Title:
Gloves with curved reliefs formed therein
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rubber or latex glove includes monolithically formed pleats incorporated into the knuckles and/or finger joints, and along the length of the sides of the fingers. Whether the glove is in either a relaxed or flexed state, the pleats conform to the contours of the hand, providing a flush but relaxed fit. When the glove is flexed, the pleats become wider to effectively increase the size of the glove without stretching the material from which it is made.



Inventors:
Mattesky, Henry (Ramsey, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/170587
Publication Date:
01/12/2006
Filing Date:
06/29/2005
Assignee:
MAGLA PRODUCTS, LLP
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080083046Apparel advertising sun visorApril, 2008Matthias
20090300830Goggle with removable lensDecember, 2009Mage
20050204452Plastic gloves and glove dispensing apparatusSeptember, 2005Yung
20080229478GAMBLING GLOVESeptember, 2008Maroun
20060228983Hip hop dolls, animals, bears/ rapping dolls, animals, bearsOctober, 2006Carthern
20060206995Shielding device for helmetSeptember, 2006Hong et al.
20060143779Athletic jerseyJuly, 2006Lee
20070197983GENITAL SHIELD AND DIAPERAugust, 2007Giles Finn
20050223466Conceal and carry vestOctober, 2005Jennings et al.
20090019621Child Carrier CoverJanuary, 2009Radcliffe et al.
20070124842Impact attenuating chin protectorJune, 2007Nascimento et al.



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCCARTER & ENGLISH, LLP NEWARK (NEWARK, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rubber and/or plastic glove for receiving a hand and that is flexible and releasable between a relaxed state and a flexed state, said glove comprising: a palm portion for containing a lower part of the hand, said palm portion including a palm portion rear surface having one or more pleats formed therein; a knuckle portion for containing a middle part of said hand having knuckles, said knuckle portion including a knuckle portion rear surface having a pleat formed therein substantially alignable with said knuckles; three finger portions for containing the index, middle, and ring fingers of said hand, said finger portions each including a finger portion rear surface, a finger portion left side surface, and a finger portion right side surface, each of said finger portions having (a) a pleat formed in the left side surface thereof extending longitudinally from a fingertip to a crotch formed with a finger portion adjacent therewith, (b) a pleat formed in the right side surface thereof extending longitudinally from a fingertip to a crotch formed between a finger portion adjacent therewith, and/or (c) a pleat formed therein in the corresponding finger portion rear surface extending transversely with respect to the corresponding finger and alignable with a finger joint corresponding thereto; a thumb portion for containing the thumb of said hand, said thumb portion including a thumb portion rear surface, a thumb portion outer side surface and a thumb portion inner side surface, the thumb portion having (1) a pleat formed therein extending longitudinally from a fingertip to a crotch formed between a finger portion adjacent therewith, (2) a pleat being formed in the thumb portion outer side surface and the palm portion and knuckle portion so as to extend from the fingertip of the thumb to the bottom of the glove, and/or (3) a pleat formed in the thumb portion rear surface extending transversely with respect to the thumb and alignable with the thumb joint; and a pinky portion for containing the pinky of said hand, said pinky portion including a pinky portion rear surface, a pinky portion outer side surface and a pinky portion inner side surface, the pinky portion having (1) a pleat formed therein extending longitudinally from a fingertip to a crotch formed with a finger adjacent thereto, (2) a pleat also being formed in the pinky portion outer side surface and the palm portion and knuckle portion so as to extend from the fingertip of the pinky portion to the bottom of the glove, and/or (3) a pleat formed in the pinky portion rear surface extending transversely with respect to the pinky and alignable with a pinky joint.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/583,810, filed on Jun. 29, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to rubber or plastic gloves and, more particularly, to such gloves having pleats and/or curved reliefs for the purpose of providing a comfortable fit while maintaining tactile sensitivity. As used herein, the term “pleats” shall include folds, reliefs, and similar structures of any desirable cross-sectional shape, such as V-shaped or parabolic-shaped pleats and U-shaped or curved reliefs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Rubber gloves are used by workmen, surgeons, and in the home. Surgical and household latex or rubber gloves often fit tightly over the hands. Besides the discomfort associated with using such gloves when flexing them on the hand in the form of a fist, they are difficult to take off, especially when the user's hand sweats. Unfortunately, loose fitting glove reduces the tactile sensation of the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the disadvantages and shortcomings of the prior art gloves discussed above by providing them with pleats at their knuckles and/or finger joints, and along the length of the sides of the fingers. In both the relaxed and flexed positions, these pleats conform to the contours of the hand, providing a flush but relaxed fit. In flexed positions, the pleats are not stretched while retaining tactile sensitivity in the areas in front of the finger tips.

Further features and advantages of the invention will appear more clearly on a reading of the detailed description of various exemplary embodiments of the invention, which are given below by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description of the exemplary embodiments considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a rear view of a right-handed glove constructed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a schematic cross-sectional view, taken along section lines A-A′ and B-B′ of FIG. 1, depicting the shape of two pleats when the glove is in an unflexed condition;

FIG. 2B is a schematic cross-sectional view, taken along section lines A-A′ and B-B′ of FIG. 1, depicting the shapes of the two pleats when the glove is in a semi-flexed condition;

FIG. 2C is a schematic cross-sectional view, taken along section lines A-A′ and B-B′ of FIG. 1, depicting the shapes of the two pleats when the glove is in a fully-flexed condition;

FIGS. 3A-3C are schematic cross-sectional views which are similar to FIGS. 2A-2C, respectively, except that they depict an alternate pleat shape;

FIGS. 4A-4C are schematic cross-sectional view which are similar to FIGS. 2A-2C, respectively, except that they depict yet another alternate pleat shape;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of a right-handed glove constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a rear view of a right-handed glove constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a rendering of the right-handed glove of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of a right-handed glove constructed in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the middle finger of the right-handed glove of FIG. 8 and taken along section line C-C′ thereof; and

FIG. 10 is a cross-section view of a middle finger of a right handed glove without a pleat formed therein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With reference to FIG. 1, glove 10, which is of the surgical or household type, can be made of natural rubber, nitrile rubber, neoprene rubber, latex, or other type of rubber, plastic, elastomer, etc. The glove 10 can be made from vinyl. Glove 10 has finger portion 12, knuckle portion 14, palm portion 16, and cuff portion 18. Pleats 20 are formed near one side and along the length of the finger portion 12, while pleat 22 is formed along the length of the knuckle portion 14.

With reference to FIGS. 2A, 3A and 4A, the pleat 20 along cross-section A-A′ and the pleat 22 along cross-section B-B′ are depicted when the glove 10 is in its unflexed condition. Referring to FIG. 2A, the cross-sectional shape of the pleats 20 and 22 assimilates a “V”. More particularly, the pleats 20 and 22 have angled sidewalls 24 which extend non-pleated surface 25 and converge in a pointed apex 26. The angle formed between the converging sidewalls 24 is preferably acute (i.e., less than 90°). The pleats 20 and 22 have a width W2A and a depth D2A, both of which vary with glove type.

Referring to FIG. 3A, the cross-sectional shape of the pleats 20 and 22 assimilates a “U”. More particularly, the pleats 20 and 22 have substantially straight sidewalls 28 which extend in a generally perpendicular fashion from the non-pleated surface 29, terminating in a curved base 30. The pleats 20 and 22 have a width W3A and a depth D3A both of which vary with glove type.

Referring to FIG. 4A, the cross-sectional shape of the pleats 20 and 22 assimilates a parabola. More particularly, the pleats 20 and 22 have curved sidewalls 32 which extend from the non-pleated surface 33 and converge in a rounded apex 34. The pleats 20 and 22 have a width W4A and a depth D4A, both of which vary with glove type. The shape of the pleats 20 and 22 of FIG. 4A represents a compromise between the “V” shape of FIG. 2A and the “U” shape of FIG. 3A. The pleat shape depicted in FIG. 4A is advantageous in most circumstances because it provides additional surface area without being so large that the glove 10 becomes loose when it is flexed.

With reference to FIGS. 2B, 3B, and 4B, the pleat 20 along cross-section A-A′ and the pleat 22 along cross-section B-B′ are depicted when the glove 10 is in its semi-flexed condition. As the glove 10 is flexed when the user begins to form a fist, the pleat sidewalls 24, 28 and 32 move farther apart, thereby increasing the widths W2B, W3B, and W4B while decreasing the depths D2B, D3B, and D4B.

With reference to FIGS. 2C, 3C, and 4C, the pleat 20 along cross-section A-A′ and the pleat 22 along cross-section B-B′ are depicted when the glove 10 is in its fully-flexed condition. As the glove 10 is fully-flexed when the user has formed a fist, the pleat sidewalls 24, 28 and 32 are even farther apart, thereby further increasing the widths W2C, W3C, and W4C while further decreasing the depths D2C, D3C, and D4C. In the positions illustrated in FIGS. 2C, 3C, and 4C, enough of the pleats 20 and 22 is maintained so that the areas in front of the fingertips of the glove 10 retain tactile sensitivity, while the glove 10 as a whole remains comfortable to wear.

The first step in an exemplary process of manufacturing the glove 10 is to create a former in the shape of a human hand with depressions at the positions of the pleats 20 and 22. The former is most often made of ceramic, as is known in the art. The second step involves dipping the former one or more times in a rubber latex bath up to the end of the cuff position 18. The bath can contain natural rubber, nitrile rubber, neoprene rubber, or other latex rubber types. The third step in the manufacturing process is to place the rubber-dipped former in an oven within which heat is applied to dry and cure the rubber. Parameters for how to apply heat with regard to temperature and time, as well as curing time, are known to those skilled in the art. The result is the new and improved glove 10 with integrally or monolithically formed pleats 20 and 22.

The pleated glove 10 of FIG. 1 is beneficial because it is form fitted at the tips and undersides of the finger portion 12, the portion of the hand where more tactile sensation is needed than at other portions. At the same time, other areas, especially those in proximity to the pleats 20 and 22, have less tension, thereby providing the user with a comfortable and relaxed fit. Because the glove 10 is not under excessive tension on the side of the fingers or knuckles, less force is required to flex the hand, resulting in reduced user fatigue when the glove 10 has been worn for a long period of time.

FIG. 5 depicts an alternate embodiment of the glove 10 shown in FIGS. 1-4C. Elements illustrated in FIG. 5 which correspond to the elements described above in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4C have been identified by corresponding reference numbers increased by one hundred. Unless otherwise indicated, both embodiments have the same construction and operation.

With reference to FIG. 5, pleats can be placed at other positions on the glove 110 and still retain the glove's comfort and tactile qualities. The criterion for choosing locations for the pleats is that they be away from areas where the greatest tactile sensation is needed; namely, away from the bottom of the fingers, especially the finger tips. Thus, other areas of the glove 110 where pleats can be placed include: the back of the finger joints 136 and 138; around the perimeter of the glove from the outside of the hand near the side of the palm adjacent to the thumb down to the wrist 140; and the outside of the hand near the side of the palm adjacent to the pinky down to the wrist area 142.

FIGS. 6 and 7 depict an alternate embodiment of the glove 10 shown in FIGS. 1-4C. Elements illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 which correspond to the elements described above in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4C have been identified by corresponding reference numbers increased by two hundred. Unless otherwise indicated, both embodiments have the same construction and operation.

FIGS. 6 and 7 depict a glove 210 having a finger portion 212, a knuckle portion 214, a palm portion 216, and a cuff portion 218. Similar to pleats 136 and 138 shown in FIG. 5, the glove 210 has the pleats 236 and 238 formed therein along the back of the finger joints. The pleats 236 and 238 are shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 to be longer than the pleats 136 and 138 of FIG. 5, extending transversely from the left side of the finger to the right side of the finger. The glove also includes a pleat 222 formed along the length of the knuckle portion 214. The pleats 236 and 238 are concave as described in connection with FIGS. 2A-4C; however the pleats may be convex.

FIGS. 8 and 9 depict a preferred embodiment of the glove 10 shown in FIGS. 1-4C. Elements illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9 which correspond to the elements described above in connection with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4C have been identified by corresponding reference numbers increased by three hundred. Unless otherwise indicated, both embodiments have the same construction and operation.

FIG. 8 depicts a glove 310 having finger portion 312, a knuckle portion 314, a palm portion 316, and a cuff portion 318. The glove 310 has pleats 320 formed in the left side and the right side of each finger and thumb (digits). The pleats extend longitudinally along the left and right sides of the corresponding digit. For example, one of the pleats 320 may extend along the left side of the pinky finger along substantially the entire length of the glove, one of the pleats 320 may extend along the left and right sides of the index finger to within about one-half inch of the crotches formed with the thumb and middle finger, and one of the pleats 320 may extend along the outside of the thumb along substantially the entire length of the glove 310. The pleats 320 can begin anywhere, but they preferably extend from a point approximately one-half inch from a corresponding fingertip. The measurements discussed above are exemplary, and it is contemplated that any suitable dimensions may be used.

FIG. 9 depicts a cross-section of the middle finger, for example, of the glove 310 of FIG. 8. By way of contrast, FIG. 10 shows a cross-section of a middle finger not having a pleat formed therein. An arc is notated in FIG. 10 to have a length of one-quarter of an inch. However, in FIG. 9, there is a pleated cross section having a curved pleat. The length of the arc of the curved pleat could be thirty-five hundredths of an inch, which would provide an additional one-tenth of an inch per side or two-tenths of an inch per finger to allow for expansion of the overall circumference of the rubber or plastic covering the finger, while at the same time providing a closed fit at the bottom or working side of the finger as well as the top. This provides a snug fitting glove while at the same time providing a degree of comfort for the user, such as when the fingers are flexed in that the pleat will open, allowing the fingers to be curled into a fist without requiring the rubber or plastic to stretch excessively, thus reducing expended “work” or energy. The measurements discussed above are exemplary, and it is contemplated that any suitable dimensions may be used.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 9, the edges of the pleats designated as E and E′ are preferably, though not necessarily, gently convexly radiused edges rather than being straight edges. In this regard, the pleat and the edges thereof form an S-like shape. If not, the glove thickness would be much thinner than the rest of the circumference of the glove. The degree of the radius can control the thickness of the rubber or plastic where it is advantageous to provide a thinner area at this point. The thinner area would provide a greater degree of comfort since the energy required to stretch the rubber in this area may be less than the other areas of the glove.

It will be understood that the embodiments described herein are merely exemplary and that a person skilled in the art may make many variations and modifications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. All such variations and modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the invention.





 
Previous Patent: Pet sweat

Next Patent: Human motor control device and methods