Title:
Cap having expansible back
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cap comprises a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an expansible portion. The expansible portion extends substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and is attached to the crown substantially between opposite ends of the visor. The expansible portion incorporates an elastic band and is configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes.



Inventors:
Yan, Suen Ching (Carson, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/109358
Publication Date:
10/19/2006
Filing Date:
04/19/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HADEN, SALLY CLINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Daniel M. Cislo (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cap, comprising a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an expansible portion, said expansible portion extending substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and being attached to said crown substantially between opposite ends of said visor, said expansible portion being configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes.

2. The cap of claim 1, wherein said expansible portion incorporates an elastic band and has an upper boundary.

3. The cap of claim 2, wherein said back end of said crown is substantially arcuate.

4. The cap of claim 3, wherein said substantially arcuate back end of said crown delineates said upper boundary of said expansible portion.

5. A cap, comprising a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an expansible portion, said expansible portion extending substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and being attached to said crown substantially between opposite ends of said visor, said expansible portion being configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes, said expansible portion including an outer peripheral edge adapted to follow the contours of said front end of said crown, said outer peripheral edge residing substantially in the same plane as said front end of said crown.

6. The cap of claim 5, wherein said expansible portion incorporates an elastic band and has an upper boundary.

7. The cap of claim 6, wherein said back end of said crown is substantially arcuate.

8. The cap of claim 7, wherein said substantially arcuate back end of said crown delineates said upper boundary of said expansible portion.

9. The cap of claim 8, wherein said outer peripheral edge of said expansible portion serves as a stretchable rear peripheral cap edge.

10. A cap, comprising a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an elongated expansible portion, said elongated expansible portion extending substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and being attached to said crown substantially between opposite ends of said visor, said elongated expansible portion being configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes, said elongated expansible portion including an outer peripheral edge being disposed at a lower elevation than said front end of said crown.

11. The cap of claim 10, wherein said elongated expansible portion incorporates an elastic band and has an upper boundary.

12. The cap of claim 11, wherein said back end of said crown is substantially arcuate.

13. The cap of claim 12, wherein said substantially arcuate back end of said crown delineates said upper boundary of said elongated expansible portion.

14. The cap of claim 13, wherein said lower elevational disposition of said outer peripheral edge is configured to allow at least partial coverage of the user's ears by said elongated expansible portion.

15. The cap of claim 14, wherein said elongated expansible portion is adapted to be folded substantially toward said crown along a first crease.

16. The cap of claim 15, wherein said first crease is adapted to follow the contours of said front end of said crown.

17. The cap of claim 16, wherein said elongated expansible portion is adapted to be folded substantially away from said crown along said first crease to cover at least a portion of user's ears.

18. The cap of claim 17, wherein said elongated expansible portion is adapted to be folded relative to said crown below said first crease.

19. The cap of claim 17, wherein said elongated expansible portion is adapted to be folded relative to said crown above said first crease.

20. The cap of claim 14, wherein said elongated expansible portion is adapted to be folded relative to said crown along at least one crease to provide at least partial coverage of the user's head.

21. The cap of claim 14, wherein said outer peripheral edge is substantially arcuate.

22. The cap of claim 21, wherein said substantially arcuate outer peripheral edge of said elongated expansible portion serves as a stretchable rear peripheral cap edge.

23. The cap of claim 1, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one woven flexible material.

24. The cap of claim 1, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one knitted flexible material.

25. The cap of claim 5, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one woven flexible material.

26. The cap of claim 5, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one knitted flexible material.

27. The cap of claim 10, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one woven flexible material.

28. The cap of claim 10, wherein said expansible portion is fabricated from at least one knitted flexible material.

29. The cap of claim 2, wherein said elastic band is fabricated from Spandex™.

30. The cap of claim 5, wherein said elastic band is fabricated from Spandex™.

31. The cap of claim 11, wherein said elastic band is fabricated from Spandex™.

Description:

BACKGROUND

To accommodate the demand for various user head sizes, cap manufacturers typically produce and maintain a large inventory of a variety of cap sizes at relatively high cost. Within each cap size, caps can be made adjustable by the inclusion of an elastic band around the rear of the crown portion. The elastic band is typically secured beneath the fabric of the crown portion. The secured elastic band, however, tends to cause parts of the crown portion of the cap to ride up and down on the hair of the user resulting in a generally uncomfortable fit.

Caps can also be made adjustable by the provision of a cutout at the rear end of the crown portion. The crown cutout allows for drawing the left and right halves of the crown portion together via an adjustment strap. The adjustment strap is suspended around the rear of the crown portion and across the crown cutout. Straps of this kind typically include Velcro™-type fasteners for head size adjustment. Some users, unfortunately, refrain from wearing caps with rear adjustment straps for comfort reasons.

The rear crown portion of some caps is made from stretchable materials to accommodate various head sizes. However, overall shape deformation and unsightly appearance during use may be associated with such caps. Various other cap configurations have been introduced in the market over the years with largely the same results.

SUMMARY

Exemplary embodiments disclosed herein are generally directed to a cap having an expansible back.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the cap comprises a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an expansible portion. The expansible portion extends substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and is attached to the crown substantially between opposite ends of the visor. The expansible portion is configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the cap comprises a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an expansible portion. The expansible portion extends substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and is attached to the crown substantially between opposite ends of the visor. The expansible portion is configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes. The expansible portion includes an outer peripheral edge adapted to follow the contours of the front end of the crown. The outer peripheral edge resides substantially in the same plane as the front end of the crown.

In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention, the cap comprises a crown being conjoined at a front end with a visor and at a back end with an elongated expansible portion. The elongated expansible portion extends substantially along the entire rear cap periphery and is attached to the crown substantially between opposite ends of the visor. The elongated expansible portion is configured to resiliently accommodate different user head sizes. The elongated expansible portion includes an outer peripheral edge being disposed at a lower elevation than the front end of the crown.

These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent from a review of the accompanying drawings and the following detailed description of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is generally shown by way of reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a cap being worn by a user in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a back perspective view of the cap of FIG. 1 as being worn by a user;

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the cap of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a cap being worn by a user in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a back perspective view of the cap of FIG. 4 as being worn by a user; and

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of the cap of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of exemplary embodiments and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the exemplary embodiments may be constructed and/or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and the sequence of steps for constructing and operating the exemplary embodiments in connection with the illustrated embodiments. However, it is to be understood that the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different embodiments that are also intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Some embodiments of the invention will be described in detail with reference to the related drawings of FIGS. 1-6. Additional embodiments, features and/or advantages of the invention will become apparent from the ensuing description or may be learned by practicing the invention. In the figures, the drawings are not to scale with like numerals referring to like features throughout both the drawings and the description.

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a cap 10 being worn by a user 12 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Cap 10 includes a crown 14 being conjoined at a front end 15 with a visor 16. Crown 14 is configured to provide a partial close-fitting covering for the head of user 12 (FIGS. 1-2). Crown 14 may be constructed from a plurality of fabric sections sewn together to form a partial covering for the forehead, temples, and upper head portion of user 12. Alternatively, crown 14 may be fabricated from an appropriately configured contiguous piece of flexible material.

Crown 14 is conjoined at a generally arcuate back end 17 with an expansible portion 18 (FIG. 1-3) which incorporates an elastic band. Expansible portion 18 extends substantially along the entire rear periphery of cap 10, as generally depicted in FIG. 2. Specifically, expansible portion 18 is attached to crown 14 substantially between opposite ends of visor 16. For example, right terminal section 20 of expansible portion 18 is conjoined to crown 14 at the right terminal end 22 of visor 16, as generally illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3. In the same manner, although not particularly shown in FIGS. 1-3, the left terminal section of expansible portion 18 is conjoined to crown 14 at the left terminal end of visor 16, respectively.

Expansible portion 18 includes outer peripheral edge 24 which generally follows the contours of front end 15 of crown 14, as generally depicted in FIG. 3. Outer peripheral edge 24 resides substantially in the same plane as front crown end 15 when cap 10 is not being worn by a user, i.e. serves as a stretchable rear peripheral edge of cap 10. Arcuate back end 17 of crown portion 14 generally delineates the upper visible boundary of expansible portion 18.

When cap 10 is worn by users of various head sizes, expansible portion 18 stretches accordingly to accommodate comfortably the same regardless of whether visor 16 is placed on the front (FIG. 1) or back (FIG. 2) of the user's head. Cap 10 automatically adjusts itself to a particular user's head size and provides, generally, a superior fit for the user when compared with conventional caps.

FIG. 4 is a front perspective view of a cap 30 being worn by a user 32 in accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention. Cap 30 includes a crown 34 being conjoined at a front end 35 with a visor 36. Crown 34 is configured to provide a partial close-fitting covering for the head of user 32 (FIGS. 4-5). Crown 34 may be constructed from a plurality of fabric sections sewn together to form a partial covering for the forehead, temples, and upper head portion of user 32. Alternatively, crown 34 may be fabricated from an appropriately configured contiguous piece of flexible material.

Crown 34 is conjoined at a generally arcuate back end 37 with an elongated expansible portion 38 (FIG. 4-6) which incorporates an elastic band. Elongated expansible portion 38 extends substantially along the entire rear periphery of cap 30, as generally depicted in FIG. 5. Specifically, elongated expansible portion 38 is attached to crown 34 substantially between opposite ends of visor 36. For example, right terminal section 40 of expansible portion 38 is partially conjoined to crown 34 at the right terminal end 42 of visor 36, as generally illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 6. In the same manner, although not particularly shown in FIGS. 4-6, the left terminal section of expansible portion 38 is partially conjoined to crown 34 at the left terminal end of visor 36, respectively.

As generally shown in FIG. 6, elongated expansible portion 38 includes outer peripheral edge 44 which is disposed generally at lower elevation than front end 35 of crown 34 to allow coverage of the user's ears (FIG. 4) and correspondingly greater (than conventional caps) back head portion coverage in inclement weather conditions. When the weather conditions are fair, elongated expansible portion 38 may be folded toward crown 34 along crease 46 (FIG. 6) for later use. Crease 46 generally follows the contours of front end 35 of crown 34 (FIG. 6) extending substantially between opposite ends of visor 36.

Alternatively, elongated expansible portion 38 may be partially folded back or away from crown 34 along crease 46 to cover only the user's ears, as generally illustrated in FIG. 5. In this configuration, visor 36 may cover the back head portion of user 32 (FIG. 5). Elongated expansible portion 38 may also be folded by the user below or above crease 46 (FIG. 6), as needed. Elongated expansible portion 38 may be configured to cover partially or fully any desired parts of a user's head, as needed.

As generally shown in FIG. 6, outer peripheral edge 44 of elongated expansible portion 38 has a generally arcuate configuration and serves as a stretchable rear peripheral edge of cap 30. Back end 37 of crown portion 34 generally delineates the upper visible boundary of elongated expansible portion 38.

When cap 30 is worn by users with various head sizes, elongated expansible portion 18 stretches accordingly to accommodate comfortably the same regardless of whether visor 36 is placed on the front (FIG. 4) or back (FIG. 5) of the head of user 32. Cap 30 automatically adjusts itself to a particular user's head size and provides, generally, a superior fit for the user when compared with conventional caps. Cap 30 also affords ear protection as well as extended back head portion coverage to the user during the winter months.

Expansible portion 18 (FIGS. 1-3) and/or elongated expansible portion 38 (FIGS. 4-6) may be fabricated from woven or knitted flexible materials such as cotton, wool, polyester or any combination thereof. In each configuration, the enclosed elastic band may be constructed from stretchable materials such as Spandex™, Lycra™ and/or the like. Other suitable materials may be utilized, as needed.

In one exemplary embodiment, the thickness of yarn used to fabricate the expansible portion of the present invention is 26 S-32 S, 9 pins knitted weight of 20 grams-40 grams, with the elastic band (incorporated within the expansible portion) being about ¼ inch-1 inch wide.

In another exemplary embodiment, the thickness of yarn used to fabricate the expansible portion of the present invention is 26 S-32 S knitted or woven with rubber Spandex™ of 0.5 mm-0.1 mm in diameter and weight of about 30 grams-50 grams. Other material dimensions and/or configurations may be used to construct the expansible portion of the present invention, as desired.

In yet another exemplary embodiment, a strip of soft, knitted fabric was used to form expansible portion 18 of cap 10 (FIGS. 1-3). The fabric strip had unstretched width and length of about 10 cm and 35 cm, respectively, and thickness of about 0.25 cm. The fabric strip was folded in half lengthwise to enclose a Spandex™-like elastic band of substantially the same length as the fabric strip and width of about 2 cm. The two open ends of the folded fabric strip were then cut to conform to the generally arcuate shape of crown back end 17 (FIGS. 1-3) and stitched hereunder to complete the rear end portion of cap 10. The crown had an unstretched footprint diameter of about 17 cm.

A person skilled in the art would readily appreciate that cap 10 or cap 30 may be fabricated in other ways and/or with other suitable materials, as long as there is no departure from the intended purpose of the present invention. A person skilled in the art would also appreciate that a cap constructed in accordance with the general principles of the present invention provides cost savings to cap manufacturers, as well as improved fit and comfort for the user in various weather conditions.

The exemplary embodiments described hereinabove are merely illustrative of the general principles of the present invention. Various design modifications may be employed that would reside within the scope of the invention. Thus, by way of example, but not of limitation, alternative configurations may be utilized in accordance with the teachings herein. Accordingly, the drawings and description are illustrative and not meant to be a limitation thereof.

Moreover, all terms should be interpreted in the broadest possible manner consistent with the context. In particular, the terms “comprises” and “comprising” should be interpreted as referring to elements, components, or steps in a non-exclusive manner, indicating that the referenced elements, components, or steps may be present, or utilized, or combined with other elements, components, or steps that are not expressly referenced. Thus, it is intended that the invention cover all embodiments and variations thereof as long as such embodiments and variations come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.