Title:
Tube hat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tube hat is described which is constructed from at least one collapsible, generally tubular member having two open ends, one end thereof being adapted to fit over the head of a person. The other open end may be gathered to form a smaller opening through which a ponytail or braid may be passed, or closed for warmth or style. In another embodiment of the invention, the tube hat may include a headband/ear warmer and a head-covering portion. The headband/ear warmer may be constructed such that the head-covering portion may be stowed therein when weather conditions warrant the use of ear protection, but not a head covering. If the temperature drops, the head-covering portion may be deployed with the now empty head band remaining useful as an ear protector. Some embodiments of the tube hat may be reversible, showing different patterns or colors for the exposed surfaces.



Inventors:
Knievel, Janet A. (Fort Collins, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/354634
Publication Date:
08/17/2006
Filing Date:
02/14/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42C5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COCHRAN FREUND & YOUNG LLC (FORT COLLINS, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hat comprising: (a) a collapsible, generally tubular member having a first open end adapted to fit on the head of a person, and a second open end disposed opposite to said first open end; and (b) means for restricting the opening of the second open end.

2. The hat of claim 1, wherein said tubular member is comprised of at least one material having a chosen thickness.

3. The hat of claim 2, wherein a portion of said at least one material in the vicinity of the first open end is folded back onto itself forming thereby a folded portion having an open end adapted to fit on the head of a person such that a double thickness of the at least one material covers at least a portion of the head of the person.

4. The hat of claim 1, further comprising a headband adapted to fit on the head of a person having a third open end and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end, the third open end being attached to said tubular member in the vicinity of the first open end thereof.

5. The hat of claim 4, wherein the third open end of said headband is stitched to said tubular member in the vicinity of the first open end thereof.

6. A hat comprising: (a) a collapsible, generally tubular member having a first open end and a second open end; and (b) a headband adapted to fit over the head of a person, having a third open end and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end, wherein said headband is attached in the region of the third open end thereof to said tubular member in the vicinity of the first open end thereof.

7. The hat of claim 6, further comprising means for restricting the second open end of said hat.

8. The hat of claim 7, wherein said means for restricting the second open end of said hat comprises an elastic band.

9. The hat of claim 6, wherein said headband is stitched to said tubular member in the vicinity of the first open end thereof.

10. A hat comprising: (a) a collapsible tubular member having a first open end and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end; and (b) a headband attached to said tubular member in the region of the first open end thereof, comprising: (i) an inner portion adapted to fit over the head of a person and to cover the ears thereof, having a third open end generally opening toward the neck of the person when worn, and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end; (ii) an outer portion approximately coextensive with said inner portion and joined thereto in the region of the third open end of said inner portion, forming thereby an annular pouch into which said tubular member can be stuffed; and (iii) fastening means for holding said inner portion and said outer portion together in the region of the fourth opening thereof.

11. The hat of claim 10, further comprising means for restricting the opening of the second open end.

12. The hat of claim 11, wherein said means for restricting the second open end of said hat comprises an elastic band.

13. The hat of claim 10, wherein said means for holding said inner portion and said outer portion together is selected from the group consisting of hooks, zippers, snaps, Velcro, Ziploc, eyelets, and buttons.

14. The hat of claim 10, wherein said inner portion and said outer portion are joined together in the region of the third open end of said inner portion by stitching.

15. The hat of claim 14, wherein said inner portion and said outer portion are formed from a single piece of material folded onto itself in the region of the third open end of said inner portion.

16. A hat comprising: (a) a collapsible tubular member having a first open end and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end; and (b) a headband attached to said tubular member in the region of the first open end thereof, comprising: (i) an inner portion adapted to fit over the head of a person and to cover the ears thereof, having a third open end generally opening toward the neck of the person when worn, and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end, said tubular portion further being attached in the region of the third open end of said inner portion; (ii) an outer portion approximately coextensive with said inner portion and joined thereto in the region of the third open end of said inner portion, forming thereby an annular pouch into which said tubular member can be stuffed; and (iii) fastening means for holding said inner portion and said outer portion together in the region of the fourth opening thereof.

17. The hat of claim 16, further comprising means for restricting the opening of the second open end.

18. The hat of claim 17, wherein said means for restricting the second open end of said hat comprises an elastic band.

19. The hat of claim 15, wherein said means for holding said inner portion and said outer portion together is selected from the group consisting of hooks, zippers, snaps, Velcro, Ziploc, eyelets, and buttons.

20. The hat of claim 16, wherein said inner portion and said outer portion are joined together in the region of the third open end of said inner portion by stitching.

21. The hat of claim 16, wherein said inner portion and said outer portion are formed from a single piece of material folded onto itself in the region of the third open end of said inner portion.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application No. 60/652,926, entitled “Tube Hat”, filed Feb. 14, 2005, by Janet A. Knievel, the entire disclosure of which is hereby specifically incorporated by reference for all that it discloses and teaches.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to hats and, more particularly, to hats having a generally tubular shape.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Reversible headwear, having different colors and/or patterns for each of the exposed headwear versions, is often desirable for fashion-conscious individuals interested in displaying matching clothing items which include a head covering.

Additionally, it is desirable to have headwear which can accommodate wearer ponytails and braids by permitting such hairstyles to pass through the headwear for purposes of style or convenience. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,509,145 for “Cap with Opening Having a Removable Closure” which issued to Karen L. Stevenson et al. on Apr. 23, 1996, a baseball-style cap having a hole at the top of the crown for a ponytail or braid to pass through and a removable closure that conceals the hole at the option of the wearer, is described.

Some head coverings are too tight, and flatten a wearer's hair. Other head coverings may be too warm in some conditions, when ear protection is all that is desired, especially if the wearer has thick hair. However, if the temperature drops, a full head covering may again be preferred.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide headwear which serves either as an ear warmer or a conveniently accessible hat which continues to provide warmth to one's ears.

Another object of the present invention is to provide headwear which allows a ponytail or braid to pass therethrough.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide headwear which can be reversed.

Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

To achieve the foregoing and other objects, and in accordance with its purposes of the present invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the tube hat hereof includes: a collapsible, generally tubular member having a first open end adapted to fit on the head of a person, and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end; and means for restricting or closing the opening of the second open end.

In another aspect of the invention and in accordance with its objects and purposes, the tube hat hereof includes: a collapsible, generally tubular member having a first open end, and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end; and a headband adapted to fit on the head of a person, having a third open end and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end, wherein the third open end is fastened to the tubular member in the vicinity of the first open end thereof.

In still another aspect of the invention and in accordance with its objects and purposes, the hat hereof includes: a collapsible tubular member having a first open end and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end, and capable of being placed over the head of a person; and a headband attached to the tubular member in the region of the first open end thereof, including: an inner portion adapted to fit over the head of a person and to cover the ears thereof, having a third open end generally opening toward the neck of the person when worn, and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end; an outer portion approximately coextensive with the inner portion and joined thereto in the region of the third open end of said inner portion, forming thereby an annular pouch into which the tubular member can be placed; and fastening means for holding the inner portion and the outer portion together in the region of the fourth opening thereof.

In yet another aspect of the invention and in accordance with its objects and purposes, the hat hereof includes: a collapsible tubular member having a first open end and a second open end disposed opposite to the first open end, and capable of being placed over the head of a person; and a headband attached to the tubular member in the region of the first open end thereof, including: an inner portion adapted to fit over the head of a person and to cover the ears thereof, having a third open end generally opening toward the neck of the person when worn, and a fourth open end disposed opposite to the third open end, the tubular portion further being attached in the region of the third open end of the inner portion; an outer portion approximately coextensive with the inner portion and joined thereto in the region of the third open end of said inner portion, forming thereby an annular pouch into which the tubular member can be placed; and fastening means for holding the inner portion and the outer portion together in the region of the fourth opening thereof.

Benefits and advantages of the present invention include, but are not limited to, providing a hat which is reversible, allows a wearer having longer hair to pass a braid or a ponytail through the fabric thereof as an option, and allows a wearer to tuck the head-covering portion of the hat into the headband, thereby providing ear covering without the warmth of a hat while retaining the head-covering option in the event that the temperature drops.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and form a part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the present invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1A is a schematic representation of an embodiment of the collapsible tube hat of the present invention shown in place on the head of a wearer thereof having head-covering portion with one open end loosely draped over the wearer's neck, FIG. 1B is a schematic representation of the collapsible tube hat shown in FIG. 1A hereof showing the open end of the head-covering portion gathered by an elastic band or other fabric gathering means, and FIG. 1C is a schematic representation of the collapsible tube hat shown in FIG. 1A hereof showing a ponytail passing through the gathered open end of the head-covering portion.

FIG. 2A is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the collapsible tube hat of the present invention shown in FIG. 1A hereof showing a flattened or collapsed condition thereof, and illustrating a headband portion for providing ear warmth and protection, a head-covering attached thereto, and a gathering device attached to the fabric portion, while FIG. 2B is a schematic representation of the embodiment of the collapsible tube hat shown in FIG. 2A hereof showing the opposite side of the collapsed tube hat from that shown in FIG. 2A.

FIG. 3A is a schematic representation of another embodiment of the headband/ear warmer portion of the tube hat of the present invention, while FIG. 3B is a schematic representation of the headband/ear warmer of FIG. 3A covering the ears of a wearer.

FIG. 4A is a schematic representation of a top projection view of the headband/ear warmer shown in FIG. 3A hereof, illustrating the partially opened pocket closure in the top portion thereof, and a small portion of the head-covering portion of the hat tucked into the pocket formed in the headband/ear warmer; FIG. 4B is a schematic representation of a cross section of the headband/ear warmer shown in FIG. 3A, illustrating the head-covering portion of the hat tucked into the pocket; FIG. 4C is a schematic representation of a cross section of the headband/ear warmer shown in FIG. 3A illustrating the head-covering portion as being fully deployed and attached to the headband/ear warmer in the vicinity of the open end thereof facing away from the neck of a wearer thereof; FIG. 4D is a schematic representation of a cross section of the headband/ear warmer shown in FIG. 3A illustrating the head-covering portion as being fully deployed and attached to the headband/ear warmer in the vicinity of the open end thereof facing the neck of a wearer thereof; and FIG. 4E is a schematic representation of a side view of the headband/ear warmer shown in FIG. 3A in its collapsed condition, illustrating the head-covering portion as being fully deployed and the headband portion being fully opened.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Briefly, the present invention includes a tube hat constructed from at least one deformable, generally tubular material having two open ends, one end being adapted to fit on the head of a person. Means are provided for restricting the opening of the open end of the hat which is not placed on the head of the wearer, for reasons of warmth or style, or to pass a ponytail or braid therethrough. It is anticipated that the material may be a cloth comprised of cotton, wool, silk, and other natural fibers, polyester and other synthetic fibers, and composite fabric materials, as examples, and combinations and blends thereof, and may be patterned or textured both inside and out, permitting different designs to be exposed when the hat is reversed. Felts, furs and fleeces, including faux fur, may also be used. More than one type of material, or materials having different thicknesses, may be used in combination as well.

In another embodiment of the invention, the tube hat may include a head band/ear warmer and a head-covering portion. Otherwise, the tube hat functions as described hereinabove.

In yet another embodiment of the tube hat of the present invention, the head band is constructed such that it forms a pocket in which the head-covering portion may be stowed when weather conditions warrant the use of ear protection, but not a head covering. If the temperature drops, the head-covering portion may be deployed with the now empty head band remaining useful as an ear protector. Otherwise, the tube hat functions as described hereinabove.

Reference will now be made in detail to the present preferred embodiments of the invention examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying FIGURES. Similar or identical structure will be denoted using identical callouts.

FIG. 1A is a schematic representation of an embodiment of collapsible tube hat, 10, of the present invention illustrated in place on the head of a wearer thereof having head-covering portion, 12, loosely draped over the wearers neck, and having first open end, 14. Second open end, 16, is adapted to fit over the head of the wearer. In some embodiments of the invention, head-covering portion 12 may cover the wearer's ears, or be adjusted to remain above the ear. In some embodiments of the invention, the portion of collapsible tube hat 10 covering the ears may be in the form of headband or ear warmer, 18, as shown in FIG. 1A. Band, 18, may be fabricated from warmer material and stitched or sewn, or otherwise attached, 20, to head-covering portion 12, which may be fabricated from a different material or band 18 may be formed from the material of head-covering portion 12 by folding it onto itself. Band 18 may be the same or different weight material from the material of head-covering portion 12, the same or a different color or pattern therefrom, the same or a different texture therefrom, and/or the same or a different material therefrom. Many combinations may be envisioned. Decorative and/or hemming stitching, 22a and 22b, may also be employed. It should be mentioned that head-covering portion 12 and headband 18 may be fabricated in more than one layer for warmth or for decorative purposes.

FIG. 1B is a schematic representation of collapsible tube hat 10 showing open end 12 gathered at one end for warmth or style by elastic band, 24, or other gathering means, such as an external string or internally placed draw string, as examples. Gathering means 24 may be used to close open end 14 of head-covering portion 12 as well. FIG. 1C is a schematic representation of collapsible tube hat 10 showing a ponytail passing through gathered open end 14.

FIG. 2A is a schematic representation of collapsible tube hat 10 in its flattened or collapsed condition, showing headband portion 18, head-covering portion 12 attached thereto, and gathering and/or closing means 24 attached to head-covering portion 12, while FIG. 2B is a schematic representation of the embodiment of collapsible tube hat 10 shown in FIG. 2A illustrating the opposite side of the collapsible tube hat thereof.

FIG. 3A is a schematic representation another embodiment of the headband/ear warmer portion of the tube hat of the present invention. Head-covering portion 12 (not shown in FIG. 3A) of collapsible tube hat 10 is stowed inside of headband/ear warmer 18 when weather conditions allow the use only of a headband/ear warmer. FIG. 3B is a schematic representation of the headband/ear warmer 18 of FIG. 3A covering the ears of a wearer.

FIG. 4A is a schematic representation of a top projection view of headband/ear warmer 18 shown in FIG. 3A hereof, illustrating the partially opened pocket closure, 26, in the top portion, 28, thereof, and a small portion of head-covering portion 12 of collapsible tube hat 10 tucked into pocket,. 30, formed in headband/ear warmer 18. Pocket 30 has a generally annular shape when tube hat 10 is in its expanded condition. Pocket closure 26 is held closed using Velcro fasteners, 32a and 32b, attached to the exterior and interior portions or walls, 34a and 34b, respectively. Hooks, zippers, snaps, Ziploc closures, eyelets, and buttons, as examples may also be used to hold pocket closure 26 closed. Walls 34a and 34b may be separate pieces of material stitched together, say, using decorative stitches 22b, or may be a single piece of material folded and stitched in the vicinity of opening 16 of headband/ear warmer 18 which faces the neck of a wearer when collapsible tube hat 10 is worn.

FIG. 4B is a schematic representation of a cross section of headband/ear warmer 18 shown in FIG. 3A, illustrating the head-covering portion 12 of the hat tucked, folded or stuffed into pocket 30. Callout, 22b, shows decorative gathering and stitching of walls 34a and 34b in the vicinity of end 16 of headband/ear warmer 18.

FIG. 4C is a schematic representation of a cross section of the headband/ear warmer 18 shown in FIG. 3A illustrating head-covering portion 12 as being fully deployed. FIG. 4C illustrates the material of head-covering portion 12 being stitched or otherwise attached, 36, to both exterior wall 34a and to interior wall 34b in the region of top portion 28 in order to help stabilize collapsible tube hat 10 when head-covering portion 12 is deployed. The material of head-covering 12 may also be attached to walls 34a and 34b at the positions designated by 20 in FIG. 4C. Exterior and interior walls 34a and 34b are shown as single-walled material; however, as stated hereinabove, materials having a double-wall may also be employed as may double walls of different materials. Loop, 39, in the material of head-covering 12 shown in the vicinity of exterior wall 34a at position permits Velcro fasteners 32a and 32b to function when the material of head-covering 12 is tucked into pocket 30. It should be mentioned that loop 39 may also be formed in the vicinity of internal wall 34b if the material of head-covering 12 is stitched to wall 34b.

FIG. 4D is a schematic representation of a cross section of the headband/ear warmer 18 shown in FIG. 3A illustrating head-covering portion 12 as being fully deployed. It is to be noticed in FIG. 4D that the material of head-covering portion 12 is stitched or otherwise attached, 36, 38, to walls 34a and 34b in the region of top portion 28, and tacked, stitched or otherwise attached, 40, in the region of opening 16 in situations where additional warmth or wind protection might be required for the ear-covering portion of tube hat 10. It should also be mentioned that the material of head-covering 12 may be stitched or otherwise attached to only one of walls 34a or 34b at either position 36 or 38, respectively, if less insulation is required or the material is sufficiently thick; in either situation, the material of head-covering 12 would be stitched or otherwise attached at position 40. Both attachments mentioned hereinabove in the region of position 40 may instead be included in stitching 22b shown in FIGS. 4B and 4C. Exterior and interior walls 34a and 34b are shown as double-walled material; however, materials having a single-wall may also be employed as may double walls of different materials.

FIG. 4E is a schematic representation of a side view of headband/ear warmer 18 shown in FIG. 3A in its collapsed condition, illustrating head-covering portion 12 as being fully deployed and the headband portion being fully opened to better show stitching 22b which either joins separate walls 34a and 34b in the region of open end 16, or decorates and stabilizes a folded, single material which constitutes walls 34a and 34b.

It should be mentioned that the embodiment of the present invention illustrated in FIGS. 3A, 3B and 4A-4E hereof may be worn as described in FIGS. 1A-1C hereof, and that headband/ear warmer 18 and head-covering member 12 of collapsible tube hat 10 described hereinabove in those FIGURES may be constructed from a single piece of fabric or other material.

The foregoing description of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and obviously many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiments were chosen and described in order to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto.