Title:
Garment notably for practising a sport
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The object of the present invention is a garment (1), notably for practising a sport, comprising in a characteristic way:
    • at least one first area of the hydrophobic type (2, 3) in direct contact with the skin;
    • at least one second area (4, 5, 10, 11);
    • at least one channel (6-9) formed in a hydrophilic material, in direct or close contact with the skin, extending between said first and second areas, in order to transfer sweat given off in the first area as far as into the second area.

In one alternative, said second area (4, 5, 10, 11) is of the hydrophilic type and covers an area of the body where sweat is considered as being less of a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the side areas of the body whether on the top of the body (sides and hips) and on the legs. In another alternative, said first area (2, 3) of the hydrophobic type covers an area of the body where sweat is considered as being a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the top, the middle, and the bottom of the spinal column, the middle of the breast, the middle of the stomach, the crotch, and the middle of the buttocks.




Inventors:
Laugt, Jean Charles (Passy, FR)
Leroy, Matthieu (Sallanches, FR)
Chambefort, Maud (Praz sur Arly, FR)
Heier, Espen (Sallanches, FR)
Delepiere, Vincent (Hem, FR)
Application Number:
11/748594
Publication Date:
03/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/15/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/243.1
International Classes:
A41D1/00; A41D1/084; A41D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LADAS & PARRY LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A garment (1, 22), notably for practising a sport, characterized in that it includes: at least one first area of the hydrophobic type (2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26) in direct contact with the skin; at least one second area (4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24); at least one channel (6-9, 17-22, 27, 28) formed in a hydrophilic material, in direct or close contact with the skin, extending between said first and second areas; in order to transfer the sweat given off in the first area as far as into the second area.

2. The garment, notably for practising a sport, according to claim 1, characterized in that said at least one second area (4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24) is of the hydrophilic type.

3. The garment according to claim 2, characterized in that said at least second area of the hydrophilic type (4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24) is intended to cover an area of the body where sweating is considered as being less of a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the side areas of the body whether on the top of the body (sides and hips) and on the legs.

4. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that said at least second area is in direct contact with the skin.

5. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that a panel formed in a hydrophobic material is placed between the skin and said at least second area and in that it totally or partially covers said at least second area.

6. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 5, characterized in that said at least first hydrophobic area (2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26) is intended to cover an area of the body where sweating is considered as being a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the top, the middle and the bottom of the spinal column, the middle of the breast, the middle of the stomach, the crotch and the middle of the buttocks.

7. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 6, characterized in that at least one channel (18) includes at least one branch (18a, 18b).

8. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that at least one channel (17, 21) has a longitudinal, possibly continuous aperture (30) facing the inside (P) of the garment (1, 22).

9. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that the channel(s) (6-9, 17-22, 27, 28) are added on said garment by adhesive bonding, ultrasonic welding or sewing.

10. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the channel(s) (6-9, 17-22, 27, 28) are integrated into the garment, notably being formed during knitting.

11. The garment according to claim 10, characterized in that the channel(s) (6-9, 17-22, 27, 28) have a longitudinal aperture which is totally or partially closed by floats of elastic yarns.

12. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 11, characterized in that the surface of said first area(s) (2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26) of the hydrophobic type is larger than the surface of said second area(s) (4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24) of the hydrophilic type.

13. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 12, characterized in that said second areas (4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16, 23, 24) of the hydrophilic type are made up of textile panels consisting of hydrophilic polyester, polyamide, and/or cotton.

14. The garment according to any of claims 1 to 13, characterized in that said first areas (2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 25, 26) of the hydrophobic type are made up of textile panels consisting of polyester, polyacrylic and polypropylene.

Description:

The object of the present invention is a garment notably for practising a sport, with which sweat given off by the wearer of said garment may be transferred and conveyed.

Multilayer garments are already known, the function of which is to improve the thermal comfort of the wearer. These garments, generally jackets or suits, have a complex structure notably comprising a lining and an outer layer coated with a waterproof breathable membrane between which one or more material layers are arranged so as to form a network for conveying sweat towards areas of the garment open on the outside: the sleeves, the neck or the bottom of the garment, and possibly by means of perforations in the outer layer, required for evaporating sweat because the coating of the waterproof breathable membrane type considerably restrains this phenomenon.

Such a type of garment is found for example in EP 1.194.049.B1.

Further, these garments because of their complex structure are costly and therefore intended for particular applications. Indeed, this type of thick garments is suitable when the wearer seeks protection from cold (for example: a skier) or from fire (example: a racing driver), or imperviousness to liquids. Therefore, there was a need for a light, not very expensive garment, adequate for practising sports and improving the thermal comfort of the wearer.

For this purpose, the object of the present invention is a garment, notably for practising a sport including:

    • at least one first area of the hydrophobic type;
    • at least one second area;
    • at least one channel formed in a hydrophilic material extending between said first and second areas,

in order to transfer sweat given off in the first area as far as into the second area.

By hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity is meant the larger or smaller capacity, which has a textile for absorbing water, regardless of the chemical nature of the fibers which compose it and their binding method, notably knitting. For example, cotton has a water uptake relatively to its initial weight of about 10% at 20° C. versus 1% for standard polyester. Sweat consists of about 99% water and 1% mineral salts.

A channel refers to a longilinear hollow or solid body acting as a conduit, with a wall of given thickness in the case of a hollow channel, and having a given interior volume. By solid channel, is meant a channel filled or partially filled with hydrophilic material.

In the first area, the hydrophobic materials are in contact with the skin; the sweat given off by the body, which is hardly absorbed by the hydrophobic materials, remains in contact with the skin creating an unpleasant sensation. By means of the channel which extends in the first area, sweat is so to speak <<pumped>> and conveyed in said channel, because of the absorption capacity of the latter and by a natural capillarity phenomenon inherent to textile materials. Thus, the channel behaves as a wick, which transfers sweat out of the first area. Gravity may also accelerate the transfer, when the channel extends under the first area.

During transfer of the sweat in the channel, a certain amount of sweat is evaporated into the environment. Said at least one second area may be hydrophobic or hydrophilic depending on the application of the garment, on the secreted amount of sweat and whether it is desired to transfer the sweat into said second area of the garment.

In one alternative, said at least one second area is of the hydrophilic type. When all the sweat cannot be removed via the channel by evaporation, it accumulates in said second area of the hydrophilic type from which it may evaporate.

Preferably, the garment is a monolayer garment, notably of the type: a vest with short or long sleeves, a tank top, shorts, trousers or any other light, comfortable garment, substantially fitted or adhering to the skin of the wearer. If the garment is not sufficiently in contact with the skin, a portion of the sweat risks flowing along the body without being absorbed by the channels and/or said second areas when they are of the hydrophilic type. It generally includes several channels on its back face and/or its right face. Preferably, the channels are found on its right face, i.e. towards the outside of the wearer in order to move the sweat away from the skin.

As many channels and said first and second areas are arranged according to the desired comfort and the targeted attractiveness notably when the channels are on the right face of the garment since they are visible.

In one alternative embodiment, said at least first area of the hydrophobic type is intended to cover an area of the body where sweating is considered to be a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the top, the middle and the bottom of the spinal column, the middle of the breast, the middle of the stomach, the crotch and the middle of the buttocks. Preferably, the choice will be made to place the areas of the hydrophobic type of said garment on the areas of the body where the wearer sweats the most and/or where the latter is felt as being a real nuisance.

In an alternative embodiment, said at least second area of the hydrophilic type is intended to cover an area of the body where sweating is considered as being less of a nuisance, selected from the following areas: the side areas of the body whether on the top of the body (sides and hips) and on the legs. As opposed to the selection of hydrophobic type areas, a choice will be made to place the hydrophilic type areas of the garment over the areas of the body where the wearer sweats less and/or where the latter is felt as being less of a nuisance.

Of course, the arrangement and the number of hydrophilic and hydrophobic areas may be suited to the conditions of use of said garment: on the top or the bottom of the body, according to the gender of the wearer and the type of practised sport.

In one alternative, said at least second area is in direct contact with the skin.

Preferably, said second area covering an area of the body where sweating is not felt as being a nuisance, ensures the comfort of the user.

In one alternative, a panel formed in a hydrophobic material, preferably a textile, is placed between the body and said at least second area and totally or partially covers said at least second area.

Said hydrophobic panel thus prevents the storage area towards which sweat builds up, i.e. said at least second area, from being directly in contact with the skin. The comfort of the user is thereby improved.

In one alternative embodiment, said at least one channel includes at least one branch.

Thus, a channel from a first area of the hydrophobic type and including a branch, may extend towards several second areas. With this arrangement, more sweat may be collected on an area of the body where sweating is excessive and distributed towards several of the second areas. As the channel is less loaded with sweat, evaporation is accelerated. This effect is also achievable by having two distinct channels leave from a first hydrophobic type area, each ending up in one or two distinct areas preferably of the hydrophilic type.

With the branches, it is also possible to adjust the attractiveness of the garment which is an important criterion since the garment is generally worn alone.

Moreover, the channels, whether branched or not, are not necessarily directed towards the vertical of the wearer. They may be substantially directed towards the horizontal of said wearer, for example a channel may leave from the middle of the stomach and end up on one of the sides or flanks of the wearer.

In one alternative embodiment, at least one channel has a longitudinal possibly continuous aperture facing the inside of the garment.

Said aperture opens out on the inside of the garment, i.e., on the skin of the wearer or along said channel or over a portion with a determined length. This aperture facilitates transfer of the sweat into said channel and its evaporation from the latter since there is one less physical barrier to be crossed; moreover it moves the sweat away from the skin. This arrangement is particularly advantageous for the first area in order to improve the thermal comfort of the wearer since the moisture sensation on the skin is attenuated or even suppressed. On the second area towards which the sweat is conveyed, the channel(s) may not have any longitudinal aperture, as the function of moving the sweat away from the skin of the wearer is less sought after.

The channels may also have a longitudinal aperture, possibly a continuous one, facing the outside of the garment. In this case, the channels are in contact with the skin of the wearer and therefore do not move the sweat away from the latter but fulfil their role of transferring sweat between the first and second areas of the garment.

Preferably, the channel appears in a shape close to a hollow cylinder, with an outer diameter in the interval [2 mm; 12 mm], preferably equal to 6 mm, with a continuous longitudinal aperture over the whole or part of its length. The length of said channel depends on the distance between the areas to be connected and on the size of the garment.

In one alternative embodiment, the channel (s), either branched or not, are added either on one of the faces of the garment, or between at least two textile panels by adhesive bonding, by ultrasonic welding, or by sewing.

In one alternative embodiment, the channel(s), either branched or not, are preformed in at least one textile panel from which the garment is made. The performing operation takes place in a standard way: the textile panel in hydrophobic and hydrophilic materials is stamped on a heat press providing three-dimensional forming of the hydrophilic type areas provided for the channels. The performing operation is preferably performed on textile panels in synthetic materials. The channels obtained by this technique have a continuous longitudinal aperture.

In one alternative embodiment, the channel(s), either branched or not, are integrated into the garment, when knitting the textile panel from which said garment is made.

In one alternative sub-embodiment, the knitted channels have a longitudinal aperture totally or partially closed by floats of elastic yarns.

During the knitting, the elastic floats are tensioned. When the knitted panel is in the relaxed condition, retraction of the floats causes deformation of the knit portion located between the ends of the floats bound to the other stitches, a deformation which is expressed by the formation of the channel. By adjusting the number of floats, the aperture of the channel is more or less blocked, and either the transfer of the sweat into said channel when the floats of yarns are positioned on the side of the wearer of the garment, or the evaporation of the sweat when the floats are on the side opposite to the wearer, are checked or facilitated. Further, the floats of yarns are of the hydrophilic type.

The garment is preferably obtained by assembling textile panels, made in hydrophobic and hydrophilic type materials, by sewing or any other equivalent means.

In one alternative embodiment, the total surface of the hydrophobic area(s) of the garment is larger than the total surface of the hydrophilic area(s).

In one alternative embodiment, the hydrophilic areas are made up of textile panels consisting of hydrophilic polyester and/or polyamide, and/or cotton, whereas the hydrophobic areas are made up from textile panels consisting of polyester or polypropylene.

In one alternative embodiment, the yarns of the textile panels forming said first and second areas have their hydrophilicity or hydrophobicity enhanced by chemical finishing agents.

The invention will be better understood upon reading exemplary embodiments, mentioned as being non-limiting and illustrated by the appended drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic front view of a first garment example according to the present invention of the tank top type;

FIG. 2 is a schematic back view of a garment according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of the section III-III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a schematic front view of a second garment example according to the present invention of the shorts type.

In the first exemplary embodiment which is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the garment 1 is of the tank top type. This is a monolayer garment obtained by assembling simple knitted textile panels. It has first areas of the hydrophobic type and second areas of the hydrophilic type. The second areas are said to be hydrophilic because they have on their inner face, a higher water absorption capacity than the first so-called hydrophobic areas and vice versa. More specifically on the illustrated tank top, there are five first hydrophobic areas 2, 3, 12, 13, 14 and six second areas 4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16. The tank top 1 also includes four channels 6, 7, 8, 9 without any branch, which are symmetrical two-by-two with respect to the vertical plane of symmetry YY′ of the tank top. Symmetry of the channels with respect to the YY′ axis facilitates the making of the garments since less different panels need to be assembled when each first or second area corresponds to a given panel. The hydrophilic channel 6 absorbs sweat secreted in a first area, for example the first area 2 localized in the middle of the breast of the wearer and conveys it towards a second area, for example the second area 4 localized on the right side or flank of the wearer. The channel 7 captures the sweat in the first area 2 corresponding to the middle of the breast, the latter is then conveyed towards a second area on the left side 5 of the wearer. Channels 8 and 9 capture the sweat separately in the first area 3 corresponding to the middle of the stomach of the wearer and convey it towards the second areas 10, 11 corresponding to the hips. The sweat conveyed towards the second areas, depending on its amount, remains in the channels and/or is absorbed in said second areas 4, 5, 10, 11. The sweat thereby evaporates from the channels or said second hydrophilic type areas.

FIG. 2 shows the back of the tank top. The first hydrophobic type areas correspond to the top of the spinal column 12, to the middle of the back 13 and to the bottom of the back 14. The second hydrophilic type areas 15, 16 correspond to the sides and to the hips.

Localization of the first areas is selected so as to correspond while the garment is worn, to the areas of the body which give off the most sweat and/or in which the sweating sensation is the most unpleasant, and vice versa for the localization of the second areas. The first areas of the hydrophobic type are formed in a material which absorbs little water, for example in polypropylene. The second areas of the hydrophilic type are formed in a more absorbing material, for example in cotton. The hydrophobicity and/or hydrophilicity may be provided by a localized treatment, for example by applying an adequate chemical finishing agent.

When practising a sport, the sweat is conveyed via the channels 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 from the first to the second areas, which attenuates or even suppresses the moisture sensation which the wearer may have, at the first areas and thereby improves the thermal comfort provided by the garment. It is possible to provide more hydrophilic materials for the channel than the hydrophilic materials of the second areas where sweat is conveyed. In this way, as the sweat absorption capacity by the channels is larger than that of said second areas 15, 16, sweat is thereby to a certain extent moved away from the skin at the areas 15, 16.

An exemplary channel 18 with branches 18a, 18b is illustrated in FIG. 2. The sweat absorbed by the channel 18 and both of its branches 18a, 18b, in a first area 13, is conveyed towards both second areas 15, 16 by the two branches 18a, 18b.

In FIG. 3, each channel 17 and 21, on the first area 12, appears in the shape of a hollow half-cylinder with a longitudinal aperture 30 facing the inside P of the garment 1. The convex portion of the channel 17 and 21, which absorbs sweat, faces the outside of the garment, and is therefore not in contact with the skin P of the wearer; with this arrangement, sweat may be moved away from the skin.

In FIG. 4, another exemplary embodiment of a garment 22 of the shorts type, sufficiently fitted so as to be in contact with the skin, is illustrated. It includes two first areas of the hydrophobic type 25 and 26 corresponding to the crotches, from which extend two channels 27 and 28 positioned symmetrically with respect to the ZZ′ axis, separately pumping the sweat and conveying it to bring it towards two second areas 23, 24 of the hydrophilic type corresponding to the outer sides of the legs. Very often, during an exercise or quite simply by walking for a sufficiently long time, friction generated at the crotches is particularly a nuisance or even painful; sweat only causes this phenomenon to be enhanced. Wearing close-fitting or even tight-fitting garments for example of the cycling shorts type, is known, which no doubt suppress friction but do not deal with sweating. The channels 27 and 28, by moving the sweat away from the skin and conveying it towards said second areas, not subject to friction, thus provide a solution to the aforementioned problem.

The outer dimension d of the illustrated channels on the garments 1 and 22, is between 2 mm and 12 mm, and is preferably equal to 6 mm. The length of the channels, generally between 10 cm and 30 cm, depends on the targeted attractiveness and on the distance between both first and second areas.

The longitudinal aperture 30 of the channel may be totally or partially closed by floats, notably formed by yarns with hydrophilicity.

With the presence of such floats, it is notably possible to form the channel during the knitting of a panel. In this case, the floats are elastic yarns and are knitted under tension, so that when the knitted panel is in the relaxed condition, retraction of the floats causes deformation of the columns of stitches which are bound between their ends and it is this deformation which creates the convex configuration of the channel.

Other ways are possible for forming the channel, for example by thermoforming, or by adding said channel as a patch between two panels or possibly by adhesive bonding.

The first and second areas may be adjacent to each other on the garment or be separated by intermediate areas which have an intermediate water absorption capacity between those of the first and second areas.

In one alternative, not shown in the figures, six second areas 4, 5, 10, 11, 15, 16 of the garment 1 and two second areas 23, 24 of the garment 22 are covered, over their inside faces directed towards the skin, with hydrophobic textile panels, so that the sweat conveyed in said second areas is not directly in contact with the skin.