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Publication numberUS3670529 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 20, 1972
Filing dateJun 3, 1969
Priority dateJun 3, 1969
Publication numberUS 3670529 A, US 3670529A, US-A-3670529, US3670529 A, US3670529A
InventorsOscar Fregeolle
Original AssigneePilot Res Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Seamless panty hose and method
US 3670529 A
Abstract
A panty hose type garment is formed by knitting an elongate tubular blank on a circular knitting machine and closing opposite ends of the tubular blank to provide toe closures at opposite ends. During the knitting of the blank, the stitch length of each course is graduated from a large stitch at one side of the blank to a small stitch at the opposite side of the blank so that said one side of the blank is longer than the opposite side and the blank is curved throughout its length. The medial portion of the blank is then slit in a walewise direction along the longer side to form a waist opening and an elastic waistband is attached thereto.
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United States Patent Fregeolle [451 June 20, 1972 54] SEAMLESS PANTY HOSE AND FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS METHOD 841,972 4/l969 Italy ..66/ 147 [72] Inventor: Oscar Fregeolle, Hickory, NC.

. Primary Examiner-Ronald F eldbaum t R h C Val N. [73] Asslgnee mu orpomfion dese C AttomeyParrott, Bell, Seltzer, Park & Gibson [22] Filed: June 3, 1969 211 App]. No.: 830,045 [57] ABSTRACT A panty hose type garment is formed by knitting an elongate 52 11.5. a ..66/177 tabular blank an a circular knitting machinc and clcaing n- [51] Int. Cl. posite ends of the tubular blank to provide toe closures at op- [58] Field of Search ..66/177, 176, 169, 171, 54 positc ends. During the knitting of the blank, the stitch length of each course is graduated from a large stitch at one side of References Cited the blank to a small stitch at the opposite side of the blank so that said one side of the blank is longer than the opposite side UNITED STATES PATENTS and the blank is curved throughout its length. The medial porl,981,l36 11/1934 Bloom ..66/176 tion of the blank is then slit in a walewise direction along the 2, 1/1955 Katel'maml longer side to form a waist opening and an elastic waistband is 3 1 1 Haberhauer attached thereto 3,256,716 6/1966 l-lanel 3,241,340 3/1966 Knohl ..66/177 11 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDmzo 1912 3. 670, 529

sum 1 or 2 INVENTOR: QSCAR FREQEO LLE ATTORNEYS PATENTEDmzo me INVENTORI Oscma FREGEQLLE ATTORNEYS SEAMLESS PANTY HOSE AND METHOD The present invention relates generally to a lower body covering type garment and more particularly to a garment of the panty hose type which is knit in a single integral tubular form and is seamless throughout its length.

It is the usual practice to form a panty hose type garment by knitting a pair of elongated seamless tubular fabric blanks on a circular hosiery knitting machine and then manually slitting the blanks in a walewise direction along the inner sides and downwardly from the upper edge a predetermined distance. Then, the corresponding cut edges of the blanks are sewn together to form the body portion with a generally U-shaped seam extending downwardly from the waist, through the crotch area and then upwardly to the waist. In some cases, it is necessary to provide extra fabric sections between the slit edges of the stocking blanks to provide sufficient fullness in the crotch and/or rear of the garment. This slitting and seaming of the stocking blank is a costly and time consuming operation and the seams are not desirable.

It has recently been proposed that a seamless panty hose type garment be formed by knitting a single elongate blank, closing both ends of the garment blank to form toe closures, slitting the medial portion of the blank in a walewise direcu'on and attaching a wide elastic band to form a waist opening. Since the elongate tube is knit in a substantially straight condition, unsightly wrinkles are formed in the crotch area when the blank is folded in the center to bring the two legs in sideby-side position. Also, the length of fabric in the panty portion from the crotch to the waist is limited by the diameter of the knitting machine.

With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a panty hose type garment and method of forming the same whereby the panty portion is completely free of seams and the stitch loop size is graduated to provide an increased amount of fabric in the upper waist portion and a decreased amount of fabric in the crotch area.

Accordingly, an elongate seamless tubular blank is knit on a circular knitting machine and the stitch loops are graduated during the knitting operation so that one side of the blank is longer than the other and the garment blank is curved throughout its length. The medial portion of the blank is then slit in a walewise direction and along the longer side to provide a waist opening to which an elastic waistband is attached. The panty hose may then be boarded to heat-set the shape of th boarding form in the panty hose.

In a preferred embodiment of the panty hose of the present invention, the toe closures at opposite ends of the elongate seamless tubular blank and the waist opening forming slit are formed during the knitting operation so that the panty hose blank is complete as it is removed from the knitting machine. By graduating the stitch length during the knitting operation, the centers of the toe closures may be easily positioned inwardly from the extreme ends of the boarding forms so that the thickened centers of the toe closures are positioned beneath the foot and between the toes and the ball of the foot of the wearer.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a panty hose type garment blank knit in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2,is an enlarged fragmentary elevational view taken substantially along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1 and illustrating the manner in which the medial portion of the blank is slit to form a waist opening;

FIG. 3 is a perspective front view of the panty hose with an elastic waistband tape attached to the waist opening;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of one type of boarding form which may be utilized in heat-setting the shape of the panty hose;

FIG. 5 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary view of that portion of the blank enclosed in the dash-dot rectangle 5 in FIG. 1 and illustrating the manner in which the stitch loops in each successive course are graduated from large stitch loops along the outside of the blank to short stitch loops along the inside, the degree of graduation being somewhat exaggerated for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 6 is a vertical sectional view through the upper end of the needle cylinder of a circular hosiery knitting machine and illustrating the manner in which the inside sinker ring is supported at an angle so that the needles at one side of the cylinder form large stitch loops while the needles at the opposite side form short stitch loops, with the stitch loops therebetween being graduated;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 8-8 in FIG. 6.

Although the garment of the present invention is referred to as a panty hose, it is to be understood that the present invention is also adaptable to the formation of other types of lower body covering garments such as tights, leotards, panties, panty girdles, and the like. Thus, the garment of the present invention is not limited to a garment having full leg and foot covering portions but also includes other types of lower body covering garments having relatively short leg portions. Also, the garment of the present invention may be knit of any desired stitch pattern and type of yarn.

Generally, the panty hose blank illustrated in FIG. 1 includes first and second legs L-l, and L-2 which are integrally knit with a panty portion P therebetween. Opposed end portions of the legs L4 and L-2 are closed by suitable toe closures T-l and T-2 and a walewise extending slit 0-] (FIG. 2) is provided in a medial portion of the panty portion P to form a waist opening, in a manner to be presently described. A short coursewise extending slit C-2 is formed in a medial portion and at one side of the slit C-l, for purposes to be presently described.

The garment blank is preferably knit on a circular hosiery knitting machine with the needle cylinder continuously rotating and the toe closure T-l may be automatically formed on the knitting machine, in a manner to be presently described, or it may be formed by a sewing or looping operation. As knitting of the leg L-l progresses, the graduating device of the knitting machine operates to gradually increase the stitch length in successive courses so that the diameter of the tube gradually increases up to the panty portion P.

During the knitting of the panty portion P, it is preferred that a reinforcing yarn of a heavier denier be fed to all the needles. The slit C-l may be formed during the knitting operation or it may be formed after the blank is completed. The leg portion L-2 is then knit while the graduating device of the knitting machine operates to gradually decrease the size of stitch loops being formed, to the toe closure T-2. In order to gradually increase the stitch length in knitting leg L-l and then gradually decrease the stitch length in knitting leg L-Z, it is necessary to modify the usual operation of the conventional fashioning or graduating device of the machine. The toe closure T-Z may then be formed in an automatic manner on the knitting machine, in a manner to be presently described, or it may be subsequently formed by a sewing or looping operation, in the usual manner.

Preferably, during the complete knitfing of the leg portions L-l, L-2 and the panty portion P, the size of the stitch loops in each course are also graduated from large stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along one side of the elongate blank to small stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along the opposite side of the blank. The stitch loops therebetween gradually change in size from the large stitch loops to the small stitch loops so that the completed garment is longer along one side than along the other side and the blank has a gentle curve from one end to the other, substantially as illustrated in FIG. 1.

The manner in which the stitch loop size is graduated in a walewise direction is schematically illustrated in FIG. 5 with the stitch loops in wale S-l representing the larger or longer stitch loops at the outside upper edge of the blank and the stitch loops in the wale S-2 representing the smaller or shorter stitch loops at the inside lower edge of the blank. Thus, the stitch loops in the wales between wales S-land S-2 gradually vary in length. While only a few wales of fabric are illustrated in FIG. 5, there would be a much greater number of wales in half of the garment blank. In the case of panty hose with sheer leg portions, there would be on the order of about 200 wales in one-half of the tubular fabric.

Any suitable type of stitch construction or pattern may be utilized in knitting the legs L-l and L-2, as well as the panty portion P. However, as has heretofore been described, it is preferred that the panty portion P and the toe closures T-l, T-2 be knit of a heavier denier yarn and, if desired, a pattern area of run-resistant stitches may be formed around the area in which the slits C-1 and C-2 are formed to aid in preventing runs until the elastic band is connected thereto, in a manner to be presently described.

It is most important that the stitch loops in each course be graduated during the knitting of at least the panty portion P of the blank. This coursewise stitch loop graduation provides a maximum amount of fabric on the outer or upper side of the blank and a minimum amount of fabric on the lower or inner side so that the blank is curved throughout its length. When the legs are brought down to the side-byside position shown in FIG. 3, the courses extend across the legs and are curved or bowed upwardly from the inside to the outside of each leg; It is also desirable to continue the coursewise graduation of the stitch loops throughout the knitting of the leg portions L-l and L-2 because this greater length of fabric on the outside portions of the legs also aids in providing a greater amount of fabric in the panty portion and, when utilizing an automatically formed toe closure, the center of the toe closure may be more easily positioned rearwardly from the extreme tip of the boarding form so that any excess thickness in the center of the toe closure, will be positioned beneath the foot and between the toes and the ball of the foot.

An elastic tape waistband l 1 (FIG. 3) is suitably secured to the slit C-l, as by sewing, and o posite ends of the band 11 are connected at the rear of the garment as at 13. The slit C-2 is provided to aid in attaching the band 11 to the garment. The slit C-2 is closed by an overedge seam, indicated at 14 in FIG. 3.

While the graduation of the stitch loops in successive courses may be accomplished by various means, such as raising and lowering the stitch cam during each rotation of the needle cylinder, manipulation of the sinkers, etc., it is preferred that this coursewise stitch loop graduation be accomplished by a simple and novel means which merely requires the adjustment of existing parts on a conventional type of circular hosiery knitting machine. This preferred stitch length graduating means is illustrated in FIGS. 6-8.

Latch needles N are supported for vertical movement in slots in the needle cylinder 15 and an outside sinker ring 16 is conventionally supported on the upper end of the needle cylinder 15. Radial grooves are provided in the outside sinker ring 16 for slidingly supporting the outer portions of sinkers 17 provided with the usual nibs, stitch drawing ledges, and upstanding operating butts. The inner portions of the sinkers 17 are supported for radial sliding movement in radial grooves in the upper portion of an inside sinker ring 18.

The lower portion of the sinker ring 18 is adjustably supported on the inner portion of the upper end of the needle cylinder 15 by means of locking screws 19 and adjusting screws 20. The locking screws 19 are equally spaced around the periphery of the inside sinker ring 18 and penetrate elongated slots 22 (FIGS. 7 and 8) with their inner ends being threadably embedded in the needle cylinder 15. The screws 19 and provide means for radially adjusting the inside sinker ring, relative to the outside sinker ring 16 and to the needles N. These screws 19, 20 are normally used to level the inside sinker ring 18 so that all of the needles N draw the same size stitch loop.

In accordance with the present invention, the screws 19 and 20 at one side of the needle cylinder, the side which forms the outside of the tubular blank, are adjusted so that the corresponding needle forms a large or long stitch loop while the screws 19 and 20 on the opposite side of the needle cylinder are adjusted so that the corresponding needle forms a small or short su'tch loop. Thus, one side of the inside sinker ring 18 is higher (between about 0.003 and 0.008 of an inch) than the other side (FIG. 6). The screws 19, 20 between these two extremes are adjusted to support the sinker ring at an angle, relative to the needle cylinder, as illustrated in FIG. 6, where the right-hand portion of the inside sinker ring 18 is higher than the left-hand portion. The angular position of the inside sinker ring 18 relative to the upper end of the needle cylinder 15, as shown in FIG. 6, is exaggerated for purposes of illustration. Thus, this particular coursewise graduating means is very simple in operation and will operate equally well with single feed or multiple feed knitting machine and the same coursewise graduation of stitch loops will be obtained at each knitting station.

After the tubular panty hose blank is knit and the elastic band or tape 11 is secured to the waist opening, the legs L-! and L-2 have a bowed appearance, as illustrated in FIG. 3, because the outside edges have a greater length of fabric than the inside edges. As the legs L-l and L-2 are folded down to side-by-side position, the panty portion P is bent in the middle to form downwardly depending leg portions P-1 and P-2 with a crotch portion therebetween.

If desired, the panty hose garment may be dyed and worn without boarding, particularly if knit of a stretchable type yarn. If it is desirable to board the panty hose garment, it is preferably placed on a pair of side-by-side boarding forms 25, 26 which are suitably connected together at their lower ends and are spaced apart to accommodate the leg portions L-l and L-2 and the panty portion P, in the manner indicated in FIG. 4. The boards 25, 26 illustrated in FIG. 4 are not provided with the usual heel bulge, however, it is to be understood that they may be provided with a heel bulge, if desired. The boarding forms are then usually placed in a boarding machine and subjected to steam and pressure to shrink the fabric and heat-set the shape of the forms in the garment. The forms may be placed in a dye-board where the dying, heat-setting, and shrinking of the garment is carried out in one continuous operation.

As has been mentioned, the toe closures T-l and T-2 may be automatically formed at each end of the garment blank on the knitting machine in the manner disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,327,500 and 3,340,706 in what is known as a twisted-toe closure. The toe closures T-l and T-2 may also be formed by another conventional method which includes wrapping a yarn around the fabric and drawing it tight to gather the center of the fabric. This type of toe closure is known in the trade as the duo-vent toe closure.

In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation.

I claim:

1. A seamless, circular knit lower body covering type gar- Y ment comprising a. a seamless panty portion having integrally formed downwardly depending leg portions defining a crotch area therebetween,

b. said seamless panty portion having an upper waist opening and an elastic band attached to the waist opening,

c. the size of the stitch loops in each course of at least said panty portion being graduated from large stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along opposite sides of said panty portion to small stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along the inner sides of said leg portions and through the center of said crotch area.

2. A seamless panty hose type garment comprising a. a pair of seamless legs having closed toe ends at their lower ends,

b. a seamless panty portion having downwardly depending leg portions defining a crotch area therebetween, said leg portions being integrally knit with the upper ends of said seamless legs,

c. an elastic waistband connected to the upper end of said panty portion and defining a waist opening therein, and

d. the size of the stitch loops in each course of at least the panty portion being graduated from large stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along opposite sides of said panty portion to small stitch loops positioned in a wale extending along the inner sides of said leg portions and through the center of said crotch area.

3. A seamless panty hose type garment according to claim 2 wherein the graduation of the stitch loops extends throughout each of said seamless legs with the large stitch loops being positioned in a wale extending along opposite outer sides of said legs and the small stitch loops being positioned in a wale extending along the adjacent inner sides of said legs.

4. A seamless panty hose type garment according to claim 2 wherein the stitch loop size is also graduated in a walewise direction with large stitch loops being positioned in said panty portion and small stitch loops being positioned at the lower ends of said seamless legs.

5. A seamless panty hose type garment according to claim 2 wherein said closed toe ends of said seamless legs comprise twisted toe closures.

6. A method of forming a seamless lower body covering type garment comprising the steps of a. knitting a seamless tubular blank on a circular knitting machine by continuously knitting from one end of the garment blank to the other and while b. graduating the size of the stitch loops in each course from large stitch loops along one side of said garment blank to small stitch loops along the opposite side of the garment blank, so that said one side of said garment blank is longer than said opposite side,

c. slitting the garment blank in a walewise direction and along said one side to form a waist opening therein, and

d. attaching an elastic waistband to the waist opening formed by the slit.

7. A method according to claim 6 including the step of graduating the size of the stitch loops in successive courses by gradually increasing the size of the stitch loops from one end of the garment blank to the medial portion, and gradually decreasing the size of the stitch loops from the medial portion to the other end of the garment.

8. A method of forming a panty hose type garment comprising the steps of a. knitting a tubular panty hose blank on a circular knitting machine by continuously knitting from one end of the garment blank to the other and while b. knitting a first leg,

c. knitting a medial panty portion,

d. knitting a second leg,

e. graduating the size of the stitch loops in each course of at least said panty-portion from large stitch loops along one side of said blank to small stitch loops along the opposite side of said blank,

f. slitting the medial portion of said panty hose blank in a walewise direction and along said one side to form a waist opening therein, and

g. attaching an elastic waistband to the waist opening formed by the slit.

9. A method according to claim 8 including the step of forming toe closures at opposed ends of said first and second legs.

10. A method according to claim 8 including the step of graduating the size of the stitch loops in the manner set forth in step (0) throughout the knitting of said first and second legs.

11. A method according to claim 10 including the step of graduating the size of the stitch loops in successive courses by gradually increasing the size of the stitch loops from one end of said first leg to' a medial portion of said pant portion, and gradually decreasing the size of the stitch loops om the medial portion of said panty portion to the end of said second leg.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1981136 *Apr 25, 1934Nov 20, 1934Bloom JosephGirdle
US2699055 *Apr 27, 1951Jan 11, 1955Swiss Knitting CompanyKnit article having parts of different lengths
US3169385 *Nov 29, 1962Feb 16, 1965Schubert & Salzer MaschinenApparatus for making heel or toe pouches on circular knitting machines
US3241340 *Dec 5, 1961Mar 22, 1966Kendall & CoCircular knit garment with added shaping material
US3256716 *Jan 16, 1962Jun 21, 1966Schubert & Salzer MaschinenCircular knitting machine
IT841972A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3808842 *Mar 15, 1972May 7, 1974Old Colony Hosiery Mills IncManufacture of lady{40 s panty hose
US3824812 *Mar 1, 1972Jul 23, 1974Kellwood CoPanty garment with high rises at the lateral portions of the panty
US3937039 *Oct 22, 1968Feb 10, 1976Prenihan A.G.One-piece panty and stockings
US3981161 *Apr 12, 1974Sep 21, 1976Billi, S.P.A.Panty hose with reinforced longitudinal waist opening
US3987650 *Apr 4, 1974Oct 26, 1976Billi, S.P.A.Method of forming the waistband in panty hose or similar article and the resulting product
US3998076 *Feb 14, 1974Dec 21, 1976Billi, S.P.A.Elasticated waist opening
US3999406 *Feb 19, 1975Dec 28, 1976Firma Gottlieb EppingerPantihose waist opening
US4000630 *May 22, 1973Jan 4, 1977Burlington Industries, Inc.Seamless panty hose and method
US4014188 *Apr 12, 1974Mar 29, 1977Conti PPanty hose with improved waist openings
US4023384 *Apr 12, 1974May 17, 1977Billi, S.P.A.Knit tubular article with transverse waist opening
US4041736 *Oct 16, 1973Aug 16, 1977Pilot Research CorporationLower body garment and method of making same
US4100624 *Jul 12, 1976Jul 18, 1978Bear Brand Hosiery Co.Method and apparatus for forming a combination garment and products thereof
US4100769 *May 5, 1976Jul 18, 1978Siegfried NurkCircular knitting machine method for manufacturing one piece panty hose or the like
US7497098 *Sep 2, 2005Mar 3, 2009Hbi Branded Apparel Enterprises, LlcRun prevention methods and garments
US20060137407 *Jan 14, 2005Jun 29, 2006Phantom Industries Inc.Seamless dance tight
US20070000030 *May 31, 2006Jan 4, 2007Toomey Danny LPocketed sweatshirt
Classifications
U.S. Classification66/177
International ClassificationD04B1/22, A41B11/14, D04B1/24, A41B11/00
Cooperative ClassificationD04B15/18, D04B9/025, A41B11/14, D04B1/243
European ClassificationD04B15/18, D04B9/02B, D04B1/24A, A41B11/14
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 7, 1985AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: PRENIHAN AG, BY: KURT MUELLER, LIQUIDATOR
Effective date: 19841121
Owner name: PRETTY POLLY LIMITED, UNWIN ROAD, SUTTON-IN-ASHFIE
Jan 7, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: PRETTY POLLY LIMITED, UNWIN ROAD, SUTTON-IN-ASHFIE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:PRENIHAN AG, BY: KURT MUELLER, LIQUIDATOR;REEL/FRAME:004348/0005
Effective date: 19841121