US 3489149 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 13, 1970 p, LARSON 3,489,149
MENSTRUAL PAN'IY Filed July '7, 1967 INVENTOR FIG. 4. Phyllis M Larson ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,489,149 MENSTRUAL PANTY Phyllis Marion Larson, 1412 Julia Ave., McLean, Va. 22101 Filed July 7, 1967, Ser. No. 651,760 Int. Cl. A61f 13/16 US. Cl. 128-288 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Panty for menstrual wear having in the crotch portion a pocket for an absorbent insert or pad, one wall of said pocket having a first layer of hydrophobic moisture-passing material on the side in contact with" the skin of the user and at least one layer of hydrophilic material adjacent this first layer, and a disposable moisture-absorbing pad in the pocket in contact with the hydrophilic layer.
Disposable absorbent sanitary pads for menstrual use are well-known, these being commonly held in place by a special strap or support arrangement or in some cases by a crotch strap on a panty type garment as shown in US. Patent No. 3,038,474. In this type of arrangement the pad may be able to slip and cause garments to be soiled, and furthermore, the pad itself is relatively expensive and must be used at all times, even when the flow is very light, adding to the expense. If a tampon is used, this has a little string which protrudes, and due to wicking action, tends to transfer moisture to undergarments.
The present invention has for its major object the provision of a panty-type garment for use primarily during the female menstrual period, said garment being made of a stain-resistant washable fabric (e.g. polyolefin) and having a small pocket in the crotch portion of the garment for the optional use of a disposable pad which is positioned in the pocket and which can readily be removed and replaced with a fresh pad during the day, if necessary. One side of the pocket is formed by the crotch portion of the panty, and the other side of the pocket is formed of at least one, and preferably two or more layers of woven hydrophobic fabric, preferably having a nap on at least one side, with the nap positioned so as to lie against the skin of the user and thereby tend to provide a wicking action to transfer motion from this side through the interstices of the material to the underside (the force of gravity also aiding this effect), leaving the skin side feeling relatively dry and comfortable. The second (and third, if used) layer, if placed with its nap surface away from the first layer, tends to retain the moisture and may be sufficient on days when the fiow is light and spotty, as is the case for many women during most of the female menstrual period. During days of heavy mehstrual flow, an absorbent pad is inserted into the crotch pocket to absorb the excess moisture which the second layer of fabric laminate cannot retain. This pad is preferably made of non-woven absorbent material such as cotton or rayon or cellulose backed by a layer of moisture-impervious material such as polyvinyl chloride, so that the other wall of the pocket -(i.e. the external crotch portion) will remain out of contact with the absorbed moisture in the pad. The panty is washable and by the use of suitable material such as polyolefin fabric, which is stain-resistant, can readily be restored to substantially its original condi tion by ordinary washing without presoaking as in other panties.
The specific nature of the invention as well as other objects and advantages thereof will clearly appear from a description of a preferred embodimentas shown in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a panty-type garment embodying the invention;
3,489,149 Patented Jan. 13, 1970 FIG. 2 is a top view, looking down into the crotch portion of the garment;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1'
(ljIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 2; an Y 5 is a front view of a modified form of the inventton.
Referring to the figures, the invention is embodied in a panty-type garment 2 having the usual trunk portion and a crotch portion 3. The entire garment is preferably made of polyolefin, of the usual knitted or woven construction employed for such garments; however, the main body of the garment may also be made of cotton, nylon, rayon, orany other material used for this purpose, in which case it 1s mandatory that the crotch portion 3 should be made of polyolefin or other non-staining fabric or its equivalent, smce this material is of good texture and appearance, but highly resistant to stains caused by body fluids, such stains being readily removable by conventional washing processes.
On the inside of the crotch portion 3 there is sewn or otherwise attached a pocket 4 having two edges 6 and 7 which are preferably incorporated into the leg seams 8 and 9 respectively of the garment. In other words, the side edges of the pocket can be sewed onto the garment at the same time as the leg elastic, cuff, etc. is applied. The back edge 11 of the pocket is sewed across the bot tom part of the crotch, leaving the front edge 12 open to thus form the pocket. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the pocket is preferably formed of two laminations 13 and (14 of suitable fabric material, e.g. polyolefin or any other suitable stain-resistant readily washable material. This material is available commercially in fabric form with a slight nap on one side thereof, and it is preferable that this nap, particularly on the top layer 113, be turned toward the skin of the wearer, so that it assists in drawing moisture from this side through the interstices of the fabric, to the second layer 14 by wicking action combined with body pressure and the force of gravity.
The layers 13 and '14 are of a material (e.g. polyolefin) which is essentially hydrophobic, and does not have the great ability to retain moisture, but due to the multiplicity of nap fibers and interstices of the fabric, it tends when oriented with the nap surface against the body by wicking action to draw moisture from the upper side through the interstices, depositing said moisture on insert face 16, or when no insert is in place, between naps on the two layers when these are in immediate contact. The second layer 14 when oriented oppositely to the first layer does have some tendency to retain moisture in the interstices, and therefore the garment may be used without a moisture-absorbing pad in the pocket in those cases where it is only necessary to retain a very slight flow or a few spots of moisture. However, when the flow is substantial, as is often the case during the early portion of the menstrual period,, :an absorbant pad 16 is inserted into the pocket. This pad is preferably made of a suitable thickness of nonwoven moisture-absorbent (hydrophilic) material such as cotton or rayon or cellulose fibers. The pad 16 is preferably provided with a pull tab 17, whereby it can readily be pulled even when saturated with moisture. The underside of the pad 18 is made waterproof, preferably by spot glueing, coating, or otherwise attaching a very thin layer of waterproof material as polyvinyl chloride to one side of the pad. This layer is made very thin, preferably .001 inch or less in thickness, so that it does not interfere with the ready disposibility of the pad when saturated, and is completely flexible and non-toxic or otherwise irritating and noise free when walking, etc.--in other words, does not interfere in any way with body movement. Preferably, the edges of the pad are tapered, and all garment seams are made as flat and thin as possible, as is usual in undergarmentc'onstruction; in 'ord'erto minimize the "tendency" of the garment to show its outline and thereby telegraph its presence through outer clothing.
FIG, shows .the'manner in which the invention would be applied to a'crotch brief or bikini-type gar- ;ment consisting-essentially of a strap 21 supporting a crotch 23 which may be constructed essentially similar to the crotch 3 of the garment shown in FIG. 1, except that ,it is dimensioned to be supported'essentially by the strap rather than by the panty construction of FIG; 1. The crotch 23 Wi11,'0f course, contain essentially the same type of pocket constructionas the crotch of FIG. .1 It will be apparent that thesame construction can be applied to any type of panty, from a bikini-type as shown in FIG. S, a brief-type panty, a band-legged brief, or a trunk panty. A pantygirdle may also use the same construction, in which case the crotch construction will extend down to the base of the girdle.
In the case of Women with an extra-heavy menstrual flow, the panty and insert can be used in conjunction with an ordinary or conventional sanitary pad, to catch any overflow, and prevent the possibility of staining outer clothing. The panty can also be worn when a tampon is used, in which case it catches the wicking from the protruding string, and transfers the excess so as to keep the underclothes completely free of staining.
As the absorbent insert 16 is very efficiently placed by the garment, it need not be as large nor as thick as a conventional sanitary napkin, since there is no danger of its slipping out of position and moisture equalizes over the entire area. Due to this increased efiiciency, the pad may be made smaller and considerably less expensive than the conventional sanitary napkin. Due both to the construction of the pad and to the fact that there are several layers of material in the garment itself, it is effective in preventing staining of expensive garments, and minimizing said pocket "having an open 'end at the front ofth'e gar"- ment and closed sides and a closed rear end positioned to securely retain an absorbent pad immovably during use, said open end being only large enough forinsertion and removal of a narrow absorbent pad which can fit in the crotch portionbetween the legs whe'ninuse," f,
said pocket being dimensioned to snuglyreceive such a pad. '2. The invention according to claim 1, said'p'anel comprising at least two layers .ofmaterial, one hydrophilic, one moisture-retaining, on the side of the crotch toward the skin of the wearer, :the layer adjacent the skin having wicking action to draw .and'wickmoisture away from the skin of the wearer, and the next layer being effective to retain a limited amount of such moisture.
3. The invention according to claim 2, and aremovable pad of hydrophilic material in said pocket and in contact with said crotch panel to absorb moisture from the panel material.
4. The invention according to claim 3, said pad having a thin layer of waterproof material attached thereto on the side out of contactwith said panel.
'5. The invention according to claim 4, said undergarment being a panty-type garment of strain-resistant fabric, said crotch being of the same fabric, said panel being a generally rectangular patch of material sewed to the'side of the crotch adjacent the skin of the wearer on three sides of the rectangular patch, with the fourth side left open toward the front of the garment, two of said three sides being coextensive with a portion of the two edges of said .crotch .and being. caught into the edge binding of the crotch.
6. The invention according to claiml, said undergarment being a crotch brief-type panty comprising a thin belt as the body-engaging portion, said crotch portion depending from said belt.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,555,434 6/1951 Anderson 1'28 2-88 2,616,427 v11/1952 Pettit 128-289 2,748,772 6/1956 Titone et al. 128-288 2,807,263 9/1957 Newton 128 288 3,207,158 9/1965 Yoshitake et al. l28291 3,237,625 3/1966 Johnson 128 288 3,368,563 2/1968 Scheier 128--288 CHARLES F. ROSENBAUM, Primary Examiner