Title:
Dress shield
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An improved dress shield comprising a laminar structure in a simple elliptical shape, having a centrally located transverse elliptical central panel in the facing layer, said panel comprising an ultra limp, drapable fabric which gives unrestricted movement and good fit along the underarm seam of a garment, and increases the range of movement of the shield.



Inventors:
Bailey, Michelle (Irvington, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/110130
Publication Date:
10/26/2006
Filing Date:
04/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Nancy A. Bird (South Orange, NJ, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An improved garment shield comprising an absorbent layer between a facing layer and a moisture impervious layer, joined together at least along their outer edges, a pressure sensitive adhesive layer on the reverse side of the moisture impervious layer, and a release sheet for the pressure sensitive adhesive layer; the improvement comprising a centrally located underarm panel in the facing layer, said panel comprising a fluid pervious ultra-limp, drapeable fabric, which gives good fit along the underarm of a garment, and increases the range of movement of the shield.

2. An improved garment shield comprising an absorbent layer between a facing layer and a moisture impervious layer, joined together at least along their outer edges, a pressure sensitive adhesive layer on the reverse side of the moisture impervious layer, and a release sheet for the pressure sensitive adhesive layer; the improvement comprising a centrally located underarm panel in the facing layer, said panel comprising a fluid pervious, ultra-limp, drapeable fabric, which gives good fit along the underarm seam of a garment, and increases the range of movement of the shield.

3. An improved garment shield comprising an absorbent layer between a facing layer and a moisture impervious layer, joined together at least along their outer edges, a pressure sensitive adhesive layer on the reverse side of the moisture impervious layer, and a release sheet for the pressure sensitive adhesive layer; the improvement comprising a centrally located underarm panel in the facing layer, said panel comprising a fluid pervious, ultra-limp, drapeable fabric, which gives good fit along the curved underarm seam of a garment, and increases the range of movement of the shield.

4. An improved garment shield as in claim 1, wherein the facing layer, the absorbent layer, and the moisture impervious layer are coextensive, and approximately elliptical in shape.

5. An improved garment shield as in claim 4, wherein the entire facing layer is constructed of the fluid pervious, ultra-limp, drapeable fabric of the underarm panel.

6. An improved garment shield as in claim 4, wherein the facing layer comprises: 1) an ellipse of an absorbent, porous, fabric layer, with a central transverse elliptical cut-out, and 2) an underarm panel comprising a fluid pervious ultra-limp, drapeable fabric, said panel being larger than the cut-out, and overlapping the facing layer adjacent the cut-out, 3) said panel attached to the remainder of the facing layer about the cut-out.

7. An improved garment shield as in claim 6, wherein the panel is glued to the facing layer.

8. An improved garment shield as in claim 6, wherein the panel is sewn to the facing layer.

9. An improved garment shield as in claim 1, wherein the facing layer, the absorbent layer, and the moisture impervious layer are joined by gluing.

10. An improved garment shield as in claim 1, said absorbent layer further comprising embossed regions which wick fluids along the absorbent layer.

11. An improved garment shield as in claim 1, said absorbent layer further comprising embossed regions which wick fluids along the absorbent layer to super absorbents contained therein.

12. An improved garment shield as in claim 9, wherein said glued edges operate to densify the layers, and serve to wick fluid along the densified edges.

13. An improved garment shield as in claim 1, wherein the release sheet comprises a number of sheets.

14. An improved garment shield as in claim 2, wherein the release sheet comprises a number of sheets.

15. An improved garment shield as in claim 3, wherein the release sheet comprises a number of sheets.

16. An improved garment shield as in claim 13, wherein the adhesive layer is discontinuous.

17. An improved garment shield as in claim 14, wherein the adhesive layer is discontinuous.

18. An improved garment shield as in claim 15, wherein the adhesive layer is discontinuous.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to disposable shields placed along the underarm seam of a garment, to protect the garment from perspiration stains and odors.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Over the years a variety of under arm dress shields have been provided. In certain couture wear, cloth dress shields are sewn to the underarm seam. These are removed, and replaced, when the garment is cleaned. Because of the labor involved in sewing, cutting out, and re-sewing, disposable shields which may be attached to the garment by means of pressure sensitive adhesive have been developed. These disposable shields have evolved over the years, both in terms of their materials, and fit, to produce the best product at the cheapest cost. The simplest of the shields comprises a circular laminate with an absorbent surface, an impervious moisture layer, and a pressure sensitive adhesive layer. When so constructed, is not easy to fit the shield about the curved underarm seam. An example of such a product is the Stain Stoppers shield sold by Advantage Wear. Newer dress-shields have asymmetrical shapes, and/or cut-out's for enhanced fit, but which raise the cost of production. An example is the Braza shield sold by Advantage Wear. Other similar constructions may be seen in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,631,752 and 6,269,486. Simple crescent shaped shields have been suggested, which hug the curve of the underarm, but generally provide no protection to the sleeve portion of the armpit of the garment. Double crescent designs, sewn together along the inner curve fit the underarm curve better, require cutting and sewing step in their manufacture, adding to their cost. Examples of simple and compound crescent shape shields may be seen in U.S. Pat. Nos. 108,908; 3,997,920; 4,393,521 and 5,038,409.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprises a simple laminar structure wherein the center of the shield comprises and ultra limp structure achieved with a very drapable facing layer, an absorbent layer with almost no tensile strength, a moisture impervious layer and adhesive. The drapable facing layer both permits lateral movement of the outer ends of the shield, to achieve unrestricted motion and an to conform the shield to the curve in the underarm seam. This facing layer serves to pass liquid, and contain the absorbent layer between the facing and the impervious layer. The absorbent layer may include super absorbents, and/or fragrance. The shield is attached to a garment by means of the pressure sensitive adhesive regions on the opposite side of the moisture impervious layer. For convenience, a release sheet is disposed a top the pressure sensitive adhesive regions to protect the adhesive until the shield is to be placed on the garment.

Examples of a very drapable facing layer include an open work knitted fabric, such as those used in pantyhose. These fabrics are highly porous, strong, but extraordinarily drapable, providing no resistance to movement of the garment with shield on the wearer. Other examples will be known to those skilled in the fabric arts. Is possible to form such a surface on a nonwoven fabric, and nonwoven fabrics are within the purview of this ultra limp, drapable fabric layer of the invention. The major requirements of this ultra limp drapable fabric layer are 1) that it connects the outer portions of the shield without restricting movement of the werer, and 2) that it contains the absorbent layer within the shield.

For a full understanding of the present invention, reference should now be made to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the top surface of a preferred embodiment of the improved dressed shield of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic cross-section of the preferred embodiment of the improved dress shield, shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a schematic cross-section of an improved dress shield according to the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawings. Identical elements in the various figures are designated with the same reference numerals.

FIG. 1 illustrates the top surface of the preferred embodiment of the dress shield of the present invention, shown generally at 1. As shown, the top surface comprises a generally crescent shaped sleeved panel, 3, a similar generally crescent shaped a side panel, 5, both of which comprise an absorbent porous facing layer, 13; and the underarm panel, 7, which comprises an ultra limp, drapable material. The underlying layers of the shield are described in relation to FIG. 2.

As shown, the dress shield is generally elliptical in shape, the under arm panel a centrally located elliptical panel, transverse to the ellipse of the shield The inside surface of the dress shield is attached to the underlying layers at least along the edges, 9. In one variation of this construction, the generally elliptical edge is pointed at A and C, giving the shield the overall look of a “cat's eye”. The shield in FIG. 1 the shield is universal, as there is no a right shield or left shield. The sleeve panel and a side panel may comprise half elliptical panels joined together along seam line, 11, however it's preferred construction the sleeve panel and side panel are caught from a single elliptical shape. This ellipse may be folded or scored along line 11. the shield may come in many sizes and different degrees of absorbency.

In an alternative construction, the curve A, B, C may be trimmed to A, D, c; and the under arm panel, 7, trimmed in the region nearest to C. In this configuration, the underarm panel will effectively create a shield in which the curve from the center of the shield to C is greater than the curve from the center of the shield to D, if effectively creating a shield for use in the left armpit region.

FIG. 2 illustrates the schematic cross-section of the preferred dress shield of FIG. 1. As shown, the facing layer has a cut out, 15, beneath which is situated the underarm panel, 7. The underarm panel may be attached to the facing layer by stitching or gluing, or stamping of e.g. wood fibers. Beneath the absorbent layer, 17 is a moisture impervious layer, 19, which may comprise a separate sheet of material or an in situ moisture impervious layer formed at the undersurface of an absorbent layer, as by the addition of thermoplastic fibers at least at the undersurface of the absorbent layer, and heat sealing of these fibers to form a moisture impervious layer; or by the addition of an adhesive coating at the undersurface of the absorbent layer. For example, an absorbent layer of fiber containing thermoplastic fibers may be heat sealed to fuse the fibbers at the undersurface, thereby creating a moisture impervious layer. Alternatively, a moisture impervious layer of adhesive may be disposed on the undersurface of the absorbent layer to create a moisture impervious layer. In perhaps its most common manifestation, the moisture impervious layer comprises a moisture impervious plastic sheet. The moisture impervious layer prevents staining of the garment, 29.

A pressure sensitive adhesive layer, 21, at the surface of the moisture impervious layer opposite the absorbent layer, is used to attach the shield to the garment. As shown in FIG. 2, the pressure sensitive adhesive is provided with a release sheet, 25, which protects the adhesive until it is mounted to the garment. The gap between the facing layer and the absorbent layer is an artifact of the schematic representation of the layers, as the central panel in actuality will be extraordinarily thin. The layers of the dress shield are attached, at least along the elliptical edges, 9. As shown in FIG. 2 the pressure sensitive adhesive layer is continuous, however it is contemplated that the dress shield of the present invention may require only discontinuous regions of pressure sensitive adhesive, to secure it to the garment.

FIG. 3 gives a schematic illustration of a cross-section of a dress shield according to the present invention. The shield comprises a facing layer, 13, atop an absorbent layer, 17. At the center of the facing layer is a central region, 25 made of an ultra limp, drapable porous material. The central panel may be secured to the facing layer, as by stitching, or may be formed integrally with the facing layer. The drapable center region permits the unrestricted movement, and good fit, about the underarm seam of a garment.

The absorbent layer may include absorbent padding, made of wood cellulose fiber, and, preferably, a super absorbent material such as polyacrylate absorbents, which turn liguid into a gel to prevent leakage. In addition, the absorbent layer may contain a line or pattern of densification, serving to wick the fluid to, e.g. and unused (dry0 portion of the absorbent layer, or the super-absorbent. Other materials included in the absorbent layer include polypropylene, polyester, and polyethylene.

If desired, another. Added absorbent layer, 27, may be included in the dress shield of the present invention. Added layer, 27 lies beneath the facing layer, and does not run the full width of the dress shield. The added layer may be constructed of the same materials as the absorbent layer 17. Specifically, the added layer may contain super-absorbent materials, and may be the means by which super-absorbents are included in the dress shield of the present invention. In one preferred embodiment, when the facing layer is sufficiently absorbent, the added layer with super-absorbents may replace the absorbent layer

The shield may be placed in the garment before the garment is worm, or may be placed into the garment after it is put on. The entire release sheet may be removed at once, and the shield applied to the garment. Alternatively, the release sheet may be removed from the adhesive under the side panel, and he shield adhered to the inside surface of the side portion of a garment; and then the release sheet removed from the sleeve panel, and the sleeve panel pressed into place on the inside surface of the sleeve of the garment.

There has thus been shown and described a novel dress shield which fulfills all the objects and advantages sought therefore. Many changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications of the subject invention will, however, become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specification and the accompanying drawings which disclose the preferred embodiments thereof. All such changes, modifications, variations and other uses and applications which do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention, which is to be limited only by the claims which follow.