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Title:
BOTTOM GARMENT WITH REMOVABLE CUSHIONED LINER AND USES THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/193020
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A bottom garment such as pants, tights, leggings, knickers, shorts, skorts, or skirts with a removable, cushioned liner that attaches to and detaches from fastening portions incorporated along the interior waistband of a bottom garment.

Inventors:
WELSCH, Emily (41 Hancock Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, US)
Application Number:
US2017/031340
Publication Date:
November 09, 2017
Filing Date:
May 05, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
WELSCH, Emily (41 Hancock Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114, US)
International Classes:
A41D1/06; A41D1/08
Download PDF:
Claims:
s claimed is:

1. A cushioned liner comprising:

a. a cushioned body portion comprising:

a front portion covering a lower abdominal region,

a buttocks portion, and

a crotch portion connecting the front portion and the buttocks portion, wherein the cushioned body portion is formed of a foam padding and a cover enclosing the foam padding, wherein the foam padding is an air-filled solid;

b. a first fastening portion coupled to the front portion, the first fastening portion comprising a first fabric portion and a first fastening means, wherein the first fastening portion is constructed to removably secure to a first waist portion of a bottom garment;

c. a second fastening portion coupled to the buttocks portion, the second fastening portion comprising a second fabric portion and a second fastening means, wherein the second fastening portion is constructed to removably secure to a second waist portion of the bottom garment.

2. The cushioned liner of claim 1, wherein the fastening means is selected from the group consisting of snaps, zippers, hooks, hook-and-eye clasps, hook-and-loop materials, and any combinations thereof.

3. The cushioned liner of claim 1 or 2, wherein the foam padding has a foam density of between about 20 kg/m3 to about 150 kg/m3.

4. The cushioned liner of any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the foam padding has a thickness of about 2 mm to about 40 mm.

5. The cushioned liner of any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the fabric portion comprises a woven material.

6. The cushioned liner of any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the liner comprises an interior-facing fabric portion and an exterior-facing fabric portion.

7. The cushioned liner of claim 6, wherein the interior-facing fabric portion and the exterior-facing fabric portions comprise the same fabric material.

8. The cushioned liner of claim 6, wherein the interior-facing fabric portion and the exterior-facing fabric portion comprise a different fabric material.

9. The cushioned liner of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the foam padding comprises an open-cell foam, a closed-cell foam, or a combination thereof.

10. The cushioned liner of any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the foam padding varies in thickness along the length of the cushioned body portion.

11. A bottom garment comprising:

a. a garment body portion having a waist opening portion, a garment crotch portion, and a garment seat portion, wherein the waist opening portion comprises a front garment fastening portion and a back garment fastening portion, wherein the front garment fastening portion comprises a front garment fastening means, and the back garment fastening portion comprises a back garment fastening means; and b. a removable cushioned liner comprising:

a cushioned body portion comprising:

a front portion covering a lower abdominal region, a buttocks portion, and a crotch portion connecting the front portion and the buttocks portion, wherein the cushioned body portion is formed of a foam padding and a cover enclosing the foam padding, wherein the foam padding is an air-filled solid;

a first fastening portion coupled to the front portion, the first fastening portion comprising a first fabric portion and a first fastening means; a second fastening portion coupled to the buttocks portion, the second fastening portion comprising a second fabric portion and a second fastening means.

12. The bottom garment of claim 11, wherein the first fastening means is removably secured to the front garment fastening means.

13. The bottom garment of claim 11 or 12, wherein the second fastening means is removably secured to the back garment fastening means.

Description:
Bottom Garment with Removable Cushioned Liner and Uses Thereof

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The present disclosure is generally related to removable, cushioned liners, which are used with bottom garments, to provide support to wearers while participating in activities with high impact to the pelvic region, such as cycling. Bottom garments comprising the removable, cushioned liners are also described herein.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Cycle pants and shorts traditionally include a padded seat cushion, commonly referred to as a chamois pad, that is sewn into the interior crotch and buttocks regions of the garment to provide protection, absorb shock, and minimize chafing of the cyclist from the bicycle seat. This chamois pad has traditionally been made through the use of multilayered fabrics and varying density foams. The cushioning of the chamois pad is sometimes composed of a number of pieces of flexible foam sewn or bonded together, and other times formed using one continuous piece of foam.

[0003] A strong need exists for men and women to have an alternative option to the traditional chamois pads of cycle pants. Chamois pads are traditionally sewn permanently into the cycling pants or shorts. The permanent nature of the sewn-in chamois pad limits the garment to exclusive use while on a bicycle, as they make the garment uncomfortable to wear when not cycling.

Accordingly, there is a need for a single bottom garment with cushioned liners that can be removed to allow the bottom garment to be comfortably used in non-cycling activities. The permanent nature of the chamois pads also limits each garment to a particular cycling activity, as cycling pads are designed with different shapes, contours, thicknesses and densities of interior foam suitable for specific cycling activities. For example, the chamois pads for off-road biking (e.g. mountain biking) are designed to be thicker with higher density foam than the pads designed for road cycling because off-road biking has a higher impact on the pelvic region of the rider than does road cycling. Due to the permanent nature of the sewn-in cycling pad, cyclists who participate in multiple types of cycling activities at varied durations have to purchase new garments for each activity, which is expensive and wasteful. Accordingly, there is a need for a single bottom garment that has removable and exchangeable cushioned liners designed to accommodate various durations and intensities of specific athletic activities. Lastly, the conventional sewn-in chamois pads create noticeable and undesirable seam lines on the outside of the clothing that draw unwanted attention to the unnatural contour and bulk of the pad.

Accordingly, there is a need for contoured, removable cushioned liners that appear natural on the wearer's body and have a pleasing seamless appearance from the exterior of the garment.

SUMMARY

[0004] One aspect described herein is a removable cushioned liner for use in the interior of a specific bottom garment. A bottom garment includes but is not limited to pants, tights, leggings, knickers, underwear, shorts, skorts, or skirts. Embodiments of the cushioned liner and the bottom garment are constructed to be attachable to and detachable from each other using fastening means such as snaps, zippers, hooks, hook-and-eye clasps, or hook-and-loop materials.

[0005] In some embodiments, the removable cushioned liner is constructed for use in cycling activities. Users can easily remove the cushioned liner from the bottom garment when participating in non-cycling related activities. Therefore, the removable cushioned liner does not limit the bottom garment to cycling activities and thus adds additional functionality to the clothing.

[0006] In some embodiments, the padding of the cushioned liner can be constructed to have different thickness, foam densities, and levels of contoured support according to different durations and impact of athletic activities. For example, depending on its thickness, density, and contoured shape, the cushioned liner can offer support that ranges from low impact support suitable for a shorter duration indoor cycling class, a leisure bicycle ride, or a short commute on the bicycle, to high impact support for longer duration road cycling or high impact off-road cycling. Therefore, users can exchange the cushioned liner in the same bottom garment with a different cushioned liner that provides the appropriate support for various activities, thus adding additional versatility to the clothing. In some embodiments, users can simply remove the cushioned liner from the bottom garment when it is not needed, e.g., when users are simply walking or sitting or when the wearer is a transitioning from biking to running in a triathlon race.

[0007] In some embodiments, the cushioned liners appear unnoticeable from the exterior view because they are not stitched or laminated onto the interior pelvic region of the fabric of the bottom garment like conventional chamois pads. Instead, the cushioned liners each comprise fastening portions or means that can be attached to and detached from the interior waistband of the bottom garment, and therefore are unnoticeable from the exterior of the garment. This feature is advantageous because the seams caused by conventional chamois pads are unattractive and draw unwanted attention to the bulk of the pad.

[0008] Conventional chamois pads are not contoured to the natural shape of the wearer's buttocks and pelvic region. The unnatural contour of conventional chamois pads is undesirable because it makes the chamois padding noticeable and distracting to the wearer. In some embodiments, the cushioned liners appear unnoticeable because they are contoured to the natural shape of the buttocks and pelvic region of the wearer.

[0009] These and other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the attached drawings and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments, which follow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a removable cushioned liner attached to a generalized bottom garment in a wearable configuration according to one embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a removable cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration. The left panel shows the removable cushioned liner according to one embodiment. The right panel shows the bottom garment according to one embodiment without the removable cushioned liner.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an inside-out front view of a removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration.

[0013] FIG. 4 is an inside-out front view of a removable cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration.

[0014] FIG. 5 is an inside-out back view of a removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration.

[0015] FIG. 6 is an inside-out back view of a removable cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration. [0016] FIG. 7 is an inside-out front view of the bottom garment further illustrating the possible placement of the fasteners inside the front garment fastening portion of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration.

[0017] FIG. 8 is an inside-out back view of the bottom garment further illustrating the possible placement of the fasteners inside the back garment fastening portion of FIG. 1 in a wearable configuration.

[0018] FIG. 9A, FIG. 9B, FIG. 9C, and FIG. 9D are side cross-section views of the removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 3 through use of several different fastening means. FIG. 9E is a side cross-section view of the removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 14 through use of a specific fastening means.

[0019] FIG. 10 is a top view of a variety of different fastening means that can be utilized to attach and detach a cushioned liner to and from the bottom garment of FIG. 3.

[0020] FIG. 11 is a cross-section view of a removable cushioned liner illustrating the varied contour and thickness of its interior padding along the length of the liner of FIG. 10.

[0021] FIG. 12 is a front perspective view of a removable cushioned liner attached to a bottom garment in a wearable configuration according to one embodiment.

[0022] FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of an exemplary removable cushioned liner detached from a bottom garment of FIG. 12 in a wearable configuration. The left panel shows the removable cushioned liner according to one embodiment. The right panel shows the bottom garment according to one embodiment without the removable cushioned liner.

[0023] FIG. 14 is an inside-out front view of an exemplary removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 12 in a wearable configuration.

[0024] FIG. 15 is an inside-out front view of an exemplary removable cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment of FIG. 12 in a wearable configuration. The left panel shows the removable cushioned liner according to one embodiment. The right panel shows the bottom garment according to one embodiment without the removable cushioned liner.

[0025] FIG. 16 is an inside-out back view of an exemplary removable cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment of FIG. 12 in a wearable configuration.

[0026] FIG. 17 is a cross-section view of an exemplary removable cushioned liner illustrating the varied contour and thickness of its interior padding along the length of the liner of FIG. 12. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown one embodiment of a removable cushioned liner attached to a generalized bottom garment in a wearable configuration. The bottom garment and corresponding fastening portions are not shown in detail in FIG. 1. The removable cushioned liner comprises a cushioned body portion 1, a front liner fastening portion 2, and a back liner fastening portion 3.

[0028] The cushioned liner comprising the body portion 1, front liner fastening portion 2 and back liner fastening portion 3 is to be worn inside the bottom garment much like a cushioned panty or underwear. The body portion 1 is in approximate shape and proportions to panties or underwear, and sufficiently cushions the areas of highest intensity impact from a bicycle seat.

[0029] The front liner fastening portion 2 of the cushioned liner comprises a front liner fastening means 20 and a front liner fastening portion body material 21 while the back liner fastening portion 3 of the cushioned liner comprises a back liner fastening means 30 and a back liner fastening portion body material 31. Fastening means can include snaps, zippers, hooks, hook- and-eye clasps, or hook-and-loop materials, for example, as illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 10.

[0030] Referring now to FIG. 2 there is shown a removable cushioned liner detached from a body garment with fastening portions. The cushioned liner can be attached to or detached from a front garment fastening portion 4 and a back garment fastening portion 5 that are incorporated into the waistband of the bottom garment.

[0031] In some embodiments, the added functionality and versatility of the removable chamois liner is achieved through the removability and exchangeability of the entire cushioned liner from the waistband of the bottom garment, not through the use of fabric pockets that hold foam pads in the crotch or pelvic region of the bottom garment. Foam pads held in pockets on the interior of the bottom garment are disadvantageous because they can shift during use causing friction, chafing and discomfort to the wearer. The fastening location at the waistband of the bottom garment keeps the cushioned liner securely in place on the wearer, thereby minimizing potential friction and chafing. In all embodiments, the padding material is not enclosed in a pocket stitched into the crotch region or the pelvic region of the bottom garment.

[0032] The body portion 1 of the cushioned liner comprises a lower abdominal portion 10, a crotch portion 11, and a buttocks portion 12. The buttocks portion 12 is sufficiently wider than the lower abdominal portion 10 and crotch portion 11, which provides comfortable seating and anatomical support to the wearer's buttocks (not shown).

[0033] In more detail, the body portion 1 includes the lower abdominal portion 10, the crotch portion 11, and the buttocks portion 12 that can be customized by varying the size, anatomical contouring, thickness, and density of interior foam material. For example, the cushioned liner can be offered in various sizes to fit adults, teens, and children. For example, the cushioned liner can be contoured to fit the different pelvic anatomy of women and men. In some embodiments, the cushioned liner varies in thickness from 2 mm to 40 mm across its length due to the contouring, for example, as illustrated in FIG. 11 and FIG. 17. In some embodiments, a body portion 1 covering a lower abdominal portion 10 may have an average medial cross-sectional thickness of about 2 mm to about 10 mm, a body portion 1 covering a crotch portion 11 may have an average medial cross-sectional thickness of about 5 mm to about 15 mm, and a body portion 1 covering a buttocks portion 12 may have an average medial cross-sectional thickness of about 2 mm to about 20 mm. In some embodiments, the foam density can range from 20 kg/m 3 to 150 kg/m 3 . Low foam density is specified as 60 kg/m 3 , medium foam density is specified as 80 kg/m 3 , and high foam density is specified as 120 kg/m 3 . Thick or dense foam can be more desirable for a lengthy activity, such as road cycling longer than 30 miles, or high impact activity, such as off-road biking. Thin or less dense foam can be desirable for a shorter activity, such as a road cycling ride less than 30 miles, or lower impact activity, such as an indoor cycling class.

[0034] The front liner fastening portion 2, and the back liner fastening portion 3 can be attached to and detached from the front garment fastening portion 4 and the back garment fastening portion 5 of a bottom garment, respectively.

[0035] The front liner fastening portion 2 and the back liner fastening portion 3 of the cushioned liner can be made of any fabric material. In some embodiments, the front liner fastening portion 2 and the back liner fastening portion 3 of the cushioned liner are preferably fabricated of a woven material capable of handing stress caused when the removable cushioned liner is removed from the bottom garment, such as a fabric blend containing SUPPLEX®, TACTEL®, polyamide, polyester, or elastane. [0036] The front garment fastening portion 4 and the back garment fastening portion 5 of the bottom garment can consist of a fabric material that is the same as or different from the material used in front liner fastening portion 2 and the back liner fastening portion 3.

[0037] The front garment fastening portion 4 can comprise a front garment fastening means 40 and a front garment fastening portion body material 41, while the back garment fastening portion 5 can comprise a back garment fastening means 50, and a back garment fastening portion body material 51. Fastening means can include snaps, zippers, hooks, hook-and-eye clasps, or hook- and-loop materials, as illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 10.

[0038] Referring now to FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 there is shown an inside-out front view of the cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment and an inside-out front view of the cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment, respectively. To attach the cushioned liner to a bottom garment, the front liner fastening means 20 of the front liner fastening portion 2 can be engaged with the front garment fastening means 40 (not shown) of the front garment fastening portion 4.

[0039] Referring now to FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 there is shown an inside-out back view of the cushioned liner attached to the bottom garment and an inside-out back view of the cushioned liner detached from the bottom garment, respectively. The back liner fastening means 30 of the back liner fastening portion 3 can be engaged with the back garment fastening means 50 (not shown) of the back garment fastening portion 5.

[0040] Referring now to FIG. 7 and FIG. 8 there is shown an inside-out front view of the bottom garment further illustrating a possible location of the fasteners inside the front garment fastening portion 4 and an inside-out back view of the bottom garment further illustrating a possible location of the fasteners inside the back garment fastening portion 5, respectively. The front garment fastening portion 4 and the back garment fastening portion 5 are incorporated into the interior waistband of the bottom garment. In some embodiments, the front garment fastening means 40 and the back garment fastening means 50 are located on one or both of the interior liner-facing sides of the front garment fastening portion 4 and the back garment fastening portion 5 on the waistband fabric of the bottom garment. In these embodiments, the body-facing fabric of the bottom garment provides a soft barrier between the wearer's skin and the fastening means 40 and 50. In other embodiments, for example, as those in FIG. 13, FIG. 14, FIG. 15, and FIG. 16, the fastening means are themselves made of soft fabrics, for example, ones that help prevent chafing. [0041] Referring now to FIG. 9A, FIG. 9B, FIG. 9C, FIG. 9D, and FIG. 9E there are shown side cross-section views of the removable cushioned liner attached to the fastening portions of the interior waistband of a bottom garment using snaps, zippers, hook-and-eye clasps, hook-and-loop fasteners, and hooks respectively. In all embodiments, the cushioned liner is mounted or secured to the waistband of the bottom garment. The cushioned liner is not mounted or secured to the bottom garment at the crotch or pelvic regions.

[0042] Referring now to FIG. 9A in more detail, the chamois body portion 1 generally includes an interior-facing fabric material 13, an exterior-facing fabric material 15, and a foam padding material 14 enclosed between the interior-facing fabric material 13 and an exterior-facing fabric material 15. In some embodiments, the interior fabric material 13 and the exterior fabric material 15 can be sealed to the padding material 14 with a suitable fabric and foam adhesive that is applied to a common periphery 16. The interior body -facing fabric material 13 is preferably fabricated of a smooth or brushed polyamide and elastane blend material and the exterior garment-facing fabric material 15 is preferably fabricated of a pilling resistant and low friction polyamide and elastane blend fabric that is breathable and non-chafing as is well known in the art for cycle and athletic clothing.

[0043] The padding material 14 can be made from any foam material that is known to be used in clothing. In one embodiment, the padding material 14 can comprise, essentially consist of, or consist of an open-cell or closed-cell polyurethane foam. In some embodiments, the padding material 14 can comprise a composite foam material, e.g., polyurethane, polyethylene, polyisocyanurate, or any combinations thereof.

[0044] In some embodiments, the padding material 14 is made of a single, continuous foam layer. In some embodiments, the padding material 14 is shaped or contoured through the use of heat or pressure. In some embodiments, the padding material 14 is made of several foam layers fused together into a single unit through the use of heat or pressure. In some embodiments, the padding material 14 foam can be formed from an extrusion, blow, or compression molding process. In some embodiments, the padding material 14 foam can be shaped from a contour, compression, or die cutting process.

[0045] In some embodiments, the padding material is not a gel material. In some embodiments, the removable cushioned liner does not include a gel material. In some embodiments, the removable cushioned liner does not include a gel material of a silicone elastomer. [0046] In some embodiments, the removable cushioned liner comprises an air-filled foam cushion. The cushioned liner does not comprise a liquid-filled cushion. For example, in some embodiments, the area formed between the interior fabric material 13 and the exterior fabric material 15 is not filled with any liquid-filled or gel material.

[0047] Referring now to FIG. 10 there is shown a top view of a variety of different fastening means that can be utilized to attach and detach the cushioned liner to and from the bottom garment. FIG. 10A utilizes snaps that attach to and detach from a corresponding snap fastening means incorporated on the fastening portions of the garment 4 and 5 (not shown). FIG. 10B utilizes zippers that attach to and detach from a corresponding zipper fastening means incorporated on the fastening portions of the garment 4 and 5 (not shown). FIG. IOC utilizes hook-and-eye clasps that attach to and detach from a corresponding hook-and-eye clasp fastening means incorporated on the fastening portions of the garment 4 and 5 (not shown). FIG. 10D utilizes hook-and-loop fasteners that attach to and detach from a corresponding hook-and-loop fastening means incorporated on the fastening portions of the garment 4 and 5 (not shown). FIG. 10E utilizes hooks that attach to and detach from a corresponding fabric loop fastening means incorporated on the fastening portions of the garment 4 and 5 (not shown).

[0048] Referring now to FIG. 11 there are shown cross-section views of the removable cushioned liner to illustrate its varied contour and thickness. The contour of the removable cushioned liner provides additional cushioning and cradling to areas of high impact and complements the natural shape of the buttocks of the wearer, thereby offering both comfort and a pleasing appearance from the exterior of the garment.

[0049] Without limitation, the advantages of the present invention are listed as follows. Unlike conventional chamois pads, the cushioned liner is removable from the bottom garment and this feature enhances the functionality of the bottom garment by enabling the bottom garment to be used in non-cycling activities, such as other athletic or leisure activities. Unlike conventional chamois pads, the cushioned liner is removable from the bottom garment and therefore it can be customized to greater or lesser thicknesses, foam densities, and shape contours to enhance the versatility of the bottom garment by enabling it to be used for athletic activities of varied durations and intensities. Unlike conventional chamois pads, the cushioned liner is not sewn directly into the exterior fabric of the bottom garment and therefore the bottom garment has a more pleasing seamless exterior appearance. [0050] Although there has been hereinabove described a specific bottom garment with a specific removable cushioned liner in accordance with the present invention for the purpose of illustrating the manner in which the invention may be used to advantage, it should be appreciated that the invention is not limited thereto. That is, the present invention may suitably comprise, consist of, or consist essentially of the recited elements. Further, the invention illustratively disclosed herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element that is not specifically disclosed here. Accordingly, any and all modifications, variations or equivalent arrangements which may occur to those skilled in the art, should be considered to be within the scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims.