Title:
Wearable nose and face wiper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An accessory that can be worn over a garment (e.g., a glove or mitten) or directly on the hand. The accessory includes a substantially absorbent surface on which the wearer can wipe his or her nose.



Inventors:
Martin, Monica Wynn (Vail, CO, US)
Miskovsky, Susan Marie (Seattle, WA, US)
Queen, Gregory Eric (Vail, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/366249
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
03/02/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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20070006359Temperature therapy garmentJanuary, 2007Godfrey
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Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Newman DuWors (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
1. A sanitary accessory to wipe the face, comprising: an upper portion forming a loop of a first diameter, said first diameter being sized sufficiently to accommodate at least one digit; a lower portion forming a loop of a second diameter, said second diameter being sized sufficiently to accommodate a hand; and a middle portion joining the upper portion to the lower portion such that, when worn, the lower portion, through the middle portion, operates to secure the upper portion to the at least one digit, and further wherein at least one of the upper portion, the lower portion, and the middle portion being constructed of a material sufficient to absorb a substance.

2. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the material comprises a polyester fleece.

3. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the polyester fleece further comprises a soft, high quality, moisture-resistant, microfleece.

4. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory is configured to be worn directly over the hand.

5. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory is configured to be worn over a gloved hand.

6. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the accessory is configured to be worn over a mitten.

7. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the at least one digit comprises any finger or thumb of a human hand.

8. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 1, wherein the substance comprises snot.

9. A sanitary accessory to wipe the face, comprising: means for attaching an upper portion of the accessory to a digit of a human hand, the attachment means being configured to temporarily secure the accessory to the digit of, the human hand; and means for removing a substance from a face as a result of wiping the accessory across the face.

10. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, further comprising means for securing the accessory to the human hand.

11. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 10, wherein the securing means comprises a lower portion of the accessory, said lower portion defining a loop sized sufficiently to accommodate the human hand.

12. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the removing means comprises material sufficient to absorb a substance.

13. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 12, wherein the material comprises a polyester fleece.

14. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 13, wherein the polyester fleece further comprises a soft, high quality, moisture-resistant, microfleece.

15. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment means is configured to secure the accessory to the hand while not wearing a glove or mitten.

16. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment means is configured to secure the accessory to the hand while wearing a glove.

17. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment means is configured to secure the accessory to the hand while wearing a mitten.

18. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment means secures the accessory to the hand using friction.

19. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the attachment means is configured to secure the accessory to the digit of the hand regardless of whether the digit of the hand is clothed in a glove, a mitten, or neither.

20. The sanitary accessory recited in claim 9, wherein the substance comprises snot.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/657,640 entitled “Wearable Nose and Face Wiper” filed Mar. 2, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The invention is in the area of clothing. More specifically, the invention is directed to the area of wearable accessories.

2. Background Discussion

Many people suffer the unfortunate effects of cold weather while engaged in outdoor activity. For instance, many people are annoyed by a constant runny nose while skiing or running. Many people just suffer through the problem while snot runs down their face. Other people simply wipe their nose on their sleeves or gloves, which leaves unsightly snot stains on their clothing. These existing techniques for handling the problem are at best inadequate and at worst repulsive, embarrassing, and off-putting to others. An acceptable mechanism for handling the problem has eluded those skilled in the art, until now.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed at a accessory/utensil/appliance/garment that can be worn either over existing garments or without other garments, and on which the wearer can wipe his or her nose.

This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below. This summary is not intended to identify key or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to limit the scope of the invention.

In one aspect, the invention provides a sanitary accessory to wipe the face that includes an upper portion forming a loop of a first diameter, said first diameter being sized sufficiently to accommodate at least one digit; a lower portion forming a loop of a second diameter, said second diameter being sized sufficiently to accommodate a hand; and a middle portion joining the upper portion to the lower portion such that, when worm, the lower portion, through the middle portion, operates to secure the upper portion to the at least one digit, and further wherein at least one of the upper portion, the lower portion, and the middle portion being constructed of a material sufficient to absorb a substance In another aspect, the invention provides a sanitary accessory to wipe the face that includes means for attaching an upper portion of the accessory to a digit of a human hand, the attachment means being configured to temporarily secure the accessory to the digit of the human hand; and means for removing a substance from a face as a result of wiping the accessory across the face.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a pattern layout of one embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the embodiment introduced in FIG. 1 in its assembled form.

FIG. 3 is a top view of one embodiment of the invention being worn on the bare hand.

FIG. 4 is an artist's rendition of one embodiment of the invention being worn on the hand over a glove.

FIG. 5 is an artist's rendition of one embodiment of the invention being worn on the hand over a mitten.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

What follows is a detailed discussion of certain embodiments of the invention. Briefly stated, the invention provides a wearable accessory that allows the wearer to wipe the wearer's nose or face. While certain specific embodiments will be described in this document, the impossibility of describing every conceivable embodiment should be noted and appreciated. Accordingly, many other embodiments are possible and the invention is limited only by the scope of the claims appended to this document.

FIG. 1 is a pattern layout of one embodiment of the invention. The pattern illustrates one embodiment of the invention in an unassembled fashion. Although not necessary for a proper functioning of the invention, it is envisioned that ordinary sewing conventions will be followed to ensure a quality product, such as finishing the edges of the accessory to avoid fraying and properly securing attachment points to avoid detachment.

The pattern 100 can be made with any substantially absorbent material, although the inventors have determined that polyester fleece may be preferable. In one particular, non-exclusive embodiment, a soft, high quality, moisture-resistant, microfleece is used because of certain advantageous characteristics. The fabric is water repellent and snot absorbent, plus it is easily washable. However, very many other materials might equally be used in alternative embodiments, such as, for example, cotton, wool, jute, spandex, nylon, alpaca, thread, angora rabbit hair, camel hair, cashmere, mohair, silk, vicuna hair, bark cloth, coir, grass, rush, straw, hemp, kapok, linen, flax, nettle, ramie, seaweed, sisal, paper, tissue, rayon, modal, asbestos, glass, metal fibre, metal wire, metal foil, acrylic fiber, lurex, polyester, and polypropylene, just to name a few.

To create an accessory, the pattern 100 is cut from the material and assembled. Generally stated, the pattern 100 includes an upper portion 105 and a lower portion 115, essentially joined by a middle portion 125. The upper portion 105 has an upper left edge 106 and an upper right edge 107. The lower portion 115 has a lower left edge 108 and a lower right edge 109. Once cut from the material, the pattern 100 is assembled to form the accessory by securing the upper left edge 106 to the upper right edge 107, and by securing the lower left edge 108 to the lower right edge 109.

In one improvement, two patterns may be cut, overlaid, and sewn together along the periphery of the pattern 100. A small portion of the periphery (e.g., approximately one linear inch) may be left unsewn so as to facilitate turning the assembly inside out. Once turned out, the unsewn portion can be sewn so as to minimize the amount of visible stitching. This and many other specific techniques for assembling the pattern 100 will become apparent to those skilled in the art.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the accessory 200 that results from assembling the pattern 100 introduced above. As illustrated, the accessory 200 includes a finger portion 201 and a hand portion 222. Referring briefly to both FIGS. 1 and 2, the finger portion 201 is a substantially finger-sized tube defined by securing the edges (106, 107) of the upper portion 105 of the pattern 100. Similarly, the hand portion 222 is a substantially wrist-sized loop defined by securing the edges (108, 109) of the lower portion 115 of the pattern 100. The finger portion 201 and the hand portion 222 are joined by the middle portion 225.

The accessory 200 may be worn by sliding the hand portion 222 over the wearer's hand, glove, or mitten and pulling the accessory 200 down until the finger portion 201 slides over one (or more) of the digits of the hand, glove, or mitten. The middle portion 225 of the accessory 200 then covers the back of the wearer's hand. The accessory 200 may be used on either the left or right hand and is fully reversible so that the wearer can use either side. Any part of the accessory 200 may then be used to wipe snot from the nose and/or face of the wearer, such as may be necessary while participating in outdoor activities like skiing or hiking. As used throughout this document, the term ‘snot’ shall have its plain and ordinary meaning, and shall include any fluid or other secretion that a wearer may desire to wipe away, such as mucous, saliva, congestion, blood, tears, or any other bodily fluid or excretion. In addition, the term ‘snot’ shall further include any other material or substance that may find itself attached to the wearer's person, such as dirt, mud, snow, rain, sleet, hail, ash, dust, lava, condensation, and the like.

The accessory 200 can be adapted for different wearers by adjusting any of the measurements or dimensions of the pattern 100 illustrated in FIG. 1 to accommodate various size hands. In addition, various sizes and configurations of the accessory 200 can be formulated to allow for fitting over a large glove, such as a ski glove. The accessory 200 can be further adapted to allow the finger portion 201 to fit over different digits of the hand, including the thumb, such as might be necessary for use over a mitten.

The loop portions (i.e., finger portion 201 and hand portion 222) have been illustrated as being securely attached to form permanently closed loops. However, in other embodiments one or both of those loop portions could be temporarily attached, such as using hook-and-loop fasteners, so that the accessory 200 can be more easily put on and/or taken off, or to accommodate certain garments or the like.

FIG. 3 is a top view of one embodiment of the invention being worn on the bare hand. As is illustrated in FIG. 3, the accessory 301 has been pulled over a wearer's hand 302 such that the hand portion 303 operatively secures the accessory 301 to the wearer's hand. In other words, the hand portion 303 loops the wearer's hand 302 and operates to keep the accessory 301 substantially fixed in place so that the accessory 301 will not easily slip off the wearer's hand 302. In this particular embodiment, the hand portion 303 secures the accessory 301 to the hand through essentially the force of friction alone, without resort to other securing techniques, such as adhesives or the like.

The inventors have determined that the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 provides advantages over existing technologies in that the accessory 301 can be worn on the bare hand without need for additional garments to which the accessory 301 must be affixed, attached, or secured. The inventors believe that this distinction makes the invention superior to other techniques for wiping the face or nose that require attachment to a glove or other existing garment. More particularly, this feature makes the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 particularly appealing for activities that may not require gloves or mittens, such as running, jogging, walking, cycling, hiking, spelunking, arrow head hunting, orienteering, or any other such activity.

However, in other embodiments, additional attachment mechanisms can be used to supplement the simple friction-based attachment technique without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, as will be shown next, in some instances supplemental attachment mechanisms can be used to further secure alternative embodiments of the invention to a glove, mitten, sleeve, or the like.

Moreover, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the finger portion 305 of the accessory 301 has been pulled over the index finger 307 of the wearer's hand 302. However, it will be appreciated that the design of this embodiment of the invention enables the finger portion 305 to be easily pulled over any of the other digits of the hand 302, including even the thumb 309. In this way, the accessory 301 can easily be worn by individuals even if they have lost one or more digits of the hand 302, or if they happen to have one or more extra digits on the hand 302.

It will be appreciated that once installed, the wearer can use any part of the surface of the accessory 301 to wipe snot. And in addition, as mentioned above, it is also possible to invert the accessory 301 inside out and continue using the other side.

FIG. 4 is an artist's rendition of one embodiment of the invention being worn on the hand over a glove. As illustrated, the accessory 401 may be sized sufficiently that it can be pulled or stretched over a glove 410, such as may be worn while performing cold-weather outdoor activities. In this way, the accessory 401 can be used to prevent soiling the glove 410 with snot or other bodily fluids, which may be important. For instance, the glove 410 could be particularly expensive or perhaps have sentimental value to the wearer. There are many conceivable instances where the wearer would prefer to leave the glove 410 unsoiled. In those and other circumstances, the accessory 401 provides the solution. And in addition, the accessory 401 has a form-fitting design that doesn't interfere with the use of ski poles or snowboard binding straps.

Of particular note, this implementation of the invention secures to the glove 410 in the same manner that the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 attaches to the naked hand 302. However, as just mentioned, the invention may be implemented with or without a mechanism to more securely attach the accessory 401 to the glove 410. For example, alternative implementations of the invention could be implemented with snaps, hook-and-loop fasteners, adhesives, rivets, screws, bolts, ties, frogs and toggles, or any other mechanism for permanently or temporarily securing the accessory 401 to the glove 410.

FIG. 5 is an artist's rendition of another embodiment of the invention being worn on the hand over a mitten 510. In this example, an accessory 501 is constructed in substantially the same manner as those illustrated in conjunction with FIGS. 1-4 and described above. However, in this implementation, the accessory 501 is worn such that the finger portion 505 is pulled over the wearer's thumb, rather than one of the other digits. It should be appreciated that the design of this implementation of the invention provides a wearer with flexibility that cannot be matched by other conventional mechanisms. Namely, the accessory 501 can be worn just as easily over a mitten as a glove as the naked hand. No other sanitary accessory provides this type of flexibility.

It should further be noted that the inventors envision many modifications on the implementations illustrated in this document, modifications too numerous to enumerate. For example, in some other alternative implementations, perhaps the accessory could be fashioned such that a single finger portion is worn snugly over the hand, glove, or mitten such that the hand portion may possibly be omitted. In addition, perhaps the finger portion could be sewn completely shut at its distal end, thereby completely enclosing the digit. Another implementation could be constructed that includes plural finger portions such that more than one digit is enclosed within a finger portion. Similarly, still another implementation could be constructed in which a single finger portion encloses multiple digits. These and many other implementations are envisioned by the inventors.

Although the invention has been described in language specific to particular embodiments or implementations, it should be understood that the subject matter defined by the following claims is not necessarily limited to the specific embodiments or implementations described above. Rather, the specific embodiments described above are provided merely as non-exhaustive examples of implementing the subject matter claimed below.