US 3396406 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
3, 1968 c. A. GONGWER r p AQUATIC APPAREL Filed April 21, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 z nuum FIG 3 FIG. 5
INVENTOR. CALVIN A. GONGWER ATTORNEYS Aug. 13, 1968 c. A. GONGWER AQUATIC APPAREL 2 Sheets-Sheep 2 Filed April 21, 1966 INVENTOR OALV N A. GONGWER ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,396,406 AQUATIC APPAREL Calvin A. Gongwer, Glendon-a, Calif., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Innerspace Corporation, Glendora, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Apr. 21, 1966, Ser. No. 544,134 9 Claims. (Cl. 2-2.1)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An apparatus, formed of a sheet like, flexible and stretchable material, to be wrapped around selected areas of the body preferably in an overlapping and tightly fitting fashion and secured without the use of mechanical fasteners to certain members of the body to provide an aquatic apparel having insulative qualities.
The present invention pertains generally to aquatic apparel, and more particularly to such apparel for use by a human in relatively cold water.
As a result of the ever increasing popularity in recent years of aquatic sports, there has arisen a corresponding desire and need for apparel that will permit indulging in aquatic sports during the colder seasons of the year. One reasonably satisfactory answer is the so-called wet-suit, which provides the wearer with a considerable amount of protection in even very cold water. Essentially, a wetsuit is a closely fitting garment covering the major surface areas of the body on the wearer and made of a material that either totally excludes water from the body of the wearer, or admits a small amount of water that is confined next to the skin and after being warmed by body heat provides additional insulative value.
Present known wet-suits are not fully satisfactory in several respects. In order to maintain the optimum in water exclusion properties it is necessary that the suits fit as tightly as possible. The conventional wet-suits, accordingly, must be accurately tailored for each individual which is reflected in increased cost. Moreover, a tailored suit of such close fitting character is difiicult to put on, and after it is wet is even more diflicult to take off. Still further, these suits require mechanical fasteners that can break, become jammed, or otherwise fail to operate. Also, there is a problem with such suits in that they require special storing technique to prevent creasing that can check or craze the rubber, of which these suits are usually made.
It is therefore a primary object of the invention to provide aquatic apparel especially constructed for insulating the wearer against the cold.
Another object of the invention is the provision of wetsuit apparel that is easily put on and taken off.
A further object is the provision of wet-suit aquatic apparel not requiring mechanical fastening means.
Yet another object of the provision of wet-suit aquatic apparel readily utilizable by individuals of widely differing sizes.
Still another object is the provision of a wet-suit of onepiece construction.
Another object is the provision of wet-suit aquatic ap parel as in the above objects that is of simple construction and relatively inexpensive to fabricate.
Still further objects and advantages of the invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art after reference is made to the following description and accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective front view showing an individual wearing aquatic apparel constructed in accordance with the practice of the present invention.
3,396,496 Patented Aug. 13, 1968 ice FIG. 2 is a perspective rear view of the individual and apparel as shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a perspective, partially fragmentary view of one form of apparel of the invention shown in extended condition.
FIG. 4 illustrates the apparel of FIG. 3 in the initial stages of being donned.
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show alternate forms of aquatic apparel made in conformity with the principles of this invention.
FIG. 8 depicts a special covering worn over the upper part of the trunk in conjunction with the apparel of FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 9 shows application of the invention to covering thelegs of an individual.
FIG. 10 illustrates in fragmentary perspective a special apparel strip for uniform covering of the legs as in FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 shows covering of the arms of the wearer in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged, fragmentary perspective of an extremity of the apparel illustrating special reinforcement of a mounting operation therein.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, the aquatic apparel of the invention is seen to comprise generally a wrap-around construction where adjacent portions of the wrapping can be either in overlapping relation or slightly spaced. When the overlapping arrangement is used, it is made from the bottom up with each adjacent wrap overlapping the immediate lower wrap and the total effect providing a complete covering for the major part of the trunk of the wearer.
The apparel or suit prior to being donned by the wearer is as shown in FIG. 3. It consists essentially of an elongated rectangular strip 10 of relatively thin material. Adjacent one end is a single centrally located opening 11, and adjacent the other end are two openings 12 and 13 extending along substantially the center-line of the strip. Although it may be found that a number of synthetic plastic materials are satisfactory, best results to date have been achieved wih suits constructed of foam rubber, e.g., neoprene. Essential qualities are high stretching ability and flexibility to permit conforming to the contours of the body; lightness of weight for convenience of the wearer; relatively impervious to the action of water, either fresh or salt; and good insulating qualities.
For the donning procedure, reference is now made to FIG. 4. Although not necessary, the wearer can have some sort of undergarment, such as the trunks 14, for example. One of the legs is inserted through the opening 11 and the strip worked upwardly onto the leg until as shown in FIG. 4. The strip is then wound about the body in overlapping relation while maintaining the strip somewhat in longitudinal tension. The winding is continued upwardly about the trunk, covering all areas thereof, until the region of the shoulders is reached. The length of the entire strip 10 is such that the arms can now be inserted through the openings 12 and 13. Some adaptation is necessary to accommodate an individual. That is, depending upon size and bodily configuration, it may be desirable to use anywhere from four to six wraps to cover the trunk and hip region in the manner just described. Also, it is clear that depending upon how many wrappings about the body there are, the last part of the strip with the arms inserted through the openings 11 and 12 will be either across the chest or across the back of the wearer.
Of course, the exact degree of tension with the suit is put on will depend considerably upon personal feeling of comfort of the individual wearer. A fair amount of tension is advisable in order to aid in keeping water out and to insure secureness throughout physical exertions usual- 1y accompanying aquatic activities. In the case of female wearers, especially, a certain amount of figure control is achievable by wrapping different parts of the body with difierent amounts of tension. For example, wrapping tighter about the wait section would tend to flatter the figure.
' Exemplary of a practical form for the,invention, a suit has been constructed of inch thick foam neoprene, 10 feet long by approximately 10 inches in width. Three openings, two adjacent one end of the strip and one adjacent the other end, were provided of 2 /2 inch diameter each. Such a suit has been found capable of accommodating the greater majority of adult figures.
Three variations in form of the invention are shown in FIGS. 5-7, respectively, with the differences residing in the number and placement of openings inthe strips. The version of FIG. 5 provides two openingslS and 16 through which the legs are passed, and a single opening 17 for securing the other end of the strip in one of the armpit-shoulder regions of the wearer. FIG. 6 shows a pair of openings 18, 19 for receiving both legs, and a pair of openings 20, 21 in the other end of the strip through which both arms are received as in the FIG. 3 form. FIG. 7 illustrates another variation having one opening at each end, 22 and 23, :for accommodating one leg and one arm, respectively. The wrapping technique is the same for each of these embodiments as that described in connection with the FIG. 3 version.
The depiction of FIG. 8 is that of a pull-over garment 24 for enhancing any of the wrap embodiments of FIGS. 3 or 5-7. It is a one-piece afiair having openings for the arms and neck and a neck sheath 25 giving an appearance, not unlike that of a turtleneck shirt or sweater, although only covering the uppermost parts of the chest and back across the shoulder blades. The sheath about the neck has an especial enhancing efiect in that it has been shown. that the temperature at the nape of the neck of an individual is highly determinative of the sensation of overall coldness of the individual.
Although the above-described apparel will be adequate for moderately cold water, if it is desired to indulge in aquatic sports in very cold water it is advisable to cover the major areas of the arms and/or legs in the manner and by the means to be described at this time.
FIG. 9 shows an individual provided with both trunk apparel and leg coverings 26 is constructed in accordance with the present invention. The'The leg apparel is provided from a single strip 27 (FIG. of the same type of material as used to make the strip 10. Because of the taper of the human leg, that is relatively large at the thigh as compared to the ankle, the strip 27 is tapered from a maximum width, W, at the middle to a reduced width, D, at the extremities. It is this taper of the strip 27 which permits it to be wrapped on human legs in a uniform manner without excessively large gaps via which cold water could make its way directly to the skin.
To illustrate the donning procedure of the leg apparel, assume that the trunk apparel of FIG. 3 is to be used. One end of the strip 27 is passed through the leg opening 11, either after the strip hasbeen wrapped on or before, to such extent that the widest part W is positioned at the opening. Now, each leg is wrapped in the same manner as the trunk previously described. The elongated openings 29 at each extremity of the strip are respectively received over each of the feet of the wearer thereby serving to secure the strip in position. Alternatively, the center part of the strip 27 may be wrapped around the hips and then wrapped onto the legs.
FIG. 11 shows application of the principles of this invention to providing a wet-suit covering for the arms. The arm wrap can consist of an elongated relatively narrow strip 28 of material with elongated openings 30 at the ends for being secured to the hands of the wearer. Thus, the center of the strip is 'wrapped once about the neck and one arm is wrapped in the manner described earlier herein and secured to the hand via the opening adjacent the extremity. Then, the other arm is wrapped in a similar manner. Ar-m wrapping can be accomplished before..wrapping of the trunk orafter, as is desired.
In order to strengthen the strips adjacent the openings, which is where they would be subjected to the greater tearing stress, it is a further aspect of the invention to provide special reinforcement. in these regions. As is shown in FIG. 12, the material immediately surrounding an opening is impregnated with additional flexible material 29. This material can be rubber or a synthetic plastic having sufficient resilience and elasticity to permit the stretching required to pull onto an arm or leg.
An alternate reinforcing technique is that shown in FIG. 13. The contemplation here is make the entire end of the strip that includes the holes of a material having more tensile strength than say, foamed neoprene, composing the major part of the strip. Again, rubber or synthetic plastics can be usedas long as the requisite elastic qualities are present.
By the practice of the principles of the-present invention set forth in the above description there is provided aquatic apparel of the wet-suit variety that does not use mechanical connectors of any kind. This suit is easily put on and taken 01? and yet still maintains the closely fitting character necessary to provide optimum heat insulating value.
While a particular embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that the invention should not be construed as being limited thereto, but only to the lawful scope of the appended claims. i
1. Aquatic apparel, comprising:
an elongated relatively thin, flexible and longitudinally stretchable sheet like member of thermal insulating material, said member being provided at each of its longitudinal extremities with at least one opening passing completely therethrough;
said member adapted to be secured at one of the openings onto a part of the body with an intermediate portion stretchingly wrapped in multiple convolutions about select surfaces of the anatomy, the other extremity of the member adapted to be secured via the opening therein to another part of the anatomy, and the intermediate portion of said member having substantial and sufiicient width to substantially cover in a close fitting fashion the select surfaces of the anatomy-between said extremities to insulate that portion of the anatomy from cold water.
2. Aquatic apparel as in claim 1, in which the member includes a single opening at one extremity through which one leg of, the wearer may be inserted and two openings at the other extremity thereof for individually accommod-ating the respective arms of the wearer.
3. Aquaticapparel as in claim 1, in which the member includes a first pair of openings at one end for receiving the legs therethrough and a second pair of openings at the other end for receiving the arms.
4. Aquatic apparel as in claim 1, in which the member includes one arm hole at the one extremity and one leg hole at the other extremity.
5. Aquatic apparel as in claim 1, in which the member includes one arm hole at the one extremity and two leg holes at the other extremity.
6. Aquatic apparel as in claim 1, in which the member is constructed of foamed synthetic plastic material.
7. Aquatic apparel as in claim 6, in which the member is constructed of neoprene.
8. A wet-suit, comprising:
a plurality of strips of resilient, stretchable material the extremities of which are provided with at least one opening;
each of the strips being stretchingly wrapped over select areas of the anatomy and anchored via the openings being received on accommodating parts of the anatomy.
9. Wet-suit apparel, comprising:
a first strip of flexible, resilient cellular material having one opening at each end, one of said openings adapted to 'be received on a leg adjacent the inguinal region and the strip overlayingly wrapped around the trunk portion of the body with the opening at the other extremity adapted to be received over an arm;
a second strip of flexible, resilient cellular material having its mid-pointsubstantially centered between the hips of the individual, one half-length of the second strip adapted to be wrapped in overlapping relation about one leg and having an opening in its extremity for being received about the foot in securing relation, the other half of the second strip adapted to be similarly wrapped about the other leg and secured to the other foot via an opening at its extremity;
a third strip of resilient, flexible cellular material having approximately its mid-point positioned at the neck of the individual and having one opening at each end, the one half-portion adapted to be would in overlapping relationship about one arm and secured at the hand via one opening in the strip, the second half-portion adapted to be similarly would about the other arm and securedat the hand via the other opening in the strip;
whereby the major portion of the trunk and extremities of the wearer are covered by the strips of material which are in the stretched condition providing a secure, continuously contracting relationship to major areas of the skin of the wearer.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 880,904 3/1908 Mueller 2-44 FOREIGN PATENTS 50,034 3/1935 Denmark.
20 RICHARD J. SCANLAN, IR., Primary Examiner.