Title:
Child's Mitten
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mitten is disclosed. The mitten is shaped such that the lateral sides at the bottom of the mitten where the hand is inserted are substantially parallel. Further, the bottom of the thumb side of the mitten extends directly up to meet the end of the thumb receiving part of the mitten. This creates an internal catch which makes it very simple to “find” the appropriate finger and thumb orientations in the mitten. Then, a cinch arrangement is used to draw in the oversized bottom portion at the wrist to secure it to the user's hand.



Inventors:
Johnson, George Willoughby (Kansas City, MO, US)
Application Number:
12/098734
Publication Date:
10/09/2008
Filing Date:
04/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D19/00
View Patent Images:
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20090077726Protective cupMarch, 2009Raber
20040255358Pants garmentDecember, 2004Ota et al.
20070220659UnderpantsSeptember, 2007Ehmsen
20060021110Protective head coveringFebruary, 2006Lunzer et al.



Primary Examiner:
TOMPKINS, ALISSA JILL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LATHROP GPM LLP (OVERLAND PARK, KS, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A hand-covering device for protecting a user's hand from cold temperatures, said device comprising: an opening at the bottom of said device, said opening being adapted to allow said hand to be inserted into said device for the purpose of thermally protecting said hand; a finger-receiving portion for receiving a plurality of fingers on said hand, said finger-receiving portion defining an upper thumb-side; at least one thumb-receiving portion for receiving a thumb on said hand, said thumb-receiving portion defining an angled catch internally, and a lower thumb-side below; said upper-thumb side and said lower-thumb side being offset relative to one another; and a width of said device being substantially maintained below an outer tip of said thumb-receiving area.

2. A hand-covering device for protecting a user's hand from cold temperatures, said device comprising: a hand receiving opening; a finger receiving portion and a thumb receiving portion with a tip; an angularly extending margin above the thumb receiving portion, the margin extending upwardly and outwardly from the lateral side and terminating at the tip; an internal catch for locating and securing the thumb in the proper receiving portion; and a cinch for securing the hand covering device to the wrist of the wearer when in position on the user's hand.

3. The hand-covering device of claim 2, wherein a lower lateral side and a side opposite the lower lateral side of the device extend substantially upwardly parallel to one another to the thumb receiving portion tip.

4. The hand-covering device of claim 2, additionally comprising a hand receiving opening capable of accommodating a wide range of hand sizes.

5. The hand covering device of claim 2, additionally comprising the use of VELCRO™ for securing the cinch to the desired tightness on the wrist of the wearer.

6. The hand-covering device of claim 2, wherein the lower lateral side portion of the device may be folded up to facilitate clearly viewing the thumb hole.

7. The hand-covering device of claim 2, wherein the finger receiving portion of the hand covering device is capable of accommodating a plurality of fingers.

8. A hand-covering device for protecting a user's hand from cold temperatures, said device comprising: an opening at the bottom of a lower lateral side portion, said opening being adapted to allow said hand to be inserted into said device for the purpose of thermally protecting said hand; a finger-receiving portion for receiving a plurality of fingers on said hand, said finger-receiving portion defining an upper thumb-side; at least one thumb-receiving portion for receiving a thumb on said hand, said thumb-receiving portion defining an angled catch internally, and a lower thumb-side below; said upper-thumb side and said lower-thumb side being offset relative to one another; a constant width of said device being substantially maintained below an outer tip of said thumb-receiving area; and a releasably securable strap for securing the hand-covering device in place on the hand of the wearer.

9. The hand-covering device of claim 8, wherein the internally angled catch facilitates placement of the wearer's thumb into the thumb receiving portion.

10. The hand-covering device of claim 8, wherein the releasably securable strap for securing the device to the hand includes the use of VELCRO™.

11. A hand-covering device for protecting a user's hand from cold temperatures, said device comprising: an opening at the bottom of a lower lateral side portion, said opening being adapted to allow said hand to be inserted into said device for the purpose of thermally protecting said hand; a finger-receiving portion for receiving a plurality of fingers on said hand, said finger-receiving portion defining an upper thumb-side; at least one thumb-receiving portion for receiving a thumb on said hand, said thumb-receiving portion defining an angled catch internally for securing said at least one thumb in position, and a lower thumb-side below; said upper-thumb side and said lower-thumb side being offset relative to one another; a width of said device being substantially maintained below an outer tip of said thumb-receiving area; and a releasably securable strap for securing the hand-covering device in place on the hand of the wearer and to secure the thumb in position within the thumb receiving portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claim benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/910,263 filed on Apr. 5, 2007 the disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The disclosures herein relate generally to the field of insulative apparel. More particularly, the disclosed embodiments pertain to mittens for children.

2. Description of the Related Art

As is well known, the conventional mitten has long comprised to receive the index through pinky fingers in a single large receiving portion, and to receive the thumb in a separate smaller elongated sleeve which has a closed end. The overall mitten shape is adapted to substantially conform the shape of the child's hand. So that the mitten is held on, most of these conventional designs use an elastic band to constrict the mitten about the child's wrist.

An example of a conventional mitten is shown in FIG. 1. Referring to the figure, it can be seen that a prior art mitten 10 has a large finger-receiving area 12 in an upper portion of the mitten, and an enclosed smaller thumb receiving sleeve 14. The thumb-receiving sleeve 14 extends out laterally from about the middle of the mitten at an upward angle. The lower portion of the mitten 16 becomes indented below the thumb-receiving sleeve 14. This indentation causes an upper-thumb-side 18 of the mitten to be substantially aligned with a lower-thumb side 20 of the device as can be seen in the figure.

Conventional designs like that shown in FIG. 1, however, have numerous drawbacks well known to any parent that has bundled a child up for an outdoor sojourn on a cold blustery day. When first inserting the child's hand, it is normally reasonably easy to insert the fingers in the larger receiving portion. Trouble arises, however, when it comes to inserting the thumb. It is oftentimes difficult for the child, or another person to insert the thumb into the thumb-receiving sleeve 14 portion because the opening to the sleeve is relatively small. Because of this size, it must be oriented exactly about the hand, or the child or parent helper will “miss.” Further complicating matters is that the opening is invisible to the user because it is occluded by the constricting elasticity about the wrist. Further, the downy insulation or liner materials used in most mittens can also interfere with the insertion process. And insertion can become almost impossible if the mittens have become wet, e.g., after a sledding adventure, or some other sloshy endeavor. Therefore, there is a need in the art for a mitten that is more easily adorned by the user, with or without the help of another. Moreover, there exists the problem of the thumb slipping from its thumb receiving sleeve and the wearer, particularly children, needing assistance to reposition the thumb back into the receiving sleeve. Therefore there also exists a need in the art for a mitten that will facilitate retaining the thumb in the retaining sleeve.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the disclosed invention include a hand-covering device for protecting a user's hand from cold temperatures. The device has an opening at the bottom. The opening is adapted to allow the user's hand to be inserted to protect the hand from cold weather. The user's fingers are received in a finger-receiving portion. The finger-receiving portion defining an upper thumb-side. The device also includes at least one thumb-receiving portion for receiving the user's thumb. Inside the thumb-receiving portion, an angled catch is defined. This catch will receive the thumb, and directs it into the thumb-receiving portion so that it is properly placed. Immediately below the tip of the thumb-receiving portion is a lower thumb-side, which continues all the way to the bottom opening of the mitten. From the tip downward, the width of the mitten remains substantially the same. The upper-thumb side and said lower-thumb side are offset relative to one another.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Illustrative embodiments of the present invention are described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, which are incorporated by reference herein and wherein:

FIG. 1 shows a conventional mitten design;

FIG. 2 shows the mitten design of the present invention before insertion of a hand; and

FIG. 3 shows the mitten design of the present invention after a hand has been inserted and the securing steps of the disclosed methods have been executed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The disclosed embodiment is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. FIG. 2 shows a hand covering device which is adapted to prevent coldness and discomfort in and also protect the users hand from cold weather. In the disclosed embodiment, the hand covering device is a mitten 200. But it should be understood that these same principles might also be applied to other kinds of hand wear. For example, the conventional glove has substantially the same thumb-side configuration as the mitten shown in FIG. 1. The typical glove has an upper thumb side (like side 16) that is indented below a thumb-receiving sleeve (like sleeve 14) and a lower thumb side (like side 20) which is substantially aligned. Because of this, it should be understood that gloves, as well as other hand adornments, are equally adaptable to incorporate the same principles disclosed herein with respect to mitten 10.

FIG. 2 shows the mitten before a user has inserted their hand into it. FIG. 3 shows mitten 200 after the hand has been inserted and the mitten has then been secured.

Referring first to FIG. 2, it can be seen that mitten 200 has an opening 202 at the bottom where the hand is inserted. It can also be seen that an upper portion of mitten 200 includes a relatively large and enclosed finger-receiving portion 204 which defines an insulated compartment for receiving the four fingers of one hand of a user. Portion 204 also defines opposing lateral sides 205 and 206. Side 205 runs the length of the glove and is substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of the mitten until it curves at a top portion 207. Top portion 207 closes off the compartment for the fingers. Upper lateral side 206, which is on the opposite side of the device, is also substantially parallel with the longitudinal axis of the mitten, as is side 205.

The mitten also includes a thumb-receiving portion 208 for receiving the user's thumb. Unlike the conventional mittens, the insides of thumb-receiving portion 208 define an angled catch 210. Angled catch 210 is designed so that it will easily receive the thumb when a user, e.g., a child, inserts their hand. The way the thumb side arrangement of device 200 improves the thumb insertion process can be understood by comparing the adornment processes of the conventional mitten to those of the conventional oven mitt. It is well known that it is very easy to adorn an oven mitt. One reason for this is that the hand receiving opening is made much wider. Although device 200 is much different than the typical oven mitt, it provides a similar advantage in that its hand-receiving opening is very wide. This enables easy entry of the hand and catching of the thumb into its proper compartment.

Elsewhere on the mitten, an angularly upwardly extending margin 214 above the thumb compartment 208 leads up and away from the bottom of the upper lateral side 206, and terminates at a tip 216 which encloses the sleeve for the thumb. From tip 216, a lower lateral side portion 212 of mitten 200 extends directly downward. Like with upper lateral side portion 206, lower lateral side 218 is substantially parallel to the longitudinal axis of the mitten. Thus, lower side 218 is outwardly offset from, but parallel to upper side 206. Further, because lower side 218 and the reciprocating lower portions of opposite side 205 run substantially parallel, the width of the mitten from tip 216 to the bottom of the mitten is maintained at a substantially constant value.

The substantially constant width defined between sides 205 and 218 at the bottom of the mitten enables the user to easily slide the hand in. Then, because an internal catch 210 is provided to help the user properly locate the thumb in the proper mitten compartment, there is no wrangling required to get everything in the proper orientation and the internal catch 210 also serves to retain the thumb in the thumb receiving portion and thereby avoid adult involvement to reposition the thumb into the thumb receiving portion of the mitten. The cinching of the mitten, as will be discussed below further secures the thumb in position so that the potential for slippage out of the thumb receiving portion is greatly reduced. Another positive aspect created by the constant width and large hand-receiving opening is that the bottom portion of the mitten is able to be folded up from the inside out. Thus, when the bottom of the mitten is folded up, the child or helper is able to clearly see the thumb hole. This makes the thumb very easy to insert, and then the mitten can be unfolded.

Once the hand is properly inserted, the mitten is cinched around the hand as shown in FIG. 3. The cinching arrangement, in the preferred embodiment, includes a slotted plastic loop 222 which is fixed (strapped to, or sewn) onto the outside of the mitten. The arrangement also includes a strap 224, one end of which is sewn or otherwise fixed onto the back side (not shown) of the mitten, and an other free end 225 is capable of being threaded and pulled through loop 222. Once pulled through, strap 224 will cinch the wrist area of the mitten so that it appears as shown in FIG. 3. The strap 224, once pulled through, is able to be secured because it has a swatch of VELCRO™ (not shown) on its underside which engages a corresponding female swatch of VELCRO™ 226 which has been sewn onto the mitten in a known manner. It should be understood that many alternative cinch means (e.g., a strap and buckle, or other constrictable arrangements) could be used instead and still fall within the scope of the disclosed embodiments. Thus, unless expressly claimed, the disclosed embodiments should not be limited to any particular cinch mechanism. Once the mitten has been cinched as shown in FIG. 3, it will be securely held on the hand, and therefore, is very unlikely to fall off when the wearer engages in activity.

In order for the mitten to be removed, the user need only detach strap 224 from swatch 226, uncinch the device to loosen it about the wrist, and slide the mitten off the hand.

It should be understood that these technologies, as discussed already above, could be employed for use with a glove arrangement, although not shown. Even though gloves have individual compartments for each finger, the same principles employed for the mitten described above—maintaining an oversized bottom opening which defines a larger passageway into the finger and thumb compartments, and, providing a thumb catch. With a glove, the catch would be defined between the thumb and index finger compartments. The only difference from the FIG. 2 embodiment is that the glove embodiment would substitute four individual finger compartments for the common compartment 204 for all the fingers. The rest of the device could remain the same.

Another possible variation involves the extension of the bottom of the mitten (or glove) such that it is able to be securable around the outer surfaces of a coat sleeve. This extended cuff would prevent snow (or other substances) from contacting the wearer's skin in the wrist area or other locations.

Many different arrangements of the various components depicted, as well as components not shown, are possible without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention. Embodiments of the present invention have been described with the intent to be illustrative rather than restrictive. Alternative embodiments will become apparent to those skilled in the art that do not depart from its scope. A skilled artisan may develop alternative means of implementing the aforementioned improvements without departing from the scope of the present invention.

It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed without reference to other features and subcombinations and are contemplated within the scope of the claims. Not all steps listed in the various figures need be carried out in the specific order described.