Title:
Bib with collar-protecting flap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bib with collar-protecting flap, the bib generally comprising a body portion made from an absorbent material and having a neckline around the front of a wearer's neck and below the wearer's chin, and a collar-protecting flap that is made from an absorbent material and has a top edge that is attached to a lower portion of the neckline through at least one attaching device. The collar-protecting flap is folded over and behind the wearer's front shirt collar to secure the bib on the wearer.



Inventors:
Johnson, Rachel (Endicott, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/214220
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
06/16/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B13/10
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Primary Examiner:
VANATTA, AMY B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP (Vestal, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A bib, comprising: a body portion made from an absorbent material and having a neckline, the neckline having a lower portion; a collar-protecting flap made from an absorbent material and having a top edge attached to the lower portion of the neckline through at least one attaching device, the collar flap being folded over and behind a wearer's front shirt collar to secure the bib on the wearer.

2. The bib of claim 1, wherein each attaching device comprises stitches of thread, strips of hook and loop fastening material, zippers, snaps, buttons and button holes, tie strings, adhesives, or hooks and eyes.

3. The bib of claim 2, wherein the body portion further comprises a left upper region and a right upper region, and wherein the neckline is positioned between the left upper region and the right upper region.

4. The bib of claim 3, further comprising a neck support extending from the left upper region of the body portion and the right upper region of the body portion, the neck support being placed around the wearer's neck to further secure the bib on the wearer.

5. The bib of claim 4, wherein the neck support comprises: a left strap extending from the left upper region of the body portion, the left strap having a left strap end; a right strap extending from the right upper region of the body portion, the right strap having a right strap end; and a fastener for fastening the left strap end to the right strap end.

6. The bib of claim 5, wherein the fastener is strips of hook and loop fastening material, snaps, buttons and button holes, tie strings, adhesives, or hooks and eyes.

7. The bib of claim 17, wherein the lower portion of the neckline further includes a first position and a second position, and wherein the top edge of the collar-protecting flap is attached through the attaching devices at the first position and the second position.

8. The bib of claim 7, wherein the absorbent material of the body portion is comprised of cotton interlock, other cotton materials, terrycloth, or fleece.

9. The bib of claim 8, wherein the absorbent material of the collar-protecting flap is comprised of cotton interlock, other cotton materials, terrycloth, fleece, or paper.

10. The bib of claim 9, wherein the left strap and the right strap are comprised of cotton interlock, other cotton materials, terrycloth, or fleece.

11. The bib of claim 10, wherein the first position of the neckline and second position of the neckline are approximately five inches apart.

12. The bib of claim 11, wherein the collar-protecting flap further includes a bottom edge, and wherein the top edge is approximately two and one-half inches from the bottom edge of the collar-protecting flap.

13. The bib of claim 12, wherein the collar-protecting flap further comprises a left edge and a right edge which are approximately six and one-half inches apart.

14. The bib of claim 1, further comprising a second flap attached to a front side of the body portion of the bib such that the collar-protecting flap remains foldable to facilitate securing the bib to the collar on the wearer's shirt, the second flap being foldable to facilitate wiping the wearer's face.

15. The bib of claim 14, wherein the second flap is a washcloth.

16. The bib of claim 14, wherein the second flap is comprised of cotton interlock, other cotton materials, terrycloth, fleece, or paper.

17. The bib of claim 6, wherein the top edge of the collar protecting flap is attached to a back side of the body portion at the lower portion of the neckline through the attaching devices.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/964,445, filed on Aug. 13, 2007, incorporated herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

The invention relates generally to the art of bibs and protective coverings. More particularly, the invention relates to bibs having a collar-protecting flap adapted to protect a wearer's shirt collar and to prevent irritation to the skin on the wearer's collar and chest areas.

2. Background

Many substances carry the potential of staining a person's clothing or irritating a person's skin on contact. For example, while a baby or toddler is being fed, foods or drinks may spill, drop, or trickle onto his or her clothing, behind his or her shirt, and/or onto the skin of his or her collar and chest areas. As a result, the clothing may become stained, requiring the parent or caregiver to wash the clothing and dress the baby or toddler in a clean change of clothes. In instances when the clothing becomes permanently stained, it is rendered undesirable for future wearing. As a further result, the skin on the baby's or toddler's collar and chest areas may become irritated, possibly leading to the development of a skin rash. Thus, babies and toddlers need a protective covering that shields both their clothing, including their shirt collar, and the skin on their neck and chest areas.

It can be immediately appreciated by one skilled in the art that all consumers of food and drinks, the elderly, persons with disabilities, food and beverage service workers, dental and medical patients and staff, artists, barber and beauty shop patrons, and other individuals desiring protection from substances that stain clothing or irritate skin have an identical need. Such individuals are especially prone to suffer from clothing stains and skin irritation resulting from contact with certain substances, including not only foods and drinks, but also bodily fluids such as blood and saliva, and liquids and solvents such as paint, paint thinner, and hair treatment products.

Conventional bibs are well known devices that attempt to protect a wearer's clothing from stain-causing substances. However, conventional bibs are not affixed to the wearer's shirt collar. Therefore, stain-causing substances may soil exposed areas of the wearer's shirt collar, or further, may seep through a gap between the wearer's neck and the neckline of the conventional bib, thereby soiling areas of the wearer's shirt collar beneath the bib and reaching the skin on the wearer's collar and chest areas. Such contact with the skin carries the potential of irritating the skin and leading to the development of a skin rash.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,492,599, 2,523,565, 2,782,420, 3,857,116, 3,945,048, 4,442,552, 5,056,159, 5,956,763, 5,991,919, 6,151,716, 6,282,716, and 6,385,774 disclose bibs having collar or “tuck-in” flaps that attempt to address some or all of these problems. However, each one of these references suffers from one or more disadvantages. For example, several of such bibs are constructed entirely of disposable materials, being made for only single or temporary use. The frequent disposal of such bibs leads to an unnecessary increase in environmental waste. Further, the disposable materials comprising such bibs, such as paper, quickly become saturated and are therefore less effective in absorbing the volumes of substances that may be spilled by bib wearers such as babies and toddlers. Other bibs disclosed above are made from impermeable or waterproof materials, which materials are also problematic because they cause such bibs to propagate spilled substances onto exposed areas of the wearer's clothing and skin and onto the floor.

Another disadvantage posed by certain bibs of the above references is a construction that prevents variation of the material comprising the collar flap from the material comprising the remainder of the bib. Such bibs, for example, do not satisfy the needs of wearers requiring more absorption in the collar flap area than in the remaining areas of the bib, and vice-versa. Further, other above-referenced bibs are constructed such that the collar flap is not easy to tuck behind the wearer's shirt collar, thereby causing frustration during the process of affixing the bib to the wearer.

Therefore, what is needed is a bib with a collar-protecting flap that does not suffer from the aforementioned disadvantages, that protects the wearer's clothing including his or her shirt collar from stain-causing substances, that prevents such substances from reaching and irritating the skin on the person's collar and chest areas, that has a body portion made from durable and absorbent materials that may be laundered for multiple uses, that may be constructed from various absorptive materials, that has a collar-protecting flap that is easily affixed to the wearer's shirt collar, and that further provides for protection against multiple substances including foods, drinks, bodily fluids such as blood and saliva, and liquids and solvents such as paint, paint thinner, and hair treatment products.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention advantageously fills the aforementioned deficiencies by providing a bib with a collar-protecting flap that prevents clothing and shirt collar stains and irritation to the skin on the wearer's collar and chest areas, that has qualities of being absorbent, durable, reusable, and washable, that may be constructed from one or more absorptive materials, and that has an easily affixable collar-protecting flap.

The bib generally comprises a body portion made from an absorbent material and having a neckline around the front of a wearer's neck and below the wearer's chin, and a collar-protecting flap that is made from an absorbent material and that is attached to a lower portion of the neckline through at least one attaching device. The collar-protecting flap is folded over and behind the wearer's front shirt collar to secure the bib on the wearer. Because the collar-protecting flap is comprised of a separate piece of absorbent material than that comprising the body portion of the bib, the material comprising the collar-protecting flap may be varied from the material comprising the body portion.

In a first embodiment of the present invention, a neck support is extended from a left upper region and a right upper region of the body portion of the bib, the neck support being fixable around the wearer's neck. In this first embodiment, the present invention advantageously enables, among other things, the bib to be secured to the wearer through both the collar-protecting flap and the neck support.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the neck support comprises a left strap extending from the left upper region of the body portion, the left strap having a left strap end, a right strap extending from the right upper region of the body portion, the right strap having a right strap end, and a fastener for fastening the left strap end to the right strap end. The collar-protecting flap, the top edge of which is attached to the lower portion of the neckline through the attaching devices at a first and second position, and the body portion of the bib have a substantially similar curvilinear configuration, and the bib is further comprised of an outer perimeter encased by a bib binding. In this preferred embodiment, the present invention advantageously enables, among other things, snug attachment of the bib around the neck of the wearer to seal any gaps between the wearer's neck and the neckline of the bib through which substances may leak. It further enables, among other things, prevention from the outer perimeter from becoming frayed or otherwise damaged though incorporation of the bib binding.

In a third embodiment of the present invention, a second flap, which is preferably a washcloth, is attached to the body portion of the bib in a position that does not interfere with the folding of the collar-protecting flap over and behind the wearer's shirt collar. In this third embodiment, the present invention advantageously enables, among other things, the second flap to be readily available for use in wiping the wearer's face, for example, during a feeding.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that protects the wearer's clothing including his or her shirt collar from stain-causing substances.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that prevents such substances from reaching and irritating the skin on the wearer's collar and chest areas, thereby preventing the development of a possible skin rash.

It is a yet another object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that has qualities of being absorbent, durable, reusable, and washable.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that may be constructed from materials having various absorptive qualities.

It is still further an object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that may be easily affixed to the wearer's shirt collar.

It is yet still a further object of the present invention to provide a bib with a collar-protecting flap that provides for protection against multiple substances including foods, drinks, bodily fluids such as blood and saliva, and liquids and solvents such as paint, paint thinner, and hair treatment products.

The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which particular and preferred embodiments of the invention are shown and discussed. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided by way of illustration only and so that this disclosure will be thorough, complete, and will convey the full scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Further, it is not necessary that all embodiments of the invention fulfill all of the objects set forth hereinabove.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A complete understanding of the present invention may be obtained by reference to the accompanying drawings, when considered in conjunction with the subsequent, detailed description, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bib with a collar-protecting flap placed on a wearer according to principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a bib with a collar-protecting flap according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a third embodiment of the present invention showing a second flap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 hereof, a bib with a collar-protecting flap 10 in accordance with the present invention generally comprises a body portion 12 made from an absorbent material and having a neckline 14 around the front of a wearer's neck and below the wearer's chin, the neckline 14 having a lower portion 16, and a collar-protecting flap 18 made from an absorbent material. The collar-protecting flap 18 has a top edge 20 that is attached to the lower portion 16 of the neckline 14 through at least one attaching device 22. Further, the collar-protecting flap 18 is foldable over and behind the wearer's shirt collar to facilitate securing the bib 10 to the wearer. Attaching device 22 is preferably stitches of thread, but may also be strips of hook and loop fastening material, commonly sold under the trademark “Velcro,” snaps, buttons, tie strings, adhesives, hooks, and the like. It is intended that attaching device 22 includes any structure presently existing or developed in the future that perform the same function.

In a first embodiment as shown in FIG. 1, the body portion 12 comprises a left upper region 24 and a right upper region 26. The neckline 14 is positioned between the left upper region 24 and the right upper region 26. A neck support 28 extends from the left upper region 24 and the right upper region 26 and is fixable around the wearer's neck to further secure the bib 10 to the wearer.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 2, the neck support 28 comprises a left strap 30 extending from the left upper region 24 of the body portion 12, and a right strap 32 extending from the right upper region 26 of the body portion 12. The left strap 30 and the right strap 32 are preferably comprised of cotton interlock material, but one skilled in the art will readily appreciate that other cotton materials and other absorbent materials such as terrycloth and fleece may be used. The left strap 30 has a left strap end 34 that is fastened to a right strap end 36 on the right strap 32 by fastener 38. Fastener 38 is preferably strips of hook and loop fastening material, commonly sold under the trademark “Velcro,” but may also be snaps, buttons, tie strings, adhesives, hooks, and the like. It is intended that fastener 38 includes any structure presently existing or developed in the future that perform the same function.

The body portion 12, like the collar-protecting flap 18, is preferably made from cotton interlock material, although other cotton materials and other absorbent materials such as terrycloth and fleece may be used. The collar-protecting flap 18 may optionally be made from paper that may be disposed of after use while the remaining bib 10 may be laundered and reused. Notably, the body portion 12 and the collar-protecting flap 18 need not be comprised of the same absorbent material.

The top edge 20 of the collar-protecting flap 18 is attached to the lower portion 16 of the neckline 14 through the attaching devices 22 located at a first position 40 and a second position 42. In the preferred embodiment of the bib 10 for wearers that are newborn to six months old, the first position 40 and the second position 42 are preferably approximately five inches apart, the top edge 20 of the collar-protecting flap 18 is approximately two and one-half inches from a bottom edge 44 of the collar-protecting flap 18, and a left edge 46 of the collar-protecting flap 18 is approximately six and one-half inches from a right edge 48 of the collar-protecting flap 18.

The bib 10 has an outer perimeter 50 encased by a bib binding 52. Preferably, the bib binding 52 is preferably comprised of bias tape, however, bib binding 52 may also be comprised of cotton materials such as cotton interlock, or other materials such as terrycloth and fleece.

In a third embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 3, a second flap 54 is attached to the body portion 12 in a position that does not interfere with the folding of the collar-protecting flap 18 over and behind the wearer's shirt collar. The second flap 54 is foldable to facilitate wiping the wearer's face. Preferably, the second flap 54 is a washcloth, although one skilled in the art would immediately appreciate that the second flap 54 may be comprised of cotton materials such as cotton interlock, as well as other materials such as terrycloth, fleece, and paper.

While the present invention has been described above in terms of specific embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these disclosed embodiments. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind of those skilled in the art to which this invention pertains, and which are intended to be and are covered by both this disclosure and the appended claims. It is indeed intended that the scope of the invention should be determined by proper interpretation and construction of the appended claims and their legal equivalents, as understood by those of skill in the art relying upon the disclosure in this specification and the attached drawings.