US 2617102 A
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R. M HENRY MEMBERS AND MEANS FOR MOLDING THEM Filed Dec. 5, 1947 SEAMLESS MOLDED FABRIC BREAST RECEIVING AND SUPPORTING Nov, 11, 1952 INVENTOR. RICHARD MAC HENRY 'BY Z I Patented Nov. 11, 1952 UNI TED STAT ES PATENT OFFI E SEAMLES S MOLDED FABRIC BREAST RE- CEIVING FAND' SUPPIORTING MEIVIBERS AND MEANS-FOR MOLDING'THEM-- Richard MacI-I'enr'y, Chester, Pa., assignor to American Viscose Corporation,
Del., a corporationofDelaware 1 Application December-5,1947, Serial N o.- 789,868 l 7 Clainisl '(Cl. 2-42) Thisinvention-'relates to seamless molded fabric breast receiving and supporting members,
and 'tofmeans' for molding the members from a flat fabric.
Cups or pockets for brassiere's' and similar gar mentsiare intended to fit snugly about the breast and to hold it in properly upliftedposition to impart the desired estheti'c shape; Molded seamless cups'orpocketsfwhich have been available heretofore have had the disadvantage thatthe bottom" sags in us'e, withinevitable dr'oo'ping of the breasts. This sagging of the bottom of the prior-art seamless cups under the weight'of'the breast is an inherent'd'efect in the cups and the inescapable'r'esult .of -the Shape imparted to the fabric-during the molding'or shaping operation. 7
The practice has been to-shape' the fabric on a mold having a generally round peripheral surface of the same curvature throughout. Regardless of size, thosecups always comprise an amount ofv fabric r in excess of that'requ'ire'd' for snug conforman'ce of the cup to the contours of thebreast which they are intended to fit, and for support ing the breast in the desired position. When the cups are worn, the excess fabric constitutes slack in the cu which permits the major portion of the load, i. e., the weight ofthe breast, to be concentratedjdirectly at'the bottomof the cup;
Due 'tolthe fact that he curvature of the surface of the cup is the same'atall portions, the bottom gives and sags out'of the desired shape" under the load. The sagging'can onlybe counteracted by very tight adjustment of the straps or the like of the garment'comprisi'ng the cups, which causes a drag or pull'on the shoulder's and around the torso of the wearer. Drago'rpull isexertedlin any case, because-the strain placed on the straps,
and therefore on the body of the wearer, by sag" ging of the bottom and 'drooping 'ofthe breasts,
is of at least .the same magnitude. as the strain caused by tightly drawn straps; So long aslithe peripheral surface of the cups is kept-inth'e desired-seamless or tuckless, condition," the tendency of the bottom to sea in' i'lsecannot'be overcome without strain on the body of the wearer. The object of this invention is to provide new seamless moldedfabricbreast receiving and supporting members which" comprise only s'ufhcient fabric \to insure snug fit of the member about the breast and tofsupportrit in properly uplifted;
disposition .Another object is to provide such M seamless members ,the bottomof which functions to distribute a greater portion ofvthe weight of the breast'toward and along the sides of the member than has beenthe ewithpr r a t seamless members. 'Another object is to provide seamless members the peripheral surface of which is of such shape. that the breast is held in the estheticall'y desirable uplifted position without strain on the body of the wearer or interference with complete 'freedom of body movement. A further" object is to provide a novel mold of special shape for use in" molding thenew members from a flat fabric. The seamless breast "receiving and supporting vmembers of the invention are moldedor' shaped on a mold having a peripheral surface, the outline of which is based'upon a conceptwhich is wholly novel in the manufacture of members of" this type; The mold is 'generallybreast shaped,
but one portion'of the peripheral "surface comprises a generally'trapezoidal portionextending from a point adjacent the base of the mold to"- Ward a plane, adjacentthe apex, but preferably extending clear to'the apex and has a reduced curvature (or convexity asviewed externally) as compared to the curvature of the" remaining portion of the surface." "When'the trapezoidal 'portion extends from the base tothe apex, it comprises a spherical triangular area, any portion of which other than that adjacent the apex' may be regarded asthe trapezoidal portion'referred to hereinabove. The portion comprising the generally trapezoidal portion is preferably flat or almost flat between'the sides joining it to the remaining portion of the surface. When a fabric is molded or shaped on the novel mold of the invention, the surface of the resulting breast= receiving and supporting'memberhas imparted to it a corresponding portion adapted to fit be-.
Because of" the difference in curvature of" the several 'portions of the surface of'the member and the consequent reduction ini'the amount of fabric comprising the memberon' the. supporting side; the member comprises only sufficient fabric 3 r to insure snug fit oflthe. member to the contours of the breast, when'the memberiis'of any given size correlated to the size 'of' the wearer. The curvature 'of the generally trapezoidal portion is such that the bottom of the member isselfloading, i. e., under load it rounds out to the shape of a shallow catenary curve corresponding to the proper breast shape desired. Since the member is free of slack, and the bottom cannot sag, the bottom accepts a portion of the load but also functions to distribute a greater proportion of the weight of the breast toward the opposite ends of the catenary and along the sides of the member than would be done by a member formed without the portion of reduced curvature. The breast is suspended in the catenary, from the opposite ends thereof, in such a manner that the weight is more equally distributed and the breast is held in proper uplifted condition. The portion of reduced curvature performs the function of distributing the weight of the breast in the member, in such a fashion that the breast itself serves to mold the member to the final desired shape. The member is thus rounded out to shape, and the breast is molded to and supported in uplifted position by virtue of the cooperation of the breast receiving and supporting member with the breast, and without benefit of any extraneous aids.
The portion of reduced curvature preferably occurs at the center of the bottom of the member, and may occupy up to one-half of the underside of the member. Preferably, the portion occupies approximately one-third of the underside of the member.
The new breast receiving and supporting members comprising the self-loading bottom are made by molding a fiat fabric comprising thermoplastic yarns on a generally breastshaped mold, a portion of the peripheral surface of which comprises a generally trapezoidal portion as described herein. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the fiat fabric comprises thermoplastic, potentially heat-shrinkable yarns in the non-thermoplastic, non-softened condition, and the fabric, after fitting thereof to the contours of the mold, is uniformly heated to effect shrinkage of the individual heat-shrinkable yarns, thereby producing, by such shrinkage, a bust receiving and supporting member having molded directly therein a segment comprising the generally trapezoidal portion, and stabilized in the shape of the mold. By fitting the fabric to the contours of the mold is meant placing the fabric on the mold and smoothing it or pulling it out to conform to the mold and so that it is substantially free of wrinkles or folds, without subjecting it to a tension substantially greater than the tension to which a knitted fabric is subjected when it -is pulled out to its normal, full machine dimensions.
The fabric may be woven or knitted, and is preferably knitted, but in any case, when the fabric comprises heat-shrinkable yarns, as is preferred, the individual yarns in the shaped fabric are substantially uniformly shrunk and reduced in diameter, after the heat-treatment, as compared to the diameter of the yarns in the fiat fabric, and prior to the heating and shrinking step. Knitted fabrics of all types may be molded in accordance with the invention. As an example, the fabric may be of the circular knit type, the stitches of which are formed by interlocking loops. In the normal condition of such a fabric is fitted to the single mold member of the invention and heated, the slack is removed from the round end of each of the loops, with straightening or tautening thereof. In the shaped and stabilized fabric, i. e., in the molded bust receiving and supporting members, each of the loops, comprises two straight sides and a straight end, joined by substantially straight or squared corners. Shrinkage of the individual yarns and straightening of the normally slack ends of the loops serves to stabilize the fabric in the shape of the mold.
Again, the fabric may be of the warp knit type, that is, a multiple warp fabric in which the warps form an interlocking system. In fabrics of that type, each wale, in each course, is joined to a wale in another course, by yarns extending diagonally of the wales. In their normal state, the yarns forming the loops comprising the wales or ribs of the fabric are comparatively soft and full, and the loops are comparatively loose and slack. The yarn extending diagonally of the wales is also comparatively full and slack and, upon close examination, the diagonally extending yarns appear to lie in a loose, bulky condition on the back of the fabric, the individual fibers of the yarn being spread out and discernible. When, such a warp knit fabric comprising heat-shrinkable potentially thermoplastic yarn is fitted to a single mold member having a portion comprising a generally trapezoidal portion, in accordance with the invention, and heated, the yarns forming the ribs or wales, and the diagonally extending yarns which join the courses together, are individually shrunk and compacted, and reduced in diameter. The loops forming the wales or ribs in the shaped and stabilized fabric appear to be elongated, with their opposite sides drawn more closely together than in the fiat fabric, while the yarns extending diagonally of the wales are drawn taut and lie fiat on the back of the fabric.
Regardless of the type of knitted fabric molded, when it comprises heat-shrinkable yarns, it is stabilized in the shape of the mold by removal of the slack resulting from shrinkage of the yarns uniformly at all portions of the fabric, and the molded fabric member is substantially lacking in stretchability. The stitches of the shaped knitted fabrics comprising the individually shrunk yarns may slip relatively to each other, as for instance, when they are handled during laundering, but do not give under stress. The support provided by the portion comprising the generally trapezoidal portion of reduced curvature molded into the members is reinforced by the slack-free condition of the individual stitches of the fabric.
The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing in which:
Figure 1 is a plan view of a mold according to the invention;
Figure 2 is a side view of the mold of Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a fragmentary view, in section, showing details of the mold of Figures 1 and 2;
Figure 4 is a plan view of the bust receiving and supporting member of the invention;
Figure 5 is a side view of the member of Figure 4;
Figure 6 is an elevation of apparatus comprising the mold of Figures 1 and 2; and
Figure 'I is a view of an assembled brassiere comprising the novel breast receiving and supporting members of the invention.
Referring to Figures 1 and 2, there is shown a mold 2 of generally breast shape, the peripheral from the upper edge of the shallow groove 5 'ly" ing adjacent th baseof the mold, to'the apex. As actually shown," portion 4 comprises a spherical surface3 of which comprises aportion t comprising a generallytrapezoidal portion extending triangular area defined bycurved sides [6 and l'l-J' The groove5 is provided so that when'the fabric 1 is heated in situ on the mold, the yarns in-the portion thereof overlying the groove are spaced away from-the surface of the mold'and are not afiectedby the heat or* are affected to a lesser'...
extent than the remaining yarnsgand-eitherdonot shrink or shrink: to a lesserextent, to provide a comparatively *soft sewing edge on the breast receiving and supporting member. -'Instead of-a groove, the mold may be provided-with an insert -or band of a-material which does'not yarns is in'place on' the mold; to' set the yarns in the shrunk state,- fo'r instance; by subjecting it to a stream'ofcold air.
Instead of heating the fabric on the mold in the manner describedgiother means for applying a controlled amount of heat, either wet or dry, uniformly to all portions of. the fabric may be used; For example; the molds may be heated in-i conduct heatgthe portion of the fabric in con tact with such insert being substantially unaffected by the heat treatment. -Imbedded' inthe base of the mold,-- and extending peripherally-- thereof is a heating wire Shaving connections to a source of electric current (see Fig.8). "The wire is imbedded in a non-conductivecementing material I5.
heated, the heat-serving to activate the thermo plastic yarns-in the portion" of the fabric overly-- ing the wire-to a softened ormelted condition, whereby the molded fabric member is readily After the fabric has been molded to the shape of the mold,-the wire isenergizedand separated from the remaining portion of the fabric. Groove 5may' be, and as shown, is, ir-
regular in outline, andis wider at one side of the shaped fabric are the sameas the dimensions of mold than at" the other-to provide a soft edge 1',
(Fig. 4) of varyingdepth onthe molded fabric member. That portion'of' the soft edge having the greater width occurs at the top of the memher in use and permits the edge to be doubled-upon itself during sewing and finishing.
Figures 4 and 5 are illustrative of'a bust'receiving and supporting-memberobtained by shaping a fiat knitted fabric comprising thermoplastic yarns on the mold of Figures 1 and 2. .The shaped fabric has a peripheral surface 8 having-a curva-' ture corresponding to the peripheral surfacei'of the mold and comprising a portion 9, comprising ternally yby-'means of' hot water, heating coils, etc.,- the 'heat"-:being transmitted to the fabric through-the mold. Ihe mold'mayfb'eformed of; any suitable material, and is usuallyiiformed iof heat-conductive metalwPreferably; the tempera ture'to' WhiCh-"..th fabricis' exposed','an'd the durait tion'of -the heat treatment are controlled so that the yarnsor' filaments shrink spontaneously with out undue softening or coalescencethe conditions i of the heat treatment :depending upon the par- 1 ticular heat-shrihkableyarns or-filaments comprising the fabric;-.2-:..
WhiIe it'is preferredto stabilize the' flat fabric .1 .1 in the shapeof the new mold "by shrinkage of the individual thermoplastic yarns, because of the desirableproperties of the molded fabric membersthus 'obtained,'such as uniformity of the yarns atall porti'onsof the fabric, a slick smooth feel," and uniform translucent appearance, and
the fact that'the transverse dimensions of the the fabric'prior toheating thereof, the fabric in the thermoplastic condition may also be stretched over and in conformity with the moldand then set in the stretchedpondition, or it maybe overstretc'hed and then'shrunk back to the shape of the mold.
The'fiat fabrics may comprise any filaments or yarns, including yarns comprising discontinuous fibers, formed'from a thermoplastic material, in-
cluding the vinyl resins,'nylon, cellulose acetate inethe thermoplastic state, and the like. When it is desired to effect the shaping by uniform shrinka generally trapezoidal portion of reduced curva ture'and corresponding in outline to portion 4'of the mold. As shown, segment Bis almost'flat be tween the sides of the trapezoid joining it to the remaining portion of the member.
Figure '7 illustrates. a brassiere. comprising breast receiving and supporting members in accordance-with the invention, the straps l8 and I9 being secured at the outwardly jutting points 2!] of the member,- and "to thebo'dy encircling member 2|.
The fabric fitted to the contours ofthe mold may be heated to efiect'uniformshrinkage and reduction in the diameter of the individual yarns.
age of "the thermoplastic-yarns, the yarns may be formed from filaments or fibers of a thermoof the fabric in any suitable manner. One means for accomplishing this is illustrated in Figure 6. In Figure 6 there'is shown a chamberi? contain-.4 ing a supporting surface I 0 which supports a plu-f rality of molds ,ll of the type shown-more fully chamber through a pipe l3 and introduced into.
l3a provided with outlets leadingto the interionfl .65 in Figures. 1 and 2. Steam is injected into the spontaneously while remaining intact when the fa-bric ishe'ated to a temperaturebelow the melting and decompositiontemperatures for the thermoplastic; In a preferred'embodiment of the invention, the 'heat shrinkable-yarns or filaments are form'e'd from' fiber-forming resins resulting fromthe polymerization of one or more substances containing the vinyl radical. Examples of such materials'are the acrylate and alkacrylate resins, polymers" of'vinyl-esters such as vinyl acetate, polymers of'vinyl ethers' such as vinyl ac'etals,
methacrylate polymers, and copolymers'or inter-" polymers'of vinyl halides. with other organic" polymerizable s'ubstanc'escontaining the vinyl radical'i:
In a specifically; "preferred "embodiment, the
heat-shrinkable: yarns or filaments comprise :a
. copolymer "of 'vinyl "chloride with vinyl acetate, the interior of the molds through. the manifoldcontainingabout vinyl chloride in the "copolymer molecule,oracopolymer of vinyl chloride and acrylonitrile containing'tabout 55% vinyl chloride in' the 'copolymermoleculer Such -filaments or yarns may be rendered heat-shrinkable by subjecting them to a stretch of from to 1200% or more during their production, or subsequently to their production but prior to their fabrication, and while in a cold unsoften-ed state, or in somewhat softened and plastic condition. Generally, the filaments or yarns so. stretched have, prior to their fabrication, a residual shrinkage capacity of at least 50% at temperatures below the melting and decomposition temperatures for the resin. As an example, such prestretched yarns comprising a copolymer of vinyl acetate and vinyl chloride have a residual shrinkage capacity of at least 50% at temperatures of from 85 to 95 C.
Breast receiving and supporting members having a self -loading bottom constituted by a portion of the peripheral surface comprising a portion of reduced curvature as described herein may also be molded from woven fabrics comprising thermoplastic yarns.
By the practice of this invention, a self-loading. non-sagging bottom is molded integrally with remaining portions of the members, the self-loading bottom being independent of any darts, tucks, seams, or the like in the molded fabric.
The members of the invention may be laundered and manipulated without permanent loss of shape, the shape being immediately restored by molding of the member to the desired shape, by the breast itself, when the members are worn.
1. A seamless molded fabric breast receiving and supportin member molded from a flat fabric knitted from thermoplastic heat-shrinkable yarns which exist in the flat fabric in the unshrunk condition, said molded member being stabilized in generally breast-like shape and comprising an edge of irregular outline, said molded member having a peripheral surface comprising a spherical triangular area defined by curved sides extending from the edge of the member, said spherical triangular area being substantially fiat as compared to the remaining portion of the peripheral surface, and constituting a self -loading bottom for the member in use, the base of the spherical triangle lying adjacent the edge of the member, the yarns in the molded fabric member other than the yarns comprising the edge being shrunk and substantially reduced in diameter as compared to the yarns in the flat fabric, and the yarns comprising the edge of the member being in substantially the same condition as the yarns in the fiat fabric.
2. A seamless molded fabric breast receiving and supporting member stabilized in generally breast-like shape and having a peripheral surface one portion of which comprises an integral, substantially non-stretchable, spherical triangular area defined by curved sides and constituting a self-loading bottom for the member in use, the spherical triangular area being substantially flat as compared to the remaining portion of the peripheral surface of the member and adapted to round-out without saggin to a shallow catenary curve under load in use, the base of the triangle lying adjacent the edge of the member.
3. A seamless molded fabric member as in claim 1, the fabric comprising the member being a circular knit fabric the loops of which comprise two straight sides joined to a straight end by squared corners.
4. A seamless molded member as in claim 1, the fabric comprising said member being a warp knit fabric in which the loops forming the wales are drawn closely together and the yarns extending diagonally of the wales are drawn taut and lie flat against the back of the fabric.
5. A seamless molded fabric breast receiving and supporting member molded from a fiat fabric knitted from thermoplastic heat-shrinkable yarns which exist in the flat fabric in the unshrunk condition, said molded member being stabilized in generally breast-like shape and having a peripheral surface comprising a spherical triangular area defined by curved sides extending from the edge of the member, said spherical triangular area being substantially flat as compared to the remaining portion of the peripheral surface and constituting a self-loading bottom for the member in use, the base of the spherical triangle lying adjacent the edge of the member, the yarns in the molded fabric member other than the yarns comprising the edge thereof being shrunk, and the yarns comprising the edge of the member being in substantially the same condition as the yarns in the fiat fabric.
6. A mold of generally breast-like shape comprising an effective molding surface and a nonmolding surface, the efiective molding surface comprising a spherical triangular area defined by curved sides extending upwardly from the base of the effective molding surface, the base of the spherical triangle lying adjacent the base of the effective molding surface and the spherical triangular area being substantially flat as compared to the remaining portion of the peripheral surface of the breast-like mold, a groove below the effective molding surface and extending peripherally of the mold between the effective molding surface and the non-molding surface, said groove preventing direct contact of the fabric overlying the groove with the heated surface of the mold and having a portion of increased width as compared to the width of the remaining portion thereof, and means arranged below the groove for separating fabric shaped on the mold from unshaped fabric.
7. A mold as in claim 6, said mold being formed of a heat-conductive metal and the means for separating fabric shaped on the mold from unshaped fabric comprising a conductive metal element extending peripherally of the mold, below the groove, and having connections with a source of electric current.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
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