Title:
Quilted kneepads integral to a child's garment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A child's garment having a ribbed kneepad integral to each leg, which kneepad serves to protect the child's knees when the child falls, crawls, or moves around without being bulky, uncomfortably, or unsightly to wear. The ribbing consists of patterns of parallel lines sewn or impressed into the fabric in the knee region of a child's garment at a position that will cover the patella of the child, which fabric further comprise layers of a thickened circular pad between the fabric layers of the garment leg.



Inventors:
Sciortino, Susan M. (Anaheim, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/003273
Publication Date:
06/08/2006
Filing Date:
12/02/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040083533Headgear strap buckle with display thereon and method for exhibiting a display on sameMay, 2004Schwartz et al.
20070011795Judah & Jacob BibmatesJanuary, 2007Davenport
20050015840Forearm sun protection garmentJanuary, 2005Biggerstaff
20060185055Wearable body-positioning devices and methodsAugust, 2006Dewitt
20050172379Adjustable Cuff System for GarmentsAugust, 2005Bush et al.
20070136923Garment with paddingJune, 2007Aldridge
20060143786Elastic steel band for sun cap or hat and method and apparatus for manufacturing the sameJuly, 2006Kim
20090044314Combined head and neck protectorFebruary, 2009Newman
20030106136Changing colors in fashion accessoriesJune, 2003Kahan
20090178182Undergarment for hernia relief and other purposesJuly, 2009Dahlquist
20070271676Touch Sensitization GloveNovember, 2007Arai



Primary Examiner:
PATEL, TAJASH D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL A. SHIPPEY, PH. D., J.D. (Hacienda Heights, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A garment incorporating a plurality of padded areas, further comprising at least two pant legs, each said leg further comprising at least one sheet of fabric being precut and attached together to cover a leg of a person to at least below the knee; two kneepads, one said kneepad being attached onto the knee region of each of said pant legs for covering a patella, said kneepads being of a size and shape to cover the patella and consisting of three layers of material namely an exterior fabric, an interior fabric, and a middle layer of thickened padding, said padding being quilted with substantially equidistant lines or arcs, thus forming a ribbed surface.

2. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein said ribbed surfaces comprise straight parallel lines.

3. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein said ribbed surface comprise circular parallel arcs.

4. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein the garment and padding are made from materials that are soft, durable, rebounding, and easy to wash.

5. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein the sheets of fabric are colored and decorated.

6. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein the exterior layer of the kneepad material comprise a circular piece of fabric identical to said garment's fabric and the interior layer of the kneepad material comprises the knee region of the garment itself.

7. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein the exterior layer of the kneepad material comprises the garment itself and the interior layer of the kneepad material comprises a circular piece of fabric of approximately the same size as the kneepad.

8. A garment incorporating two kneepads according to claim 1, wherein the exterior layer of the kneepad material comprises the garment itself and the interior layer of the kneepad material consists of a lining for the garment.

9. A garment further comprising a longed sleeved shirt, each said sleeve comprising a padded area as described in claim 1 in the area around the elbow.

10. A method for making a garment as described in claim 1, wherein first, at least one sheet of fabric is pre-cut into pieces to form a garment having at least two pant legs; next, two kneepads are attached to said garment, one said kneepad being attached onto the knee region of each pant leg of such garment; and finally, the pre-cut garment pieces are attached together to make the whole garment.

11. The method of claim 10, wherein the two kneepads are pre-cut of fabric similar or identical to the fabric of the garment; next, two pieces of padding are pre-cut in the same size and shape as the kneepads; next, the kneepads are attached to padding such that the attachment creates parallel ribs in the kneepads; and finally, the kneepads are further attached to the exterior of the front of the garment at the knee region, one said kneepad being attached onto the knee region of each pant leg of such garment.

12. The method of claim 10, wherein two pieces of padding are pre-cut in the size and shape of the kneepads; next, two fabric pieces are pre-cut in the same size and shape as the padding; next, the padding is attached to the inside of the front of the garment at the knee region; next, the padding is further attached by means of parallel lines attached from the exterior of the garment through the padding, creating ribs in the kneepads; and finally, the pre-cut fabric pieces are attached covering the padding on the inside of the garment. cm 13. The method of claim 10, wherein two pieces of padding are pre-cut in the size and shape of the kneepads; next, a garment lining is pre-cut; next, the padding is attached to the inside of the front of the garment at the knee region; next, the padding is further attached by means of parallel lines attached from the exterior of the garment through the padding, creating ribs in the kneepads; and finally the garment lining is attached to the pre-cut garment pieces before said garment pieces are attached together to complete the whole garment.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to protective kneepads, and more specifically, kneepads that are incorporated into a child's garment to provide some protection for the child's knees from injury while the child is crawling, falling, or moving around, and to the method for making said kneepadded garment.

2. Description of Related Art

As young children first become ambulatory, they roll and crawl onto their knees, and as they learn to walk, they often fall on their knees. These activities tend to injure children's knees, causing scratches, abrasions, bruising, rug burns, and sometimes even scarring. Prior art has developed knee pads and other aids to try to protect children from these injuries.

Some prior art provides padding material that straps onto a person's knee. See, for example, U.S. Des. Pat. No. 312,147 (1990), U.S. Des. Pat. No. 344,609 (1994), U.S. Des. Pat. No. 338,281 (1993), and U.S. Des. Pat. No. 417,037 (1999). U.S. Pat. No. 2,650,362 discloses a knee pad that attaches around the knees of an infant for the purpose of preventing soiling of the infant or garments and for reducing irritation from frictional contact with the floor. Other prior art has offered supporting protection in the form of a brace, often made of elastomeric material, for protecting a person's knee against shock and impact. Examples include U.S. Pat. No. 5,077,837 (1992), U.S. Pat. No. 5,168,577 (1992), U.S. Pat. No. 4,287,885 (1981), U.S. Pat. No. 4,484,361 (1984), U.S. Pat. No. 4,796,303 (1989), and U.S. Pat. No. 4,914,753 (1990). Also present in prior art are leg protection guards that offer impact resistant surfaces and interior padding to protect the shins of the user, as in Great Britain Pat. No. 2,073,009A (1981).

Most prior art treats knee and leg padding for adults, but there are only a few instances that target the specific needs of children. One of these is U.S. Pat. No. 4,845,778 (1989), which teaches a crawling garment for children and a method of making the garment. The knee areas of the garment are formed of a thermal heat setting material that balloons into a material of thicker padding when heated during the process of making the garment. U.S. Pat. No. 5,845,335, teaches a garment with pads that make noise when compressed, while U.S. Pat. No. 4,845,778 discloses a garment which may include an embossed or roughened knee area to provide an anti-slip surface.

While prior art may be suitable for the particular purpose for which made, or for general use, none of the prior art is suitable for the purposes of the present invention as disclosed hereafter. The prior art offers bulky pads or anti-skid surfaces that are uncomfortable, inflexible, roughened, and difficult for an infant to wear. In addition, the prior art that teaches anti-skid surfaces creates so too much traction such that it becomes difficult for a child to move across rugs, blankets, or other non-slippery surfaces. Rather, an ideal kneepad for a child would be one that is easy to put on and keep on wearing, that would provide some protection for the child's knees from hard and rough surfaces, that is washable and durable, that is soft, pliable, and flexible for comfortable wearing by the child, and that allows the child unimpeded movement across almost any surface. It would be best if the kneepad were to be integrated into the child's garment because then there would be only one item for the child to put on, it could not come loose while being worn, and it would not be lost when not in use. It would also be more attractive if the kneepad did not consist of a patch of material different than the rest of the garment, and thus would stand out from the garment, but rather consisted of the same fabric, and thus would blend with the garment fabric. None of the inventions and patents referenced here, either separately or together, is seen to describe the present invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to protective, quilted kneepads that are incorporated into a child's garment, which when worn, provide some protection for the child's knees from injury while the child is crawling, falling, or moving around. The quilted ribbing of the kneepads creates a thickened, durable barrier against injury of the child's knees. This ribbing consists of parallel stitching or other attachment means that is sewn or otherwise impressed through thickened padding in the knee area of the clothing. This stitching or other attachment serves to hold the thick padding in place while a child is active. It also creates wide ribs in the garment surface that create some traction with the surface over which an infant moves without causing excessive friction to impede activity.

The padding is attached between two layers of the garment in the area of each knee in a location that will cover each patella of the wearer. It may be attached by quilting it to the reverse side of a circular piece of fabric that is identical to the garment fabric, which two-layer circular piece is then attached to the knee area of the garment. Alternatively, the padding may be attached by quilting a circular piece to the inside of the knee area of the garment and next covering it by lining all or part of the inside of the garment or by enclosing it by means of a piece of fabric that is sized and shaped the same as the padding and that is sewn or otherwise attached to the inside of the garment to cover the padding. Cotton or synthetic fiber padding would be preferred for its flexibility, softness, and thickness.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a thickened kneepad for some protection of an infant's patella and knee area.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a soft, pliable, flexible, and protective kneepad that is durable and easy to clean.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a kneepad that will remain covering the knee area of an active infant, and as such will not slide up, down, or around the leg while the infant is in motion.

It is also an object of this invention to secure the padding by means of quilting so that it remains in place without bunching or the thinning that, without the quilting, is likely to result from crawling by an active child.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a knee-protecting infant garment that is made of soft, pliable materials by means of an inexpensive process.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a padding integral to the front of an infant's garment in the knee area so that it remains covering the patella without the use of any tight banding around the infant's leg to keep the padding in place.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a knee-protecting infant garment that does not have large patches of different fabric over the knees but rather offers protected padding that blends into the garment, thereby improving the look and attractiveness of the garment for the consumer.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art from further review of the following detailed description of preferred embodiments when considered with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of a child's garment employing a preferred embodiment of the, current invention.

FIG. 2 is a front view of the knee section of the child's garment employing the same embodiment of the current invention.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the midline of the patch of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a child's garment displaying a modified embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a front view of the knee section of the child's garment displaying the modified embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the midline of the patch of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The present invention relates to kneepads that are integral to a child's garment that will provide some protection for the child's knees from injuries when crawling, rolling, or learning to walk. There are two embodiments of the present invention whereby the kneepads are ribbed in horizontal parallel lines and in circular parallel lines.

FIG. 1 illustrates an infant's garment 10 utilizing the first embodiment of the kneepads 22 sewn or otherwise attached or impressed into each leg of the garment 10. The garment is displayed as a short jumpsuit, but any of a variety of legged garments may be used, including garments with legs that are full length to the feet, or even garments with footed legs. The fabric used may also be of various types, although the preferred fabric would be of a kind that is durable, pliable, soft, and easily cleanable like cotton or a synthetic blend.

In the first embodiment, the kneepads 22 consist of a circle of fabric that is identical to the fabric used for the garment and a circle of padding of approximately the same size. The interior of the circle is crossed horizontally with parallel ribs 26, which are sewn or otherwise attached or impressed into the circle 24. The ribs 26 are created by sewing or impressing lines of stitching or embossing into the circle of fabric and padding. The quilted circle of fabric and padding is next attached or otherwise impressed onto the knee area of the garment, creating a boundary circle 24 completely surrounding the knee region of the front of the garment 10. In this way, the garment fabric and the kneepad fabric are the same material, and the kneepad blends visually and tactilely into the rest of the garment leg, making it attractive and comfortable to the user.

The kneepad may alternatively be created by quilting a circular piece of padding onto the inside of the garment in the knee region and covering it by means of lining the garment or enclosing it by means of securing a circular backing over the padding.

FIG. 2 is a close up view of the front of the knee region of one leg of the garment 10 displaying the first embodiment of one of the kneepads 22. In this view, the stitched or otherwise impressed boundary circle 24 can be clearly seen with the horizontal parallel ribs 26 sewn or otherwise impressed across the circle 24. This ribbing is sewn or otherwise impressed through the thickened padding and enclosed between two layers of fabric, as previously described in FIG. 1. The stitching or other attachment serves to hold the thick padding in place while a child is crawling or otherwise active. It also creates wide ribs in the garment surface that create some traction with the surface over which an infant moves without causing excessive friction to impede activity.

In FIG. 3, a sectional view of the first embodiment of one of the kneepads 22 is illustrated. From this side view, the construction of the pad becomes apparent. The circular boundary 24 that is sewn or otherwise attached or impressed into the fabric of the garment in the knee region 10 also serves to enclose the padding 42 between the two layers of material 40, 41. The padding 42 may consist of a durable, washable, light-weight, rebounding cotton or synthetic fiber filling material of sufficient thickness to provide comfort and some protection to the knees of an active child. The exterior layer of material 41 is the garment or alternatively is a circular patch of fabric identical to the garment fabric. The interior layer of material 40 is the exterior of the garment or alternatively a circular backing or lining. The exterior layer of material is stitched, embossed, or otherwise impressed to create horizontal parallel ribs 26 across the pad-thickened circle. By starting the stitching or impressing at the outer edges of the circle and working toward the center, the padding will be thinner at the circle edges and thicker at the center of the circle because the impressions into the padding tend to force the thickness toward the circle center 28. This treatment increases the flexibility and softness of the kneepad by focusing the bulkier part at the center, with the result that the kneepad is more comfortable for the infant to wear while active and at the same time increases the thickness of the padding at the precise area where protection is most needed, which is at the patella. The stitched or impressed ribbing has the further advantage of securing the padding in place to the material so the padding does not become bunched or thinned during use by a crawling or otherwise active child. In addition, by creating an uneven fabric surface, the ribbing offers slightly more friction than would an even fabric surface, providing some traction for an active infant but without impeding motion by creating too much friction.

FIG. 4 illustrates an infant's garment 10 utilizing the second embodiment of the kneepads 32 sewn or otherwise impressed into each leg of the garment 10. As described in FIG. 1, the garment is displayed as a short jumpsuit, but any of a variety of legged garments may be used, including garments with legs that are full length to the feet or even footed legs. The fabric used may be of various types, although the preferred fabric would be of a kind that is durable, pliable, soft, and easily cleanable like cotton or a synthetic blend.

In the second embodiment, the kneepads 32 consist of a circle of fabric that is identical to the fabric used for the garment and a circle of padding of approximately the same size. Several smaller concentric circles 36 are then stitched or otherwise impressed into the circle 34 making it two layers quilted together. The quilted circle of fabric and padding is next attached or otherwise impressed onto the knee area of the garment, creating a boundary circle 34 completely surrounding the knee region of the front of the garment 10. In this way, the garment fabric and the kneepad fabric are identical and the kneepad blends into the rest of the garment leg, making it attractive to the user. The ribbing has the same effects as was described in FIG. 1.

Alternatively, the kneepad may be created by quilting a circular piece of padding onto the inside of the garment in the knee region and enclosing it by means of lining the garment or securing a circular backing to cover the padding.

FIG. 5 is a close up view of the front of the knee region of one leg of the garment 10 displaying the second embodiment of one of the kneepads 32. In this view, the stitched or otherwise impressed boundary circle 34 can be clearly seen with the inner circles 36 sewn or otherwise impressed inside it.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the second embodiment of one of the kneepads 32. From this side view, the construction of the pad becomes apparent. The circular boundary 34 that is sewn or otherwise impressed into the fabric of the garment in the knee region 10 also serves to enclose the padding 42 between two layers of material 40, 41. The padding 42 may consist of a durable, washable, light-weight, rebounding cotton or synthetic fiber filling material of sufficient thickness to provide comfort and some protection to the knees of an active child. The exterior layer of material 41 is the garment or alternatively is a circular patch of fabric identical to the garment fabric. The interior layer of material 40 is the exterior of the garment or alternatively a circular backing or a lining.

The exterior layer of material 41 is stitched, embossed, or otherwise impressed on the pad-thickened circle to create inner circles 36. By starting the stitching or impressing at the edge of the outer circle and working toward the center, the padding will be thinner at the outer circle edge and thicker at the center of the circle because the impressions into the padding tend to force the thickness toward the circle center 38. This treatment increases the flexibility and softness of the kneepad by focusing the bulkier part at the center, with the result that the kneepad is more comfortable for the infant to wear while active and at the same time increases the thickness of the padding at the precise area where protection is most needed, which is at the patella. The knee pad has the further advantages described in FIG. 3.

Although the primary embodiment of the current invention has been described in terms of knee pads, it is clear that this device can be used in other areas of clothing. In particular, this invention can be used in the elbow area of a long-sleeved shirt for a child or adult.

Therefore, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.