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United States Patent Application 20160198805
Kind Code A1
LUTERBACH; SUSAN L ;   et al. July 14, 2016

BUTTON COVER FOR PROTECTION OF SKIN AND BODY

Abstract

Disclosed is a button cover that may be used to cover a button that is provided on the inside of articles of clothing, such as buttons utilized in adjustable children's pants. The button cover is used to protect the wearer's skin from irritation and injury as the button rubs against the wearer's skin. The button cover may have a soft, flexible cover portion and a button engagement means on the back side. Also disclosed is a process for making the button cover according to the present invention.


Inventors: LUTERBACH; SUSAN L; (HARTLAND, WI) ; JESKE; STACY; (WEST ALLIS, SI) ; JORS; SANDY; (GEORGETOWN, KY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

LUTERBACH; SUSAN L
JESKE; STACY
JORS; SANDY

HARTLAND
WEST ALLIS
GEORGETOWN

WI
KY

US
SI
US
Family ID: 1000001499737
Appl. No.: 14/592439
Filed: January 8, 2015


Current U.S. Class: 24/92 ; 112/475.17; 29/428
Current CPC Class: A44B 1/126 20130101; A44B 1/123 20130101
International Class: A44B 1/12 20060101 A44B001/12

Claims



1. A button cover for use on buttons located on the inside of an article of clothing, said button having an outer surface, an outer edge, an underside and a largest diameter, said button cover comprising: a planar main cover portion having a top side and a bottom side, said main cover portion being constructed of a single layer of soft, flexible fabric and configured to cover at least the entire outer surface of said button; and button engagement means configured for holding the planar main cover portion directly adjacent to and flat against said outer surface of said button; wherein said button engagement means is coupled to said bottom side of said planar main cover portion; and wherein said button engagement means is sized and configured to interact with said underside of said button.

2. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said engagement means is at least one elastic member having an opening formed therein.

3. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said engagement means is a pair of elastic members separated at an engagement distance.

4. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said planar main cover portion has a narrowest dimension that is equal to or greater than the largest diameter of said button.

5. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said soft, flexible fabric is fleece.

6. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said planar main cover portion further comprises a second layer of soft, flexible fabric on at least a portion of said bottom side.

7. The button cover of claim 1 wherein said planar main cover portion comprises a square.

8. A method of using a button cover to cover a button positioned on the inside of an article of clothing, said button having an outer surface, an outer edge, and a bottom side, said method comprising the steps of: providing a button cover, said button cover comprising a planar main cover portion having a top side and a bottom side, said main cover portion being constructed of a single layer of soft, flexible fabric and configured to cover at least the entire outer surface of said button; and button engagement means configured for holding the planar main cover portion directly adjacent to and flat against said outer surface of said button; wherein said button engagement means is coupled to said bottom side of said planar main cover portion; and wherein said button engagement means is sized and configured to interact with said under side of said button; moving said button engagement means around said outer edge of said button; and positioning said engagement means in engagement with said bottom side of said button.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein said engagement means is at least one elastic member having an opening formed therein.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein said engagement means is a pair of elastic members.

11. A process for making a button cover for use on buttons located on the inside of an article of clothing, said process comprising the steps of: providing a first layer of material sized and configured to cover said button, providing engagement means, said engagement means comprising at least one elastic strap having a first end and a second end, positioning said engagement means on an underside of said first layer of material, providing a second layer of material, securing said first end of said at least one elastic strap between said first and said second layers of material using securing means, and securing said second end of said at least one elastic strap between said first and said second layers of material oppositely disposed from location of said first securing step.

12. The process of claim 11 wherein said providing a second layer of material comprises folding over a portion of said first layer of material to form a second layer.

13. The process of claim 11 wherein said securing means comprises stitching.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to covers for buttons, and more particularly to a flexible cover configured to be placed over a button to protect against injury and discomfort caused by the button. The present may be especially useful on articles of clothing having buttons on the inside of the clothing, such as adjustable pants worn by toddlers and young children.

[0002] Decorative and protective button covers are widely used as a means to provide additional aesthetic appeal to buttons on clothing or to protect buttons from damage during activity, such as during cleaning. Many decorative covers are made of various fabrics, having different colors and designs, or are made into various shapes constructed of decorative metals and plastics, sometimes having gems or other ornamental articles thereon. Most often, decorative button covers are interchangeable to accommodate use with different articles of clothing. Some interchangeable covers are made to be placed over existing buttons, while other decorative, interchangeable button covers are specially constructed to connect to a compatible button base portion. Decorative button covers are typically used on the outside of clothing and are not effective in protecting the wearer's skin or body against injury or discomfort should there be extended skin/body to button cover contact.

[0003] Protective button covers, used during activities such as cleaning, are not intended to be used on a button or article of clothing during wear, and are meant to provide protection to the button from damage that may occur during the cleaning process. Known protective button covers are not intended for extended use during wearing of the clothing, nor are they configured to protect the skin/body of an individual wearing the clothing.

[0004] As such, there remains a need for a button cover that provides comfort and protection against irritation to a user's skin from a button. More particularly, there remains a need to provide protection from irritation that may be caused by buttons that are located on the inside of an article of clothing or that have constant or extended skin contact.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] The present invention satisfies this need by providing a button cover, a method of using the button cover, and a process for making the button cover to cover and protect a button located on the inside of clothing, such as in adjustable pants.

[0006] One aspect of the invention provides a button cover for use on buttons located on the inside of an article of clothing, the button having an outer surface, an outer edge, and an under side, the button cover having a planar main cover portion having a top side and a bottom side, the main cover portion being constructed of a single layer of soft, flexible fabric and configured to cover at least the entire outer surface of the button, and button engagement means configured for holding the planar main cover portion directly adjacent to and flat against the outer surface of the button; wherein the button engagement means is coupled to the bottom side of the planar main cover portion; and wherein the button engagement means is sized and configured to interact with the underside of the button.

[0007] The button cover may further include engagement means being at least one elastic member having an opening formed therein.

[0008] The button cover may further include engagement means being a pair of elastic members separated at an engagement distance.

[0009] The button cover may further include the planar main cover portion having a narrowest dimension that is equal to or greater than the largest diameter of the button.

[0010] The button cover may further include the soft, flexible fabric being fleece.

[0011] The button cover may further include the planar main cover portion further having a second layer of soft, flexible fabric on at least a portion of the bottom side.

[0012] The button cover may further include the planar main cover portion comprising a square.

[0013] Another aspect of the invention may provide a method of using a button cover to cover a button positioned on the inside of an article of clothing, the button having an outer surface, an outer edge, and a bottom side, the method comprising the steps of: providing a button cover, the button cover comprising a planar main cover portion having a top side and a bottom side, the main cover portion being constructed of a single layer of soft, flexible fabric and configured to cover at least the entire outer surface of the button; and button engagement means configured for holding the planar main cover portion directly adjacent to and flat against the outer surface of the button; wherein the button engagement means is coupled to the bottom side of the planar main cover portion; and wherein the button engagement means is sized and configured to interact with the underside of the button. The method may further include the steps of moving the button engagement means around the outer edge of the button; and positioning the engagement means in engagement with the bottom side of the button.

[0014] The method may further include providing a button cover wherein the engagement means is at least one elastic member having an opening formed therein.

[0015] The method may further include providing a button cover wherein the engagement means is a pair of elastic members.

[0016] Another aspect of the invention may provide a process for making a button cover for use on buttons located on the inside of an article of clothing, the process comprising the steps of: providing a first layer of material sized and configured to cover the button, providing engagements means, the engagement means comprising at least one elastic strap having a first end and a second end, positioning the engagement means on an underside of the first layer of material, providing a second layer of material, securing the first end of the engagement means between the first and the second layers of material using securing means, and securing the second end of the engagement means between the first and the second layers of material oppositely disposed from location of the first securing step.

[0017] The step of providing a second layer of material may further comprises folding over a portion of the first layer of material to form a second layer.

[0018] The process may further include wherein the securing means comprises stitching.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a pair of adjustable pants having buttons facing the wearer.

[0020] FIG. 1B is a perspective view of a pair of adjustable pants as shown in FIG. 1A utilizing an embodiment of a button cover according to the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of an embodiment of a button cover according to the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a bottom perspective view of the embodiment of a button cover shown in FIG. 2.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a bottom perspective view of another embodiment of a button cover according to the present invention.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective view of another embodiment of a button cover according to the present invention.

[0025] FIG. 6A is a first side view showing the interaction between the button cover shown in FIG. 2 and a button.

[0026] FIG. 6B is a second side view showing the interaction between the button cover shown in FIG. 2 and a button.

[0027] FIG. 7 is a bottom perspective view of another embodiment of a button cover according to the present invention.

[0028] FIG. 8 shows the components used in a process of manufacturing the button cover shown in FIG. 2.

[0029] FIG. 9A shows a button cover according to the present invention following a first step in the process of manufacturing the button cover shown in FIG. 2.

[0030] FIG. 9B shows a button cover according to the present invention following a second step in the process of manufacturing the button cover shown in FIG. 2.

[0031] FIG. 9C shows a button cover according to the present invention following a third step in the process of manufacturing the button cover shown in FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0032] Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention which may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.

[0033] FIG. 1B shows a button cover 10 according to the present invention being used on the inner elastic portion of a pair of adjustable pants 12. The button cover 10 may be useful in a variety of clothing articles that provide buttons 14 on an interior area or on an area that may have extended skin or body contact with the wearer. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, a button cover 10 according to the present invention may have a planar cover panel 20 and button engagement means 30 attached thereto. The cover panel 20 may be formed in any appropriate shape. In the embodiment shown, the cover panel 20 is a square. Alternatively, the cover panel could be rectangular, circular, as shown in FIG. 4, or any other shape or configuration suitable to cover the full face 16 of the button 14. Preferably, the diameter of the cover panel 20, at its narrowest dimension, is larger than the diameter 18 of the button 14 such that the button cover 10 extends beyond the edges 19 of the button 14 to diminish button 14 to skin contact, and provide comfort to the user's skin. The button cover 10 is preferably sized having a smallest diameter of between 0.5 and 2.0 inches. In a square embodiment, such as the embodiment shown, the dimensions may be 1''.times.1''.

[0034] The cover panel 20 may be made of any suitably soft material such as cotton, silk, fleece, or nylon. The cover panel 20 may also be cushioned or supplemented with a quantity of cotton or other soft material, such as additional material placed on one side of the cover panel 20 or two pieces of the cover panel material attached to at least a portion of the perimeters and having cotton, fleece, or other soft material sandwiched therebetween. The softness of the material, and any cushion that may be added thereto, supplements the comfort provided by the button cover 10 by preventing rubbing, poking, etc that may cause irritation an injury to the wearer's skin. The material may have designs or patterns thereon, or may be a solid color.

[0035] The cover panel 20 may be sized and configured to cover and be adjacent to only a face 16 of the button, and not to cover the edges or the bottom side of the button.

[0036] As shown in FIGS. 3-7, the button cover 10 may further comprise button engagement means 30. The button engagement means may be a mechanism attached to the cover panel 20 that is capable of holding the cover panel 20 against the face 16 of the button 14. The engagement means 30 may be a pair of elastic bands 32 positioned on the back 21 of the cover panel 20 extending from one edge of the cover 20 to an oppositely disposed edge of the cover 20. The elastic bands 32 may be positioned directly adjacent to one another, as is shown in FIG. 3 or may be spaced apart at an elastic distance 40, as is shown in FIG. 5. The elastic distance 40 may be any distance from 1/8'' to 2'', and in some cases may depend on the diameter of the button being covered. Buttons having smaller dimensions may require a cover 10 having a smaller elastic distance 40.

[0037] As shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, the engagement means 30, such as the elastic bands 32 are configured to be separated to move around the outer diameter of the button 14 and then hold the cover 20 tightly to the back 17 of the button 14 around the button thread (not shown) that is holding the button 14 to the garment.

[0038] In the alternative, and as shown in FIG. 7, the button engagement means 30 may be made of a single piece of elastic 38 extending from one edge of the cover to an oppositely disposed edge. In order to accommodate the positioning of the cover 20 over a button 14, the elastic 38 may have a longitudinal slit 39 or space, of a length greater than the diameter of the button, such as between 1/4'' and 2'', such that a button 14 may be passed through the slit 39 to position the elastic 38 on the back 17 of the button, to secure the cover 20 to the button 14.

[0039] The cover panel 20 may be folded over to create a second layer 25 that is coupled, by stitching or other attachment means, to the first layer that holds the ends of the button engagement means 30 therebetween. Alternatively, additional pieces of material may be attached, such as by stitching, to the back 21 of the cover panel 20 to hold the ends of the button engagement means 30 therebetween. Alternatively, the cover panel 20 may not have a second layer 25 and the button engagement means may be stitched directly to the back 21 of the cover panel 20.

[0040] FIGS. 8-9C depict a process of manufacturing a button cover 10 according to the present invention. As shown in FIG. 8, the button cover 10 may comprise a cover panel 20 having at least a single piece of fabric, such as fleece or cotton, made in any of the sizes, shapes, or designs described above, and at least one button engagement band 30, such as elastic. As shown in FIG. 9A, the at least one button engagement band 30, such as the two elastic bands 32 shown, are positioned flat on the back side 21 of the panel 20. As shown in FIG. 9B, one end 26 of the panel 20 is folded over in the direction of arrow A to form a two layer portion 22, with the second layer 25 being secured, such as by stitching 24, to the bottom layer in such a way that a first end of the elastic band or bands 32 are secured therebetween. As shown in FIG. 9C, a second end 26' of the panel 20 is then folded over in the direction of arrow A', and secured, such as by stitching 24 in such a way that the second end of the elastic band or bands 32 are secured therebetween. These steps may be performed in order to produce the button cover 10 according to the present invention.

[0041] The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.

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