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Title:
BOXER SHORTS FORMED BY A METHOD WHICH DOES NOT REQUIRE REMOVAL OF MATERIAL FROM THE MANUFACTURING WEB
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/008139
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention provides a pant-type article having a boxer-short configuration. The article comprises first and second panels which are slitted to form crotch flaps and joined at via said crotch flaps. Folding and inverting the panels, and sealing along side-seams and the inside of the leg portions provides a boxer-short. Methods for manufacturing the pant-type article are also provided. The pant-type article can be manufactured in a continuous side-by-side fashion.

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Inventors:
BÄCK, Lucas (Äsbacken 2, Billdal, S-427 36, SE)
Application Number:
SE2009/000371
Publication Date:
January 20, 2011
Filing Date:
July 16, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SCA HYGIENE PRODUCTS AB (S- Göteborg, 405 03, SE)
BÄCK, Lucas (Äsbacken 2, Billdal, S-427 36, SE)
International Classes:
A41B9/00; A61F13/49
Domestic Patent References:
2008-10-16
2008-04-03
2006-04-13
Foreign References:
US20040098791A12004-05-27
US6336923B12002-01-08
US20030115660A12003-06-26
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VALEA AB (Lindholmpiren 5, Göteborg, S-417 56, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A pant-type article (10), said article (10) comprising:

• a first panel (20) of chassis material (11), said first panel (20) having an extension in the transverse direction (T) and being defined by first and second transverse edges (21, 22) and having an extension in the longitudinal direction

(L) and being defined by first (23) and second (24) longitudinal edges;

• a second panel (30) of chassis material (11), said second panel (30) having an extension in the transverse direction (T) and being defined by first and second transverse edges (31 , 32) and having an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and being defined by first (33) and second (34) longitudinal edges;

characterised in that said article (10) comprises

• a pair of slits (40, 41) located in the first panel (20), said slits (40, 41) extending to the first longitudinal edge (23) of the first panel (20); wherein said slits (40, 41) are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a first crotch flap (50) and leg portions (51 , 52) located on either side of said first crotch flap (50) in the transverse direction (T);

and wherein each of said slits (40, 41) has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L);

and wherein each slit (40, 41) is located at a predetermined distance (A') in the transverse direction (T) from the respective adjacent transverse edge (21 , 22) of the first panel (20);

• a pair of slits (42, 43) located in the second panel (30), said slits (42, 43) extending to the first longitudinal edge (33) of the second panel (30); wherein said slits (42, 43) are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a second crotch flap (60) and leg portions (61 , 62) located on either side of said second crotch flap (60) in the transverse direction (T);

and wherein each of said slits (42, 43) has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L);

and wherein each slit (42, 43) is located at a predetermined distance (A") in the transverse direction (T) from the respective adjacent transverse edge (31 ,32) of the second panel (30); • and the first (20) and second (30) panels are joined together via the first (50) and/or second (60) crotch flap;

• the first (20) and second (30) panels also being joined together along the edges (53, 54, 63, 64) of the leg portions (51 , 52, 61 , 62) which lie closest to the crotch flaps (50, 60) to define leg seams (13) of the pant-type article (10);

• said first (20) and second (30) panels also being joined together along first and second transverse edges (21 , 22, 31 , 32) thereof to define side seams (12) of the pant-type article (10);

wherein the first (20) and second (30) panels are arranged such that each slit (40, 41) on the first longitudinal edge (23) of the first panel (20) is engaged with a corresponding slit (42, 43) on the first longitudinal edge (33) of the second panel (30); such that one crotch flap (50, 60) lies on the inside of the pant-type article (10), while the other crotch flap (50, 60) lies on the outside of the pant-type article. 2. An article (10) according to claim 1 , additionally comprising at least one elastic member (27, 37) located adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge (24, 34) of at least one of the first (20) and second (30) panels.

3. An article (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the chassis material (11) is an elastic material, e.g. an elastic nonwoven material, a laminate of an elastic film between two nonwoven materials or a laminate of elastic threads between two nonwoven materials.

4. An article (10) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the distance (A') between the leg seam (13) and the adjacent side seam (12) along the longitudinal edge (23) of the first panel (20) is different from the distance (A") between the leg seam (13) and the adjacent side seam (12) along the longitudinal edge (33) of the second panel (30). 5. An article (10) according to any of the preceding claims, additionally comprising an absorbent member (15) located on the inside of the article (10).

6. A method for manufacturing a pant-type article (10), said method comprising the steps of: a. providing a first panel (20) of chassis material (11), said first panel (20) having an extension in the transverse direction (T) and being defined by first and second transverse edges (21, 22) and having an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and being defined by first (23) and second (24) longitudinal edges;

b. providing a second panel (30) of chassis material (11), said second panel (30) having an extension in the transverse direction (T) and being defined by first and second transverse edges (31 , 32) and having an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and being defined by first (33) and second (34) longitudinal edges;

c. introducing a pair of slits (40, 41) in the first panel (20), said slits (40, 41) extending to the first longitudinal edge (23) of the first panel (20);

wherein said slits (40, 41) are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a first crotch flap (50) and leg portions (51 , 52) located on either side of said first crotch flap (50) in the transverse direction (T);

and wherein each of said slits (40, 41) has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L);

and wherein each slit (40, 41) is located at a predetermined distance (A') in the transverse direction (T) from each transverse edge (21 , 22) of the first panel (20);

d. introducing a pair of slits (42, 43) in the second panel (30), said slits (42, 43) extending to the first longitudinal edge (33) of the second panel (30); wherein said slits (42, 43) are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a second crotch flap (60) and leg portions (61, 62) located on either side of said second crotch flap (60) in the transverse direction (T);

and wherein each of said slits (42, 43) has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L);

and wherein each slit (42, 43) is located at a predetermined distance (A") in the transverse direction (T) from each transverse edge (31 ,32) of the second panel (30);

e. bringing the first (20) and second (30) panels into contact via the first longitudinal edges (23, 33) thereof, such that each slit (40, 41) on the first longitudinal edge (23) of the first panel (20) interlocks with a corresponding slit (42, 43) on the first longitudinal edge (33) of the second panel (30); f. joining the first (20) and second (30) panels together via the first (50) and/or second (60) crotch flap;

g. folding the co-joined first (20) and second (30) panels in the crotch flaps

(50, 60) along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge (23, 33) at a distance W therefrom;

h. inverting one of the first (20) and second (30) panels in the region located between the slits (40, 41 , 42, 43) and the respective transverse edge (21 , 22, 31 , 32) of each panel (20, 30) so that the first and second panels (20,

30) become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions (51 , 52, 61 , 62);

i. joining the first (20) and second (30) panels together along the edges (53, 54, 63, 64) of the leg portions (51 , 52, 61 , 62) which lie closest to the crotch flaps (50, 60);

j. joining the first (20) and second (30) panels together along first and second transverse edges (21 , 22, 31 , 32) thereof, so as to provide a pant-type articles (10);

wherein steps i. and j. can take place in any order.

7. A method according to claim 6, additionally comprising the step of fixing at least one elastic member (27, 37) adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge (24, 34) of at least one of the first (20) and second (30) panels. 8. A method according to any of claims 6-7, additionally comprising the step of joining an absorbent member (15) to the first (20) and/or second (30) panels on the face of said webs (20, 30) which forms the inside of the article (10); preferably after step f. has taken place. 9. A method for manufacturing a pant-type article (100), said method comprising the steps of:

a. providing first (200) and second (300) webs of chassis material (11), each of said webs (200, 300) having a major extension in the machine direction (MD) and being defined in the cross direction (CD) by first (201 , 301) and second (202, 302) longitudinal edges; b. introducing pairs of slits (210, 220) in the first web (200), said slits (210, 220) extending to the first longitudinal edge (201) of the first web (200); wherein said slits (210, 220) are separated from each other within each pair by a predetermined distance D in the machine direction (MD) so as to define a first crotch flap (240) and leg portions (250, 260) located on either side of said first crotch flap (240);

and wherein each of said slits (210, 220) has a predetermined extension W in the cross direction (CD);

and wherein adjacent slits (210, 220) of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by a predetermined distance (A) in the machine direction, c. introducing pairs of slits (310, 320) in the second web (300), said slits (310, 320) extending to the first longitudinal edge (301) of the second web (300); wherein said slits (310, 320) are separated from each other within each pair by said predetermined distance (D) in the machine direction (MD) so as to define a second crotch flap (340) and leg portions (350, 360) located on either side of said second crotch flap (340);

and wherein each of said slits (310, 320) has a predetermined extension

(W) in the cross direction (CD);

and wherein adjacent slits (310, 320) of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by said predetermined distance (A) in the machine direction; d. bringing the first (200) and second (300) webs into contact via the first longitudinal edges (201 , 301) thereof, such that each slit (210, 220) on the first longitudinal edge (201) of the first web (200) interlocks with a corresponding slit (310, 320) on the first longitudinal edge (301) of the second web (300);

e. joining the first (200) and second (300) webs together via the first (240) and/or second (340) crotch flap;

f. folding the co-joined first (200) and second (300) webs along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge (201 , 301) at a distance W therefrom;

g. inverting one of the first (200) and second (300) webs in the region located between the pairs of slits (310, 320, 210, 220) so that the first and second webs (200, 300) become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions (250, 260, 350, 360); h. joining the first (200) and second (300) webs together along the edges (251 , 261 , 351 , 361) of the leg portions (250, 260, 350, 360) which lie closest to the crotch flaps (240, 340);

i. joining the first (200) and second (300) webs together along a dividing line (270) which extends in the cross-direction (CD) from the first (201 , 301) longitudinal edge to the second (202, 302) longitudinal edge of the webs

(200, 300) and which is located equidistant from each crotch flap (240,

340) in the machine direction (MD);

j. cutting the co-joined first and second webs (200, 300) along said dividing line (270) from the first (201 , 301) longitudinal edge to the second (202,

302) longitudinal edge so as to provide individual pant-type articles (100). wherein steps h-j can be performed in any order.

10. A method according to claim 9, additionally comprising the step of fixing at least one elastic member (207, 307) adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge (201 , 301) of at least one of the first (200) and second (300) webs.

11. A method according to any of claims 9-10, additionally comprising the step of joining an absorbent member (15) to the first (200) and/or second (300) web on the face of said webs (200, 300) which forms the inside of the article (100) ; after step e. has taken place.

Description:
Boxer shorts formed by a method which does not require removal of material from the manufacturing web

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention provides to a pant-type article, particularly boxer-shorts. The invention also provides methods for producing such articles.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pant-type articles are used as regular pants (underwear), protective pants and absorbent pants. A large number of different methods for producing such articles are known.

A recurring problem with pant manufacture (particularly absorbent pants) has been that pants having a "boxer-short" configuration have been difficult to manufacture efficiently. A simple way to manufacture boxer-short pants is to join front and rear panels, and remove portions of the material in the crotch portion to form the legs (as per US 2003/0115660). However, these methods waste material, as the material which is removed in the crotch portion is discarded. In addition, the process shown in US 2003/0115660 makes it difficult to apply core packets to the pants.

It is desirable to manufacture pant-type articles side-by-side in a continuous process, in which front and rear halves are constituted by two separate material webs which are joined at the crotch portion and folded together such that front and rear halves overlap.

Sealing and cutting the webs provides individual articles. Side-by-side processes are desirable, as they allow rapid, efficient production, while also allowing front and rear halves to be varied independently of one another e.g. in their size, shape, properties or materials. Such variation is not possible in so-called "head-to-tail" manufacture, in which front and rear halves are cut from the same material web.

However, any attempt to manufacture pants using known side-by-side processes will not allow leg holes to extend beyond the fold-line, as is required in boxer-shorts. This is due to the lack of material beyond the fold-line that can form legs.

There remains, therefore, a need for a new pant-type article, and associated manufacturing method, particularly articles having a boxer-short configuration. The pant- type article should be simple and easy to construct and minimize wastage. The pant-type article should provide advantages in strength, comfort and leakage-prevention as compared with known pant-type articles. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention therefore provides a pant-type article 10. The article 10 comprises a first panel 20 of chassis material 11. The first panel 20 has an extension in the transverse direction T and is defined by first and second transverse edges 21 , 22. It also has an extension in the longitudinal direction L and is defined by first 23 and second 24 longitudinal edges.

The article 10 also comprises a second panel 30 of chassis material 11. The second panel 30 has an extension in the transverse direction T and is defined by first and second transverse edges 31 , 32. It also has an extension in the longitudinal direction L and is defined by first 33 and second 34 longitudinal edges.

The article 10 comprises a pair of slits 40, 41 located in the first panel 20, said slits 40, 41 extending to the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20. The slits 40, 41 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction T so as to define a first crotch flap 50 and leg portions 51 , 52 located on either side of said first crotch flap 50 in the transverse direction T. Each of said slits 40, 41 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction L. Each slit 40, 41 is located at a predetermined distance A' in the transverse direction T from the respective adjacent transverse edge 21 , 22 of the first panel 20.

The article 10 also comprises a pair of slits 42, 43 located in the second panel 30, said slits 42, 43 extending to the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. The slits 42, 43 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction T so as to define a second crotch flap 60 and leg portions 61 , 62 located on either side of said second crotch flap 60 in the transverse direction T. Each of said slits 42, 43 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction L. Each slit 42, 43 is located at a predetermined distance A" in the transverse direction T from the respective adjacent transverse edge 31 , 32 of the second panel 30. The first 20 and second 30 panels are joined together via the first 50 and/or second 60 crotch flap. The first 20 and second 30 panels are also joined together along the edges 53, 54, 63, 64 of the leg portions 51 , 52, 61, 62 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 50, 60 to define leg seams 13 of the pant-type article 10. The first 20 and second 30 panels are also joined together along first and second transverse edges 21 , 22, 31 , 32 thereof to define side seams 12 of the pant-type article 10.

The first 20 and second 30 panels are arranged such that each slit 40, 41 on the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 is engaged with a corresponding slit 42, 43 on the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30; such that one crotch flap 50, 60 lies on the inside of the pant-type article 10, while the other crotch flap 50, 60 lies on the outside of the pant-type article.

Suitably, the article 10 additionally comprises at least one elastic member 27, 37 located adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 24, 34 of at least one of the first 20 and second 30 panels.

The chassis material 11 may be an elastic material, e.g. an elastic nonwoven material, a laminate of an elastic film between two nonwoven materials or a laminate of elastic threads between two nonwoven materials.

The distance (A') between the leg seam 13 and the adjacent side seam 12 along the longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 may be different from the distance (A") between the leg seam 13 and the adjacent side seam 12 along the longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30.

The article 10 according to the invention may additionally comprise an absorbent member 15 located on the inside of the article 10. The invention also provides a method for manufacturing a pant-type article 10,. This method comprises the steps of:

a. providing a first panel 20 of chassis material 11 , said first panel 20 having an extension in the transverse direction T and being defined by first and second transverse edges 21 , 22 and having an extension in the longitudinal direction L and being defined by first 23 and second 24 longitudinal edges; b. providing a second panel 30 of chassis material 11 , said second panel 30 having an extension in the transverse direction T and being defined by first and second transverse edges 31 , 32 and having an extension in the longitudinal direction L and being defined by first 33 and second 34 longitudinal edges;

c. introducing a pair of slits 40, 41 in the first panel 20, said slits 40, 41 extending to the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20;

wherein said slits 40, 41 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction T so as to define a first crotch flap 50 and leg portions 51 , 52 located on either side of said first crotch flap 50 in the transverse direction T;

and wherein each of said slits 40, 41 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction L;

and wherein each slit 40, 41 is located at a predetermined distance A ! in the transverse direction T from each transverse edge 21, 22 of the first panel 20;

d. introducing a pair of slits 42, 43 in the second panel 30, said slits 42, 43 extending to the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30;

wherein said slits 42, 43 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction T so as to define a second crotch flap 60 and leg portions 61 , 62 located on either side of said second crotch flap 60 in the transverse direction T;

and wherein each of said slits 42, 43 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction L;

and wherein each slit 42, 43 is located at a predetermined distance A" in the transverse direction T from each transverse edge 31 ,32 of the second panel 30;

e. bringing the first 20 and second 30 panels into contact via the first longitudinal edges 23, 33 thereof, such that each slit 40, 41 on the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 interlocks with a corresponding slit 42, 43 on the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30;

f. joining the first 20 and second 30 panels together via the first 50 and/or second 60 crotch flap;

g. folding the co-joined first 20 and second 30 panels in the crotch flaps 50, 60 along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge 23, 33 at a distance W therefrom;

h. inverting one of the first 20 and second 30 panels in the region located between the slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 and the respective transverse edge 21 , 22, 31 , 32 of each panel 20, 30 so that the first and second panels 20, 30 become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions 51 , 52, 61 , 62; i. joining the first 20 and second 30 panels together along the edges 53, 54, 63, 64 of the leg portions 51 , 52, 61 , 62 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 50, 60;

j. joining the first 20 and second 30 panels together along first and second transverse edges 21 , 22, 31 , 32 thereof, so as to provide a pant-type articles 10;

wherein steps i. and j. can take place in any order.

The method may additionally comprise the step of fixing at least one elastic member 27, 37 adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 24, 34 of at least one of the first 20 and second 30 panels.

To form an absorbent article, the method may additionally comprise the step of joining an absorbent member 15 to the first 20 and/or second 30 panels on the face of said webs 20, 30 which forms the inside of the article 10; preferably after step f. has taken place. The invention also provides method for manufacturing a pant-type article 100 in a continuous fashion. This method comprises the steps of:

a. providing first 200 and second 300 webs of chassis material 11 , each of said webs 200, 300 having a major extension in the machine direction MD and being defined in the cross direction CD by first 201 , 301 and second 202, 302 longitudinal edges;

b. introducing pairs of slits 210, 220 in the first web 200, said slits 210, 220 extending to the first longitudinal edge 201 of the first web 200;

wherein said slits 210, 220 are separated from each other within each pair by a predetermined distance D in the machine direction MD so as to define a first crotch flap 240 and leg portions 250, 260 located on either side of said first crotch flap 240;

and wherein each of said slits 210, 220 has a predetermined extension W in the cross direction CD;

and wherein adjacent slits 210, 220 of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by a predetermined distance A in the machine direction,

c. introducing pairs of slits 310, 320 in the second web 300, said slits 310, 320 extending to the first longitudinal edge 301 of the second web 300;

wherein said slits 310, 320 are separated from each other within each pair by said predetermined distance D in the machine direction MD so as to define a second crotch flap 340 and leg portions 350, 360 located on either side of said first crotch flap 340;

and wherein each of said slits 310, 320 has a predetermined extension W in the cross direction CD; and wherein adjacent slits 310, 320 of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by said predetermined distance A in the machine direction;

d. bringing the first 200 and second 300 webs into contact via the first longitudinal edges 201 , 301 thereof, such that each slit 210, 220 on the first longitudinal edge 201 of the first web 200 interlocks with a corresponding slit 310, 320 on the first longitudinal edge 301 of the second web 300;

e. joining the first 200 and second 300 webs together via the first 240 and/or second 340 crotch flap;

f. folding the co-joined first 200 and second 300 webs along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge 201 , 301 at a distance W therefrom;

g. inverting one of the first 200 and second 300 webs in the region located between the pairs of slits 310, 320, 210, 220 so that the first and second webs 200, 300 become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360;

h. joining the first 200 and second 300 webs together along the edges 251 , 261 , 351 , 361 of the leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 240, 340; i. joining the first 200 and second 300 webs together along a dividing line 270 which extends in the cross-direction CD from the first 201 , 301 longitudinal edge to the second

202, 302 longitudinal edge of the webs 200, 300 and which is located equidistant from each crotch flap 240, 340 in the machine direction MD;

j. cutting the co-joined first and second webs 200, 300 along said dividing line 270 from the first 201 , 301 longitudinal edge to the second 202, 302 longitudinal edge so as to provide individual pant-type articles 100.

wherein steps h-j can be performed in any order. This method may also additionally comprise the step of fixing at least one elastic member 207, 307 adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 201 , 301 of at least one of the first 200 and second 300 webs.

The second method of the invention may additionally comprise the step of joining an absorbent member 15 to the first 200 and/or second 300 web on the face of said webs 200, 300 which forms the inside of the article 100 ; after step e. has taken place.

DEFINITIONS

"Boxer-shorts" are distinguished from other pant-type articles in that they have well- defined leg portions which extend at least partly along the inside of the wearer's legs, rather than just leg-openings. In other words, boxer-shorts extend from the crotch portion in a direction away from the waist opening.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will now be described in more detail, with reference to the following schematic drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a pant-type article according to the invention

Figure 2 shows an alternative pant-type article according to the invention

Figure 3 shows a pant-type article according to the invention, being an absorbent pant- type article

Figure 4 illustrates a first method suitable for manufacturing the pant-type article of the invention.

Figure 5 illustrates a second method suitable for manufacturing the pant-type article of the invention, being a continuous process.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention relates to a pant-type article 10, as shown in Figures 1-3. The term "pant-type article" encompasses regular pants, protective pants and absorbent pants.

The term "pant-type article" and "pants" are used interchangeably in this specification.

Regular pants (underwear) are generally made of natural or synthetic woven fabric (e.g. cotton), and are designed to be washed and re-used regularly. Protective pants are pants which are substantially impermeable to liquids. As such protective pants typically comprise at least one layer of liquid-impermeable material, e.g. a plastic film or nonwoven material. Protective pants are preferably breathable - i.e. they allow the passage of gas and vapour. Protective pants may be used alone, or in combination with one or more absorbent bodies. Protective pants may be washable and re-usable, or may be disposable. An example of a protective pants /absorbent insert combination is provided in e.g. US 6,193,702.

The pant-type article 10 of the invention is preferably a pair of absorbent pants, as shown in Figure 3. Absorbent pants are used for the uptake, storage and management of bodily exudate, such as urine, faeces and/or menses. As such, it typically comprises a chassis 11 and one or more absorbent members 15. The absorbent member(s) 15 are arranged at least in the crotch portion 18 of the pants 10, which is that portion which is located between the legs of the wearer when the pants 10 are worn, and may also extend somewhat into the front and rear portions of the pant-type article 10. Absorbent pants are preferably disposable - i.e. they are not meant to be cleaned and re-used.

The pant-type article 10 of the invention comprises a first panel 20 of chassis material 11. For absorbent pant-type articles, the chassis material 11 is suitably constituted by the backsheet 17, and - as such - may comprise any material described as suitable for use as backsheet 17. For regular pants (underwear), the chassis material 11 may comprise a woven material. The chassis material 11 is preferably elastic. An elastic material is defined as a material having a permanent elongation after relaxation of less than 10% after the material has been subjected to an elongation of 30% in the elasticity test specified herein. The chassis material 11 is preferably liquid-impermeable, yet should be gas-permeable. Other layers of material may be laminated to the backsheet 17 in the chassis material 11 as desired.

The first panel 20 has an extension in the transverse direction (T) and is defined by first and second transverse edges 21 , 22, as shown in Figures 1 , 2 and 3. The first panel 20 suitably extends in the transverse direction a distance of between 15 and 50cm in its unstretched state. The first panel 20 also has an extension in the longitudinal direction (L), which preferably lies between 18 and 60cm in its unstretched state, and is defined by first 23 and second 24 longitudinal edges. Suitably, first 23 and second 24 longitudinal edges are straight and parallel to one another. First 21 and second 22 transverse edges may also be straight and parallel to one another. Accordingly, the first panel 20 is suitably square or rectangular.

The pant-type article 10 also comprises a second panel 30 of chassis material 11. Again, the chassis material 11 is suitably constituted by the backsheet 17, and - as such - may comprise any material described above as suitable for use as backsheet 17. The first and second panels 20, 30 may comprise the same or different materials. The second panel 30 has an extension in the transverse direction (T) and is defined by first and second transverse edges 31 , 32. The second panel 30 also has an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and is defined by first 33 and second 34 longitudinal edges. The shape and dimensions of the second panel 30 are suitably the same as those of the first panel 20. Either of the first 20 or second 30 panels may constitute the front or rear of the pant-type article 10. A pair of slits 40, 41 is located in the first panel 20 (see Figure 4). The slits 40, 41 extend to the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20. The slits 40, 41 are typically straight parallel lines. However, if desired, the slits 40, 41 may be curved, preferably in a direction away from the transverse edges 21 , 22 of the first panel 20. When the slits 40, 41 are straight, they typically extend perpendicular to the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20. However, the slits 40, 41 may also be angled relative to the first longitudinal edge 23, preferably away from each other. Angled and curved slits may be used to provide a pant-type article 10 which has profiled legs, which seal closely about the thighs of the wearer. The slits 40, 41 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a first crotch flap 50 and leg portions 51 , 52 located on either side of said first crotch flap 50 in the transverse direction T. The first crotch flap 50 is to be located between the wearer's legs when the pant is worn, so the distance D suitably lies between 3 and 18cm. As shown in Figure 1 , the distance D is measured at the first longitudinal edge 23.

Each of said slits 40, 41 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L). The extension W corresponds to the length of the legs of the boxer shorts, as measured from the crotch portion 18, on the inside of the leg. Extension W can be varied as desired, depending on process parameters and the particular leg length one wishes to provide, yet typically lies between 3 and 18cm (see Figure 1).

Each slit 40, 41 is located at a predetermined distance (A') in the transverse direction (T) from each transverse edge 21 , 22 of the first panel 20. In the embodiments of Figures 1 and 3, the width of each leg of the boxer shorts in the first panel 20 therefore corresponds to the distance A'.

A pair of slits 42, 43 is also located in the second panel 30. The slits 42, 43 extend to the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. The slits 42, 43 are typically straight parallel lines. However, if desired, the slits 42, 43may be curved, preferably in a direction away from the transverse edges 31 , 32 of the second panel 30. When the slits 42, 43 are straight, they typically extend perpendicular to the first longitudinal edge 33 of the first panel 30. However, the slits 42, 43 may also be angled relative to the first longitudinal edge 33, preferably away from each other. This provides the opportunity to manufacture pant-type articles 10 in which the leg opening is larger than the corresponding dimension at the crotch. Angled and curved slits may be used to provide a pant-type article 10 which has profiled legs, which seal closely about the thighs of the wearer. The slits 42, 43 in the second panel 30 desirably have the same shape, dimensions and arrangement as the slits 40, 41 in the first panel 20.

As for the first panel 20, each of said slits 42, 43 in the second panel 30 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L). The extension W corresponds to the length of the legs of the boxer shorts, as measured from the crotch portion 18 , on the inside of the leg. Extension W can be varied as desired, depending on process parameters and the particular leg length one wishes to provide, yet typically lies between 3 and 18cm (see Figure 1).

Each slit 42, 43 is located at a predetermined distance A" in the transverse direction T from the respective adjacent transverse edge 31 , 32 of the second panel 30.

Slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 penetrate completely through the thickness of the chassis material 11 in which they are formed. Slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 may be formed by any method common in the art, e.g. cutting with an RDC (rotary die cut), water jets or a laser, or even thermal or ultrasonic melting.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are joined together via the first 50 and/or second 60 crotch flaps. Suitably, first and second panels 20, 30 are joined together by both the first 50 and the second 60 crotch flaps. Joining can take place by means of adhesive, heat or ultrasonic welding or any other method known in the art. Joining may even take place by stitching, although stitching is less suitable for rapid continuous production of articles, and for articles in which liquid-impermeability is important.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are also joined together along the edges 53, 54, 63, 64 of the leg portions 51, 52, 61 , 62 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 50, 60 to define leg seams 13 of the pant-type article 10. These leg seams 13 have an extension in the longitudinal direction corresponding to the length of the slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 (i.e. the distance W, see Figures 1 , 2 and 3). As above, joining in the leg seams 13 can take place by means of adhesive, heat or ultrasonic welding or any other method known in the art.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are also joined together along first and second transverse edges 21, 22, 31 , 32 thereof to define side seams 12 of the pant-type article 10 (Figures 1 , 2 and 3). As above, joining in the side seams 12 can take place by means of adhesive, heat or ultrasonic welding or any other method known in the art.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are arranged such that each slit 40, 41 on the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 is engaged with a corresponding slit 42, 43 on the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. This engagement between the slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 of each panel 20, 30 means that one crotch flap 50, 60 lies on the inside of the pant-type article 10, while the other crotch flap 50, 60 lies on the outside of the pant- type article. The engaging of the slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 and the subsequent arrangement of the crotch flaps 50, 60 can be seen in Figures 1 , 2 and 3.

The pant-type article 10 of the invention has advantages over those known from in the field. Notably, the chassis material 11 is doubled in the crotch flaps 50, 60, which leads to improved leak-protection. Additionally, the overlapping crotch flaps 50, 60 provide improved mechanical strength, particularly against shear forces, as joining occurs over a relatively large area, and the material is doubled in the crotch portion 18. This is particularly important in the crotch portion 18 of pant-type articles, as this region is subjected to a range of forces, such as those forces imparted when pulling the article up the legs of a wearer or by activities such as walking or running. Furthermore, the pant- type article 10 of the invention avoids large, bulky seams or welds in the crotch portion 18 of the article 10, thus providing greater comfort. The article 10 according to the invention may additionally comprise at least one elastic member 27, 37 located adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 24, 34 of at least one of the first and second panels 20, 30. As the second longitudinal edges 24, 34 define the waist opening 39 of the article 10, the elastic members 27, 37 constitute the waist elastic of the article 10. The elastic members 27, 37 preferably constitute a continuous band of elastic which encircles the waist opening 39 of the article, as shown in Figures 1-3. However, it may be acceptable that only a portion of the waist opening 39 comprises elastic members.

If desired, the legs of the pant-type article 10 may comprise one or more elastic members located in the region of the first 23, 33 longitudinal edge of each panel 20, 30 (not shown). These leg elastics serve to seal the leg openings about the thighs of the wearer.

Alternatively, or additionally, the chassis material 11 may itself be an elastic material. Suitable elastic materials include elastic nonwoven materials, elastic woven materials or elastic films and laminates thereof. The chassis material 11 is preferably a laminate of an elastic film (preferably a breathable elastic film) between two nonwoven materials, or elastic threads between two nonwoven materials.

Figure 2 shows an embodiment of the invention in which the distance (A') between the leg seam 13 and the adjacent side seam 12 along the longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 is different from the distance (A") between the leg seam 13 and the adjacent side seam 12 along the longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. In the case illustrated in Figure 2, the distance A" in the second panel 30 is greater than the corresponding distance A' in the first panel 20, although the opposite situation is also possible. This situation may be achieved by manufacturing the panels/slits with different dimensions; alternatively, the first panel 20 may be joined to the second panel 30 in a stretched condition (i.e. the first panel 20 is elastic and stretched in the transverse direction so that the stretched transversal length of the first panel 20 corresponds to the transversal length of the second panel 30). When the article 10 is released, the first panel 20 relaxes to its unstretched length as shown in Figure 2. The embodiment shown in Figure 2 allows the side seams 12 to be located more towards the front of the article 10, which can reduce discomfort due to chafing of the side seams 12, and allows a flexibility in the appearance of the article 10. If the pant-type article is to be an absorbent pant, it additionally comprises an absorbent member 15 located on the inside of the article 10. A typical absorbent pant construction therefore comprises at least an absorbent member 15 and a breathable backsheet 17. Optionally, a liquid-permeable topsheet 16 is also present. The backsheet 17 of the article 10 is the layer which lies furthest from the wearer's body when the article is in use, and constitutes the outermost layer of the chassis 11. To protect the wearer's garments from soiling, it should be liquid-impermeable at least in the region which overlaps with the absorbent member 15. The backsheet should be gas- permeable to allow air and vapour to pass in and out of the article so that the warm, damp conditions which can arise in a diaper are reduced. Typically, the backsheet 17 is a laminate comprising plastic films and nonwoven materials, or elastic threads between two nonwoven materials. Examples of breathable backsheet materials are porous polymeric films, nonwoven laminates from spunbond and meltblown layers, laminates from porous polymeric films and nonwovens. The backsheet 17 may be different in different parts of the absorbent article 10, but should be liquid-impermeable at least in the region which overlaps with the absorbent member 15 (and preferably only in this region, or only in a slightly larger region). The absorbent member 15 of the article 10 acts to receive and contain liquid and other bodily exudates and can be of any conventional kind. As such, it typically comprises absorbent material. Examples of commonly-occurring absorbent materials are cellulosic fluff pulp, tissue layers, highly-absorbent polymers (so called superabsorbents), absorbent foam materials, absorbent nonwoven materials or the like. It is common to combine cellulosic fluff pulp with superabsorbents in an absorbent body. It is also common to have absorbent members 15 comprising layers of different material with different properties with respect to liquid receiving capacity, liquid distribution capacity and storage capacity. The thin absorbent members 15, which are common in for example baby diapers and incontinence guards, often comprise a compressed mixed or layered structure of cellulosic fluff pulp and superabsorbent. The size and absorbent capacity of the absorbent member 15 may be varied to be suited for different uses such as for infants or for incontinent adults.

The absorbent member 15 may comprise one or more layers which are designed to improve the handling of bodily waste. Such layers are designed to receive a large amount of liquid in a short space of time and distribute it evenly across the absorbent member 15. They may include so-called transfer, distribution, surge or acquisition layers, and are usually located between the topsheet 16 and the absorbent member 15. As mentioned above, the pant-type article 10 may comprise a liquid-permeable topsheet 16. The topsheet 16 of the article 10 is the layer which lies in contact with the wearer's body when the article is in use. As such, it should be soft, non-irritating and comfortable against the skin, and bodily fluid should be able to pass through it without hindrance. The topsheet 16 can consist of a nonwoven material, e.g. spunbond, meltblown, carded, hydroentangled, wetlaid etc. Suitable nonwoven materials can be composed of natural fibers, such as woodpulp or cotton fibres, manmade fibres, such as polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, viscose etc. or from a mixture of natural and manmade fibres. The topsheet 16 may further be composed of tow fibres, which may be bonded to each other in a bonding pattern, as e.g. disclosed in EP-A-1 035 818. Further examples of materials suitable for topsheets are porous foams, apertured plastic films etc. The topsheet 16 may be different in different parts of the absorbent pant-type article 10.

The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 generally have a similar extension within the article 10, while the absorbent member 15 has an extension which is somewhat smaller. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another around the periphery of the absorbent member 15, so that the absorbent member 15 is enclosed within the envelope formed by the topsheet 16 and the backsheet 17. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another by any means common in the art, e.g. ultrasonic welding, thermal welding or gluing. The topsheet 16 may also be wrapped about the absorbent member 15, as a so-called "core packet".

Figure 4 shows a simple method for manufacturing the pant-type article of the invention. A first panel 20 of chassis material 11 is provided (Figure 4). The first panel 20 has an extension in the transverse direction (T) and is defined by first and second transverse edges 21 , 22. It also has an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and is defined by first 23 and second 24 longitudinal edges.

Similarly, a second panel 30 of chassis material 11 is also provided (Figure 4). The second panel 30 also has an extension in the transverse direction (T) and is defined by first and second transverse edges 31 , 32. It has an extension in the longitudinal direction (L) and is defined by first 33 and second 34 longitudinal edges.

The chassis material 11 and the first and second panels 20, 30 are described in more detail above, in relation to the article 10 itself. A pair of slits 40, 41 is introduced in the first panel 20 (Figure 4), said slits 40, 41 extending to the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20. Slitting can take place using any of the above methods.

The slits 40, 41 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a first crotch flap 50 and leg portions 51 , 52 located on either side of said first crotch flap 50 in the transverse direction (T). Each of said slits 40, 41 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L). The extension W corresponds to the length of the leg seam 13 of the boxer shorts, as measured from the crotch portion 18 , on the inside of the leg. Each slit 40, 41 is located at a predetermined distance (A') in the transverse direction (T) from each transverse edge 21 , 22 of the first panel 20.

A pair of slits 42, 43 is also introduced in the second panel 30 (Figure 4). The slits 42, 43 extend to the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. As can be seen in Figure 4, said slits 42, 43 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance D in the transverse direction (T) so as to define a second crotch flap 60 and leg portions 61 , 62 located on either side of said second crotch flap 60 in the transverse direction (T). Each of said slits 42, 43 has a predetermined extension W in the longitudinal direction (L). Each slit 42, 43 is located at a predetermined distance (A") in the transverse direction (T) from each transverse edge 31 ,32 of the second panel (30). The nature of the slits, and the dimensions W, A', A" and D are described in more detail in relation to the pant-type article, above. In particular, slits which are angled or curved with respect to the first longitudinal edges 23, 33 can provide profiled leg portions. In particular, it is preferred if the slits are angled away from one another. As seen in Figure 4, the first and second panels 20, 30 are brought into contact via the first longitudinal edges 23, 33 thereof, such that each slit 40, 41 on the first longitudinal edge 23 of the first panel 20 interlocks with a corresponding slit 42, 43 on the first longitudinal edge 33 of the second panel 30. With "interlocks" is meant that each slit in the first panel penetrates a corresponding slit in the second panel, such that the crotch flaps are interleaved, with the result that crotch flaps 50, 60 are located on opposing faces of the first and second panel 20, 30 respectively. This can be seen in Figure 4.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are joined together via the first 50 and/or second 60 crotch flaps. Joining may take place via any method described above. Joining takes place substantially within the crotch flaps 50, 60, so that the remainder of the first and second panels 20, 30 are not joined. Due to the interlocking relationship of the slits 40,

41 , 42, 43, the first and second crotch flaps 50, 60 will be joined to a region of the first and second panels 50, 60 which lies towards the centre of each panel 50, 60. To create a stronger crotch portion 18, both first 50 and second 60 crotch flaps can be joined to opposing panels 50, 60.

For simplicity, it may be sufficient that only one crotch flap 50, 60 is joined to the opposing panel - in this case, it is suitable that that crotch flap 50, 60 which is joined to the opposing panel is that crotch flap 50, 60 which is destined to lie on the outside of the pant- type article 10 when assembled, so that crotch panels do not hang loose on the outside of the assembled article 10. If the pant-type article 10 is an absorbent article, the inner crotch flap can be covered by an absorbent member 15, and is thus not able to cause discomfort to the wearer.

The co-joined first and second panels 20, 30 are folded in the crotch flaps 50, 60 along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge 23, 33 at a distance W therefrom. The panels 20, 30 are thereby brought to overlap across the majority of their surface via a 180° fold.

One of the first and second panels 20, 30 is inverted in the region located between the slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 and the respective transverse edge 21 , 22, 31 , 32 of each panel 20, 30 so that the first and second panels 20, 30 become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions 51 , 52, 61 , 62. This is illustrated in Figure 4. The particular panel 20, 30 which must be inverted to form leg portions 51 , 52, 61 , 62 depends upon which way the co-joined panels 20, 30 are folded in the preceding step.

The first and second panels 20, 30 are joined together along the edges 53, 54, 63, 64 of the leg portions 51 , 52, 61 , 62 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 50, 60. Leg seams 13 are thus formed. Joining may take place via any method described above. The first and second panels 20, 30 are also joined together along first and second transverse edges 21 , 22, 31 , 32 thereof. Side seams 12 are thus formed, and the pant- type article 10 is provided, as shown in Figure 4. The final joining steps can take place in 5 any order; i.e. the side seams 12 can first be formed before or after forming leg seams 13.

The method may additionally comprise the step of fixing at least one elastic member 27, 37 adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 24, 34 of at least one of the first and second panels 20, 30. Fixing elastic members 27, 37 may take place at any 10 point during the method, but is most suitably carried out before first and second panels 20, 30 are joined together. Most preferably, elastic members 27, 37 are fixed adjacent the second longitudinal edges 24, 34 before slits 40, 41 , 42, 43 are introduced into the panels 20, 30. This is shown in Figure 4.

15 Should the pant-type article 10 be an absorbent article, the above-described method may additionally comprise the step of joining an absorbent member 15 to the first 20 and/or second 30 panels on the face of said panels 20, 30 which forms the inside of the article 10. Joining the absorbent member 15 to the first and/or second panels 20, 30 occurs after the first and second panels 20, 30 have been joined together via the crotch flaps 50,

20 60. To simplify manufacture, the absorbent member 15 is suitably joined to the first and/or second panels 20, 30 before the co-joined first and second panels 20, 30 are folded in the crotch flaps 50, 60 along an axis Y. This is also shown in Figure 4.

After the absorbent member 15 has been joined to the absorbent article, a topsheet 16

25 may also be applied on the wearer-facing surface of the article 10. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another around the periphery of the absorbent member 15, so that the absorbent member 15 is enclosed within the envelope formed by the topsheet 16 and the backsheet 17. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another by any means common in the art, e.g. ultrasonic welding, thermal welding

30 or gluing. The topsheet 16 may also be wrapped about the absorbent member 15, as a so-called "core packet", and the entire core packet applied to the chassis material 11 in one step.

The invention also provides a method for manufacturing a pant-type article 100 in a 35 continuous process, well suited for high-volume, rapid production of such pant-type articles 100. All that is described above in relation to the first method of the invention in terms of e.g. materials, apparatus or specific methods, can also be applied to the second method of the invention, unless specifically stated. The second method of the invention is illustrated generally in Figure 5.

First 200 and second 300 webs of chassis material 11 are provided. The term "web" is used to define a long length of material, which is typically transported and stored in roll form. When used in the present invention, the material is unwound and fed along a suitable apparatus in the so-called machine direction (MD), which is the length direction of the material. Each of said webs 200, 300 therefore has a major extension in the machine direction (MD) and is defined in the cross direction (CD) by first 201 , 301 and second 202, 302 longitudinal edges. The first 200 and second 300 webs may be the same, or different. The chassis material 11 which comprises the webs 200, 300 may be any material described above for chassis material 11.

Pairs of slits 210, 220 are introduced in the first web 200, as shown in Figure 5. The slits 210, 220 extend to the first longitudinal edge 201 of the first web 200. The slits 210, 220 are separated from each other within each pair by a predetermined distance D in the machine direction (MD) so as to define a first crotch flap 240 and leg portions 250, 260 located on either side of said first crotch flap 240.

Each of said slits 210, 220 has a predetermined extension W in the cross direction (CD). In the final pant-type article 100, the extension W corresponds to the length of the leg seam 13 of the boxer shorts, as measured from the crotch portion 18 , on the inside of the leg.

Adjacent slits 210, 220 of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by a predetermined distance (A) in the machine direction. As can be understood from Figures 4 and 5, the distance A corresponds to twice the distance A'.

In a similar way, pairs of slits 310, 320 are also introduced in the second web 300, said slits 310, 320 extending to the first longitudinal edge 301 of the second web 300. The slits 310, 320 in the second web 300 are separated from each other within each pair by said predetermined distance (D) in the machine direction (MD) so as to define a second crotch flap 340 and leg portions 350, 360 located on either side of said first crotch flap 340. Each of said slits 310, 320 in the second web 300 has a predetermined extension (W) in the cross direction (CD). Adjacent slits 310, 320 of adjacent pairs are separated from each other by said predetermined distance (A) in the machine direction. As previously, slits 210, 220, 310, 320 extend completely through the thickness of the webs, and may be formed by any method common in the art, e.g. cutting with an RDC (rotary die cut), water jets or a laser, or even thermal or ultrasonic melting. Slits 210, 220, 310, 320 may all be parallel; alternatively, they may be angled or curved with respect to the first longitudinal edges 201 , 301 , such that pant-type articles 10 with profiled leg portions are obtained. In particular, it is preferred if the slits are angled away from one another.

The first 200 and second 300 webs are brought into contact via the first longitudinal edges 201 , 301 thereof, such that each slit 210, 220 on the first longitudinal edge 201 of the first web 200 interlocks with a corresponding slit 310, 320 on the first longitudinal edge 301 of the second web 300. This is shown in Figure 5. With "interlocks" is meant that each slit 210, 220 in the first web 200 penetrates a corresponding slit 310, 320 in the second web 300, such that the crotch flaps 240, 340 are interleaved, with the result that crotch flaps 240, 340 are located on opposing faces of the first and second webs 200, 300 respectively.

The first 200 and second 300 webs are joined together via the first 240 and/or second 340 crotch flap. Joining may take place via any method described above. Joining takes place substantially within the crotch flaps 240, 340, so that the remainder of the first and second webs 200, 300 are not joined. Due to the interlocking relationship of the slits 210, 220, 310, 320 the first and second crotch flaps 240, 340 will be joined to a region of the first and second webs 200, 300 which lies towards the center of each web 200, 300 in the cross-direction. To create a stronger crotch portion 18, both first 240 and second 340 crotch flaps can be joined to opposing webs 200, 300.

For simplicity, it may be sufficient that only one crotch flap 240, 340 is joined to the opposing web - in this case, it is suitable that that crotch flap 240, 340 which is joined to the opposing web is that crotch flap 240, 340 which is destined to lie on the outside of the pant-type article 100 when assembled, so that crotch panels do not hang loose on the outside of the assembled article 100. If the pant-type article 100 is an absorbent article, the inner crotch flap can be covered by an absorbent member 15, and is thus not able to cause discomfort to the wearer.

The co-joined first 200 and second 300 webs are folded along an axis Y which runs parallel to each first longitudinal edge 201 , 301 at a distance W therefrom, as shown in Figure 5. The fold is 180°, so that the first web 200 contacts the second web 300.

One of the first 200 and second 300 webs are inverted in the region located between the pairs of slits 310, 320, 210, 220 so that the first and second webs 200, 300 become oriented in a face-to-face relationship so as to form leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360. This is shown in Figure 5. The particular web 200, 300 which must be inverted to form leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360 depends upon which way the co-joined panels 20,30 are folded in the preceding step. The first 200 and second 300 webs are joined together along the edges 251 , 261 , 351 , 361 of the leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360 which lie closest to the crotch flaps 240, 340. Leg seams 13 are thus formed. Joining may take place via any method described above.

The first 200 and second 300 webs are also joined together along a dividing line 270 which extends in the cross-direction (CD) from the first 201, 301 longitudinal edge to the second 202, 302 longitudinal edge of the webs 200, 300 and which is located equidistant from each crotch flap 240, 340 in the machine direction (MD). This is shown in Figure 5.

The dividing line 270 is that line which separates individual articles in the webs 200, 300.

The first and second webs 200, 300 may be joined together on both sides of the dividing line 270; alternatively, the join extends over the dividing line 270 in the machine direction

(MD). The join along the dividing line 270 ultimately provides side seams 12.

The co-joined first and second webs 200, 300 are cut along said dividing line 270 from the first 201 , 301 longitudinal edge to the second 202, 302 longitudinal edge so as to provide individual pant-type articles 100. This is illustrated in Figure 5. If the join extends over the dividing line 270, as set out above, part of the join will be located on either side of the dividing line 270, thus forming side seams 12. Alternatively, two joins are present on either side of the dividing line 270, and the webs 200, 300 are cut between these joins. The method has been illustrated and described in that articles 100 are joined to form leg seams 13 and side seams 12 first, and then separated from each other by cutting. This is the most preferred sequence, as it ensures that portions of the absorbent article 100 are joined in place before individual articles 100 are separated from each other. The risk for 5 movement or undesired displacement of portions of the absorbent article 100 is therefore reduced. That said, it falls within the scope of the invention that all steps which take place after the step of inverting one of the webs 200, 300 so as to form leg portions 250, 260, 350, 360 can take place in any order (i.e. cutting first, then joining to form leg seams 13 and side seams 12).

10

The second method according to the invention may additionally comprise the step of fixing at least one elastic member 207, 307 adjacent at least a portion of the second longitudinal edge 201 , 301 of at least one of the first 200 and second 300 webs. Fixing elastic members 207, 307 may take place at any point during the method, but is most suitably

15 carried out before first and second webs 200, 300 are joined together. Most preferably, elastic members 207, 307 are fixed adjacent the second longitudinal edges 201 , 301 before slits 210, 220, 310, 320 are introduced into the webs 200, 300. Fixing elastic members 207, 307 is shown in Figure 5.

20 Should the pant-type article 10 be an absorbent article, the above-described method may additionally comprise the step of joining an absorbent member 15 to the first 200 and/or second 300 web on the face of said webs 200, 300 which forms the inside of the article 100. Joining the absorbent member 15 to the first and/or second webs 200, 300 occurs after the first and second webs 200, 300 have been joined together via the crotch flaps

25 240, 340. To simplify manufacture, the absorbent member 15 is suitably joined to the first and/or second webs 200, 300 before the co-joined first 200 and second 300 webs are folded in the crotch flaps 240, 340 along axis Y. This is illustrated in Figure 5.

After the absorbent member 15 has been joined to the absorbent article, a topsheet 16

30 may also be applied on the wearer-facing surface of the article 10. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another around the periphery of the absorbent member 15, so that the absorbent member 15 is enclosed within the envelope formed by the topsheet 16 and the backsheet 17. The topsheet 16 and backsheet 17 may be joined to one another by any means common in the art, e.g. ultrasonic welding, thermal welding

35 or gluing. The topsheet 16 may also be wrapped about the absorbent member 15, as a so-called "core packet", and the entire core packet applied to the chassis material 11 in one step.

The methods according to the invention allow fast, cheap production of boxer-short articles in a side-by-side manner. Additionally, in that the webs 200, 300 or panels 20, 30 which constitute the articles may be different, the articles can be varied in a large number of ways.

Elasticity Test

The method measures how an elastic material behaves at cycles of repeated load and unload. The sample is stretched to a predetermined elongation and a cyclic movement between 0 and said predetermined elongation is performed. Desired load and unload forces are recorded. The permanent, i.e. remaining, elongation of the relaxed material is measured.

A tensile tester, Lloyd LRS, able to perform cyclic movements and equipped with a printer/plotter or software presentation is used. The sample is prepared by cutting it to a width of 25mm and a length that is preferably 20mm longer than the distance between the clamps in the tensile tester.

The tensile tester is calibrated according to the apparatus instructions. The parameters needed for the test (unload and load forces) are adjusted to: • Crosshead speed: 500mm/min

• Clamp distance: 50mm

• Preload: 0.05N

The sample is placed in the clamps according to the marks and it is ensured that the sample is centred and fastened perpendicularly in the clamps. The tensile tester is started and three cycles between 0 and the predetermined elongation equal to the highest defined 1 st load are performed. After the last cycle, the sample is relaxed for 1 minute, then the permanent elongation is measured by stretching the sample until a force of 0.1 N is detected and the elongation is read. An elastic material is defined as a material having a permanent elongation after relaxation of less than 10% after the material has been subjected to an elongation of 30% in the test above. An elongation of 30% means an elongation to a length that is 30% longer than the initial length of the sample.

While the invention has been described with reference to a number of embodiments and Figures, it should not be considered as limited thereto. Rather, embodiments and features can be varied and combined at will by the skilled person, within the scope of the enclosed claims.