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Publication numberUS20020098775 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/975,415
Publication dateJul 25, 2002
Filing dateOct 11, 2001
Priority dateOct 11, 2000
Publication number09975415, 975415, US 2002/0098775 A1, US 2002/098775 A1, US 20020098775 A1, US 20020098775A1, US 2002098775 A1, US 2002098775A1, US-A1-20020098775, US-A1-2002098775, US2002/0098775A1, US2002/098775A1, US20020098775 A1, US20020098775A1, US2002098775 A1, US2002098775A1
InventorsFrancisco Avellanet
Original AssigneeAvellanet Francisco J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Brassiere having multifilament variable stiffness support and having protective frame tips
US 20020098775 A1
Abstract
A garment for supporting a woman's chest in the form a brassiere with breast supporting cups supported by an wire element of variable stiffness formed of a solid wire linearly joined to a cable of greater flexibility than the solid wire, and with the ends of the support wire having protective balls.
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Claims(38)
I claim:
1. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of at least one of said cups, the support element having a U-shaped configuration ending in tips and being formed of solid nickel-titanium wire, and a ball element affixed to the tips of the support element.
2. A garment as defined in claim 1 in which the ball elements are spheres.
3. A garment as defined in claim 1 in which the ball elements are discs.
4. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of at least one of said cups, and the support element having a U-shaped configuration formed of linearly joined sections of solid nickel-titanium wire and a cable of greater flexibility.
5. A garment as defined in claim 4 in which the cable of greater flexibility is multifilament drawn wire.
6. A garment as defined in claim 4 in which the cable of greater flexibility is braided wire.
7. A garment as defined in claim 4 in which the cable of greater flexibility is stranded wire.
8. A garment as defined in claim 4 in which the U-shaped element terminate in tips and a ball element is affixed to the tips.
9. A garment as defined in claim 8 in which the ball elements are spheres.
10. A garment as defined in claim 8 in which the ball elements are discs.
11. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of at least one of said cups, and the support element having a U-shaped configuration formed of linearly joined sections with solid nickel-titanium wire forming one-half the element and a cable of greater flexibility forming one-half the element.
12. A garment as defined in claim 11 in which the cable of greater flexibility is multifilament drawn wire.
13. A garment as defined in claim 11 in which the cable of greater flexibility is braided wire.
14. A garment as defined in claim 11 in which the cable of greater flexibility is stranded wire.
15. A garment as defined in claim 11 in which the U-shaped element terminates in tips and a ball element is affixed to the tips.
16. A garment as defined in claim 15 in which the ball elements are spheres.
17. A garment as defined in claim 15 in which the ball elements are discs.
18. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of at least one of said cups, and the support element having a U-shaped configuration formed of linearly joined sections of solid nickel-titanium wire forming two-thirds of the element and a cable of greater flexibility than the solid wire forming one-third of the element.
19. A garment as defined in claim 18 in which the cable of greater flexibility is multifilament drawn wire.
20. A garment as defined in claim 18 in which the cable of greater flexibility is braided wire.
21. A garment as defined in claim 18 in which the cable of greater flexibility is stranded wire.
22. A garment as defined in claim 18 in which the U-shaped element terminates in tips and a ball element is affixed to the tips.
23. A garment as defined in claim 22 in which the ball elements are spheres.
24. A garment as defined in claim 22 in which the ball elements are discs.
25. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of at least one of said cups, and the support element having a U-shaped configuration formed of linearly joined sections of solid nickel-titanium wire and a cable of greater flexibility than the solid wire, with the solid nickel-titanium wire forming the end sections of the element and a cable of greater flexibility than the solid wire forming a central section of the element.
26. A garment as defined in claim 25 in which the cable of greater flexibility is multifilament drawn wire.
27. A garment as defined in claim 25 in which the cable of greater flexibility is braided wire.
28. A garment as defined in claim 25 in which the cable of greater flexibility is stranded wire.
29. A garment as defined in claim 25 in which the U-shaped element terminates in tips and a ball element is affixed to the tips.
30. A garment as defined in claim 29 in which the ball elements are spheres.
31. A garment as defined in claim 29 in which the ball elements are discs.
32. A garment having cups for breast support with each cup having a perimeter the improvement which comprises a support element affixed along the perimeter of said cups, the support element having a double U-shaped configuration formed of linearly joined sections of solid nickel-titanium wire and nickel-titanium wire twisted and drawn or swaged into a cable, with the solid nickel-titanium wire forming the end sections of the elements and a cable of greater flexibility forming an inverted central section of the element.
33. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the cable of greater flexibility is multifilament drawn wire.
34. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the cable of greater flexibility is braided wire.
35. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the cable of greater flexibility is stranded wire.
36. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the U-shaped element terminates in tips and a ball element is affixed to the tips.
37. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the ball elements are spheres.
38. A garment as defined in claim 32 in which the ball elements are discs.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is directed to the inventions described in U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 60/239,410 filed Oct. 11, 2000 and claims priority of said application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention is directed to garments such as brassieres and bathing suits having flexible, supportive elements forming a frame for the garment.

[0003] U.S. Pat. No. 6,102,774 is directed to garments including brassieres having metallic wires or frames as stiffening members. The wires disclosed therein have a generally U-shaped configuration extending along the periphery of the brassiere cups. The wires are secured to the garment by enclosing and stitching the wires within the fabric along the perimeter of the brassiere cups.

[0004] The '774 patent provides a multifilament twisted and drawn cable support member attached to the lower perimeter of each brassiere cup portion to provide support for each cup in a manner comfortable to the wearer. The cable support member is a plurality of nickel-titanium wires or stainless steel wires, or wires of other metals or alloys. The twisted and drawn cables provide excellent support for the cup portions of the brassiere, and the cables being very flexible are not prone to poking through the material of the brassiere.

[0005] The present invention is directed to improvements of the garment disclosed in the '774 patent.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] In accordance with the present invention, garments including brassieres and women's bathing suits are provided with frames comprising wire members of variable stiffness as supporting members. The frames have a generally U-shaped configuration extending along the periphery of the brassiere cups. The frames themselves are formed of a solid wire segment and a wire of greater flexibility such as a multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire segment with the segments joined by linearly suitable means such as butt welding.

[0007] In one embodiment, a variable stiffness frame for a brassiere support cup is fabricated of one-half solid wire and one-half multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire joined at the midpoint of the frame. In another embodiment, the frame comprises two-thirds solid wire joined to one-third a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire. In another embodiment, the frame comprises a center section of a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire joined at its ends to terminal sections of solid wire. In still another embodiment of the invention, a unitary frame for both cups of a brassiere comprises adjacent generally U-shaped cup supporting members of solid wire joined at their inner ends by a center section of a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire. The center section may be described as an inverted U-shaped section with ends linearly joined to the inner ends of the cup supporting members.

[0008] In another aspect of the invention, each terminal end of each cup supporting frame member is provided with a sphere joined thereto to protect the garment as well as the wearer from poking by the ends of the wire frames. The sphere can be flattened into a disc shape. The protective spheres and discs are made part of the embodiments of garment variable stiffness support frames described just above as well being made part of support frames of solid Nitinol wire.

[0009] In accordance with the invention the support frames are secured to a garment by enclosing and stitching the wires within the fabric along the perimeter of the brassiere cups.

[0010] A garment according to the invention possesses a variable stiffness wire support wherein the breast is supported laterally to prevent the breast from flowing sideways, and to direct breast flow toward the center to create “cleavage”. Directing breast flow toward the center is achieved by locating the flexible multifilament drawn wire or wires in the center of the support frame. A support frame having greater flexibility toward the center is also advantageous when the user is running or jogging.

[0011] Additional advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the detailed description taken in conjunction the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0012]FIG. 1 is a front view of a garment according to the invention.

[0013]FIG. 2 is a front view of a garment cup support member of solid wire with balls affixed to its tips.

[0014]FIG. 3 is a front view of a modified embodiment of garment cup support member of combined solid wire and a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire with balls affixed to its tips.

[0015]FIG. 4 is a front view of another modified embodiment of garment cup support member of combined solid wire and a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire with balls affixed to its tips.

[0016]FIG. 5 is a front view of another modified embodiment of garment cup support member of combined solid wire and a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire with balls affixed to its tips.

[0017]FIG. 6 is a front view of another modified embodiment of garment cup support member of combined solid wire and a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire with balls affixed to its tips.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0018] Referring to FIG. 1, a garment such as a brassiere 10 according to the invention comprises a pair of frontal cup portions 12 made of flexible material for covering the chest of the wearer. Each of the cup portions 12 has a perimeter and a lower edge 14, an inner edge 16, and an outer edge 18 which together define a lower portion 19 of the perimeter. In accordance with the invention, a variable stiffness support element 20 comprising a combined solid wire and a wire of greater flexibility such as multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire is sewn along the lower portion of the perimeter. A front portion 30 of the garment is provided with material and/or coupling means connecting the inner edges 16 of the cup portions to each other. A back portion 32 of the garment has material and/or coupling means extending around the back of the wearer for connecting the outer edges 18 of the cup portions together. One or other of the front and back portions 30, 32 is preferably divided into two subsections 34, 35 and includes releasable coupling means 36 such as cooperating hooks and loops to facilitate donning and doffing the garment. The garment may include shoulder straps 38 to couple the back portions to the cup portions for additional support.

[0019] In one aspect of the invention shown in FIG. 2, a brassiere support element 17 comprises a solid Nitinol U-shaped wire 20 with ball elements 22, 24 in the form of spheres or discs affixed to each end of the support element. The ball elements may be prefabricated balls or created by melting the element tips with either a plasma welder or a laser welder. The balls may be the same or larger diameter of the cable defining the element. The balls may optionally be flattened into a disc shape. The sphere and disc whichever is used prevent injury to the garment and to the wearer. The support elements are also preferably coated with a thermoplastic elastomer 25 by extrusion or heat shrinking, for example. The elastomer provides a cushioning effect.

[0020] In another aspect of the invention shown in several embodiments in FIGS. 3-5 a brassiere support element 40 comprises a U-shaped support formed of linearly joined solid wire 42 and multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire 44.

[0021] The brassiere support element 50 of FIG. 6 comprises a unitary double U-shaped structure of solid wire 52 joined by a central multifilament drawn wire section or braided or stranded wire 54.

[0022] The multifilament drawn wire 44, 54 comprises a twisted and drawn or swaged cable support element manufactured as follows. Several filaments or wires preferably of nickel-titanium, stainless steel, or other metals or alloys or combinations thereof are twined together to form a wire rope. The wire rope is drawn through a die to reduce its diameter. Preferably, the wire is successively drawn through several dies decreasing the diameter and plastically deforming the wires so that the cable takes a substantially circular cross-section. The cable is preferably heated to remove cold working.

[0023] In a preferred embodiment, the wire rope is drawn through four dies of decreasing diameter resulting in a cable with diameter 30-40% smaller than the wire rope. In lieu of drawing, the wire rope can be swaged to reduced diameter and circular cross-section.

[0024] A cable made in this manner exhibits relatively high flexibility, high torque modulus, light weight, and high strength.

[0025] In modified form, the support element may be formed of braided or stranded wire in the place of multifilament drawn wire to achieve variable stiffness in conjunction with Nitinol wire. Braiding and stranding are known techniques for making wire.

[0026] Referring to FIG. 3, a support element comprises a U-shaped wire of approximately one-half solid wire 42 and one-half multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire 44 butt welded to each other at 40 a and fitted with terminal protective balls or discs 22, 24 as described above in connection with FIG. 2.

[0027] Referring to FIG. 4, a support element 40 comprises a U-shaped wire of approximately two-thirds solid wire 42 and one-third multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire 44 butt welded to each other at 40 a and fitted with terminal protective balls or discs 22, 24 as described above in connection with FIG. 2.

[0028] Referring to FIG. 5, a support element 40 comprises a U-shaped wire of approximately two solid wire end sections 42, 43 each being approximately two-fifths of the element together with a bottom or central multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire 44 being approximately one fifth of the element. The sections are butt welded to each other at 40 a and fitted with terminal protective balls or discs 22, 24 as described above in connection with FIG. 2.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 6, a support element 50 comprises a double U-shaped wire 51 of solid wire terminal portions 52 and an inverted U-shaped central portion 54 multifilament drawn wire or braided or stranded wire butt welded to each other at 50 a and fitted with terminal protective balls or discs 22, 24 as described above in connection with FIG. 2.

[0030] It will be appreciated that a variable stiffness support element for brassieres and the like provides breast support wherein breast flow is directed toward the center of the supporting garment aided principally by the location of solid wire sections to the outer lateral margins of the support cups and providing a multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire section at the inner lateral margin of the support cups. In the case of a unitary double cup support frame, the solid wire sections are placed under and to the outer lateral margins of each support cup with the solid wire sections joined by a central inverted U-shaped multifilament drawn or braided or stranded wire.

[0031] Various changes may be made to the support elements embodying the principles of the invention. The foregoing embodiments are set forth in an illustrative and not in a limiting sense. The scope of the invention is defined by the claims appended hereto.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7255627Feb 1, 2005Aug 14, 2007Avocet Polymer Technologies, Inc.Garment device convertible to one or more facemasks
US8585459Mar 1, 2011Nov 19, 2013Victoria's Secret Store Brand Mangement, Inc.Brassiere cups incorporating padded underwire assemblies and a method of making the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification450/41
International ClassificationA41C3/12
Cooperative ClassificationA41C3/124
European ClassificationA41C3/12B2