Title:
THREE-DIMENSIONALLY CONFIGURED ARMPIT PATCH
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The armpit patch for incorporating in an article of clothing in the under-arm zone, has a generally oblong shape with a longitudinal plane of symmetry and a transverse plane for coming substantially under the armhole line and associated on either side of said transverse plane with a front portion that is to come under the panel forming the arm of the article and with a rear portion that is to come under the panel forming the body of the article. In addition, it has a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges and in that said three-dimensional configuration consists at least in that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane, the front and rear portions form two flanges in relief, each being configured substantially as a portion of a cone having its apex lying substantially at the point of intersection with the longitudinal and transverse planes.



Inventors:
Courvoisier, Anne-laure (Paris, FR)
Application Number:
13/001097
Publication Date:
07/07/2011
Filing Date:
06/25/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D27/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ANDERSON, AMBER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP/HAK (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
1. An armpit patch for incorporating in an article of clothing in the under-arm zone, said patch being generally oblong in shape with a longitudinal plane of symmetry and a transverse plane for coming substantially under the armhole line and associated on either side of said transverse plane with a front portion that is to come under the panel forming the arm of the article and with a rear portion that is to come under the panel forming the body of the article, wherein the patch has a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges and said three-dimensional configuration is configured such that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane, the front and rear portions form two flanges in relief, each being configured substantially as a portion of a cone having its apex lying substantially at the point of intersection with the longitudinal and transverse planes.

2. An armpit patch according to claim 1, wherein the three-dimensional configuration also has, in the longitudinal plane, concave curvature having a determined angle (α) at the apex.

3. An armpit patch according to claim 2, wherein the angle α is a function of the type of armhole of the article of clothing, in particular, α1 for an armhole of the set-in sleeve type that is less than the angle α2 for an armhole of the T-shirt shape type.

4. An armpit patch according to claim 3, wherein the angle α1 for a set-in sleeve is of the order of 70° to 75°, and is preferably equal to 73°.

5. An armpit patch according to claim 3, wherein the angle α2 at the apex for an article having a T-shirt shape type sleeve is of the order of 85° to 90°, and preferably equal to 87°.

6. An armpit patch according to claim 1, for providing protection against visible transfer of armpit sweat, the patch comprising at least a waterproof outer layer and an absorbent layer, and said outer layer is for coming into contact with the article.

7. An armpit patch according to claim 6, wherein said armpit patch comprises a non-woven fabric of absorbent material having one face subjected to hydrophobic treatment to constitute the waterproof outer layer.

8. An armpit patch according to claim 6, wherein the outer layer comprises a waterproof membrane or a breathable waterproof membrane, optionally covered on the outside in a textile or non-woven layer, and the outer layer and the absorbent layer are assembled together at their peripheral edges.

9. An armpit patch according to claim 6, wherein the patch comprises fabric having two faces formed by interlaced yarns, the faces being connected to each other, and wherein the outside face of the fabric acts at least in part as a waterproof outer layer and comprises yarns made of a synthetic material; the fabric includes yarns made of an absorbent material suitable for storing moisture; and the inside face of the fabric includes yarns suitable for absorbing and/or transferring moisture towards the storage yarns.

10. An armpit patch according to claim 9, wherein the fabric is a fabric of three-dimensional type having its two faces formed by two walls are spaced apart from each other and that are connected together by link yarns, which link yarns are made of an absorbent material, being suitable for storing moisture between said two walls.

11. A protective patch according to claim 9 wherein said patch includes a breathable waterproof membrane secured to the outside face of the fabric, in particular, by dots of adhesive, and optionally an outer layer of textile or non-woven fabric that is secured to the breathable waterproof membrane.

12. A protective patch according to claim 6, wherein its peripheral edge is consolidated by ultrasonic welding.

13. A method of fabricating an armpit patch according to claim 1, wherein the method comprises the following operations: taking a starting panel; cutting a patch from said panel, the patch having a generally oblong shape with a longitudinal plane of symmetry and a transverse plane for coming substantially under the armhole line of an article of clothing and, on either side of said transverse plane, a front portion for coming under the panel forming the arm of the article and a rear portion for coming under the panel forming the body of the article; and shaping the starting panel before cutting out the patch or shaping the patch after cutting it out so as to give the patch a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges, said three-dimensional configuration configured such that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane, the front and rear portions form two flanges in relief, each being substantially configured as a portion of a cone having its apex substantially at the intersection of the longitudinal and transverse planes.

14. A method according to claim 13, wherein the shaping is formed by thermoforming or thermomolding.

15. A method according to claim 14, wherein the shaping operation is performed on the starting panel and the patch is cut out after shaping.

16. A method according to claim 13, wherein the shaping is performed by assembling together two patch portions, in particular, by edge-to-edge stitching, the portions being assembled together along two concave edges of said portions so that the assembly line passes via the intersection between the longitudinal and transverse planes of the patch and forms a determined angle with the transverse plane.

17. A method according to claim 16, wherein the angle formed between the assembly line and the transverse plane is of the order of 15°.

Description:

This is a 371 national phase application of PCT/FR2009/051217 filed 25 Jun. 2009, claiming priority to French Patent Application No. 0854225 filed 25 Jun. 2008, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to protecting and/or reinforcing the under-arm zone of an article of clothing, in particular but not exclusively against bodily secretions emitted at the armpits. The invention relates more particularly to an armpit patch for incorporating inside an article of clothing in the zone thereof that is to be in register with the armpits of the user.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Attempts have been made for a very long time to provide protection against the negative effects of perspiration of the armpit, often manifested by disagreeable odors and, on the garment, by traces of moisture or indeed ring stains in the zone under the arm. To provide protection, use is made of deodorants or antiperspirants; however, they can damage the garment by degrading it chemically or by degrading its color. Such negative effects appear in multiple conditions: in hot weather, during physical efforts or activities, when stressed or anxious, when taking medication, or during hormone unbalances or changes (menstruation, pregnancy, breast-feeding, menopause), or merely when a person is overweight. These effects vary from one person to another. Some perspire little, whereas others suffer permanently from hyper hydrosis: the quantity of sweat given off by each armpit may lie in the range 0.6 centiliters per day (cL/d) to 5 cL/d, or even more.

To protect the garment, the solution has consisted in absorbing the sweat before it comes into contact with the garment by placing an absorbent protective patch between the garment and the user's armpit zone. For example, in document FR 2 098 996, the patch is an absorbent lining for discarding after use that is made up of two thin sheets that are assembled together by heat sealing along their peripheral edges and that have at least one thin sheet of absorbent material placed between them. The sheet that is for putting into contact with the skin is a permeable sheet constituted by tangled fibers, while the sheet that is put into contact with the garment, on the inside thereof, is a waterproof sheet of meltable material. Thus, perspiration can pass through the permeable first sheet and be absorbed by the sheet(s) of absorbent material while being prevented from migrating to the garment because of the presence of the waterproof sheet.

In document FR 2 098 996, the lining for absorbing perspiration under the arm is made up of two crescent-shaped patches having small radius sides that are identical, which patches are superposed and assembled together by heat-sealing along said sides. As can be seen clearly from FIGS. 1 and 3 of that document, the lining in question presents a sharp edge at the armhole fold that corresponds to the zone where the two patches are assembled together.

That sharp edge serves firstly to impart stiffness while the garment is being worn, which may be uncomfortable for the wearer or which may make the patch perceivable/visible to other parties. This is particularly troublesome for garments that are fine or worn very close to the body, for example, a silk blouse, a woman's small top, or indeed a man's light cotton shirt.

In document EP 0 322 309, the armpit protective patch is a single piece with lateral cutouts, and a rectilinear fold line extends between said cutouts. When the patch is put into place in the garment, the fold line forms a continuous edge that may be uncomfortable for the wearer. In addition, this rectilinear fold line is not adapted to the shape of the garment at its armhole. The pre-cuts and folding serve to assist the user in putting the patch into place, but they give rise to stiffness in the armhole, to discomfort, and to potential visibility. Furthermore, the pre-cuts remove absorbent material from the armpit patch precisely where such material is most needed, i.e., at the junction between the sleeve and the body of the garment or the arm/armpit/bust junction.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to propose an armpit patch that mitigates the above-mentioned drawbacks and regardless of the intended application of the patch. It may naturally be a patch for providing protection against visible transfer of sweat, but it may also, for example, be a patch serving merely to reinforce the armpit zone of the article, so as to prevent it deforming, e.g., when the article is a suit jacket.

This armpit patch is generally oblong in shape, with a longitudinal plane of symmetry and a transverse plane for coming substantially under the armhole line; on either side of the transverse plane, the patch presents a front portion for coming under the panel forming the arm of the article and a rear portion for coming under the panel forming the body of the article.

In characteristic manner, the armpit patch of the present invention has a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges, the three-dimensional configuration consisting at least in that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane, the front and rear portions form two flanges in relief, each being configured substantially as a portion of a cone having its apex lying substantially at the point of intersection with the longitudinal and transverse planes.

Thus, because of the presence of the two flanges in relief, and because of the absence of any sharp edges, the armpit patch of the invention can fit closely in doubly ergonomic manner both to the curve of the armpit and to the curve of the garment, and it can do so without being uncomfortable for the wearer of the garment.

The cone portion may be substantially half a cone.

The generator line of the cone portion may be rectilinear, however it may equally well be curved, in particular in such a manner that the armpit patch presents concave curvature in the transverse plane.

In a variant embodiment, the three-dimensional configuration consists further in that the patch presents concave curvature in the longitudinal plane with an angle α at the apex that is determined. The value of this angle is to enable the armpit protective patch to match the curvature of the arm in its front portion and the curvature of the body in its rear portion. The armpit protective patch of the invention is thus entirely ergonomic. The angle α at the apex is a function of the type of armhole in the article of clothing. For articles having an armhole of T-shirt shape, in particular sportswear of the T-shirt or sweatshirt type, the angle α1 is of the order of 90°, and is preferably equal to 87°. For street wear, in particular a blouse or a suit jacket, the angle α2 is less than 90°, and preferably equal to 73°.

For a patch that provides protection against armpit sweat, the patch comprises at least a waterproof outer layer and an absorbent layer; on being incorporated in an article of clothing, the outer layer comes into contact with said article in the under-arm zone.

In a variant embodiment, the protective patch consists in a non-woven fabric of absorbent material having one face subjected to hydrophobic treatment to constitute the waterproof outer layer.

In another variant embodiment, the outer layer is constituted by a waterproof membrane or a breathable waterproof membrane, optionally covered on the outside in a textile or non-woven layer. Under such circumstances, the outer layer and the absorbent layer are assembled together by any appropriate laminating technique.

Advantageously, in another embodiment version, such lamination may be assisted or performed by ultrasonic welding at the periphery of the outer and absorbent layers. Peripheral ultrasonic welding presents multiple advantages. It makes the following possible:

    • preserving the quality of the armpit patch against degradation associated with wearing and washing, in particular risks of fraying;
    • an anti-leakage function: the consolidation seals together the edges and makes it possible to avoid moisture being transferred around the patch;
    • an appearance function: it makes it possible over time to maintain the perception of an article that is fine, in particular concerning a woman's version in which the welding is preferably performed using a sonotrode in the form of a wheel that festoons the edge of the patch; and
    • reinforcing the strength of the layers making up the patch and preventing them from separating while the garment is being worn.

In another embodiment variant, the protective patch comprises a fabric, in particular a knit, having two faces that are spaced apart from each other, the faces being formed by yarns that are interlaced, and being connected to each other.

Under such circumstances:

    • the outside face of the fabric acts at least in part as a waterproof outer layer and comprises yarns made of a synthetic material;
    • the fabric includes “storage” yarns made of an absorbent material and suitable for storing moisture while being visible little or not at all in the outside face; and
    • the inside face of the fabric, i.e. the face that is the closer to the wearer of the article, includes yarns suitable for absorbing and/or transferring moisture towards the storage yarns.

The advantage of this variant is that it simplifies fabrication of the protective patch, since all of the functions performed by said patch are obtained using a single fabric by appropriately selecting the yarns making it up.

It should be observed that the fabric, in particular, the knit, provides intrinsic flexibility that makes it easier for it to be three-dimensionally configured by thermoforming, in particular, when this presentation of the patch in the form of a fabric is associated with the use of hot-melt fibers and/or elastic fibers (spandex).

In a first embodiment, the fabric in question is of the three-dimensional type, with the two faces thereof being formed by two walls that are spaced apart from each other and that are connected together by link yarns, which link yarns are constituted at least in part by storage yarns.

In a second embodiment, the storage yarns are constituted at least in part by weft yarns inserted between the two faces of the fabric.

Advantageously, in these embodiments, in order to reinforce the barrier function of the outside face, the waterproof outer layer comprises a breathable waterproof membrane secured to the outer layer of fabric, in particular, by dots of adhesive, and optionally, a textile or non-woven outer layer secured to the breathable waterproof membrane by dots of adhesive.

The present invention also provides a method of fabricating an armpit patch for an article of clothing and having the above-specified characteristics.

The method comprises the following operations:

    • taking an initial textile or non-woven panel;
    • cutting a patch from said initial panel, the patch having a generally oblong shape with a longitudinal plane of symmetry and a transverse plane, the transverse plane being designed to come substantially under the armhole line of the article, and, on either side of said transverse plane, a front portion that is to come under the arm-forming panel of the article, and a rear portion that is to come under the body-forming panel of the article; and
    • forming the initial panel prior to cutting out, or forming the patch after cutting out, to give the patch a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges, said three-dimensional configuration consisting at least in that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane, the front and rear portions form flanges in relief, each being configured substantially as a portion of a cone having its apex substantially at the intersection of the longitudinal and transverse planes.

In a preferred embodiment, the initial panel includes at least one hot-melt material, and forming is implemented by thermoforming or thermomolding. When the forming operation is performed on the initial panel itself, the patch is cut out after the forming operation.

In another implementation, shaping is performed by assembling two non-superposed patch portions edge to edge along two concave edges of said portions in such a manner that the assembly line passes by the intersection between the longitudinal and transverse planes of the patch and forms a determined angle with the transverse plane, said angle preferably being of the order of 15°. The patch portions are assembled together in particular by plane stitching between the two facing edges.

Thus, unlike the lining of document FR 2 098 986, assembly is not performed by superposing the two patches nor is it performed along a fold line between front and rear portions. Assembly according to the above-specified method enables two flanges in relief to be formed three-dimensionally and also enables the concave curvature to be formed in the patch in the longitudinal plane by means of an appropriate selection of concave shapes for the concave edges of the two patch portions for assembling together.

When the patch is a reinforcing armpit patch, it must enable the article of clothing to retain its shape in the under-arm zone after repeated use. Under such circumstances, said patch preferably presents a certain amount of shape memory, enabling it to return to its initial three-dimensional configuration in spite of the deformations that might occur as a result of the movements of the wearer's arm, as a result of the wearer sweating and moistening the garment, or as a result of successive washing operations.

The invention also claims an article of clothing provided with two armpit patches as described in any of the above variants. Said patches may be secured to the article in permanent or removable manner in a variety of ways.

A first way consists in fitting the article with two inside pockets formed in the two armpit zones, each pocket being suitable for housing an armpit patch.

Each pocket could be a single pocket, but preferably it comprises first and second pockets having mutually facing openings so as to enable the front portion of the armpit patch to be inserted into the first pocket and the rear portion of the armpit patch to be inserted into the second pocket.

Advantageously, when the armpit patch is to provide protection against sweating, the or each pocket is shaped by fitting a panel presenting a high level of porosity, a certain amount of elasticity, and good dimensional stability on the determined zone of the article. It is appropriate for the pocket not to constitute a barrier to transferring bodily secretion towards the protective patch and for it to be easy to insert said patch into the pocket while ensuring that it is held securely therein after it has been inserted, and without it being stretched while the garment is being worn.

A second way of securing the armpit patch to the armpit zone of the article consists in fastening said patch to said zone by adhesive using a coating of adhesive or possibly a coating or a film of thermo-adhesive, which film is preferably fine and transparent and presents a certain amount of elasticity.

A third way consists in implementing a fastener system comprising a first element suitable for co-operating with a second element. This may be constituted, in particular, by a self-gripping fastener system having hooks and loops of the Velcro® type, or a magnet fastener system. The first element of the system is placed in the armpit zone of the article while the second element is placed on the outside of the armpit patch.

The present invention also provides a protective assembly comprising firstly an armpit patch as described in the various variants above and a pocket suitable for receiving said armpit patch and suitable for being fastened to the armpit zone of an article of clothing, fastening being obtained in particular by means of adhesive or thermo-adhesive. Thus, by obtaining such a protective assembly, the user may fasten said assembly, or cause it to be fastened, on an article of clothing, and may then use said article with or without the armpit patch depending on the type of activity that is intended.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention can be better understood on reading the following description of embodiments of three-dimensionally configured armpit patches and implementations of their fastening to an under-arm zone of a garment, as shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic section view of a first example of a patch for protection against armpit sweating constituted solely by a fabric of three-dimensional type;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic section view of a second example of a protective patch in which the fabric of three-dimensional type is associated with a breathable waterproof membrane;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic section view of a third example of a patch for protection against armpit sweating further including an outer layer and an adhesive coating that is protected by an anti-adhesive sheet;

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic front view of two garments fitted with two patches for the armpits; one having a T-shirt type armhole, and the other having a jacket type armhole;

FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic perspective view of an armpit patch that is three-dimensionally shaped by thermoforming, and suitable for a garment having a T-shirt type armhole;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic side view of the armpit patch shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a diagrammatic view of two pockets suitable for serving as housings for an armpit patch;

FIG. 8 is a diagrammatic section view of another embodiment of an armpit patch that is fastened to the garment by implementing an attachment system using hooks and loops;

FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic plan view of an armpit patch that is three-dimensionally shaped by edge-to-edge stitching.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates in general to protecting and/or reinforcing the under-arm zone or armpit zone of an article of clothing. It relates more particularly to providing armpit protection against sweating or perspiration while the article is being worn.

In order to avoid any risk of discomfort of the wearer of the article and in order to adapt the patch closely to the configuration of this zone, the armpit patch of the present invention presents a three-dimensional configuration without sharp edges. This configuration can be seen clearly on examining FIG. 5. The part 20 is generally oblong in shape with a longitudinal plane of symmetry L and a transverse plane D, the transverse plane being designed to lie substantially under the armhole line of the article. In FIG. 5, dashed lines represent the respective lines of intersection 22 and 23 in the longitudinal and transverse planes L and D with the inside face 20a of the patch, i.e., the face that is closer to the user, as opposed to the outside face 20b that is to come into contact with the article. These two lines 22 and 23 intersect at a point of intersection 24.

In the patch 20, the transverse plane D defines a front portion 25 and a rear portion 26. Inside the article 28, the front portion is to come under the arm 27 of the article in a zone that lies under the arm of the wearer when the article is being worn. The rear portion 26 is designed to come against the body 29 of the article in a zone that is close to the body of the wearer when the article is being worn.

The three-dimensional configuration of the armpit patch consists at least in that laterally, in the immediate proximity of the transverse plane D, the front and rear portions 25 and 26 form two flanges 30, 31 in relief, each being substantially configured as a portion of a cone having its apex lying substantially at the point of intersection 24 of the longitudinal and transverse planes L and D.

As can be seen in FIG. 5, the generator line of the portion of the cone forming the flanges 30, 31 need not necessarily be rectilinear, but may be curved, such that the line 23 presents overall curvature that is concave, like the curvature of the armhole line between the arm 27 and the body 29 of the article 28.

Each flange 30, 31 corresponds to a portion of a cone that is no more than half a cone, and, in particular, is about one-fourth of a cone, defining a circular arc along the edge corresponding to the patch, which circular arc extends between points referenced 31a, 31b in FIG. 5, with the angle at the apex thus being equal to or generally less than 180°, or indeed about 90°.

In the longitudinal plane L, the armpit patch 20 presents curvature between the front and rear portions 25 and 26 that is concave, with a radius of curvature and an angle α of the apex that are determined.

An armpit patch 20 that is for an article 28 having an armhole of the T-shirt shape type (T-shirt, sportswear), the angle at the apex α2 is about 90°, whereas for an armpit patch adapted to an armhole of the “set-in” sleeve type (jacket, shirt), the angle α1 is less than 90°, preferably about 70° to 75°. In a preferred embodiment, α2 is equal to 87° and al is equal to 73°. The armpit patch 20 retains or takes up said three-dimensional configuration when the garment is worn and it is sufficiently flexible to accompany the movements of the arm.

When the armpit patch has a large enough fraction of hot-melt material, e.g., 30% to 50% by weight, it is advantageously three-dimensionally configured by a thermoforming or thermomolding operation using a male mold or former and a female mold or former fitted with heater and pressure means. Fabric is placed between the two molds or formers and is hot-compressed between them at a temperature and for a duration that are determined, the fabric being constituted either by a patch that is pre-cut as a function of its final shape, or by an initial panel, e.g., a rectangular panel, that has all of the components of said patch. This produces the desired hot-melt deformation. With a pre-cut patch, it has a shape that is oblong associated with lateral projections that, after thermoforming, serve to constitute the flanges. When starting from an initial panel, the patch is cut out after the thermoforming operation.

The values given above concerning the cone portions and the angles α at the apex of the concave curvature in the longitudinal plane L correspond to values for the patch 20 when at rest, in particular correspond to the values of the molds or formers used for thermoforming. When the wearer's arms are moving, the armpit patch will naturally deform, however in spite of such deformations, the patch will never present an uncomfortable fold and will always remain perfectly adapted to the configuration of the article.

In the first embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the armpit patch 1 is a patch providing protection against sweat or perspiration from the user's body in the armpit zone.

The principle of this protection is to ensure that the protective patch picks up the secretion that is emitted and stores it in an absorbent layer while, by virtue of an outer layer that is waterproof, preventing the secretion from migrating and moistening, soiling, and/or changing the color of the article of clothing.

In its most elementary design, the protective patch 1 of the present invention consists solely of a fabric 2 that is said to be of the three-dimensional or 3D type in that it comprises two walls 3 and 6 that are both made of interlaced yarns, e.g., first warp yarns 4 and first weft yarns 5 for the first wall 3 and second warp yarns 7 and second weft yarns 8 for the second wall 6, said two walls 3 and 6 being connected together by a set 9 of link yarns, e.g., yarns 10 that, in the particularly simplified example shown in FIG. 1, pass in alternation over some of the first warp yarns 4 of the first wall 3 and under some of the second warp yarns 7 of the second wall 6. The technique for fabricating such a fabric of three-dimensional or 3D type is well known in the textile industry. It is possible to choose the operating conditions of the loom used so as to adjust the distance between the two walls 3 and 6, which distance is occupied solely by the link yarns 10, and also so as to determine accurately the density of said link yarns in the set 9. When the patch is three-dimensionally configured by thermoforming or thermomolding, said fabric must comprise a percentage of hot-melt yarns that is sufficient, e.g., of the order of 30% to 50% by weight.

In the invention, the first wall 3, also referred to as the inside wall of the fabric, is the wall that is closer to the wearer of the article. The second wall 6, also referred to as the outside wall, is the wall that is closer to the inside of the article. The inside wall 3 comprises yarns 4 and 5 that are suitable for absorbing the moisture coming from the secretion and/or for transferring said moisture towards the set 9 of link yarns. This set 9 comprises yarns of an absorbent material so as to be suitable for storing at least temporarily the moisture contained in the secretion. The outside wall 6 comprises yarns that are made of a synthetic material and that are interlaced so as to obtain a barrier effect against the moisture contained in the set 9 of link yarns.

In one particular embodiment, the moisture transfer function of the inside wall 3 is performed by implementing yarns that contain multi-lobed fibers or filaments that present improved moisture transfer, in particular, Coolmax® fibers.

Because of their multi-lobed section, said fibers or filaments include longitudinal channels acting as capillaries and along which moisture migrates.

In this example, the moisture storage function of the set 9 of link yarns is provided by implementing yarns based on bamboo viscose that are known for their high absorption capacity and also for the bacteriostatic properties, which are particularly welcome given that they are to absorb bodily secretions.

In this example, the moisture barrier function of the outside wall is obtained by implementing polyester-based fibers that are preferably hydrophobically treated.

Thus, for the protective patch 1 being incorporated as such in an article of clothing, perspiration from the armpit comes into contact with the inside wall 3, is diffused by capillarity along the yarns 4, 5, and reaches the link yarns that are to be found in said wall 3 so that the moisture in question is absorbed progressively by a pumping effect from the set 9 of link yarns. The outside wall 6 prevents the moisture that is stored in the set 9 from diffusing directly onto the determined zone of the article of clothing against which said wall is in contact.

The above-mentioned pumping effect improves the comfort of the user who no longer has a sensation of having wet under-arm areas, since the moisture is taken up quickly into the set 9 acting as a storage zone.

Since the fabric 2 nevertheless presents a certain amount of porosity, and providing there is sufficient circulation of air, the moisture stored in said fabric 2 can be discharged progressively in the form of wet air passing through the outside wall 6.

Nevertheless, if the quantity of secretion is large or possibly if it is desired to reduce the thickness of the fabric, it is preferable to reinforce the moisture barrier effect of the outside wall 6 so as to avoid any risk of moisture passing through said wall.

This reinforcement may be implemented by applying an appropriate treatment agent to the outside wall 6, e.g., a waterproofing agent. Nevertheless, under some circumstances there is a risk of greatly limiting the porosity of the outside wall 6 and thus its ability to discharge the moisture contained in the storage zone.

The risk is the same, or even worse, if a waterproof membrane is used as reinforcing means.

Consequently, in the second embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the protective patch 11 also includes a breathable waterproof membrane 12 that is secured to the outside wall 6. Such a membrane 12 provides the looked-for moisture barrier effect, while presenting sufficient porosity to allow air to circulate, which is useful for avoiding localized heating of the space between the patch 11 and the wearer's body, which heating is likely to accentuate perspiration and which is also necessary for extracting moisture contained in the fabric 2.

The technique for securing the breathable waterproof membrane 12 to the outside wall 6 must enable the membrane to retain its porosity. It is preferable to use dots of hot-melt type adhesive.

FIG. 3 shows a third embodiment of a protective patch 13 that differs from the second by securing an outer layer 14 on the breathable waterproof membrane 12, e.g. a layer of non-woven or lightweight textile having an adhesive 15 on its outside face, which adhesive is protected by an anti-adhesive sheet 16.

In this third embodiment, the protective patch 13 may be put into place directly by the user. It suffices to remove the anti-adhesive sheet 16 and to press the adhesive 15 against the inside face of the armpit zone 25 of an article of clothing 28.

The use of the outer layer 14 in this third embodiment is justified by the risk of delamination that might occur between the breathable waterproof membrane 12 and the article of clothing 28 were the adhesive 15 to be applied directly to said membrane 12.

More generally, the presence of an outer layer 14 is justified whenever there is a risk of the membrane being degraded or delaminated, either during manufacture of the protective patch or during use thereof in an article of clothing. This applies in particular when the three-dimensional configuration of the patch is obtained by thermoforming, with the outer layer forming protection for the membrane that prevents it from coming directly into contact with the inside surface of the mold.

Using this outer layer also has the advantage, while the garment is being worn, of avoiding making any noise associated with rubbing against the garment, which noise would make the armpit patch perceptible to some other party. This advantage is important since it makes wearing the patch more discrete, and that is a very important requirement of users.

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic side view of the armhole patch 20 of FIG. 5. In this figure, there can be seen, in particular, the angle α at the apex of the concave curvature taken by the patch 20 at its intersection line 22 with the longitudinal plane L. In the example shown in FIG. 6, the patch is for a garment having a T-shirt shaped armhole, in particular, a sports garment of the sweatshirt or T-shirt type, having a T-shirt shaped armhole. This angle α is about 90°, and more precisely in the example shown it is 87°. Furthermore, with reference to FIG. 6, being an article for a woman, the value D1 of the projection of the front portion 25 is of the order of 53 millimeters (mm) while the value D2 of the projection of the rear portion 26 is 71 mm. For an article having a T-shaped armhole for a man, the values of Dl and al would remain the same, while the value D2 of the projection of the rear portion 26 would be greater, e.g., being 85 mm.

In comparison, the value of the projection of the intersection line 23 for a woman's garment would be 61 mm and for a man's garment would be 80 mm. Naturally, these values are given by way of indication.

For an article having a jacket type armhole, all that needs to be changed is the value of the angle at the apex; this angle α2 preferably lies in the range 70° to 75°, and is preferably 73°.

FIG. 9 shows an armpit patch 40 of three-dimensional configuration that is obtained by assembling together two patch segments 41 and 42 that are assembled by plain stitching, edge to edge. More precisely, FIG. 9 shows the two patch segments 41 and 42 placed facing each other prior to be assembled. It can be seen that both of these segments have a concave edge 41a, 42a of the same dimensions and have the same concavity. However, the two segments themselves are not symmetrical about the axis of symmetry XX′ of the concave edges 41a, 42b. These two segments 41 and 42 are assembled together by plain stitching 43 along the two concave edges 41a, 42a along their full length, with the edges being moved progressively towards each other during stitching. This operation serves to obtain a shape of the same type as that shown in FIG. 5. As can be seen in FIG. 9, the line of stitching 43 passes via the intersection 24 of the longitudinal and transverse planes L and D, said line of stitching 43 forming a determined angle, preferably of the order of 15°, relative to the intersection line 23 with the transverse plane D.

FIG. 7 shows one of the releasable fastener means for fastening an armpit patch 20 inside an article of clothing. In this embodiment, the armpit patch is housed in two pockets 50, 51 that are formed on the inside of the garment, on either side of the armhole line such that the respective openings 50a, 51a of the pockets face each other. The smaller pocket 50 serves as a housing for the front portion 25, while the larger pocket 51 serves as a housing for the rear portion 26 of the patch 20. The inside dimensions of the two pockets are slightly greater than the outside dimensions of the armpit patch 20 so as to enable it to be put into position without too much difficulty. By way of example, these pockets 50, 51 are fastened by adhesive in peripheral zones 50b, 51b that are defined in FIG. 7 by shading. The front edge along the opening of each pocket presents concave curvature so as to adapt the configuration of the armhole.

Once positioned inside the two pockets, the armpit patch 20 is securely held in place, being as it were trapped by the two pockets, and any relative movement of the patch in one pocket pushes the patch against the end of the other pocket.

In practice, in order to make the two pockets 50, 51, use is made of a textile panel, in particular, a grid or a perforated textile, in particular, tulle netting, honeycomb, or lace, presenting a large degree of porosity, a certain amount of elasticity, and good dimensional stability, so as to ensure firstly, that the pockets do not constitute a barrier to transferring sweat or perspiration from the user's body to the armpit patch 20, and secondly, that said patch can be inserted easily into the pocket while being securely held therein and without stretching while being worn, said pocket not constraining deformation of the three-dimensional configuration of the patch.

Naturally, it is possible to house the armpit patch not in two pockets, as described above, but in a single pocket; however, that would make it more difficult to insert the armpit patch and would also not enable the patch to be brought into abutment when the arms move.

When the armpit patch is for being received in one or two pockets, the assembly constituted by the pocket(s) and the patch may be made available as a protective or reinforcement assembly, providing the pocket(s) is/are suitable for being fastened to the armpit zone of the article of clothing, which fastening may be performed in particular by adhesive or thermo-adhesive.

There are other ways of securing the patch to the article of clothing. This may be done by fastening the patch permanently to the article by adhesive using a coating of adhesive or possibly a coating or film of thermo-adhesive. When using a film of thermo-adhesive, it should be fine and transparent and should present a certain amount of elasticity. This is shown for the third above-described embodiment, with reference to FIG. 3.

The patch may also be fastened releasably by using in particular a releasable attachment system implementing a first element that is secured to the patch, on the outside face thereof, and a second element that is secured to the article of clothing, said two elements being suitable for co-operating with each other to form a releasable fastening. FIG. 8 shows an embodiment of a fastening of that type, in which the patch 1 includes on its outside face la loop elements 50, while the hook elements 51 are fastened to the inside of the article of clothing 52. These loop and hook elements are of the type used in a self-gripping system known under the name Velcro®. Naturally, other releasable attachment systems could be used, in particular using press-buttons, a system of magnets, or by double-sided adhesive.

As specified above, the embodiments described in detail concerning the constitution of the armpit patch relate to its application as a patch providing protection in the armpit against sweat and perspiration.

This use for the three-dimensionally configured armpit patch of the present invention is not the only use. In particular, it may serve as reinforcement for maintaining the shape of the armpit of a garment after repeated use thereof. Under such circumstances, the patch is no longer necessarily constituted by an absorbent layer and a waterproof layer. Nevertheless, it must present sufficient shape memory for it to return at rest to the three-dimensional configuration it possessed initially in spite of deformation caused by repeated use. This applies in particular when the hot-melt materials are used in a proportion that is sufficient, e.g. of the order of 30% to 50% by weight, and when the three-dimensional configuration is obtained by thermoforming.





 
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