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Title:
CLIP FOR A GARMENT HANGER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/066791
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A clip (121, 131) for a garment hanger (10) has opposed first and second portions (134, 136) for locating a portion of a garment (70) between the two portions. At least one of the first portion and second portion has a grip (60) for engaging the portion of the garment. The grip comprises a ramp (61) with a major surface (63) inclined at a first included angle, in a direction inwards of the clip, towards the opposed second or first portion respectively to form an opening tapering inwards of the clip, in a direction (66) of insertion of the garment into the clip, for receiving the portion of the garment.

Inventors:
Hunt, William L. (13 West Ridge, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire SL8 5BU, GB)
Application Number:
PCT/GB2004/000227
Publication Date:
August 12, 2004
Filing Date:
January 20, 2004
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BRAITRIM (UK) LTD (Braitrim House, 98 Victoria Road, London NW10 6NB, GB)
Hunt, William L. (13 West Ridge, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire SL8 5BU, GB)
International Classes:
A47G25/48; (IPC1-7): A47G25/48
Foreign References:
DE10053626A1
AU526118B2
GB2233887A
US5934525A
US5398854A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Want, Clifford J. (Harrison Goddard Foote, 40-43 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1JA, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS
1. A clip (121,131) for a garment hanger (10) for gripping a portion of a garment (70) to be supported by the garment hanger, the clip having a first portion (134) and a second portion (136) opposed to the first portion for locating the portion of the garment between the first portion and the second portion, at least one of the first portion and second portion being provided with engagement means comprising at least one insert member (60) inserted in at least one of the first portion and second portion for engaging the portion of the garment, wherein the engagement means comprises ramp means (61) having a substantially triangular transverse crosssection and a major face (63) inclined at a first included angle, in a direction inwards of the clip, towards the opposed second or first portion respectively to form an opening tapering inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion (66) of the portion of the garment, for receiving the portion of the garment.
2. A clip as claimed in claim 2, wherein at least a first end of the second portion (136) is moveable in a direction away from the first portion (134) for receiving the portion of the garment (70) through the opening between the first portion and the first end of the second portion.
3. A clip as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first portion (134) is joined to the second portion (136) by Ushaped spring means (130) for biasing a first end of the first portion towards the first end of the second portion.
4. A clip as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the at least one insert member (60) is generally Ushaped for inserting respectively in a generally U shaped cavity in the at least one of the first portion and the second portion, a base portion of the Ushaped insert member forming the ramp means.
5. A clip as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the clip is further provided with pivot means for pivotally opening and closing the clip.
6. A clip as claimed in claim 5, wherein the pivot means comprises at least one projection (1347) on at least one of the first portion (134) and second portion (136) for engaging fulcrum means on an arm (12,13) of the hanger.
7. A clip as claimed in claim 6, wherein the pivot means is arranged to engage a slotlike fulcrum means (132,133) on the arm (12,13) of the hanger.
8. A clip as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein the major surface (63) of the ramp means has a higher coefficient of friction than material of a remainder of the first portion (134) and second portion (136) for engaging the portion of the garment (70) to be suspended.
9. A clip as claimed in claims 4 or 5, wherein the at least one insert member (60) is resiliently deformable.
10. A garment hanger (10) including a clip (121,131) as claimed in any of the preceding claims.
11. Engagement means for a clip (121,131) having a first portion (134) and a second portion (136) opposed to the first portion for engaging a portion of a garment (70) therebetween for suspension of the garment from a garment hanger (10), the engagement means comprising at least one insert member (60) inserted in at least one of the first portion and second portion wherein the engagement means comprises ramp means (61) having a substantially triangular transverse crosssection such that in use the ramp means has a major surface (63) inclined at a first included angle, in a direction inward of the clip means, towards the opposed second or first portion respectively to form an opening tapering inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion (66) of the garment into the clip means, for receiving the portion of the garment and a minor surface, inward of the major surface (65), inclined at a second included angle greater than the first included angle.
12. Engagement means as claimed in claim 13, wherein the engagement means is at least one generally Ushaped member (60) and a base of the at least one generally Ushaped member forms the ramp means (61).
13. Engagement means as claimed in claim 14, wherein the at least one Ushaped member is insertable respectively in a cavity in at least one of the first portion and the second portion of the clip.
14. A garment hanger (10) including engagement means as claimed in any of claims 11 to 13.
Description:
CLIP FOR A GARMENT HANGER This invention relates to a clip for a garment hanger and a garment hanger including such a clip.

Clip garment hangers are well known. Typical clip garment hangers have two opposed arms with clips fixed at the ends of the arms or with clips slideable along the arms for clipping to, for example, a waistband of a garment to be hung from the hanger.

The clips are typically of two opposed portions connected together so that the clip may be opened against the force of a spring to insert, for example, the waistband and the clip is subsequently released so that the spring urges the two portions together to grip the waistband between the two portions.

The spring therefore needs to be strong enough to grip the garment but not so strong as to damage or substantially mark the garment or to prevent ready opening of the clip to insert or remove the garment.

In practice, it is found that these opposing requirements often result in the clip hanger not gripping the garment firmly enough to prevent the garment slipping out of a clip, especially when the garment in handled on the hanger in a retail establishment.

It is an object of the present invention at least to mitigate the aforesaid disadvantage of the prior art.

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a clip for a garment hanger for gripping a portion of a garment to be supported by the garment hanger, the clip having a first portion and a second portion opposed to the first portion for locating the portion of the garment between the first portion and the second portion, at least one of the first portion and second portion being provided with engagement means comprising at least one insert member inserted in at least one of the first portion and second portion for engaging the portion of the garment, wherein the engagement means comprises ramp means having a substantially triangular transverse cross-section and a major face inclined at a first included angle, in a direction inwards of the clip, towards the opposed second or first portion respectively to form an opening tapering inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion of the portion of the garment, for receiving the portion of the garment.

Preferably, at least a first end of the second portion is moveable in a direction away from the first portion for receiving the portion of the garment through the opening between the first portion and the first end of the second portion.

Conveniently, the first portion is joined to the second portion by U-shaped spring means for biasing a first end of the first portion towards the first end of the second portion.

Conveniently, the at least one insert member is generally U-shaped for inserting respectively in a generally U-shaped cavity in the at least one of the first portion and the second portion, a base portion of the U-shaped insert member forming the ramp means.

Advantageously, the clip means is further provided with pivot means for pivotally opening and closing the clip means.

Conveniently, the pivot means comprises at least one projection on at least one of the first portion and second portion for engaging fulcrum means on an arm of the hanger.

Preferably, the pivot means is arranged to engage a slot-like fulcrum means on the arm of the hanger.

Advantageously, the major surface of the ramp means has a higher coefficient of friction than material of a remainder of the first portion and second portion for engaging the portion of the garment to be suspended.

Preferably, the at least one insert member is resiliently deformable.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a garment hanger including a clip as described above.

According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided engagement means for a clip having a first portion and a second portion opposed to the first portion for engaging a portion of a garment therebetween for suspension of the garment from a garment hanger, the engagement means comprising at least one insert member inserted in at least one of the first portion and second portion wherein the engagement means comprises ramp means having a substantially triangular transverse cross-section such that in use the ramp means has a major surface inclined at a first included angle, in a direction inward of the clip means, towards the opposed second or first portion respectively to form an opening tapering inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion of the garment into the clip means, for receiving the portion of the garment and a minor surface, inward of the major surface, inclined at a second included angle greater than the first included angle.

Conveniently, the engagement means is at least one generally U-shaped member and a base of the at least one generally U-shaped member forms the ramp means.

Advantageously, the at least one U-shaped member is insertable in a cavity in at least one of the first portion and the second portion of the clip means.

According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided a garment hanger including engagement means as described above.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a front view of a clip garment hanger in accordance with an aspect of the present invention; Figure 2 is an end view of a first portion and a second portion of a clip of a garment hanger according to the prior art; Figure 3 is a partial cross-sectional view along line 3-3 of Figure 1; Figure 4 is a view of an inside face of a first portion of the clip of Figure 3; Figure 5 is a schematic end view of a prior art hanger clip under load gripping a portion of a garment ; Figure 6 is a schematic end view of a clip of a garment hanger according to the present invention under load gripping a portion of a garment; and Figures 7-10 are schematic end views of embodiments of a ramp portion of a clip of a garment hanger according to the invention.

In the drawings like reference numerals denote like parts.

A front view of a hanger 10 according to the present invention is shown in Figure 1. The hanger 10 has a body 11 and extending from the body a first elongate arm 12 and a second elongate arm 13 opposed to the first arm. A hook 14, by which the hanger may be suspended from, for example, a rail, is attached by a boss 141 to an upper face, in use, of the body 11. Attached to each of the arms 12,13 are respective clips 121,131 which are slideable along their respective arms. The extent to which the clips may slide along their respective arms is limited, in a manner to be described, by respective slots 122,132 in at least front faces of the respective arms.

In common with the prior art and as best seen in the cross-sectional view of the arm in Figure 3, the arm is generally a C-section arm having a base portion, as seen in

Figure 3, thicker than an upright portion and a top portion, so that the base section may be provided with opposed slots 132,133 on an outermost portion of the front face and rear face of the arm 13 respectively, such that the slots extend along approximately half the length of the arm, proximate to an end of the arm remote from the hook 14 and boss 141.

Referring again to Figure 1, but especially to Figures 3 and 6, each clip comprises a first portion 124,134 and an identical second portion 136. The first and second portions each have an outer substantially rectangular face, parallel, in use, to a longitudinal axis of the first arm 12 and the second arm 13, comprising an upper plane portion 1341 inclined at an obtuse angle a to a lower plane portion 1342 to form an outwardly dished face 1341,1342. As shown in Figure 1, the upper plane portion 1341 is provided on an outer surface with a peripheral upper lip 1343 to form an indentation 1344 for a finger of a user.

Referring to Figure 4, the first portion 134 is provided on an inner surface with a peripheral wall comprising an upper wall 1349, opposed side walls 1345 having top surfaces of upper and lower sections of the walls inclined at an obtuse angle ß to each other (see Figure 6) so that a height of the side walls tapers substantially to a thickness of the outer face at a top edge of the clip and a bottom wall 1346, lower than the side walls 1345, at a lower edge of the clip opposed to the top edge to form a dished cavity within the peripheral wall 1349,1345, 1346. The dished cavity is divided by a lower transverse dividing wall 1348 into an upper cavity 135 and a lower cavity 136. The lower transverse wall 1348 is of substantially a same height as a height of the side walls 1345 at points of intersection of the lower transverse wall 1348 and the side walls 1345.

The upper cavity 135 is divided substantially coincident with a junction of the upper plane portion 1341 and lower plane portion 1342 by an upper transverse dividing wall 1347 which protrudes above the height of the side walls 1345. The upper cavity 135 is further divided by two spaced apart, parallel, upper cavity longitudinal walls 1351 to form therebetween a spring chamber 1352 longitudinally central of the upper cavity and having a transverse width substantially half that of the dished cavity. The spring chamber 1352 is provided, at a position between the upper transverse wall 1347 and the lower transverse wall 1348, with a bridge 1353 which protrudes above the height of the side walls 1345. The spring chamber 1352 is further provided between the upper transverse wall 1347 and the bridge 1353 with a bridging plate 1354 joining the upper transverse wall 1347 and the bridging wall 1353 and joining top surfaces of the upper

cavity longitudinal walls 1351 between the upper transverse wall 1347 and the bridge 1353.

The lower cavity 136 is also divided along a portion of its length closest to the lower transverse dividing wall 1348 by two lower cavity longitudinal parallel walls 1361, marginally further spaced apart than the upper cavity longitudinal walls 1351.

Lower ends of the lower cavity longitudinal walls are joined proximate a lower edge of the clip by a transverse terminal wall 1362. The lower cavity longitudinal walls 1361 and the transverse terminal wall 1362 thereby form a generally U-shaped insert cavity 1363 having legs of the U-shaped cavity between an outer surface of the respective lower cavity longitudinal wall 1361 and an inner surface of a portion of the side walls 1345 and a base of the U-shaped cavity between the transverse terminal wall 1362 and the bottom wall 1346.

The clip thus far described is not distinguished from clips of the prior art. The invention lies in the profile of a generally U-shaped gripping member or insert locatable in the insert cavity 1363.

As shown in the side view of Figure 5, in the prior art a U-shaped insert 50 has legs 54 which protrude beyond a height of the side walls 1345 and a portion 51 forming a base of the U-shaped insert 50 for fitting between the terminal wall 1362 and lower peripheral wall 1346 which is a ramp with a rounded apex 52 having a major inclined face 53 which tapers inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion of a garment thereby producing an opening between lower edges of the first and second portions which tapers outwards of the clip, in a direction of removal of a garment from the clip.

As shown in Figures 4 and 6, the U-shaped insert 60 of the present invention also has legs 64 which protrude beyond a height of the side walls 1345 but has a portion 61 forming a base of the U-shaped insert 60 for fitting between the terminal wall 1362 and lower peripheral wall 1346 which is a ramp with a rounded apex 62 having a major inclined face 63 which tapers outward of the clip and a minor inclined face which tapers inward of the clip. The inclined faces 63 of the first and second portions thereby produce an opening which tapers inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion of a garment into the clip.

As shown in Figure 3, in use the first portion 134 of the clip 131 is joined to the second portion 136 of the clip by an inverted U-shaped spring 130. Portions of opposed legs of the U-shaped spring are received in the spring chambers 1352 of the first portion and second portion respectively and a base of the inverted U-shaped spring is located

above, as shown in Figure 3, the arm 13. Projecting portions of the upper transverse wall 1347 of the first and second portions of the clip are received in the slots 132,133 in the front and rear faces of the arm 13 respectively. The clip may then be slid along the arm within the limitation of the length of the slots 132,133. A second clip is similarly attached to the first arm 12. The U-shaped spring urges together the lower ends of the first and second portions of the clip 131, pivoting the first and second portions about the protruding portions of the upper transverse walls 1347 in the slots 132,133, urging the apexes 62 of the U-shaped inserts towards each other.

Figures 7 to 10 show schematically side views of examples of embodiments of the ramp portion 61 of clip hangers according to the invention. In each of these embodiments a major face or plane 63 of the ramp portion 61 is inclined at an acute internal angle b to the first portion 134 such that, moving inwards of the clip in the direction of arrow 66, the major plane 63 is inclined towards the second portion 136. In this manner an opening of the clip tapers inwards of the clip in the direction of arrow 66, that is the gap narrows inwards of the clip, in a direction of insertion of a garment into the clip.

A minor face 65 of the ramp portion is inclined at a greater internal acute angle b than the angle of inclination a of the major face 63 to the first portion 134. For the purposes of illustration, the major face is shown inclined at the same angle b to the first portion in each of the embodiments. However, Figure 7 illustrates an embodiment in which the minor face is inclined at an acute angle a to the first portion 134, Figure 8 illustrates an embodiment in which the minor face is inclined at substantially a right angle a to the first portion 134 and Figure 9 illustrates an embodiment in which the minor face is inclined at an internal obtuse angle a to the first portion 134, thereby forming a inward pointing barb. In Figures 7 to 9, the rear portion 136 is provided with a ramp portion having a cross-section which is a mirror image of the ramp portion of the first portion to form a symmetrical opening. In Figure 10 there is illustrated an embodiment in which the first portion is provided with a ramp portion identical to that of the embodiment illustrated in Figure 7, but the second portion is provided with an insert member having a rectangular cross-section 66 such that the opening tapers inward of the clip only from the first portion. In each of these illustrations the apex 62 is shown as pointed for clarity of illustration, whereas, to avoid damage to a garment, in practice the apex is preferably rounded.

The U-shaped insert 60 is preferably of high friction or non-slip material and is also preferably resiliently deformable. That is, the insert has a higher coefficient of friction than the first and second portions, to improve grip on a garment engaged by the insert.

The U-shaped insert 60 may be provided with a lip for at least partially covering a top surface of at least one of the end wall 1346 and portions of the side walls 1345 of the peripheral wall.

A peg, not shown, may be provided passing through a centre of the ramp perpendicular to the plane of the lower plane portion 1342 to emerge at the apex, such that when an empty clip is closed, ends of opposing pegs are in contact, rather than the apexes, to prevent the apexes adhering to each other.

In use the clips are opened one at a time by squeezing together upper ends of the clips, preferably using finger pressure on the indentations 1344, against the bias of the spring 130. A portion of a garment, for example a portion of a waistband, is inserted into the lower end of the clip and the upper end of the clip is released so that the portion of the garment is gripped between the U-shaped inserts 60.

As shown in Figure 3, a portion of the garment 70 may be gripped by the leg portions 64 of the U-shaped inserts 60 and the base or ramp portions 61 of the U- shaped inserts 60 grip, and may indent, portions of the garment 70.

It will be understood that where, for example, portions of a waistband are inserted in the clips, the waistband may be of a different thickness and/or less compressibility than other portions of the garment, so that the ramp portion may grip the garment below such a stepwise inhomogeneity in the garment, thereby gripping the garment more securely.

It is found that the clip of the invention holds garments more securely than clips of the same dimensions of the prior art, that is a greater force is required to pull a garment from the clips without the clips being first opened.

This improved performance may be for one or more of the following reasons.

The apexes 62 in the present invention are closer to the pivots 1347 than the apexes 52 in the prior art. The same moment generated by the spring 130 about the pivot therefore generates a greater force, at the apex 62 than at the prior art apex 51, resulting in a greater gripping force normal to a garment surface causing slightly greater indentation of the garment surface and a greater friction force parallel to the garment

surface. Since in an example the change of distance was only some 8%, this factor would not be expected to account for more than some 8% increase in the force resisted by the clips.

Where the inner surfaces of the lower portion 1342 of the clip taper inwards of the hanger with a garment 70 inserted, then this relocation of the apex of the ramp towards the pivot will also hold the clip further open against the bias of the spring, so that the closing force exerted by the spring on the first and second portions of the clip will also be greater.

It will be understood that similar effects could be achieved merely by shortening the lower portion of the prior art hanger clip without changing the shape of the insert, while retaining the same opening force at the finger indentations 1344.

A further effect to account for the improved performance may be that the "reversed"ramp of the invention acts as a barb to resist a force pulling a garment from the clip. This effect may operate in one or more ways.

As a garment is pulled from a hanger of the prior art, the surface of the garment may act as a cam on the cam surface of the gently inclined upper major face 53 of the ramp 51, pushing the clip open. In other words, the opposed inclined faces of the first and second portions of the clip may act as a funnel through which the waistband, for example, of the pulled garment is channelled. The steeply inclined upper minor face 65 of the"reversed"ramp 61 of the present invention acts as a considerably less efficient cam, so that a much greater force is required to force the clip open by pulling on a garment gripped by the clip. This is likely to result in bunching of the waistband inside the clip, further resisting the garment being pulled from the hanger.

In addition, or instead, where the insert is of resilient material the barb may act to resist pulling a garment from the clip in a further manner. As shown in Figure 5, in the prior art the load of the garment, whether merely supported by, or pulled from the hanger, may tend to distort the ramp as shown in Figure 5 by broken lines. That is, the load may tend to move the apex 52 outward of the clip, pushing the opposed apexes apart. However, as shown in Figure 6, in the"reversed"ramp 61 of the present invention movement of the apex 62 under load away from the pivot is likely to distort the ramp 61 in a manner which moves the opposed apexes 62 together rather than apart, thereby gripping the garment more tightly.

However, it will be understood that the clip is preferably designed eventually to release a garment pulled with increasing force before the opposed pulling and retaining forces are sufficient to damage the garment.

Although the invention has been described in relation to a garment hanger having two clips it will be understood that the invention has applicability to, for example, garment hangers having a single clip, and to clips other than those used for garment hangers.