Title:
LIGHTWEIGHT BRASSIERE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lightweight brassiere is described that provides intended support to the user while increasing comfort by its structure and/or shape, and also by reduced weight. In particular a cup is made of a spacer fabric to provide the desired support at a minimum weight. Additional features include use of Ti-alloy materials in place of traditionally steel components, a narrower fabric channel for the underwire, and elimination of stitching by using sonic seal wherever possible.



Inventors:
Pardo, Maria (New York, NY, US)
Bastug, Eve (North Haldon, NJ, US)
Hughes, Deborah (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Thompson, Darci (New York, NY, US)
Lamadrid, Natalie (Elmhurst, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/406047
Publication Date:
03/25/2010
Filing Date:
03/17/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
450/86, 450/41
International Classes:
A41C3/00; A41C3/10
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HALE, GLORIA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSTROLENK FABER LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A lightweight brassiere comprising: a first concave cup; a second concave cup laterally spaced from the first concave cup; a central connecting portion connecting the first and second concave cups; a first wing portion extending from the first concave cup; a second wing portion extending from the second concave cup, wherein the first and second wing portions wrap around a chest of the user; and a shoulder strap connected between at least one of the first and second concave cups and at least one of the first and second wing portions, respectively; wherein each of the first concave cup and the second concave cup further comprise: a first fabric portion; a second fabric portion positioned a predetermined distance in front of the first fabric portion; and a plurality of resilient yarn fibers connecting the first fabric portion to the second fabric portion to provide support for a user's bust.

2. The lightweight brassiere of claim 1, wherein each of the first concave cup and the second concave cup further comprise a finish layer positioned in front of the first fabric portion.

3. The lightweight brassiere of claim 2, wherein the first fabric portion, the second fabric portion and the finish layer are made of breathable fabric.

4. The lightweight brassiere of claim 3, wherein each of the first fabric portion, the second fabric portion and the finish layer are made of a biodegradable material that resists discoloration.

5. The lightweight brassiere of claim 4, wherein the resilient yarn fibers are mono-filament fibers.

6. The light brassiere of claim 4, wherein the resilient yarn fibers are multi-filament fibers.

7. The lightweight brassiere of claim 5, wherein the first and second wing portions further comprise at least one fastening device operable to fasten the first wing portion to the second wing portion.

8. The lightweight brassiere of claim 7, wherein the fastening device is a hook-and-eye type fastening device made of a titanium alloy.

9. The lightweight brassier of claim 8, wherein each of the first concave cup and the second concave cup further comprise an underwire channel positioned in a lower portion thereof and operable to receive a metallic underwire, respectively.

10. The lightweight brassier of claim 9, wherein the underwire channel has a width of 8 mm.

11. The lightweight brassier of claim 10, wherein the shoulder strap is connected to at least one of the first and second wing portions via a metallic loop.

12. The lightweight brassiere of claim 11, wherein the metallic loop is made of a titanium alloy.

13. The lightweight brassiere of claim 12, wherein the shoulder strap further comprises a metallic slide operable to adjust a length of the shoulder strap.

14. The lightweight brassiere of claim 13, wherein the metallic slide is made of a titanium alloy.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the priority benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/037,038, entitled “Lightweight Brassiere” and filed 17 Mar. 2008 (Attorney Docket No. PP/1708-106). This application is related to the concurrently filed non-provisional application entitled “Dimensional Foam Brassiere” (Serial No. unassigned; Attorney Docket P/1708-125) which itself claims priority of the same provisional application. The complete disclosure of both applications is hereby incorporated by their reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Disclosure

The present disclosure relates to the field of female intimate apparel, and more particularly to a lightweight brassiere that achieves superior comfort for the wearer.

2. Related Art

While brassieres have been around for many years, the intimate nature of this garment requires supreme comfort in order to keep users satisfied. While brassieres are primarily intended to support the user's bust, in light of the fact that these garments are worn for long periods of time immediately adjacent to the skin of the user, comfort is very important. In the past, various brassieres have provided good support, however, typically are somewhat bulky and uncomfortable for the user to wear.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide a brassiere that provides sufficient support and avoids the problems identified above.

SUMMARY

Therefore, in order to overcome these and other deficiencies of the prior art, it is an object of the present disclosure to provide a brassiere that gives intended support to the user with reduced weight which makes the brassiere more comfortable to wear. The use of a spacer fabric in the brassiere cup provides the desired support at a minimum weight. Additional features include use of Ti-alloy materials in place of traditionally steel components, a narrower fabric channel for the underwire, and elimination of stitching by using sonic seal wherever possible.

A lightweight brassiere in accordance with an embodiment of the present disclosure includes a first concave cup, a second concave cup laterally spaced from the first concave cup, a central connecting portion connecting the first and second concave cups, a first wing portion extending from the first concave cup, a second wing portion extending from the second concave cup, wherein the first and second wing portions wrap around a chest of the user, and a shoulder strap connected between at least one of the first and second concave cups and at least one of the first and second wing portions, respectively. The first concave cup and the second concave cup preferably include a first fabric portion, a second fabric portion positioned a predetermined distance in front of the first fabric portion and a plurality of resilient yarn fibers connecting the first fabric portion to the second fabric portion to provide support for a user's bust.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING(S)

These and other features, benefits and advantages of the present disclosure will become apparent from the following description of the disclosure and the appended claims, which refer to the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like features across the several views, and wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a front elevation view of a lightweight brassiere according to a first embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the present disclosure in a front elevation view; and

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a portion of the cup taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, illustrated is a front elevation view of a lightweight brassiere, generally 100, according to a first embodiment. Brassiere 100 is characterized by a two-part cup construction 1, 2. A cut seam 7 connecting the two parts of the cup can be sewn and/or sealed by a sonic finishing technique. Seam 7 is at an angle to the horizontal plane as illustrated in FIG. 1, and traverses the two-part cup 1, 2 from generally the center of the brassiere A upward and outward across the cup. The seam 7 traverses the opposite cup in a mirror-image manner.

FIG. 2 illustrates a cross-sectional view through the two-part cup 1, 2, taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1. The two part cup comprises an outer fabric layer 110, in two parts, upper fabric layer and lower fabric layer 101, 102, respectively. As an example only, either or both may be satin, though lace, cotton, synthetic fiber, or nearly any fabric may be substituted. Upper and lower fabric parts 101, 102 are joined at seam 103, in this case by a sonic finish, though alternately or additionally, they may be sewn.

The cup of brassiere 100 also comprises an inner foam pad 112, in upper and lower parts, 104, 105, respectively. The upper and lower foam pad parts 104, 105 are joined together at seam 106, also preferably by sonic finish. The seam 106 is preferably parallel with seam 103 and more preferably aligned with and adjacent to seam 103, though other embodiments of the present disclosure can differ. Optionally, the foam pad 112 or at least the upper or lower part 104, 105, may include an inner and or outer fabric laminate layer 107, 108, respectively. Inner and outer in this sense refers to the brassiere as it is intended to be worn by a user.

The upper and lower parts 104, 105 of inner foam pad 112 have differing material characteristics. The lower portion 105 is to provide adequate support to the wearer, while the upper portion 104 is to be more flexible for comfort. To achieve this, the two sections are formed to have differing material properties. The lower section 105 may be thicker, more dense, and/or have reduced elasticity, in order to provide the desired support. By contrast, the upper portion 104 will be comparatively thinner, less dense, and/or more elastic than the lower portion 105. The foam pad may be constructed of a polyurethane foam, for which the foregoing characteristics (e.g., weight, density, thickness, elasticity, etc.) can be controlled.

In addition to the two-part cup construction described above, the brassiere 100, and particularly the two-cup 1,2 thereof, may be molded after or during construction generally to the shape of the user's body for enhanced comfort.

Particular attention is given to the structure of the brassiere cup of the foregoing embodiment. The balance of features of the brassiere according to the first embodiment may be entirely conventional. Alternately, some or several or all of the features described with respect to the following embodiments may be incorporated into the foregoing embodiment, in addition to those specifically described.

Turning now to FIG. 3, illustrated is another embodiment of the present disclosure in a front elevation view. This embodiment includes a brassiere, generally 200, that includes two cups 203 from which first and second wing panels 207 extend around the chest of the wearer. A connecting portion 204 is provided between the cups 203 to connect the cups together. A shoulder strap 206 is preferably connected to, or formed integrally with, a top portion of the cup 203 and is attached to the wing panel 207 either directly or via a connector such as the loop 211. Fasteners, or connectors, 212 are preferably provided on the first and second wing panels 207 to allow the ends of the first and second wing panels to be connected, preferably behind the back if the user. In a preferred embodiment, the connectors 212 are hook-and-eye type connectors with the eye portions illustrated in FIG. 3. The hook portions would be positioned on the opposing, or second, wing panel 107 to align with the eye portions in a known manner. In a preferred embodiment, the hook-and-eye connectors are also cushioned to provide further comfort.

Each cup 203 is preferably made of a spacer fabric layer and an outer finish layer 205. FIG. 4 illustrates a cross sectional view of a portion of the cup 203 along the line 203 in FIG. 3. The spacer fabric includes first and second fabric layers 203a, 203b spaced a predetermined distance apart. Specifically, the fabric layer 203a is spaced in front of the fabric layer 203b. A plurality of resistant yarn fibers 203c connect the first and second fabric layers 203a, 203b. The cover layer 205 is in turn preferably positioned in front of the first fabric layer 203a such that it is visible from the exterior of the brassiere 200. The yarn fibers 203c are preferably made of a resistant material and resist compression to a certain point. The yarn fibers 203c may be either mono-filament or multi-filament fibers and are illustrated in FIG. 4 in an uncompressed state. When sufficient pressure is applied, the yarn fibers 203c will bend, but return to the uncompressed state when the pressure is removed. Thus, the spacer fabric provides cushioning similar to foam padding, but is substantially lighter in weight since a large percentage of the space between the first and second fabric layers 203a, 203b is filled with air. Thus, the spacer fabric exhibits the support required of the cup 203 at a markedly reduced weight. In a preferred embodiment, the cup 203 is formed into a complementary concave shape to accommodate the bust of the user using molding techniques as noted above. In general, the use of mono-filament fibers for the yarn fibers 203c is preferred as these yarns tend to better keep the desired concave shape, but the invention of the present application is not limited thereto.

The spacer fabric provides several advantages when compared to traditional foam cups. First, the spacer fabric is substantially filled with air, and thus, is very lightweight, particularly when compared with foam. In addition, the first fabric layer 203a, second fabric layer 203b and the finish layer 205 are preferably made of a breathable fabric to allow air to pass through the cup 203 which further enhances the comfort of the user, especially when compared to the non-breathable foam commonly used for cups in conventional brassieres. In addition, the fabric that is used in the first and second fabric layers 203a, 203b resists discoloration, and thus, will not exhibit the yellowing that is common in conventional foam cups. In addition, the material used to make these elements may be a biodegradable material such that the brassiere 200 is environmentally friendly. The same cannot be said for conventional brassieres that typically utilize non-biodegradable polyurethane foam in the cups. Further, the very thin fabric layers 203a, 203b and the finish layer 205 tend to provide a slightly translucent and aesthetically pleasing appearance for the brassiere 200.

In addition, each cup 203 preferably includes a titanium alloy underwire 213. The titanium alloy achieves the desired rigidity for support at a greatly reduced weight, when compared to steel, for example. In addition, the fabric channel 214 in which underwire 213 is positioned preferably has a reduced width when compared to conventional channels which typically utilize a width of 10 mm. For example, the channel 214 preferably has a width of about 8 mm. This reduced channel size also decreases the overall weight of the brassier 200.

The wing panels 207 preferably include continuous hook-and-eye closures 212 embedded therein. This reduces weight as compared to traditional hook-and-eye closures which are commonly attached to the ends of wing panels. In a preferred embodiment, the first and second wing panels 107 are made of two layers of fabric and include edges that incorporate strips of stretch fabric 219 in order to allow stretching. In a preferred embodiment, a strip of stretch fabric 219 is positioned between the two layers of thin fabric and folded over one of the layers, preferably toward the user's body. The two fabric layers and the stretch fabric 219 are preferably sonically welded together to form the wing portions 207. Preferably, the strips of stretch fabric 219 are provide along both the top and bottom edges of the wing portions 207. The stretch fabric may be made of any desired stretchable material, but are preferably made of a 60% spandex material.

The shoulder straps 206 may be continuous with the remainder of the brassiere 200. Alternately, the connecting ring 211 that connects the shoulder straps 206 to the first and second wing portions may be a Ti-alloy. The strap length adjustment slide 210 may also be Ti-alloy for its combination of strength and low weight. The slide 210 is provided to adjust the shoulder strap length in a known manner. In preferred embodiments of the brassiere 200, all joinings are by sonic seal, for example where straps 206 meet wing panels 207. As a result the added weight of stitching is also eliminated.

Another embodiment of the present disclosure is substantially similar to the prior embodiment 200, and a detailed description of the similar features thereof will be omitted. In the further embodiment, the cup includes as a pad material an oriented and resilient fiber-fill material. Traditional fiber-fill material comprises unwoven threads. While traditional fiber-fill has certain useful applications, poor washability generally and specifically its tendency to form uneven clumps when wet precludes its widespread use in garment applications.

An oriented and resilient fiber-fill material includes unwoven fibers implanted between alternating layers of a base structure. The interstitial fibers give elasticity, and lightness of weight to the overall material, while the layers themselves give durability. For the present application, the oriented and resilient fiber-fill foam pad is laminated with inner and outer fabric layers (not shown), and joined to the brassiere 300. In addition to its light weight, the oriented and resilient fiber fill material has been shown to be non-yellowing in industry tests, as opposed to urethane foams which show yellowing over time. Further, the fiber-fill material can be comprised of recyclable natural and/or polyester fibers, as compared to non-recyclable polyurethane.

Although the present disclosure has been described in relation to particular embodiments thereof, many other variations and modifications and other uses will become apparent to those skilled in the art. It is preferred, therefore, that the present disclosure be limited not by the specific disclosure herein, but only by the appended claims.