|Publication number||US3890978 A|
|Publication date||Jun 24, 1975|
|Filing date||Feb 1, 1974|
|Priority date||Feb 1, 1974|
|Publication number||US 3890978 A, US 3890978A, US-A-3890978, US3890978 A, US3890978A|
|Inventors||Nobbs Mulford J|
|Original Assignee||Con Stan Ind Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (12), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Nobbs June 24, 1975 1 BRASSIERE CONSTRUCTION  Inventor: Mulford J. Nobbs, Hacienda Heights, Calif.
 Assignee: Con-Stan Industries, Inc., City of Industry, Calif.
 Filed? Feb. 1, 1974  Appl. No.: 438,868
52 U.S. Cl. 128/485  Int. Cl...... A411: 3/00  Field of Search 128/425, 464, 481, 484, 128/485, 486, 487, 517
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,659,085 '11/1953 Ericson 128/517 X 2,686,312 8/1954 Schmidt..... 128/463 2,764,761 10/1956 Rosenthal 3,225,768 12/1965 Galitzki et a1. 128/463 3,402,719 9/1968 Simonsen.... 3,642,009 2/1972 Nobbs 3,769,987 11/1973 Markowitz 128/484 Primary ExaminerWerner H. Schroeder Attorney, Agent, or Firm-George F. Smyth 5 7 ABSTRACT A brassiere construction having an inner detachable breast supporting band having a permanent compound curvature conforming to the natural curvature of the undersurfaces of the breasts with the band being resil ient and moisture absorbent. The breast supporting band may be formed from a laminate of a semi-rigid moldable thermoplastic sheet covered on each side by a layer of a moisture-absorbent material such as a woven polyester formed as a tricot or like material.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures BRASSIERE CONSTRUCTION This invention relates to a brassiere and, more particularly, to a brassiere having an improved inner detachable breast supporting band.
Such a supporting band has proven successful in a brassiere adapted for use particularly by a large breasted woman. The improved supporting band may include a shelf-like member which extends outward and upward from the base of the supporting band along the underside of each breast with the upper edge of the shelf-like member located part way up the underside of the breast. By then providing an arrangement of suspension straps for each shelf-like member, as disclosed in my US. Pat. No. 3,642,009, the position of the shelflike members can be adjusted for maximum comfort.
The breast supporting band in the aforementioned US. patent includes a pair of trapezoidal shaped cloth base sections joined in an end-to-end relationship at their narrow bases and having a cloth shelf-like flange sewn along the upper edge of each base section. A central vertical binding strip then connects the ends of the base sections and the flanges.
The supporting band of my prior patent has several disadvantages which arise from the use of cloth and in manufacturing the band from discrete pieces of cloth. In use, the lower edges of the cloth base sections may roll under and produce discomfort when subjected to the vertical load of a womans breasts because the base sections lack rigidity and tend to wrinkle. Also, a long horizontal seam across the middle of the band is required to connect the base sections with the shelf-like flanges because a multiple piece cloth construction is required to accommodate the transition of the band curvature between the flat rib cage of the wearer and the flaccid curved breast tissue. This seam may produce irritation along the sensitive undersides of the wearers breasts. Further, although cloth flanges may be cut to size to conform with the size of the wearers breasts, cloth is flexible and is, thereby, incapable of defining a sufficiently rigid contoured supporting surface to prevent some shifting of the breast during wear.
Since cloth is flexible, it cannot be pre-shaped to a three-dimensional curvature corresponding to the contour of the undersides of the breasts. Moreover, with usage and repeated washing, a cloth supporting band may become misshapen. The use of a cloth support band may also create additional problems due to the presence of perspiration and irritation arising from a constrictive fit between the cloth band and the breast tissue. Thus, it may block air flow to the breasts and prevent the evaporation of moisture. Also, cloth is a material which becomes clammy when wetted by perspiration which may also produce additional discomfort.
In accord with the present invention, I have provided a brassiere construction which employs a breast supporting band having a compound three-dimensional curvature that conforms to the natural curvature of the undersurfaces of the breasts. The breast supporting band of the present construction has a permanent three-dimensional curvature. Thus, it may be washed repeatedly without losing its shape. Also, by being molded to a compound three-dimensional curvature, the breast-supporting band does not have the connecting seams which characterize the cloth band disclosed in my US. Pat. No. 3,642,009. Thus, the breastsupporting band of the present brassiere has less tendency to cause irritation to sensitive areas of the wearers skin.
In addition, the breast-supporting band of the present brassiere construction has a breathable construction. Thus, the band does not obstruct air flow to the supported breast areas and the band construction permits air flow through the bandto evaporate moisture from the band itself. This tends to prevent the band from becoming clammy through the absorption of perspiration and also promotes drying of the supporting band after washing.
In illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention, reference is made to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a brassiere construction having an inner breast supporting band having a permanent three-dimensional curvature conforming to the undersurfaces of the breasts with the band sup ported against the wearers body and attached to an outer covering which encircles the wearer and includes breast covering cups;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the brassiere construction of FIG. 1 to illustrate the component parts of the brassiere;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1, and
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the inner breast supporting band which illustrates the permanent three-dimensional compound curvature of the band and also its breathable construction that promotes evaporation of moisture from the breast areas supported by the band as well as the evaporation of moisture from the band itself.
Turning to FIGS. 1-3, the brassiere 2 includes an inner breast supporting band 10 which supports the undersurface of each breast without contacting the top portions of the breasts or the nipple areas. An outer covering 12 is positioned over the band 10 and encircles the body of the wearer while a set of hooks 13 on one end of the covering cooperate with eyelets (not shown) at the other end of the covering in adjusting the girth encompassed by the cover. An elastic bottom strip 14 and elastic back pieces 15 at either end of the covering 12 help to maintain the outer covering resiliently positioned against the wearers body. Also, the top edge of the outer covering 12 may be provided with a padded border 16 with portions thereof being shirred as described in my aforementioned patent. The front portions of the outer covering 12 may, in addition, be decorated with lace to provide a pleasing appearance.
Referring to the left side of the brassiere as shown in FIG. 2, the inner supporting band 10 may terminate in a set of hooks 17 which engage a set of eyelets 19 on the inner side of the outer covering 12 in attaching the left side of the band 10 to the left side of the covering 12. The hook set 17 may include an extra hook along its vertical direction in addition to the number of hooks required for engagement with the eyelet set 19. Also, the eyelet set 19 may contain extra eyelets along its horizontal direction, thus allowing the relative position of the band 10 and the covering 12 to be adjusted in both a vertical and a horizontal direction in achieving a comfortable fit. The right side of the band 10 may be attached to the right side of the covering 12 by a similar set of hooks and fasteners (not shown). As indicated, the hook and the eyelet fastener elements are widely spaced in a vertical direction which tends to prevent inadvertent twisting of the band with respect to the outer covering 12.
A shoulder strap 18 may suspend the left side of the band 10, as viewed in FIG. 2, through a three way swivel 20 which is joined to an outer suspension strap 22 and an inner suspension strap 24. The shoulder strap 18 may be connected to the swivel 20 by a cloth loop 26 carried by a buckle 27; with the suspension straps 22 and 24 merely being looped through swivel 20.
As illustrated, the shoulder strap 18 may be sewn into the rear of the covering 12 along a seam 28. The lengths of the shoulder straps l8 and the suspension straps 22 and 24 may each be varied by adjustment of buckles 27, 30 and 32 respectively to vary the support provided to the breast through the straps. The right half of the band 10 is similarly supported through a shoulder strap 34, etc., such that each breast extends between the suspension straps while resting upon the supporting band 10.
Each outer suspension strap 22 may be attached to the support band 10 by an end hook 36 which may engage either of several eyelets of an eyelet set 38 carried on the outer surface of the band, thus permitting adjustment of the relative positions of the band and the outer straps. The inner suspension straps 24 may be attached to the band 10 along a vertical binding strip 39 which does not produce skin irritation because it falls within the cleavage and, therefore, does not rub against the breast tissue.
The outer covering 12 includes a pair of cup portions 40 and 42 which are positioned over the breasts by a pair of fabric loops 44 and 46 during engagement by hooks formed as part of the shoulder strap buckles 27. Using the left cup 40 as illustrative of both the cup portions 40 and 42 in FIG. 3, the loop 44 engages a hook 48 in buckle 27 to position the left cup over the left breast of the wearer.
Turning to FIG. 4 which is an enlarged fragmentary view of the breast supporting band 10, the band has a permanent three-dimensional compound curvature which conforms to the undersurface of the breast. This provides firm support for the breasts without wrinkling of the band or the use of connecting seams that characterize a cloth band in which separate pieces of cloth defining the base sections in contact with the wearers rib cage are stitched to shelf-like flanges that contact the undersurfaces of the breast. The three-dimensional curvature of the breast supporting band 10 is necessarily complex to correspond with the curvature of the female form in providing support for the breasts. Thus, as shown in FIG. 3 with reference to the left half of the band 10, the band includes a rib cage portion 49 which curves in a transverse direction to generally correspond with the transverse curvature of the rib cage. However, the rib cage portion 49 is relatively straight in its vertical direction to correspond with the generally flat configuration of the rib cage in a vertical direction.
Proceeding in an upward direction with respect to the breast supporting band 10 in FIG. 3, the rib cage portion 49 merges into an outwardly curved portion 50 which serves as a transition between the rib cage portion and a cupping portion 51 that curves upwardly and outwardly as well as transversely in cupping the undersurface of the breast. The smooth curvature of the curved portion 50 is in sharp contrast to the abrupt change in direction which characterized the seam line between the base section and the shelf-like flange in the cloth band of my prior patent and offers comfort and support to the wearer in the transition region between the rib cage and the undersurface of the breast which cannot be attained in a cloth band made from discrete pieces of flat cloth which are stitched together. In addition to curving outwardly in a vertical direction, the curved portion 50 is also curved in a transverse direction to conform to the transverse curvature of the transition region between the rib cage and the undersurface of the breast of the wearer.
The cupping portions 51, as shown in FIG. 4, have a transverse curvature as indicated by the curved surface edge 52 as well as a vertical curvature as indicated at 53. The compound three-dimensional curvature of the cupping portions 51 cradles the undersurfaces of the breasts by providing positive support to the compound three-dimensional curvature of the breast tissue in a manner which is superior to the support provided by the cloth band of my prior patent in which the flat cloth pieces forming the band would take the shape of the breast through contact with the breast surface. Moreover, since the compound three-dimensional curvature of the cupping portions 51 is a permanent curvature, the cradling support provided by the cupping portions is not lost through usage of the brassiere or through repeated washings of the breast supporting band 10.
As described previously, the breast supporting band is formed as two sections that are joined together by the vertical binding strip which passes through the cleavage region where the body contour of the wearer is relatively straight in a vertical direction. Thus, the above description of the compound three-dimensional curvature of the left section of the band 10 has equal application to the curvature of the right section of the band whose curvature is a mirror image of the curvature of the left section.
As described previously, the breast supporting band 10 has a breathable structure which permits the contact of air with the body portions of the wearer which are contacted by the band. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the breathable structure of the band 10 may be provided by forming the band as a laminate of a center sheet 54 of a moldable thermoplastic material having an outer layer 55 and an inner layer 56 of a soft absorbent material bonded thereto. The soft inner and outer layers 56 and 55 may, for example, be formed ofa tricot-like material of a woven polyester. In forming the laminated structure illustrated in FIG. 4, the breast supporting band 10 is preferably formed as two sections with each section being shaped and laminated through the effect of heat and pressure in a mold. Thus, for example, in forming one of the sections, the material which forms the outer or inner layer 55 or 56 is laid down on the mold surface followed by the material 54 and the material to form the other outer surface of the section. The two halves of the mold are then brought together to permanently deform the material 54 to the compound three-dimensional curvature, as described, and to also bond the layers 55 and 56 to the layer 54.
As illustrated, the material 54 contains the plurality of closely spaced apertures 57. These apertures 57, while not interfering with the structural integrity of the breast supporting band 10, do make the band structure breathable. Thus, in usage, air can pass through the interstices of the frabric layers 55 and 56 and through the apertures 57 into contact with the supported breast surcent the dimensionalcurvature of the band 10 prevents the forfaces. This permits the removal of moisture from the I supported breast surfaces through evaporation and also permits removal of moisture from the breast supporting band itself. This results in increased comfort to the wearer who will remain dry without irritation of the supported body surfaces.
As shown in FIG. 3, the edges of the breast supporting band 10 may include a bottom padding 58 and a top padding 59 formed of any suitable soft fabric material. The cupping portions 51 include side portions on either side of the breast, such as side portion 60, which are curved both in a vertical and transverse direction which prevents drift of the band 10 with respect to the breasts. The outer side portions of the cupping portions- 51, as illustrated by side portion 60, are relieved at the outer ends as at 61. This prevents contact of the band 10 with the underarm regions of the wearer.
By reason of the compound three-dimensional curvature of the band 10, outer edges 62 of the breast supporting band have less tendency to gap at points adjarelieved edge 61. Further, the three the body of the wearer, and an inner breast supporting band which contacts the undersurfaces of the wearers breasts in providing support to the breasts, the improvement comprising:
said band having a permanent compound threedimensional curvature to correspond with the three-dimensional curvature of the undersurfaces of the supported breasts; said band being breathable so as to permit the flow of air to the supported breast areas and to promote the removal of moisture from said band and from the supported breast areas; said band including rib cage portions having a transverse curvature to correspond with the transverse curvature of the wearers rib cage; said rib cage portions being relatively flat in a vertical direction to correspond to the generally fat configuration of the rib cage in a vertical direction; said band including cupping portions which are curved upwardly, outwardly and transversely to a three-dimensional compound curvature corresponding to the three-dimensional curvature of the undersurface of the breast;
said cupping portions being shaped and positioned to cradle the undersurface of the breast in firmly supporting the breast;
said band including outwardly curved portions joining said rib cage portions and said cupping portions;
said outwardly curved portions having a compound curvature in both a vertical and transverse direction;
said outwardly curved portions including an inwardly and downwardly curved portion which forms a merger between the upward and outwardcurvature of said cupping portions and the relatively flat vertical configuration of said'rib cage portions, and
said inwardly and downwardly curved portion having a curvature which transmits forces directed inwardly and downwardly from said cupping portions along an unbroken curved path into the substan-' 2. The brassiere construction of claim 1 wherein said band is formed of two sections; said sections being'joined vertically along a line passing through the cleavage area; each of said sections being formed to a compound three-dimensional curvature from a single piece of a breathable thermoplastic material. 3. The brassiere construction of claim 2 wherein said thermoplastic material contains a plurality of closely spaced apertures. 4. The brassiere construction of claim 2 including layers of a soft absorbent material bonded to either side of said thermoplastic material. 5. The brassiere construction of claim 3 including layers of soft absorbent material bonded to either side of said thermoplastic material. 6. The brassiere construction of claim 4 wherein said layers of soft absorbent material are a tricot fabric.
7. The brassiere construction of claim 5 wherein said layers of soft absorbent material are a tricot fabric.
8. The brassiere construction of claim 6 wherein said I tricot fabric is a polyester.
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|International Classification||A41C3/10, A41C3/00, A41C3/12|
|Cooperative Classification||A41C3/0021, A41C3/0071|
|European Classification||A41C3/00R, A41C3/00D|