Title:
Flexible zipper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flexible zipper for use with stretchy fabrics containing a tracking base composed of a first piece of fabric and a second piece of fabric, with the first piece and second piece being substantially equal in dimension, and with the tracking base fabric being composed of a material that is stretchable in multiple directions. There are a plurality of slits along the tracking base allowing the zipper to be stretchy in an up and down direction. There is a tracking portion that latches and unlatches the zipper through a plurality of protrusions on one side of the tracking portion and a plurality of grooves on the opposing side of the tracking portion. There is a sliding tab for latching and unlatching the tracking portion. The zipper can be turned inside out, rendering the zipper invisible, if desired.



Inventors:
Baghdoian, Sossy (Chatsworth, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/588559
Publication Date:
05/01/2008
Filing Date:
10/26/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44B19/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SANDY, ROBERT JOHN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Sandy Lipkin (Ventura, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A flexible zipper comprising a tracking base composed of a first piece of fabric and a second piece of fabric, said first piece and second piece being substantially equal in dimension, said tracking base fabric being composed of a material that is stretchable in multiple directions; a plurality of slits in a position transverse said tracking base located along said first piece of fabric and a corresponding plurality of slits located along said second piece of fabric in a position transverse said tracking base; latching means connecting said first piece of fabric to said second piece of fabric, said latching means being a tracking portion having a first side and a second side further comprising a plurality of protrusions on said first side of said tracking portion; a plurality of grooves found on said second side of said tracking portion wherein said plurality of protrusions fit into said plurality of grooves to latch said first side and said second side; and a sliding tab for latching and unlatching said protrusions with said grooves.

2. A flexible zipper as defined in claim 1 wherein said tracking base is composed of a decorative, ornamental fabric.

3. A flexible zipper as defined in claim 1 wherein said zipper is applied to a garment in a reverse orientation, rendering said zipper invisible.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of zippers, and particularly to a zipper that, once locked, is flexible in an up and down direction as well as a side to side direction.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Slide fasteners, commonly known as zippers have long been known to be useful for the opening and closing two adjoining pieces of fabric. A zipper is typically composed of a tracking base made of substantially equal size portions of fabric on either side, a series of teeth that interlock upon closing and unlock upon opening that is attached to the tracking base, and a means for opening and closing the interlocking teeth that are attached to each track that contains the interlocking teeth.

With the advent of highly flexible, stretchy material and more and more snug applications with the application to tight clothing and the like, there exists a problem with a conventional zipper bunching up or even ripping around portions of the tracking base because the zipper is not as flexible as the fabric it joins.

Accordingly, there exists a need for a zipper than can stretch either in a longitudinal direction or a lateral direction, depending upon the demands of the fabric and what it is being wrapped around, i.e., a human body or mannequin and the like. It is not sufficient to solve this problem by merely making the tracking base fabric from a flexible, stretchy material. The zipper itself needs to be independently flexible from the tracking base material.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a flexible zipper is disclosed comprising a tracking base composed of a first piece of fabric and a second piece of fabric. The first piece and second piece are substantially equal in dimension, with the tracking base fabric being composed of a material that is stretchable in four directions.

A plurality of slits are located through both pieces of fabric.

A latching means connects the first piece of fabric to the second piece of fabric, with the latching means being a tracking portion. The tracking portion contains a plurality of protrusions on one side of the tracking portion and a plurality of grooves found on the opposing side of the tracking portion. There is a sliding tab for latching and unlatching the protrusions with the grooves.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, the tracking base is composed of a decorative, ornamental fabric.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, the flexible zipper is applied to a garment in a reverse orientation, rendering the zipper invisible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front view of the zipper.

FIG. 2 is a view of the zipper when used as an “invisible-type” zipper.

FIG. 3 is a close-up view of the attaching portion of the zipper.

FIG. 4 is a close-up view of the attaching portion of the zipper when used as an “invisible-type” zipper.

FIG. 5 is a close-up view of the zipper when stretched in a two-way direction.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings. The flexible zipper 10 of the instant invention is shown in FIG. 1 in total. The zipper 10 is mounted on a tracking base 12a, 12b composed of a first piece of fabric 12a on one side of the zipper 10 and a second piece of fabric 12b one the other side of the zipper 12b.

Both pieces of the tracking base 12a, 12b are substantially equal in dimension. The fabric used for the tracking base 12a, 12b is composed of a material that is stretchable in multiple directions, illustrated in the FIG. 1 by the arrows 11.

Both pieces of the tracking base 12a, 12b are stretchable in multiple directions because each piece of the tracking base 12a, 12b is divided into multiple sections 13a-13n, divided by a plurality of slits 18. The slits 18 allow the tracking base to stretch in multiple directions when stretched, illustrated in close-up in FIG. 5 with the direction being indicated by the arrows 21.

Both sides of the tracking base 12a, 12b are latchable together through the use of a tracking portion 19 found on both sides of the zipper 10. The tracking portion 19 has one side with a plurality of protrusions 17a that are received in a plurality of grooves 17b found on the opposing side of the tracking portion 19.

Finally, there is a sliding tab 20 used for locking and unlocking the plurality of protrusions 17a with the plurality of grooves 17b.

A second embodiment of the invention involves an “invisible zipper,” known in the art. By reversing the mechanism of the preferred embodiment, without the pull tap 20, the back side of the zipper 10 can be used on the outside of a garment with the use of a separate smaller pull tab (not shown) rendering the zipper invisible.

It is to be understood that while the illustrations herein show a zipper that is visible once closed, this particular invention can also be used for zippers that become invisible once closed, such zippers being well-known in the art, if the zipper is turned inside-out on the garment.

The illustrations and examples provided herein are for explanatory purposes and are not intended to limit the scope of the appended claims. This disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the spirit and scope of the invention and/or claims of the embodiment illustrated. Those skilled in the art will make modifications to the invention for particular applications of the invention.