Title:
Underwear creating tattoo illusion
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An underwear garment is provided to give an illusion of a tattoo on the skin of the wearer above the pant line of an outer garment. The underwear garment has the shape of a panty with front and back panels formed of a sheer material, a crotch area connecting the lower portions of the front and back panels, and a waist area connecting the upper portions of the front and back panels. One or both of the front and back panels have a printed tattoo image formed on the sheer material. The sheer material is a single-ply, stretchable nylon material having a skin tone color. The tattoo image is applied to the sheer material by silkscreen printing.



Inventors:
Masterson, Lisa M. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/053523
Publication Date:
08/11/2005
Filing Date:
02/07/2005
Assignee:
MASTERSON LISA M.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B1/00; A41B11/14; A41B17/00; A41D27/08; (IPC1-7): A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090070908SAFETY HELMET WITH SUPPLEMENTAL INNER VISORMarch, 2009Gafforio et al.
20070192936Dick's gun scarfAugust, 2007Haller
20090320170Protective garmentsDecember, 2009Jones
20080188785Back and muscle support body suit with semi-rigid support rodsAugust, 2008Shutes et al.
20030172433Garment having an internal protective liner and liner clip for affixing a protective liner within a garmentSeptember, 2003Young
20070056079Easy-donning cap which is used to protect and dry the hairMarch, 2007Didier
20090013445JOYWRAPJanuary, 2009Martin
20100031425Hat cover and frameFebruary, 2010Klamerus Jr.
20090300817Multi-use and multi-style garmentDecember, 2009Fata
20020066134Joint for cap visorsJune, 2002Seo
20040034900HatsFebruary, 2004Gottlieb



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THOMPSON & THOMPSON, P.A. (SCANDIA, KS, US)
Claims:
1. An underwear garment comprising: front and back panels formed of a sheer material; a crotch area connecting lower portions of the front and back panels; and a waist area connecting upper portions of the front and back panels; at least one of said front and back panels having a printed tattoo image on the sheer material.

2. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said sheer material is a single-ply, stretchable nylon material.

3. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said sheer material has a skin tone color.

4. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein both of said front and back panels have a printed tattoo image on the sheer material.

5. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said front and back panels are made to extend above a pant line of the wearer, and at least a portion of said tattoo image is located on one of said front and back panels so as to be disposed above the pant line of the wearer.

6. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said tattoo image is formed on said sheer material by silk screen printing.

7. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said tattoo image is located on said back panel so as to be disposed above the pant line at the lower back of the wearer.

8. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said tattoo image is located on said front panel so as to be disposed above the pant line and below a naval area of the wearer.

9. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said underwear garment is a panty formed of a single-ply, stretchable nylon material.

10. The underwear garment according to claim 1, wherein said waist area of the garment is formed of a sheer material having a skin tone color, which gives an illusion that the garment does not have a waistband.

11. An article of clothing that gives an illusion of a tattoo on the skin of the wearer, comprising: a sheer fabric material which is made into the shape of a panty having an upper portion that can be worn above a normal pant line of the wearer; and a printed tattoo image on the sheer fabric material, at least a portion of said tattoo image being disposed on said upper portion of the panty shape so as to be visible above the pant line of the wearer.

12. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said printed tattoo image is located on the sheer fabric material with a portion of the image located above the pant line at a lower back area of the wearer.

13. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said printed tattoo image is located on the sheer fabric material with a portion of the image located above the pant line below a naval area of the wearer.

14. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said sheer material is a single-ply, stretchable nylon material.

15. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said sheer material has a skin tone color.

16. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said panty shape comprises front and back panels, a crotch area connecting lower portions of the front and back panels, and a waist area connecting upper portions of the front and back panels.

17. The article of clothing according to claim 16, wherein said front and back panels are made to extend above a pant line of the wearer, and at least a portion of said tattoo image is located on the upper portion of one of said front and back panels so as to be disposed above the pant line of the wearer.

18. The article of clothing according to claim 11, wherein said upper portion of the panty shape has a hemmed upper edge of sheer fabric material that creates a waistband that is nearly transparent.

19. A method of wearing body art, comprising the steps of: providing an underwear garment formed of a sheer fabric material having a skin tone color, said underwear garment having a printed tattoo image thereon; and wearing the underwear garment in conjunction with an outer garment with a portion of the underwear garment positioned above a pant line of the outer garment, said printed tattoo image being positioned to give an illusion of a tattoo on the skin of the wearer above the pant line of the outer garment.

20. The method of wearing body art according to claim 19, wherein said pant line of the outer garment is an uppermost edge of the outer garment.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/543,120 filed on Feb. 6, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to apparel and undergarments. In particular, the present invention relates to an underwear garment that allows a wearer to create the illusion of a tattoo on the wearer's skin.

2. Description of the Related Art

It is common for people to express themselves through their clothing, hairstyle, body piercing, and tattooing. Examples of such expressions are torn jeans, dyed hair and the use of temporary tattoo paint or decals. These types of expressions can be readily changed when a person wants to change, update or alter his or her look. For example, clothing and hairstyles can be changed and temporary tattoos can be scrubbed off of the skin. However, temporary tattoos often do not provide the satisfaction of a permanent tattoo because they last only a few days and often remain in a faded condition for a time before they disappear completely or are replaced.

Other types of expressions, such as body piercing and tattooing, are more permanent and are quite difficult to change. A person with a permanent tattoo must wear the tattoo all the time and cannot change the design of the tattoo easily. The process of getting a permanent tattoo involves decorating the skin by inserting colored substances under the surface of the skin. The skin is punctured with a sharp instrument, such as an electric needle. This process is usually painful and can cause adverse health effects, including infections and other problems caused by unclean needles.

There are known processes in the production of hosiery for creating a decorative pattern on the finished article by printing. The printing process can be performed either during or after fabrication of the hosiery. Conventionally, the printing process is carried out by placing sheets of a print carrier (such as printing paper) on either side of the form, and pressing the article in a hot press to transfer the print from the carrier to the hosiery. An example of a conventional method of printing hosiery is provided in U.S. Pat. No. 4,635,551 issued to Croxall.

Methods have also been developed for printing on hosiery material to give the appearance of a genuine tattoo imbedded in the skin of the person wearing the hose. Examples of such methods are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,450,790 and 5,617,586 issued to PeQueen et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 6,526,589 issued to Jeziak et al. As explained in the patents of PeQueen et al., an illusion of an authentic tattoo on the legs of the wearer can be created by printing a design on the hosiery using a printing ink having a translucent quality that does not diminish the sheen of the fabric.

While these prior art printing methods are presumed to be suitable for their intended applications, there remains a need for an improved underwear design that can be used to create the illusion of a tattoo above the pant line of the wearer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide a novel underwear garment that overcomes the problems of conventional tattooing methods, and also the limitations of the prior art hosiery described above.

To accomplish these and other objects, the present invention provides an underwear garment that gives an illusion of a tattoo on the skin of the wearer above the pant line of an outer garment. The underwear garment has the shape of either “butterfly” or “thong” type underwear with front and back panels formed of a sheer material, a crotch area connecting the lower portions of the front and back panels, and a waist area connecting the upper portions of the front and back panels. One or both of the front and back panels have a printed tattoo image formed on the sheer material. The sheer material is a single-ply, stretchable nylon material having a skin tone color. The tattoo image is applied to the sheer material by silkscreen printing.

Numerous other objects of the present invention will be apparent to those skilled in this art from the following description wherein there is shown and described embodiments of the present invention, simply by way of illustration of some of the modes best suited to carry out the invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of other different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modification in various obvious aspects without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the drawings and description should be regarded as illustrative in nature and not restrictive.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more clearly appreciated as the disclosure of the invention is made with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective front view of a woman wearing the underwear having a tattoo print thereon according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective rear view of the woman wearing the underwear shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged detail view of the sheer material of the underwear shown in FIG. 1 showing a partial tattoo printed thereon.

FIG. 4 is a perspective front view of the underwear according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a heat transfer press device used to apply the tattoo print to the underwear according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An underwear garment made to create an illusion of a tattoo according to an embodiment of the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1 to 5 of the drawings.

The underwear garment 10 has a front panel 11, a back panel 12, a crotch area 13 connecting the lower portions of the front and back panels 11, 12, and a waist area 14 connecting the upper portions 15, 16 of the front and back panels 11, 12. The underwear garment 10 has right and left leg openings 17, 18 through which the wearer's legs 19, 20 extend, and a top opening 21 that fits around the waist 22 of the wearer 23. The upper portions 15, 16 of the front and back panels 11, 12 and the waist area 14 are made to extend above the normal pant line 24 of an outer garment 25. As used herein, the “pant line” of the outer garment refers to the uppermost edge of the waist of an outer garment, such as a pair of pants, jeans, shorts or the like.

The underwear garment 10 is made of a single-ply, stretchable nylon material 26 (FIG. 3) having a skin tone color. The material is a virtually transparent sheer material, such as the material commonly used for nylon hosiery. The sheer material has a skin-like appearance and is virtually invisible when worn.

In one embodiment, the underwear garment 10 is a women's panty having the shape of “butterfly” underwear. The underwear garment can also be made as a “thong” with front and back panels and a G-string connecting the panels at the crotch area. In either design, the underwear garment 10 has a waist area 14 that can be stretched above the normal pant line 24 of the outer garment 25. The upper portion of the underwear garment 10 has a hemmed upper edge 35 formed of the sheer fabric material, thereby creating a waistband that is nearly transparent and virtually invisible when worn. As such, an illusion is created that the garment does not have a waistband.

The underwear garment 10 has a printed tattoo image 27, 28 formed on the sheer material 26 on either or both of the front and back panels 11, 12. The tattoo image 27, 28 can be any desired pattern or color and is limited only by the creativity and imagination of the artist designing the tattoo. With the tattoo image 27 formed on the upper portion 15 of the front panel 11, the tattoo image 27 can be positioned above the pant line 24 of the outer garment 25 below the naval area 29 of the wearer 23. Similarly, with the tattoo image 28 formed on the upper portion 16 of the back panel 12, the tattoo image 28 can be positioned above the pant line 24 of the outer garment 25 at the lower back area 30 of the wearer 23. These locations are aesthetically desirable tattoo placements, especially for young women.

The tattoo images 27, 28 are formed by a silkscreen printing process that applies a pigment to portions of the otherwise virtually transparent sheer material. A silkscreen printing process suitable for applying the tattoo images 27, 28 will be described with reference to FIG. 5 of the drawings.

Conventional silkscreen printing processes, also known as sublimation or heat transfer printing, are well known in the art. Such processes typically involve, as a first step, full color lithographic printing on paper 31 using dyes that sublime or vaporize to a gas when heated. A second step involves transferring the printed image 32 under heat and pressure in a transfer press 33 to a fabric material 34 that is receptive to the sublimable ink. Particular techniques for printing images on sheer hosiery material that resemble genuine tattoos are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,450,790 and 5,617,586 of PeQueen et al.

As explained above, the present invention provides a realistic impression of a tattoo 27, 28 above the pant line 24 of women's clothing using a one-ply, virtually transparent underwear garment 10. The invention overcomes the problems normally caused by permanent tattoos, such as the inability to change or remove the tattoo image, the adverse health effects caused by unclean needles, and the scarring that often follows removal.

While the invention has been specifically described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that this is by way of illustration and not of limitation, and the scope of the appended claims should be construed as broadly as the prior art will permit.