Title:
GARMENT
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A garment can have an upper body section. The upper body section of the garment can have a stretchable portion. A spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material may be at least about 1.0. The percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material may be less than about 1.0. The garment may also have a lower body section. The lower body section of the garment may have a fit panel. The spring constant ratio of the fit panel to the garment material may be less than about 1.0.



Inventors:
Mohr, Rebecca Catherine (Appleton, WI, US)
Hancock-cooke, Catherine Marguerite (Neenah, WI, US)
Abate, Timothy David (Neenah, WI, US)
Buecker, Chad Richard (Fort Thomas, KY, US)
Application Number:
13/334703
Publication Date:
06/27/2013
Filing Date:
12/22/2011
Assignee:
MOHR REBECCA CATHERINE
HANCOCK-COOKE CATHERINE MARGUERITE
ABATE TIMOTHY DAVID
BUECKER CHAD RICHARD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KIMBERLY-CLARK WORLDWIDE, INC. (Neenah, WI, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A garment comprising a garment material and an upper body section, the upper body section comprising a stretchable portion, wherein a spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0 and a percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

2. The garment of claim 1 further comprising a head opening bounded by a head opening perimeter edge.

3. The garment of claim 2 wherein the stretchable portion comprises a portion of the head opening perimeter edge.

4. The garment of claim 3 wherein the stretchable portion extends a length of at least about 1 mm as measured from the head opening perimeter edge across a width.

5. The garment of claim 4 wherein the stretchable portion extends in a direction selected from at least one of longitudinal, transverse, diagonal, and combinations thereof.

6. The garment of claim 3 wherein the stretchable portion extends an equal length from the head opening perimeter edge across a width.

7. The garment of claim 3 wherein the stretchable portion extends an unequal length from the head opening perimeter edge across a width.

8. A garment comprising an upper body section, a lower body section, and a central body section connecting the upper body section and the lower body section, wherein each section is formed of a garment material, the upper body section comprising a stretchable portion, the stretchable portion comprising a spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0 and a percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0; and the lower body section comprising a fit panel, the fit panel comprising a spring constant ratio of the fit panel to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

9. The garment of claim 8 wherein the upper body section further comprises a perimeter comprising: a first transverse edge extending from a first scapular acromion of a wearer to a second scapular acromion of the wearer as the garment is worn; a second transverse edge extending from the intersection of the sixth rib with the midaxillary line on a first side of the wearer's body to the intersection of the sixth rib with the midaxillary line on a second side of the wearer's body as the garment is worn; a first longitudinal edge extending from the scapular acromion of the wearer on a first side of the wearer's body to about the intersection of the sixth rib with the midaxillary line on the first side of the wearer's body as the garment is worn; and a second longitudinal edge extending from the scapular acromion of the wearer on a second side of the wearer's body to about the intersection of the sixth rib with the midaxillary line on the second side of the wearer's body as the garment is worn.

10. The garment of claim 8 wherein the lower body section further comprises a perimeter comprising: a first transverse edge which extends from a first side of a wearer's body to a second side of the wearer's body at the natural waistline of the wearer's body as the garment is worn; a second transverse edge which extends from a first side of a wearer's body to a second side of the wearer's body along the lower most edge of the garment as the garment is not worn; a first longitudinal edge which extends downward from the natural waistline on the first side of the wearer's body as the garment is worn; and a second longitudinal edge which extends downward from the natural waistline on the second side of the wearer's body as the garment is worn.

11. The garment of claim 8 wherein the lower body section is adapted to pass between the wearer's legs.

12. The garment of claim 8 wherein a direction of greatest elongation of the stretchable portion is oriented with a direction of greatest elongation of the garment material as the garment is worn.

13. The garment of claim 8 wherein a direction of greatest elongation of the fit panel is oriented with a direction of least elongation of the garment material as the garment is worn.

14. A garment comprising a garment material and an upper body section, the upper body section comprising a stretchable portion and a head opening, the head opening comprising a head opening perimeter edge, wherein the stretchable portion comprises a portion of the head opening perimeter edge; a spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0; and a percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Current garments, such as, for example, those for infants, have drawbacks including poor fit and lack of ease of donning and removing the garment. Infants generally have larger heads in proportion to the remainder of their bodies when compared to children or adults. This large head size has led to garments being constructed to have a large head opening in order to fit over the infant's head. Once the garment is applied to the infant, the large head opening of the garment does not provide a close fit to the infant's body thus causing loss of warmth from the infant. In an attempt to correct this problem, current garments have snaps or other fasteners in the neck area of the garment.

A one-piece garment generally requires that the garment be placed on the infant by pulling the garment over the infant's head and then mating front and back fasteners that are located in the crotch area of the garment. The one-piece garment can be removed from the infant in the opposite manner by unmating the fasteners in the crotch area and then pulling the garment over the infant's head. A drawback of the one-piece garment is the lack of ease of removal in a blow-out situation when the diaper fails to contain fecal exudate. The design of the one-piece garment generally requires the caregiver to remove the garment by pulling it over the infant's head which causes the fecal matter to smear on the infant's body as well as potentially enter such facial orifices as the eyes, nostrils or mouth. In such a situation, many caregivers may resort to cutting the garment off of the infant. A good value is not provided to the caregiver when the garment cannot be used for the expected lifetime of the garment.

There remains a need for a garment that allows for ease of application over the wearer's head while also providing a close, warmth-retaining, and comfortable fit around the neck of the wearer. There also remains a need to facilitate removal of a garment other than by pulling it off over the wearer's head.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In an embodiment, a garment comprises a garment material and an upper body section. The upper body section comprises a stretchable portion. A spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0. A percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

In an embodiment, a garment comprises an upper body section, a lower body section, and a central body section. The central body section connects the upper body section and the lower body section. Each section is formed of a garment material. The upper body section comprises a stretchable portion. A spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0. A percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0. The lower body section comprises a fit panel. A spring constant ratio of the fit panel to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

In an embodiment, a garment comprises a garment material and an upper body section. The upper body section comprises a stretchable portion. The upper body section comprises a head opening. The head opening comprises a head opening perimeter edge. The stretchable portion comprises a portion of the head opening perimeter edge. A spring constant ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is at least about 1.0. A percent set ratio of the stretchable portion to the garment material is less than about 1.0.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a partial skeletal anatomy of the body of an infant.

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the rib and axilla anatomy of the upper body of an infant.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the body of an infant.

FIGS. 4A through 4D illustrate front views of embodiments of multiple stretchable portions.

FIG. 5 illustrates a typical stress-strain curve.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a garment.

FIG. 7 illustrates a front view of an embodiment of a garment.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a garment.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a garment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure relates to a garment having an upper body section having a stretchable portion. In an embodiment, the present disclosure relates to a garment having a lower body section having a fit panel. For ease of clarity, in the disclosure herein, the garment will be described, in a non-limiting example, as a garment that can be worn by an infant. It is to be understood that the disclosure herein can apply to garments worn by adults and children.

The present disclosure will be expressed in terms of its various components, elements, constructions, configurations, arrangements and other features that may also be individually or collectively be referenced by the term, “embodiment(s)” of the disclosure, or other similar terms. It is contemplated that the various forms of the present disclosure may incorporate one or more of its various features and embodiments, and that such features and embodiments may be employed in any desired, operative combination thereof.

It should be noted that, when employed in the present disclosure, the terms “comprise”, “comprising” and other derivatives from the root term “comprise” are intended to be open-ended terms that specify the presence of any stated features, elements, integers, steps, or components, and are not intended to preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, elements, integers, steps, components or groups thereof.

“Elastic” refers herein to a property of a material which tends to recover to a size and shape after removal of a force causing deformation of the material from its initial size and shape.

“Elongation” refers herein to the ratio of the length of the extension of a material to the length of the material prior to the extension. Elongation is expressed in percent.

“Head circumference” refers herein to the distance around the head that is measured above the eyebrow ridges and over the external occipital protuberance.

“Neck circumference” refers herein to the distance around the neck that is measured at the level of the larynx.

“Nonwoven” refers herein to materials which are formed without the aid of a textile weaving or knitting process.

“Scapular acromion” refers herein to the uppermost, outer protruding end of the scapula, or shoulder blade, to which the collarbone is attached.

“Tension” herein refers to a uniaxial force, or load, causing the extension of a material, or to a balancing force within that material resisting the extension.

Anatomical position references of the human body can be used to define the upper body section 12 and the lower body section 23 of garment 10. With reference to FIG. 1, an infant 21 is shown with the skin cut away exposing a partial skeleton of the infant 21. The sixth rib 22, the midaxillary line 26, the scapular acromion 32, and the intersection 30 of the sixth rib 22 with the midaxillary line 26 are illustrated. The location of the midaxillary line 26 is shown in FIG. 2 relative to the anterior axillary line 24 and the posterior axillary line 28. The axillary lines 24, 26 and 28 are referenced from the midpoint of the axilla (not shown), commonly known as the armpit. The midaxillary line 26 is a vertical line that runs downward from the apex (not shown) or highest point of the axilla cavity. The anterior axillary line 24 and the posterior axillary line 28 are vertical lines drawn along the folds of skin that are created when the arm hangs at the side of the body. The anterior axillary line 24 is a vertical line running downward from the fold of skin on the front 3 of the body and the posterior axillary line 28 is a vertical line running downward from the fold of skin on the back 5 of the body. The natural waistline 36 is a line that can be drawn around the circumference of the wearer's body at the folds of skin that are formed when the wearer bends from their waist to each side, 52 and 53, of their body as shown in FIG. 3.

Garment 10 may be made from materials referred to as garment material 25. The garment material 25 of a garment 10 has different values of elastic properties than a stretchable portion 14 or a fit panel 80 of a garment 10. Elastic properties of a material can include but are not limited to, elongation, tension, percent set 54, and the spring constant, k, of the material. The garment material 25, the stretchable portion 14, and the fit panel 80 may be anisotropic materials. Anisotropy implies that the material properties differ according to the direction of measurement; as opposed to isotropy, which implies that the material properties are identical in all directions of measurement. In an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of the garment material 25 is in the transverse direction and the direction of least elongation of the garment material 25 is in the longitudinal direction as garment 10 is worn. For example, in an embodiment, garment material 25 may elongate to about 80% for a tension load that is from about 75 to about 125 grams force per inch width in the direction of greatest elongation as the garment 10 is worn and garment material 25 may elongate to about 20% for a tension load that is from about 150 to about 250 grams force per inch width in the direction of least elongation as the garment 10 is worn. Garment material 25 may have a percent set 54 from about 15% to about 25%, and may have a spring constant, k, from about 0.75 to about 1.75. Garment material 25 may be knit, woven or nonwoven fabrics which may withstand multiple uses and launderings. Typical garment materials 25 of a garment 10 may be, but are not limited to, cotton or polyester knit fabrics, blended fiber knit fabrics, blended fiber woven fabrics, flannel, corduroy, denim, fleece, wool, cashmere, velvet, velour, linen or gabardine.

Garment 10 may be in the form of various embodiments which may include, but are not limited to, a shirt 20, a bottom-enclosed garment 50, or a one-piece garment 60. The garment 10 may have an upper body section 12. In an embodiment, a stretchable portion 14 can be included within the upper body section 12. The upper body section 12 may include a head opening 11 which is bound by a head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can include at least a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, garment 10 may have a lower body section 23. The lower body section 23 may include a fit panel 80. A central body section 29 can connect the upper body section 12 to the lower body section 23 of a garment 10.

In an embodiment, garment 10 may include seams which may connect the front 13 of the garment 10 to the back 15 of the garment 10 at each top of the shoulder 34 and/or at each longitudinal side, 52 and 53, of the body, which may connect sleeves 18 to the garment 10, which may attach a stretchable portion 14 or a fit panel 80 to garment material 25, and which may form hems for each of the sleeves 18 and on the edges of garment 10.

Referring to FIG. 1 through FIG. 3, and using anatomical positions as reference points, a perimeter of an upper body section 12 of a garment 10 has a first edge 41 which extends in the transverse direction from a first scapular acromion 32 to a second scapular acromion 33 as the garment 10 is worn. The perimeter of an upper body section 12 of a garment 10 has a second edge 42 which extends in the transverse direction from the first intersection 30 of the sixth rib 22 with the midaxillary line 26 on a first side 52 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn, to the second intersection 31 of the sixth rib 22 with the midaxillary line 26 on the second side 53 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn. The perimeter of an upper body section 12 of a garment 10 includes a third edge 43 which extends in the longitudinal direction from a first scapular acromion 32 of the wearer on a first side 52 of the wearer's body to the first intersection 30 of the sixth rib 22 with the midaxillary line 26 on the first side 52 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn. The perimeter of an upper body section 12 of a garment 10 includes a fourth edge 44 which extends in the longitudinal direction from the second scapular acromion 33 of the wearer on a second side 53 of the wearer's body to the second intersection 31 of the sixth rib 22 with the midaxillary line 26 on the second side 53 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn. While an upper body section 12 of a garment 10 is shown and described with reference and illustration to the anterior of the body, it is to be understood that the upper body section 12 of the garment 10 can cover the anterior, posterior, and sides, 52 and 53, of the wearer's body.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 may include an arm opening 68 for each of the wearer's arms in the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, a sleeve 18 may be included in the upper body section 12 of garment 10 for each of the wearer's arms. In an embodiment, a fastening system 69 may be included in the upper body section 12 of garment 10. In an embodiment, a fastening system 69 may be included within the stretchable portion 14 of the upper body section 12. It should be understood that a fastening system 69 is often two pieces such as a snap and its mating component or a button and a button hole. Examples of suitable fastening systems 69 may include, but are not limited to, buttons, ties, ribbons, snaps, hooks, loops, friction based fasteners, inter-locking fasteners, inter-engaging fasteners, cohesive fasteners, adhesive fasteners, and their respective mating components.

A lower body section 23 of garment 10 can also be described with the use of anatomical position references. Referring to FIG. 3, the lower body section 23 of garment 10 has a first edge 38 which extends in the transverse direction at the natural waistline 36 from a first side 52 of a wearer's body to a second side 53 of the wearer's body as a garment 10 is worn. The lower body section 23 of a garment 10 includes a second edge 39 which extends in the longitudinal direction downward from the natural waistline 36 on the first side 52 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn. The lower body section 23 of a garment 10 includes a third edge 40 which extends in the longitudinal direction downward from the natural waistline 36 on the second side 53 of the wearer's body as the garment 10 is worn. An additional transverse edge 45 of the lower body section 23 of a garment 10 may be described as the lower most edge of the garment 10 which extends from a first side 52 of the wearer's body to a second side 53 of the wearer's body while garment 10 is not being worn as shown in FIG. 6 through FIG. 9. It is to be understood that the transverse edge 45 can occupy the same transverse plane in the anterior and posterior of the garment 10, different transverse planes in the anterior and posterior of the garment 10, the same transverse plane on the first side of the garment 62 as on the second side of the garment 63, and different transverse planes as on the first side of the garment 62 to the second side of the garment 63. While the lower body section 23 is shown and described with reference and illustration to the anterior of the body, it is to be understood that the lower body section 23 of the garment 10 can cover the anterior, posterior, and first and second sides, 52 and 53, of the wearer's body.

The lower body section 23 of garment 10 may be fully open as in an embodiment such as a shirt 20, may be capable of being in an open or closed configuration as in an embodiment such as a one-piece garment 60, or may be fully enclosed such as in an embodiment of a bottom-enclosed sack garment 50. The lower body section 23 of one-piece garment 60 can be adapted such that a portion can pass between the wearer's legs as shown in FIG. 8 and FIG. 9. In such an embodiment, the lower body section 23 can have at least one extension of garment material 25 which may be a tail 70 that passes between the wearer's legs. The lower body section 23 can include a tail 70 in the front 13 of garment 60, a tail 70 in the back 15 of garment 60, or combinations thereof. In an embodiment, tail 70 in the back 15 of garment 60 can be of a longer length than tail 70 in the front 13 of garment 60 and can extend further between the wearer's legs than the tail 70 in the front 13 of garment 60. It is to be understood that tail 70 in the front 13 of garment 60 can be longer than tail 70 in the back 15 of garment 60, or the two tails, the front 13 tail 70 and the back 15 tail 70, can be the same length. The tail(s) 70 may be of any suitable length that provides for good fit on the wearer.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 may include a leg opening 17 for each of the wearer's legs in the lower body section 23. The lower body section 23 of garment 10 may include a fastening system 69.

The garment 10 includes at least one stretchable portion 14 in the upper body section 12. A stretchable portion 14 could be placed anywhere inside of the upper body section 12 as deemed suitable. A stretchable portion 14 could be placed in the front 13, the back 15, the sides 62 or 63, and combinations thereof, of the upper body section 12 of garment 10. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can include a shape, length dimensions, width dimensions, and an area that may be substantially the same as an area of the upper body section 12 of garment 10. In an embodiment, a stretchable portion 14 may include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 of garment 10. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 located within the upper body section 12 of garment 10 may not include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, there may be multiple stretchable portions 14 within the upper body section 12 of garment 10. In an embodiment in which garment 10 includes multiple stretchable portions 14, the multiple stretchable portions 14 may include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, may not include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, or combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 may be separately attached to or integral with the upper body section 12 of garment 10. The description of the stretchable portion 14 herein is meant to convey the principles of the current document and is not meant to limit its application to the specific designs exemplified herein.

A stretchable portion 14 can have an area which is substantially the same area of the upper body section 12 or can be a portion of the upper body section 12 and have an area smaller than the area of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 may include at least a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 of the upper body section 12 may include at least two portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 of the upper body section 12 can include at least one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment in which the stretchable portion 14 of the upper body section 12 includes multiple portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16, the multiple portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16 included in the stretchable portion 14 can be spaced apart from each other any distance deemed suitable. In an embodiment, for example, a stretchable portion 14 can include two portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16 which can be located anywhere on the head opening perimeter edge 16 such as, for example, both in the front 13 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, both in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one in the front 13 and one in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one on each side, 62 and 63, of the head opening perimeter edge 16, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, for example, a stretchable portion 14 can include four portions of the head opening perimeter edge 16 in which each of the portions can be located, for example in the following locations: one portion in the front 13 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one portion in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, and one portion on each side, 62 and 63, of the head opening perimeter edge 16. It is to be understood that the portion(s) of the head opening perimeter edge 16 included in the stretchable portion 14 can be any portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 as deemed suitable. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can include the entire head opening perimeter edge 16. It is to be understood that it is not necessary that the stretchable portion 14 include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 in the upper body section 12. Each stretchable portion 14 can have an area that is smaller than the area of the upper body section 12. The combined area of each stretchable portion 14 can have an area that is smaller than the area of upper body section 12. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 of the upper body section 12 may include at least a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, there may be two stretchable portions 14 within the upper body section 12 wherein each stretchable portion 14 may include at least a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, the upper body section 12 can include at least one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment in which there are multiple stretchable portions 14 of the upper body section 12 and wherein each stretchable portion 14 may include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, the multiple stretchable portions 14 can be spaced apart from each other any distance deemed suitable. In an embodiment, for example, there may be two stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 which can be located anywhere on the head opening perimeter edge 16 such as, for example, both in the front 13 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, both in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one in the front 13 and one in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one on each side, 62 and 63, of the head opening perimeter edge 16, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, for example, there may be four stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 in which each of the portions can be located, for example in the following locations: one portion in the front 13 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, one portion in the back 15 of the head opening perimeter edge 16, and one portion on each side, 62 and 63, of the head opening perimeter edge 16. It is to be understood that the multiple stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 may include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, can be any portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 as deemed suitable. It is to be understood that it is not necessary that each of the multiple stretchable portions 14 include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16.

In an embodiment in which a stretchable portion 14 includes at least a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, the stretchable portion 14 may extend any length as deemed suitable in any direction, such as longitudinally, transversely, diagonally, or combinations thereof, away from the head opening perimeter edge 16. This length may be any length as deemed suitable up to and including the length between the head opening perimeter edge 16 and the perimeter of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend a length of at least about 1 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend a length of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend a length of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend a length of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10 cm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width. The width of the stretchable portion 14 can be any width as deemed suitable. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend an equal length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across the width of the stretchable portion 14. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can extend varying lengths from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across the width of the stretchable portion 14. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, for example, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 10 cm.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In such an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can: 1) extend the same length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across the width of the stretchable portion 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 has the same width as any other stretchable portion 14 which includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16; 2) extend the same length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across the width of the stretchable portion 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 has a different width than any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16; or 3) extend the same length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across the width of the stretchable portion 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends a different length across a different width than any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 and each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a uniform width. In an embodiment wherein each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length, each stretchable portion 14 can have a maximum length 92. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend varying lengths across a uniform width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends to the same maximum length 92 across the same uniform width as any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend varying lengths across a uniform width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends to a different maximum length 92 across the same uniform width than any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 and each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a varying width. In an embodiment wherein each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length, each stretchable portion 14 includes a maximum length 92. In an embodiment wherein each stretchable portion 14 includes a varying width, each stretchable portion 14 includes a maximum width 90. The maximum width 90 of each stretchable portion 14 may be located at the head opening perimeter edge 16, at the maximum length 92, or at a location between the head opening perimeter edge 16 and the maximum length 92. The maximum width 90 of each stretchable portion 14 may be at the same location within the stretchable portion 14 as any other stretchable portion 14. For example, in an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 may have the maximum width 90 at the head opening perimeter edge 16. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 may have the maximum width 90 located at the maximum length 92. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 may have the maximum width 90 located at the same distance between the head opening perimeter edge 16 and the maximum length 92. In an embodiment, the maximum width 90 of each stretchable portion 14 may be at a different location than any other stretchable portion 14.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 wherein each stretchable portion 14 can include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 and each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across the same maximum width 90 or a different maximum width 90 than any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. For example, in an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends a different maximum length 92 across a different maximum width 90 than any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 as shown in FIG. 4A. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends the same maximum length 92 across the same maximum width 90 wherein the maximum width 90 is at the same location as any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. For example, as shown in FIG. 4B, each stretchable portion 14 includes the same maximum width 90 which is located at the head opening perimeter edge 16 and each stretchable portion 14 extends the same maximum length 92. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends the same maximum length 92 across a different maximum width 90 wherein the maximum width 90 is at the same location as any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 as shown in FIG. 4C. In an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can extend a varying length across a width wherein each stretchable portion 14 extends a different maximum length 92 across the same maximum width 90 wherein the maximum width 90 is at the same location as any other stretchable portion 14 that includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 as shown in FIG. 4D. It is to be understood that a garment 10 including multiple stretchable portions 14 may be an embodiment or combinations of the previously described multiple stretchable portions 14.

In an embodiment, a stretchable portion 14 may not include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16. The stretchable portion 14 can be a portion of the upper body section 12 and have an area that is smaller than the area of upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 may be located in at least two locations of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 of upper body section 12 can be located in at least one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten locations of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment in which the stretchable portion 14 is located in multiple locations of the upper body section 12, the multiple stretchable portions 14 can be spaced apart from each other any distance deemed suitable. In an embodiment, for example, in which the upper body section 12 includes two stretchable portions 14, the two stretchable portions 14 can be located anywhere in the upper body section 12 such as, for example, both in the front 13 of the upper body section 12, both in the back 15 of the upper body section 12, one in the front 13 and one in the back 15 of the upper body section 12, one on each side, 62 and 63, of the upper body section 12, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, for example, stretchable portions 14 can be included in four portions of the upper body section 12 such as, for example in the following locations: one portion in the front 13 of the upper body section 12, one portion in the back 15 of the upper body section 12, and one portion on each side, 62 and 63, of the upper body section 12.

A stretchable portion 14 located within the upper body section 12 may have a length as deemed suitable up to and including the total length between the transverse edges 41 and 42 of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a length of at least about 1 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a length of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a length of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a length of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10 cm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width. The width of the stretchable portion 14 can be any width as deemed suitable up to and including the total width between edges 43 and 44 of the upper body section 12. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a uniform width. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have varying widths. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 mm. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, for example, the stretchable portion 14 can have a width of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 10 cm. In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have multiple stretchable portions 14 within upper body section 12. In such an embodiment, each stretchable portion 14 can: 1) have a uniform length across the width of each stretchable portion 14; 2) have varying lengths across the width of each stretchable portion 14; or 3) have a uniform or varying lengths across the width of each stretchable portion 14 as compared with any other stretchable portion 14 within the upper body section 12.

In an embodiment, the garment 10 can have a lower body section 23 and the lower body section 23 can include a fit panel 80. The fit panel 80, for example, can be a mechanism to provide adjustable fit to a one-piece garment 60. The fit panel 80 could be placed anywhere inside of the lower body section 23. The fit panel 80 could be placed in the front 13, the back 15, or the sides, 62 or 63, and combinations thereof in the lower body section 23 of garment 10. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 may be separately attached to or integral with the lower body section 23 of garment 10. The description of the fit panel 80 herein is meant to convey the principles of the current document and is not meant to limit its application to the specific designs exemplified herein.

A fit panel 80 can have an area which is substantially the same as the area of the lower body section 23 or can be a portion of the lower body section 23 and have an area smaller than the area of the lower body section 23. In an embodiment, a fit panel 80 of the lower body section 23 can be located in at least one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten locations of the lower body section 23. In an embodiment in which a fit panel 80 of the lower body section 23 is located in multiple locations of the lower body section 23, the multiple fit panels 80 can be spaced apart from each other any distance deemed suitable. In an embodiment, for example, two fit panels 80 can be located in two locations of the lower body section 23 and each fit panel 80 can be located anywhere in the lower body section 23 such as, for example, both in the front 13 of the lower body section 23, both in the back 15 of the lower body section 23, one in the front 13 and one in the back 15 of the lower body section 23, one on each side, 62 and 63, of the lower body section 23 and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, for example, four fit panels 80 can be included in four locations of the lower body section 23 in which each of the fit panels 80 can be located, for example, in the following locations: one fit panel 80 in the front 13 of lower body section 23, one fit panel 80 in the back 15 of lower body section 23, and one fit panel 80 on each side, 62 and 63, of the lower body section 23. It is to be understood that the fit panel(s) 80 located in the lower body portion 23 can be located in any location of the lower body section 23 as deemed suitable.

In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 may have any length within the lower body section 23 of garment 10. This length may be any length as deemed suitable up to and including the total length between the transverse edges 38 and 45 of the lower body section 23. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 can have a length of at least about 1 mm. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 can have a length of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 mm. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 can have a length of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 can have a length of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 10 cm. In an embodiment, a fit panel 80 may have any width within the lower body section 23 of garment 10. The length of fit panel 80 may be uniform or vary across the width of fit panel 80. The width of fit panel 80 can be any width as deemed suitable up to and including the total width between the edges 39 and 40 of the lower body section 23. In an embodiment, the fit panel 80 can have a uniform width. In an embodiment, fit panel 80 can have varying widths. In an embodiment, a fit panel 80 can have a width of at least about 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 mm. In an embodiment, a fit panel 80 can have a width of at least about 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 or 5.0 cm. In an embodiment, for example, a fit panel 80 can have a width of at least about 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 or 10 cm. In an embodiment, a garment 10 can have multiple fit panels 80 located within the lower body section 23. In such an embodiment, each fit panel 80 can have a uniform length across the width of fit panel 80, each fit panel 80 can have varying lengths across the width of fit panel 80, or each fit panel 80 can have a uniform or varying length across the width of fit panel 80 as any other fit panel 80 located within the lower body section 23.

The stretchable portion 14 and the fit panel 80 can be made of materials that have different values of elastic properties than the remainder of garment material 25 of a garment 10. Knit, woven or nonwoven fabrics which may withstand multiple uses and launderings, and which have different elastic properties than garment material 25 can be used for stretchable portion 14 or fit panel 80. In an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of a stretchable portion 14 is oriented with the direction of greatest elongation of garment material 25 as the garment 10 is worn. In an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of garment material 25 can be in the transverse direction as the garment 10 is worn. In an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of a fit panel 80 is oriented with the direction of least elongation of the garment material 25. In an embodiment, the direction of least elongation of garment material 25 can be in the longitudinal direction as the garment 10 is worn. In an embodiment, stretchable portion 14 or fit panel 80 may elongate to about 80% for a tension load that is from about 100 to about 250 grams force per inch width, may have a percent set 54 from about 6% to about 14%, and may have a spring constant, k, from about 2.0 to about 4.5. Suitable nonwoven materials that may be used for stretchable portion 14 or fit panel 80 may include, but are not limited to, spandex knit materials, stretch-bonded film laminates, stretch-bonded filament laminates, neck-bonded laminates and films. Exemplary nonwoven materials can include, but are not limited to: 1) a necked-bonded laminate including two facing layers bonded on either side of a film layer. The facing layers are necked spunbond polypropylene nonwoven webs having a necked basis weight of 52 grams per square meter. The film layer is a blend of KRATON® MD6691, DOW® XUS-58380.05L, and DOW® 621I resins (each available from Kraton Polymers U.S. LLC, Houston, Tex., and The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., respectively) having a basis weight of 34 grams per square meter; 2) a stretch-bonded laminate including two facing layers bonded on either side of a pre-stretched filament layer. The facing layers are spunbond polypropylene nonwoven webs having a basis weight of 20 grams per square meter. The pre-stretched filament layer is a blend of KRATON® MD6691, DOW® XUS-58380.05L, and DOW® 621I resins (each available from Kraton Polymers U.S. LLC, Houston, Tex., and The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., respectively) having a basis weight of 25 grams per square meter; 3) a stretch-bonded laminate including two facing layers bonded on either side of a film layer. The facing layers are spunbond polypropylene nonwoven webs having a basis weight of 15 grams per square meter. The film layer is VISTAMAXX™ 6102FL resin (available from ExxonMobil Chemical Company, Houston, Tex.) having a basis weight of 32 grams per square meter; or 4) a necked-bonded laminate including two facing layers bonded on either side of a film layer. The facing layers are necked spunbond polypropylene nonwoven webs having a necked basis weight of 55 grams per square meter. The film layer is a blend of DOW® XUS-58380.06L and DOW® 621I resins (each available from Kraton Polymers U.S. LLC, Houston, Tex., and The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich., respectively) having a basis weight of 35 grams per square meter. The stretchable portion 14 or fit panel 80 can also be a single layer film or a film laminate wherein the single layer film is laminated to another film or films, laminated to a nonwoven, or combinations thereof.

While the stretchable portion 14 has been described as a portion of the upper body section 12 of garment 10, it is to be understood that a stretchable portion 14 can be located in the central body section 29 or in the lower body section 23 of garment 10. Although the fit panel 80 has been described as a portion of the lower body section 23 of garment 10, it is to be understood that a fit panel 80 can be located in the central body section 29 or in the upper body section 12 of garment 10.

The garment material 25, stretchable portion 14, and or fit panel 80 may be characterized by their elastic properties. The test procedure used for determining the elastic properties of garment material 25, stretchable portion 14, and fit panel 80 is a Multi-Cycle Stress/Strain Test as described herein.

In an embodiment, the material of the stretchable portion 14 can be attached to or integral with garment material 25 in the upper body section 12 such that the direction of greatest elongation of the stretchable portion 14 is oriented with the transverse direction of the garment material 25 as the garment 10 is worn. Without being bound by theory, it is believed that the elongation of the stretchable portion 14 and garment material 25 in the transverse direction allows for ease of application and removal of the garment 10 as the head opening perimeter edge 16 of garment 10 is extended in the transverse direction to fit over the head and/or the shoulders of the infant 21. In an embodiment, the material of the fit panel 80 can be attached to or integral with garment material 25 in lower body section 23 such that the direction of greatest elongation of fit panel 80 is oriented with the longitudinal direction of the garment material 25 as the garment 10 is worn. Without being bound by theory, it is believed that the elongation of the fit panel 80 and garment material 25 in the longitudinal direction can allow for adjustable fit in the lower body section 23 of the garment 10. For example, in an embodiment of a one-piece garment 60, tail 70 in the back 15 of the one-piece garment 60 may include a fit panel 80 which is extended in the longitudinal direction of the garment 10 to pass between the wearer's legs and attach to the front 13 of the one-piece garment 60. It is to be understood that the stretchable portion 14 or the fit panel 80 could be oriented in the opposite direction of elongation to the garment material 25 than those previously described.

In an embodiment, the head opening perimeter edge 16 of a garment 10 can extend to a dimension that is large enough to fit over the widest part of the infant's 21 body. While the stretchable portion 14 of upper body section 12 need not include a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16, the stretchable portion 14 can assist the garment material 25 that is in the location of the head opening perimeter edge 16 in returning to a dimension that provides a close, comfortable fit around the neck of the infant 21. In the circumstance of a fecal blow-out, it may be desirable to remove the garment 10 by pulling the garment 10 down over the infant's 21 shoulders as opposed to pulling the garment 10 up over the infant's 21 head. In such a situation, the widest part of the infant's 21 body may be the shoulder breadth which is the horizontal distance between each shoulder from the outside of the shoulder on a first side 52 of the infant's 21 body to the outside of the shoulder on a second side 53 of the infant's 21 body when the infant 21 is erect and the upper arms are at the side of the body. The shoulder breadth of infants in the zero to twenty-four month age range is at least about 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, or 40 cm, or from about 15 to about 40 cm. In an embodiment, the head opening perimeter edge 16 of garment 10 may extend to a circumference that will allow the garment 10 to fit over a shoulder breadth of at least about 40 cm. To provide a close, comfortable fit of garment 10, the head opening perimeter edge 16 may return to a circumference that will fit around the neck circumference of the infant 21 after the stretchable portion 14 has been extended to a dimension to fit over the shoulder breadth of the infant 21. The neck circumference of infants in the zero to twenty-four month age range is at least about 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, or 30, or from about 20 to about 30 cm. For example, in an embodiment, the head opening perimeter edge 16 of garment 10 may extend to a circumference of at least about 45 cm in order to fit over the shoulders of an infant 21 and may return to a circumference of about 25 cm to fit around the neck of the infant 21. In an embodiment, the head opening perimeter edge 16 of garment 10 may elongate at least about 100% from its initial dimension. In an embodiment, the head opening perimeter edge 16 may elongate greater than or equal to 140% from its initial dimension. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 of garment 10 may elongate at least about 100% from its initial dimension. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 may elongate greater than or equal to 150% from its initial dimension.

Garment materials 25 do not have the ability to return to their original lengths after being extended with the final garment material 25 lengths being somewhat longer than the original lengths. The stretchable portion 14 can return to its original length or return to a length that is very close to its original length after being extended. FIG. 5 illustrates a typical stress-strain curve, where stress is the load applied, or tension, and strain is the elongation of the material.

Percent set 54 refers to the retained elongation in a material sample based on the increase in the length of a material sample following the elongation and recovery in a cycle of the Multi-Cycle Stress/Strain Test described herein.

Percent set 54 is a relationship between the elongated material sample length, Le, and the final, recovered material sample length, Lr, and is expressed as a percentage by the following equation:


(Lr/Le)*100

A material that has the ability to return to its original length after being stretched has a percent set 54 of 0%. In an embodiment, the stretchable portion 14 may have a percent set 54 that is less than or equal to about 10%. The stretchable portion 14 may have a percent set 54 that is less than about half of the percent set 54 of the garment material 25. For example, in an embodiment, the percent set 54 of the stretchable portion 14 may be 8% and the percent set 54 of the garment material 25 may be 16% and the resulting percent set 54 ratio is 0.5. In a non-limiting example, as the percent set 54 of the stretchable portion 14 becomes lower and the percent set 54 of the garment material 25 remains constant, the percent set 54 ratio approaches 0. In an embodiment, the percent set 54 ratio of the stretchable portion 14 to the garment material 25 may be less than about 1.0.

The materials used in the stretchable portion 14, fit panel 80, and garment material 25 can have a spring constant, k. The spring constant, k, can characterize the load required to displace an elastic element a specified distance. The spring constant, k, is explained by Hooke's law. Hooke's law states that the displacement or size of the deformation of the elastic element is directly proportional to the deforming force or load upon the elastic element. The spring constant, k, is assumed to generally remain constant as the change in length of the elastic element increases within the usable range of the materials, that is, the application, removal and wear of garment 10. Mathematically, Hooke's law states that the deforming force, F, equals the spring constant, k, of the elastic element, times the displacement or change in length of the elastic element, x, and is expressed by the following equation:


F=kx

It is understood that elastic materials do not exhibit perfect Hookean behavior, but for the purposes of this document, the spring constant, k, is discussed as it relates to the elongation curve of the material. Hooke's law may also be expressed in terms of stress or tension, and strain or elongation. Stress is the force on unit areas within a material that develops as a result of the externally applied force. Strain is the relative deformation produced by stress. For relatively small stresses, stress is proportional to strain.

The spring constant, k, of a material is dependent upon the direction of extension that the material is extended in. In an embodiment, the garment material 25, the stretchable portion 14, and the fit panel 80 are constructed in the garment 10 in such a way that the elongation is oriented to provide the best fit benefit of garment 10 to the wearer. For example, in an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of stretchable portion 14 is oriented with the direction of greatest elongation of garment material 25 as the garment 10 is worn. For example, in an embodiment, the direction of greatest elongation of fit panel 80 is oriented at a 90 degree angle from the direction of greatest elongation of garment material 25 as the garment 10 is worn. The stretchable portion 14 and the fit panel 80 can have a higher spring constant, k, than garment material 25. In an embodiment, the spring constant, ratio of the stretchable portion 14 to the garment material 25 may be at least about 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, or 2.0, or from about 1.0 to about 2.0. In an embodiment, the spring constant ratio of the fit panel 80 to the garment material 25 may be less than about 1.0.

FIG. 6 through FIG. 9 show non-limiting examples of the features described herein. It is to be understood that features can be interchanged among embodiments. It is to be understood that the garment 10 is sized appropriately for the intended wearer based on the definition of the upper body section 12 and the lower body section 23. In an embodiment, garment 10 could be sized for and worn by an adult, a child, or an infant.

An embodiment of garment 10 is shown in the form of a shirt 20 in FIG. 6. The shirt 20 has an upper body section 12, a stretchable portion 14, a head opening 11, and a head opening perimeter edge 16. The stretchable portion 14 is included within the upper body section 12 of the garment 10. The stretchable portion 14 includes the head opening perimeter edge 16 and extends an equal length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across a width to about the lower edge 42 of the upper body section 12 of garment 10. An embodiment of garment 10 may also include a sleeve 18 for each of the wearer's arms and a fastening system 69.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of the garment 10 in the form of a bottom-enclosed garment 50. Bottom-enclosed garment 50 has an upper body section 12, a stretchable portion 14, a head opening 11 and a head opening perimeter edge 16. The stretchable portion 14 is included within the upper body section 12 of garment 10. The stretchable portion 14 includes a portion of the head opening perimeter edge 16 in the front 13 of garment 10 and extends an unequal length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across a width to about the lower edge 42 of the upper body section 12 of garment 10. The bottom-enclosed garment 50 may be applied to the infant 21 by first inserting the infant's feet into the head opening 11, pulling the bottom-enclosed garment 50 over the infant's legs and body, and then placing the head opening perimeter edge 16 around the infant's neck. In an embodiment, the bottom-enclosed garment 50 may, but need not have leg openings 17, arm openings 68, sleeves 18 or a fastening system 69.

FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment of the garment 10 in the form of a one-piece garment 60. The one-piece garment 60 has an upper body section 12. The upper body section 12 includes a stretchable portion 14, a head opening 11, and a head opening perimeter edge 16. The stretchable portion 14 includes the head opening perimeter edge 16 and extends an equal length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across a width within the upper body section 12 of garment 10. One-piece garment 60 also has a lower body section 23 and a central body section 29 connecting the upper body section 12 to the lower body section 23. A stretchable portion 14 and a fit panel 80 are shown in the lower body section 23 of one-piece garment 60. The stretchable portion 14 in the tail 70 in the front 13 of one-piece garment 60 extends a varying length across a width within the given area and shape of the stretchable portion 14. The fit panel 80 in the tail 70 in the back 15 of one-piece garment 60 extends an equal length across a width within the given area and shape of the fit panel 80. A fastening system 69 is shown in each the upper body section 12 and the lower body section 23 of one-piece garment 60. An embodiment of garment 10 may also include an arm opening 68 for each of the wearer's arms and a sleeve 18 for each of the wearer's arms.

Referring to FIG. 8, the fastening system 69 is shown on the tail 70 on the back 15 of the garment 10 as three snaps. The tail 70 on the front 13 of the garment 10 contains the fastening mating components to the snaps of fastening system 69. In an embodiment, the fastening system 69 can be aligned to correspond directly across from each other on the tails 70 of the front 13 and the back 15 of the one-piece garment 60 as shown in FIG. 8. The fastening system 69 could also be applied to the one-piece garment 60 in such a way that there could be one fastening component and multiple sets of mating fastening components at different locations. Without being bound by theory, the multiple mating fastening components can allow the parent or caregiver to choose the closure combination that provides for good fit on the wearer.

FIG. 9 illustrates an embodiment of the garment 10 in the form of a one-piece garment 60. The one-piece garment 60 has an upper body section 12. The upper body section 12 includes a stretchable portion 14, a head opening 11, and a head opening perimeter edge 16. The stretchable portion 14 includes the head opening perimeter edge 16 and extends an equal length from the head opening perimeter edge 16 across a width within the upper body section 12 of garment 10. An embodiment of the one-piece garment 60 may also include a sleeve 18 for each of the wearer's arms. One-piece garment 60 also has a lower body section 23 and a central body section 29 connecting the upper body section 12 to the lower body section 23. The lower body section 23 contains tails 70 in both the front 13 and back 15 of the lower body section 23. The tails 70 are shown in a closed configuration and a closure is formed with fastening system 69 to form leg openings 17 for each of the wearer's legs. Lower body section 23 of garment 60 also contains a fit panel 80 in the tail 70 of the back 15 of the lower body section 23. The fit panel 80 in the tail 70 in the back 15 of the one-piece garment 60 extends an equal length across a width within the given area and shape of the fit panel 80.

Multi-Cycle Stress/Strain Test

The Multi-cycle Stress/Strain Test is a one-cycle elongation and recovery test used to measure the elongation and recovery characteristics of elastic and extensible raw materials and elastic and extensible composites.

The test measures load values of a test sample placed under a particular amount of strain. The load values are determined during both the elongation and recovery phase of the test.

Sample Preparation

Six samples of the test specimen should be subjected to the Multi-cycle Stress/Strain Test and the results for each set of the samples should be averaged. Care should be taken to avoid extending the materials during the process of sample preparation. The materials are allowed to equilibrate overnight according to the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) at 50% relative humidity and 23° C. The samples of the garment material 25, the stretchable portion 14 material, and the fit panel 80 material are cut into strips that are 76 mm±1 mm in the least-extensible direction, or cross direction of the material, and by 152 mm±1 mm in the most-extensible direction, or machine direction of the material. The least-extensible direction of the sample is at a 90 degree angle from the most-extensible direction relative to the cross direction and the machine direction of the materials. The garment material 25 is also tested to measure elongation in the direction of least-extension, or the cross direction. In this circumstance, the garment material 25 is cut into strips that are 76 mm±1 mm in the most-extensible direction, or machine direction of the material, and by 152 mm±1 mm in the least-extensible direction, or cross direction of the material.

Test Apparatus and Materials

The following test apparatus and materials are used to conduct the Multi-cycle Stress/Strain Test:

1) Constant Rate of Extension (CRE) tensile tester: MTS tensile tester model SYNERGIE 200, (available from MTS Systems Corporation, Eden Prairie, Minn.).

2) Load cells: a suitable cell selected so that the majority of the peak load values fall between the manufacturer's recommended ranges of the load cell's full scale value. A load cell model 100N available from MTS Systems Corporation can be used.

3) Operating software and data acquisition system: MTS TESTWORKS for WINDOWS software version 4, available from MTS Systems Corporation.

4) Grips: pneumatic-action grips, top and bottom, identified as part number 2712-003 available from Instron Corporation, Canton, Mass.

5) Grip faces: 25.4 mm by 76.2 mm faces, rubberized top and bottom, Instron part number S1-12465, available from Instron Corporation.

Test Conditions

The instruments used should be calibrated as described in the manufacturer's instructions for each instrument. The tensile tester conditions are as follows:

  • Gauge separation: 102 mm±1 mm
  • Crosshead speed: 508 mm/minute
  • Cycle elongation: 80%
  • Number of cycles: One

Test Method

Using the tensile frame controls for crosshead position, move the grips to provide a gauge separation (distance between the grips) of 102 mm. Set the crosshead position to zero at this gauge. Place the sample to be tested lengthwise so that it is centered between the grips, held in a centered position within each grip, and oriented with the long edges of the sample perpendicular to the grip faces. Close the upper grips on the sample, and then close the lower grips on the sample. Position the sample in such a way as to minimize slack in the sample without placing the sample under tension.

Ensure that the load at this point is less than 10 grams force. If the load is greater than 10 grams-force, release the lower grip and zero the load cell. Re-close the lower grip, again ensuring that the sample is neither under tension nor buckled with excessive slack. Continue checking the starting load and following the above procedure until the starting load is within the desired range.

Run the one cycle test using the above parameters. Save the data to a sample file when the test is complete. Remove the sample from the grips. Run the above procedures for the remaining samples of a given specimen. The data for all samples of a given specimen should each be saved to a single file.

Report the data for each sample as follows: load values in grams-force at 10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, and 80% elongation. The load values are normalized to a sample having a width of 1 inch.

  • End of test method.

In the interests of brevity and conciseness, any ranges of values set forth in this disclosure contemplate all values within the range and are to be construed as support for claims reciting any sub-ranges having endpoints which are whole number values within the specified range in question. By way of hypothetical example, a disclosure of a range of from 1 to 5 shall be considered to support claims to any of the following ranges: 1 to 5; 1 to 4; 1 to 3; 1 to 2; 2 to 5; 2 to 4; 2 to 3; 3 to 5; 3 to 4; and 4 to 5.

The dimensions and values disclosed herein are not to be understood as being strictly limited to the exact numerical values recited. Instead, unless otherwise specified, each such dimension is intended to mean both the recited value and a functionally equivalent range surrounding that value. For example, a dimension disclosed as “40 mm” is intended to mean “about 40 mm.”

All documents cited in the Detailed Description are, in relevant part, incorporated herein by reference; the citation of any document is not to be construed as an admission that it is prior art with respect to the present disclosure. To the extent that any meaning or definition of a term in this written document conflicts with any meaning or definition of the term in a document incorporated by references, the meaning or definition assigned to the term in this written document shall govern.

While particular embodiments have been illustrated and described, it would be obvious to those skilled in the art that various other changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. It is therefore intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this disclosure.