Title:
Apparel with telescoping sleeves
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An extensible sleeve having a first sleeve portion and a second sleeve portion is provided. The extensible sleeve is adapted to be used in a protective garment. A plurality of creases are disposed along one of the sleeve portions forming pleats. The other sleeve portion is placed internal and coincident to the first and the pleats are affixed to an outer surface of this internal sleeve portion. Pulling upon the sleeve portion would cause a partial to a total unfolding of at least one pleat resulting in a lengthening of the sleeve. The pleats may also prove useful in retaining a glove upon the sleeve.



Inventors:
Griesbach III, Henry L. (Clarkston, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/955699
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
09/30/2004
Assignee:
Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D10/00; A41B9/00
View Patent Images:
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20080312615REMOVABLE SURGICAL DRAIN POCKET/POUCHDecember, 2008Hunter
20070294804PLASTIC ADHESIVE CUFFDecember, 2007Pinelli
20080276345Two person garment having four arm sleevesNovember, 2008Brown
20060156454Reverse shaped garmentJuly, 2006Han
20080196147Mascot Storage Type ShortsAugust, 2008Kume et al.
20060064799Modular helmetMarch, 2006Dion



Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. (Neenah, WI, US)
Claims:
It is claimed:

1. A radially telescoping sleeve section, comprising: a first sleeve portion having a length, a plurality of pleats radially oriented and spaced apart along the length, each pleat having a first and a second radial crease, the first radial crease being a reverse fold of the second radial crease; a second sleeve portion having a length, the second sleeve portion being axially extensible, the second sleeve portion being attachably affixed to the first sleeve portion at a plurality of the first radial creases such that the pleats are in a folded condition when the second sleeve portion is in a nonextended state and in an unfolded condition when the second sleeve portion is in an extended state.

2. The sleeve section of claim 1 wherein each pleat comprises a first side and a second side, originating at opposite sides of each pleat's second radial crease and terminating at adjacent first radial creases, one side being of greater length than the other side.

3. The sleeve section of claim 1 wherein each pleat is oriented such that the second radial crease of each pleat is biased in a first direction.

4. The sleeve section of claim 1 wherein the second sleeve portion is elastically extensible.

5. The sleeve section of claim 1 wherein each pleat comprises one of the first radial creases and one of the second radial creases, a leading side located between the first and second radial crease, and a trailing side located between the second radial crease and the first radial crease of a successive pleat, wherein the leading side is of greater length than the trailing side.

6. The sleeve section of claim 5 wherein each leading side is oriented toward a distal end of the sleeve with respect to its corresponding trailing side.

7. The sleeve section of claim 1 incorporated into a garment sleeve.

8. The sleeve section of claim 1 wherein the pleats are arranged such that liquid is captured within proximity to the first radial creases.

9. A surgical gown comprising the sleeve section of claim 1.

10. An extensible sleeve comprising: a first material having a length, a plurality of creases incrementally and perpendicularly spaced along the length, the first material being formed into a first cylindrical sleeve portion, the plurality of creases comprising a first set of radial folds and a second set of radial folds, the individual folds alternating between the first and second set and disposed along the material so as to form a plurality of pleats in the first sleeve portion; a second material formed into a second cylindrical sleeve portion, the second sleeve portion being coincident to the first sleeve portion, a portion of the first set of radial folds being affixed to an outer surface of the second sleeve portion.

11. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein each pleat comprises a first side and a second side, one side being longer than the other side.

12. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein the linear dimension of the first sides differ with respect to one another and the linear dimension of the second sides differ with respect to one another.

13. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein each pleat comprises one of the first radial creases and one of the second radial creases, a leading side located between the first and second radial crease, and a trailing side located between the second radial crease and the first radial crease of a successive pleat, wherein the leading side is of greater length than the trailing side.

14. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein each first radial crease is folded such that it is situated internally to the first sleeve portion.

15. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein application of a pulling force upon the second sleeve portion causes a partial to a total unfolding of at least one pleat resulting in a lengthening of the sleeve.

16. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein the second sleeve portion is elastically extensible.

17. The sleeve of claim 10 comprising an absorbent material placed proximate to at least some of the first radial creases within the pleats.

18. The sleeve of claim 10 wherein the sleeve is adapted to retain a glove thereon.

19. A surgical gown comprising the material of claim 10.

20. The surgical gown of claim 19 wherein the material is adapted to provide adjustability in sizing the gown.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to user adjustable protective apparel or garments. More specifically, an adjustable protective garment is disclosed capable of providing some protection for an individual in a hazardous environment while permitting easy size adjustability. Protective apparel or garments, such as coveralls and gowns, designed to provide barrier protection to a wearer are well known in the art. Such protective garments are used in situations where isolation of a wearer from a particular environment is desirable, or it is desirable to inhibit or retard the passage of hazardous liquids and biological contaminates through the garment to the wearer.

For example, in the medical and health-care industry, particularly with surgical procedures, a primary concern is isolation of the medical practitioner from patient fluids such as blood, saliva, perspiration, etc. Protective garments rely on the barrier properties of the fabrics used in the garments, and on the construction and design of the garment. Openings or seams in the garments may be unsatisfactory, especially if the seams or openings are located in positions where they may be subjected to stress and/or direct contact with the hazardous substances.

Originally, surgical gowns were made of linen, the gowns being sterilized prior to use in the operating room. Linen gowns were not capable of preventing “strikethrough” of various liquids encountered during surgical procedures. As a result, the wearer's clothes came into contact with blood and the like, and a path was established for the transmission of bacteria to and from the wearer of the gown. Additionally, linen gowns, due to their high cost, had to be used a number of times, thus necessitating laundering and sterilization between successive uses.

In an attempt to reduce strike-through of liquids and to eliminate the need for repeated laundering and sterilization, disposable gowns were made from fluid repellent nonwoven fabrics. These gowns reduced liquid strike-through for a limited time. However, due to the generally inextensible nature of these nonwoven fabric constructions, they tend to have less ability to conform to the body than the previously used linens or knits. So, in order to accommodate a range of body shapes, the sleeves as well as the chest region of the nonwoven gown are typically designed to be loose fitting so as to minimize the undesirable possibility that the gown may be too tight in some area or areas.

Conversely, a wearer having body dimensions smaller than the maximum size contemplated by the garment can encounter areas or regions of the gown or sleeve that hang or are caused to hang loosely. This phenomenon is known as “blousing”. Unfortunately blousing often occurs in or at regions which may be undesirable for the intended use of the gown. Such areas often include the interface area between sleeves and gloves, another, at the chest area. While it is typically known in the art to incorporate pleats into a garment in order to reduce blousing, solutions that maintain pre-determined folds oriented in a flat relationship with respect to the body, particularly in the chest area and sleeve, are not known in the manner described herein. Such solutions involving folds would be conformable, allow adjustability of the gown in order to accommodate different wearer body shapes and sizes, and may be useful in providing additional benefits such as collection of fluids as specified in this disclosure.

When blousing occurs at the interface between the sleeve and glove, the folds often involve longitudinal orientations with respect to the arm. This results in a problem known as “channeling”. That is, the sleeve of the gown is bunched up under the glove as a result of pulling and rolling the glove up over the cuff and sleeve so that channels may develop along the wearer's wrist. These channels may become accessible to fluids. Such fluids may enter these channels and run along the channels between the outer surface of the gown and the inner surface of the surgical glove. The fluids may then contaminate the gown cuff, which lies directly against the wearer's wrist or forearm, particularly if the cuff is absorbent or fluid pervious, or the wearer's skin directly.

Thus, a need exists for an improved device and method for enabling adjustability of a gown by the end user that assists in the minimization of fluid passage across the interface between a glove and sleeve of a protective garment. Such a device would be capable of being easily incorporated into the protective garment and would also be economically cost effective to implement and practice.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the following description, or may be obvious from the description, or may be learned through practice of the invention.

The present invention provides an adjustable protective garment adapted to provide barrier protection to an individual. Such a garment is capable of conforming to various body shapes and sizes by providing a specific, identifiable pleated region or regions that allow for the adjustability of the garment. Additionally, the garment may incorporate an effective and economical mechanism for minimizing channeling and for improving the interface area between the sleeves of the garment and a glove pulled over the sleeves. Such an improvement may be adapted to inhibit the cuff end of a glove from rolling or sliding back down the garment sleeves once the wearer has pulled the gloves on. In this way, the garment according to the invention addresses the disadvantages of conventional garments discussed above.

It should be appreciated that, although the present invention has particular usefulness as a surgical gown, the invention is not limited in scope to surgical gowns or the medical industry. The protective garment according to the present invention has wide application and can be used in any instance wherein a protective coverall, gown, robe, etc., is used with gloves or without gloves. All such uses and garments are contemplated within the scope of the invention.

In an embodiment of the invention, a protective garment is provided having a garment body. The garment may be, for example, a surgical gown, a protective coverall, etc. The garment body includes sleeves, each sleeve possessing a sleeve portion that may terminate in a cuff disposed at the distal end of the sleeve. The sleeve cuffs may be formed from or include an elastic material, and may be liquid retentive or liquid impervious.

In a broad aspect of the invention, radial pleats are axially disposed upon the sleeve portion and maintained in a flat relationship relative to the sleeve's outer surface. That is, each pleat is uniformly folded around the central axis of the sleeve or sleeve portion, and the pleats are contiguously disposed upon the sleeve portion so that the folds of the pleats are parallel to each other and nonintersecting. The pleats themselves may be created by making successive folds in the axial direction in an outer layer of a sleeve in order to form an accordion-like arrangement. The pleat arrangement is maintained in a flat relationship with respect to the sleeve surface by appropriately attaching regions of the pleats to a second, inner layer of material having extensible properties. This other layer may be made of an extensible or a reversibly extensible material so that in a stretched or extended state, the pleats are at least partially unfolded, and in a relaxed state the pleats refold.

To address the issue of channeling, the pleats may be situated on the garment sleeve so that the circumferential arrangement of each of the successive pleats along the sleeve may be used to form a barrier to the flow of liquid on the sleeve. Arranging the pleats such that each of the radial folds is directed toward the wearer's shoulder, that is, away from the wearer's hands, will have a tendency to cause liquids to be trapped in the folds of the pleats. Additionally, conventional surgical gloves and other types of stretchable protective gloves often have a thickened portion or “bead” at the glove cuff itself. The present invention takes advantage of this feature by providing the bead with a surface to catch upon or otherwise form a more secure seat. That surface is the pleat or the series of successive pleats on the gown sleeve. The pleats may act as a stop against which the bead of the glove contacts should it start to slide or roll down the garment sleeve, thus inhibiting further movement of the glove on the sleeve.

Moreover, in one particular embodiment a radially telescoping sleeve section is provided. The sleeve section has a first and a second sleeve portion. The first sleeve portion has a length and a plurality of pleats radially oriented along the length with each pleat spaced apart a distance from the next along the length. Each pleat would also have a first and a second radial crease. The first radial crease is a reverse fold of the second radial crease. The second sleeve portion also has a length and is axially extensible along its length. The second sleeve portion is attached to the first sleeve portion at a plurality of the first radial creases such that the pleats are in a folded condition when the second sleeve portion is in a nonextended state. The pleats are in a partially to fully unfolded condition when the second sleeve portion is in an extended state. Additionally, the second sleeve portion may be made to be elastically extensible.

In an additional embodiment, each pleat has a first side and a second side which are disposed upon opposite sides of each pleat's second radial crease. The sides terminate at adjacent first radial creases. One side of each pleat may be of greater length than the other side. Each pleat may be oriented such that the second radial diameter of each pleat is biased in a first direction. Each pleat may also have one of the first radial creases and one of the second radial creases configured such that a leading side is considered to lie between the first and second radial crease, and a trailing side is considered to lie between the second radial crease and the first radial crease of a successive pleat. In these embodiments, the leading side may be of greater length than the trailing side. The leading side may be oriented toward a distal end of the sleeve with respect to its corresponding trailing side.

In a further embodiment, it may be desirable to incorporate the sleeve section into a garment sleeve. It may also be desirable incorporate the sleeve section into a surgical gown. Moreover, the pleats may be arranged such that liquid is captured within the creases forming the pleats.

In another aspect, the invention provides an extensible sleeve made of a first material having a length. This material may be formed into a first generally cylindrical sleeve portion. A plurality of creases may be disposed incrementally one from the next perpendicularly spaced along the sleeve portion, these creases being a first set of radial folds and a second set of radial folds. The folds alternating between the first and second set and disposed along the material form a plurality of pleats in the first sleeve portion. A second material is also formed into a generally cylindrical sleeve portion. The second sleeve portion is placed coincident to the first sleeve portion. A portion of the first set of radial folds may be affixed to an outer surface of the second sleeve portion. In such a sleeve each first radial crease may be folded such that it is situated internally to the first sleeve portion and the application of a pulling force upon the second sleeve portion would cause a partial to a total unfolding of at least one pleat resulting in a lengthening of the sleeve.

Additional features of the embodiments may include the second sleeve portion being elastically extensible; the addition of an absorbent material placed proximate to at least some of the first radial creases within the pleats; the sleeve being capable of retaining a glove thereon; and such a sleeve being incorporated into a surgical gown.

Embodiments of the protective garment according to the invention are described below in greater detail with reference to the appended figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a side cutaway view of an embodiment of a sleeve according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view depicting the pleats of the FIG. 1 embodiment;

FIG. 2A is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatical view of a garment containing the sleeve embodiment of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatical view of the FIG. 1 sleeve working in conjunction with a glove.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to one or more examples of the invention depicted in the figures. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, and not meant as a limitation of the invention. For example, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment may be used with another embodiment to yield still a different embodiment. Other modifications and variations to the described embodiments are also contemplated within the scope and spirit of the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a radially telescoping sleeve section 10 having a first sleeve portion 12 and a second sleeve portion 14. Each of the portions 12 and 14 are provided in the form of a generally tubular arrangement, casing, or sleeve made up of at least a single layer of sheet material. Each of the sleeve portions 12 and 14 may be manufactured from the sheet materials during or subsequent to the manufacturing process through the use of any mechanical, chemical, or thermal process including but not limited to a combination of thermal bonding, mechanical bonding, chemical bonding, ultrasonic bonding, or other means well known and understood by those skilled in the art. Each sleeve portion 12 and 14 is characterized in that it has a length. The length of each portion 12 and 14 may or may not be identical to one another.

The first sleeve portion 12 is made to contain at least one pleat 16, and often a plurality of such pleats 16, exaggerated in the FIG. for clarity. Looking now to FIG. 2 where the pleats are shown in greater detail, it can be seen that each pleat 16 may be formed by radially creasing or folding the material of the sleeve portion 12 so as to create a first radial crease 18. The crease 18 is manipulated or otherwise folded inward with respect to the sleeve portion 12 while it is maintained in a generally perpendicular orientation with respect to the length of the sleeve portion 12. A second radial crease 20 is formed a desirable distance from the first crease 18 in the sleeve portion 12 in a manner similar to that of the first crease 18. A distinction between the two, however, is that the crease 20 is a reverse fold of crease 18. A series of these folds or creases 18 and 20 are alternately repeated until a desirable number of pleats 16 are formed in the sleeve portion 12. Such an arrangement may take on the appearance of an accordion-like folding pattern with the creases 18 situated internal to the sleeve portion 12, i.e., proximate to the sleeve portion 14 and the creases 20 visible on an exterior surface of the sleeve portion 12, i.e., distal to the sleeve portion 14.

Looking in more detail to an exemplary pleat 16 and for the sake of simplicity designating a first radial crease 18 as the beginning of the pleat 16, it may be seen that each pleat has a first pleat length 22 and a second pleat length 24 with a second radial crease 20 disposed therebetween. The pleat 16 terminates at the next consecutive crease 18. This pattern continues successively for each pleat 16. It should, of course, be understood that each pleat 16 may alternatively be designated as beginning and ending at a crease 20 thus placing a crease 18 therebetween. In other words, describing each pleat 16 as starting and ending with a crease 18 is meant simply to provide an easily identifiable point of origin from which to describe each pleat 16 and to associate that pleat with respect to the other pleats 16 in the sleeve section 10.

Looking still to an individual pleat 16, it may be seen that the pleat lengths 22 and 24 may in fact differ from one another. Still in further embodiments each pleat length 22 may differ from other pleat lengths 22 and each pleat length 24 may also differ from other pleat lengths 24. In some embodiments contemplated herein it is desirable to maintain the pleats 16 in a flattened relationship along the length of the sleeve section 10, as such the pleats are biased in one direction or the other along the length of the sleeve section 10 so that each pleat 16 is nested in an accordion-like arrangement. This arrangement is characterized in that for each pleat 16, each one of the lengths 22 or 24 are made longer than its corresponding length 24 or 22, respectively.

The second sleeve portion 14, in certain embodiments is placed internal to the first sleeve portion 12 so that the second sleeve portion 14 is concentrically oriented within the first sleeve portion 12. This forms a sleeve-in-sleeve configuration with the pleated or first sleeve section 12 exterior to the sleeve section 10. All or some of the radial creases 18 may be affixed to the second sleeve portion 14. The creases 18 may be affixed using a number of possible methods known to those skilled in the art, including but not limited to, mechanical bonding, thermal bonding, ultrasonic bonding, and chemical bonding techniques. By making the second sleeve portion 14 extensible along its length in the direction of arrow “L” as shown in FIG. 2 and by affixing the creases 18 to the second sleeve portion 14 so that each pleat is oriented in its folded state, each pleat 16 may selectively be unfolded depending upon whether the second sleeve portion 14 is extended in that region lying between any two adjoining creases 18. As such, each pleat 16 may be made to partially or fully unfold at the desire of a wearer by the effect of the second sleeve portion 14 extending a distance.

The value of such a concept is easily understood by drawing a comparison to the present state of the art with respect to the solution presented herein. Presently a wearer of a disposable garment is provided with a single size or a selection of predetermined sizes wherein each available size garment contains areas or regions designed to hang loosely or blouse. Custom fitting of such garments is inherently impractical. Therefore the sleeve length as well as the length of the garment are often left long to accommodate a larger number of wearer body shapes and sizes. By incorporating the sleeve 10 into such a garment, for example into the garment arm sleeves, into the garment leggings, or into that portion designed to cover the wearer's torso, the wearer is provided with a garment that initially may appear to be foreshortened, however, by pulling or tugging on the sleeve 10, some portion of the second sleeve portion 14 is extended thereby allowing an individual pleat 16 or a multiple of such pleats 16 to partially or fully unfold. This results in a lengthening of the garment. By making the second sleeve portion 14 reversibly extensible or elastic, the pleats 16 could be made to be capable of alternately folding and unfolding as desired.

Thus far the sleeve section 10 has been described as an assemblage of at least two components, the first sleeve portion 12 and the second sleeve portion 14. However, the sleeve section 10 is suitable for incorporation into a broad range of protective garments including surgical gowns which are described herein for illustrative purposes only. Turning now to FIG. 3, it should be understood that a garment 50 may be of any type or style of protective covering that is generally worn about the body. One such application may be found in the protective garment 50 illustrated, which includes a main body portion 52, a neck portion 54, and sleeves 56 attached to the main body portion 52 at a seam 58 or alternatively may be formed as an integral part of the body portion 52. Each such sleeve 56 would include an upper, shoulder, or proximal end 60, and a lower, hand, or distal end 62.

At least a portion of the sleeve 56 contains a sleeve section 10 as described herein. The sleeve section 10 may be placed at the proximal end 60, the distal end 62, and may even encompass the entire sleeve 56. Moreover, the sleeve section 10 may be a separate component discretely incorporated into the sleeve 56. It is also envisioned that one of the sleeve portions 12 or 14 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 may be longer in length than the other. This longer portion 12 or 14 would itself form the remainder of the sleeve 56 as depicted in FIG. 3. Though it is not depicted, the main body portion 52 may also have a nontubular section with the adjustable features of a sleeve section 10 incorporated therein to lengthen the main body portion 52.

Looking once again to the arrangement of the pleats 16 depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, it may be seen that each pleat is biased in the same direction. By assembling the sleeve section 10 such that the radial crease 20 in each pleat 16 is oriented closer to the proximal end 60 of the sleeve 56 than is that pleat's initial crease 18 each crease 20 will be oriented in a direction pointing toward the wearer's shoulder region as shown in FIG. 3, thereby creating pockets in the sleeve 56. These pockets may be useful in serving as dams toward the progression of liquids along the length of the sleeve 56. Additionally, an absorbent material 64 or a treatment may be strategically placed in these pockets as shown in FIG. 2A to absorb at least a portion of any such liquids. FIG. 2A also depicts one method of securing the sleeve portion 12 to the sleeve portion 14. The method depicted is through the use of an adhesive 74, however, as discussed above other methods including but not limited to, mechanical bonding, thermal bonding, ultrasonic bonding, and chemical bonding techniques are also contemplated and are understood by those skilled in the art.

It should be appreciated that the type of fabric or material used for the garment 50 including the materials of sleeve section 10 are not a limiting factor of the invention. The garment 50 may be made from a multitude of materials, including nonwoven materials suitable for disposable use. For example, gown embodiments of the garment 50 may be made of a nonwoven material resulting in a garment that is less likely to tear during donning or wearing. A material particularly well suited for use with the present invention is a three-layer nonwoven material known as SMS. “SMS” is an acronym for Spunbond-Meltblown-Spunbond layers that are individually constructed and then laminated together. See for example U.S. Pat. No. 4,041,203 to Brock et al. One particular advantage is that the SMS material exhibits enhanced fluid barrier characteristics, making it desirable for use in a surgical setting. It should be noted, however, that other nonwovens as well as other materials including wovens, knits, films, foam/film laminates, and combinations thereof may be used in the construction of the present invention.

Looking back to FIG. 3, the sleeve 56 may incorporate a gown cuff 66 attached to the distal end 62 of the sleeve 56. The configuration of the cuff 66 and the materials used in its construction may vary widely. For example, cuffs made from a knitted material may be provided. The cuff 66 may be formed with or without ribs. The cuff may be formed of a liquid repellant material or a liquid retentive material. Cuffs suitable for use with garments according to the present invention are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,594,955 and 5,680,653, both of which are incorporated herein in their entirety for all purposes.

In addition to providing adjustability to a wearer, this arrangement of pleats 16 may also serve the useful function of minimizing glove cuff roll down. Typically, conventional surgical gloves and other types of stretchable protective gloves often have a thickened portion or bead at the cuff end of the glove. The present invention makes use of this bead by utilizing the series of successive pleats 16 as well as the bulk created by the absorbent material 64 is placed between sleeve portions 12 and 14 to catch or otherwise form a more secure seat with respect to the glove cuff than would otherwise be offered by a nonpleated sleeve. As such, the pleats and the radial distension caused in the sleeve from the absorbent material used thus act as a stop against which the bead of the glove contacts and catches upon if it starts to slide or roll down the garment sleeve. This combination consequently inhibits further movement of the glove on the sleeve.

As shown for example in FIG. 4, protective garments are frequently used with gloves, such as a surgical glove 68 shown in phantom. The glove 68 is pulled over the hand of the wearer and has a sufficient length so that a cuff portion 70 of the glove overlaps the gown cuff 66 and a portion of the sleeve 56. An interface is thus established between the glove interior surface and the exterior surface of the sleeve 56 and cuff 66. This interface region preferably inhibits undesirable fluids or other contaminants from running down the sleeve 56 to the cuff 66 or into the glove 68. However, glove slippage or roll-down occurs if the frictional interface between the glove interior surface and the sleeve exterior surface is insufficient to maintain the glove in position above the cuff 66. When glove roll-down occurs, the wearer is at greater risk of exposure to contaminants, particularly during a surgical procedure.

As stated, many types of protective gloves, particularly elastic synthetic or natural rubber surgical gloves, have a thickened bead 72 or region at the glove cuff end that is created in the manufacturing process. This bead 72 serves to strengthen the glove and to provide an area of increased elastic tension to aid in holding the glove in position. The present invention takes advantage of this feature by providing the bead 72 with a surface to catch upon or otherwise form a more secure seat. That surface being the pleat 16 or the series of successive pleats 16 on the gown sleeve 56 as detailed above. The pleats thus act in conjunction with the glove as a stop against which the bead of the glove contacts should it start to slide or roll down the garment sleeve, thus inhibiting further movement of the glove on the sleeve.

It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the embodiments of the present invention described and illustrated herein without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. The invention includes such modifications and variations coming within the meaning and range of equivalency of the appended claims.