Title:
SPORTSWEAR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to improved sports clothing, to a method for manufacturing sports clothing and the use of sports clothing in order to prevent muscle injuries and/or for their treatment. In particular, the invention relates to a garment comprising a fabric (8) with pretension, attached to a basic layer. A characteristic feature is further that the pretensioned fabric (8) has a lower strain than the material of the basic layer.



Inventors:
Sevenants, Wim (Zoutleeuw, BE)
Application Number:
13/808539
Publication Date:
05/09/2013
Filing Date:
07/07/2011
Assignee:
V!GO GROUP N.V. (Zaventem, BE)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
2/227, 700/130, 700/136
International Classes:
A41D31/02; A41D1/08; A41D27/00
View Patent Images:
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20130318675LEG PADS FOR A HOCKEY GOALKEEPERDecember, 2013Mackey
20120260396PROTECTIVE CLOTHING HAVING A THERMALLY REFLECTIVE LINEROctober, 2012Mordecai
20080134405Wig and bathing capJune, 2008Smith
20070044198Blouse front closerMarch, 2007Whicker
20050150032SJB pocketJuly, 2005Bartle
20090069766PERSONAL ABSORBENT PADMarch, 2009Bannister
20090288238Wind-stabilized baseball capNovember, 2009Greene Jr.
20080250541Intergrated, coordinated protective article and garment for continuous useOctober, 2008Chen
20100005559PROTECTIVE GARMENTJanuary, 2010Majerfeld



Primary Examiner:
FERREIRA, CATHERINE M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KNOBBE MARTENS OLSON & BEAR LLP (IRVINE, CA, US)
Claims:
1. Method for making sports clothing comprising the steps: providing a garment composed of one or more strips of a first fabric; measuring of the contour of one or more muscles of an athlete; reducing the contour with a percentage which is greater than 1%; transferring the reduced contour to a second fabric with a strain that is smaller than the strain of the first fabric so that a muscle strip is obtained from the second fabric with equal dimensions as the reduced contour; stretching of the muscle strip so that it takes back the size of the contour of one or more muscles; and merging of the muscle strip and the garment so that the position of the muscle strip on the garment matches the contour of one or more muscles of the athlete when the garment is worn.

2. Method according to claim 1 further comprising marking the contour of the muscle on the garment before the muscle strip and the garment are assembled.

3. Method according to claim 1, wherein the contour of one or more muscles are measured with a camera and an image processing system.

4. Method according to claim 1, wherein said percentage is 4%.

5. Method according to claim 1, wherein the first fabric has a strain of 25-60% and the second fabric has a strain less than the strain of the first fabric.

6. Method according to claim 1, wherein one or more muscles are the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the tensor facia latae, the abdominal and/or back muscles, the adductors, the shoulder muscles, the biceps, the triceps, the pectoralis major, the musculus rectus abdominis, and/or the pectoral muscles.

7. Method according to claim 1, wherein the muscle strip and the garment are assembled by stitching the muscle strip to the garment by flat stitching.

8. Garment comprising a first basic layer in the form of a trousers or shirt whereby locally a second layer is provided having a lower strain than the material of the first basic layer, the second local layer is designed according to one or more muscles and is applied under tension on the basic layer wherein the basic layer has a strain of 30-50% and the strain of the locally provided second layer is from 5-20%.

9. Garment, made with a method according to claim 1.

10. Garment according to claim 8, wherein the first and the second fabric comprise tactile nylon and elastane.

11. Garment according to claim 8, wherein the garment is composed of five strips that correspond to body parts or one muscle or a muscle group.

12. Garment according to claim 8, wherein the garment, a shorts, underpants, or trousers has an endo-exorotation angle of 6 to 9 degrees.

13. Method for the prevention and/or treatment of muscular injuries in athletes comprising wearing a garment according to claim 8.

14. Method according to claim 13, wherein the garment is selected from the group consisting of shorts, underpants, trousers, shirts and t-shirts.

15. The method according to claim 5, wherein the first fabric has a strain of 30-50%.

16. The method according to claim 5, wherein the first fabric has a strain of about 40%.

17. The method according to claim 5, wherein a ratio between the strain of the first fabric and the strain of the second fabric is from 0.1 to 0.3.

18. The method according to claim 5 wherein a ratio between the strain of the first fabric and the strain of the second fabric is from 0.2 to 0.3.

19. The method according to claim 5, wherein a ratio between the strain of the first fabric and the strain of the second fabric is about 0.25.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to an improved sports clothing, to a method for manufacturing the sports clothing and to a use of the sports clothing for prevention and/or treatment of muscle injuries.

In particular, this invention relates to a garment consisting of a prestressed fabric, attached to a basic layer. Furthermore, it is characteristic that the prestressed fabric has a lesser strain than the strain of the basic layer.

BACKGROUND

Sports are a part of a healthy lifestyle. The performance of physical labor contributes to muscle building and training, release and relaxation. Doing sports in a team promotes collaboration and camaraderie. Doing sports individually creates a goal to achieve performances with individual efforts and to improve the performances. Sports can be a source of income as it is for athletes taking part in competitions who see their sports career as an occupational career.

Sports injuries such as overload, strain and muscle tear may have an important impact on the life of an athlete, for both recreational as also for professional athletes. For example, injuries to the leg muscles like quadriceps, hamstring, tensor fascia latae or adductors may influence the ability to walk or run. Severe injuries to muscles, ligaments and cartilage may even require surgery.

In case of damage to muscles, cartilage or ligaments, a movement of the injured body part causes discomfort and possibly even pain. The discomfort and pain can be treated by exercising pressure on the injury so that the load is more spread over the other muscles, away from the injury.

It is well known that the taping of an injury can help to exercise pressure on the injured joints or limbs in order to relieve them. Furthermore, also compression garments are known which can be worn by athletes to avoid injuries. The latter provide a general compression and not a targeted protection as it is the case with taping. General compression impedes athletes to move freely as the pressure is not focused on the injured area.

Products are needed that promote recovery from injuries or which are able to reduce injuries. This can lead to a sooner comeback of an athlete or it may mean a reduction of time that is necessary for the recovery of an injured person.

The subject of this invention is an improved sports clothing which eliminates at least one of the aforementioned disadvantages of the existing sports clothing.

The present invention aims to create a sports clothing which can provide an improved treatment of muscle injuries or avoid that an athlete injures himself even more and for the prevention of muscle injuries.

SUMMARY

For this purpose, the invention creates a method for the manufacture of improved sports clothing; improved garments which be obtained by applying a method according to the invention, and usages of the garments.

At the moment, the existing sports clothing is focused on: warmth, muscle support and blood regulation. With the help of the sports clothing according to the present invention, the functionalities of sports clothing can be improved for a variety of sports by improving a better support for muscle groups and joints, by improving the sensorimotor functions and by stimulating proprioception.

In particular, the invention provides a method as described in claim 1.

In particular, the invention provides a garment as described by claim 8.

In a third aspect, as defined by claim 9, the invention provides a garment manufactured according to the method of the invention.

In a fourth aspect, as defined by claim 13, the invention provides a usage of a garment of the invention for the prevention and/or treatment of muscle injuries in athletes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIGS. 1 to 6 and 13 represent simplified views of various muscle groups which can be protected with the help of the sports clothing according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 represents a simplified view of neutral trousers according to the invention. The trousers consist of fine zones numbered from 2 to 6.

FIGS. 8 to 12 depict a variety of embodiments of trousers according to the invention. The depicted muscle strips cover successively the quadriceps (FIG. 8), the hamstring (FIG. 9), the adductor muscles (FIG. 10), the adhesion of the abdominal and back muscles (FIG. 11) and tensor fascia latae (FIG. 12).

FIGS. 14 to 19 depict a variety of embodiments of shirts/t-shirts according to the invention. The depicted muscle strips cover successively the pectoral muscles, comprising the pectoralis major (FIG. 15), the abdominal muscles, comprising the musculus rectus abdominis (FIG. 16), the shoulder muscles (FIG. 17), the biceps and triceps (FIG. 18) and a combination of aforementioned upper body muscles (FIG. 19).

In FIG. 20, sports trousers are depicted, whereby the muscle strips cover the tensor fascia latae.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In a first aspect, the invention provides a method for the manufacture of an improved sports clothing. In particular, the invention provides a method for the manufacture of sports clothing consisting of the steps

    • use of a garment composed of one or more strips of a first fabric;
    • measuring of the contour of one or more muscles of an athlete;
    • reduction of the contour with a percentage which is greater than 1%;
    • transfer of the reduced contour to a second fabric with a strain that is smaller than the strain of the first fabric so that a muscle strip is obtained from the second fabric that as equal to the reduced contour;
    • stretching of the muscle strip so that it takes back the size of the contour of one or more muscles; and
    • merging of the muscle strip and the garment so that the position of the muscle strip on the garment matches the contour of one or more muscles of the athlete when the garment is worn.

Garment directly obtained through the above mentioned method comprises a prestressed strip. The use of this garment provides athletes with muscle control. By the congruence with the contour of one or more muscles of the athlete, the prestressed strip in the garment provides a sensorimotor functional effect and a reaction from the proprioceptive system. In the present invention, the term “sensory motoric” means the motoric reaction to a sensory information. In this invention, the term “proprioceptive reaction” means the deep muscle sensation that is caused by the reflex receptors in the muscles and joints.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, before the muscle strip and the garment are assembled, the contour of the muscle or muscle group is mapped onto the garment. In the present invention, the term “contour” means the circumference of the muscle or muscle group.

This has the advantage that the garment and the muscle strip can easier be put together. The contour of the muscle can for example be mapped on the garment by using a chalk drawing. Then the muscle strip can be placed onto the garment within the chalk drawing which represents the contour of the muscle or muscle group. This method allows that a greater accuracy is obtained compared to a method in which no prior drawing of the contour onto the surface is carried out where the muscle strip is going to be fixed.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, the muscle contour is measured with a camera and an image processing system. The athlete can, for example, have himself measured in a sports lab.

A suitable camera for this purpose is, for example, a video camera. A suitable image processing system is, for example, a computer equipped with a monitor that is able to capture and show images originating from a video camera. This is advantageous as data can be saved for repeated use.

In a preferred embodiment, the image processing system comprises software with which images can be analysed. Preferably, the image processing system is able to display on the monitor the contours of one or more muscles.

Preferably, the contour can be adjusted with the help of the image processing system. In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, the contour of one or more muscles is reduced at a rate of at least 1%, preferably 2%, more preferably 3%, most preferably by 4%. This can, for example, be carried out with the help of an image processing system that is able to calculate the surface inside the contour and to scale down this surface by the selected rate.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, a correlation is kept between the strain of the selected material and the strain of the muscle that one wishes to control with the help of a muscle strip.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, a fabric having a strain that is greater than the strain of the fabric for the muscle strip is chosen as first fabric. In the present invention, the term “strain” means elasticity.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, the first fabric has a strain of 30-50% and the second layer has a strain of 5-20%.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, the first fabric has a strain of 40% and the second fabric has a strain of 10%. Thus the first fabric has a greater extensibility than the second fabric. The increased extensibility of the first fabric provides the wearer of the garment with a great freedom of movement for those body parts that are covered by the garment. The freedom of movement is limited in the zone of the garment that matches with the muscle strip. The second fabric with the lesser strain than the strain of the garment fabric provides that the underlying muscle of the wearer of the garment is being pressed on. The second fabric provides that the muscle feels a resistance which has the effect that the muscle does not over-function. The applied pre-loading directs the underlying muscle in case of abnormal movements. This prevents muscle injuries.

This method is advantageously applied to athletes who have a healing muscle injury who, after a period of immobility, are beginning to exercise sports again.

In the present invention, the expression “first fabric” means the fabric of the garment on which the muscle strip is attached. The fabric of the garment serves as the bottom layer. The muscle or muscle group is located in the garment at the point where the muscle strip is attached, on the outside of the garment.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, one or more muscles are the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the tensor facia latae, the back muscle (FIG. 1b) and/or the abdominal muscle (FIG. 2) adductors, the pectoral muscles comprising the pectoralis major, the abdominal muscles comprising the musculus rectus abdominis, the biceps, the triceps and the shoulder muscles. By the term “quadriceps” (FIG. 3) is meant the four-headed thigh muscle on the front of the thigh. The term “hamstring” refers to the dorsal muscle group of the femur (FIG. 6b). “Tensor fascia latae” means the lateral thigh muscles (FIG. 1c). The locations of these muscles are illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 6 and FIG. 13.

The congruence of the muscle strip with a selected muscle has the advantage that clothing can be created that is tailored to one type of injury. It is clear that a clothing can be manufactured which is provided with a single or double muscle strip. In a double muscle strip, both the left and right, or both front and back of a garment are provided with muscle strips.

In a preferred embodiment of the method according to the invention, the muscle strip and the garment are attached together by stitching the muscle strip to the garment strip by flat stitching. This has the advantage that the seams will not rub. When the muscle strip delineates a muscle group, it is preferably stitched onto the first basic layer in a pattern similar to the outline of the individual muscles of the muscle group. This results in a further fixation and hardening.

In a second aspect, the invention provides a garment made of a first basic layer in the form of trousers, sweater, shirt or t-shirt on which a second layer is attached with a lower strain than that of the material of the first basic layer. The second local layer is designed according to a muscle or muscle group and is attached to the basic layer under pretension.

One fabric is stitched neutrally and the other one is pre-loaded. By stitching fabrics with a different elasticity onto each other, the muscles are guided from their origin to their attachment. In this way a so-called “pre-loading” or tension is created. Due to this, the nerve receptors of the muscle or muscle group get a sensorimotoric signal. Consequently, the motor portion of the muscle is put to “alert”. Due to the pretension of the double fabric, the underlying muscle or muscle group is not likely to be overactivated. The muscle will not perform its maximum. Injuries are prevented.

A preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention is characterised in that the basic layer has a strain of 30-50% and the locally applied second layer has a strain from 5-20%. Preferably, the strain of the basic layer is comprised between 35 and 45%, more preferably it is 40%. Preferably, the stretch of the second layer is comprised between 10 and 15%, preferably it is 10%. More preferably the basic layer has an strain of approximately 40% and the second layer a strain of about 10%. In a preferred embodiment, a breathable fabric is used.

In a third aspect the invention provides a garment made with a method according to the invention. The advantage of these improved clothing is that it is conducting muscles.

In a preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention, the first and second fabric include tactile nylon and elastane. The strain of the fabric can be adjusted by adapting the ratio of tactile nylon and elastane. The use of these fibers has the advantage that fabrics can be obtained with strain in two directions. Furthermore, the fabric is light, strong and soft. The fabric is very suitable for the manufacture of clothing, preferably sports clothing.

By the term “tactile nylon” in the current invention is meant a synthetic microfiber based on polyamides. A commercially available tactile nylon fiber is sold under the brand name Tactel® (Investa).

By the term “elastane” in the current invention is meant a very elastic fiber based on a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer. It is stronger and more durable than rubber. Elastane is commercially available, for example under the brandname Spandex® (DuPont).

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a woven fabric comprising about 30-50% elastane is used for the base layer. Preferably the base layer comprises 30-50% elastane and 70-30% polyamide. In a further preferred embodiment this base fabric comprises 60% polyamide and 40% elastane. A particular form is sold under the name P40 by the company Lymed (Lymed Oy).

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a woven fabric comprising tactile nylon and more in particular “Tactel Microfibres” is used for the muscle strip. In a preferred embodiment, said fabric comprises 40-50% tactile nylon, 10% to 30% polyamide and 30-40% elastane. In a particular embodiment of the invention, said fabric comprises about 45% tactile nylon, 21% polyamide and 34% elastane. One embodiment of the last fabric is commercially available under the name B71 Lymed (Lymed oy).

For a garment of the type “trousers”, the strips correspond to the quadriceps, hamstrings, adductors, tensor fascia latae and the abdominal and back muscles. An example of a sport trouser is depicted in FIG. 7.

In a preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention the garment is a shorts, trousers or underpants with an endo-exorotation angle from 6 to 9 degrees. By the term “endorotation angle” is meant a corner with an inwardly rotating position. By the term “exorotation” is meant a corner with an outwardly rotating position. The endo- and exorotation angle of a normal sports shorts is neutral. In the present invention said angles are preferably comprised in the in range of 6 to 9 degrees. This has the advantage that the form of such short is better adapted to the position taken by an athlete during sports. This reduces resistance of the fabric and/or seams on the athlete. It is comfortable to wear.

In a preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention, patterns are made for a garment with a corrected position. By the term “corrected position” is meant a position depending on a desired correction. This has the effect that a garment can be achieved with an adjustment depending on the desired pathological correction. The desired adjustment is achieved by using custom patterns for such garment, obtained from the composition of said patterns.

In a preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention, the flexion-extension angle of the hip is stitched with an extension of 175 degrees. The term “flexion angle” means the bending mode of a joint. The term “extension angle” means the stretch position of a joint.

This embodiment has the advantage that the shape of the shorts follows better the positions taken by a person executing sports. For example, this is a football player running. The angle with which the garment is stitched, is the angle for an active state during a sports situation, rather than for an static person. As an effect, the body is followed better by the garment. This has the advantage that unwanted tension of the fabric is removed from the body and/or the joints. The functionality of sports clothing can thus be improved for different sports.

In another preferred embodiment of a garment according to the invention the garment is a shirt, a t-shirt, a singlet, a sweater or a pull-over.

In a fourth aspect the invention provides a use of a garment according to the invention for the prevention and/or treatment of muscular injuries in athletes. The use of this clothing can lead to greater availability of athletes. In competitions at the highest level, this can be crucial. In a preferred embodiment of use in accordance with the invention, the garment is a football shorts, shorts, underpants, a shirt or a t-shirt. The advantage is that leg muscles or upper body muscles are controlled. Motoric skills required to perform step movements are supported. Injuries caused by the (over-) load of the leg and upper body muscles are avoided or at least reduced.

EXAMPLES

The invention will now be further illustrated by the following examples, without being restricted otherwise.

FIGS. 1 to 6 illustrate different muscles and muscle groups which by means of sports clothing 1 (FIG. 7) according to the present invention can be protected and/or supported. It goes without saying that appropriate (long, half-long and short) trousers, t-shirts, sweaters or vests can be developed according to the invention. In a preferred embodiment the garments relate to underwear and more in particular to underpants. The muscles or muscle groups can be supported individually or combined.

FIG. 7 depicts neutral trousers 1. The trousers 1 consists of five areas of five sections of fabric that are stitched, numbered 2 to 6. Referring to FIG. 7, the shapes of the five zones are: two pieces of pipe for legs 2-3, an abdominal section 4, a buttocks or back section 5 and a crotch 6. The top of the trousers is foreseen with an elasticity strip 7. The seams connecting the different sections are preferably made of flat stitching. In this way, a basic trouser of a first fabric with a stretch of about 40% is obtained.

FIGS. 8 to 12 show a variety of embodiments of trousers with muscle strips 8 according to the invention. The muscle strips, shown as black areas, are covering successively: the quadriceps 9, 9′ (FIG. 8), the hamstring, 10′ (FIG. 9), the adductor muscles 11, 11′ (FIG. 10), the abdominal muscles 12 (FIG. 11), the back muscles 13 (FIG. 11), the tensor fascia latae 14, 14′ (FIG. 12).

FIG. 13 illustrates different muscles and muscle groups of the upper body which by means of sports clothing 15 (FIG. 14) according to the present invention can be protected and/or supported. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the garment relates to a shirt, more in particular a t-shirt.

FIGS. 14 to 19 show a variety of embodiments of t-shirts with muscle strips 16 according to the invention. The muscle strips, shown as dashed areas, are covering successively: the pectoral muscles, comprising the pectoralis major 17, 17′ (FIG. 15), the abdominal muscles, comprising the musculus rectus abdominis, 18 (FIG. 16), the shoulder muscles 19, 19′ (FIG. 17), the biceps 20, 20′ and the triceps 21, 21′ (FIG. 11). An embodiment whereby three different muscle groups are covered by the muscle strips 16 is shown in FIG. 19.

The muscle strips are shrunk according to the invention (here 4%) in surface and applied under tension (compensating for the shrunk surface) to the base trousers or t-shirts. The stretching of the muscle strip is preferably compensatory (i.e. also 4%). The muscle or muscle group strip is stitched onto the basic layer while it is under tension. The preloaded muscle or muscle group strip is provided on the basis layer thereby corresponding to the real surface of the muscle or muscle group. When the trouser is worn, the corresponding muscles are preloaded, which leads to better protection.





 
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