Title:
Two-pronged corsage pin
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention provides corsage pins and methods of their use. The pins can be a single wire bent to provide a first straight segment connected to a second straight segment through a looped segment. In methods of use, first segment can be inserted into a flower and the second segment into fabric of a garment.



Inventors:
Bryczek, Rose D. (San Leandro, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/229521
Publication Date:
09/03/2009
Filing Date:
08/21/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DO, ROWLAND
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QIPLG (San Leandro, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A corsage pin comprising: a metal wire comprising: a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment; wherein the loop segment turns about more than 180 degrees of arc; and, wherein the straight wire segments diverge from each other as they extend away from the loop segment and wherein the straight wire segments each comprise a sharpened end of the corsage pin.

2. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the metal wire comprises spring steel.

3. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the metal wire is not branched.

4. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the metal wire comprises a textured surface.

5. The corsage pin of claim 1, consisting of the loop segments and the straight segments.

6. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the first straight wire segment is at least 10% longer than the second straight pin segment.

7. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the straight segments diverge at an angle ranging from 5 degrees to 45 degrees.

8. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the wire material is selected so that when the first and second straight segments are forced apart an additional 45 degrees from an original relaxed condition by application of a force, the segments return to within 2 degrees of the relaxed condition when the force is released.

9. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the loop turns about less than 360 degrees, thereby providing an opening in the loop.

10. The corsage pin of claim 9, wherein the loop opening ranges from 0.1 mm to 2 mm.

11. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the loop has a narrower diameter in a direction perpendicular to the first wire segment than in a direction parallel to the first wire segment.

12. The corsage pin of claim 1, wherein the wire comprises a non-angular cross-section.

13. A corsage comprising: a flower comprising a cut stem; and, a metal wire comprising a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment, wherein the straight segments diverge less than 90 degrees from each other; and, wherein one straight segment is inserted into the flower stem and one straight segment is not inserted into the stem.

14. The corsage of claim 13, wherein the metal wire consists of spring steel.

15. The corsage of claim 13, wherein the metal wire consists of the loop segments and the straight segments.

16. The corsage of claim 13, wherein the straight segments diverge at an angle ranging from 5 degrees to 45 degrees.

17. A method of mounting a flower on a fabric garment, the method comprising: providing a flower with a cut stem; providing a metal wire comprising a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment, wherein the loop comprises an opening and the straight segments diverge from each other by less than 90 degrees; inserting the first segment into the flower stem; and, inserting the second segment into the garment; whereby the flower is mounted onto the garment.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the metal wire is provided with a textured surface.

19. The method of claim 17, further comprising providing the first straight segment or the second straight segment with a sharpened end.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein said inserting the first segment comprises applying force perpendicular to the first segment while pushing the segment into the stem.

21. The method of claim 17, wherein said inserting the second segment comprises piercing the garment at two or more locations.

22. The method of claim 17, further comprising pushing the first or second segment into the stem or garment until the stem or garment is captured by the opening in the loop.

23. The method of claim 17, wherein the second segment is inserted into the garment with a sharpened end directed downward.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to and benefit of a prior U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/995,909, Two-Pronged Corsage Pin, by Rose D. Bryczek, filed Sep. 27, 2007. The full disclosure of the prior application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is in the field of corsage pins. The invention includes two-pronged pins that provide separate mounting elements to mount the flower to the pin and to mount the corsage on a garment. Spring tension in the pin can be used to help grip the flower and garment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

People have long decorated themselves with floral ornaments. In a common practice, a large straight pin can be used to pin a flower to a suit lapel or evening dress. This entails, e.g., pushing the pin through the fabric of the garment, then through the tissue of the flower, and finally some difficult contortions to run the pin back through the garment. This sequence includes multiple opportunities to injure the wearer of the garment, disturbs the lay of the garment fabric and may not result in a stable mount of the flower.

In U.S. Pat. No. 6,389,649, Metzler describes an S-hook device for hanging a flower from a pocket. In the preferred embodiment, the device includes a substantially flattened “S” shaped structure. The free ends of the “S”, or the two end members, are substantially parallel to one another. A substantially longitudinal base member is positioned between the end members. A pair of joiners connect the base member to each of the end members, one on each end of the base member, thus creating the “S” shape. The distal ends of the end members are end tips that are preferably sharpened to a generally conical shape. This allows the user to spear a flower or other floral arrangement on one of the end members while the other end member is then positioned as a “hook” to support the combination on any garment, the weight of the arrangement aiding to hold it in place. A tip cap can be used in some cases to prevent the tip that is on the garment from contacting the user's skin. However, one problem with such holders is they can allow the flower to dangle and not be held closely to the garment.

In other prior art flower mounting devices, the flower is associated with a safety pin mount. For example, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,852,220, to Berardi, a flower mounting pin device is described, including a combination body and safety pin. The cross-shaped body includes an upright member and a transverse crossbar. The upright member includes projecting nubs and a through hole spaced along it. The crossbar includes a transverse pin channel with a central keyslot, and a hinged cover, which closes over the pin channel to secure the safety pin within the pin channel. The crossbar and the hinged cover further include mating male and female elements to secure the cover in its closed position over the pin channel. The safety pin includes a stationary arm, which fits in the pin channel of the crossbar. The stationary arm has a central offset portion, which extends into the central key slot, securing the safety pin against rotation and translation within the pin channel. However, such devices are complex and difficult to manufacture. Again, the device does not hold the flower firmly and close to the garment.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,425,679, to Rizzutto, et al., describes a device with parallel pins for mounting flowers to a garment. The boutonniere attaching pin incorporates a plurality of more than two parallel prongs to serve as a device to fasten a floral arrangement to personal clothing. The device is essentially a set of parallel pins spaced to capture flower stems in the slots between the pins. The device required clothing to be pierced with many pins and is not concealed from view.

In view of the above, a need exists for a simple corsage mounting device that captures flowers and holds them in close mounting to a garment It would be desirable to have a corsage pin that is not visible in use. The present invention provides these and other features that will be apparent upon review of the following.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention includes corsage pins, corsages and methods of their use. The corsage pins are typically two-pronged pins with a connecting loop section on top. The pins are designed to facilitate mounting of a flower onto a garment by inserting one pin prong into the flower and the other prong into the fabric of the garment. A corsage of the invention is a flower mounted to the pin of the invention.

A basic example of the inventive pin is a shaped metal wire including, e.g., a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment. In many embodiments, the pin includes only the straight segments and loop segments, and no other parts. The loop segment typically turns through more than 180 degrees of arc, while the straight wire segments are typically bent away from the loop segment to diverge from each other as they extend away from the loop segment. The straight wire segments usually have sharpened ends to facilitate their insertion into flowers and/or garment fabrics.

In preferred embodiments, the metal wire consists of spring steel, the metal wire is not branched and the metal wire comprises a textured surface. The spring steel, or like material, can provide a resilient grip for the mounted corsage. In a preferred embodiment, the wire material is selected so that when the first and second straight segments are forced apart an additional 45 degrees from an original relaxed condition by application of a force, the segments return to within 2 degrees of the relaxed condition when the force is released. In preferred embodiments, the cross-section of the wire has curved contours without angles, e.g., circular or elliptical cross-sections and not half-circle or triangular cross-sections.

It is often useful to have one straight segment longer than the other, e.g., to conform to different requirements of the flower and fabric mounting interactions. For example, in many cases the first straight wire segment is at least 10% longer than the second straight pin segment.

The straight segments are often configured to diverge at an angle ranging from about 5 degrees to about 45 degrees as they radiate from the loop segment. This can facilitate insertion of the straight pin segments into the flowers and/or garments. Moreover, the associated convergence toward the loop segment can squeeze the flower or garment, and increase spring tension, e.g., as the corsage is mounted on the garment, thus enhancing the stability of the mount.

The loop segment of the corsage pin wire can turn around at least 180 degrees so that, e.g., the straight segments will be pointed in about the same general direction. The loop can be turned more than 360°, e.g., about 540°, so that the straight segments point in about the same direction. However, in preferred embodiments, the loop turns about less than 360 degrees, thereby providing an opening in the loop. In more preferred embodiments, the loop segment turns around an arc of between 181° and 359°, 210° and 357°, 300° and 355°, 330° and 350°, or about 345°.

The loop segment can have any number of shapes, e.g., round elliptical, square triangular. The shape and size can influence the spring loading of the loop. The shape and size can affect the grip and comfort of the loop, which can act as a handle useful for holding the pin during corsage mounting manipulations. In a preferred embodiment, the loop has a narrower diameter in a direction perpendicular to the first wire segment than in a direction parallel to the first wire segment (e.g., an ellipse across the top of the straight segments).

A corsage of the invention can be, e.g., one or more cut flowers (optionally associated floral mounting hardware) and metal wire corsage pin (as described above) comprising a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment. It is preferable that the straight segments diverge less than 90 degrees from each other. The corsage is ready for pinning to a garment when one of the straight segments is inserted into the flower (stem, receptacle, sepal and/or floral wrapping) and the other straight segment is free.

The invention includes methods of mounting a flower on a garment. For example, one or more flowers with cut stems are obtained, a metal wire corsage pin is provided with a first straight wire segment and a second straight wire segment connected through a wire loop segment so that the loop comprises an opening and the straight segments diverge from each other by less than 90 degrees. The first segment is inserted into the flower stem and the second segment is inserted into the garment, so that the flower is securely mounted onto the garment.

The corsage wire can be provided with a variety of structural characteristics that enhance the mounting functions. For example, metal wire can be provided with a textured surface so it can't slip from the flower as easily. In another example, a n upper section of the first or second straight segment can optionally be twisted, turned or zig-zag, to enhance grip contact with the flower and/or garment, in use. The first or second straight segments can be provided with a sharpened end.

The corsage pins can be mounted using techniques that enhance mounting stability. For example, the first segment can be inserted applying force perpendicular to the first segment while pushing the segment into the stem, so that the straight pin is inserted forming a gripping channel that is not straight (were the flower allowed to relax). When mounting the corsage onto a garment, the second straight segment can pierce the garment at two or more locations, again placing lateral tension of the pin to reduce slippage from the mount.

The unique design of the corsage pin allows it to squeeze the flower and/or garment for a better grip. For example, the first and/or second segments can be pushed onto the stem or garment until it is captured by the narrow opening or grip points of the loop. This affect can be enhanced by preloading the straight segments outward or preloading the loop more open while mounting the corsage, then releasing the preload to clamp the loop opening and/or straight segments onto the flower and/or garment.

Definitions

Unless otherwise defined herein or below in the remainder of the specification, all technical and scientific terms used herein have meanings commonly understood by those of ordinary skill in the art to which the present invention belongs.

Before describing the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that this invention is not limited to particular devices or biological systems, which can, of course, vary. It is also to be understood that the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to be limiting. As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to “a flower” can include a combination of two or more flowers, and the like.

Although many methods and materials similar, modified, or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention without undue experimentation, the preferred materials and methods are described herein. In describing and claiming the present invention, the following terminology will be used in accordance with the definitions set out below.

As used herein, the term “corsage pin” refers to a device with a piercing pin that can be used in a corsage, functioning to pierce fabric of a garment in the mounting of the corsage to the garment. Here, a corsage can include one or more flowers with mounting hardware to mount the flowers on a person or person's clothing.

The term “wire” as used herein, refers to a thread or slender rod of metal. The wire can be flexible or not; resilient or not; ductile or not. Typically, the wire is a stiff spring material and has a circular cross-section and a diameter less than 3 mm.

With regard to discussions of corsage pin loop sections, the turns about or around the loop are measured in degrees. A loop coming back on itself has turned about an angle of 360° (2π radians). An open loop turns about 360 degrees minus the degrees of an arc that describe the loop opening. For example, a loop, of whatever shape, that has an opening of 20° of arc viewed from the center of the loop, turns about an angle of 340°.

Angles of divergence between straight segments are measured by comparison of the directions the segments point toward their ends.

The term “straight” means not substantially curved or bent. A straight segment of a corsage pin can be totally straight, or have only a minor curvature or bend, e.g., less than 20°, less than 10°, less than 5° or less than 3° over the course of the segment length. In some embodiments, a general minor curvature of the straight segment can be useful to aid in mounting on a garment.

A “branched” wire has an intersection of three or more wire segments.

A segment end is “sharp” if it is not blunt (e.g., a squared or non-angular end). A sharpened end narrows, e.g., to a functional point (e.g., a conical or beveled point).

The term “about”, as used herein, indicates the value of a given quantity can include quantities ranging within 10% of the stated value, or optionally within 5% of the value, or in some embodiments within 1% of the value.

The term “substantially” refers to being largely, but not necessarily entirely, that which is specified.

The term “captured” refers to holding something with a squeezing force substantially adequate to hold it against the force of gravity.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of exemplary corsage pins of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of an exemplary corsage of the invention including a flower and corsage pin.

FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a corsage pin with grip points.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present inventions relate to devices and methods for mounting flowers on garments. On special occasions, people like to mount corsages and boutonnieres on their clothing. As described herein, a stiff and springy wire in the shape of two straight pin segments diverging from an open loop can be inserted into the stem of a flower, and the other straight segment inserted into the fabric of the clothing. The wire can interact with the flower and fabric to securely mount the flower to the clothing, e.g., by gravity helping hold the pin in the clothing, lateral forces and friction preventing the pins from slipping out of the flower or fabric, capture of the flower or fabric in the loop opening, and/or spring tension of the loop or pins squeezing the flower or fabric.

One aspect of the invention is a wire corsage pin for holding a flower on a garment. Old art corsage pins are of an S-hook shape, or simply a single straight pin to run through fabric-flower-fabric. The present pins can have a pair of pins pointing in about the same direction and connected through a loop of the same wire. One pin can be inserted into a garment fabric and held in place, e.g., by friction and gravity. The other (flower) pin can hold the flower in new and unconventional ways. Contrary to teachings in the art, the flower pin can be downwardly inserted into the flower; the flower would be prone to falling off the end of the pin if not for certain novel aspects of the pin structure. In order to retain the flower, even though it is pierced by a down directed pin, the present invention is structured to function with enhanced friction with the straight pin segment, gripping spring tension between straight segments, and/or a pinching capture at the opening of the pin loop.

Corsages and Corsage Pins

A typical corsage pin of the invention is shown in FIG. 1. The pins 10 of the invention are preferably made simply from a single piece of wire formed into a structure including, e.g., a first (flower) straight segment 11 attached to a second (garment) straight segment 12 through a loop segment 13 of the wire. The straight segments typically include pointed ends 14 to facilitate insertion of the pins into flowers and garment fabrics. The loop sections typically turn around at least 180 degrees and include an opening 15 in the loop that can function in the flexing of the structure and gripping of the flower or fabric.

A corsage using pins of the invention is shown in FIG. 2. Flower 16 is pierced with first straight segment 11 of the pin. The segment 11 is pushed into the flower all the way so that part of the plant tissue (and/or a floral wrapping wire or tape) is captured in loop opening 15. The remaining part of the loop 13 and second straight segment 12 remain outside of the flower. The corsage can then be simply inserted into the fabric of a garment, e.g., by pushing the second segment down into the fabric of a garment. In preferred embodiments, the corsage is mounted to the garment with the second straight segment inserted into the fabric to a point where a part of the fabric is captured in the loop opening.

The corsage pins are typically made of bent and sharpened metal wire. In preferred embodiments, pins are formed from a spring steel that will return to the manufactured shape after a flexing force is removed. It is preferred that the wire has a curved (e.g., round) cross section. In preferred embodiments, the wire has a thickness ranging from about 0.5 mm to about 2 mm, from 0.7 mm to 1.5 mm, from 0.85 mm to 1.2 mm, or about 1 mm. In preferred embodiments, the straight segments range in length (from loop to point) from about 20 mm to about 100 mm, from 30 mm to 75 mm, from 40 mm to 60 mm, or about 50 mm. It is preferred that one segment be somewhat longer than the other, e.g., the flower segment being longer than the garment segment. For example, the flower segment can be 10% longer, 20% longer or 30% longer than the garment segment. Optionally, the garment segment can be longer than the flower segment.

The loop segment can be any shape, e.g., that ultimately turns back to direct both straight segments in roughly the same direction (optionally, the straight segments can simply be bent to the same general direction without regard to the loop segment shape or turns). For example, the loop segment can have a circular or elliptical shape. The loop segment can have a diameter ranging from more than about 20 mm to less than about 5 mm, about 15 mm to about 7 mm, or about 10 mm. In preferred embodiments, the loop segment is compressed in the loop diameter generally parallel to the straight segments and wider in the loop diameter perpendicular to the straight segments. In an exemplary men's pin, the flower straight segment is about 35 mm long, the garment straight segment about 28 mm long, with an elliptical loop segment measuring about 10 mm by 4 mm. In an exemplary Women's pin (or a pin for holding larger flowers or flower arrangements), the flower straight segment is about 60 mm long, the garment straight segment about 40 mm long, and the elliptical loop segment measures about 12 mm by 5 mm.

In preferred embodiments, the loop segment includes a loop opening. The opening can allow aid in flexion of the straight segments, and can capture the flower or garment. In preferred embodiments, the loop opening gap ranges from 0.1 mm to 5 mm, from 1 mm to 4 mm or about 2 mm. The loop opening can have an arc, relative to the center of the loop segment, ranging from about 0° to 45°, from about 1° to about 30°, from about 3° to about 20°, from 5° to about 15°, or about 10°.

It is an aspect of the present invention that the functional pin structure pin can be simply a sharpened wire bent to provide the two straight segments connected through a loop. The basic design is simple, light, unobtrusive, inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Yet, the structure can have functional elements not found in other pins, alone or in combination. For example, as shown in FIG. 3, the angle 17 between a straight segment and the loop segment can provide grip points 18 that can help capture flower tissue and/or garment fabric; thus, functioning to hold the flower, pin and garment together. In a further example, a straight segment angle 19 between straight segments can facilitate insertion of the pins into flowers and garments, then function to bring the flower and garment together as the straight segments are pushed deeper into the flower and/or garment. The straight segment angle can squeeze the flower and garment together, providing a pressure that functions to further stabilize the mount between the flower and garment.

The pins of the invention could include additional mounting hardware, such as, e.g., additional straight segments or flower mounting clips. However, in preferred embodiments, the pins of the invention do not include any further structures beyond the wire consisting only of a first straight segment running to a loop segment running to a second straight segment. For example, in preferred embodiments of the corsage pin, there are no wires branching from the single metal wire and no additional structures mounted to the wire.

Straight segments of the corsage pin wire are typically straight with a sharp end. In some embodiments, it can be beneficial to have a textured surface on the straight segment, e.g., to increase resistance to slippage of the flower of garment from the segment. For example, the surface can have knurling or angular barbs directed away from the point to help hold the segment in the flower or garment. The straight segments can be formed from material that returns to a relaxed position after being forced out of the relaxed position (i.e., the straight segments spring back to their original shape when external forces are removed).

Loop segments can be configured as closed loops or as an open loop. In preferred embodiments, the loop segment has an opening, e.g., of less than 180°, more preferably less than 120°, less than 90°, less than 60°, less than 45°, less than 30°, less than 15°, less than 7°, or less than 5°, when relaxed. In some embodiments, the loop can turn 360° and touch itself, but not overlap. In some embodiments, the loop can turn more than 360° and include some overlapping regions. The loop can have a spring tension when forced from a relaxed position. Such a spring tension can urge the straight segments together, e.g., to squeeze and hold the flower and/or garment. The spring tension can urge closed the loop opening to secure capture of the flower and/or garment.

Corsages (including men's boutonnieres and the like) can include one or more flowers mounted to a corsage pin of the invention. In a typical embodiment of a corsage, one straight segment of a corsage pin is inserted into a cut flower (possibly including, e.g., other corsage materials, such as floral tape, wires, etc., or not) in a direction with the end of the pin pointing generally toward the cut stem end. The pin can be pushed fully into the flower so that part of the flower intrudes through the loop opening.

Methods of Mounting Flowers

Flowers can be mounted to garments using the corsage pins described above. The methods of mounting can be as simple as inserting one straight segment of the pin into a flower and inserting the other straight segment into a garment at a desired location. The mounting of the flower and garment can be further secured by taking advantage of pin structures that uniquely function to provide enhanced mounting forces between the flower, pin, and/or garment.

In one embodiment, lateral forces are applied to the straight segment while it is being inserted into the flower. For example, as the segment is pushed into the flower, it can be urged back and forth to cause the pointed end to pierce the flower tissue in a non-linear path. This causes interference between the flower and straight segment that increases side pressures and friction between the segment and flower to reduce possible slippage of the flower off the segment.

In another favored embodiment, the first straight segment is inserted into the flower while forcing the second segment away from the first segment. This force can increase the size of the loop opening and increase the distance between the first and second segments. The flower can be pushed up to or into the loop opening. When the force is released, the flower can be captured by the inner surface of the straight segments and/or “grip points” at the intersection of the straight segments and the loop segment.

The corsage can be mounted onto a garment, by simply inserting the free straight segment into the fabric of the garment at a desired location. In preferred embodiments of mounting the corsage onto a garment, the second straight segment is inserted into the garment while forcing the second segment away from the first segment. As described above, this force can increase the size of the loop opening and increase the distance between the first and second segments. The second segment can be pushed into the fabric up to or into the loop opening. When the force is released, the fabric can be captured by the inner surface of the straight segments and/or “grip points” at the intersection of the straight segments and the loop segment. In many cases, a corsage can be more stably mounted by running the second straight segment into a fabric on the front side, then manipulating the segment so it goes through the fabric a second time from back to front. It can be desirable to include a cap over the second straight segment end, after mounting, to cover the sharp end.

It is understood that the examples and embodiments described herein are for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications or changes in light thereof will be suggested to persons skilled in the art and are to be included within the spirit and purview of this application and scope of the appended claims.

While the foregoing invention has been described in some detail for purposes of clarity and understanding, it will be clear to one skilled in the art from a reading of this disclosure that various changes in form and detail can be made without departing from the true scope of the invention. For example, many of the techniques and devices described above can be used in various combinations.

All publications, patents, patent applications, and/or other documents cited in this application are incorporated by reference in their entirety for all purposes to the same extent as if each individual publication, patent, patent application, and/or other document were individually indicated to be incorporated by reference.





 
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