US 3422460 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 21, 1969 J. F. BURKE ETAL 3,422,460
STATIC-INHIBITING GARMENT Filed Oct. 17, 1966 N VEN TOES James 1? Burke Thomas L. PMS/d M .M Qw KM T OYQS United States Patent 3,422,460 STATIC-INHIBITING GARMENT James E. Burke, St. Aurora, and Thomas L. Rusk, Oak Park, Ill., assignors to Sears, Roebuck and Co., Chicago, 11]., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 17, 1966, Ser. N0. 587,008 US. Cl. 2-73 Int. Cl. A4lb 9/00 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Our invention relates generally to undergarments for females formed of fabrics of the character commonly employed, or capable of being used, in wearing apparel, and especially in undergarments for women and misses.
Background of invention More particularly, our invention has to do with the elimination of a nuisance which has long been encountered in this art, i.e., the presence of static electricity usually generated in handling such apparel, and especially in connection with slips, nightgowns and similar intimate garments fabricated from natural silk or from any of a variety of synthetic fibers, and other fibers.
The presence of static electricity in garments of this type, although it may vary in intensity according to humidity and other weather conditions, is so frequently present as to be a common nuisance to the wearers of such apparel. Such static may be created or increased by ordinary handling of a garment or friction between the garment and the body in the course of dressing and undressing. Thus, the static may cause the garment to cling to the body in an unsightly and uncomfortable manner or, when undressing, may create difficulty in folding and otherwise handling.
Additionally, the presence of static has the effect of attracting fine particles of lint, dust and other foreign matter, increasing the frequency of required laundering with consequent wear and tear on the garment. Thus, the presence of static in garments is not only a cause of annoyance but is also an important factor of cost in maintaining a wardrobe.
Objectives An object of our invention, accordingly, is to produce a fabric suitable for, and of the character usually employed in, undergarments for females which will be substantially static-inhibiting and which, under ordinary conditions of use, will be incapable of accumulating an objectionable static charge.
Another object is to produce a garment of the type referred to which will havethe aforesaid static-inhibiting qualities.
Still another object is to produce a fabric and garments 3,422,460 Patented Jan. 21, 1969 "ice of the type referred to which will have all of the desired physical characteristics ordinarily associated with such goods, such as a high degree of softness and flexibility, with no appreciable increase in weight and with no substantial increase in the cost of such goods.
Still another object is to produce goods of the type referred to which may be conveniently and inexpensively manufactured with equipment presently employed in the textile industry in the production of such merchandise.
Various other objects and advantages will become ap parent to those skilled in the art as the description proceeds.
Outline of invention Our invention may be practiced in a variety of ways. Briefly outlined, in its preferred embodiment, it contemplates incorporating in a fabric of the character referred to a filament of or containing an electrical conductor. Such filament may either be a continuous strand or a socalled staple fiber. In either event, the conductor filament will be of an extremely fine gauge or denier.
The conductor filament may be either a metal or alloy of metals of relatively high conductivity, such as stainless steel, aluminum, etc., or may be entirely non-metallic, e.g., a conductive glass, a synthetic polymer or other resinous product having electrical conductivity, such products being well known to those skilled in the art.
In any event, the conductor strand or filament may be produced by methods well known in the art, as by spinning same from a spinneret, by drawing, etc.
According to a preferred embodiment of our invention, we employ an electrically conductive filament having a small diameter, say within the range of about 1-25 microns, although it could be still finer.
Such filaments may be formed by extrusion and may be used either as a continuous conductive fiber or cut into short lengths and blended with other fibers. Blending and spinning into yarn may be accomplished by any one of the various processes known to those skilled in the art.
A fabric containing either blended conductive staple with other textile staples or conductive filament yarn may be composed of as much as 99.75% non-conductive material and from 0.25 to conductive material, exclusive of decoration. As now practiced our preferred proportion of conductive filament is in the range of about 0.25 to 3.00 percent, with an optimum percentage of about 0.5 percent.
Fabrics embodying our invention may be made by any known process, such as:
(1) Warp-knit fabrics, such as those known as raschel and tricot.
(2) Circular knit fabrics.
(3) Flat woven fabrics, such as broadcloth, poplin, etc.
(4) Netted fabrics, such as lace, embroidery, etc.
In the production of the fabric, the strand containing the conductor filaments may be used throughout the entire fabric or, alternatively such strand may be employed as only a portion of the yarns in producing the fabric. For example, we may use the yarn in alternate strands. in one out of three, one in ten, or in greater or lesser proportion.
Other arrangements may suggest themselves to those skilled in the textile arts. For example, in the production of a fiat woven fabric, we might employ said yarn only in the warp or only in the filler, in whole or in part, or in both, as desired.
Although such yarn, as described above, is hardly distinguishable to the naked eye or in hand and feel from an ordinary textile fiber of similar character lacking a conductor filament, generally speaking, it is desirable to use the yarn only in sufficient quantity to produce the desired result of inhibiting the build-up of an objectionable static charge. We have found that a relatively minute quantity of conductor filament strands is required'to accomplish this end.
As another embodiment of our invention, we may employ in the fabrication of a garment of the type described hereabove, a conductor filament exclusively in the seams of the garment or, alternatively, in the seams as well as in the fabric itself. When used for seaming, we might employ a yarn containing a minute quantity of conductor strands as described hereabove or, alternatively, we might employ a thread or filament formed exclusively of conductive material. Such yarn might also be used in the lace or other trimming.
It should be understood that the term conductor filament or the like, as used herein, is intended to signify a filament or strand formed in whole or in part of electrically conductive material of a character capable of preventing the accumulation or build-up of an objectionable static charge, such conductor being metallic or nonmetallic, organic or inorganic, single strand or multistrand.
Brief description of drawings Referring now to the drawings forming a part of this specification and illustrating certain preferred em bodi- I ments of our invention,
FIG. 1 is a greatly enlarged plan view of a composite filament embodying our invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view, on a magnified scale, of a composite filament of the character seen in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a plan view, also on a magnified scale, of a fiat-Woven type of fabric embodying our invention;
FIG. 4 is a similar view of a fiat-woven fabric constituting another embodiment of our invention;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a ladys slip embodying our invention;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary detailed plan on a magnified scale showing a seam of a garment, such as that shown in FIG. 5, and
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 showing a different type of seam.
Detailed description of invention FIGS. 1 and 2 show on a greatly magnified scale a section of a composite yarn 10 embodying our invention, the predominant amount of component fibers 12 being substantially non-conductive and incorporating a minute proportion of conductive filaments, as indicated by the numeral 15.
It will be understood that we have illustrated conductive filament 15 in such manner as to distinguish it visually in the drawings from the non-conductive filaments, with no intention of suggesting a difference in denier. Said conductive filaments may be a continuous strand or may be cut or staple fiber, as described hereabove. Accordingly, FIGS. 1 and 2 should not be taken as precisely illustrative, but rather as more-or-less schematic. This is especially true with reference to the number or ratio of conductive filaments to non-conductive filaments as seen in FIG. 2. As a matter of fact, the ratio of non-conductives to conductives may be vastly greater than that indicated in FIG. 2.
The conductive filaments may be 100% conductive. FIGS. 1 and 2 are illustrative of a spunyarn containing a stainless steel or conductive filament and other fibers.
FIGS. 3 and 4 likewise may be taken as schematic and greatly magnified, FIG. 3 showing a hat woven type of fabric 20 consisting predominantly of non-conductive threads or yarn 22 and having conductive yarn 25 arranged in parallel relation and running in only one direction, either as the warp or woof, as desired.
FIG. 4 shows a similar or different type of flat-woven fabric 20' with conductive yarns 25a and 25b as both warp and woof threads. Here, again, as stated with regard to FIGS. 1 and 2, the illustration should be taken as merely suggestive or schematic, the ratio of non-conductive yarns to the conductive filaments being preferably vastly greater than that indicated in FIGS. 3 and 4.
In FIG. 5, the character G represents any type of garment, preferably a ladys undergarment of a type to which our invention is especially applicable, as described hereabove. In this particular instance we have selected a slip which may be fabricated of any of the types of fabrics ordinarily employed for such purpose.
We may use an ordinary fabric or alternatively one embodying our invention, as described hereabove, con taining conductive yarns.
Regardless of which type of fabric is employed, we may secure together the panels which ordinarily are stitched together to form such a garment by means of a seam S or S (FIGS. 6 and 7) incorporating a conductive yarn of the various types described hereabove and unnecessary to repeat here.
Ordinarily, a garment such as that shown in FIG. 5 is fabricated by cutting a plurality of blanks or panels according to a pattern and stitching said panels together along seams such as the seams S and S. When a conductive yarn is so employed in such seams, it is found that any static electricity which might ordinarily tend to accumulate in the fabric is drained off by'such seams, so that any residual static which might remain in the fabric or garment is of negligible quantity or non-existent.
FIG. 6 shows a seam of linear, or straight-line character embodying a conductive yarn, while FIG. 7 shows a different type of seam such as a so-called zig-zag stitch, embodying our invention.
Yarns of conductive metals such as stainless steel are presently known which are hardly distinguishable in many physical characteristics from common textile yarns ordinarily employed in the fabrication of garments such as ladies underwear, slips, etc. Hence, such yarns could be employed percent (i.e., as the only yarn) in the fabrication of such goods, were it not for the present high cost of such yarns, which dictate their use in relatively low percentages as compared to the non-conductive yarn in the fabric.
However, future improved production methods make it entirely within the realm of economic possibility that fabrics may be employed consisting 100 percent of conductive yarns and filaments.
Again referring to FIG. 5, the trim or decoration D, which may be of lace, embroidery or otherwise as is commonly employed in this art, and may be used in borders as shown or in the body of the garment, or both, may be formed in whole or in part of conductive yarn, and such may be employed alone or in addition to conductive yarn used in the fabric and/or seaming.
Various other changes coming within the spirit of our invention may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art; hence, we do not wish to be limited to the specific embodiments shown and described or uses mentioned, but intend the same to be merely exemplary, the scope of our invention being limited only by the appended claims.
1. A loose-fitting ladys undergarment attended by an undesirable adhesion to the body occasioned by the generation of static electricity, constituted by a loose-fitting fabric body portion including stitching and trim components, at least said trim component containing electrically conductive filaments 'of extremely fine denier, ranging in diameter from 1 micron to 25 microns and constituting 5 6 a small percentage of the fibers of said component in an amount ranging from 0.25% to 3.00%, but in sufficient OTHER REFERENCES quantity and in such disposition as to inhibit the accumu- Webber, H. H., Metal Fibers-Their Processing and lation of any significant amount of static electricity. E d U M dern Textiles magazine, pp. 72-75, May
5 7 References Cited 1966' UNITED STATES PATENTS H. HAMPTON HUNTER, Primary Examiner.
3,149,342 9/1964 Cederholm 2--73 3,277,564 10/1966 Webber et a1.
3,288,175 11/1966 Valko 139425 '10 57-139; 139-425