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Publication numberUS20080163405 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/621,316
Publication dateJul 10, 2008
Filing dateJan 9, 2007
Priority dateJan 9, 2007
Publication number11621316, 621316, US 2008/0163405 A1, US 2008/163405 A1, US 20080163405 A1, US 20080163405A1, US 2008163405 A1, US 2008163405A1, US-A1-20080163405, US-A1-2008163405, US2008/0163405A1, US2008/163405A1, US20080163405 A1, US20080163405A1, US2008163405 A1, US2008163405A1
InventorsRobert J. Jacquart, Herbert M. Westover, Anthony P. Loiacono, Lindsay Piper, Susan M. Anderson, Becky K. Maki
Original AssigneeJacquart Robert J, Westover Herbert M, Loiacono Anthony P, Lindsay Piper, Anderson Susan M, Maki Becky K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable fit cap with movable ear flap
US 20080163405 A1
Abstract
An adjustable cap or headwear intended for cold weather use that includes an ear flap that is movable between a retracted and an extended position to provide additional protection for the ears of the wearer. The adjustable cap or headwear includes a pair of expansion zones formed in the crown portion of the cap that adjust the size of the head opening of the cap such that the cap can be used by wearers having different head sizes. When the ear flap is in the retracted position, the ear flap is positioned along the outer surface of the crown portion to conceal the pair of expansion zones.
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Claims(14)
1. Adjustable headwear, comprising:
a crown portion shaped to fit over at least a portion of the wearer's head, the crown portion having a front, a back and opposite sides, the crown portion having a lower peripheral edge defining a head opening;
at least one expansion zone formed in the crown portion, wherein the expansion zone comprises a stretchable material that stretches to adjust the size of the head opening to fit wearers of different head size; and
a movable ear flap positioned along the crown portion, the movable ear flap extending along at least the back and opposite sides of the crown portion, the ear flaps being movable between a retracted position and an extended position, wherein the ear flap covers the expansion zone in the retracted position.
2. The adjustable headwear of claim 1 further comprising a pair of expansion zones each formed in one of the sides of the crown portion.
3. The adjustable headwear of claim 2 wherein both of the pair of expansion zones are covered by the ear flap when the ear flap is in the retracted position.
4. The adjustable headwear of claim 3 further comprising a brim attached to the front of the crown portion.
5. The adjustable headwear of claim 2 wherein each of the expansion zones extends into the crown portion from the lower peripheral edge.
6. The adjustable headwear of claim 5 wherein the crown portion is shaped to fit over the entire crown of a wearer's head, the crown portion being formed from a plurality of gores sewn together.
7. The adjustable headwear of claim 6 wherein each of the expansion zones is formed in one of the gores.
8. The adjustable headwear of claim 2 further comprising a headband attached to an interior surface of the crown portion along the lower peripheral edge, the headband configured to contact the wearer's head, wherein the headband is removed in the pair of expansion zones.
9. An adjustable cap, comprising:
a crown portion shaped to fit over the crown of a wearer's head, the crown portion having an outer surface, a front, a back, opposite sides and a lower peripheral edge defining a head opening;
a pair of expansion zones formed in the opposite sides of the crown portion, wherein the expansion zones comprise a stretchable material that stretches to adjust the size of the head opening; and
a movable ear flap positioned along the outer surface of the crown portion and extending along the back and the opposite sides of the crown portion, the ear flaps being movable between a retracted position and an extended position, wherein the ear flap covers the expansion zone in the retracted position.
10. The adjustable cap of claim 9 wherein a bottom edge of the ear flap is generally aligned with the lower peripheral edge of the crown portion when the ear flap is in the retracted position.
11. The adjustable cap of claim 9 wherein each of the expansion zones extends into the crown portion from the lower peripheral edge.
12. The adjustable cap of claim 11 wherein the crown portion is formed from a plurality of gores sewn together.
13. The adjustable cap of claim 12 wherein each of the expansion zones is formed in one of the gores.
14. The adjustable cap of claim 9 further comprising a headband attached to an inner surface of the crown portion along the lower peripheral edge, the headband being configured to contact the wearer, wherein the headband is removed in the pair of expansion zones.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a cap or other type of headwear having movable ear flaps to protect the ears of the wearer. More specifically, the present invention relates to a cap or other type of headwear that has movable ear flaps and is adjustable to compensate for different head sizes of the wearer.

Cold weather caps that include movable ear flaps to protect the ears of the wearer have been known for many years. As an example, U.S. Pat. No. 1,540,405 shows a cap including a crown portion formed form a series of gores or panels sewn together including an ear flap that is movable from a retracted position to an extended position. However, the typical cap with ear flaps shown in the '405 patent is formed from wool gores and is fitted to the specific size of the wearer's head.

Although caps having ear flaps have been available for many years, a desire exists for the mass distribution of these hats in situations in which the size of the wearer's head is not known. Although many different hats exist that include adjustable headband sizes to compensate for different size heads of the wearer, many of these adjustable hats include either straps or other types of adjustment mechanisms that can be seen from the exterior of the hat. These types of adjustment mechanisms detract from the overall appearance of the cap and are not deemed acceptable in many applications.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present disclosure relates to an adjustable cap or other type of headwear, such as a brimless hat, visor or headband, that includes a movable ear flap and one or more expansion zones that allow the cap or headwear to adjust to the size of the wearer's head.

The adjustable cap or headwear generally includes a crown portion that is sized to fit over at least a portion of the wearer's head. The crown portion includes a front, back and opposite sides that combine to create a lower peripheral edge that defines a head opening to receive the wearer's head. The crown portion can extend over the entire crown of the wearer's head in one embodiment of the invention. In another, alternate embodiment, the crown portion extends only over a portion of the wearer's head, such as in an embodiment in which the cap or headwear is a visor or headband.

The cap or headwear includes a movable ear flap that is positioned along the crown portion and is movable between an extended position and a retracted position. When the movable ear flap is in the retracted position, the ear flap is positioned along an exterior surface of the crown portion. When the movable ear flap is in the extended position, the ear flap extends over the ears of a wearer of the cap.

The crown portion of the adjustable cap or headwear includes at least one expansion zone that is formed as part of the crown portion. The expansion zone preferably includes a stretchable material that stretches to adjust the size of the head openings when the wearer places the adjustable cap on their head. In one embodiment, the adjustable cap includes two separate expansion zones each positioned on opposite sides of the crown portion. The pair of expansion zones, each of which include the stretchable material, allows the size of the head opening to be adjusted depending upon the size of the wearer's head.

When the movable ear flap is in its retracted position, the movable ear flap covers the entire expansion zone and the stretchable material that forms the expansion zone. In this manner, the stretchable material is concealed when the ear flap is in its retracted position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an adjustable cap including a movable ear flap;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the adjustable cap of FIG. 1 shown positioned on the head of a wearer with the ear flap in the retracted position;

FIG. 3 is a side view similar to FIG. 2, showing the movement of the ear flap to the extended position;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the adjustable cap with the opposite sides of the ear flap in an untethered state;

FIG. 5 is a section view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a section view similar to FIG. 5 illustrating the expansion of the adjustable cap;

FIG. 7 is a side view illustrating the inclusion of textual or graphical information on the ear flap;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a brimless cap including the pair of expansion zones;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a headband including the pair of expansion zones; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a visor including the pair of expansion zones.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate an adjustable cap 10 that can be used by a wearer 12. Throughout the remaining portions of this description, the term “adjustable cap” will be used in describing the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-7. However, various other types of headwear, such as headbands, visors and brimless caps are contemplated as being within the scope of the invention and covered by the term “cap”.

The adjustable cap 10 includes a crown portion 14 that extends over at least a portion of the wearer's head to provide protection for the wearer's head. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the crown portion 14 extends over the entire crown of the wearer's head. However, it is contemplated that the crown portion 14 could be truncated and extend only over a portion of the wearer's head, such as in the case of a headband or visor. The crown portion 14 is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as being formed from a plurality of individual gores or panels 16 joined to each other along a series of individual sewn seams 18 to define the dome-like appearance of the crown portion 14. In the embodiment shown, the cap includes six panels or gores 16, each of which are formed from wool, although other materials are contemplated as being within the scope of the present invention.

The crown portion 14 generally includes a front 20, a back 22 and opposite sides 24. The crown portion 14 terminates at a lower peripheral edge 26 that defines a head opening 28 (FIG. 5) that receives the head of the wearer. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, in a first embodiment of the invention, the adjustable cap 10 includes a bill 30 attached to the lower peripheral edge 26 at the front 20.

Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, the adjustable cap 10 includes a movable ear flap 32 that, in the embodiment of the invention illustrated, extends around the entire peripheral edge of the crown portion and is joined at the front 20 of the cap by a tie 34. The ear flap 32 is generally defined by a top edge 36 and a bottom edge 38 that define the width of the ear flap 32. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the right side 40 and the left side 42 of the ear flap 32 each include an end 44, 46 having an eyelet 48 that receives the tie 34 to secure the right and left sides 40, 42 of the ear flap 32.

As can be understood in FIGS. 2 and 3, the ear flap 32 is movable between a retracted position (FIG. 2) and an extended position (FIG. 3) to provide protection for the wearer's ears 47 as desired. The movement of the ear flap 32 between the retracted and extended position is carried out utilizing a portion of material, referred to as a slide flap (not shown), that connects the crown portion 14 to the ear flap 32. Details of the slide flap connecting the ear flap 32 to the crown portion 14 are shown in detail in U.S. Pat. No. 1,540,405, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the right and left sides 40, 42 of the ear flap 32 are each secured to the outer surface of the crown portion 14 at a point 49 past the midsection between the front 20 and the back 22 of the cap 10. Thus, when the tie 34 is unfastened, each of the left and right sides 40, 42 can be pulled away from the exterior surface of the crown portion 14. When the left and right side 40, 42 are pulled away from the crown portion, information can be screen printed or embroidered onto each of the right and left sides 40, 42 using conventional screen printing machines and embroidery machines. In past caps including a movable ear flap, each of the right and left sides 40, 42 are secured to the outer surface of the crown portion 14 much closer to the front 20, such that embroidery and screen printing on the ear flap 32 had to occur prior to attachment of the ear flap 32 to the crown portion 14.

Referring back to FIGS. 1 and 2, the adjustable cap 10 includes a pair of expansion zones 50, 52 formed in the crown portion. Each of the expansion zones 50, 52 is included in one of the gores 16 and functions to allow for adjustment of the size of the head opening defined by the lower peripheral edge 26. Thus, the pair of expansion zones 50, 52 allow the size of the head opening to change when the adjustable cap 10 is placed on the head of the wearer. The adjustable size of the head opening 28 can be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, as illustrated by the arrows 54 in FIG. 6.

Although the embodiment of the invention shown in the Figs. includes a right expansion zone 50 and a left expansion zone 52 each formed in gores 16 formed on opposite sides 24 of the crown portion 14, it is contemplated that only a single expansion zone 50 or 52 could be utilized while operating within the scope of the present invention. If only a single expansion zone is formed in the cap 10, it is contemplated that the single expansion zone could be formed in either side 24 of the cap or along the back 20. However, the use of a pair of expansion zones 50, 52 allows for greater differences in the size of the head opening, since expansion occurs on both sides of the adjustable cap 10.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the expansion zone 50 extends upward into the crown portion 14 from the lower peripheral edge 26 to a top end 56. Preferably, the expansion zone 50, as well as the opposite expansion zone 52, includes a stretchable material 58 that is sewn into the side panel or gore 16. As an example, the stretchable material 58 may be an elastic, fabric covered section that expands as opposing forces are placed on the front and back 20, 22 of the cap when the cap is placed on a wearer's head. Thus, the stretchable material 58 allows the circumference of the head opening to increase or decrease depending upon the size of the wearer's head.

As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, each of the expansion zones 50, 52 is covered by the ear flap 32 when the ear flap 32 is in the retracted position of FIG. 2. Specifically, the top edge 36 of the ear flap 32 extends above the top end 56 of the stretchable material 58 to conceal the entire stretchable material 58 when the ear flap 32 is in the retracted position.

As illustrated in FIG. 3, when the ear flap 32 is moved to its extended position, the top end 56 and a portion of the stretchable material 58 extends slightly above the top edge 36 of the ear flap 32. Thus, only when the ear flap 32 is in its extended position can the stretchable material 58 of the expansion zone 50 be viewed.

Referring now to FIGS. 5 and 6, the interior surface of the adjustable cap 10 includes a headband 60 that contacts the head of the wearer when the adjustable cap is placed on the head of the wearer. The headband 60 is interrupted by the stretchable material 58 of both the expansion zones 50, 52 such that the stretchable material 58 contacts the wearer's head. Since the headband 60 is typically formed form a material that does not stretch or expand, the headband 60 is interrupted at each of the expansion zones 50, 52 to allow for the increase in the head opening 28 depending upon the size of the wearer's head.

FIG. 7 illustrates the adjustable cap 10 having advertising or promotional information 62 either screen printed or embroidered onto the right side 40 of the ear flap 32. As described previously, since the right and left sides 40, 42 of the ear flap 32 are secured to the crown portion near the back of the adjustable cap, the promotional or advertising information 62 can be placed on the adjustable cap after the cap has been manufactured.

FIG. 8 illustrates an adjustable cap 64 formed in the same manner as the cap shown in FIGS. 1-2 without a bill attached to the front 20. However, the adjustable cap 64 includes the movable ear flap 32 and the pair of expansion zones 50, 52 such that the adjustable cap 64 can be worn by wearers having different head sizes.

FIG. 9 illustrates an adjustable headband 66 constructed in accordance with the present invention. The adjustable headband 66 includes an abbreviated crown portion 68 that includes the pair of expansion zones 50, 52. Further, the adjustable headband 66 includes the movable ear flap 32 that covers the expansion zones 50, 52 in the retracted position shown.

FIG. 10 illustrates an adjustable visor 70 that includes the same abbreviated crown portion 68 and expansion zones 50, 52 and movable ear flap 32, as shown in FIG. 9. However, the visor 70 includes a bill 72 attached near the front of the visor 70.

Classifications
U.S. Classification2/172, 2/195.2
International ClassificationA42B1/06, A42B1/22
Cooperative ClassificationA42B1/22, A42B1/068
European ClassificationA42B1/22, A42B1/06C4
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 4, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: JACQUART FABRIC PRODUCTS, INC., MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JACQUART, ROBERT J.;WESTOVER, HERBERT M.;LOIACONO, ANTHONY P.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019115/0111;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070109 TO 20070330