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Publication numberUS20080000013 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/820,549
Publication dateJan 3, 2008
Filing dateJun 20, 2007
Priority dateJun 20, 2006
Publication number11820549, 820549, US 2008/0000013 A1, US 2008/000013 A1, US 20080000013 A1, US 20080000013A1, US 2008000013 A1, US 2008000013A1, US-A1-20080000013, US-A1-2008000013, US2008/0000013A1, US2008/000013A1, US20080000013 A1, US20080000013A1, US2008000013 A1, US2008000013A1
InventorsTimothy J. Talley
Original AssigneeNew Era Cap Co., Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Performance cap
US 20080000013 A1
Abstract
A cap (15) comprising a crown (16) having an outer surface (21) and an inner surface (22) defining an interior cavity (23) for receiving the head of a wearer (17), a headband (19) attached to the crown and having a bottom edge (24) defining an opening for the head of the wearer, a visor (18) connected to the crown and projecting angularly away from the crown, the crown comprising a synthetic woven material (17) adapted to facilitate the disbursement of moisture across the outer surface. The headband (19) may comprise a foam layer (38) adapted to absorb moisture when the cap is worn by the wearer, a non-woven layer (39) adapted to limit the elasticity of the headband, and a synthetic woven layer (40) adapted to facilitate, the movement of the moisture to and from the foam layer and evaporation of moisture from the cap.
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Claims(2)
1. A cap comprising:
a crown having an outer surface and an inner surface defining an interior cavity for receiving the head of a wearer;
a headband attached to said crown and having a bottom edge defining an opening for said head of said wearer;
a visor connected to said crown and projecting angularly away from said crown;
said crown adapted to absorb moisture and to facilitate the movement of said moisture from said inner surface and the evaporation of said moisture from said outer surface of said crown;
said headband comprising a foam layer adapted to absorb moisture when said cap is worn by said wearer, a non-woven layer adapted to limit the elasticity of said headband, and a synthetic woven layer adapted to facilitate the movement of said moisture to and from said foam layer and evaporation of said moisture.
2. The cap set forth in claim 1, wherein said synthetic woven layer is adapted to facilitate the movement of said moisture from said foam layer to said outer surface of said crown.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/815,133, filed Jun. 20, 2006. The entire contents of such application is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to caps and, more particularly, to a cap with improved moisture management properties.

BACKGROUND ART

A variety of caps are known in the prior art. For example, caps worn by professional baseball players generally include a crown portion, a visor and a sweatband. The crown on such caps are made from natural wool and the sweatband has an outer cotton layer. While such caps have an authentic appearance and traditional features, they have a number of disadvantages. For example, perspiration or sweat from the wearer can cause such caps to become uncomfortable to wear and can stain the cap. Hence, it would be beneficial to provide a cap which has authentic features and manages moisture for comfort to the wearer.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

With parenthetical reference to the corresponding parts, portions or surfaces of the disclosed embodiment, merely for the purposes of illustration and not by way of limitation, the present invention provides an improved cap (15) comprising a crown (16) having an outer surface (21) and an inner surface (22) defining an interior cavity (23) for receiving the head of a wearer (17), a headband (19) attached to the crown and having a bottom edge (24) defining an opening for the head of the wearer, a visor (18) connected to the crown and projecting angularly away from the crown, the crown comprising a synthetic woven material (17) adapted to facilitate the disbursement of moisture across the outer surface and having a structure similar to wool.

The present invention also discloses a cap comprising a crown (28) having an outer surface and an inner surface defining an interior cavity for receiving the head of a wearer, a headband attached to the crown and having a bottom edge defining an opening for the head of the wearer, a visor connected to the crown and projecting angularly away from the crown, the crown comprising a layer (31) of wool and synthetic material adapted to absorb moisture and to facilitate the movement of moisture from the inner surface and the evaporation of moisture from the outer surface of the crown. The cap may further comprise an inner liner layer (30) adapted to facilitate the movement of moisture from the inner surface of the crown to the layer. The layer may be adapted to facilitate the disbursement of moisture across the outer surface and may be a double-faced fabric comprising wool on an inside face and synthetic material on an outside face. The synthetic material may be polyester.

The invention also discloses a cap comprising a crown having an outer surface and an inner surface defining an interior cavity for receiving the head of a wearer, a headband attached to the crown and having a bottom edge defining an opening for the head of the wearer, a visor connected to the crown and projecting angularly away from the crown, the headband (19) comprising a foam layer (38) adapted to absorb moisture when the cap is worn by the wearer, a non-woven layer (39) adapted to limit the elasticity of the headband, and a synthetic woven layer (40) adapted to facilitate the movement of the moisture to and from the foam layer and evaporation of moisture. The synthetic woven layer may be adapted to facilitate the movement of moisture from the foam layer to the outer surface of the crown.

Accordingly, the general object of the present invention is to provide a cap which manages moisture and is comfortable to the wearer.

Another object is to provide a cap which facilitates the movement of moisture away from the head of the wearer to the outside surface of the cap.

Another object is to provide a cap which facilitates the evaporation of moisture from the surface of the cap.

Another object is to provide a cap which dissipates moisture across the surface of the cap.

Another object is to provide a cap which dries rapidly.

Another object is to provide a cap which has the features of a natural wool cap.

Another object is to provide a cap with a sweatband that manages moisture accumulation.

These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the foregoing and ongoing written specification, the drawings, and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved cap on the head of a wearer.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the cap shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the cap shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of the cap shown in FIG. 2, taken on line A-A of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detailed view of the cap shown in FIG. 4, taken within the indicated circle of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged detailed view of the cap shown in FIG. 4, taken within the indicated circle of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 a-c is a representative view of the moisture management of the cap shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view of an alternative embodiment of the cap shown in FIG. 2, taken generally on line A-A of FIG. 2.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged detailed view of the cap shown in FIG. 8, taken within the indicated circle of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged detailed view of the cap shown in FIG. 8, taken within the indicated circle of FIG. 8.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

At the outset, it should be clearly understood that like reference numerals are intended to identify the same structural elements, portions or surfaces, consistently throughout the several drawing figures, as such elements, portions or surfaces may be further described or explained by the entire written specification, of which this detailed description is an integral part. Unless otherwise indicated, the drawings are intended to be read (e.g., cross-hatching, arrangement of parts, proportion, degree, etc.) together with the specification, and are to be considered a portion of the entire written description of this invention. As used in the following description, the terms “horizontal”, “vertical”, “left”, “right”, “up” and “down”, as well as adjectival and adverbial derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally”, “rightwardly”, “upwardly”, etc.), simply refer to the orientation of the illustrated structure as the particular drawing figure faces the reader. Similarly, the terms “inwardly” and “outwardly” generally refer to the orientation of a surface relative to its axis of elongation, or axis of rotation, as appropriate.

Referring now to the drawings and, more particularly, to FIGS. 1-7 thereof, this invention provides a moisture managing cap, of which the presently preferred embodiment is generally indicated at 15. Cap 15 provides comfort to the wearer by controlling and managing temperature and moisture build-up within the cap. Humidity or moisture typically builds up due to body perspiration from the head when the cap is worn. Perspiration or sweat is a mixture of water or water vapor and can be stimulated by both physical and physiological stress. The improved cap is designed to proactively absorb such moisture and to transport the water vapor away from the head to keep it dry and to facilitate evaporation. “Moisture management” is the ability of a material or combination of materials to absorb significant amounts of moisture at an optimum rate of absorption together with the ability to dry or give up that moisture in a short period of time.

Cap 15 is shown as broadly including a crown portion 16, a headband 19 and a visor 18. As shown, crown 16 is formed from six adjoining panels or segments, severally indicated at 20 a-f. Panels 20 a-f are sewn together at seams that extend radially from apex 42 and the inside of each seam is covered by seam tape. As shown, each panel 20 a-f includes a sewn eye hole 43 a-f. In the preferred embodiment, the front two panels 20 a and 20 g are supported by a plastic woven filament and polyester buckram, which helps support the front of the cap and retain its shape.

Bill or visor 18 is connected to the bottom of and extends across the front two panels 20 a and 20 g of the crown and projects angularly down and away from the front of the crown. Visor 18 can be pre-curved and is formed of conventional visor board, with a visor top layer and an under-visor layer 45. In the preferred embodiment, under-visor layer 45 is a filament polyester woven layer that resembles a thin light-weight cotton twill. Under-visor layer 45 is adapted to wick moisture and to spread the moisture across the surface of the visor to allow for greater evaporation. Fabric manufactured by Milliken & Company, of 920 Milliken Road, Spartanburg, S.C. 29303, may be used in the preferred embodiment.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 6, each of panels 20 a-g are formed from a layer 17 of synthetic woven material adapted to facilitate the disbursement of moisture across the outer surface 22 and having a structure substantially similar to wool. While it is a synthetic material, layer 17 is made so that it mimics the actual fiber structure of wool but is formed from engineered polyester which has moisture management properties. Thus, the material looks and feels like natural wool, which is the material used to make conventional caps that are worn by major baseball players on the field. However, unlike natural wool, layer 17 has a number of beneficial moisture management properties. Layer 17 dries in less time (at least one hour less) than wool and far less time than cotton (at least twenty-four hours less). Layer 17 also wicks faster than both wool and cotton and shrinks less than 1% in comparison to wool, which shrinks more than 3%. Thus, layer 17 wicks sweat and moisture away from the head of the wearer, dries quickly, will not shrink and will not itch as with wool. Thus, while they look and feel like wool, panels 20 a-g will wick moisture away from the head of wearer 17 and disperse it across surface 21 to allow for faster evaporation.

FIGS. 6 and 7 show the moisture movement facilitated by layer 17. As shown, the moisture is absorbed 37 from inner surface 22 of layer 17 and is moved to the outer surface 21 of layer 17, where it is dispersed 36 across the outer surface of layer 17. This disbursement 36 of moisture across outer surface 21 over time is shown in FIGS. 7 a-c. FIG. 7 a shows the moisture on the outer surface of the cap, FIG. 7 b shows the cap some time later with the moisture dispersed over a larger surface area of the outside of the cap compared to initial FIG. 7 a, and FIG. 7 c shows the cap after an additional period of time with the moisture dispersed over an even greater surface area, thereby further facilitating evaporation. By dispersing 36 the moisture across a greater surface area, evaporation 35 of the moisture from the cap is faster and greater. Worsterlon® MPF Fabric manufactured by Milliken & Company, of 920 Milliken Road, Spartanburg, S.C. 29303, may be used for layer 17 in the preferred embodiment. This fabric is a polyester fabric which mimics the fiber structure of natural wool but with the above identified moisture management properties.

FIGS. 8-10 show an alternative embodiment 26 comprising a crown 28 formed from two layers 31 and 30. In the preferred embodiment, layer 31 is a knit fabric of interwoven natural wool and polyester and is a moisture management fabric: it wicks 37 moisture from the inner surface to outer surface 21 and disperses 36 that moisture across outer surface 21 to facilitate evaporation 35 from a greater surface area. The wool and polyester is woven to create a double-faced fabric with the natural wool substantially facing inward and the polyester facing the outside and substantially forming outer surface 21. Using this arrangement, the inner wool face will absorb 37 a significant amount of moisture vapor from the wearer before the wearer will feel any wetness. The wet heated vapor is pulled into the wool face before it condenses and feels wet to the wearer. The outer engineered polyester face then pulls the moisture to the outside surface 21 of crown 28 where it is dispersed 36 across the entire outer surface area via capillary effect. In this manner, the moisture dries 35 from outer surface 21 rapidly and an additional cooling effect is provided by the fabric. Layer 31's efficient wicking structure rapidly moves moisture liquid away from the skin of the wearer to the outer surface of the crown where it is dispersed and evaporates. Sportwool™ fabric manufactured by Australian Wool Services, of Wool House, 369 Royal Parade, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia, may be used in the preferred embodiment for layer 31.

An additional inner liner 30 is fused to the inner surface of layer 31. Liner 30 is configured to allow moisture to pass through it.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 9, headband or sweatband 19 is formed from three layers, a specially engineered outer layer 40 that is developed to look like a cotton twill fabric, an inner foam layer 38, and a non-woven layer 39. Outer layer 40 is a moisture management polyester fabric that, besides resembling a natural cotton twill fabric, pulls moisture away from the wearer. In the preferred embodiment, layer 40 is a spun polyester woven layer. Fabric manufactured by Milliken & Company, of 920 Milliken Road, Spartanburg, S.C. 29303, may be used in the preferred embodiment. Layer 38 is an open-celled urethane foam layer which is water vapor permeable. Foam layer 38 is provided to wick moisture from the wearer during use, and then release the moisture vapor when the cap is not in use. In the preferred embodiment, foam layer 38 has a density of about 15 to 17 lbs/ft3, a specific gravity of about 0.24 and 0.27, a hydrolysis resistance using the ASTM D3574 Test J/Test D after autoclaved five hours at 250° F. of about 5, a water vapor transfer based on ASTM E96-00 of about 50 g/ft3/24 hours, and a water absorption based on ASTM-D570 of about 125. The Poron® ProZorb™ Performance Urethanes manufactured by Rogers Corporation, of 245 Woodstock Road, Woodstock, Conn. 06281-1815, may be used in the preferred embodiment. Layer 39 is a non-woven fabric layer which supports sweatband 19 and keeps it from collapsing or stretching to much.

As outer layer 40 pulls the moisture away from the wearer, foam layer 38 traps it until the moisture can be released into the air sometime after the wearer has removed the cap or after it has been released the other way to the outside surface 21 of the crown where it evaporates. The moisture is not felt by the wearer since it is pulled into the open structure of foam layer 38.

Use of specially configured sweatband 19 with crown 16 or 28 provides a cap with comprehensive moisture management properties. Headband 19 pulls moisture from the skin of the wearer and is connected to crown 16 or 28 such that the bottom edge of crown 16 or 28, which is generally aligned with the bottom edge 24 of headband 19, will pull the moisture from the outside surface of sweatband 19 and disperse it across the outside surface 21 of the crown to facilitate evaporation. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 9, the combination of the specially configured crown with a specially configured sweatband allows for the moisture absorbed by sweatband 19 to be released to the outside fabric 17 or 31 of crown 16 or 28, respectively, and dispersed for evaporation on the outside surface 21 without the wearer having to remove the cap.

The present invention contemplates that many changes and modifications may be made. Therefore, while the presently preferred form of the cap as been shown and described, and several embodiments discussed, persons skilled in this art will readily appreciate that various additional changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention, as defined and differentiated by the following claims.

Classifications
U.S. Classification2/171
International ClassificationA42B1/04
Cooperative ClassificationA42B1/069, A42C5/02
European ClassificationA42B1/06D, A42C5/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 20, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: NEW ERA CAP CO., INC., NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TALLEY, TIMOTHY J.;REEL/FRAME:019505/0412
Effective date: 20070605