Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20060236509 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/907,995
Publication dateOct 26, 2006
Filing dateApr 23, 2005
Priority dateApr 23, 2005
Publication number10907995, 907995, US 2006/0236509 A1, US 2006/236509 A1, US 20060236509 A1, US 20060236509A1, US 2006236509 A1, US 2006236509A1, US-A1-20060236509, US-A1-2006236509, US2006/0236509A1, US2006/236509A1, US20060236509 A1, US20060236509A1, US2006236509 A1, US2006236509A1
InventorsSusan Ausman
Original AssigneeAusman Susan W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Magnetically Clasping Clothing Fastener for Presenting an Adornment
US 20060236509 A1
Abstract
A separable, magnetically-clasping clothing fastener comprising a first magnetic clasp member having a means for magnetically engaging a second magnetic clasp member, wherein the means for magnetically engaging the first and second magnetic clasp members comprises a generally elongated female connector portion and a generally elongated male connector portion that magnetically bind to one another when the male connector portion is seated in the female connector portion. At least one of the magnetic clasp members is permanently or releasably attachable to an adornment member.
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(9)
1. A clothing fastener comprising a first magnetic clasp member having a means for magnetically engaging a second magnetic clasp member, wherein the means for magnetically engaging the first and second magnetic clasp members comprises a generally elongated female connector portion in said first magnetic clasp member having a first magnet and a generally elongated male connector portion in said second magnetic clasp member having a second magnet, wherein said first magnet magnetically binds said second magnet when said male connector portion is seated in said female connector portion; and wherein at least one of said first and second magnetic clasp members is attachable to an adornment member.
2. The clothing fastener according to claim 1 wherein said first magnetic clasp members is attachable to a first adornment member and second magnetic clasp member is attachable to a second adornment member.
3. The clothing fastener according to claim 2 wherein said first magnetic clasp member is attached to said first adornment member.
4. The clothing fastener according to claim 2 wherein said second magnetic clasp member is attached to said second adornment member.
5. The clothing fastener according to claim 2 wherein said first magnetic clasp member has an adornment-binding member.
6. The clothing fastener according to claim 5 wherein said adornment-binding member comprises a means for releasably binding the adornment.
7. The clothing fastener according to claim 1 wherein said clothing fastener is a cufflink.
8. The clothing fastener according to claim 7 wherein said first magnetic clasp members is attachable to a first adornment member and second magnetic clasp member is attachable to a second adornment member.
9. The clothing fastener according to claim 8 wherein said second magnetic clasp member is permanently attached to said second adornment member.
Description

The present invention provides a separable clothing fastener having a magnetic clasp that is useful for presenting an adornment on a supporting member, such as clothing. The adornment is optionally detachable and interchangeable. Adornments are optionally present on one or both of the separable portions of the magnetic clothing fastener.

BACKGROUND

Clothing fasteners of the art, such as cufflinks, fasten layers of clothing together where both layers of clothing have holes for passing the cufflink through. Clothing fasteners of the art also include means for fastening adornments to clothing, such as studs, buttons and snaps. The present invention provides a magnetically clasping clothing fastener that provides a means for fastening adornments to clothing, optionally as a clothing fastener such as a cufflink.

Cufflinks of the art have one side that is small enough to fit through the holes in the clothing layer, but the side that is typically decorative preferably is too large to pass through the hole. Several cufflink variations exist, such as a simple dumb-bell arrangement wherein a large decorative member, typically generally disk-shaped, is attached permanently to a stud that is attached permanently to a smaller member capable of passing through the hole in the fabric. The most popular cufflink variant has a member that is expanded after insertion through the hole in the fabric, such as the hinged-leaf devices of U.S. patent class 24, subclass 90.1/97. That popular cufflink variant has the advantage of being easily fastenable with one hand.

Some cufflinks of the art provide for interchangeable decorative members, as exemplified in U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,584 B1, Apr. 2, 2002. The decorations are limited to the insertable portions specifically manufactured and designed to fit into the base of the decorative member. In that patent, the insertable portions are magnetic, but the cufflink back member is the common expandable member of the art.

Cuffs having holes through all of the layers of fabric to be fastened are also fastened using two buttons merely sewn together, wherein at least one of the buttons is capable of being passed through the holes. Double-button fasteners can be made from any button design, provided that one of the buttons is capable of passing through the holes of the fabric to be fastened.

The style of clothing can be altered dramatically through the use of decorative buttons. An individual may wish to use decorative buttons on a piece of clothing “off the rack” in order to impress the clothing with that individual's own style. A staid workhorse garment, such as a white shirt, can become dramatic evening wear through use of stylish decorative buttons. Permanently affixed decorative buttons may limit the jewelry that a wearer can wear together with that outfit while remaining in the desired style.

The magnetic clothing fastener of the present invention is distinguished from the magnetic snap fasteners of the art, now finding popular use for closing flaps on handbags and wallets, as exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 6,836,935 B2 Jan. 4, 2005, U.S. Design Pat. No. D438,451S, Mar. 6, 2001, (and its related applications) and U.S. Design Pat. No. Des. 430,483, Sep. 5, 2000, U.S. Pat. No. 5,722,126 (and its related patents), U.S. Pat. No. 4,453,294 (Morita), RE B2 4,021,891.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,197,168 (Mar. 30, 1993), and related patents, discloses a magnetic jewelry closure having a wire safety clasp. The wire safety clasp serves as a mechanical second closure means, which acts as a safety to prevent the magnetic members from being separated until intentional release of the mechanical closure by a user. The magnetic jewelry closure optionally includes a spring ring closure for attaching to jewelry, such as a chain, to the magnetic closure, thus permitting the use of such closure as a replacement clasp for jewelry having a safety closure feature.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,434,801, Aug. 20, 2002, discloses a magnetic closure for items of clothing, wherein a magnetic body is positioned in an enclosed strip that can be applied to each of the clothing flaps to be joined.

The present invention provides an alternative magnetically-clasping clothing fastener for presenting an adornment.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a clothing fastener having a magnetic clasp. The present invention provides a solution to the problem of how to present adornments (for example, sculpted art or antique buttons) on clothing. The present invention additionally provides an alternative way to present an adornment on clothing using a fastener that may be easier for some people to handle and to fasten than for example buttons or snaps. The present invention provides a magnetic clasp fastener that is easily adapatable to accommodate the use of a wide variety of items as adornments for clothing. The present invention additionally provides a solution to the problem of how to use adornments through a buttonhole on clothing when the adornment does not fit through the buttonhole. In some embodiments, the present invention additionally provides a solution to the problem of how to easily exchange adornments on clothing. In some embodiments, the present invention provides an alternative type of cufflink.

The present invention is a clothing fastener comprising a first magnetic clasp member having a means for magnetically engaging a second magnetic clasp member. At least one of the magnetic clasp members may be attached, either permanently or releasably, to an adornment member. The invention contemplates magnetic clasp in combination with other clasps known in the art as a secondary clasping mechanism. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the means for magnetically engaging the first and second magnetic clasp members utilizes a male-female type connection where both clasp members contain magnets that attract one another to assist in holding the two magnetic clasp members together when they are engaged.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings forming part of the present disclosure:

FIG. 1 represents cross-sectional views of two embodiments (FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B) of a magnetically-clasping clothing fastener. Both views FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B show interconnecting male 20 and female 30 magnetic clasp members having a means for magnetically engaging.

In FIG. 1A, a magnet 65 at the end of the female connector portion magnetically binds to a magnet or magnet-binding metal 55 at the end of the male connector portion when the male connector portion is seated in the female connector portion. An adornment 12 can be attached to the male magnetic clasp member 20 via its adornment-binding portion 10, which is a simple wire loop in the embodiment shown. Similarly, an adornment 13 can be attached to the female magnetic clasp member 30 via its adornment-binding portion 11.

In FIG. 1B, the adornment-binding portions 10 and 11 are metal rings. In addition to the elements shown in FIG. 1A, the walls of the female magnetic clasp member have a magnet or magnets 60 that bind magnetically to the magnet or magnet-binding metal 50 in the shaft of the male magnetic clasp member.

FIG. 2 represents cross-sectional views of two embodiments (FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B) of a magnetically-clasping clothing fastener. Both views FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B show interconnecting male 20 and female 30 magnetic clasp members having a means for magnetically engaging. View FIG. 2A shows an embodiment having a permanently attached adornment members 12 and 13 on each of the magnetic clasp members. In FIG. 2A, adornment member 12 is attached directly to magnetic clasp member 20, whereas adornment member 13 is attached to magnetic clasp member 30 via adornment binding member 11. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2B is a magnetically-clasping clothing fastener that is not showing an adornment member attached to adornment binding member 11, but that does show an adornment member 12 attached directly to magnetic clasp member 20.

FIG. 3 represents cross-sectional views of two embodiments (FIG. 3A and FIG. 3B) of magnetic clasp member 30 having different releasable attachment mechanisms. In FIG. 3A, the adornment-binding member 11 is a flexible spring clip that can be pulled out to release an adornment 13 having an opening through which the flexible spring clip 11 passes to releasably secure the adornment 13. In FIG. 3B, the adornment-binding member 11 is a flexible spring clip with a pincer-like arrangement that can be pushed in to release an adornment 13 having an opening through which the pincers of adornment-binding member 11 secures the adornment 13.

FIG. 4 represents cross-sectional views of three embodiments, FIG. 4A, FIG. 4B and FIG. 4C, of magnetically-clasping clothing fasteners in combination with various mechanical safety attachment mechanisms. A friction-grip secondary fastening mechanism is shown in FIG. 4A with friction-inducing bulges 70 and 71. A friction clip secondary fastening mechanism is shown in FIG. 4B with a wire clip 73 that fastens over its bulging fastener mate 72. FIG. 4C shows a wire clip 73 attached to magnetic clasp member 20 that fastens snugly over the other magnetic clasp member 30.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a clothing fastener having a magnetic clasp for the presentation of adornments on clothing. The present invention provides a solution to the problem of how to present adornments (for example, sculpted art or antique buttons) on clothing, in some cases serving the role of a clothing fastener, such as cufflinks. The present invention additionally provides an alternative clothing fastener that may be easier for some people to handle and fasten than, for example, buttons or snaps.

A primary goal of a magnetic fastener of the present invention is to present an adornment on a supporting fabric. As such, it should be appreciated that it is not necessary that a clothing fastener of the present invention be used to fasten multiple supporting fabric members to one another; use of the invention to present an adornment on a single layer of cloth is also contemplated. The invention contemplates attachment of an adornment member on one or both of the magnetic clasp members. The invention contemplates the adornment member being permanent or releasably attachable to the magnetic clasp member.

The magnetically-clasping clothing fastener of the present invention is separable into two parts, a first magnetic clasp member and a second magnetic clasp member. In use, a supporting fabric has a hole through which the magnetic clasp members pass and bind directly to each other. The magnets do not bind to one another through the supporting fabric as in the magnetic buttons of U.S. Pat. No. 6,434,801, Aug. 20, 2002 (mentioned above).

In a preferred embodiment, a generally elongated shape (“shaft”) is contemplated for the magnetic clasp members, such that the clasped fastener is capable of passing through several layers of cloth when clasped. The invention is thus distinguishable from the friction-type fabric closures of the art (snap-style) that utilize magnets (typically toroidal) in the flat faces of the “snap” to strengthen the binding of the closure, and where the male-female portion of the snap closure do not pass through the supporting fabric, nor do they have appreciable length between the male and female portions when clasped. In the present invention, the length of the elongated portion of the clasped fastener is at least two millimeters up to four centimeters in length, preferably from one half to two millimeters in length, and most preferably one to one and a half centimeters in length. Selection of length depends in part upon whether the fastener will be used to display an adornment on a single cloth layer or through multiple layers, the types of cloth through which the fastener must pass, and the size and shape of the adornment(s) to be attached for presentation. For fewer layers, shorter lengths (e.g. 5 mm) would provide a more stable presentation of the adornment. For multiple layers or for thick layers, longer lengths would be indicated. For larger adornments, shorter lengths appropriately spanning the cloth layers would provide less torsional instability and more stable presentation of the large adornment. In a cufflink-type embodiment, a longer length (e.g. 1 to 2 cm) provides more freedom in the fit, keeping in mind the size of the adornment or adornments.

The diameter of the clasped fastener ranges from about two millimeters to about two centimeters, preferably from about three millimeters to about one and a half centimeters, and most preferably from three millimeters to one centimeter. Selection of the diameter depends in part upon the type of cloth through which the fastener must pass, the size of the hole, and the size and shape of the adornment(s) to be attached for presentation. The diameter also can restrict whether a magnet can be effectively used along the shaft of the magnetic clasp members (as shown in FIG. 1B, 50 and/or 60), and the size of magnets (55 and/or 65) that can be used at the ends of the shaft.

A clothing fastener according the present invention comprises a first magnetic clasp member having a means for magnetically engaging a second magnetic clasp member. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the means for magnetically engaging the first and second magnetic clasp members utilizes a male-female type connection where both clasp members contain magnets that attract one another to assist in holding the two magnetic clasp members together when they are engaged. The magnetic attraction may additionally provide some assistance in getting the two magnetic clasp members fully engaged.

As noted above, in a preferred embodiment, the male and female connector portions of the magnetically-clasping clothing fastener are generally elongated, to permit the clothing fastener to traverse the cloth that is the supporting material or materials to be fastened together. The generally elongated female connector portion of one of the magnetic clasp members has magnet in it, for example at the inside end, as shown as number 65 in FIG. 1. In a preferred embodiment, the generally elongated male connector portion of the other magnetic clasp member also has a magnet in it, as shown in FIG. 1, number 55, which magnetically binds to the magnet in the female connector portion. Alternatively, the male connector portion is made of a metal which magnetically binds to the magnet in the female connector portion. It should be appreciated that the present invention also contemplates the alternative arrangement wherein the magnet is in the male connector portion and the female connector portion is either made of a magnet-binding metal or has a magnet that binds to the magnet in the male connector portion. The magnet of one connector portion binds the second connector portion most optimally when the male connector portion is fully seated within the female connector portion.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the generally elongated female connector portion of one of the magnetic clasp members has a magnet or magnets in it, along the walls of the receiving chamber, as shown as number 60 in FIG. 1. In a preferred embodiment, the generally elongated male connector portion of the other magnetic clasp member also has a magnet in it, which magnetically binds to the magnet in the female connector portion. Alternatively, the male connector portion is made of a metal which magnetically binds to the magnet in the female connector portion. It should be appreciated that the present invention also contemplates the alternative arrangement wherein the magnet is in the male connector portion and the female connector portion is either made of a magnet-binding metal or has a magnet that binds to the magnet in the male connector portion. The magnet of one connector portion binds the second connector portion most optimally when the male connector portion is fully seated within the female connector portion.

The present invention provides a means for presenting an adornment on a supporting member, for example a fabric or cloth. A wide variety of adornment members are contemplated for use with the fastener of the present invention. For example, an artist may sculpt, carve, cast, forge, extrude, mold, paint, sew or otherwise create an adornment member that can then be attached to a fastener of the present invention. As another example, found items (e.g. antique buttons, bottlecaps, shells) can be used as an adornment member attached to a fastener of the present invention. Thus, an embodiment wherein one of the magnetic clasp members is “attachable” to an adornment member.

The present invention contemplates attachment of the adornment member using any of the many methods known in the art. Thus, the invention contemplates permanent or releasable attachment of the adornment members. For example, a metal adornment may be fused, welded, or glued to the magnetic clasp member, an example of such attachment is shown in FIG. 2. Jewelry attachment methods, such as rings or prongs may be used, examples are shown in FIG. 1B and FIG. 2B. Antique buttons may be sewn on, an example of such attachment is shown in FIG. 1A. The adornment member may be formed when the magnetic clasp member is formed, for example as a single decorative metal, clay, resin or plastic unit that the magnet(s) can be contained in to for the magnetic clasp member.

The present invention requires that at least one of the magnetic clasp members be attachable to an adornment member. The adornment member provides decoration to the supporting fabric through which the clothing fastener is attached. The adornment member can influence fashion or style of the overall look of the garment upon which it is presented. The present invention also contemplates two adornment members, one on each of the magnetic clasp members. One or both of these adornment members may be permanently or releasably attached. FIG. 2A can be interpreted to depict an embodiment where both adornment members 12 and 13 are permanently attached. FIG. 2B can be interpreted to depict an embodiment where adornment member 12 is permanently attached, and an adornment member can be permanently or releasably attached to the adornment binding member 11.

In uses where clothing is actually fastened together, the adornment member may serve a function of not easily passing through the hole in the fabric, thereby preventing easy movement of the clothing fastener through the hole through the supporting fabric. In this manner, the adornment member functions similarly to a button or to a cuff-link front. Indeed, in some embodiments of the present invention, the adornment member is a button that is either permanently or releasably attached to the magnetic clasp member.

As cufflinks, some embodiments of the present invention present an advantage over the cufflinks common in the art in that two oversized adornments may be presented on both sides of the clasped cuff—neither of which need ever be capable of passing through the hole in the supporting member(s) through which the magnetic clasp passes. In many cufflinks of the art, one side of the cufflink must pass through the buttonhole/cufflink hole, typically using either a relatively small stud or an expandable member.

In embodiments in which the adornment member is attached in a releaseable manner to the magnetic clothing fastener, the present invention contemplates attachment through the many releaseable methods known in the art. For example, clips—including spring clips, tweezer- or pincer-like clips and other various kinds of releasable clips known in the art—may be used to secure adornments with suitable protrusions or rings, examples of which are shown in FIG. 3. Snap-on attachment of the adornment is alternatively contemplated.

The primary means of fastening a clothing fastener of the present invention is through magnetic attraction and seating together of the magnetic clasp members. However, the invention contemplates optional usage of a secondary clasp, for example to prevent accidental disengagement of the clasp. Thus, it is contemplated to use safety clasp mechanisms of the jewelry arts in combination with the primary magnetic clasp mechanism of the present invention. FIG. 4 shows some examples of such clasps of the art in combination with the present invention. Examples of such clasps known to workers in the art include but are not limited to (i) a friction grip between the contacting surfaces of the two magnetic clasp members (e.g. FIG. 4A), (ii) a metal wire clip attached to one of the magnetic clasp members that friction snaps over a protrusion on the other magnetic clasp member (FIG. 4B), and (iii) wire clip attached to one magnetic clasp member that clips over a protrusion on the other magnetic clasp member which may be the barrel of the magnetic clasp member itself (e.g. FIG. 4C).

The exemplary embodiments of the present invention described hereinabove are intended to illustrate, rather than limit, the scope of the claimed invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7832066Dec 4, 2007Nov 16, 2010Ehler Bradley DRetractably extendable fastener system
US7992264 *May 25, 2006Aug 9, 2011Joseph AbadiMagnetic closure
US8028380 *Aug 30, 2007Oct 4, 2011Bo-Yang LinSheet retainer
US8196268Apr 1, 2010Jun 12, 2012Anthony PlaceresFastening system
US8667650 *Apr 23, 2012Mar 11, 2014Marcus L DuffinDecorative magnetic cufflink conversion device
US20140189983 *Dec 11, 2013Jul 10, 2014Pcm Manufacturing, Inc.Golf Glove Magnetic Attachment Adaptor
WO2010110860A1 *Mar 23, 2010Sep 30, 2010Saul CohenImproved clothing fasteners
WO2014066729A1 *Oct 25, 2013May 1, 2014Jenkins Arthur LCoupling device and smart fabric system
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/303
International ClassificationA44B99/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44D2203/00, A44B5/02, Y10T24/32
European ClassificationA44B5/02