Title:
Knitted Garment and Method of Knitting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of knitting is performed by a knitting machine having two needle beds and double-ended needles transferable between the two beds, for knitting a ventilated garment panel in which a ventilation channel is formed as part of the base knitted structure. The final article is knitted in one piece. The part of the garment incorporating the ventilation channel is knitted as a three-layer fabric so that the ventilation channel formed by two side walls and one front wall is open to the inside of the garment panel through a wale-wise opening and to the outside of the garment panel at the ends of the ventilation panel. The knitting method comprises knitting a base fabric and the side walls on a first group of selected needles in one needle bed and the front wall on a second group of selected needles in the other needle bed, with transfer of the groups of selected needles in the zone of the ventilation channel from one needle bed to the other to permit the knitting of the side walls and the front wall in the sequence: first side wall—front wall—second side wall.



Inventors:
Sayer, Christopher (Wigston Magna, GB)
Messiou, Antoine Yvon (Leicester, GB)
Application Number:
11/887801
Publication Date:
03/05/2009
Filing Date:
04/04/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
66/171
International Classes:
D04B1/24; D04B7/04
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WORRELL JR, LARRY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kirschstein, Israel, Schiffmiller & Pieroni, P.C. (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
1. 1-10. (canceled)

11. A method of knitting, on a knitting machine having two needle beds and double-ended needles transferable between the two beds, a ventilated garment panel in which a ventilation channel is formed as part of a base knitted structure, the ventilation channel comprising a wale-wise opening in the base knitted structure of the ventilated garment panel, spanned by integrally knitted side walls and a front wall which are knitted as a three-layer fabric so that the ventilation channel formed by the side walls and the front wall is open to an inside of the ventilated garment panel through the wale-wise opening and to an outside of the ventilated garment panel at opposite ends of the ventilation channel, the knitting method comprising steps of: knitting a base wall and the side walls on a first group of selected ones of the needles in one of the needle beds; knitting the front wall on a second group of selected ones of the needles in the other of the needle beds; and transfering the groups of the selected needles in a zone of the ventilation channel from the one needle bed to the other needle bed to permit the knitting of the side walls and the front wall in a knitting sequence: one of the side walls, the front wall, and the other of the side walls.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein the knitting method is performed by a flat-bed knitting machine.

13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the knitting sequence comprises: with selected needles at one side of a group of the needles corresponding to the zone of the ventilation channel having been transfered from a first of the needle beds to a second of the needle beds, knitting a course of the base wall at one side of the ventilation channel on every needle of the first needle bed followed by a same course of the one side wall of the ventilation channel on the non-transfered needles of the first needle bed; transfering back the selected needles to the first needle bed; knitting a course of the one side wall of the ventilation channel on the transfered-back needles in the first needle bed; knitting a course of the front wall of the ventilation channel on selected needles in the second needle bed in the zone of the ventilation channel; knitting a course of the other side wall of the ventilation channel on selected needles at the other side of the ventilation channel; transfering the selected needles at the other side of the ventilation channel to the second needle bed; and knitting a course of the other side wall of the ventilation channel on the non-transfered needles in the first needle bed followed by a course of the base wall at the other side of the ventilation channel on every needle of the first needle bed.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the knitting sequence is subsequently carried out in a reverse order to complete a repeat component of a knitting cycle, which is repeated for a number of cycles to create the ventilation channel of a desired length.

15. The method according to claim 13, wherein the selected needles in the first needle bed at the one side and at the other side of the group of needles corresponding to the ventilation channel are alternate needles of the first needle bed.

16. The method according to claim 15, wherein the selected needles in the second needle bed used to knit the front wall are alternate needles of the second needle bed, and alternating with the selected needles in the first needle bed used to knit the side panels.

17. The method according to claim 11, wherein the base wall is knitted for a short length at each of the ends of the ventilation channel behind the side and front walls, and joining the base wall and the side walls together by tuck stitches over the short length.

18. The method according to claim 11, which further comprises locally modifying portions of the walls of the ventilation channel by locally modifying a tension, take-down weight or loop length during the knitting of the side walls and the front wall of the ventilation channel.

19. A ventilated garment panel knitted by the method according to claim 11.

20. A garment incorporating a ventilated garment panel knitted by the method according to claim 11.

Description:

The present invention relates to a method of making ventilated garment panels in which a ventilation channel is formed as part of the base knitted structure said channel being open at the top and bottom concealed by short walls and having a substantially open back. Conventional manufacture of such open ventilation channels in garments is done by joining together a number of panels to make up the garment. Such panels are typically joined together by stitching or bonding. In addition, provision must be made for an opening (channel open back) at the front or rear of the garment or wherever channels are situated within the garment. There is thus a need to overcome the disadvantages of having numerous panels in the garment and to reduce the number of seams in the garment thus simplify the manufacturing process.

It will be instructive to review the thermodynamic cooling capacity in relation to vertical open channels when worn as part of a garment. For natural convection, the heat capacity of a single vertical channel of length 100 mm and channel wall perimeter of 40 mm will be much less than a watt for a temperature difference of 10 degrees Celsius between wearer's temperature and ambient. The cooling capacity is dependent on wall surface area, channel length and the temperature difference. This heat capacity will reduce if the channel wall is not vertical. The actual value of reduction is difficult to predict for turbulent flow and because of complex interactions with the human body, including physiological effects and perspiration.

The current invention provides a solution to the garment problems and will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially cut away, of a portion of a ventilated garment panel created by the knitting method of the invention, showing three ventilation channels;

FIG. 2 is a horizontal section looking downwards through one of the ventilation channels of the panel of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 3 is a schematic vertical section of a channel modified after knitting.

FIGS. 4a, 4b and 4c make up a single stitch diagram for the knitting of a single ventilation channel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is an index for tables 4a, 4b and 4c

In FIG. 1, the garment panel has a plain fabric body portion 1 into which have been created three vertical ventilation channels 2. The ventilation channel on the right is shown cut-away to show the start (at the bottom) as well as the finish (at the top) of a wale-wise opening 3 formed through to the inside of the garment. Each ventilation channel 2 has an open bottom 4 and an open top 5 so that air can flow unimpeded upwardly through the channel 2 on a convection principle, carrying with it moisture caused by the perspiration of the wearer.

In FIG. 2, the ventilation channel 2 is shown when distorted into a more rectangular shape, so that a distinction can be drawn between side walls 2a and a front wall 2b of the ventilation channel. Those side and front walls will be referred to in the following description of the knitting process, although it will be appreciated that in the finished garment the fabric will relax into a more regular shape more as shown in FIG. 1 which nevertheless is still only schematic.

In FIG. 3, a ventilation channel 2 section is shown with the top and bottom edges of the inner opening 3 contoured against the garment wearer's body represented by line 6, this contour being merely a schematic example. The geometry of the whole channel 2 is set by reinforcements including eyelets, which are not shown.

The knitting sequence necessary to knit each ventilation channel in the garment panel is illustrated in the Table which forms FIGS. 4a,4b and 4c of the drawings. The Table spread over FIGS. 4a,4b and 4c of the drawings is a stitch diagram for a double flat bed knitting machine with double-ended needles capable of being transferred between first and second needle beds of the machine. The Table is intended to be read from the bottom upwards, and for convenience of the following description at the bottom of the Table twenty tricks of the knitting machine are numbered from 1 to 20. Similarly for ease of description one hundred and twenty successive courses of knitting are numbered from 1 to 120 up the extreme right-hand column. The column of course numbers and the row of trick numbers are shown shaded to distinguish them from the stitch instructions in the main body of the Table. Three other columns of general instructions at the left hand side of the Table are also shown shaded to distinguish them from the stitch instructions shown in the main body of the Table. One such column shows racking instructions, relating to movement of the front needle bed relative to the rear needle bed at the beginning of the needle transfer of knitting sequence identified in the corresponding un-shaded row in the main body of the Table. The next shaded column shows how courses numbered 49 to 62 are repeated a number of times to create the desired vent length (which means of course that the total number of knitted courses in the knitted garment panel is more than the 120 numbered courses in the stitch diagram Table, the excess over 120 depending on the number of repeats of courses 49 to 62). The third shaded column indicates the direction of movement of the yarn carrier and cam box of the knitting machine.

The knitting of the garment panel starts with a regular sequence of plain knitting on the needles of the back bed only, to create the plain fabric portion 1 of the body panel of FIG. 1. The last course only of that plain knitting sequence is shown as course 1 of the stitch diagram Table. Course 2 finishes with a tuck stitch at needle 18, and then on the next return traverse of the yarn carrier knitting takes place at every fourth needle of the front needle bed (needles 17, 13, 9 and 5), terminating in a tuck stitch in the back needle bed at needle 4. At course 4 the above sequence is reversed, with the active needles in the front needle bed being needles 7, 11 and 15 with a tuck stitch in the back needle bed at needle 17. Course 5 is a repetition of course 3, and in course 6 knit stitches are formed by alternate needles 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 of the front needle bed before the next course of the plain fabric portion 1 of FIG. 1 is created by knitting on all of the back bed needles from needle 18 onwards.

The knitting of fabric on the front bed needles in courses 3 to 6 commences the creation of a first side wall 2a and a front wall 2b of the ventilation channel 2 of FIG. 2, while the continuation of knitting on the needles of the back bed in course 7 creates the start of a short back wall of the ventilation channel 2, visible in the cut-away portion of FIG. 1. The height of the short back wall is shown as δ in FIG. 1, and is repeated as a similar length of short back wall lying behind the side and front walls at the top end of the ventilation channel 2 as is clearly seen in FIG. 1 without the aid of a cut-away portion at the top of the Figure.

The sequence of knitting the side and front walls of the ventilation channel 2 in the knitted garment panel continues with courses 8 to 13 of the stitch diagram Table of FIG. 4, and then needle transfer accompanied by racking movements of the needle beds takes place at courses 14 to 16. From courses 17 to 33 the knitting machine sets up the knitting of the side walls 2a (see courses 20 and 22 for one side wall 2a and courses 24 and 26 for the other side wall 2a) and the front wall 2b (see courses 18 and 28) while continuing the knitting of the short length 6 of the back wall (see courses 23 and 33).

The knitting of the back wall then finishes, and courses 34 to 48 are repeated an indefinite number of times as repeat courses 49 to 62 to generate the desired length of the ventilation channel. During this knitting the front wall 2b is knitted on the needles of the front bed while the side walls 2a and the base fabric are knitted on the needles of the back bed. For example, in the courses numbered 49 to 62 in the Table of FIG. 4 course 49 knits the base fabric 1 at one side of the ventilation channel 2 on needles 1 to 5 of the back bed, and one side wall 2a on needles 7, 9 and 11 of the back bed. After needle transfer in course 50 (a non-knitting ‘course’) the same side wall 2a is knitted in course 51 on needles of the back bed, and then in courses 52 and 53 a course of the front wall 2b is knitted on needles of the front bed (course 52) and a course of the other side wall 2a is knitted on needles of the back bed (course 53). This is followed by another needle transfer in course 54. For symmetry with course 49, course 55 then knits the other side wall on needles 13 and 15 of the back bed, continuing with the knitting of the base fabric 1 at the other side of the ventilation channel 2, which is knitted on needles 17 to 20 of the back bed.

The sequence of courses 49 to 55 of the repeat sequence of the Table of FIG. 4b starts and finishes with a left-to-right carriage movement, so the repeat sequence continues with the exact reverse sequence of steps in courses 56 to 62 which terminates in a right-to-left carriage movement. That means that the entire sequence of courses 49 to 62 can be repeated any number of times, starting with the carriage on the left and finishing with the carriage on the left.

The remainder of the knitting sequence is fairly straightforward. In courses 63 to 84 the generation of the final length of the side and front walls together with the short length of the back wall takes place, as an exact parallel to the creation of the short overlapping length δ at the beginning of the knitting sequence. Then in courses 85 to 116 the top open edge 5 of the ventilation channel 2 of FIG. 1 is cast off by sideways transfer of loops through a series of racking movements of the needle beds one relative to the other. Courses 117 to 120 show the continuation of the knitting of the base fabric 1 above the ventilation channel.

The above method of knitting enables a ventilated fabric according to British Patent Application No 2388297 to be created directly on a knitting machine by knitting the base fabric and the side walls of the ventilation channel on selected needles of one bed of the knitting machine and the front wall on selected needles of the other bed of the knitting machine. The identification of those beds as ‘front’ and ‘rear’ in the above description is clearly arbitrary and could be reversed. Similarly the base fabric is described as being a plain fabric, but clearly could be patterned by a suitable use of differently coloured knit yarns or by a pattern stitch sequence using the needles in one or both needle beds.

Modifications to the channel geometry, size and repeat positioning will be understood to those skilled in the art without falling outside the scope of the invention. Other modifications to the channel knitting parameters including the choices of yarn, yarn tension, stitch characteristics (such as loop length), take down value or weight (for loop formation control) that may be used to change the visual appearance and characteristics of channel will also be well known to those skilled in the art without falling outside the scope of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a schematic vertical section of a modified channel in which the curved line 6 is much distorted for clarity. The curved line 6 might correspond to curved surface of the garment wearer's body for instance, near the top of the shoulder. From well known thermodynamic theory, for effective upwards air flow by natural convection, channel wall surfaces need to be substantially vertical when the garment is worn. In this case, skilful adjustment of the knitting parameters mentioned previously can create a channel whose stretch and overall characteristics allow its shape to conform sympathetically to that shown in FIG. 3 when set by known reinforcement means such as resilient eyelets at the channel top and bottom openings, which are not shown. In other words, the tension in the horizontal courses of stitches is pre-adjusted in the knitted channel so that when the channel is set to its final shape, the tension at the top and bottom eyelet is substantially the same.

It will be understood by those skilled in the art of knitting with multi-head knitting machines that with minor modifications to the yarn feed and stitch parameters, an equivalent knitted channel can be produced on other types of knitting machines, for example a rotary knitting machine. It will be further be understood that knitted portions of the garment can be subdivided within the integral knitting process. For example a vertical band or section containing the channels may be knitted by a single knitting head whilst the areas outside of the band may be knitted by one or more knitting heads. Other knitting subdivisions can be chosen. Intarsia knitting is also possible using one or more normal or intarsia yarn feeders. All such variations and modifications are within the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.