US 3327707 A
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June 27, 1967 M. STORTI 3,327,707
FIGURE CONTROL GARMENT AND METHOD THEREFOR Filed Aug. 17, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1.
Fig l June 27, 1967 M. STORTI 3,327,707
FIGURE CONTROL GARMENT AND METHOD THEREFOR Filed Aug. 17 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 2:0 mg 9, I
United States Patent M 3,327,707 FIGURE CONTRGL GARMENT AND METHGD THEREFDR Michael Storti, Barrington, R.I., assignor to Rollin 8: Haas (Iornpany, Philadelphia, Pa, a corporation of Delaware Fiied Aug. 17, 1964, Ser. No. 390,064 4 Ciaims. (Cl. 128539) This invention relates to figure control garments and to methods for preparing such garments. More particularly, the invention deals with a foundation garment having control panels attached thereto and to the method for producing such reinforced foundation garments.
In a number of arments, such as foundation garments, girdles, brassieres, swim suits, etc., one of the prime functions of the garment is to smooth out unsightly contours of the body by redistribution. This function is accomplished by the power exerted by an elastic fabric which comprises the body of the garment and by the relationship of the size of the garment to the size of the wearer. For example, a small garment on a large woman would exert maximum power in smoothing out unsightly contours but would be very uncomfortable to wear. Further, the control exerted in this manner is applied approximately equally around the entire circumference of the garment whereas it is desired to exert greater control in some areas, as the stomach, and less in others, as the back. In order to provide garments of suitable size with varying degrees of control over the area of the garment, it is conventional to incorporate control panels into the garment design to permit emphasis on specific body areas by increasing power at those points without changes in the size of the garment and while still permitting the use of uniform elastic or stretch fibers in the construction of the garment. Such a construction achieves the desired control and sub stantially increases wearing comfort. These control panels normally consist of heavier weight one-way stretch fabrics and are stitched into the body of the garment at strategic areas.
The advent of elastic fibers having increased modulus and power, such as the spandex fibers, has made possible the production of relatively shear fabrics in power nets, laces, etc. This development, in turn, has accentuated the bulk of the seam introduced in stitching in the control panels. The contrast thus created is highly objectionable in an industry which is highly style conscious.
A variety of techniques have been introduced in an attempt to solve this problem. Thus, 'both elastic and nonelastic adhesives have been applied to areas of the garment body so that the adhesive, rather than the fabric previously used, could be used to vary the power of the garment. To improve the aesthetic appeal of such an adhesive-coated garment, the adhesive surface is flocked. While the industry has accepted such procedures, they are subject to substantial and significant drawbacks. Thus, the flock has a tendency to rub off with repeated wear and laundering; the adhesive is subject to serious discoloration problems; and the adhesives have neither the stretch, the strength, nor the aesthetic appeal of the fabrics previously used in control panel construction.
Accordingly, it is an object of the invention to provide a garment construction embodying control panels without bulky seams.
It is further an object of the invention to provide an economic and elficient manner of incorporating control panels in garment construction.
These and other objects of the invention will best be understood from the following description of the invention together with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of a conventional foundation garment;
3,327,707 Patented June 27, 1967 FIGURE 2 is a diagrammatic view in cross-section of a conventional seam whereby the control panel is affixed to the foundation garment;
FIGURE 3 is a representation of a typical control panel;
FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic representation of apparatus for producing a coated fabric for use in the instant invention;
FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic representation of the attachment of the control panel to the body control garment in accordance with the invention;
FIGURES 6a and 6b are enlarged partial sections of a body control garment with a control panel attached thereto in accordance with the invention;
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged section of another embodiment of the invention diagrammatically illustrating a body control garment with a control panel attached thereto in accordance with the invention.
FIGURE 1 diagrammatically represents a foundation garment, in this case a panty girdle, constructed of all-way stretch elastic fabric 10 and having an upper waistband 11 and a lower hemmed edge 12.
The materials and method of construction of the girdle are those conventionally used in the art. Thus, the all-way stretch may be imparted to the fabric by means of the knit used, i.e. a kidde knit or a rochelle knit; or by the nature of the yarn used in preparing the fabric. Desirably a stretch yarn is used. Such stretch yarns are produced by texturizing a thermoplastic yarn, such as nylon, as, for example, in the false twist process or in the conventional process as known to those skilled in the art. Elasticity is imparted to the fabric by incorporating therein elastic fibers. By reason of their strength, durability and fine denier in the desired strength range, spandex fibers have become standard for this type of application. However, other elastic fibers may be used, such as natural .rubber, a butadiene-acrylonitrile elastomer compounded as described in US. Patent application Ser. No. 265,610, filed Mar. 18, 1963, now abandoned etc. Such elastic fibers may be knitted directly into the fabric with the stretch yarn, or, desirably, are covered by a hard fiber as by core spinning as described in US. Patent 1,373,880 to Garon, by helical winding with a covering fiber as described in US. 2,263,614 to Cote, by plying as described in my copending US. application Ser. No. 293,661 filed on July 9, 1963, now US. 3,234,725 etc. As a result of any of these techniques, there is obtained an all-way stretch elastic fabric having elasticity and stretch throughout.
The stretch and elasticity are modified in the garment by theuse of a control panel 13, in this case shown as positioned on the garment so as to provide additional power in the stomach area of the garment. In the garment shown in FIGURE 1, the garment is finished with sewn seams 14. However, if desired, the garment may also be made using a braided tubular fabric in which case these seams are not present. When atubular, knit fabric is used, only stretch yarns may be used in knitting the fabric and the elastic thread omitted. In this case, elasticity is imparted by a controlled impregnation with an elastomer followed by curing on a mold as described in my copending application Ser. No. 258,003,. filed Feb. 12, 1963. This process also varies the elasticity across the fabric thus supplementing the action of the control panels.
In any event, the control panel 13 is afiixed to the garment by means of a sewn seam 16 which must be ruggedly and sturdily constructed so as to avoid any tearing or loosening of the seam during the life of the garment. The construction of a typical seam used in this type of garment is shown in FIGURE 2 wherein the fabric of the control panel 13 and of the garment fabric 15 are'interlocked at the seam 16 and secured in place by means of stitching 17. As can be seen, the interlocking of the fabrics and the stitching needed to secure the seam produces a structure having undesirable bulk. However, this type of construction has been found necessary in order to supply the desired strength and security to the closure.
A variety of materials are used in construction of the control panel. Generally the control panel fabric has a limited amount of stretch as compared to the fabric of the figure control garment. Further, the control panel need not include any elastic yarn but, rather, by reason of the maximum elongation available from the fabric of the panel, it acts to place a definite limit on the amount of stretch in that portion of the power fabric. Thus, in a typical case, whereas the power net used in constructing the girdle itself will have a standard stretch characteristic of, say, 110%, to 125% in all directions, the material used for the control panel will have a lesser degree of stretch, say 60%, in one direction and little or no stretch in the other direction, as shown in FIGURE 3. Thus, the girdle in that portion has its maximum stretch limited by the presence of the control panel. (The figures given are purely illustrative and are not limiting in any way.) If desired, the control panel may have a limited two-way stretch and may even incorporate elastic fibers, although such are not necessary for its operation. The limited degree of stretch in the control panel may be provided solely by means of the knit used in producing the panel using all hard fibers, i.e. cotton, silk, rayon, acetate, etc., or, alternatively, may include stretch fibers possessing a lesser amount of stretch than those used in producing the power fabric, i.e. the fabric used in the figure control garment.
FIGURE .3 is a further illustration of a typical design for a control panel which is applied to the figure control garment as described above showing the'direction of varying stretch in such a panel.
FIGURE 4 is a diagrammatic representation of apparatus for producing a coated fabric for use in the present invention. As shown therein, the fabric 13 having the desired stretch, strength and appearance for use as a control panel is provided in roll form 20. The fabric 13 is unwound from the roll 20, passes a coating station formed by (a) lower roll 22 which is driven by power roll 23 and (b) upper coating roll 21 and is coated with a curable, elastomeric adhesive 26 supplied to the upper surface of fabric 13 by the cooperative action of rolls 21 and 24. The spacing between rolls 21 and 24 controls the feed of the adhesive 26 to the surface of fabric 13 while the spacing between rolls 22 and 21 determines the final thickness of the coating applied to the fabric 13. Desirably, the viscosity of the adhesive 26 and the spacing of the rolls 21 and 22 are selected so that the adhesive coats only the top surface of the fabric 13 without penetrating through to the other surface. The thickness of the coating is not critical. Desirably the coating is from 0.005 to 0.020 inch. Even thinner coats may be obtained by knife-coating a solvent thinned elastomer composition onto an abhesive surface andoffsetting the coating onto the fabric. Finally, the now coated fabric 13 goes to take-up roll 25 where, desirably, an interleaving material 27 is also supplied to roll 25 from a supply roll 28 so as to prevent the top of the coated fabric 21 from adhering to the underside of the next successive layer of coated fabric as it comes on to the take-up roll 25. Suitable drive means (not shown) are provided for rolls 23, 21, 24 and 25.
Elastomeric adhesive compositions siutable for coating the fabrics herein described are set forth in US. patent application Ser. No. 110,297 filed on May 5, 1961 by Daniel Rhee, now US. 3,219,039. The preparation of the coated fabric itself is not part of the instant invention and the coated fabric may be produced as described herein and, in more detail, the aforesaid application of Rhee.
The fabric so produced is used as follows:
A portion of the coated fabric is cut into the desired shape for a control panel, such as that illustrated in FiG- URE 3, and the interleaving material 27 is then removed leaving the adhesive surface bare. Girdle fabric 10 is placed in a mold as shown in FIGURE 5 on top of platen 30. The control panel 13 is then placed on top of the fabric 10 with the adhesive surface 26 contacting fabric 10. Ram 31 then forces the assembly against the upper platen 32 insofar as the spacers 33 permit. The spacers control the amount of pressure applied to the assembly. The assembly is then held in this position while heat is applied to the platens 30 and 32. Under these conditions, of combined pressure and heat, the adhesive coating 26 flows during the cure and locks itself around the elastic and/or stretch yarns of fabric 10, creating a permanent bond over the entire width and length of the control panel 13. The spacers 33 control the amount of pressure applied to the assembly so that sufiicient contact pressure assures proper flow and bonding of the adhesive to the fabric as described while avoiding undesired strikethrough of the adhesive to the free surface of fabric 10. Using polychloroprene as the curable elastomer, adequate curing is achieved in about 10 minutes at 330 F. The pressure is adjusted as described in accordance with the thickness of the assembly.
A section of a figure control garment with a control panel affixed thereto is shown in FIGURE 6(a). As there shown, there is obtained a free surface of the control panel fabric 13 positioned on the all-way stretch elastic fabric of the figure control garment 10, the whole assembly being integrally bonded together over its entire area by the now cured adhesive 26, which has flowed into and locked itself around the yarns of the fabric 10. If desired, flocking may be added to the inside surface. However, this is not necessary and proper control will prevent the cured adhesive 26 from penetrating the fabric 10 so as to significantly modify the feel of the inner surface.
Where greater strength is desired, an alternative construction for accomplishing this result according to the invention is illustrated in FIGURE 6(b), wherein two control panels 13 and 13' are applied to opposite sides of the figure control fabric 10 and cured in this position using a mold as in FIGURE 5.
As shown in FIGURE '7, the resulting figure control garment is similar in appearance to the conventional figure control garment, except that the bulky seams heretofore associated with the control panel have been eliminated. In addition, the present construction, by forming a bond throughout the entire area of the control panel, assures firmer and more secure bonding of the panel to the base garment and, hence, more uniform and stronger control than in the prior construction where the entire strain of the control panel was applied at the seams. This has the further advantage of minimizing the wear and tear on the specific fibers of the figure control garment and control panel used in the seam construction.
The molding step wherein the elastomeric adhesive bonds the control panel to the power not of the figure control garment has been described herein as curing the elastomer. The term curing as used herein is not limited to a cross-linking or similar reaction such as occurs with certain elastomeric materials such as polychloroprene, natural rubber, etc., but also embraces the heat treatment of elastomeric materials such as chlorosulfonated polyethylene (available under the trademark Hypalon) so as to fiow and bond the material within the fiber structure as described irrespective of the nature of the chemical reactions, if any, which may occur.
While the invention has been described as applied to panels used solely for figure control purposes, it is evident that such panels may be affixed to the garments for other purposes, for example, to eliminate the use of the conventional fore and aft seams 14 in the construction of the garment. These and other variations of the invention will be Obvious to those skilled in the art.
What is claimed is:
1. A figure control garment of the character described comprising a figure control garment of knitted fabric incorporating elastic yarns, a seam closure panel having the same stretch characteristics as said fabric and overlapping two butting ends of the fabric, the panel being integrally combined with both ends of the fabric over the entire area of the panel by an elastomeric resin film cured and locked around the threads of both the panel and the fabric constituting a seam closure device.
2. A figure control garment of the character described comprising a figure control garment of knitted fabric incorporating elastic yarns having a fabric control panel applied only to certain areas thereof, wherein said panel has different stretch characteristics in at least one direction than said knitted fabric, said panel being integrally combined with said knitted fabric over the entire area of the panel by an elastomeric resin film cured and locked 6 around the threads of both the panel and said knitted fabric.
3. A figure control garment according to claim 2 wherein said fabric control panel is applied only to certain areas on only one surface of said knitted fabric.
4. A fiigure control garment according to claim 2 wherein at least two fabric control panels are applied to opposed surfaces of said knitted fabric in certain areas thereof.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,196,492 4/1940 Clark et a1 128-580 2,393,612 1/1946 Bullinger 128-538 3,157,183 11/1964 Bradd 128539 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.