Title:
Hat with multi-stretchable headband
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable cap for fitting wears having different head sizes is made from a headpiece or shell formed from gores, at least one of which is uniaxially laterally stretchable. A bill is affixed to at least one of said gores for shading the eyes of a wearer of said adjustable cap. A knitted headband is affixed to the inside of said headpiece and to the gores. The headband is made from 6-way stretchable material made from about 50% cotton, about 25% spandex, and about 25% nylon.



Inventors:
Rogers, Shawn C. (Findlay, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/297860
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/09/2005
Assignee:
Rogers Sports Management Group
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Okuley Smith, LLC (COLUMBUS, OH, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable cap for fitting wearers having different head sizes, which comprises: (a) a shell formed from gores, at least one of said gores being uniaxially chordially stretchable; (b) a bill affixed to at least one of said gores for shading the eyes of a wearer of said adjustable cap; and (c) a knitted headband affixed to the inside of said headpiece and to said gores, said headband made from 6-way stretchable fiber comprising about 50% cotton, about 25% spandex, and about 25% nylon.

2. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein said bill is stiffened.

3. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein said bill is stretchable in the chordial direction.

4. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein all of said gores are stretchable.

5. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein said headband has an upper edge and a lower edge, wherein only said lower edge being affixed to said shell.

6. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein said stretchable gore is stretchable by inclusion of spandex.

7. The adjustable cap of claim 1, wherein said gores are made by one or more of knitting or weaving.

8. The adjustable cap of claim 3, wherein all of said gores are stretchable.

9. Method for making an adjustable cap for fitting wearers having different head sizes, which comprises the steps of in any order: (a) providing a shell formed from gores, at least one of said gores being uniaxially chordially stretchable; (b) affixing a bill affixed to at least one of said gores for shading the eyes of a wearer of said adjustable cap; and (c) affixing a knitted headband to the inside of said headpiece and to said gores, said headband made from 6-way stretchable fiber comprising about 50% cotton, about 25% spandex, and about 25% nylon.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein said bill is stiffened prior to affixing said bill.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein said bill is stretchable in the chordial direction.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein all of said gores are stretchable.

13. The method of claim 9, wherein said headband has an upper edge and a lower edge, wherein only said lower edge being affixed to said shell.

14. The method of claim 9, wherein said stretchable gore is stretchable by inclusion of spandex.

15. The method of claim 9, wherein said gores are made by one or more of knitting or weaving.

16. The method of claim 11, wherein all of said gores are stretchable.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to so-called baseball hats or caps typically with a visor, and more particularly to such hats with stretchable gores and multi-stretchable headbands.

The challenge to hat manufacturers has been to make a hat, such as a baseball cap, that fits different head sizes. Straps of Velcro® or other closure types seem to predominate the marketplace in response to a single cap that fits “all” head sizes.

Of more recent vintage is the use of caps that employ stretchable gores and stretchable headbands to vary the size of the cap to different head sizes. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,715,540 proposes a hat having uniaxially woven stretchable gores and a woven uniaxially stretchable headband. U.S. Pat. No. 6,493,880 proposes a hat having uniaxially woven or knitted stretchable gores and a biaxially stretchable headband that can be: knitted from 76% cotton, 20% polyester, 4% spandex; or woven from stretchable polyester and spandex in both directions.

While such proposals are a step forward in the art, a need in the art still exists for caps that are truly universal in fitting different head sizes. It is to such need that the present invention is based.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An adjustable cap for fitting wears having different head sizes is made from a headpiece or shell formed from a multi-gore shell, which gores are uniaxially laterally stretchable. A bill or visor is affixed to at least one of said gores for shading the eyes of a wearer of said adjustable cap. A knitted headband is affixed to the inside of said headpiece and to the gores. The headband is made from 6-way stretchable material made from about 50% cotton, about 25% spandex, and about 25% nylon.

Advantages of the present invention include a 6-way stretchable headband that makes the hat more comfortable to wear for the user by automatically adjusting to the wearer's head in all 6 directions when the hat is pulled down over the user's head for wearing, which is an improvement over headbands that merely stretch in 2 or 4 directions. Having a 6-way stretch greatly improves wearability for all shapes and size heads, which can differ greatly throughout the US and the world. The 2 and 4 way stretch hats still have limiting factors that only allow for a lower percentage of wea ability and usage. Not only will the 6-way increase the percentage of users, but it will also allow for an increased comfortable wearing time versus the 2 and 4-way stretch bands. For more functional rather than fashionable wearers this becomes increasingly important. In sports usage and other more functional utility usage where the cap is ultimately used for actual sun protection, the increase in the time a person can comfortably wear the hat becomes even more critical. These and other advantages will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art based on the disclosure set forth herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the novel headwear or cap comprised of a multi-gore shell and front brim or visor;

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the novel cap of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarge view of the stretchable band and gore from FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

The drawings will be described in further detail below.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The novel adjustable cap or headwear, 10, is shown generally in FIG. 1 and is composed of two major structures: a shell, 12, and a visor or bill, 14. Shell 12 in turn is formed from a plurality of gores with the hat embodiment in the drawings having 6 gores, 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, 16e, and 16f (see FIG. 2 also). Optional air or vent holes, can be provided, such a one vent hold per gore (e.g., vent hole 18a in gore 18d, and vent hold 18c in gore 18c), as can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Such headwear colloquially is known as a “baseball hat”. Typical such hats have been sewn from a variety of fabrics and are traditionally worn by profession athletes that play baseball, golf, and other sports. Sports fans and the general population wear such hats to such an extent that it has become a ubiquitous apparel item.

In order that cap 10 be adjustable to fit various sized heads of wearers, at least one of the gores 16a-16f is made from a stretchable material, often a fabric, with stretchability being possible in one or more of six directions. Cordial or lateral stretch most often is provided for hat 10 to accommodate different wearer head sizes, as can be seen for representative gore 16f in FIG. 3, as indicted by arrows C1 and C2. “Cordial” for present purposes is defined as being in the circumferential direction about the lower edge of shell 12. Bill 14 also can be stretchable along its attachment with shell 12, which in cordial also.

Bill 14 often is reinforced or stiffened with cardboard, plastic, or other material in order to hold its shape. Bill 14 often is joined to shell 12 by sewing; although, other means of engagement are possible. Adjacent gores also can be joined by sewing or other method of joining. As seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, such gore seams can be reinforced with tape, which can be fabric of the same or different material from shell 12. Tape reinforcement 20a, 20b, and 20c are seen in the drawings. Typical baseball hats are fitted with a button, 22, at the apex of shell 12; although, a variety of baseball style hats lack such button. Finally, most of baseball style hats are fitted with a headband or sweatband, 24, which runs along the bottom edge or along the cordial bottom edge of shell 12. Materials of construction for the gores and bill are conventional as are their manufacture by weaving, knitting, or the like.

Headband 24 is stretchable, as can been in FIG. 3, as are the gores in order to accommodate different sized heads. Headband 24, however, is stretchable in 6 different directions: up and down per arrows h1 and h2 side to side per arrows h3 and h4; diagonally to the upper/lower left per arrows h5 and h6; and diagonally to the upper/lower right per arrows h7 and h8. Such unique 6-way headband stretch makes the inventive hat more comfortable to wear for the user because of the 6-way stretch of headband 24.

Another degree of freedom of movement of headband 24 is seen in FIG. 4. Headband 24 is attached to shell 12 by sewing a lower edge, 26. Upper edge, 28, of headband 24, then, is not constrained and is free to move along with the contours of the user's head. Another degree of freedom to the 6-way stretch of headband 28, thus, is provided.

Headband 24 is knitted from material having the following fibers: about 50% cotton, about 25% spandex (a long-chain synthetic polymer comprised of at least 85% of a segmented polyurethane, as defined by the FTC), and about 25% nylon. Such fiber composition additionally contributes to the unique stretch of headband 24.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment, those skilled in the art will understand that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims. In this application all units are in the metric system and all amounts and percentages are by weight, unless otherwise expressly indicated. Also, all citations referred herein are expressly incorporated herein by reference.





 
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