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United States Patent Application 20180140027
Kind Code A1
Doran; Glenn R. May 24, 2018

SUPPORT STAY

Abstract

A support stay for an article of clothing includes an elongated body with first and second ends, first and second generally parallel outer edges and a longitudinal axis disposed midway between the outer edges, and tabs extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends. A series of generally v-shaped notches defined by an angle no greater than 30.degree. are formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges and extend from one outer edge past the longitudinal axis towards the other outer edge. The projected surface area of the elongated body excluding the areas formed by the notches may be between 80% and 95% of a first generally rectangular projected surface area bounded by the first and second ends and the first and second outer edges of the elongated member. This support stay is less visible through fabric in which it is inserted.


Inventors: Doran; Glenn R.; (McGraw, NY)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Higgins Supply Company, Inc.

McGraw

NY

US
Family ID: 1000002305260
Appl. No.: 15/357300
Filed: November 21, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A41D 27/00 20130101; A41C 1/14 20130101; A41C 3/122 20130101; A41B 3/06 20130101
International Class: A41D 27/00 20060101 A41D027/00; A41B 3/06 20060101 A41B003/06; A41C 3/12 20060101 A41C003/12; A41C 1/14 20060101 A41C001/14

Claims



1. A support stay for an article of clothing, comprising: an elongated body comprising first and second ends, first and second generally parallel outer edges and a longitudinal axis disposed midway between the outer edges, wherein a series of notches are formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges and extending from one outer edge past the longitudinal axis towards the other outer edge, and tabs extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends; and wherein the notches are generally v-shaped defined by an angle no greater than 30.degree..

2. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the elongated body has a zigzag configuration.

3. The support stay of claim 1, wherein two adjacent notches form a crest therebetween, the crest terminating at the generally parallel edge.

4. The support stay of claim 3, wherein the crests have rounded edges for reducing a coefficient of friction between the support stay and the article of clothing.

5. The support of stay of claim 1, wherein edges of the tabs are rounded for reducing a coefficient of friction between the tabs and the article of clothing.

6. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the elongated body and tabs are formed of a continuous piece of material.

7. The support stay of claim 6, wherein the support stay is formed of aplastic material.

8. The support stay of claim 7, wherein at least one of the tabs is sufficiently thin for piercing by a stitching needle without cracking the plastic material.

9. The support stay of claim 7, wherein the support stay is formed by an injection molding process.

10. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the tabs are fixedly attached to the elongated body.

11. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the tabs have a length of at least 0.5 inch and a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.1 inch.

12. The support stay of claim 11, wherein a distal end of the tabs have a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.040 inch.

13. The support stay of claim 1, wherein at least one of the tabs is stitchable to the article of clothing with thread.

14. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the elongated member is independently movable in a first direction orthogonal to the longitudinal direction and a second direction orthogonal to the longitudinal direction.

15. The support stay of claim 1, wherein the elongated member and tabs have a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.1 inch, and the tabs are tapered with a thickness continuously reducing over a length of at least 0.5 inch toward distal ends of the tabs.

16. The support stay of claim 1, wherein an area bounded by the first and second ends and the first and second outer edges of the elongated member defines a first generally rectangular projected surface area, and wherein a projected surface area of the elongated body excluding the areas formed by the notches is between 80% and 95% of said first generally rectangular projected surface area.

17. The support stay of claim 16, wherein a projected surface area of the elongated body excluding the areas formed by the notches is between 85% and 90% of said first generally rectangular projected surface area.

18. A support stay for an article of clothing, comprising: an elongated body comprising first and second ends, first and second generally parallel outer edges and a longitudinal axis disposed midway between the outer edges, wherein a series of notches are formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges and extending from one outer edge past the longitudinal axis towards the other outer edge and tabs extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends; wherein an area bounded by the first and second ends and the first and second outer edges defines a first generally rectangular projected surface area; wherein a projected surface area of the elongated body excluding the areas formed by the notches is between 80% and 95% of said first generally rectangular projected surface area.

19. A support stay for an article of clothing, comprising: a generally planar elongated body comprising first and second ends, first and second generally parallel outer edges and a longitudinal axis disposed midway between the outer edges, wherein a series of notches are formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges and extending from one outer edge past the longitudinal axis towards the other outer edge, and tabs with a continuously tapering thickness extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends, wherein at least one of the tabs is sufficiently thin over at least a portion thereof for piercing by a stitching needle.

20. The support stay of claim 19, wherein said tabs each have a length of at least 0.5 inch over which the thickness is continuously tapering, and distal ends of the tabs have a maximum thickness of 0.040 inch.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to support stays for use in articles of clothing. Support stays are used in various articles of clothing, including ladies' undergarments such as brassieres and corsets, sports garments, orthopedic soft garments, and other garments requiring support. An example is the flexible support stay disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,221 (Ackley, Jr.) which has proven to be commercially successful.

[0002] The present inventors recognized, however, that flexible support stays of this type could be improved so as to be less visible through fabric in which it is inserted, to have reduced potential for the stay to snag fabric or poke a wearer of the garment including the stay, and to be easier to assemble with a garment, while maintaining flexibility so that the stay flexes with the wearers movement without twisting or rolling. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The invention provides a support stay for an article of clothing that comprises: an elongated body comprising first and second ends, first and second generally parallel outer edges and a longitudinal axis disposed midway between the outer edges, wherein a series of notches are formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges and extending from one outer edge past the longitudinal axis towards the other outer edge; and tabs extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends.

[0004] According to various embodiments, the notches are generally v-shaped defined by an angle no greater than 30.degree., or an angle not greater than 20.degree., and more preferably from about 5.degree. to 30.degree., or from about 10.degree. to 20.degree..

[0005] According to various embodiments, an area bounded by the first and second ends and the first and second generally parallel outer edges defines a first generally rectangular projected surface area, wherein a projected surface area of the elongated body excluding the areas formed by the notches is between 80% and 95% of said first generally rectangular projected surface area, or between 85% and 90% of said first area.

[0006] According to various embodiments, at least one of the tabs is sufficiently thin for piercing by a stitching needle. In the case where the tabs are made of plastic, the tabs are sufficiently thin to be pierced without cracking the plastic tabs. According to various embodiments, at least one of the tabs comprises at least one hole therethrough for guiding a stitching needle.

[0007] According to various embodiments, at least one of the tabs is stitchable to the article of clothing with thread.

[0008] According to various embodiments, the elongated body has a zigzag configuration. According to various embodiments, two adjacent notches form a crest therebetween, the crest terminating at the generally parallel outer edge. The crests may have rounded edges for reducing the coefficient of friction between the support stay and the article of clothing. The edges of the tabs may be rounded for reducing the coefficient of friction between the tabs and the article of clothing.

[0009] According to various embodiments, the elongated body and tabs are formed of a continuous piece of material, especially a corrosion-resistant material, such as a plastic material, in which case the stay may be formed by an injection molding process. According to other embodiments, the tabs may be fixedly attached to the elongated body.

[0010] According to various embodiments, the tabs have a length of at least 0.25 inch, or at least 0.5 inch, and a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.1 inch. A distal end of the tabs may have a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.040 inch, or of less than or equal to 0.030 inch.

[0011] According to various embodiments, the elongated member and tabs have a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.1 inch, and the tabs are tapered with a thickness continuously reducing over a length of at least 0.5 inch toward distal ends of the tabs.

[0012] According to various embodiments, each tab has a tapering thickness and a length of at least 0.5 inch.

[0013] According to various embodiments, the elongated body is independently movable in a first direction orthogonal to the longitudinal direction and a second direction orthogonal to the longitudinal direction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0014] FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a support stay according to various aspects of this invention;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a side view of the support stay of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a support stay according to other aspects of this invention.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a top plan view of another support stay according to various aspects of this invention; and

[0018] FIG. 5 is a side view of the support stay of FIG. 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, support stay 1 has an elongated body 10 with first and second ends 11, 12, first and second generally parallel outer edges 13, 14, and a longitudinal axis 15 disposed midway between the outer edges 13, 14. Elongated body 10 is further defined by a series of notches 16 formed along each of the first and second generally parallel outer edges 13, 14. One set of notches 16 extend from outer edge 13 past the longitudinal axis 15 and towards the other outer edge 14. The other set of notches 16 extend from outer edge 14 past the longitudinal axis 15 and towards the other outer edge 13. Stay 1 also includes tabs 17, 18 extending longitudinally from each of the first and second ends 11, 12.

[0020] In the illustrated embodiment, elongated body 10 assumes a zigzag configuration. Notches 16 are each generally v-shaped defined by an angle no greater than 30.degree., e.g., from about 5.degree. to 30.degree., and preferably no greater than 20.degree., e.g., from about 10.degree. to 20.degree.. In the illustrated embodiment, this angle is 14.degree.. Also, in the illustrated embodiment, the area bounded by the first and second ends 11, 12 and the first and second edges 13, 14 defines a first generally rectangular projected surface area. The projected surface area of the elongated body, excluding the surface area formed by the notches 16 in the first generally rectangular projected surface area, is 88% of the first generally rectangular projected surface area in FIG. 1. In various embodiments, the projected surface area of the elongated body may be between 80% and 95% of this first generally rectangular projected surface area, or between 85% and 90% of this first generally rectangular projected surface area.

[0021] Applicant has found that by providing such a "tighter" zigzag configuration, as compared to the stay of aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 6,202,221 (which has notches having a v-shaped angle of 45.degree. and a projected surface area of 78.5% in the sinuous member portion thereof), the stay provides a flatter, less visible look when inserted in clothing, yet remains flexible. This is particularly important for applications where the stay is utilized as a support stay in sheer or see-through channeled garments, as it is especially desired that the stay is not visible through the fabric. Accordingly, this invention provides a support stay that lays flatter and is less visible than prior stays, while being sufficiently flexible, i.e., independently movable in two directions which are both orthogonal to the longitudinal direction. If desired, the maximum thickness of the elongated member and the tabs may be less than or equal to 0.1 inch, to further ensure the stay provides a flat look while the garment is worn.

[0022] Two adjacent notches 16 form a crest 19 therebetween, the crest terminating at the generally parallel outer edges 13, 14, respectively. The crests 19 may have rounded edges for reducing the coefficient of friction between the support stay and the article of clothing. Additionally, the edges 21, 22 of the tabs 17, 18 may be rounded also for reducing the coefficient of friction between the tabs and the article of clothing. Accordingly, the support stay of this invention has minimal potential of snagging fabric when worn or while being inserted into a garment during assembly of the garment.

[0023] In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, elongated body 10 and tabs 17, 18 are formed of a continuous piece of material, especially a corrosion-resistant material, such as a plastic material. Thus, the entire stay 1 including elongated body 10 and tabs 17 and 18 may be constructed of plastic and formed by conventional injection molding processes.

[0024] Often it is desired to stitch the stay to an article of clothing so that the stay remains relatively immobile with respect to the clothing. To achieve this, at least one of tabs 17, 18 may be made sufficiently thin for piercing by a stitching needle. If the tabs are made of plastic, the tabs may be sufficiently thin to be pierced without cracking the plastic tabs. Further, the tabs have sufficient length to receive stitching. In the illustrated embodiment, both tabs 17, 18 are appropriately sized and shaped for this purpose. As seen in FIG. 2, the tabs may have a continuously tapering thickness over at least a portion thereof, reducing toward distal ends of the tabs, such that a distal end of the tabs may have a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.030 inch. Tabs 17, 18 preferably have a length of at least 0.25 inch, more preferably at least 0.5 inch and a maximum thickness of less than or equal to 0.1 inch. At least one of the tabs may include at least one hole 25 which serves to guide a stitching needle. While various known plastic materials may be employed for forming the stay, Nylon 6/6 may advantageously employed to form a stay with integral elongate body and stitchable end tabs, as such material advantageously provides sufficient strength and durability at such reduced thicknesses.

[0025] FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment similar to FIGS. 1 and 2. However, tabs 31, 32 are separate elements from elongated body 10, and are fixedly attached to the elongated body 10, for example, by friction interference fit or adhesive. FIG. 3 also illustrates where the tabs include multiple holes 25 for receiving a stitching needle. It is not necessary that all holes are used for stitching, but the provision of multiple holes allows one assembling the stay with a garment to select the specific holes for the given application.

[0026] FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate another embodiment similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, with a similar elongated body configuration but with longer tabs 17' and 18' having circularly rounded ends 21' and 22'. Providing a longer tab with a gradually continuously tapered thickness over a length of at least 0.5 inch, and more preferably at least 0.75 inch, in such further embodiment enables further improved performance in association with combined properties of strength and durability of the stay while further enabling sewability through the tabs, particularly when pre-formed holes are not provided in the tabs.

[0027] It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Although the figures illustrate certain embodiments, support stays with different dimensions and proportions are within the scope of this invention. Thus, it is intended that the present invention cover the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

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