third connector comprise corresponding strips of hook and loop material.

9. The adjustable cuff system of claim 1, wherein the tab comprises a lever.

10. The adjustable cuff system of claim 9, wherein the lever comprises a material stiffer than a material forming the cuff.

11. The adjustable cuff system of claim 10, wherein the lever comprises a molded lever.

12. An adjustable cuff system, comprising: a cuff having a circumference; a cuff channel extending around a portion of the circumference, the cuff channel having a channel first end and a channel second end; at least one strip, the at least one strip residing within the cuff channel having a first connector extending from the first end and a tab extending from the second end; a second connector having a cuff first end and a cuff second end, the second connector coupled to the cuff at the cuff first end proximate the channel first end and extending about a portion of the circumference to the cuff second end in a direction opposite the cuff channel, the second connector to adjustably receive the first connector; a gusset extending about the remainder of the circumference having a gusset first end coupled to the cuff second end and a gusset second end coupled to the channel second end; the tab extending from the cuff channel to a tab end; and a third connector having a first connector end coupled to the tab end and a second connector end coupled to the cuff second end, the third connector having an open position and a closed position, such that when in the closed position, the cuff is relatively smaller in diameter and third connector protects the second connector from the environment and when in the open position, the cuff is relatively larger in diameter and the gusset is extended.

13. The adjustable cuff of claim 12, wherein the second connector comprises an internal connector mounted on an inner wall of the cuff channel and an external connector mounted on an outer wall of the cuff channel.

14. The adjustable cuff of claim 12, wherein the at least one strip extends from the first end to the second end.

15. The adjustable cuff of claim 14, wherein the at least one strip comprises at least an elastic portion.

16. The adjustable cuff of claim 12, wherein the tab comprises a lever.

17. The adjustable cuff system of claim 16, wherein the lever comprises a material stiffer than a material forming the cuff.

18. The adjustable cuff system of claim 16, wherein the lever comprises a molded lever.

19. The adjustable cuff system of claim 12, wherein the cuff is coupled to a garment selected from the group of garments consisting of: a shirt, a jacket, a glove, a sock, a pant, or a shoe.

20. The adjustable cuff system of claim 12, wherein the first connector, the second connector, and the third connector comprise corresponding parts of hook and loop material.

21. A method of wearing an adjusting cuff for a garment, the method comprising the steps of: constricting the size of a cuff by selectively placing a first connector on a second connect such that the diameter of the cuff is constrained to a maximum diameter; placing the cuff on an appendage of a wearer; tightening the cuff on the appendage by securing a tab; and loosening the cuff on the appendage by releasing the tab.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein securing the tab comprises preventing a gusset from expanding.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein releasing the tab comprises allowing the gusset to expand.

24. The method of claim 21, wherein the first connector is placed on the second connector on an inner wall of the cuff.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional application No. 60/524,997, filed Nov. 24, 2003, titled the same, incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to an adjustable cuff for garments and, more particularly, to a garment that has a cuff that is adjustable to a wearer's cuff size.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Garments, such as, for example, jackets and the like, often employ adjustable cuffs to allow the cuff of the garment to be adjusted by a wearer. Commonly, cuffs include elastic extending around at least a portion of the perimeter and a tab that may be attached to the cuff at different positions to select the size of the cuff. The tab, for example, typically includes a hook portion that mates with an extended strip of loop material attached to the exterior of the cuff.

When a wearer puts on a jacket, for example, the wearer extends his or her arm into the sleeve with his or her hand extending out the end of the sleeve. The cuff of the sleeve is typically adjusted to fit the size of the wearer's wrist and to prevent foreign items such as leaves or snow from entering the sleeve. The wearer pulls a tab attached to the cuff to tighten the cuff around his or her wrist. When the cuff is tightened to a desired dimension, the wearer attaches the tab to the perimeter of the cuff. Typically, the cuff includes an extended strip of loop material to which hook material located on the tab may be placed depending upon how tight the wearer wants the cuff. These adjustable cuffs often create problems in that the loop and/or hook material is exposed to the elements and may become damaged in areas when the tab is covering it. In addition, the exposed loop and/or hook material which is required for adjustability detracts from the visual appearance of the garment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An adjustable cuff system of the present invention comprises a cuff comprising a cuff channel. A strip extends at least partially through the cuff channel and comprises a first connector attached to the strip. A second connector is attached to the cuff. The second connector is adapted to adjustably receive the first connector. The adjustable cuff system further comprises a tab extending from the cuff. The tab comprises a third connector adapted to secure the tab in a closed configuration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a cross-sectional view of a first embodiment of an adjustable cuff system of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a view of the embodiment of FIG. 1, wherein the adjustable cuff system is in an open configuration;

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of an alternative embodiment of an adjustable cuff system of the present invention;

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 3 wherein the adjustable cuff system is in an open configuration;

FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of a portion of the embodiment shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of a lever that may be used in the embodiments of FIG. 1 or FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of a tab that may be used in the embodiments of FIG. 1 or FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 shows a plan view of a gusset such as the one used in the embodiment of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 9 shows a cross-sectional view of a third embodiment of an adjustable cuff system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a first embodiment of an adjustable cuff system 20 of the present invention. In this embodiment, the garment 18 includes cuff system 20 and comprises a channel 22 formed by an inner wall 23 and an outer wall 25. The inner and outer walls 23 and 25, for example, may comprise the same or different layers of the garment. In one embodiment, for example, the channel 22 may be formed by folding over the outer layer of the garment and attaching it to itself, such as via stitching, bonding, welding, adhesion, or the like to make a “tube”. Another embodiment may form channel 22 by attaching using separate fabrics for inner wall 23 and outer wall 25 and connecting the layers using stitching, bonding, welding, adhesion, or the like to make a space between inner and outer walls 23 and 25.

The channel 22 may comprise an elastic or inelastic channel. The channel 22, for example, may be formed of an elastic or non-elastic material. The channel 22 may also comprise an elastic material attached to the channel 22 to provide the channel 22 with an elastic property so that the cuff tends to contract to fit the wearer. Cuffs made all or in part of elastic material or inelastic material are generally known in the art and will not be further explained herein except as it relates specifically to the present invention.

In another embodiment, as described below, an elastic material may extend at least partially through the channel 22 to provide the channel with an elastic property. The adjustable cuff system 22, however, need not comprise an elastic material either in the channel or extending through the channel.

The adjustable cuff system 20 further comprises a strip 24 extending through the channel 22. The strip 24 could be a cord, a band, or the like. The strip 24 may be elastic, comprise a partially elastic portion, or may be non-elastic material. The strip 24 comprises a connector 26 at a first end 28. The first end 28 of the strip 24 may also comprise a tab 29 so that a wearer may be able to grasp the first end 28 of the strip 24 more easily. The connector 26, for example, may comprise a portion of a hook and loop connector. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, for example, the connector 26 comprises hooks 30 on a first side 32, which is internally facing, and, optionally, loops 34 on a second side 36, which is externally facing. Second side 36 alternatively may not include loops 34. For simplicity, hook material and corresponding loop material is explained as residing at particular locations on the device, but one of ordinary skill in the art would recognize on reading the disclosure, that hook material and loop material is largely interchangeable. Other connectors or combinations of connectors such as snaps, buttons, buckles, pressure-sensitive adhesives or the like, may be used within the scope of the present invention, however.

The adjustable cuff system 20 also comprises a second connector 40. The second connector 40 mates with the first connector 26 of the strip 24. The second connector may be disposed in the channel or outside the channel 22. As shown in FIG. 1, for example, the channel 22 comprises an opening 44 through which the second connector 40 may be accessed. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, for example, the first connector 26 may extend through the opening 50 on a first side 52 of the opening 44. Opening 50 is defined by channel 22. The second connector 40 may be disposed on the inner wall 23 of the channel 22 at the opening 44. Second connector 40 alternatively may actually be a portion of inner wall 23. In this particular embodiment, for example, first connector 26 may be adjusted and connected at any point along the second connector 40. The second connector preferably extends for a length sufficient to allow the circumference of the cuff to be adjusted from the desired minimum circumference to the desired maximum circumference. Following the example above where first connector 26 has hook material 30 on the first side internally facing, second connector 40 would have corresponding loop material.

The opening 44, for example, may comprise a window cut from the outer wall 25 of the channel 22. Alternatively to the opening 44, opening 50 may comprise a small opening, such as a slit, through which the first connector 26 of the strip 24 may extend. In this embodiment, the second connector 40 may be disposed on the outer surface 27 of outer wall 25 and the first connector 26 of the strip 24 may be adjustably connected at any point along the second connector 40.

The adjustable cuff system 20 further comprises a tab 60 for closing the cuff system 20. The tab 60 comprises a third connector 62. The third connector 62 may mate with the second connector 40 where the first connector 26 is not located and, preferably, may mate with a second side 36 of the first connector 26 also. Alternatively, a fourth connector 61 may reside on outer surface 27 that third connector 62 can mate with. Using the fourth connector 61 allows the adjustment connectors 26 and 40 to be isolated from the elements during use as tab 60 would extend over connector 40 and connector 26.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, for example, the second side 36 of the first connector 26 comprises loops 34 for mating with hooks 64 of the third connector 62. Thus, regardless where the first connector 26 is located along the second connector 40, the hooks 64 of the third connector 62 mate with loops 43 of the second connector 40 or loops 34 of the second side 36 of the first connector 26. Further, the tab 60 preferably completely covers the loops of the first and second connectors that are located outside the channel 22 when the tab 60 is closed and serves to protect the loops from the elements.

The tab 60 may also optionally comprise a lever 66 that provides leverage for the tab 60. The lever 66, for example, may comprise a piece of stiff material, such as a molded plastic material, that acts as a hinge lever to pull an elastic material of the cuff 20. The lever 66 may be connected to the tab 60 such as being stitched, bonded, welded, adhered or otherwise connected to the tab 60.

When the tab 60 is closed, the lever 66 pulls the strip 24 and tightens the cuff 20 circumferentially around a wearer. Where the strip 24 at least partially comprises an elastic material, for example, the strip 24 is stretched by the lever 66 and tightens the cuff 20 around the wearer.

FIGS. 3-5 show a second embodiment of an adjustable cuff system 120 of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3, for example, the adjustable cuff system 120 comprises a channel 122 having an inner wall 123 and an outer wall 125. A portion of the inner wall 123 is open at a window 127. The window 127 is proximate a opening 131 defined by channel 122 out of which a first connector 126 extends into window 127. First connector 126 can be moved along window 127 to adjusting the size of the cuff and securing first connector 126 relative to a second connector 140. As described above, the channel 122 may be elastic, be partially elastic, or non-elastic.

The adjustable cuff system 120 further comprises a strip 124 extending at least partially through the channel 122. As described above, the strip 124 may at least partially comprise an elastic material or may comprise an entirely non-elastic material. The strip 124 comprises a first connector 126 at a first end 128 of the strip 124. The first connector 126, for example, may comprise a connector such as hooks, loops, snaps, buttons, buckles, pressure sensitive adhesives or the like. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3-5, for example, the first connector 126 comprises a panel of hooks 129 on a first side exterior facing side of the first connector 126. The first connector 126 mates with a strip of loop or pile material 141 on an interior facing side of a second connector 140. When the first connector 126 comprises a panel of hooks 129 as shown in FIGS. 3-5, for example, the second connector 140 preferably comprises a panel of loops 141. The panel of loops 141 of the second connector 140 preferably extends for a length greater than the panel of hooks of the first connector 126 so that the first connector 126 may be adjustably connected with the panel of loops of the second connector 140 to select a desired circumference of the cuff 120 between a minimum cuff circumference and a maximum cuff circumference.

The adjustable cuff system 120 also preferably comprises a gusset 168 connecting the channel 122 to itself to form a maximum cuff circumference when the cuff is in an open configuration. One embodiment of a gusset 168 that may be used within the scope of the present invention is shown in FIGS. 3 and 8. In this embodiment, the gusset 168 comprises a folded triangular-shaped piece of material that provides for expansion of the cuff circumference in an open configuration and folds on itself when the cuff system 120 is closed. However, any conventional gusset could be used for gusset 168.

The strip 124 also extends out of a second opening 133 in the channel 122 at a second end 119 of the strip 124. The second end of the strip 124 is attached to a tab 160. The second end of the strip 124 may be attached to the tab 160 by any connection technique known in the art such as stitching, bonding, adhesion, welding and the like.

In this embodiment, the tab 160 is connected to the second end of the strip 124 at a first end 161 of the tab 160 and is connected to the outer wall 125 of the channel 122 at a second end 163 of the tab 160 as shown in FIG. 3. The tab 160 includes a third connector 162 for holding the adjustable cuff system in a closed configuration.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, for example, the third connector comprises a panel of hooks 164 for engaging with a panel of loops 165 of the second connector 140. The second connector 140, in this embodiment, comprises a panel of loops 165 disposed on a back side of the second connector 140. The tab preferably closes over the entire panel of loops of the second connector and thus protects the second connector 140 from the elements when the tab 160 is in a closed configuration.

In an alternative embodiment, however, the cuff system may comprise a fourth connector 170 disposed outside the outer wall 125 of the channel 122 (see FIG. 9). In this embodiment, the panel of hooks on the tab 160 preferably engage a panel of loops disposed on the fourth connector 170. In this embodiment, the fourth connector shown 170 is protected by the flap 160 when the flap is in a closed configuration. Also, in this configuration, connector 140 could be mounted to inner wall 123.

The tab 160 may further comprise a lever 166 as described above. The lever 166 may comprise a piece of stiff material as shown in FIG. 6. The lever 166, for example, may be attached to the tab 160 such as via stitching, bonding, adhesion, welding or the like. In one particular embodiment, as shown in FIG. 7, for example, the lever 166 may be stitched within the tab 160. The tab 160, in this embodiment, comprises the lever 166 sewn inside body fabric 167 of the garment. The body fabric 167 of the garment also includes a window 169 through which the third connector 162 is exposed. The third connector 162, for example, may be directly attached to the lever 166, such as by stitching, bonding, welding, adhesion or the like, or may be attached to the body fabric 167 of the tab 160.

Other garments that may use the adjustable cuff system similar to the one described for a jacket include, for example, shirts, pants, socks, gloves, and the like. These garments are merely exemplary, however, as one skilled in the art would readily recognize from this disclosure that the adjustable cuff system of the present invention can be used with many different types of garments.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to an embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various other changes in the form and details may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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