Title:
Waistband assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A waistband assembly attachable to a garment. The waistband assembly includes an elastic strip. The elastic strip defines a strip proximal section, a substantially opposed strip distal section and a strip intermediate section extending therebetween. The strip proximal and distal sections define respectively substantially opposed strip proximal and distal lateral edges. The waistband assembly also includes a first band of fabric. The first band of fabric defines a backing section, a fold section extending from the backing section and a flap section extending from the fold section. The first band of fabric is folded over the elastic strip about the fold section so that the flap section is substantially parallel to the backing section. The flap section is attached to the strip distal section with the strip distal section located between the flap section and the backing section. A second band of fabric is also provided. The second band of fabric is substantially parallel to the backing section and is attached to the strip proximal section with the strip proximal section located between the second band of fabric and the backing section.



Inventors:
Mario, Archambault (Lachenaie, CA)
Application Number:
11/905192
Publication Date:
04/03/2008
Filing Date:
09/28/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/236
International Classes:
A41F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Louis Tessier (Town of Mount-Royal, QC, CA)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A waistband assembly attachable to a garment, said waistband assembly comprising: an elastic strip, said elastic strip defining a strip proximal section, a substantially opposed strip distal section and a strip intermediate section extending therebetween, said strip proximal and distal sections defining respectively substantially opposed strip proximal and distal lateral edges; a first band of fabric, said first band of fabric defining a backing section, a fold section extending from said backing section and a flap section extending from said fold section, said first band of fabric being folded over said elastic strip about said fold section so that said flap section is substantially parallel to said backing section, said flap section being attached to said strip distal section with said strip distal section located between said flap section and said backing section; and a second band of fabric, said second band of fabric being substantially parallel to said backing section and attached to said strip proximal section with said strip proximal section located between said second band of fabric and said backing section.

2. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said elastic strip is attached to said first and second bands of fabric in a manner such that said elastic strip is movable relatively to said backing section.

3. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said flap section is folded over itself substantially adjacent said elastic strip so as to define a flap section first portion extending from said fold section and a flap section second portion extending from said flap section first portion, said flap section being attached to said strip distal section with said flap section second portion located between said strip distal section and said flap section first portion.

4. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said second band of fabric is folded over itself so as to define a second band main section and a second band folded section extending therefrom, said second band of fabric being attached to said strip proximal section with said second band folded section located between said strip proximal section and said second band main section.

5. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second bands of fabric are each folded over themselves substantially opposed respectively to said fold section and said elastic strip.

6. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said backing section is attached to said flap section at a location intermediate said fold section and said elastic strip.

7. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second bands of fabric define a gap extending therebetween, said gap defining a gap width, said strip intermediate section extending across said gap; said waistband assembly define a waistband assembly width; said gap width is from about 25 percents to about 75 percents of said waistband assembly width.

8. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said first band of fabric, said second band of fabric and said elastic strip have respectively a first band, a second band and an elastic strip elasticity modulus, said elastic strip elasticity modulus being substantially smaller than said first and second band elasticity moduli.

9. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said elastic strip is from about 2 to about 10 times less rigid longitudinally than said first and second bands of fabric.

10. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second bands of fabric are cut on a bias.

11. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said first and second bands of fabric are cut at a bias angle of from about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees.

12. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said flap section is stitched to said strip distal section and said second band of fabric is stitched to said strip proximal section.

13. A garment, said garment comprising: a garment shell defining a waist section; and a waistband assembly attached to said garment shell, said waistband assembly including: an elastic strip, said elastic strip defining a strip proximal section, a substantially opposed strip distal section and a strip intermediate section extending therebetween, said strip proximal and distal sections defining respectively substantially opposed strip proximal and distal lateral edges; a first band of fabric, said first band of fabric defining a backing section, a fold section extending from said backing section and a flap section extending from said fold section, said first band of fabric being folded over said elastic about said fold section so that said flap section is substantially parallel to said backing section, said flap section being attached to said strip distal section with said strip distal section located between said flap section and said backing section, said backing section being attached to said waist section at a location substantially opposed to said fold section; and a second band of fabric, said second band of fabric being substantially parallel to said backing section and attached to said strip proximal section with said strip proximal section located between said second band of fabric and said backing section, said second band of fabric being attached to said waist section at a location substantially opposed to said elastic strip.

14. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein said backing section defines a waistband outer surface and said flap section, strip intermediate section and second band of fabric together defines a waistband inner surface; said flap section defines a first band first lateral edge and said backing section defines a first band second lateral edge; said second band of fabric defines a second band first lateral edge and an opposed second band second lateral edge, said second band first lateral edge being located substantially adjacent said elastic strip; said first and second bands of fabric are folded over themselves in a manner such that said first and second band first lateral edges are each located between said waistband inner and outer surfaces

15. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 14, wherein said first and second bands of fabric are folded over themselves in a manner such that said first and second band second lateral edges are each located between said waistband inner and outer surfaces.

16. A waistband assembly as defined in claim 14, wherein said first and second bands of fabric are folded over themselves in a manner such that said first and second band first lateral edges are substantially adjacent respectively said strip distal and proximal edges.

Description:

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/848,372 filed Oct. 2, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the clothing industry. More specifically, the present invention is concerned with a waistband assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many pants include a stretchable waistband that can accommodate naturally occurring changes in the circumference of the waist of an intended user. For example, the following patents describe pants having such a waistband. U.S. Pat. No. 3,848,168 issued Nov. 19, 1974, U.S. Pat. No. 4,970,728 issued Nov. 20, 1990 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,483,702 issued Jan. 16, 1996 describe pants that have all tried to solve this problem by coupling a substantially elastic band of material to the fabric used to manufacture the pants. However, in all these pants, the elastic is located on an inner surface of the waistband and is therefore exposed to the environment.

In dress pants, this typically does not cause problems as the elastic is then substantially rigid and can be made substantially resistant to wear. In addition, dress pants are typically washed at relatively gentle settings and the elastic is therefore typically not damaged during normal use and wash of the pants.

In some types of pants, such as, for example, in jeans, it would be desirable to have a waistband that is relatively stretchable so as to allow the intended user to experience more comfort while wearing the pants. However, the prior art methods for coupling an elastic material to a fabric to form a substantially elastic waistband are typically not usable to manufacture jeans, as jeans are typically manufactured and then stonewashed to produce the finished pants. The stonewashing process is relatively harsh on the jeans material and the elastic of the prior art patents would be most likely severely damaged by a stonewashing process.

Against this background, there exists a need in the industry to provide a novel waistband assembly. An object of the present invention is therefore to provide an improved waistband assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a broad aspect, the invention provides a waistband assembly attachable to a garment. The waistband assembly includes an elastic strip. The elastic strip defines a strip proximal section, a substantially opposed strip distal section and a strip intermediate section extending therebetween. The strip proximal and distal sections define respectively substantially opposed strip proximal and distal lateral edges. The waistband assembly also includes a first band of fabric. The first band of fabric defines a backing section, a fold section extending from the backing section and a flap section extending from the fold section. The first band of fabric is folded over the elastic strip about the fold section so that the flap section is substantially parallel to the backing section. The flap section is attached to the strip distal section with the strip distal section located between the flap section and the backing section. A second band of fabric is also provided. The second band of fabric is substantially parallel to the backing section and is attached to the strip proximal section with the strip proximal section located between the second band of fabric and the backing section.

Advantageously, the proposed waistband assembly protects the elastic strip using the first and second bands of fabric. This protection is useful for minimizing wear onto the elastic strip during normal washing. In addition, this protection is also useful in maintaining the structural integrity of the elastic strip during some manufacturing processes, such as the stonewashing process used in the manufacture of jeans.

The proposed waistband assembly is relatively easily deformable to accommodate waistline variations in intended users of the waistband assembly. Furthermore, the waistband assembly is nevertheless substantially rigid so as to maintain a garment including the waistband assembly such as, for example, pants including the waistband assembly, secured to the waist of the intended user.

In some embodiments of the invention, the first and second bands of fabric are folded over themselves at their extremities so as to protect their lateral edges. In these embodiments, the waistband assembly is further protected from wear and tear during normal washing, normal use of the waistband assembly and the stonewashing process used in the manufacture of jeans.

In some embodiments of the invention, the proposed waistband assembly is relatively easily manufacturable at relatively low costs. In addition, the proposed waistband assembly is relatively easily attachable to existing garments.

In another broad aspect, the invention provides a garment including a garment shell defining a waist section. The garment also includes a waistband assembly attached to the garment shell.

Other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more apparent upon reading of the following non-restrictive description of preferred embodiments thereof, given by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the appended drawings:

FIG. 1, in a perspective view, illustrates a waistband assembly in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, the waistband assembly being shown attached to a garment shell;

FIG. 2, in a side cross-sectional view, illustrates an elastic strip and two bands of fabric usable to manufacture the waistband assembly shown in of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3, in a side cross-sectional view, illustrates the elastic strip and two bands of fabric shown in FIG. 2 folded and secured to each other so as to form a waistband assembly securable to the garment shell shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4, in a side cross-sectional view with portions removed, illustrates the waistband assembly shown in FIG. 3 attached to the garment shell shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a garment 10 in the form of a pair of pants. The garment 10 includes a garment shell 12 defining a waist section 14. The garment 10 also includes a waistband assembly 16 attached to the garment shell 12.

Referring to FIG. 2, the waistband assembly 16 includes an elastic strip 18, a first band of fabric 20 and a second band of fabric 22. The first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 are attached to the elastic strip 18, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4.

Referring to FIG. 3, more specifically, the elastic strip 18 defines a strip proximal section 24, a substantially opposed strip distal section 26 and a strip intermediate section 28 extending therebetween. The strip proximal and distal sections 24 and 26 define respectively substantially opposed strip proximal and distal lateral edges 32 and 34.

The first band of fabric 20 defines a backing section 36, a fold section 38 extending from the backing section 36 and a flap section 40 extending from the fold section 38. The first band of fabric 20 is folded over the elastic strip 18 about the fold section 38 so that the flap section 40 is substantially parallel to the backing section 36. The flap section 40 is attached to the strip distal section 26 with the strip distal section 26 located between the flap section 40 and the backing section 36.

The second band of fabric 22 is substantially parallel to the backing section 36 and is attached to the strip proximal section 24 with the strip proximal section 24 located between the second band of fabric 22 and the backing section 36.

In this configuration, the strip proximal and distal lateral edges 32 and 34 are therefore protected by the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 from damages that may be caused during use or manufacture of the proposed waistband assembly 16. In some embodiments of the invention, the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 are made out of denim and are therefore relatively wear-resistant.

The proposed waistband assembly 16 is deformable due to the presence of the elastic strip 18 but nevertheless remains relatively well wear-resistant because the strip distal and proximal lateral edges 34 and 32 are protected respectively by the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22. Surprisingly, the proposed waistband assembly 16 provides a new and unexpected structure that includes simultaneously these advantages in a single product. Even if the first and second band of fabrics 20 and 22 extend over the length of the elastic strip 18, the proposed waistband assembly is nevertheless, in some embodiments of the invention, relatively easily deformed to accommodate variations in the waistline of the intended user of the waistband assembly 16.

Typically, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the elastic strip 18 is attached to the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 in a manner such that the elastic strip 18 is movable relatively to the backing section 36. In other words, the waistband assembly 16 may deform such that the elastic strip 18 moves substantially parallel to the backing section 36, which helps in accommodating a relatively large range of variations in the waistline of the intended user of the waistband assembly 16. However, in alternative embodiments of the invention, the elastic strip 18 is attached to the backing section 36.

Referring to FIG. 3, the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 define a gap 42 extending therebetween. The gap 42 defines a gap width 44, better seen in FIG. 1. Returning to FIG. 3, the strip intermediate section 28 extends across the gap 42. As seen in FIG. 1, the waistband assembly 16 defines a waistband assembly width 46. In some embodiments of the invention, the gap width 44 is from about 25% to about 75% of the waistband assembly width 46. It has been found that these relative values between the gap width 44 and the waistband assembly width 46 give good mechanical properties to the waistband assembly 16, leading to waistband assemblies 16 that are deformable over a relatively large range of deformations while having a structural integrity sufficient for maintaining the waistband assembly 16 to the waist of the intended user and preventing reversal of the waistband assembly 16 when the garment 10 is worn.

As seen in FIG. 4, the backing section 36 is attached to the waist section 14 at a location substantially opposed to the fold section 38. Also, the second band of fabric 22 is attached to the waist section 14 at a location substantially opposed to the elastic strip 18. The waist section 14 is attached to the waistband assembly 16 by being sandwiched between the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 at a location substantially opposed to the fold section 38.

The first band of fabric 20, the second band of fabric 22 and the elastic strip 18 have, respectively, a first band elasticity modulus, a second band elasticity modulus and an elastic strip elasticity modulus. The elastic strip elasticity modulus is typically substantially smaller than the first and second band elasticity moduli. For example, in some embodiments of the invention, the elastic strip 18 is from about 2 to about 10 times less rigid longitudinally than the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22. This range of ratio between the rigidity of the elastic strip 18 and the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 has been found to provide waistband assemblies 16 that deform relatively well in that they have a relatively large range of deformation while maintaining the waistband assembly 16 secured to the waist of the intended user over this relatively large range of deformation. However, it is within the scope of the claimed invention to have a waistband assembly 16 including an elastic strip 18 and first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 having any other suitable elasticity moduli.

In some embodiments of the invention, the first and second bands of fabric 20 and 22 are cut on a bias. For example, the first and second bands of fabric may be cut at a bias angle of from about 30 degrees to about 60 degrees. In other words, in this example, the warp or woof of the first and second bands of fabric are angled at from about 30 to about 60 degrees relatively to the longitudinal direction.

Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown that the flap section 40 is folded over itself substantially adjacent the elastic strip 18 so as to define a flap section first portion 47 extending from the fold section 38 and a flap section second portion 48 extending from the flap section first portion 47. The flap section 40 is attached to the strip distal section 26 with the flap section second portion 48 located between the strip distal section 26 and the flap section first portion 47.

In addition, the first band of fabric 20 is folded over itself substantially opposed to the fold section 38. In other words, the backing section 36 defines a waistband outer surface 50 and the flap section 40, the strip intermediate section 28 and the second band of fabric 22 together define a waistband inner surface 52. The flap section 40 defines a first band first lateral edge 54 and the backing section 36 defines a first band second lateral edge 56. The first band of fabric 20 is folded over itself in a manner such that the first band first lateral edge 54 is located between the waistband inner and outer surfaces 50 and 52. Similarly, the first band of fabric is folded over itself in a manner such that the first band second lateral edge 56 is located also between the waistband inner and outer surfaces 50 and 52. Therefore, the first band of fabric 20 is folded over itself in a manner such that the first band first and second lateral edges 54 and 56 are protected from wear that may occur during manufacture or normal use of the garment 10. Indeed, in garments, the edge of fabric is typically a portion that is relatively easily damaged. The design of the proposed waistband assembly 16 minimizes such damages and therefore contributes to the manufacture of a relatively wear-resistant garment 10.

Furthermore, in some embodiments of the invention, the first band of fabric 20 is folded over itself in a manner such that the first band first lateral edge 54 is substantially adjacent to the strip distal edge 34. In this configuration, the strip distal edge 34 and the first band first lateral edge 54 are together less sensitive to forces that may wear out these edges 34 and 54 as they are adjacent to each other, and therefore reinforce the structure of the waistband assembly 16 substantially adjacent these edges 34 and 54.

The second band of fabric 22 is folded over itself so as to define a second band main section 58 and a second band folded section 60 extending therefrom. The second band of fabric 22 is attached to the strip proximal section 24 with the second band folded section 60 located between the strip proximal section 24 and the second band main section 58. In addition, the second band of fabric 22 is folded over itself substantially opposed to the elastic strip 18.

In other words, the second band of fabric 22 defines a second band first lateral edge 62 and an opposed second band second lateral edge 64. The second band first lateral edge 62 is located substantially adjacent the elastic strip 18. The second band of fabric is folded over itself in a manner such that the second band first lateral edge 62 is located between the waistband inner and outer surfaces 50 and 52, with all the advantages mentioned hereinabove relatively to a substantially similar configuration of the first band of fabric 20. In addition, the second band of fabric is folded over itself in a manner such that the second band second lateral edge 64 is also located between the waistband inner and outer surfaces 50 and 52.

In some embodiments of the invention, the second band of fabric 22 is folded over itself in a manner such that the second band first lateral edge 62 is substantially adjacent the strip proximal edge 32.

In some embodiments of the invention, the backing section 36 is attached to the flap section 40 at a location intermediate the fold section 38 and the elastic strip 18. This configuration helps in reinforcing the waistband assembly 16 so that the waistband assembly 16 does not fold over itself or reverses itself when worn by the intended user.

All the pieces of fabric mentioned hereinabove may be attached to each other in any suitable manner. Typically, as seen in the drawings, this is performed by attaching these pieces of fabric using stitch lines that include stitches 66. However, in alternative embodiments of the invention, the pieces of fabric are attached to each other using any other suitable method such as, for example, using glue.

Although the present invention has been described hereinabove by way of preferred embodiments thereof, it can be modified, without departing from the spirit and nature of the subject invention as defined in the appended claims.