Title:
Label overlay
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clear overlay for a sewn-in tag on a garment allows a tag to be flatly secured to the garment while still displaying the information on the tag. The clear overlay includes an adhesive attached to one side for permanently affixing the overlay to a garment. The clear overlay may include either a pressure activated adhesive or a thermal activated adhesive. The pressure activated adhesive includes a paper backing for preventing the adhesive from collecting dust, dirt, and the like. The tag may be removed and relocated to a more appropriate location on the garment where.



Inventors:
Darling, Nancy (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Bowen, Benjamin (Virginia Beach, VA, US)
Application Number:
11/254652
Publication Date:
04/20/2006
Filing Date:
10/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/04; A41B13/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
INYARD, APRIL C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bradley D. Goldizen (Maysville, WV, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. An overlay that securely fastens a tag or label to an article of clothing, said overlay comprising: a first layer of clear hypoallergenic material and having two sides; and, a layer of adhesive affixed to one side of the first layer of clear hypoallergenic material; such that the overlay is permanently affixed to the article of clothing to allow the first layer to stretch.

2. The overlay of claim 1 wherein the first layer of hypoallergenic material comprises a soft, bondable material.

3. The overlay of claim 1 further comprising a sheet having a surface area of five inches in width by eight inches in length.

4. The overlay of claim 1 wherein the first layer comprises a lightweight, sheer nylon fabric.

5. The overlay of claim 1 wherein the first layer comprises a polyester fabric.

6. The overlay of claim 1 wherein the layer of adhesive is pressure activated.

7. The overlay of claim 6 further comprising a backing to be separated from the adhesive prior to applying the overlay to the tag and article of clothing.

8. The overlay of claim 1 further comprising a shape retaining material that returns it to its size after the garment has been laundered.

9. The overlay of claim 1 wherein a surface area of the overlay is at least 1.5625 greater than a surface area of the tag or label.

10. The overlay of claim 1 further comprising an expansion pocket against an edge of the tag or label and between portions of the adhesive and the article of clothing.

11. An overlay that securely fastens a tag or label to an article of clothing, said overlay comprising: a first layer of clear hypoallergenic material and having two sides; and, a layer of heat activated adhesive affixed to one side of the first layer of clear hypoallergenic material; such that the overlay is permanently affixed to the article of clothing to allow the first layer to stretch.

12. The overlay of claim 11 wherein the first layer comprises a lightweight, sheer nylon fabric.

13. The overlay of claim 11 wherein the first layer comprises a polyester fabric.

14. The overlay of claim 11 wherein a surface area of the overlay is at least 1.5625 greater than a surface area of the tag or label.

15. The overlay of claim 11 further comprising an expansion pocket against an edge of the tag or label and between portions of the adhesive and the article of clothing.

16. An overlay that securely fastens a tag or label to an article of clothing, said overlay comprising: a first layer of clear hypoallergenic material and having two sides; and, a layer of pressure activated adhesive affixed to one side of the first layer of clear hypoallergenic material; such that the overlay is permanently affixed to the article of clothing to allow the first layer to stretch.

17. The overlay of claim 16 wherein the first layer comprises a lightweight, sheer nylon fabric.

18. The overlay of claim 16 wherein the first layer comprises a polyester fabric.

19. The overlay of claim 16 wherein a surface area of the overlay is at least 1.5625 greater than a surface area of the tag or label.

20. The overlay of claim 16 further comprising an expansion pocket against an edge of the tag or label and between portions of the adhesive and the article of clothing.

Description:

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/620,107 filed on Oct. 20, 2004.

The patent application did not receive federal research and development funding.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a device and method for alleviating discomfort experienced by wearers of clothing that includes a tag or label having an edge that is affixed to a surface of the clothing. The tag typically includes three other edges that are unsecured. More particularly the invention relates to a patch or overlay that securely fastens a tag or label to an article of clothing. The stretchable patch comprises a first layer of hypoallergenic material and having layer of adhesive affixed to one side of the first layer. The patch overlaid onto the tag is permanently affixed to the cloth in a manner that allows the patch to stretch such that the patch does not create an unsightly bunching of material that comprises the clothing.

Most articles of clothing include a label indicating the manufacturer, distributor, trademark, logo or care instructions for tending to the article of clothing. Many of these labels are sewn or stitched onto the clothing articles in sensitive areas such as the neck, side or waist region. Typically, an edge or side of the label is stitched while leaving the remaining edges free of stitching. Many wearers with sensitive skin experience discomfort, itching or even rashes associated with either the seam created by the stitching of the label to the clothing article or the rubbing of free unstitched ends against a wearer's skin surface. This discomfort or irritation may be exacerbated by washing the article of clothing should the free edges become curled during the laundry or care processes.

Many wearers choose to cut, tear or otherwise remove the tags or labels from the article of clothing. These actions may result in a greater source of irritation being created by the remnants or edges of the tag that result from the removal of the tags, damage to the article of clothing and loss of information on the tag.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,875 to Liu discloses a label patch for garments that appears to address the aforementioned problems encountered by sensitive skinned individuals. In Liu, a protective patch includes a flexible member, typically formed of cotton flannel, and an adhesive material formed thereon. The adhesive material forms a first adhesive that extends within a ring-shaped region proximate an edge margin of the flexible member such that the first adhesive is removable from the garment to expose the label for reading of the label and the like. In Liu, the adhesive surrounds the label without contacting it to prevent loss of flexibility of the combination of flexibility of the patch and garment created by laminating the two together. There is a heartfelt need for a easier method and device for protecting a wearer of an article of clothing from harmful reactions caused by contact between a label and the skin of wearer.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an overlay for relieving the itching and scratching caused by clothing labels and tags, as well as the seams where they are attached to a garment. Use of this invention eliminates the need to cut labels out of clothing, which can potentially damage the article of clothing. If the location of label or tag is in an especially sensitive area, the label may be carefully removed and secured to the article of clothing in a less sensitive area, thereby preserving the information contained on the label.

The overlay is a hypoallergenic material comprised of a soft, bondable and clear material including a clear adhesive that permanently bonds the overlay to the material of the clothing article. Preferably, the overlay is provided to a user in a sheet approximately five inches in width by eight inches in length. The overlay is easily cut to a size larger than the label to be overlaid by scissors or other such cutting instruments.

In one embodiment, the overlay comprises a lightweight, sheer nylon and/or polyester fabric or thermoplastic bonded to a pressure sensitive or temperature sensitive adhesive. The pressure sensitive adhesive includes a paper backing to be separated from the overlay prior to applying the overlay to the tag and garment. The heat activated adhesive does not require the backing material. Specific examples of thermoplastic materials are type nylon 4220 and polyester 5250 as sold by Bemis Associates Inc. of Shirley Mass.

When applied to the clothing and label, the overlay is permanently bonded to the garment. It is machine washable and dryable at low temperature settings on drying devices such as residential household dryers. The overlay exhibits an elastic property that returns it to its size after the garment has been laundered.

The overlay may comprise a hypoallergenic material that is inert. In on instance the process for overlaying the label may entail carefully removing the sewn-in tag. The remnants of the tag are overlaid with a strip of material to flatten them against the article of clothing. The tag is then moved or relocated on the article of clothing above a less sensitive area or part of the body. The tag is then overlaid and secured to the article of clothing with a second strip of overlay of the present invention.

It is an object of the invention to provide an overlay that comprises a very soft, bondable and translucent material which will adhere permanently to fabric. The translucent nature of the material allows the writing of the label to be read even after the overlay has been adhered to the garment. In a first embodiment, the overlay comprises an adhesive that is pressure sensitive and includes a paper backing delivery system on one side of the adhesive. In a second embodiment, the adhesive is heat activated and includes only the overlay material and the adhesive.

It is another object of the invention to provide an overlay that is produced and packaged in sheets, approximately five (5) inches by (8) inches. The overlay can be cut to size with household scissors and placed over garment labels/tags and the seams where they attach to the garment to reduce or alleviate skin irritation.

Further objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description and the included claims when taken in connection with the previous discussion and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of the overlay of the present invention for use in a first embodiment of the invention. FIG. 1B is a perspective view of the overlay of the present invention used in a second embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a prior art t-shirt type article of clothing that includes a tag or label that is sewn into the neck area.

FIG. 3 is an elevation cross sectional view of the overlay shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a first embodiment of the overlay comprising a pressure activated adhesive and backing.

FIG. 5 is a second embodiment of the overlay comprising a temperature activated adhesive.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1A depicts a clear overlay 10 used in securing a label 101 to a garment 100 such that the label is secured flat against the article of clothing 100. The clear overlay 10 includes an adhesive 15 that permanently bonds the tag or label 101 to the article of clothing 100. For example, the t-shirt shown in FIG. 2 includes a label 101 located in the neck area of the t-shirt 100 near an opening through which the head of the wearer passes. If the wearer has sensitive skin in the neck area, the tag 101 which is sewn into the shirt on one edge may irritate the wearer. In this first embodiment, the overlay extends past all four edges of the tag.

FIG. 1B depicts a second method of employing the overlay to secure a tag 101 to an article of clothing 100. In this embodiment, the overlay 10 only extends past three edges of the tag 101. This allows a user to insert a small blade between the tag and article of clothing to cut free the tag should the need arise. A blade may be used to cut the overlay for reapplying a new overlay or providing access to the back side of the tag.

Typically, the overlay material is provided in sheet form. However, it is understood that various sizes may be provided in a single package for the most common sized labels. If provided in sheet form, an overlay 10 is cut to a size that is slightly larger than the tag 101. Typically, the overlay is cut to a size that allows it to extend ⅛″ past each edge of the tag. That is if the area of the tag is one inch square (1″×1″), then the surface area of the overlay is 1.5625 (1.25″×1.25″). This allows an adequate overlapping of the overlay over the tag whilst allowing an expansion pocket 20 to be created, as discussed hereinafter.

Next, the tag 101 is flattened against the garment 100 and the side of the overlay that includes the adhesive 15 is placed against the tag. If the adhesive 15 is pressure activated, then pressure is applied to the side opposite the adhesive. Otherwise, if the adhesive 15 is thermally activated, an iron or other heat source is placed against the side of the overlay opposite the adhesive and allowed to activate the adhesive to bond it to the tag 101 and clothing article 100.

FIG. 3 shows a cross section view of the overlay of FIGS. 1A and 1B. As shown, the overlay 10 is secured to both the tag 101 and the article of clothing 100 via the adhesive 15. The tag 101 and overlay 10 is flattened against the garment 100 whilst allowing small air pockets 20 to be present around the edges of the tag as shown. These air pockets allow expansion and contraction of the overlay and garment without causing the two to be pulled apart when laundry and garment care actions are performed since the two may have varying degrees of elasticity.

FIGS. 4 and 5 depict cross section views of the two types of overlays. In FIG. 4, the overlay 10 is a pressure activated overlay that includes a backing material 25 for preventing the adhesive 15 from becoming contaminated with dust and the like before use. The backing 25 is separated from the adhesive 15 prior to use. In FIG. 5, no backing is necessary since the adhesive 15 is thermally activated and is not tacky or sticky prior to being exposed to heat.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the exact construction illustrated and described above, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.