Title:
Multi-Slider Zipper And Wearable Garment With Multi-Slider Zipper
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wearable garment includes a multi-slider zipper with a top stop at each end of the zipper. The multi-slider zipper extends around the periphery of the garment from one armpit to the second armpit to enable the top surface of the garment to be separated at least partially from the second portion of said garment. The unique zipper may include three or more sliders as well as a top stop at each end of the zipper. A sleeping bag also having a top and bottom fabric portion includes the multi-slider zipper having at least three sliders.



Inventors:
Chopak, Joy (Boston, MA, US)
Turok, Milena (Waltham, MA, US)
Application Number:
13/298725
Publication Date:
06/21/2012
Filing Date:
11/17/2011
Assignee:
Gunamuna, Inc. (Boston, MA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/413R, 24/382
International Classes:
A44B19/02; A41D13/00; A47G9/08
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Primary Examiner:
OSTRUP, CLINTON T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILMERHALE/BOSTON (BOSTON, MA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wearable blanket comprising: a first and second fabric portion have substantially the same height and width dimensions; a first single zipper having two tracks with one track secured along the bottom edge and the two side edges of said first fabric portion and the second track being secured along the bottom edge and the two side edges of said second fabric portion; at least three independent zipper sliders engaged in said tracks of said zipper to open and close portions of said zipper.

2. The wearable blanket of claim 1 wherein said zipper has four sliders.

3. The wearable blanket of claim 1 wherein said sliders are inseparable from said zipper.

4. The wearable blanket of claim 1 wherein said first fabric portion comprises a second zipper extending from a top edge of said first fabric portion to a bottom edge of said first fabric potion in close proximity at said bottom edge to said first fabric portion.

5. The wearable blanket of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of snap closures for securing a portion of said top edge of said first fabric portion to a top surface of said second fabric portion.

6. A zipper comprising: first and second tracks; two top stops with one of said two stops being positioned at each end of the zipper; and at least 3 independent zipper sliders.

7. A sleeping bag comprising: a first and second fabric portion have substantially the same height and width dimensions; a first single zipper having two tracks with one track secured along the bottom edge and the two side edges of said first fabric portion and the second track being secured along the bottom edge and the two side edges of said second fabric portion; at least three independent zipper sliders engaged in said tracks of said zipper to open and close portions of said zipper.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/414,626 filed on Nov. 17, 2010 which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a multi-slider zipper and garments (such as a wearable blanket) incorporating multi-slider zippers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Dressing and undressing infants is a challenge familiar to millions of their caregivers. Many factors, such as the delicate nature of infants, their inability to understand or obey caregiver instructions, and the relatively small spaces in infant clothing through which infants' often recalcitrant limbs must be passed, can all conspire to make the process of dressing and undressing infants a challenging, time-consuming and often frustrating experience.

A shortcoming of traditional infant clothing is that it does not allow a caregiver to selectively undress (i.e., access) discrete portions of the infant's body. This is a significant drawback, as it is desirable to minimize the time and extent to which an infant is unclothed because of the need to keep infants warm.

Another shortcoming of traditional infant clothing is that the difficulty associated with removing and replacing such clothing is incompatible with the frequency with which infants must be dressed and undressed, so as to permit the changing of the many diapers that infants soil each day. A particular concern when changing an infant's diaper is keeping clothing away from the infant's midsection and, in particular, away from a soiled diaper. In many cases, the only way to be assured of doing so is to completely remove the infant's lower garments, which requires the caregiver to undertake the time-consuming process of carefully and delicately placing the infant's legs back into the proper spaces of the lower garments at the conclusion of the diaper change. In many cases, the infant's upper garments must also either be removed, or pushed far enough toward the infant's head in order to avoid contact with the soiled diaper or the ointments, powders and the like that are routinely applied to an infant's midsection prior to putting on a new diaper.

Some efforts have been made in the prior art to address these issues, but that art has only mitigated some of the problems and inconveniences associated with dressing and undressing infants. One such effort is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 2,530,464 issued to Haman. This patent teaches a sleeping bag for infants, consisting of a front surface and a rear surface permanently joined together (as by sewing) along the bottom edge and most of the side edges of the sleeping bag. The infant is placed in, and removed from, the sleeping bag by way of a longitudinal slit in the front surface of the sleeping bag, which extends from the neck aperture to a distance of about three-fourths of the way to the bottom of the sleeping bag. The longitudinal slit is equipped with a suitable closure mechanism, such as a zipper. The sleeping bag also has an arcuate or u-shaped slit, again equipped with a closure mechanism, which defines a flap in the front surface of the sleeping bag that is located near, but above, the bottom of the front surface. The base of this arcuate or u-shaped slit is parallel to, but not as wide as, the bottom of the sleeping bag, and its upward projections extend only for a short distance in a direction parallel to the sides of the sleeping bag. Opening the flap allows access to the infant's lower legs, but because it does not extend all the way to the bottom of the sleeping bag, the flap still requires manipulation of the infant's legs and clothing to a greater extent than is desirable.

While the prior art does address some of the shortcomings of traditional infantile clothing, it remains a challenge to selectively access a discrete portion of the infant without removing substantially more of the infant's clothing than would otherwise be required to expose the desired portion of the infant.

Consequently, there is a need for a garment for infants that can be easily manipulated so as to provide quick access to a discrete area of an infant without having to undress the infant to a greater extent than is absolutely necessary.

In a similar manner adults using a wearable blanket may have a need to walk in such a blanket and therefore need easy access to allow their feet to extend in the blanket. In a similar fashion, when using a sleeping bag parts of a body, such as feet, can often get warm and the user may want to extend his or her feet from the sleeping bag without having to remove the sleeping bag by unzipping the sleeping bag which causes the comfort of being closed in the sleeping bag to be lost. Therefore, there is also a need for a wearable blanket or sleeping bag that can be easily manipulated to provide access outside of the blanket or sleeping bag from various parts of the blanket or sleeping bag.

As zippers provide one of the most complete and reliable closure devices for garments of the type described above as well as other garments, there is a need for a zipper that provides more flexibility to the wearer of zippered garments. In particular if a zipper could provide the multiple opening and closing options that are available to the wearer of a buttoned garment (who can simply unbutton one or more buttons for purposes of access or freedom), zippers would be used in even more applications.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view of a first embodiment of a wearable garment of the present invention utilizing a multi-slider zipper shown with the wearable garment zipped completely closed.

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the wearable garment in a partially unzipped condition.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a zipper used in the wearable garment of FIGS. 1 and 2.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the zipper used in the wearable garment of FIGS. 1 and 2 with the zipper shown in a fully closed position.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the zipper of FIGS. 1 and 2 with the zipper shown in a partially open state.

FIG. 6 is a schematic top view of a second embodiment of a wearable garment of the present invention with a multi-slider zipper with three sliders.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing the wearable garment in a partially unzipped condition.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the zipper used in the wearable garment of FIGS. 6 and 7.

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the zipper used in the wearable garment of FIGS. 6 and 7 with the zipper shown in a fully closed position.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the zipper used in the wearable garment of FIGS. 6 and 7 with the zipper shown in a partially open state.

FIG. 11 is a top view of another embodiment of a wearable garment of the present invention utilizing a multi-slider zipper.

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but showing the wearable garment in a partially unzipped condition.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a sleeping bag of the present invention utilizing a multi-slider zipper.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A wearable garment includes a multi-slider zipper with a top stop at each end of the zipper. The multi-slider zipper extends around the periphery of the garment from one armpit to the second armpit to enable the top surface of the garment to be separated at least partially from the second portion of said garment. The unique zipper may include three or more sliders as well as a top stop at each end of the zipper. A sleeping bag also having a top and bottom fabric portion includes the multi-slider zipper having at least three sliders.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, and referring now at FIGS. 1 and 2, there is provided a novel wearable garment 5. In one preferred embodiment of the present invention, wearable garment 5, is a blanket composed of a suitable fabric, that includes a front panel 10 and a rear panel 15 joined together at the sides 12 and bottom 14 by a suitable closure mechanism 19, such as a zipper.

The top portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15 of wearable blanket 5 are equipped with cooperating fasteners 25, such as snap fasteners, with which front panel 10 and rear panel 15 may be detachably secured over the shoulders of the user of the blanket 5. In other embodiments, the cooperating fasteners could be eliminated. Front panel 10 and rear panel 15 are formed such that when they are secured together over the shoulders of the wearer, apertures 26 suitable for accommodating the arms of the wearer are formed at the upper side portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15, and an aperture 23 suitable for accommodating the neck of the wearer is formed at the top portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15. The formation of front panel 10 and rear panel 15 allows wearable blanket 5 to offer a vest-like fit around the arms of the wearer when cooperating fasteners 25 are secured and closure mechanism 19 is fully closed. If desired, when used with an infant, the caregiver may tuck an infant's arms into wearable blanket 5, fully close closing mechanism 19 and secure the cooperating fasteners 25 to keep the infant's body, excepting the head and neck, fully covered by the wearable blanket 5.

Referring to FIGS. 3-5, closure mechanism 19 is a single zipper 20 which extends from the bottom of one arm aperture 26a of the wearable blanket 5, down side 12a, around bottom 14 , and then up side 12b to the bottom of the other arm aperture 26b. Closure mechanism 19 is also equipped with four sliders 20a, 20b, 20c and 20d. Each of the four sliders may be independently operated in either direction, i.e., from left to right, or right to left, to allow front panel 10 and rear panel 15 of wearable blanket 5 to be separated (opened) at one location while remaining joined (closed) at others. By way of example, but not limitation, zipper sliders 20a, 20b, 20c and 20d could all be moved to the area of the left armpit, which would allow front panel 10 to be separated from rear panel 15 at all points below the apertures for the left armpit, exposing essentially all of the infant's body below the left armpit. Alternatively, the four sliders could be configured so as to expose only the right side of the infant by positioning slider 20a at the middle of bottom 14 and immediately adjacent to sliders 20b and 20c, while slider 20d is positioned at the left armpit. Similarly, sliders 20b and 20c could be moved to the right and left, respectively, to uncover the infant's feet to allow for freedom of movement. Sliders 20a and 20d could also be moved away from the armpits of the wearer to allow for temperature regulation that helps avoid overheating. The zipper 20 can be used in other garments and applications where greater freedom is desired for the opening and closing of the zipper 20.

Referring back to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the wearable blanket 5 also has a longitudinal slit 27 extending from adjacent to the bottom 14 of front panel 10 to the top of front panel 10. Slit 27 is equipped with a suitable front closure mechanism 30, such as a zipper, that extends for substantially the entire length of front panel 10, terminating just short of closure mechanism 19 at bottom 14.

Front panel 10 and rear panel 15 are formed at the top of each panel so as to provide an aperture suitable for accommodating the head and neck of the wearer. Attached to front panel 10 on one side of slit 27, near the top of front closure mechanism 30, is a tab of fabric 35. Tab 35 is also equipped with a cooperating fastener 40, such as a snap fastener, that can be detachably secured to its complementary component attached to front panel 10 on the opposite side of slit 27. When cooperating fastener 40 is secured, tab of fabric 35 covers the top portion of front closure mechanism 30 and thereby prevents the joining means, e.g., slider 30a of front closure mechanism 30, from scratching the infant, and further prevents the infant from inadvertently manipulating the joining means of front closure mechanism 30.

Referring to FIGS. 6-10, a wearable blanket 35 similar to the wearable blanket 5 of the FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown which only uses a three slider zipper 32 with sliders 32a, 32b, 32c.

The zipper 20 provides the blankets 5 or 35 of the present invention with significant flexibility. The zipper is constructed with top stops 34 at each end of the zipper 20 so that the sliders 20a-20d can never separate from the zipper itself. This construction enables the zipper to remain child safe as there are no separate components that a baby could swallow. The four slider and three slider zippers also enable different portions of the wearable blanket to be open.

Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, another embodiment of the garment of FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown which does not include a front closure and can be opened only through zipper 20.

As shown in FIG. 13 a sleeping bag 40 utilizing the zipper 20 of FIGS. 3-5 is shown. The sleeping bag 40 offers the advantages that it can be opened at different portions along its edge. For example, the user bundled up in the sleeping bag could open the bottom and walk with the sleeping bag secured around his or her body and when such person returns to their sleeping position can close the portion of the sleeping bag through which his or her feet extended without ever exposing the remainder of his or her body to cold air.

It will be understood that many additional changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangements of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art while remaining within the principles and scope of the present invention.