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United States Patent Application 20170290377
Kind Code A1
LIU; Zhenqiang October 12, 2017

Brassiere cups and methods of manufacturing the same

Abstract

A brassiere cup for a bra is disclosed. The cup comprises an inner foam-fabric layer which is in contact with a wearer's skin. The cup further comprises an outer spacer fabric layer and a middle plastic underwire. The outer spacer fabric layer is arranged on an outer side of the inner foam-fabric layer, the side being distal from the wearer's skin; and the middle underwire is sandwiched between the inner foam-fabric layer and the outer spacer fabric layer at the lower region. The outer spacer fabric layer comprises at least two fabric layers between which a support containing fusible yarn is sandwiched.


Inventors: LIU; Zhenqiang; (Kwai Chung, HK)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Regina Miracle International (Group) Limited

Kwai Chung

HK
Family ID: 1000001925599
Appl. No.: 15/094988
Filed: April 8, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A41C 3/124 20130101; A41F 15/00 20130101; A41C 5/005 20130101
International Class: A41C 3/12 20060101 A41C003/12; A41F 15/00 20060101 A41F015/00; A41C 5/00 20060101 A41C005/00

Claims



1. A brassiere cup for a bra, the cup comprising an inner foam-fabric layer for contact with a wearer's skin, wherein an outer spacer fabric layer is provided on an outer side of the inner foam-fabric layer, the outer side being distal from the wearer's skin, and an underwire is sandwiched between the inner foam-fabric layer and the outer spacer fabric layer at a lower region of the cup, and wherein the outer spacer fabric layer comprises at least two fabric layers and one of the at least two fabric layers comprises fusible yarn.

2. The brassiere cup of claim 1, wherein the underwire is made of plastic.

3. The brassiere cup of claim 1, wherein the outer spacer fabric layer has been subjected to a molding process under heat and pressure.

4. The brassiere cup of claim 1, wherein the fusible yarn is woven into the outer spacer fabric layer together with at least another yarn.

5. The brassiere cup of claim 1, wherein the content of fusible yarn varies across the outer spacer fabric layer.

6. The brassiere cup of claim 1, wherein a lower region of the cup has a higher content of fusible yarn than an upper region of the cup.

7. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 1; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.

8. A method for manufacturing a brassiere cup, wherein the cup comprises an inner foam-fabric layer for contact with a wearer's skin and an outer spacer fabric layer on an outer side of the inner foam-fabric layer that is distal from the wearer's skin, the method comprises: providing a spacer fabric layer containing fusible yarn between a male mold and a female mold; molding the spacer fabric layer under heat and pressure to form a 3-D cup shape; placing a foam-fabric layer over the molded spacer fabric layer and an underwire between the foam-fabric layer and the molded spacer fabric layer; and molding the foam-fabric layer, the underwire and the molded spacer fabric layer together under heat and pressure to form a 3-D cup shape.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the content of fusible yarn varies across the outer spacer fabric layer.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein a lower region of the cup has a higher content of fusible yarn than an upper region of the cup.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein the underwire is made of plastic.

12. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 2; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.

13. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 3; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.

14. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 4; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.

15. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 5; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.

16. A bra, comprising: a brassiere cup as claimed in claim 6; a side wing attached to a side of the brassiere cup; and a shoulder strap, one end of which is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup, and another end of which is attached to an upper part of the side wing.
Description



TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention generally relates to a brassiere cup and a bra comprising the brassiere cup. In particular, the present invention relates to a brassiere cup with a support function and a sports bra comprising the brassiere cup. The present application also relates to a method for manufacturing the brassiere cup.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A conventional bra cup generally includes a three-layered structure, i.e., an outer fabric-foam layer, a middle underwire, and an inner foam-fabric is layer. The middle underwire is sandwiched between the outer layer and the inner layer to provide support to the breast.

[0003] The traditional middle underwire is usually made of metal. However, the metal middle underwire may make the wearer feel uncomfortable. In order to improve the wearer's comfort, the middle underwire is usually omitted in a sports bra. This however would reduce the support function of the sports bra.

SUMMARY

[0004] In view of the aforementioned problems in the prior art, the present application proposes a new brassiere cup with a support function particularly suitable for sports bra.

[0005] In one aspect of the invention, there is provided a brassiere cup for a bra, the cup comprising an inner foam-fabric layer for contact with a wearer's skin, and an outer spacer fabric layer is provided on an outer side of the inner foam-fabric layer, the outer side being distal from the wearer's skin. An underwire is sandwiched between the inner foam-fabric layer and the outer spacer fabric layer at a lower region of the cup. The outer spacer fabric layer comprises at least two fabric layers and one of the at least two fabric layers comprises fusible yarn.

[0006] In an embodiment according to the present invention, the middle underwire may be made of plastic. In particular, the middle underwire may be made of polypropylene (PP), nylon, thermoplastic rubber (TPR), polyurethane (PU), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPEE), or the like.

[0007] According to an embodiment of the present invention, one or more fusible yarns may be woven into the spacer fabric layer. By subject the spacer fabric layer containing fusible yarn to molding under heat and pressure, the fusible yarn will be fused and capable of providing support function for the bra. Upon being molded, the spacer fabric layer containing fusible yarn will have a more rigid structure than or compared with the same spacer fabric without fusible yarn, and the more rigid structure provides better support for the bra cup.

[0008] According to an embodiment of the present invention, the content of fusible yarn may vary across or be different in different parts of the outer spacer fabric layer, so as to provide different or varying support performance and comfortability at different parts of the outer spacer fabric layer. In one embodiment, the content of fusible yarn in the lower region of the outer spacer fabric layer is higher than the content of fusible yarn in the upper region of the outer spacer fabric layer. The more fusible yarn the lower region of the outer spacer fabric layer is provided with, the better support performance it will make. On the other hand, the less content of fusible yarn the upper region of the outer spacer fabric layer is provided with, the better comfort it will make.

[0009] According to another embodiment of the present invention, the inner foam-fabric layer may span the entire area of the inner surface of the cup. Alternatively, the inner foam-fabric layer may span only a portion of area of the inner surface of the cup, such as only the lower region of the inner surface of the cup.

[0010] In another aspect of the invention, there is provided a bra or particularly a sports bra with an improved support. The bra may comprise the brassiere cup according to the embodiments of the present invention, and one or more side wings are attached to a side of the brassiere cup. The bra may is further comprise one or more shoulder straps, one end of each is attached to an upper part of the brassiere cup and the other end of each is attached to an upper part of the bra side wing.

[0011] If required, the side wings may be formed as a single piece. As an option, the side wings may be designed as two pieces to be connected by way of connecting snaps. The straps may be attached to the upper portions of the cup and the side wings. Further, the straps may be detachable and may be connected to the upper portions of the cup and the side wings by way of snaps.

[0012] In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing a brassiere cup. The cup comprises an inner foam-fabric layer for contact with a wearer's skin and an outer spacer fabric layer on an outer side of the inner foam-fabric layer that is distal from the wearer's skin. The method comprises: [0013] providing a spacer fabric layer containing fusible yarn between a male mold and a female mold; [0014] molding the spacer fabric layer under heat and pressure to form a 3-D cup shape; [0015] placing a foam-fabric layer over the molded spacer fabric layer and an underwire between the foam-fabric layer and the molded spacer fabric layer; and [0016] molding the foam-fabric layer, the underwire and the molded spacer fabric layer together under heat and pressure to form a 3-D cup shape.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] The claimed concept and advantages of the present application will be is better understood by describing the particular embodiments of the present application with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0018] FIG. 1 illustrates an outer layer having fusible yarn and an inner foam-fabric layer according to an embodiment of the present application;

[0019] FIG. 2 illustrates a molded outer layer according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 3 illustrates a shaped brassiere cup according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 4 illustrates a shaped brassiere cup according to another embodiment of the present invention;

[0022] FIG. 5 illustrates a trimmed bottom surface of the cup according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0023] FIG. 6 illustrates a trimmed bottom surface of the cup according to another embodiment of the present invention;

[0024] FIG. 7 illustrates a schematic view of the front side of the brassiere cup according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 8 illustrates a schematic view of the front side of the bra according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0026] FIG. 9 illustrates a schematic view of the back side of the bra according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

[0027] FIG. 10 illustrates a schematic view of the back side of the bra according to another embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0028] Various aspects of the present application will be described in detail with reference to the drawings in order to better understand the present invention. It should be understood that the accompanying drawings and the detailed description describe only exemplary embodiments of the present invention, and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

[0029] FIG. 1 illustrates an outer spacer fabric layer 10 and an inner foam-fabric layer 20 according to an embodiment of the present application. As shown in FIG. 1, the outer spacer fabric layer 10 comprises at least two fabric layers 102 and fusible yarn 101. The inner foam-fabric layer 20 comprises a fabric layer for contact with a wearer's skin and a foam layer for molding together with the outer spacer fabric layer 10. The inner foam-fabric layer preferably comprises a fabric layer laminated with a foam layer. Fusible yarn is preferably disposed together with other fabric yarn within one of the at least two fabric layers 102, preferably the outermost fabric layer, to form a support within the fabric layer after molding. The spacer fabric layer 10 comprising fusible yarn may improve the support and breathability of the bra cup. The fusible yarn and other yarn are mixed and woven in the outer spacer fabric layer. When the outer spacer fabric layer comprising fusible yarn is molded under heat and pressure, the fusible yarn will be fused under high temperature. For instance, a temperature under which fusible yarn may fuse is not less than 150.degree. C.

[0030] FIG. 2 illustrates a molded outer spacer fabric layer 10 according to an embodiment of the present application. As shown in FIG. 2, during the first molding process, the outer spacer fabric layer comprising fusible yarn is disposed between an upper male mold 301 and a lower female mold 302. The male and female molds are heated and then the upper male mold is lowered so that heat and pressure are applied to the outer spacer fabric layer to mold it to form a 3-D shape. After the molded spacer fabric layer is cooled, a 3-D cup shape is formed after the first molding process. After molding, the portion of spacer fabric that contains fusible yarn or that contains more fusible yarn will be more rigid than the portion of spacer fabric that does not contain fusible yarn or that contains fewer fusible yarn, and the more rigid portion will be less elastic and will provide improved and better support for the bra cup.

[0031] FIG. 3 illustrates a molded brassiere cup 50 according to an embodiment of the present application. As shown in FIG. 3, the cup 50 may comprise an inner foam-fabric layer 20, an inner foam layer 401, a non-stretchable fabric layer 402, a plastic underwire 403, an outer foam layer 404, and an outer spacer fabric layer 10. The inner foam layer 401, the non-stretchable fabric layer 402, the plastic underwire 403, and the outer foam layer 404 are placed in sequence between the inner foam-fabric layer 20 and the molded outer spacer fabric layer 10, and then the assembly is molded between the male and female molds under heat and pressure to form a 3-D cup shape after the second molding process.

[0032] The plastic underwire 403 may be disposed between the inner foam layer 401 and the outer foam layer 404, and thus may be sandwiched between the inner foam-fabric layer 20 and the outer spacer fabric layer 10 so as to provide a supporting function similar to that provided by a metal underwire while improving the comfort of the wearer. The sandwiched plastic underwire 403 may comprise various kind of thermoplastic material. For example, the plastic underwire 403 may comprise polypropylene (PP), nylon, thermoplastic rubber (TPR), polyurethane (PU), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), thermoplastic polyester elastomer (TPEE), or the like.

[0033] FIG. 4 illustrates a molded brassiere cup 50' according to another embodiment of the present application. The brassiere cup 50' has a structure substantially similar to that of the cup 50 except for the shape of the inner foam-fabric layer. The inner foam-fabric layer may span the whole cup, as shown in FIGS. 3, 5 and 9, or may span only a portion, preferably the lower region, of the cup, as shown in FIGS. 4, 6 and 10. For example, in one embodiment of the present application, the inner foam-fabric layer 20 may span or cover the entire inner surface of the cup on the inner side of the cup 50, i.e. the side which is in contact with the wearer's body. In the cup 50' as discussed in another embodiment of the present invention, the inner foam-fabric layer 20 may cover or span only a portion of the inner surface of the cup on the inner side of the cup 50' which is in contact with the wearer's body.

[0034] Fusible yarn and other yarns may be mixed and woven into the spacer fabric layer in different proportions according to needs, so as to obtain an outer spacer fabric layer having different or varying fusible yarn contents. Generally, in the spacer fabric layer, a higher content of fusible yarn leads to better support and better protection for the wearer. For example, the content of fusible yarn in the cup may gradually increase from the upper region to the lower region of the cup, so that the lower region of the cup includes more fusible yarn to improve supporting performance. Because the upper region generally requires less supporting performance, and because the comfort of the wearer is preferred, the upper region of the cup may include relatively less fusible yarn so to provide better comfort. As illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, the content of fusible yarn increases from the upper region of the bra cups to the lower region of the bra cups. In FIGS. 7 and 8 which illustrate an embodiment, in each bra cup as illustrated, there are three regions, each region corresponding to a different content of fusible yarn, and the content of fusible yarn increases from the upper region to the middle region and then to the lower region.

[0035] Because the proportion of fusible yarn in the spacer fabric layer may be changed as required, the spacer fabric layer may be adapted to sports bra having different supporting requirements. For example, in high-impact exercises, the sports bra needs to provide higher supporting performance, so the content of fusible yarn in the outer spacer fabric layer is relatively higher; for example, the content of fusible yarn is about 70% to 100%. In moderate-impact exercises, the content of fusible yarn in the outer spacer is fabric layer is, for example, about 40% to 70%. In low-impact exercises, the content of fusible yarn in the outer spacer fabric layer is, for example, about 10% to 40%.

[0036] As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, after the second molding process, the molded cup is trimmed along a mold line to obtain the final shape of the bra cup. The cups shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 are substantially the same except for the difference between the coverage areas of the inner foam-fabric layers on the inner surface of the cup covered by the inner foam-fabric layer. FIG. 7 illustrates a front schematic view of the brassiere cup containing fusible yarn after molding and trimming.

[0037] FIG. 8 illustrates a schematic view of the front side of the bra comprising the cup according to the embodiments of the present invention, and FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate schematic views of the back side of the bra comprising the cup according to the embodiments of the present invention. After trimming the cup, side wings may be attached. The side wing may be designed as a single piece to attach to the cups to form a pullover bra. The side wing may also be designed as two pieces attached to the sides of the left and right cup respectively. Shoulder straps may also be added, for example by attaching the straps to the upper part of the cups and the upper part of the side wings.

[0038] Those skilled in the art should understand that the above exemplary embodiments are merely examples provided for the purpose of illustration and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Any modification, equivalent replacement, or the like, made within the teaching of this application and the protection scope of the claims shall fall within the protection scope of this application.

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