Title:
Apparatus, system, and method for making a decorative hat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus, system, and method are disclosed for making a decorative hat. The decorative hat functions as a traditional hat to maintain body heat. In addition to preserving body heat, the hat of the present invention also provides an attractive clothing item that may be worn to add style or character to the appearance of the user. The decorative hat includes knitted strands that resemble hair. The knitted strands create a whimsical effect that gives the wearer the appearance of a living doll in certain embodiments.



Inventors:
Mower, Moanna Amber (Flower Mound, TX, US)
Manley, Linda Elisabeth (New Market, TN, US)
Application Number:
11/159783
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
06/23/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kunzler Bean & Adamson (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A decorative hat for covering the head, the hat comprising: a knitted hat; and knitted strands resembling hair integrally connected with the knitted hat.

2. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands resembling hair comprise a single continuous strand of material interlocked.

3. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands are connected to the outside of the knitted hat.

4. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands cover the outside of the knitted cap to resemble a full head of hair.

5. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted hat and the knitted strands comprise a single continuous strand of material interlocked to resemble hair.

6. The hat of claim 1, further comprising at least one hair accessory coupled to one of the knitted hat and the knitted strands.

7. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands are selected from the group consisting of yarn, leather, ribbon, fabric, nylon, thread, rope, mesh, and cord.

8. The hat of claim 1, further comprising a restraining device integrated with the knitted hat.

9. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands are braided.

10. The hat of claim 1, wherein the knitted strands comprise loop stitches.

11. A system for storing a decorative hat for covering the head, the system comprising: a decorative hat for covering the head, the hat comprising a knitted hat and knitted strands resembling hair integrally connected with the knitted hat; and a decorative receptacle having a hollow interior, the receptacle resembling a hat box.

12. The system of claim 11, further comprising a holder shaped to maintain the decorative hat in an open position.

13. The system of claim 11, further comprising an item featuring customization information particular to a third party customer.

14. The system of claim 11, wherein one of the decorative hat and the decorative receptacle further comprises a symbol particular to a third party customer.

15. A method for creating a decorative hat for covering the head, the method comprising: providing a knitted hat; and positioning knitted strands on the knitted hat to resemble hair.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising forming knitted strands resembling hair.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein forming knitted strands comprises simultaneously forming the knitted hat and knitted strands from a continuous strand of material.

18. The method of claim 15, further comprising connecting the knitted strands to the knitted hat.

19. The method of claim 15, wherein the method further comprises styling the knitted strands to resemble a characteristic hair style.

20. The method of claim 15, further comprising coupling at least one hair accessory to the knitted strands.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/582,102 entitled “APPARATUS, SYSTEM, AND METHOD FOR MAKING A DECORATIVE HAT” and filed on Jun. 23, 2004 for Moanna A. Mower and Linda E. Manley, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to headwear and more particularly relates to functional hats that are made to resemble hair.

2. Description of the Related Art

Functional hats worn on the head typically help maintain a user's body temperature by retaining body heat. Especially during colder winter months, caps made from woven materials, such as knitted yarn or the like, have traditionally been worn by individuals of all ages to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Young children, especially babies, have a particular need to maintain a constant body temperature, as their developing bodies are small and susceptible to illness. Consequently, simple caps for babies are commonly used year round to protect children from changing environmental conditions.

In addition, hats are often used as designer or novelty items to provide variety and entertainment. Decorative hats, however, are typically uncomfortable, difficult to clean, and ineffective as a head covering to preserve warmth. Also, if a hat is destroyed by a child, the child can no longer benefit from the functional aspects of the hat.

From the foregoing discussion, it should be apparent that a need exists for an apparatus, system, and method for making a decorative hat that is both practical and ornamental. Beneficially, such an apparatus, system, and method would provide a functional hat that is effective, comfortable to wear, safe for children, durable, and washable, yet provides a unique, enjoyable appearance for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been developed in response to the present state of the art, and in particular, in response to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully solved by currently available decorative hats. Accordingly, the present invention has been developed to provide an apparatus, system, and method for making a decorative hat that overcomes many or all of the above-discussed shortcomings in the art.

The apparatus, in one embodiment, is configured to function as a traditional hat to maintain body heat. Preferably, the hat is comfortable to wear and fits easily on the head of the wearer. In addition to preserving body heat, the hat of the present invention also provides an attractive clothing item that may be worn to add style or character to the appearance of the user.

The apparatus is further configured, in one embodiment, to include knitted strands that resemble hair. In one embodiment, the knitted strands resembling hair are integral to the hat and extend out of the top of the hat. Alternatively, knitted strands may also be attached to the hat. The knitted strands create a whimsical effect that gives the wearer the appearance of a living doll in certain embodiments.

In a further embodiment, the apparatus may provide knitted strands that are collectively arranged to resemble a characteristic hair style. In one embodiment, bows and other typical hair accessories may be applied to the knitted strands to contribute to the illusion of hair and decorativeness of the hat.

A system of the present invention is also presented to store or package the hat. In particular, the system, in one embodiment, includes a decorative hat for covering the head, a decorative receptacle that has a hollow interior and resembles a hat box, a holder shaped to maintain the decorative hat in an open position, and an item featuring customization information particular to a third party customer. Other symbols or personalized items may be included in the system.

A method of the present invention is also presented for making a decorative hat. The method in the disclosed embodiments substantially includes the steps necessary to carry out the functions presented above with respect to the operation of the described apparatus and system. In one embodiment, the method includes providing a knitted hat and positioning knitted strands on the knitted hat to resemble hair. In one embodiment, the method further includes creating a hat, simultaneously forming knitted strands to resemble hair with the same strand of material, and positioning the knitted strands on the hat to resemble hair. The method also may include styling the knitted strands or adorning the knitted strands with items typically used to adorn hair. In a further embodiment, the method includes attaching knitted strands to the hat.

Reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.

These features and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order that the advantages of the invention will be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. Understanding that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a child wearing one embodiment of a decorative hat of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a child wearing an alternative embodiment of a decorative hat of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a child wearing another embodiment of a decorative hat with a characteristic hair style in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a decorative hat, personalized mittens, and a personalized hat box in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is schematic flow chart diagram illustrating one embodiment of a decorative hat method in accordance with the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a schematic flow chart diagram illustrating one embodiment of a decorative hat method in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment,” “an embodiment,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment,” “in an embodiment,” and similar language throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, all refer to the same embodiment.

Furthermore, the described features, structures, or characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. In the following description, numerous specific details are provided to give a thorough understanding of embodiments of the invention. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize, however, that the invention may be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other methods, components, materials, and so forth. In other instances, well-known structures, materials, or operations are not shown or described in detail to avoid obscuring aspects of the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates one embodiment of a decorative hat 100 worn by a child. The hat 100 includes knitted strands resembling hair 102 and a hair accessory 104. The base of the hat 100 comprises a knitted cap made from yarn or similar material in certain embodiments. The term “knitted” as used herein refers to the interlocking nature of the material and not necessarily the manner of making the hat 100 or the knitted strands 102. A knitted strand 102 and/or a knitted hat 100 or base may be knitted, crocheted, macramé, woven, loomed, knotted, and/or the like. The knitted strands of hair 102, which may be coarser than real or artificial hair, give the hat 100 and wearer a whimsical appearance. In certain embodiments, the wearer may resemble a living doll. The decorative hat 100 provides a stylistic look that adds flavor to the child's clothing and appearance.

Additionally, the hat 100 preferably preserves the body heat of the wearer and may be worn in various conditions and environments. The knitted strands 102, which may be integral to the hat 100, provide additional insulation in certain instances. In the depicted embodiment, the knitted strands 102 extend over the ears of the wearer to provide additional protection from adverse conditions.

In a contemplated embodiment, the decorative hat 100 is made from a soft yarn that is comfortable against the skin, particularly for delicate baby skin. Materials may be selected to be suitable for sensitive skin and may contain a minimal amount of irritants or coarse fibers. Consequently, children, especially babies, can wear the decorative hat 100 without undue irritation or displeasure; though a variety of materials may be used to make the hat 100.

In a contemplated embodiment, the material used to create knitted strands 102 may be textured to create a unique appearance, for example, rag doll hair. Such material is available from specialty yarn companies around the world. Examples may include stringlet hair, wavy locks, chenille hair, wool hair, and the like. The selected material may be used to make the base of the hat 100 as well as the knitted strands 102. Alternatively, such material may be attached to a hat 100 to give the wearer the appearance of a doll. In one embodiment, the textured hair, or strands 102, is sewn to an existing baby cap, creating a unique design. The materials used to create a unique design are not limited to those materials disclosed herein. Other materials may include, but are not limited to, leather, imitation suede, ribbon, fabric, nylon, rope, thread, cord, mesh, etc.

In certain embodiments, a hat 100 may be made to look like hair from synthetic materials that have an appearance very similar to hair. In one embodiment, a hat 100 may be made from Chenille yarn from Glennraven Co. of South Carolina.

The hat 100 may be specifically designed to be safe for children. In the depicted embodiment, the majority of the hat 100 is made from one continuous strand of yarn. Additional strands may be attached to the end of a strand to form a continuous strand. Consequently, the strands 102 cannot be individually pulled out, thus eliminating the possibility that a child could choke on the materials. The hat 100 may be durable and may be able to withstand a substantial amount of abuse, including being washed in a washing machine.

In the depicted embodiment, the knitted strands 102 and the base of the hat 100 are formed simultaneously from a continuous strand. The base may be made by crocheting a row and subsequently adding a series of loop stitches. As a result, the loop stitches extend from the base and comprise the knitted strands 102 that resemble hair. The knitted strands 102 may further be styled, braided or arranged to resemble a characteristic hair style. Bows 104 and/or other decorative hair accessories 104 may further adorn the decorative hat 100, though caution must be used when adding ornamental items to hats 100 for small children.

In certain embodiments, the hat 100 may further include a restraining device to help maintain the hat 100 on the head of the user. An elastic band, for example, may be sewn or fastened to the interior of the hat 100. Nevertheless, the comfort and safety of the child is preferably considered before adding any additional components.

FIG. 2 illustrates one embodiment of a decorative hat 200 with knitted strands resembling hair 202 and a hair accessory 204. The depicted strands 202 may be formed or crocheted to resemble curly locks of hair. Similarly, the hat 200 may also include a bow 204 and/or other adornments to enhance the decorativeness of the hat 200. In one embodiment, the strands of hair 202 are created in conjunction with the hat 200, similar to the decorative hat 100 depicted in FIG. 1. In the depicted embodiment, the base of the hat 200 may be crocheted simultaneously with integrated ringlets. Alternatively or in addition, knitted strands 202, such as the depicted ringlets, may be made and attached to the hat 200 to improve the overall appearance of the hat 200. The attached strands 202 are preferably attached securely to the hat 200 for reasons discussed above. As mentioned previously, the additional locks or strands 202 may contribute to the functionality of the hat 200, adding insulating layers to the hat 200, and may be further styled. The depicted hat 200 may be made from Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn, available from Caron International, Washington, N.C.

FIG. 3 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a decorative hat 300 with knitted strands resembling hair 302. In certain embodiments, the knitted strands 302 maybe sewn together and attached to the hat 300. Additionally, the knitted strands 302 may be styled in braids, bangs, pony tails, corn rows, dreadlocks, and/or the like. In the depicted embodiment, the strands 302 are attached to the hat 300 and form braids 304. Alternatively, the knitted strands 300 may integrally form the hat 300. The braids 304 may flip out naturally without relying on wires or other devices for shape. Bangs 306 may be secured to the hat 300 such that a child cannot remove the strands 302 for reasons discussed above. Alternatively, the knitted strands 302 may be integrated with the rest of the hat 300 such that no single knitted strand 302 may be removed. In certain embodiments, the knitted strands 302 and/or braids 304 may further include beads 304 or other items to adorn the hat 300.

FIG. 4 illustrates one embodiment of a system 400 for storing a decorative hat 410. The system 400 may include a decorative hat 410, a decorative receptacle 420 resembling a hat box 420, a holder 430, and an additional item 440 such as the depicted mittens 440. The system 400 provides a stylish way to store or package a decorative hat 410, as well as other items 440 in certain embodiments. In addition, the system 400 may provide a way for a third party customer to customize related items. For example, additional symbols and/or personal information, such as initials 422, names, special dates, and the like, may be sewn, printed, or attached to the hat 410, additional item 440, and/or box 420. Other personal or related items 440 may further be included in the box 420, such as clothing, documents, photo albums, etc. The system 400 may contribute to the illusion of hair for the decorative hat 410, rather than simply packaging a label on the hat 410, and may additionally provide class and the ability to personalize to the decorative hat 410.

The decorative hat 410, as depicted, includes knitted strands 412 that appear similar to dreadlocks with attached beads 414. The knitted strands 412 maybe sewn together and attached to a base hat. In addition, the number of knitted strands 412 may be increased or decreased to adjust the fullness of the hairstyle. In one embodiment, the knitted strands 412 are made from black acrylic yarn.

For safety reasons, the ends of the strands 412 may be terminated without using beads 404 or other accessories. Also, the knitted strands 412 may be connected to a relative large group of knitted strands 412 to create a hat that is durable and safe for children.

The schematic flow chart diagrams that follow are generally set forth as logical flow chart diagrams. As such, the depicted order and labeled steps are indicative of one embodiment of the presented method. Other steps and methods may be conceived that are equivalent in function, logic, or effect to one or more steps, or portions thereof, of the illustrated method. Additionally, the format and symbols employed are provided to explain the logical steps of the method and are understood not to limit the scope of the method. Although various arrow types and line types may be employed in the flow chart diagrams, they are understood not to limit the scope of the corresponding method. Indeed, some arrows or other connectors may be used to indicate only the logical flow of the method. For instance, an arrow may indicate a waiting or monitoring period of unspecified duration between enumerated steps of the depicted method. Additionally, the order in which a particular method occurs may or may not strictly adhere to the order of the corresponding steps shown.

FIG. 5 is a flow chart diagram illustrating one embodiment of a method 500 for making a decorative hat of the present invention. The method 500 as depicted includes the steps of providing 502 a hat, providing 504 knitted strands resembling hair, and positioning 506 the knitted strands to resemble hair. In one embodiment, a hat is provided 502 by making a hat with yarn or other suitable material. Alternatively, an existing hat may be used. Knitted strands may be provided 504, in certain embodiments, by making the knitted strands in conjunction with a hat or making the knitted strands separately. Subsequently, the knitted strands may be positioned 506 on the hat to resemble hair. In select embodiments, the knitted strands are positioned 506 either by attaching the knitted strands to the hat, by arranging the knitted strands created simultaneously with the hat, or both.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a method 600 for making a decorative hat. The method 600 as depicted may include the steps of making a knitted hat 602, forming 604 strands resembling hair with a continuous strand of material, connecting 606 the knitted strands 606 to the hat, positioning 608 the knitted strands to resemble hair, styling 610 the knitted strands to resemble a characteristic hair style, and coupling 612 a hair accessory to the knitted strands. The knitted strands may be formed from the same material as the hat in certain embodiments. Alternatively, the knitted strands may comprise a material resembling hair, particularly doll hair, which may be attached to a hat made from the same or different material. The knitted strands accordingly may be positioned 608 to resemble hair and may be styled 610 with a hair accessory 612. As mentioned previously, the hat may be made to be a durable, functional hat. When the hat is completed, the knitted strands may be integral to the hat 100 to preserve the integrity of its decorativeness.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.