Title:
Temporary pant leg rollup fastener
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A support for a temporary pant rollup is described. A strip of flexible material includes magnets located at opposing ends. The strip is wrapped around a temporary pant rollup to support the pant rollup. The magnets are enclosed in pockets on the strip and are magnetically attracted to each other when the strip is wrapped around the pant rollup. The magnets attract each other with the pant fabric sandwiched between them, to physically support the strip, and thereby the rollup, in place.



Inventors:
Alperin, Mindy G. (Roswell, GA, US)
Lazar, Jamie E. (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/593502
Publication Date:
05/08/2008
Filing Date:
11/07/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/303
International Classes:
A41F9/00; A44B99/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
QUINN, RICHALE LEE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVIDSON BERQUIST JACKSON & GOWDEY LLP (McLean, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A supporter for temporarily maintaining a desired pant rollup in a pant leg, comprising: a strip of material having opposing ends, the material being flexible to permit the material to be folded over on itself so the opposing ends can meet and so the strip of material can fold to extend a distance at least partially across the desired pant rollup on the outside of the pant leg and a similar distance on the inside of the pant leg while wrapping and supporting the desired pant rollup from underneath the rollup, without holding the rollup to anything other than the pant leg; two magnetically co-attracted materials, one magnetically co-attracted material located respectively on respective portions of the strip near each opposing end of the strip such that a substantial portion of the strip remains without the magnetically co-attracted materials located thereon; and the magnetically co-attracted materials being arranged so they magnetically attract each other when the strip of material is folded over on itself and exhibiting sufficient magnetic field strength to maintain their magnetic attraction through the pant leg to temporarily support the desired pant rollup while maintaining the supporter in a free-hanging position on the pant leg, the strip of material being of sufficient length and the magnetically co-attracted materials being spaced apart from each other on the strip of sufficient length to allow the strip to support the rollup without binding the pant leg from moving in its normal free-hanging state.

2. A supporter according to claim 1, further including: a pocket portion on each opposing end of the strip forming a pocket at each opposing end of the strip; and a fabric adhesive on at least one edge of the strip near the pocket portion to close the pocket and secure the magnetically co-attracted material within the pocket.

3. A supporter according to claim 2, wherein: the adhesive is one from the group consisting of: stitching, glue, heat sealing, ultrasonic sealing, or hook-and-loop.

4. A supporter according to claim 1, wherein: the strip of material is one from the group consisting of: fabric, lightweight plastic, or ribbon.

5. A supporter according to claim 2, wherein: the pocket portion is a folded-over portion of the strip of material.

6. A supporter according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the magnetically co-attracted materials is from the group consisting or wafer-shaped or strip-shaped.

7. A supporter according to claim 1, further including two spacers arranged respectively beside the two magnetically co-attracted materials off sides of the two magnetically co-attracted materials opposite the sides that are magnetically attracted to each other when the strip is folded.

8. A supporter according to claim 1, wherein the strip includes a surface for presentation of one from the group consisting of: a name, slogan, logo, phrase, picture, or advertising material.

9. A method of temporarily supporting a desired pant rollup in a pant leg, comprising: wrapping a strip of material having sufficient flexibility to loop on itself and having opposing ends and a length sufficiently long to wrap around and loop under the pant rollup to support the pant rollup; magnetically coupling two magnets arranged near opposing ends of the strip of material so the two magnets are able to sandwich fabric of the pant leg without binding the rollup physically on or above the rollup so the strip is in a position looped around and under the desired pant rollup to support the rollup so the rollup will not fall and so the strip of material will hang freely with the pant leg without binding the pant leg from moving in its normal free-hanging state; magnetically de-coupling the two magnets to remove and free the combined strip of material and magnets when the temporarily supported pant rollup is no longer desired and the pant leg remains in its normal free-hanging state.

10. A method according to claim 9, further including the step of physically supporting the magnets on the strip of material.

11. A method according to claim 10, wherein the magnets are physically supported in pockets on, respectively, the opposing ends of the strip.

12. A. method according to claim 9, wherein the magnets also sandwich the desire pant rollup.

13. A removable support for a pant rollup in a pant leg, comprising: a tube of material having opposing ends, the material being flexible to permit the material to be folded over on itself around the pant rollup on the outside of the pant leg; two magnetically co-attracted elements, one located respectively in each opposing end of the tube; and two adhesives, one on each opposing end of the tube to close each magnetically co-attracted material inside the tube near its respective end of the tube, the magnetically co-attracted materials being arranged so they magnetically attract each other when the tube of material is folded over on itself and exhibiting sufficient magnetic field strength to maintain their magnetic attraction through the pant leg to temporarily support the desired pant rollup while maintaining the removable support in a free-hanging position on the pant leg.

14. A support according to claim 13, wherein the adhesives are from the group consisting of: stitching, glue, heat sealing, ultrasonic sealing, or hook-and-loop.

15. A support according to claim 13, wherein: the tube is from the group consisting of: fabric, lightweight plastic, or ribbon.

16. A support according to claim 13, wherein: the two magnetically co-attracted elements are two magnets.

17. A support according to claim 13, wherein: one of the two magnetically co-attracted elements is a magnet and the other is a ferromagnetic material.

18. A support according to claim 13, further including two spacers arranged respectively beside the two magnetically co-attracted materials on sides of the two magnetically co-attracted materials opposite the sides that are magnetically attracted to each other when the tube is folded.

19. A supporter according to claim 13, wherein the strip includes a surface for presentation of one from the group consisting of: a name, slogan, logo, phrase, picture, or advertising material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

This disclosure relates to a free-hanging magnetic fastener to temporarily support pant leg rollups at readily adjustable lengths.

INTRODUCTION

Pant legs are usually purchased or altered to a length suitable to the leg length of the wearer, using a typical shoe height (or a shoe height chosen by the wearer for the particular pants). Particularly in women's fashion, where shoes may have very different heel heights from “flats” having relatively minimal heel height to “high heels” having relatively high heel heights, the hem of the pants legs are sewn or chosen to coincide with the heel height that the wearer will expect to use when wearing those pants.

Women's dress pants and business pant legs are typically sewn or chosen to accommodate moderate to high heels that are more typically worn in formal or business settings. But, when traveling to and from those formal or business settings, women will frequently choose to wear more comfortable flats, sneakers or other low-heeled shoes and then change the shoes to the moderate or higher heels upon arrival. This creates a problem in that the pants legs, which are sewn or chosen with a longer length to accommodate moderate or higher heels, will drag on the ground when the wearer puts on the more comfortable low-heeled shoes for travel.

Although the problem exists everywhere, it is particularly acute in metropolitan areas, where women travel by mass transportation, walking, etc. In such cases, it is typical to see female commuters wearing the lower-heeled shoes in route to work, and then changing into moderate or high-heeled shoes when they arrive at work. During that travel, the bottoms of their pants legs are dragging on the ground causing them to become dirty and, over time, frayed.

Hemming the pants legs at a shorter length so they will not drag during the commute is not a realistic option because the pants legs will not be of the proper length for the moderate to higher heels that the wearer wishes to change in to once she arrives at work.

Some women put a temporary rollup in their pant legs by rolling them up during the commute and then rolling them back down when they arrive at work. That works for some fabrics, such as heavy denim that will support the rollup while the wearer is walking, but many fabrics worn by women will not self-support that rollup during the walking commute.

The term “rollup” is used in this application to refer to a temporary roll in the pant leg, as opposed to a hem or a cuff. A rollup can be rolled such that the rolled fabric of the pant leg is outside the pant leg (rolled up or out) or can be rolled such that the rolled fabric of the pant leg is inside the pant leg (rolled in or under).

We here disclose a rollup fastener that is aesthetically attractive and supports a temporary rollup in a pant leg. The fastener does not puncture or otherwise alter the appearance of the pant leg, yet supports the rollup pant leg securely and temporarily. The rollup is particularly advantageous because it is free-hanging and thus does not bind or hold the pant leg nor encumber the pant leg from its normal freedom to move during a normal walking motion.

Specifically, to physically support a temporary pant leg rollup that would otherwise fall, we have developed strips of ribbon, fabric, or other flexible material with magnetic wafers sewn into opposite ends of the strips. The strip is wrapped over the pant leg rollup to support the rollup up, and the magnets support the strip in place.

Some magnetic garment closures have been previously disclosed, but no such closures are designed to temporarily support pant rollups. U.S. Pat. No. 5,604,960, for example, discloses a magnetic garment closure system in which opposing magnets fasten down fabric without compromising the appearance of the garment. That disclosure is made with respect to a shirt, but adds that it is equally applicable to pants and virtually any other garment having opposing closure surfaces. Although that disclosure mentions pants, it does so in the context of opposing closure surfaces, which applies to items such as buttons or flies but teaches away from application to non-closure surfaces such as rollups.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,829,847 discloses a pant cuff protector that holds a pant from the ground by binding it to a shoe. A first magnet body is fixed to a heel of a shoe above the shoe bottom. A fabric strip is sewn at one end to the heel of the shoe and has an attached second magnet body at the other end. A pant cuff is held between the two magnets with the excess length of the strip reaching around the material of the pant cuff to restrain the pant cuff against the heel of the shoe. Unlike that disclosure, the present disclosures do not restrain or hold the pant cuff between clamping members, but only support a temporary roll in the pant leg by a free-hanging strip that give the pant leg a similar freedom to move and flow while walking as if the strip were not present. That is, there is no binding or holding of an existing pant cuff, either to a shoe or anything else. Rather, the temporary roll in the pant leg is supported by the strip in a free-hanging manner so the pant leg and rollup retain their freedom of movement while the user is walking.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following description, given with respect to the attached drawings, may be better understood with reference to the non-limiting examples of the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front view of an example rollup fastener;

FIG. 2 is a front view of an example rollup fastener;

FIG. 3 is a view of a pant rollup held by an example rollup fastener;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a pant rollup held by an example rollup fastener;

FIG. 5 is another front view of an exemplary rollup fastener;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a magnet assembly; and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of a pant rollup held by an example rollup fastener.

THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 shows a strip 10 having an original, extended length defined by edges 15 and 16 and a length after manufacture defined by edges 13 and 14. During manufacture, one end of the strip 10 is folded over on itself at the section defined between edges 13 and 15 and the folded-over portion is sewn down by peripheral-edge stitches 18. Similarly, the other end of the strip 10 is folded over on itself at the section defined between edges 14 and 16 and is sewn down by peripheral-edge stitches 17. The respective peripheral-edge stitches are made, as shown around three peripheral edges to form enclosed pockets 19 and 21. Prior to the stitching, magnets 20 and 22 are placed, respectively, into pockets 19 and 21 so the stitching keeps the magnets in place within the pockets.

Optionally, the magnets can be arranged on spacers within the pockets 19 and 21, to provide some cushion and spacing between the magnets and metal objects, such as metal furniture, that the magnets may encounter while the user is walking. The spacers can be small plastic pieces inserted between the magnets and inside surfaces of the pockets 19 and 21 to provide an amount of spacing desired. The spacers can alternatively be any material that will space the magnetic surface from the pant leg fabric, such as foam, plastic, wood, fabric, leather, etc.

The pockets 19 and 21 can alternatively be formed by the portion of flexible material between edges 13/15 and 14/16 being cut separate from the strip 10 and sewn down on four peripheral edges. As a further alternative, the magnets 20 and 22 can be glued onto the ends of the strip 10 rather than sewn into pockets, thus eliminating the pockets altogether. The stitches 17 and 18 can also be replaced by glue, ultrasonic sealing, heat sealing, hook-and-loop, or any known fabric adhesive methodology.

The strip 10 can be single ply fabric with the pockets formed by fold-over or by attaching separate pieces, or the strip 10 can be tube fabric with pockets formed by sealing the tube (with magnets therein) at various points along the tube to seal in the magnets.

In the strip 10 of FIG. 1, the finished product includes two pockets 19 and 21 housing, respectively, two magnets 20 and 22, with a flexible portion 12 between the respective magnets. The flexible portion 12 should be suitably flexible to permit the two pockets 19 and 21 to fold over so the magnets therein can engage each other by mutual magnetic attraction.

The strip 10 does not have to be any particular dimension. By using the phrase “strip,” the reader should not presume any particular length-to-width ratios or dimensions. FIG. 2, for example, shows an alterative strip 110a having structures and operating principles as described above with respect to strip 10 of FIG. 1, except that the length of edges 13a and 14a of the strip 10a in FIG. 2 is relatively long compared to the length of the flexible portion 12a. In FIG. 2, magnets 20a and 22a are also relatively elongated, rather than wafer-like as in FIG. 1. The purpose of FIG. 2 is to show that the exact dimensions or proportions of the strip are not limiting provided the principles of operation are maintained.

The strip 10 can be composed of fabric, lightweight plastic, ribbon, or any other flexible material. It can be an attractive fabric. It can also contain a name, slogan, logo, phrase, picture, or advertising material. It can match particular pant colors and fabrics, or be of contrasting colors or fabrics.

FIG. 3 illustrates a strip 10 in place on the rollup of a pant leg. When the pant leg needs to be higher to accommodate lower heels, the user rolls up the bottom of the pant leg 30 to make rollup 31. The strip 10 then wraps around the rollup to support it place. Once the strip is wrapped around the rollup, it stays in place by magnetic attraction of the two magnets 20 and 22 (or 20a and 22a). When the strip 10 is removed to let the rollup down, there is no puncture or other mark on the pant leg caused by the strip 10 because the magnets support the strip in place by magnetic attraction through the pant leg 30, without actually physically touching each other. As shown, the strip supports the rollup 31, without holding or binding the rollup or the pant leg. The strip moves with the pants leg as the pants leg moves in its natural fashion while the user walks. The pants cuff is not held but instead the temporary roll is supported temporarily by the free-hanging strip 10. The strip 10 is not bound, affixed, or held to anything but is instead supported by the magnetic attraction at the strip ends.

The strip 10 can be of different lengths. In some cases, the length may be longer so the magnets meet each other (magnetically) above the rollup and in other cases, the length of the strip 10 may be shorter so the magnets meet each other on the rollup.

In the preferred embodiment, the strip 10 is not physically fixed in any way to the pant leg 30 or anything else. Thus, the strip 10 does not hold the pant leg, but instead prevents a temporary roll in the bottom of the pants from falling while the user is walking. That is, the flexible fabric portion of the strip 10 that surrounds the rolled up portion of the pants is supporting the roll but is not holding it, such as by any fixative or adherence. In fact, the fabric portion of the strip 10 does not bind the pants as a cuff-holder would, but instead supports a temporary roll in the pants to keep the pants legs temporarily off of the ground. When the user desires to lower the rollup, the magnets are pulled apart and the strip 10 is completely removed from the pant leg 30.

FIG. 4 shows a cross-sectional side view of the strip 10 in place to support the rollup 31 in the pant leg 30. Rollup 31 is shown as a rolled-up portion of the pant leg 30. The strip 10 is wrapped around the rollup 31 so the edge 16 on one end of the strip 10 is inside the pant leg 30 and the edge 15 on the other end of the strip 10 is outside the pant leg 30. The loop 50 created by the strip 10 supports the rollup 31 near the base 51 of the loop 50. Magnets 20 and 22 are arranged so they are magnetically attracted to each other. As shown, the attraction of the magnets 20 and 22 occurs through sequentially a strip portion 52, the rollup (or several layers thereof, as desired), the pant leg 30, and the strip portion 53.

In an alternative embodiment, the same strip of FIG. 4 can be folded the opposite direction so the strips portions 52 and 53 are on the outside and the portions near the ends 15 and 16 are on the inside (in other words, flipped inside out compared to the arrangement shown in FIG. 4).

Four strips are usually sufficient to support the rollups on both pant legs—two strips 10 per rollup. More can be employed, as required or desired.

FIG. 5 illustrates another example embodiment of the strip 10. In FIG. 5, like numbers identify like items with reference to descriptions of earlier figures. In FIG. 5, the magnets 20 and 22 are encased on one side and around their peripheral edge by a metal casing 40 (with respect to magnet 20) and metal casing 41 (with respect to magnet 22). One example of the metal casing 40 is also shown in the perspective view of FIG. 6. The metal casing 40/41 houses and supports the magnet 20/22 and provides some magnetic isolation for the magnet on the unexposed surfaces.

A spacer 42 is inserted behind the magnet 20 (and the magnet case 40) within the pocket 19. The spacer 42 provides extra distance between the outer surface of the magnet 20 and the exterior of the strip 10, so the magnet will be less inclined to attract metal objects as the user walks by. The spacer 42 is optional, and is preferably plastic but can be any spacing material of any desire thickness to hold the magnet away desired distance away from the outer surface of the strip 10 when the strip 10 is in place supporting the rollup 31. As shown in FIG. 6, the spacer may be chosen with any spacer thickness “t” to hold the magnet 20 away from the outer surface of the strip.

The magnet 20/22 can be a neodymium magnet or any other magnet type. One of the two magnets 20/22 can also be replaced by a piece of magnetically attractive metal such as iron or other ferromagnetic material.

FIG. 7 shows another embodiment in which the strip is replaced by a tube. The tube can be made of plastic, fabric or other flexible material. It can be composed to retain its tube-shape or can be lightweight to collapse when folded into a strip-like appearance. In FIG. 7, the tube houses magnets 20 and 22 inside the tube and near its respective ends. Once the magnets are enclosed in the tube, the tube is sealed by an adhesive such as heat sealing, ultrasonic sealing, glue, etc. The magnet 20 is prevented from re-exiting the tube by the adhesive 52 and is prevented from falling into the tube by the adhesive 53. Similarly, the magnet 22 is prevented from re-exiting the tube by the adhesive 50 and is prevented from falling into the tube by the adhesive 51. The magnets otherwise operate as described with respect to the earlier embodiments in that they cling together by magnetic attraction to support the rollup 31 of the pant leg 30 while allowing the tube and magnet combination to remain free-hanging on the pant leg.





 
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