Title:
Precipitation Gutters On Textiles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates generally to a garment. In one exemplary embodiment, the garment may comprise a plurality of sets of water channels. The plurality of sets of water channels may cover areas of the garment. The water channels in each set of water channels may cover areas of the garment and may be inter-connected and angled to facilitate water droplets to fall off the garment.



Inventors:
Carter, Karin (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/173526
Publication Date:
01/21/2010
Filing Date:
07/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/87, 2/227, 2/69
International Classes:
A41D3/04; A41D1/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080115252PANTS WITH COOLING FEATUREMay, 2008Dahan
20040000004Headgear structure with transformable peakJanuary, 2004Wang
20080216203Leg GarmentSeptember, 2008Duncan
20090172868Disposable women's pantyJuly, 2009Bunin et al.
20100037361FINGER CONDOMFebruary, 2010Liu
20060277661Maria's sandal hosieryDecember, 2006Ruiz De et al.
20100011488Sweatband and sun protective headgear apparatusJanuary, 2010Sutton
20100011477Clothing ProtectorJanuary, 2010Lee
20090183293DETACHABLE APPAREL COLLARJuly, 2009Gulisano
20040111788Composite len for swimming or diving gogglesJune, 2004Chou
20050034220Reinforced biased hemFebruary, 2005Diamond



Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A garment comprising: a plurality of sets of water channels covering areas of the garment, wherein water channels in each set of water channels are inter-connected and angled to facilitate droplets of precipitation to form and fall off the garment.

2. The garment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are made of water-repellent material.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are films of water-repellent material.

4. The garment of claim 3, wherein the films of water-repellent material are laminated to the garment.

5. The garment of claim 3, wherein the films of water-repellent material are heat pressed to the garment.

6. The garment of claim 3, wherein the films of water-repellent material are glued to the garment by adhesive.

7. The garment of claim 1, wherein one or more sets of set of water channels are connected.

8. An jacket having arms comprising: a plurality of sets of water channels covering areas of the arms, wherein water channels in each set of water channels are inter-connected and angled to facilitate droplets of precipitation to form and fall off the apparel.

9. The apparel of claim 8, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are made of water-repellent materials.

10. The apparel of claim 8, wherein one or more sets of set of water channels are connected.

11. The apparel of claim 8, further comprising a hood.

12. The apparel of claim 11, wherein the hood includes a set of water channels.

13. The apparel of claim 8, further comprising a zipper at the front of the jacket.

14. The apparel of claim 8, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are made of water-repellent materials.

15. The apparel of claim 14, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are films of water-repellent material.

16. The apparel of claim 15, wherein the films of water-repellent material are applied to the apparel by one of laminated to the apparel, heat pressed to the apparel, roll pressed to the apparel and glued to the apparel.

17. A pair of pants comprising: a plurality of sets of water channels covering areas of the pair of pants, wherein water channels in each set of water channels are inter-connected and angled to facilitate droplets of precipitation to form and fall off the pair of pants.

18. The pair of pants of claim 17, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are made of water-repellent materials.

19. The pair of pants of claim 17, wherein one or more sets of set of water channels are connected.

20. The pair of pants of claim 17, wherein the plurality of sets of water channels are films of water-repellent material applied to the pair of pants.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention generally relates to garments. More specifically, the present invention relates to outdoor apparel with precipitation channels.

BACKGROUND

When it rains or snows, people going outdoors may need a device or apparel to shield them from the precipitation, such as umbrellas or rain jackets. In some instances, umbrellas may be inconvenient. For example, when a persons hands may be occupied, such as when carrying something. Also, a user of an umbrella has to remind himself/herself not to forget the umbrella whenever entering and/or leaving a place. Furthermore, when it is only drizzling, carrying an umbrella may be cumbersome. In some instances, people may wear a rain jacket in the rain or snow, but the rain jacket may impede ventilation around the body and traps heat and moisture. Moreover, in some instances, people may be caught in unexpected rain or snow showers. Therefore, a comfortable outer layer apparel that may be worn for outdoor purposes, but can absorb or retain much less precipitation than a regular jacket or sweater may be desirable.

Embodiments of the present invention provide an apparel that may divert water away from the apparel. More specifically, an embodiment of the present invention may have connected systems or channels made of hydrophobic material that divert water away from the apparel. These connected systems or channels may function as precipitation gutters on textiles. In the meantime, the hydrophobic material only covers limited area of the apparel thus, does not create a shield around the body to trap heat and moisture. Therefore, embodiments of the present invention may be well suited for outdoor activities under different weather conditions (e.g., rain or shine).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The present invention generally relates to a garment with water diverting mechanism such that a user wearing the garment needs not worry about getting soaking wet in rain or snow without a rain jacket or umbrella. The garment may be worn as an outermost layer. Embodiments of the present invention may be garments comprising precipitation gutters (e.g., water channels) on the outer surface. The channels may be applied by laminating or otherwise burning out a continuous array of slick water-repellent film on the face of the garments. The garments may be made of comfortable, breathable fabric or textile (e.g., fleece, knits, woven). Each channel may be connected and angled such that water droplets may form and drop off the garments by gravity or a user's movement rather than soaking into the fabric or textile.

In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a garment is provided having water channels to cover certain area of the garment. The water channels may be made of water repellant material (e.g., hydrophobic material). The water channels may be laminated, welded or glued to the garment. Other suitable method may also be used to apply the water channels to the garment. In exemplary embodiments in accordance with the present invention, the water channels may be referred to as water guide, rain chain, water pathways, water piping, precipitation gutters, etc. The garment may be worn in rain, sleet, snow, mist or any outdoor environment with water precipitation or condensation. The water channels may be applied to areas of the garment susceptible to precipitation and/or condensation (e.g., shoulder for an upper body apparel, front upper sides for a pair of pants, top for a hood).

In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a garment may be provided as a jacket having arms (e.g., a fleece jacket, a high loft knits jacket or a pullover sweater). The garment may have water channels on both arms extending along the shoulders of a user. When a user wears the garment in outdoor environment, any precipitation and/or condensation received by the shoulder area may be channeled away by the water channels. In one exemplary embodiment, the garment may have a hood. The hood may also have water channels on the top outside. Thus, any precipitation and/or condensation received by the hood may be channeled away from the hood.

In accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention, a garment may be provided as an apparel for lower body (e.g., a pair of pants). The garment may have water channels on front upper sides of both leg portions (e.g., an area covering the front side of a thigh). When a user wears the garment in outdoor environment, any precipitation and/or condensation received by the area about the front side of a thigh may be channeled away by the water channels.

The invention may be embodied in numerous other systems and through numerous other methods. The following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses examples of the invention. Other embodiments, which incorporate some or all of the features, are also possible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring to the drawings, which form a part of this disclosure:

FIGS. 1A and 1B show a front and rear view of a hooded jacket that may be employed with certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIGS. 2A and 2B show a front and rear view of a jacket without a hood that may be employed in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention;

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D show a variety of patterns of water channels that may be employed in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 shows a front view of a pair of pants that may be employed in accordance with certain embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention generally relates to a garment with water channels. Exemplary embodiments of the present invention have water channels covering areas of the garment susceptible to precipitation/condensation in wet conditions (e.g., rain or snow).

FIG. 1A shows a front view of a hooded jacket 100 that may be employed with certain embodiments of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1A, the hooded jacket 100 may have a zip front with a zipper 102. The hooded jacket 100 may comprise a hood 108 and two long sleeves 104a and 104b. Around two shoulder areas 106a and 106b, the hooded jacket 100 may have two sets of water channels 112a and 112b. The hood 108 may also have a set of water channels 110. The hooded jacket 100 may be a fleece jacket made of polyester or wool. However, the material of the jacket is not pertinent to the present invention and any comfortable and breathable material suitable as an outermost layer of garment may be used (e.g., fleece, knits).

FIG. 1B shows a rear view of the hooded jacket 100 of FIG. 1A. As shown in FIG. 1B, the three sets of water channels, 110 for the hood 108, and 112a and 112b for the shoulder area 106a and 106b, may have a certain pattern. The pattern may have a trunk and a plurality angled branches connected to the trunk (See FIG. 3D). In FIG. 1B, this pattern may be designed that at all channels of a set of water channel (e.g., 110, 112a, 112b) may be inter-connected respectively and water droplets may be guided away to slip off from one of the branches or an end of the trunk. It should be noted that in one or more exemplary embodiments in accordance with the present invention, the plurality of water channels may be connected at edges of their respectively covered areas. For example, the three sets of water channels 110, 112a and 112b may be connected by a few channels around a neck area adjacent to the hood 108. Alternatively, the set of water channels 110 may be connected with 112a and/or 112b around the shoulder areas 106a and 106b respectively.

In exemplary embodiments in accordance with the present invention, the water channels may be made of a film of hydrophobic material (e.g., material that tends to repel and not absorb water). In one exemplary embodiment, a illustrator may be used to draw a desired pattern/design for the water channels into a piece of film of hydrophobic material, such as an adhesive file manufactured by BEMISĀ® Worldwide. Then the pattern may be dye or laser cut. The patterned film may then be heat pressed or roll pressed onto the garment, for example, in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the hooded garment 100. If the film is heat pressed, heat and pressure may be applied to melt adhesive (e.g., polyurethane glue) located on the film. Then, the film may be allowed to cool such that the film is secured to the jacket. In another embodiments, a desired pattern may be cut into the film after the film is positioned onto the garment. In still another exemplary embodiment, the film of hydrophobic material may be glued to the hooded garment 100 by only applying adhesive in the back of the film. In yet another exemplary embodiment, the film may be welded to the garment. It should be noted that in a variety of other embodiments in accordance with the present invention, any suitable mechanism may be used to apply the film to the hooded garment 100.

FIGS. 2A and 2B show a front and rear view of a jacket 200 without hood in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2A, the jacket 200 may have a zip front with a zipper 202. The jacket 200 may comprise two long sleeves 204a and 204b. Around two shoulder areas 206a and 206b, the jacket 200 may have two sets of water channels 212a and 212b. The jacket 200 may be a fleece jacket made of polyester or wool. Features of the jacket 200 and all its components may be similar to the hooded jacket 100 with regard to FIGS. 1A and 1B. Although jackets with a zip front have been shown in FIGS. 1A and 2A, it should be noted that exemplary embodiments of the present inventions may be implement in pullovers and other types of apparel for upper body of a person.

FIGS. 3A, 3B, 3C and 3D show a variety of patterns of water channels that may be employed in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3A, an exemplary embodiment of pattern 302 for the water channels may be a mesh connected net. In pattern 302, water channels may be inter-connected and angled that droplets of water may fall off by gravity or movement of a user. As shown in FIG. 3B, another exemplary embodiment of pattern 304 for the water channels may be another mesh connected net. In pattern 304, water channels may be inter-connected and angled that droplets of water may fall off by gravity or movement of a user. The pattern 304 may have an irregular inter-connection or connection-pattern. FIG. 3C shows another exemplary embodiment of pattern 306 in accordance with the present invention. The pattern 306 may have a regular inter-connection or connection-pattern. Water channels may be integrated as an inter-connected net as shown in patterns 304 and 306. In FIG. 3D, yet another exemplary embodiment of pattern 308 is shown. The pattern 308 may be similar to the pattern shown in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B. The pattern 308 may have a trunk 310 and a plurality of branches connected to the trunk. The trunk 310 and branches of the pattern 308 may be angled to facilitate water droplets to drop off from a garment using the pattern 308.

FIG. 4 shows a front view of a pair of pants 400 in accordance with the present invention. As shown in FIG. 4, the pair of pants 400 may comprise two leg portions 402a and 402b. The pair of pants 400 may further comprise two sets of water channels 404a and 404b on the upper portion of the two leg portions 402a and 402b. In FIG. 4, two sets of water channels 404a and 404b may be shown to have patterns similar to the pattern 308 shown in FIG. 3D. Exemplary embodiments in accordance with the present invention may also be implemented in other types of apparel for lower body of a person (e.g., shorts, or skirts).

The examples described herein are merely illustrative, as numerous other embodiments may be implemented without departing from the spirit and scope of the exemplary embodiments of the present invention. Moreover, while certain features of the invention may be shown on only certain embodiments or configurations, these features may be exchanged, added, and removed from and between the various embodiments or configurations while remaining within the scope of the invention. Likewise, methods described and disclosed may also be performed in various sequences, with some or all of the disclosed steps being performed in a different order than described while still remaining within the spirit and scope of the present invention.