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United States Patent Application 20170208881
Kind Code A1
Leathers; Donis July 27, 2017

UTILITY SCARF

Abstract

A scarf assembly includes a length of fabric extending longitudinally and gathered laterally at a medial neck-engaging portion. A respiratory mask is secured to the interior surface of the neck portion and stored there, to be deployed and circumscribing the head and lowering it to cover the nose and mouth of the wearer. A neck pillow supported on the neck portion includes a tubular sleeve to secure a resilient pillow. A pair of hand pockets are formed in the distal end portions of the scarf. A length adjustment arrangement at each distal end enables the scarf to be adjusted for use by people within a wide range of height and girth. A secondary opening is provided at the inner end of each hand pocket for a hand to reach through each pocket and extend the fingers through the zipper closure.


Inventors: Leathers; Donis; (Woodland, CA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Leathers; Donis

Woodland

CA

US
Family ID: 1000002426345
Appl. No.: 15/410585
Filed: January 19, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62286870Jan 25, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A41D 23/00 20130101; A41D 27/20 20130101; A41D 15/002 20130101; A41D 2300/322 20130101; A47G 9/1045 20130101; A47G 9/1081 20130101; A41D 13/1161 20130101
International Class: A41D 23/00 20060101 A41D023/00; A47G 9/10 20060101 A47G009/10; A41D 13/11 20060101 A41D013/11; A41D 27/20 20060101 A41D027/20; A41D 15/00 20060101 A41D015/00

Claims



1. A utility scarf construction, including: a fabric base extending longitudinally and having a medial neck portion for engaging the neck of the wearer and a pair of distal end portions extending from opposed ends of the neck portion and depending therefrom; a neck pillow supported on an inside surface of said neck portion and disposed to impinge on the back of the neck of the wearer; at least one flat pocket formed on at least one of said distal end portions, said flat pocket having an opening disposed to accept the corresponding hand of the wearer.

2. The utility scarf construction of claim 1, wherein said fabric base comprises a rectangular assembly having a longitudinal length substantially greater than its transverse lateral width, and wherein said fabric base of said neck portion includes a lateral gather to define a narrow lateral width.

3. The utility scarf construction of claim 2, wherein said lateral gather comprises an inverted box pleat that defines a tubular pillow sleeve.

4. The utility scarf construction of claim 3, further including a pillow cushion secured within said pillow sleeve to form said neck pillow.

5. The utility scarf construction of claim 4, further including an opening in the outside surface of said neck portion for removing and replacing said pillow cushion within said pillow sleeve.

6. The utility scarf construction of claim 1, wherein said at least one flat pocket includes a pair of flat pocket seams extending laterally in one of said distal end portions of the scarf, said pair of flat pocket seams being spaced apart longitudinally and defining therebetween a pocket opening at an outside edge of the fabric base.

7. The utility scarf construction of claim 6, further including an adjustment cord secured in said outside edge adjacent to said flat pocket and extending along said pocket opening, and a slidable length adjustment clamp secured to said adjustment cord to selectively engage said cord along its length and gather said outside edge adjacent to said pocket opening and raise said pocket opening to suit the wearer.

8. The utility scarf construction of claim 6, further including a secondary pocket opening disposed between said flat pocket seams at an inside edge of the fabric base to enable the wearer to reach into said flat pocket opening, through said flat pocket and out of said secondary pocket opening.

9. The utility scarf construction of claim 8, further including a zipper closure for selective sealing said secondary pocket opening.

10. The utility scarf construction of claim 1, further including a respiratory mask secured to said medial neck portion and deployable therefrom to circumscribe the head of the wearer and cover the mouth and nose of the wearer.

11. The utility scarf construction of claim 10, further including a plurality of loops secured to said neck portion and spaced longitudinally therealong to secure said respiratory mask in a collapsed and folded disposition.

12. The utility scarf construction of claim 11, wherein said plurality loops are disposed adjacent to said neck pillow.

13. A utility scarf construction, including: a fabric base extending longitudinally and having a medial neck portion for engaging the neck of the wearer and a pair of distal end portions extending from opposed ends of the neck portion and depending therefrom; a respiratory mask secured to said medial neck portion and deployable therefrom to circumscribe the head of the wearer and cover the mouth and nose of the wearer; at least one flat pocket formed on at least one of said distal end portions, said flat pocket having an opening disposed to accept a corresponding hand of the wearer.

14. A utility scarf construction, including: a fabric base extending longitudinally and having a medial neck portion for engaging the neck of the wearer and a pair of distal end portions extending from opposed ends of the neck portion and depending therefrom; at least one flat pocket formed on at least one of said distal end portions, said flat pocket having a pocket opening disposed in an outside edge of said fabric base to accept a corresponding hand of the wearer; an adjustment cord secured in said outside edge adjacent to said flat pocket and extending along said pocket opening, and a slidable length adjustment clamp secured to said adjustment cord to selectively engage said cord along its length and gather said outside edge adjacent to said pocket opening and raise said pocket opening to suit the wearer.

15. The utility scarf construction of claim 14, further including a secondary pocket opening disposed between said flat pocket seams at an inside edge of the fabric base to enable the wearer to reach into said flat pocket opening, through said flat pocket and out of said secondary pocket opening.

16. The utility scarf construction of claim 15, further including a zipper closure for selective sealing said secondary pocket opening.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of the priority date of Provisional Application 62/286,870, filed Jan. 25, 2016.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0002] Not applicable.

SEQUENCE LISTING, ETC ON CD

[0003] Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Field of the Invention

[0005] This invention relates to a scarf construction and, more particularly, to a scarf that is utilitarian in several aspects while also being warm, soft, and comfortable when worn in the typical fashion about the neck of a person.

[0006] Description of Related Art

[0007] There are many scarf constructions known in the prior art and commercially available that provide some function in addition to providing warmth and support to the neck of the wearer. Some scarves include pockets sewn into the distal end portions to provide warmth to the hands as well as to store small personal items. Others have some form of augmented neck support, such as a longitudinally extending neck pillow secured to a medial portion of the scarf and adapted to impinge on the back of the wearer's neck. Still others provide some form of face mask as a respiratory filter or a shield from cold or odors. However, none of them integrate these features into a single item of apparel.

[0008] Regarding a respiratory filter mask, the Centers for Disease Control and the International Journal of Infectious Diseases both have concluded that, "Masks are highly effective in preventing the spread of viral (and air born bacterial) infections." Many persons think the use of a respiratory mask would be beneficial whenever the individual is near others who are sick, coughing, sneezing or otherwise spreading airborne pathogens. However, a respiratory mask such as a surgical mask is an obvious medical apparatus that is incongruous in everyday life situations, causing social disapproval and/or attracting unwelcome attention to the user. Moreover, these masks are uncomfortable to wear for any useful length of time, and are difficult to put in place, remove, and store in a discreet manner.

[0009] Thus, for example, a person boarding a public transit vehicle may encounter others who are coughing or sneezing in close proximity, and would like to use a respiratory mask to reduce the chance of catching a respiratory disease. However, it may take a few minutes to access the mask and tie it in place, and in that time period contamination and infection may occur. There is a need in the prior art for a respiratory mask carried in a garment in a convenient and easily accessible way for quick placement and removal, the mask being otherwise concealed within the garment.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention generally comprises a scarf assembly that incorporates several functional features in addition to comprising a warm, soft, and comfortable garment adapted to be worn in the typical fashion about the neck of a person. The scarf includes a length of fabric extending longitudinally and gathered laterally at a medial portion thereof. The medial gathered portion (hereinafter, neck portion) is adapted to impinge on the back of the neck of the wearer, with opposed ends depending therefrom or wrapped and/or tied about the neck. One functional feature is the provision of a respiratory mask secured to the interior surface of the neck portion and stored within a plurality of loops secured to the neck portion and spaced therealong. The mask may be deployed merely by pulling the mask from the loops and circumscribing the head and lowering it to cover the nose and mouth of the wearer. When there is no need for the mask, the wearer may fold up the mask and slide it into the loops of the neck portion. When the scarf is used in typical fashion the neck portion impinges on the back of the neck and the mask is concealed from passersby. Thus the mask is quickly available, easily donned and removed, and unseen when stored, so that it causes no social disapproval or unwelcome attention to the user.

[0011] A further feature of the scarf construction is the provision of a neck pillow supported on the interior surface of the neck portion of the scarf, adjacent to the respiratory mask. The fabric is arranged and sewn to form a tubular sleeve extending longitudinally, with closed distal ends, and a pocket opening at the exterior surface enables a resilient pillow component to be removably placed in the sleeve. A zipper or hook and loop closure is provided to retain the pillow within the pocket opening. In typical use the pillow impinges on the back and sides of the neck, providing support and comfort to the neck of the wearer.

[0012] The scarf also includes a pair of flat pockets formed in the distal end portions of the fabric, each pocket having an opening at the outer edge of the respective distal end portion of the scarf. The pockets are formed and positioned so that the wearer may place the hands into the pockets for warmth. In addition, the wearer may rest some of the weight of the arms on the hands within the pockets, causing the scarf to pull with some weight on the neck portion and urge the pillow to impinge on the neck. This action augments the effectiveness of the neck pillow. At the same time, some of the weight of the arms is off-loaded from the shoulders and transferred by the scarf to be directed from the neck portion down the spine, which is therapeutic for some individuals. In addition, the pockets may also be used for storage of personal items and the like.

[0013] A further embodiment of the scarf includes the provision of a length adjustment arrangement at each distal end of the scarf. An elastic cord is sewn into the edge binding seam and extends from the bottom of the pocket opening to a point on the edge seam above the pocket. A sliding cord lock is secured to the elastic cord, and may be slidably placed along the cord and secured by a spring-loaded clamp, as is known in the prior art. The cord locks may be placed so that the bottom edge of the pocket adjustably raised to be perfectly placed for the wearer to insert the hand and rest the hand on the bottom of the pocket. This feature enables the scarf to be adjusted for use by people within a wide range of height and girth.

[0014] A further improvement to the flat pockets is the provision of a secondary opening at the inner end of each flat pocket. The secondary openings may be provided with zipper closures, each extending along the edge binding seam of the inner longitudinal edge, that may remain closed to define a secure pocket, or opened to allow the wearer to reach through each pocket and extend the fingers through the zipper closure. Thus the wearer may retain the hands within the pockets and maintain the relationship between the scarf, arm support, and neck pillow, while extending at least a portion of the wearer's hands from the pockets to carry out simple manual tasks such as holding a book or tablet device while reading, opening a door, or the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the scarf of the present invention, shown draped in a preferred fashion on a wearer.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a plan layout of the outer surface of the scarf construction of FIG. 1.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a plan layout of the inner surface of the scarf construction of FIG. 1.

[0018] FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

[0019] FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view as in FIG. 4, showing the neck pillow pocket in the open position.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a further embodiment of the scarf of the present invention, shown draped in a preferred fashion on a wearer.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a plan layout of the inner surface of the scarf construction of FIG. 6.

[0022] FIG. 8 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.

[0023] FIG. 9 is an enlarged perspective detail view of the outer surface of one end of the scarf, showing the pocket and length adjustment features of the scarf of the invention.

[0024] FIG. 10 is an enlarged perspective detail view of the inner surface of one end of the scarf, showing the reach-through pocket feature of the scarf of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0025] The present invention generally comprises a scarf construction that incorporates several functional features in addition to comprising a warm, soft, and comfortable garment adapted to be worn in the typical fashion about the neck of a person. With regard to FIGS. 1-3, the scarf 21 is comprised of a portion of fabric 22 extending longitudinally greater than its lateral width. The fabric portion may be folded back upon itself along a longitudinal medial line to form a plan outline shown in broken lines 23, the length being substantially greater than the width. A medial portion of the folded fabric piece is gathered laterally, as shown by the converging arrows in FIG. 2, and secured with laterally extending seams 24 to define a neck portion 26 of the scarf. The gathered material is joined by longitudinal seam 27 to form an inverted box pleat. At the distal end portions 28 of the scarf, the gathered material expands freely, allowing the scarf to extend to its full lateral width at the opposed ends.

[0026] The gathered material of the inverted box pleat that extends between the seams 24 is arranged to form a tubular pillow sleeve 31, as shown in FIG. 3. A suitably sized tubular cushion 32 is received within the pillow sleeve 31, as shown in FIG. 4, and is formed of a resilient material that expands to substantially fill the sleeve. The cushion material may be resilient foam, or compressible fiber fill material, or the like. As shown in FIG. 2, a closure such as zipper 33 is disposed along longitudinal seam 27 to create an opening for installing or removing the cushion 32 in the pillow sleeve. Thus, as shown in FIG. 5, the zipper 33 may be opened and the cushion 32 may be removed as indicated by the arrow when the pillow is not needed by the wearer, and may be replaced as desired in reversible order.

[0027] Note that the pillow sleeve 31 projects from the inner surface of the scarf construction, and impinges directly on the back and sides of the neck of the wearer. When the tubular cushion 32 is withdrawn from the pillow sleeve 31 it collapses and the cushioning by the tubular cushion 32 is likewise eliminated.

[0028] The folded fabric piece 22 is secured with an edge binding seam 36 extending generally entirely about the perimeter of the assembly, except as noted below. The scarf 21 also includes a pair of flat pockets 41 formed in the distal end portions 28 of the fabric, each pocket having an opening 42 at the outer edge 43 of the respective distal end portion 28 of the scarf. Each pocket is defined by a pair of seams 44 and 46 extending laterally from the outer edge 43 to the inner edge 47 of the scarf. The pockets are formed and positioned so that the wearer may place the hands into the pockets for warmth. The edge binding seam 36 is interrupted at the pocket openings 42 to separate the layers and create an aperture between the two layers of the scarf.

[0029] In addition, note that the seam 44 is oriented to slope obliquely downwardly from the outer edge 43 to the inner edge 47. The seam 44 comprises the place where the wearer may rest some of the weight of the arms on the hands within the pockets, and the angle of the seam generally corresponds to a comfortable repose for the arms of the wearer, as shown in FIG. 1. The partial weight of the hands resting in the pockets 41 causes the scarf to pull with moderate tension on the neck portion 23 and urge the pillow 31 to impinge on the neck. At the same time, some of the weight of the arms is off-loaded from the shoulders and transferred by the scarf, directed from the neck portion down the spine, which is therapeutic for some individuals. In addition, the pockets may also be used for storage of personal items and the like.

[0030] A further embodiment of the scarf, shown in FIGS. 6-10, includes many components described previously, and they are accorded the same reference numerals as ascribed previously. An additional salient feature is the provision of a respiratory mask 51, shown deployed an in use in FIG. 6. The mask 51 is secured to the interior surface of the neck portion 26, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, with the opposed ends of the mask 51 removably secured to the interior surface adjacent to the seams 24. The mask 51 may be folded and stored within a plurality of loops 52 secured to the neck portion and spaced therealong adjacent to pillow sleeve 31. The mask may be deployed merely by pulling the mask 51 from the loops 52 and circumscribing the head and lowering it to cover the nose and mouth of the wearer, as shown in FIG. 6. When there is no need for the mask 51, the wearer may fold up the mask and slide it into the loops 52 of the neck portion. When the scarf is used in typical fashion the neck portion impinges on the back of the neck and the mask is concealed from passersby. Thus the mask is quickly available, easily donned and removed, and unseen when stored, so that it causes no social disapproval or unwelcome attention.

[0031] Another distinguishing feature that adds to the pleasure of using the scarf is the provision of a length adjustment arrangement at each distal end 28 of the scarf. With regard to FIG. 9 in particular, an elastic cord 61 is sewn at one end into the edge binding seam 36 and extends freely therefrom, from a point above the pocket opening 42 to a point on the edge seam adjacent to seam 44 of the pocket where the cord 61 extends in a loop from an opening in the edge binding. A sliding cord lock 62 is secure to the elastic cord, and may be slidably placed along the cord 61 and secured by a spring-loaded clamp, as is known in the prior art. The cord locks 61 may be placed and adjusted so that a portion 63 of the outer edge 43 is gathered to a selected degree. This action enables the bottom edge of the pocket to be adjustably raised to be perfectly placed for the wearer to insert the hand and rest the hand on the bottom of the pocket, which is formed by the seam 44. This feature enables the scarf to be adjusted for use by people within a wide range of height and girth.

[0032] A further feature of the invention, shown in FIG. 10 in particular, is the provision of a secondary opening 64 at the inner end of each flat pocket 41. The secondary openings 64 may be provided with zipper closures 66, each extending along the edge-binding seam of the inner longitudinal edge 47 and located medially of the pocket seams 44 and 46. The zipper closures 66 may remain closed to define a secure pocket. Alternatively, the zipper closure(s) may be opened to allow the wearer to reach through each pocket 41 and extend the fingers through the zipper closure. Thus the wearer may retain the hands substantially within the pockets and maintain the relationship between the scarf, arm support, and neck pillow, while extending at least a portion of the wearer's hands from the pockets to carry out simple manual tasks such as holding a book or tablet device while reading, opening a door, manipulating keys or utensils, or the like.

[0033] The scarf may also include an inside pocket 67, as shown in FIG. 10, formed by a pocket patch sewn to the interior layer of fabric at the location of the flat pocket 41. The top opening pocket may have an elasticized opening, or some form of closure at the top opening, so that personal items may be stored therewithin and retained without accidental loss.

[0034] Thus the scarf of this invention provides many useful and convenient features, all combined within a garment that appears as a comfortable and warm neck accessory. The mask 51 is stored in a concealed fashion, and may be deployed quickly as circumstances require, and easily doffed and stored within the neck portion of the scarf. The pockets 41 are available for the wearer to warm the hands when desired, and the neck pillow is available to support the neck, e.g., when traveling, napping, or the like. The pockets 41 have oblique lower seams to accommodate and support the hands and lower arms of the wearer, so that some of the weight that is supported is transferred by tension in the scarf to the neck portion of the scarf. The sliding cord lock 62 enables the wearer to adjust the position of the pockets with respect to the hands of the wearer to optimize the weight supported by the pockets of the scarf.

[0035] The foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching without deviating from the spirit and the scope of the invention. The embodiment described is selected to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as suited to the particular purpose contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto.

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