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Title:
BREAST SUPPORTING GARMENT AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/202601
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A breast supporting garment and a method for producing it, the garment having at least one layer made of a fabric comprises a breast receiving portion bounded by a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion. The frame portion comprises a fabric reinforcing element in the form of a coating made of a material having, when in a liquid state during a coating process, a viscosity which is high enough for the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric, to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to have the capability to penetrate the fabric to a part of the thickness of the fabric, at least in a portion of the area. The material, when solidified, has a lower elasticity than that of the fabric.

Inventors:
RABINOWICZ, Sigi Albert Leon (49 Hagiva Street, 49 Savion, 5650049, IL)
AZULAY, Meir Shem-Tov (10 Moshav Mishmar Hayarden, 1232000, IL)
VAKRAT, Mordechay (6 Sachlav Street, 00 Neve Ziv, 2512300, IL)
Application Number:
IL2019/050446
Publication Date:
October 24, 2019
Filing Date:
April 17, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TEFRON LTD. (Ind. Center Misgav, P.O.Box 1365, 00 Misgav, 2017900, IL)
International Classes:
A41C5/00; A41C3/12
Domestic Patent References:
WO2011105635A12011-09-01
Foreign References:
US20170079335A12017-03-23
KR20070113394A2007-11-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PUGATSCH, Ena (Reinhold Cohn And Partners, P.O. Box, 61131 Tel Aviv, 61131, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A breast supporting garment having at least one layer made of a fabric and comprising a breast receiving portion bounded by a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion; the frame portion comprising a fabric reinforcing element in the form of a coating made of a material having, when in a liquid state during a coating process, a viscosity which is high enough for the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric, to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to have the capability to penetrate the fabric to a part of the thickness of the fabric, at least in a portion of said area, the material, when solidified, having a lower elasticity than that of the fabric.

2. A breast supporting garment according to Claim 1, wherein the reinforcing element has an outer edge, an inner edge, and a varying width defined by a distance between said outer edge and said inner edge.

3. A breast supporting garment according to Claim 1 or 2, constituting a bra in which the breast receiving portion includes two cup portions terminating at arcuate boundaries each having a lowermost boundary area, a median boundary section and a lateral boundary section, both sections extending from the lowermost boundary area in different directions, the median boundary sections of the two cups defining therebetween a central gore, and wherein said fabric reinforcing element has a reinforcing element body with two arcuate inner edges spaced from each other by a central body area, said element being attached to said layer so that its arcuate inner edges define said arcuate boundaries of the cup portions and said central body area said central gore.

4. A breast supporting garment according to Claim 3, wherein the reinforcing element has an outer edge and a varying width defined by a distance between said outer edge and the arcuate inner edges.

5. A breast supporting garment according to any one of Claims 1 to 4, wherein said material and its connection to the fabric are such as to allow the garment to undergo elastic deformation when twisting forces are applied thereto.

6. A method of producing a fabric reinforcing element in a breast supporting garment having at least one layer made of a fabric and comprising a breast receiving portion, said element constituting at least a part of a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion; the method comprising:

providing a material having, when in a liquid state, a viscosity, which is high enough for the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to penetrate the fabric to a part of the thickness of the fabric, and when solidified, having a lower elasticity than that of the fabric;

applying said material, when in at least one of a liquid state and a semi-liquid state, as a coating to said area of the fabric under conditions allowing penetration of the material into the fabric to a part of the thickness of the fabric; and

allowing said material to solidify into a solidified coating.

7. The method according to Claim 6, wherein the step of applying said material is performed by transferring the material through a screen onto said fabric in a manner of screen printing.

8. The method according to Claim 6 or 7, wherein the step of applying is repeated such that said solidified coating is comprised of multiple layers of the material.

9. The method according to Claim 6, wherein the step of applying said material comprises the steps of:

providing a mold having a cavity having a shape corresponding to a shape of said element;

pouring said material into said cavity of said mold;

placing said layer over said mold so as to cover a top of said cavity;

inverting the mold such that a bottom of said cavity is uppermost, and the layer lies beneath the mold;

creating conditions at said bottom of said cavity so that the material at the bottom of the cavity begins to solidify; and

applying a vacuum force under said layer so as to draw the material into the layer to a part of the thickness of the layer; and

removing the mold.

10. The method according to any one of Claims 6 to 9, wherein the step of allowing comprises exposing said material to heat.

11. The method according to any one of Claims 6 to 10, wherein said breast supporting garment is a breast supporting garment according to any one of Claims 1 to 5.

Description:
BREAST SUPPORTING GARMENT AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING

SAME

TECHNOLOGICAL FIELD

The presently disclosed subject matter relates to breast supporting garments, such as bras or camisoles, having reinforcing elements made of a different material from the fabric of which the garment is made . BACKGROUND

Examples of breast supporting garments of the kind to which the presently disclosed subject matter refers include bras having underwires disposed under the bra cups. Typically, during manufacture of a bra having an underwire, the underwire is inserted into a sleeve which is sewn into the bra. The sleeve containing the underwire is sewn shut so that the underwire cannot slide out of the sleeve. The underwire reinforces the bra and functions as a frame for the bra cups, so that the bra cups can provide shaping and support for the breasts received in the bra cups.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION

According to one aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a breast supporting garment having at least one layer made of a fabric and comprising a breast receiving portion bounded by a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion; the frame portion comprising a fabric reinforcing element in the form of a coating made of a material having, when in a liquid or semi-liquid state during a coating process, a viscosity which is high enough for the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric, to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to have the capability to penetrate the fabric to only a part of the thickness of the fabric, at least in a portion of said area, the material, when solidified, having a lower elasticity than that of the fabric. In the present description and claims, the term 'fabric' should be understood to mean 'textile material produced by weaving or knitting textile fibers and having voids therebetween'.

With the fabric layer having two sides and the reinforcing element being formed on one of these sides from the material as defined above, on the one hand, the reinforcing element can be produced without using a mold for keeping the material from which the reinforcing element is formed, contained within the desired area of the fabric when the material is applied to the fabric, and on the other hand its firm attachment to the fabric and corresponding reduced elasticity of the fabric needed to obtain the reinforcement effect, are achieved without the material having penetrated too deeply into the fabric, thus allowing the fabric to keep its original properties (other than the elasticity reduced by the reinforcement element) at its side opposite to that bearing the reinforcing element.

The above reinforcing element as seen in a plan view thereof can have an outer edge, an inner edge, and a varying width defined by a distance between the outer edge and the inner edge.

The breast supporting garment can constitute a bra, in which the breast receiving portion includes two cup portions terminating at arcuate boundaries each having a lowermost boundary area, a median boundary section and a lateral boundary section, both sections extending from the lowermost boundary area in different directions, the median boundary sections of the two cups defining therebetween a central gore, and wherein said fabric reinforcing element has a reinforcing element body with two arcuate inner edges spaced from each other by a central body area, the element being attached to the layer so that its arcuate inner edges define the arcuate boundaries of the cup portions and the central body area defines the central gore. In this case, the reinforcing element body can have a varying width, which at the central body area is defined by a distance between the inner edges and at the remainder of the body is defined by a distance between its outer edge and the arcuate inner edges.

The material from which the reinforcing element is made and its connection to the fabric can be such as to allow the garment to undergo elastic deformation when twisting forces are applied thereto.

In accordance with another aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter, there is provided a method of producing a fabric reinforcing element in a breast supporting garment having at least one layer made of a fabric and comprising a breast receiving portion, the element constituting at least a part of a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion. The breast supporting garment can be of the kind described above with respect to the previous aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter.

The method of producing a fabric reinforcing element on the fabric layer in accordance with this aspect of the presently disclosed subject matter comprises:

- providing a material having, when in a liquid state, a viscosity, which is high enough for the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to penetrate the fabric to only a part of the thickness of the fabric, and when solidified, having a lower elasticity than that of the fabric;

- applying the material, when in at least one of a liquid state and a semi-liquid state, as a coating to the area of the fabric under conditions allowing penetration of the material into the fabric to only a part of the thickness of the fabric; and

- allowing the material to solidify into a solidified coating.

The step of applying the material as a coating to the area of the fabric can be performed by transferring the material through a screen onto the fabric in a manner of screen printing.

The step of applying the material as a coating to the area of the fabric can be repeated such that the final, solidified coating is comprised of multiple layers of the material.

Alternatively, the step of applying the material as a coating to the fabric can comprise the steps of:

- providing a mold having a cavity having a shape corresponding to a shape of the element;

- pouring the material into the cavity of the mold;

- placing the fabric layer over the mold so as to cover a top of the cavity;

- inverting the mold such that a bottom of the cavity is uppermost, and the layer lies beneath the mold;

- creating conditions at the bottom of the cavity so that the material at the bottom of the cavity begins to solidify; and - applying a vacuum force under the layer so as to draw the material into the layer to a part of the thickness of the layer; and

- removing the mold.

In any of the above cases, the step of allowing the material to solidify into a solidified coating can comprise exposing the material to heat.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In order to better understand the subject matter that is disclosed herein and to exemplify how it may be carried out in practice, embodiments will now be described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic illustration of a breast receiving portion of a breast supporting garment having a fabric reinforcing element, in accordance with one example of the presently disclosed subject matter;

Fig. 2 is a schematic exploded view of the breast receiving portion shown in

Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a schematic illustration of a breast supporting garment having a fabric reinforcing element, in accordance with another example of the presently disclosed subject matter;

Fig. 4 is a schematic illustration of a breast supporting garment having a fabric reinforcing element, in accordance with yet another example of the presently disclosed subject matter;

Figs. 5A - 5F are schematic plan views of fabric reinforcing elements in accordance with additional examples of the presently disclosed subject matter;

Fig. 6 is a flow diagram illustrating one example of a method, by which a fabric reinforcing element according to the presently disclosed subject matter can be produced;

Fig. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating one example of a method for performing one step of the method illustrated in Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a schematic illustration of a mold for use in performing the method step of Fig. 7; Fig. 9 is a schematic illustration of an enlarged cross-sectional view of a breast receiving portion of the kind shown in Fig. 1 , taken along a plane A-A, according to an embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter; and

Fig. 10 is a schematic illustration of a screen for use in performing the method step of Fig. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Fig. 1, reference to which is first made, shows generally a breast receiving portion 20 of a breast supporting garment according to one embodiment of the presently disclosed subject matter. The breast receiving portion 20 has at least one layer 12 made of a fabric and the breast receiving portion 20 is bounded by a frame portion 24 disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion 20. The frame portion 24 comprises a fabric reinforcing element 44 in the form of a coating on the fabric. When worn by a wearer, the wearer’s breasts are received in the breast receiving portion 20, and the frame portion 24 is disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion 20. The frame portion has a top edge 28 and a bottom edge 26, the top edge 28 at least partially bounding the breast receiving portion 20.

In Fig. 2, a portion 14 of the layer 12 of fabric and the fabric reinforcing element 44 are shown schematically separately from each other, in the manner typical of an exploded view, in order that the the fabric reinforcing element 44 and the frame portion 24 can be described in a more clear manner, and so as to illustrate that the fabric reinforcing element 44 is in the form of a coating on the layer 12 of fabric. As further shown in Fig. 2, the fabric reinforcing element 44 has a reinforcing element body 60 with an outer edge 46 and an inner edge 48, between which a width of the fabric reinforcing element 44 varies, as illustrated by the exemplary varying widths Wl, W2 and W3.

It will be appreciated that the layer 12 of fabric, or a portion of it, such as for example, the portion 14, shown in Fig. 2, can be produced as a part of a unitary body of the garment or can be sewn or otherwise incorporated in the garment, e.g. in the form of a lining layer of fabric.

As shown in Fig. 2, the reinforcing element body 60 of the fabric reinforcing element 44 has, in addition to the outer edge 46 and the inner edge 48, a central body area 64 defined between two arcuate inner edge portions 62 of the inner edge 48 of the element 44, which merge with a central inner edge 65. The reinforcing element 44 is attached to the portion 14 of the layer 12 of fabric such that its inner edge 48 defines the top edge 28 of the frame portion 24, its outer edge 46 defines the bottom edge 26 of the frame portion 24, and the central body area 64 defines a central gore 50 of the frame portion.

The breast receiving portion 20 with the fabric reinforcing element 44 as shown in Figs. 1 and 2 or having any other shape, can constitute a part of any breast supporting garment and examples of such garments are presented below.

Fig. 3, reference to which is now made, shows a breast supporting garment in the form of a camisole 10 having in addition to the breast receiving portion 20, a garment body 30 with a neckline 36 at a top portion of the camisole, and two shoulder straps 32.

Fig. 4, reference to which is now made, shows another example of a breast supporting garment in accordance with the presently disclosed subject matter. The type of breast supporting garment shown in Fig. 4 is a bra 100, which is shown there without straps for the sake of simplicity of illustration, although the bra 100 does not have to be a strapless type bra.

The breast receiving portion 20 of the bra 100 shown in Fig. 4 includes two cup portions 22, which terminate at arcuate boundaries 52. Each arcuate boundary 52 has a lowermost boundary area 54, a median boundary section 56 and a lateral boundary section 58. Both sections 56 and 58 extend from the lowermost boundary area 54 in different directions, and the median boundary sections 56 of the two cups 22 define a central gore 50 between them.

The bra 100 has a fabric reinforcing element 44 as described previously with respect to Figs. 1 and 2, and it is attached to the layer 12 of fabric of the bra 100 such that its arcuate inner edges 62 define the arcuate boundaries 52 of the cup portions 22, and the central body area 64 defines the central gore 50.

As stated previously, the reinforcing element 44 has a width defined by a distance between the outer edge 46 and the inner edge 48, and it is configured such that, in use of the breast supporting garment having such reinforcing element, the inner edge 48 thereof lies in part along a contour line, along which the breasts of the wearer, which are received in the breast receiving portion 20, protrude from the body of the wearer, and the outer edge 46 of the reinforcing element 44 is spaced downwardly from the inner edge 48 by the width thereof, such that the reinforcing element 44 frames the breasts, at least underneath them, and as such is positioned to serve as a structural frame for support of the breast receiving portion 20, thereby contributing to providing optimal breast support.

It will be appreciated that a breast supporting garment can be designed in a variety of configurations such that the breast receiving portion 20 provides cradling support and lifting of the breasts, or of each breast individually, while relying on the structural frame provided by the reinforcing element 44 for structural support, in accordance with the style and requirements of the breast supporting garment, for example, with respect to a desired level of support or aesthetic considerations regarding lifting and / or separation of the breasts. The reinforcing element 44 can also have a particular shape coordinated with the above mentioned considerations.

Figs. 5A - 5F, reference to which is now made, show additional examples of the reinforcing element 44, each of which have a particular shape. The shapes of the reinforcing elements 44 in Figs. 5A - 5F are shown against the background of the familiar shape of the reinforcing element 44 shown in Figs. 1 - 4, which is indicated by a dotted line, in order that the differences between the shapes can be most readily appreciated. A length L of the familiar shape of the reinforcing element 44 shown in Figs. 1 - 4 is also indicated in Figs. 5A -5F for reference, as well as a central axis O about which the familiar shape of the reinforcing element 44 shown in Figs. 1 - 4 can be seen to be symmetrical.

Fig. 5A shows a reinforcing element 44S having an arcuate shape like the contour line underneath a breast along which it protrudes from the body, and having a length LS of 0.5L. It will be appreciated that two of the reinforcing elements 44S having this shape can be used in a breast supporting garment so as to provide a framing element for two breasts received in the breast receiving portion 20 of the breast supporting garment.

Fig. 5B shows a reinforcing element 44T having a length of L, and a shape combining, into one shape, two of the shape of the reinforcing element 44S shown in Fig. 5A.

Fig. 5C shows a reinforcing element 44Q having a length of L, and an inner edge which does not comprise arcuate inner edges and a central area which does not define a central gore, which can be used in a breast supporting garment not having two defined cups in its breast receiving portion.

Fig. 5D shows a reinforcing element 44W having a length of L, and extended lateral sections 82 to frame the breasts received in the breast receiving portion 20 along their lateral sides, which can be used with any of the shapes of the reinforcing elements described above. This additional lateral framing of the breasts may be desirable in breast supporting garments designed for use during intense physical activities during which the breasts are subjected to intense forces acting in various directions, since the additional framing provides an extended structural frame against which the breasts can be restrained by the breast receiving portion 20.

The extended lateral sections 82 of the reinforcing element 44W can be considered to extend a height H E above a height Hw, as shown in Fig. 5D, which latter height can be defined as the height, above which a conventional rigid framing element, such as an underwire, would be likely to cause discomfort to the wearer of a breast supporting garment comprising such rigid framing element.

Fig. 5E shows a reinforcing element 44U having a shape only of a central gore between two bra cups and a length LG.

Fig. 5F shows a reinforcing element 44K having wing extensions 88, which extend the length of the reinforcing element shown previously in Figs. 1 - 4, and Figs. 5B, 5C and 5D. As shown in Fig. 5F, each wing extension 88 adds an additional length of LE to the length L of the familiar reinforcing element, such that the total length TL of the reinforcing element 44K is equal to L +2LE.

It will be appreciated that all of the lengths L, LS, LG, LE and TL of the reinforcing elements 44 described hereinabove in Figs. 1 - 5F, all lie along the torso- encircling dimension of a breast supporting garment of which the reinforcing element 44 forms a part, and that this torso-encircling dimension is a known value in the breast supporting garment industry, corresponding to the band size of a breast supporting garment. In accordance with the presently disclosed subject matter, the length L and the length TL can be, respectively, at least 40% and up to 100% of the length corresponding to the band size of a breast supporting garment.

It will be appreciated that a reinforcing element 44 can be a combination of any of the shapes described in Figs. 5A - 5F above or other suitable shapes which can be combined to form a shape which can serve as a framing element for a breast supporting garment in accordance with the presently disclosed subject matter.

The material of the reinforcing element 44 shown in any of Figs. 1 to 5F has an elasticity that is essentially lower than that of the fabric of the breast supporting garment of which it forms a part, but it is sufficiently high to allow the breast supporting garment to undergo elastic deformation when stretching forces and/or twisting forces associated with normal use of the garment, are applied thereto. The material can be any suitable material or combination of materials having the above qualities, e.g. a material, which comprises a silicone substance and optionally a ceramic substance.

It will be appreciated that while the reinforcing elements 44 shown in Figs. 1 - 4, and 5B - 5F are apparently of a symmetrical shape relative to the central axis O in Figs. 5B - 5F, as mentioned previously, an alternative example of a reinforcing element 44 can be asymmetrical with respect to its length or symmetrical with respect to an axis aligned along a dimension of its geometry other than its length.

As explained above, it will be appreciated that the reinforcing element 44 can be used in place of an underwire or any rigid or semi-rigid framing element used in conventional breast supporting garments, to frame the breasts so as to provide a structural frame for support of the breast receiving portion, which has a measure of rigidity necessary for functioning as a structural element, yet which is elastic.

In all the examples described above, the reinforcing element can be in the form of a coating made of a material which, when it solidifies, has the elasticity and supporting ability as described above, and when in a liquid state during a coating process, has a viscosity which is high enough to allow the material to stay contained within an area of the fabric to which the material is applied, and low enough for the material to be able to penetrate into voids within the fabric adjacent the side to which the material is applied. Due to the viscosity of the material as defined above, it can penetrate into the fabric only to a part of the thickness of the fabric, i.e. only to an extent sufficient to firmly attach the reinforcing element to the fabric, at least in a portion of the area to which it is applied, as schematically illustrated in Fig.9, reference to which is now made.

The reinforcing element 44 and the layer 12 of fabric, to which it is attached, are shown in Fig. 9 as having respective thicknesses TM and TF, with a depth of the material penetrating the layer 12 of fabric being designated as XM, and it being substantially smaller than T F , e.g. being in the range between 0.2T F and 0.8T F , more particularly, between 0.3TF and 0.7TF.

In any of the above examples, the fabric layer with the reinforcing element can constitute a single layer of a breast supporting garment it is used in, or the garment can comprise an additional fabric layer attached by any suitable means, e.g., by an adhesive, to the fabric layer at its side bearing the reinforcing element.

The presently disclosed subject matter further includes a method of producing a fabric reinforcing element in a breast supporting garment having at least one layer made of a fabric and comprising a breast receiving portion, the element constituting at least a part of a frame portion disposed at least partially below the breast receiving portion.

As illustrated in Fig. 6, reference to which is now made, the method comprises four main steps 610, 620, 630 and 640. In the first step of the method, step 610, a material having the above described properties is provided. In the second step, step 620, an area is identified on a fabric, from which the breast supporting garment is to be produced, which is to be coated with the above material. In the third step, step 630, the material, when in at least one of a liquid state and a semi-liquid state, is applied as a coating to the area identified in step 620, under conditions allowing penetration of the material into the fabric to only a part of the thickness of the fabric at the above area. In the fourth step, step 640, the material is allowed to solidify into a solidified coating.

The fourth step of the method described above with respect to Fig. 6, i.e., step 640, can be performed by leaving the material to solidify during a period of time sufficient to allow this solidification at room conditions. Flowever, in order to shorten the amount of time required for the solidification of the material, step 640 can comprise creating conditions for accelerating the solidification of the material, e.g., exposing the material to heat, e.g. in an oven.

The third step of the method described above with respect to Fig. 6, i.e., step 630, can be repeated such that the solidified coating is comprised of multiple layers of the material.

The third step of the method described above with respect to Fig. 6, i.e., step 630, can be performed by transferring the material through a screen onto the fabric in a manner of screen printing, the screen having openings of a size through which the material can pass. An example of such a screen, screen 910, is shown in Fig. 10, reference to which is now made. In the example shown in Fig. 10, screen 910 is attached to a frame 916 and comprises a photo-reactive stencil 920 having a shape of the reinforcing element to be screen printed on a portion of fabric. The photo-reactive stencil 920 is produced on the screen 910 to comprise an area 944 in the shape of the reinforcing element, which is devoid of a blocking material, while the area 956 which surrounds and defines the area 944 is covered with a blocking material to a depth equal to the thickness TM of the reinforcing element, as defined hereinabove. The area 956 serves as a spacer area to keeping the screen 910 separated from the fabric while the material is applied to the fabric through the unblocked area 944 to form the reinforcing element having a shape of the area 944 and a thickness TM.

The third step of the method described above with respect to Fig. 6, i.e., step 630, can be alternatively performed according to a method comprising the steps 710, 720, 730, 740, 750, 760 and 770, as illustrated in Fig. 7, reference to which is now made.

In the method illustrated in Fig. 7, in the first step, step 710, a mold 810 is provided having a cavity 812 of a shape corresponding to that of a reinforcing element to be produced. An example of such a mold, mold 810, is shown in Fig. 8, reference to which is now made.

As shown in Fig. 8, the cavity 812 has an open top 814 via which a liquid material can be poured thereto, and a bottom 816, spaced from each other by a cavity depth exceeding the thickness of the reinforcing element to be produced.

In the second step, step 720, the material is poured into the cavity 812 of the mold 810.

In the third step, step 730, the layer of fabric is placed over the mold so as to cover the top 814 of the cavity 812.

In the fourth step, step 740, the mold 810 is inverted such that the bottom 816 of cavity 812 is uppermost, and the layer of fabric lies beneath the mold 810.

In the fifth step, step 750, conditions are created at the bottom 816 of the cavity 812 for the material at the bottom 816 of the cavity 812 to begin to solidify, so as to facilitate the separation of the material from the mold 810 during the sixth step 760. In case the material is of the kind which solidifies when heated, such as those comprising silicone, heat can be applied to the mold at its surface adjacent the bottom 816 of the cavity 812, e.g. by using a hot plate. In the sixth step, step 760, a vacuum force is applied under the layer of fabric so as to pull the material out of the mold 810 and onto the layer of fabric. The application of the vacuum force can be facilitated by using a vacuum table (not shown) for inverting the mold 810 thereon (in the fourth step), step 740.

In the seventh step, step 770, the mold is removed, leaving the material applied to the layer of fabric.

Applying material to the layer of fabric in step 630 (Fig. 6) to form a coating firmly attached to the fabric can be performed in any other suitable manner in which the material is allowed to penetrate into voids in the fabric and solidify there, thus eliminating the need for an adhesive.

In any of the above examples, the method of producing the reinforcing element can constitute a part of producing a breast supporting garment, which further comprises attaching to the fabric layer at its side bearing the reinforcing element an additional fabric layer by any suitable means, e.g., by an adhesive.