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Title:
RESISTANCE GARMENTS HAVING INTEGRAL SEAMLESS RESISTIVE ZONES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/205887
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Garment, and method for forming a garment, comprising a fabric configured to conform to a body portion of a wearer, wherein resistive zones are seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric, and wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric to resist movement of the body portion of the wearer.

Inventors:
COLLINS, Paul Karl (75 Pigdons Road, Waurn PondsMelbourne, Victoria 3216, 3216, AU)
HARB, Charlie (157 Boundary Road, Cranebrook, New South Wales 2749, 2749, AU)
MIKELSONS, Brett (95 Creamery Road, BatesfordMelbourne, Victoria 3213, 3213, AU)
Application Number:
AU2016/050536
Publication Date:
December 29, 2016
Filing Date:
June 24, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
6 O'CLOCK ENTERPRISES PTY LTD (95 Creamery Road, BatesfordMelbourne, Victoria 3213, 3213, AU)
International Classes:
A41D13/00; A41D13/05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WULFF, Steven (K&L Gates, 525 Collins StreetMelbourne, Victoria 3000, 3000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1 . A garment, comprising a fabric configured to conform to a body portion of a wearer, wherein resistive zones are seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric, and wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric to resist movement of the body portion of the wearer.

2. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the fabric is a knitted fabric or a woven fabric.

3. The garment of claim 2, wherein the fabric is a three-dimensional (3D) knitted fabric.

4. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the resistive zones are resistive bands.

5. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the fabric and the resistive zones are formed using a circular knitting machine.

6. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric using virtual prototyping of a virtual model of the garment on a virtual model of the body portion.

7. The garment of claim 6, wherein the virtual prototyping comprises finite element analysis (FEA) of the virtual garment model on the virtual model of the body portion.

8. The garment of claim 2, wherein the resistive zones are seamlessly formed by varying knitting or weaving patterns of the fabric, varying composition of the fabric, or a combination thereof.

9. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the garment comprises an arm sleeve, a leg sleeve, a body sleeve, a pair of pants, a top, and combinations thereof. 10. The garment of claim 9, wherein the garment comprises a resistance suit comprising the pair of pants and the top.

1 1 . The garment of claim 9, wherein the pair of pants comprises a waist and a pair of legs respectively terminating below leg calves of the wearer.

12. The garment of claim 1 1 , wherein the resistive zones are positioned to extend downwardly from the waist to rearwardly encircle and anchor under and to muscles of the leg calves of the wearer, and to forwardly encircle and anchor under and to the wearer's knee.

13. The garment of claim 1 1 , wherein the resistive zones are positioned to provide resistance to muscles of the wearer between the waist and the leg calves as the body moves, the muscles comprising gluteus maximus, upper leg muscles, lower leg muscles, and combinations thereof.

14. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the resistive zones are positioned to resist biomechanical movement of the body portion, limit range of motion of the body portion, or a combination thereof.

15. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the fabric comprises synthetic fibres, natural fibres, or a combination or blend thereof.

16. The garment of claim 15, wherein the fabric comprises polyamide and elastane.

17. The garment of claim 1 , wherein the garment is configured as a sportswear garment, an exercise garment, a running garment, a yoga garment, a rehabilitation garment, a cross fit garment, a veterinary garment, and combinations thereof.

18. The garment of claim 17, comprising a rehabilitation garment, wherein the resistive zones are positioned to mimic targeted resistance provided by TheraBand therapy, sports taping, or a combination thereof. 19. A method, comprising:

seamlessly and integrally forming resistive zones in fabric of a garment that is conformable to a body portion of a wearer, wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric to resist movement of the body portion.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the resistive zones are seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric by 3D knitting.

Description:
RESISTANCE GARMENTS HAVING INTEGRAL SEAMLESS RESISTIVE ZONES

Field

[0001 ] The present invention relates to resistance garments having integral seamless resistive zones.

Background

[0002] Resistance garments, such as resistance suits for resistance training in sports, conventionally comprise resistive bands secured to fabric. The resistive bands are positioned to resist expansion and contraction of muscles of the wearer as the body moves. The fabric typically comprises elastic resilient material so that the resistance garment also provides some compression in addition to resistance.

[0003] Conventional resistance garments have various disadvantages. They typically have seams and channels with bulky elastic bands that do not fit precisely or conform smoothly to the body, but instead tend to pucker up and chafe against the skin as the body portion moves. The seams and bulky elastic bands create unsightly and uncomfortable lines in conventional resistance garments that adversely affect their fit, fashion and function.

[0004] In this context, there is a need for resistance garments having improved fit, fashion and function.

Summary

[0005] According to the present invention, there is provided a garment, comprising a fabric configured to conform to a body portion of a wearer, wherein resistive zones are seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric, and wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric to resist movement of the body portion of the wearer. [0006] The fabric may be a knitted fabric or a woven fabric. For example, the fabric may be a three-dimensional (3D) knitted fabric.

[0007] The resistive zones may be resistive bands.

[0008] The fabric and the resistive zones may be formed using a circular knitting machine.

[0009] The resistive zones may be positioned in the fabric using virtual prototyping of a virtual model of the garment on a virtual model of the body portion. The virtual prototyping may comprise finite element analysis (FEA) of the virtual garment model on the virtual model of the body portion. The virtual model of the body portion may comprise a meshed, 3D model of the body portion.

[0010] The resistive zones may be seamlessly formed by varying knitting or weaving patterns of the fabric, varying composition of the fabric, or a combination thereof.

[001 1 ] The garment may comprise an arm sleeve, a leg sleeve, a body sleeve, a pair of pants, a top, and combinations thereof. For example, the garment may comprise a resistance suit comprising the pair of pants and the top.

[0012] The pair of pants may comprise a waist and a pair of legs respectively terminating below leg calves of the wearer.

[0013] The resistive zones may be positioned in the fabric to extend downwardly from the waist to rearwardly encircle and anchor under and to muscles of the leg calves of the wearer. The resistive zones may forwardly encircle and anchor under and to the wearer's knee.

[0014] The body portion may comprise arms, legs, upper torso, lower torso, and combinations thereof. The resistive zones may be positioned to provide resistance to muscles of the wearer between the waist and the leg calves as the body portion moves. For example, the muscles may comprise gluteus maximus, upper leg muscles, lower leg muscles, and combinations thereof. [0015] The resistive zones may be positioned to resist biomechanical movement of the body portion, limit range of motion of the body portion, or a combination thereof.

[0016] The fabric may comprise synthetic fibres, natural fibres, or a combination or blend thereof. For example, the seamless fabric may comprise polyamide and elastane.

[0017] The garment may be configured as a sportswear garment, an exercise garment, a running garment, a yoga garment, a rehabilitation garment, a cross fit garment, a veterinary garment, and combinations thereof. For example, the garment may be a rehabilitation garment, wherein the resistive zones are positioned to mimic targeted resistance provided by TheraBand therapy, sports taping, or a combination thereof.

[0018] The present invention also provides a method, comprising:

seamlessly and integrally forming resistive zones in fabric of a garment that is conformable to a body portion of a wearer, wherein the resistive zones are positioned in the fabric to resist movement of the body portion.

[0019] The resistive zones may be seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric by 3D knitting.

Brief Description of Drawings

[0020] Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 a is a schematic diagram of a pair of resistance pants according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figures 1 b and 1 c show outside and inside leg views respectively of the resistance pants of Figure 1 a;

Figures 2 to 4 are schematic diagrams of resistance running pants, resistance yoga pants and resistance exercise pants according to embodiments of the invention; Figures 5 and 6 are screenshots of virtual FEA of resistance pants using a meshed, 3D model of the lower body;

Figure 7 is a photograph of a resistance sleeve according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 8 is a photograph of a pair of resistance pants according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figures 9a and 9b are dynamometer test results of hip peak torque and hip average power generated while wearing the resistance pants of Figure 8, compared to conventional gym shorts; and

Figures 10a and 10b are dynamometer test results of knee peak torque and knee average power generated while wearing the resistance pants of Figure 8, compared to conventional gym shorts.

Description of Embodiments

[0021 ] Figure 1 and 10 illustrate a resistance garment 10 according to embodiments of the invention. In these embodiments, the resistance garment 10 may comprise a pair of resistance pants 10 having a waist 12 and a pair of legs 14 respectively terminating below leg calves 16 of a wearer (not shown). The wearer may be a human, or an animal such as a horse, a dog, etc. The garment 10 may be formed from a fabric configured to conform to a portion of the wearer's body, such as the lower body and legs. The garment 10 may be totally seamless or have at least one seam, for example, one side seam. Resistive zones 18 may be seamlessly integrally formed in the fabric. In some embodiments, the garment 10 may be locally seamless around resistive zones 18. For example, each leg sleeve 14 of the resistance pants 10 may be seamless, even if there are seams connecting the leg sleeves to each other and/or to the waist 12 of the resistance pants 10. A seamless configuration at and around the resistive zones 18 ensures that the resistance at these regions only depends on the deliberately arranged resistive zones 18, and is not provided by uncomfortable and unsightly seams.

[0022] The resistive zones 18 may comprise elongate resistive bands 18. Other equivalent or alternative shapes and geometries may also be used for the resistive zones 18. The resistive bands 18 may have reduced elasticity (ie, increased modulus of elasticity), reduced resilience or increased resistive force relative to the base fabric forming the major portions of the garment 10. For example, the resistive zones 18 may be about ten times stiffer than the base fabric.

[0023] The resistive bands 18 may be positioned in the fabric to resist movement of a body portion of the wearer. For example, the resistive bands 18 may resist or limit expansion and/or contraction of muscles in the body portion. This resistance to movement results in increased muscular work performed by the wearer when moving, and thereby increases efficiency of exercise or other physical activity. Further or alternatively, the resistive bands 18 may resist or limit biomechanical movement of the body portion, for example, resistance pants 10 may resist extension and/or flexion of the hip and/or knees. Further or alternatively, the resistive bands 18 may resist or limit a range of motion of the body portion. These embodiments may be useful for physiotherapy and rehabilitation, for example as an alternative or complementary treatment to TheraBand therapy and/or sports taping. For example, resistance pants 10 may comprise resistive zones 18 across the hip and waist regions that are configured to mimic placement of a TheraBand when performing exercises such as clamshell and sidestep exercises. The body portion may comprise arms, legs, upper torso, lower torso, and combinations thereof. Opposite ends of the resistive zones 18 may be anchored at spaced-apart anatomical anchor points on the body portion. The anatomical anchor points may comprise any and all suitable spaced-apart protuberances in bone, muscles and/or soft tissue of the body portion.

[0024] For example, the resistive bands 18 may be positioned in the fabric to extend downwardly from the waist 12 to rearwardly encircle and anchor under and to muscles of the leg calves 16 of the wearer. The resistive bands 18 may forwardly encircle and anchor under and to the wearer's knee. The positioning of the resistive bands 18 on the front and rear sides of the garment 10 are illustrated in Figures 1 a to 1 c by light grey and dark grey lines, respectively. The resistive bands 18 may be positioned to provide resistance to muscles of the wearer between the waist 12 and the leg calves 18 as the body moves. For example, the muscles may comprise gluteus maximus, upper leg muscles, lower leg muscles, and combinations thereof. [0025] In other embodiments, the garment 10 may be a sock, a stocking, an arm sleeve, a leg sleeve, a body sleeve, a pair of pants, a top, or a combination thereof. The sleeves, pants and tops may be full- or half-length depending on the desired use and appearance of the garment 10. The resistance garment 10 may be configured in any and all conventional shapes, sizes, cuts, patterns, lengths, widths, thicknesses etc. For example, the garment 10 may comprise a resistance suit comprising the pair of pants and the top. Referring to Figures 2 to 4, the resistance garment 10 may be sportswear garments, such as a running garment, a yoga garment and an exercise garment, respectively. Further, the garment 10 may be configured as a rehabilitation garment or a cross fit garment (not shown). In other embodiments, the resistance garment 10 may be configured as a therapeutic compression garment, for example, compression socks or stockings, which may be used to treat venous disorders such as edema, phlebitis and thrombosis.

[0026] The resistive force provided by the seamlessly-formed resistive zones 18 may be selectively varied and controlled based on the intended purpose of the resistance garment 10. For example, the position, 3D construction, thickness, width, surface area, material composition and fabric composition of the resistive zones 18 may be selectively and individually varied to provide different levels of resistive force suitable to the intended use and/or the intended user of the resistance garment 10. For example, the resistive force provided by the resistive zones 18 of a rehabilitation garment 10 may be lower than the resistive force provided by the resistive zones 18 in an exercise or cross fit garment 10. In further examples, the resistive zones 18 on a pair of rehabilitation pants for treating hip flexor strains may be arranged differently compared to the resistive zones on a rehabilitation pants for treating anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) strains in the knee. The resistive zones 18 may be configured to provide different levels of resistive force, such as easy, medium or hard levels of resistance. In some embodiments, the resistance provided by the seamlessly formed resistive zones 18 may be selectively varied throughout the resistance garment 10. For example, the resistive zones 18 for therapeutic compression socks may be configured so that resistance gradually decreases from the ankle towards the waist. [0027] The resistance garment 10 may alternatively be implemented as a veterinary garment 10 for an animal, such as a horse or a dog. For example, the veterinary garment 10 may be configured as a training and/or rehabilitation garment for a race horse or a greyhound. The veterinary garment 10 may be configured to conform to the upper and/or lower leg of the animal, and the resistive zones 18 may be positioned and configured to resist movement of the animal's upper and/or lower leg.

[0028] The fabric may be a knitted fabric or a woven fabric. For example, the fabric may be a 3D knitted fabric. The fabric and the resistive bands 18 may be formed integrally with each other in a single process using a single machine, such as a flat knitting, warp knitting or circular knitting machine. The increased resistance of the resistive zones compared to the base material may be provided by varying knitting or weaving patterns of the fabric, varying composition of the fabric, or a combination thereof. Resistive zones 18 thus formed are seamlessly integrated into the base fabric. The fabric may comprise synthetic fibres, natural fibres, or a combination or blend thereof. For example, the fabric may comprise polyamide and elastane. Other equivalent or alternative fibres may also be used, for example, a nylon/lycra blend.

[0029] The resistive bands 18 may be planned and positioned in the fabric using virtual prototyping of a virtual model of the garment 10 on a virtual model of the body portion. The virtual prototyping may comprise FEA of the virtual garment model on the virtual model of the body portion. The virtual model of the body portion may comprise a meshed, 3D model of the body portion. Figures 5 and 6 are screenshots of virtual FEA of the resistance pants 10 using a meshed, 3D model of the lower body. The 3D model simulated rotation about the hip and knee joints, specifically extension of the left leg 30 degrees forwards and pivoting of the right leg 5 degrees backwards. This simulates a lower limb movement frequently performed during many physical activities such as running, walking, weight lifting, yoga, etc. The variation in greyscale along the resistive bands 18 shown in Figures 5 and 6 represents variation in resistive load on the virtual body, with a lighter grey indicating a higher load. In this example, the arrangement of the resistive zones 18 places the gluteus and quadriceps regions under higher loads, compared to, for example, the knee region. It will be appreciated that this virtual modelling technique may be used to simulate different levels of resistance provided by various arrangements of resistance zones 18 on various postures of the wearer's body, and may be used to customise and prototype resistance garments 10 according to an intended use and/or the intended user.

[0030] The invention will now be described in more detail, by way of illustration only, with respect to the following examples. The examples are intended to serve to illustrate this invention, and should not be construed as limiting the generality of the disclosure of the description throughout this specification.

Example 1 : Resistance sleeve

[0031 ] Referring to Figure 7, a resistance leg or arm sleeve 10 was made from 3D knitted fabric comprising 92% polyamide and 8% elastane using a Santoni circular knitting machine. Two different knit patterns were used to generate the base fabric and the seamlessly integrally formed resistive bands 18. The resistive bands 18 were formed and positioned as "X" shapes as viewed from the front and rear of the resistance sleeve 10.

[0032] Four samples of the fabric and the resistive bands 18 were taken from the resistance sleeve 10 and subjected to tensile strength testing using a 30kN Instron tensile tester with a 100N load cell and a 40mm gauge length. Each sample was preloaded with 0.5N of force at a rate of 5mm/s. Each sample was then extended to 80mm more than the original gauge length at a rate of 5mm/s. Upon reaching the 80mm extension length the test was stopped and the jaws of the tester were returned to their starting positions and the sample removed.

[0033] The length and width of each sample was measured with a ruler taking the approximate average of three measurements. The thickness of the samples was measured using a digital fabric micrometre taking the average of three measurements. The modulus of elasticity of each sample was calculated by the Instron Blue Hill 3 program. The results of the tensile strength testing are set out below in Table 1 .

TABLE 1 : Tensile strength test results Sample Length Width Thickness Extension Max Modulus (MPa)

(mm) (mm) (mm) (mm) Force (N)

Fabric 1 .1 50 21 1.1 80.00251 7.01823 0.23913

Fabric 1 .2 51 20 1.1 80.00251 7.09435 0.25178

Fabric 1 .3 50 20 1.1 80.00252 7.34818 0.2789

Fabric 1 .4 50 20 1.1 80.00252 7.49706 0.27098

Fabric Avg 0.2602

Bands 2.1 49 21 1.4 80.00246 8.861 16 0.24033

Bands 2.2 46 19 1.4 80.00252 1 1 .03479 0.38316

Bands 2.3 45 22 1.4 80.00253 10.54839 0.29984

Bands 2.4 47 18 1.4 80.00252 9.50191 0.34663

Bands 2 Avg 0.31749

[0034] The above results indicate that the seamlessly integrally formed resistive bands 18 had a greater modulus of elasticity relative to the base fabric forming the major portions of the garment 10.

Example 2: Resistance pants

[0035] Figure 8 shows a pair of resistance pants 10 made from 3D knitted fabric comprising 92% polyamide and 8% elastane using a Santoni circular knitting machine. Two different knit patterns were used to generate the base fabric and the seamlessly integrally formed resistive bands 18 respectively. The resistive bands 18 were formed and positioned as "X" shapes as viewed from the front and rear of the resistance pants 10.

[0036] A Biodex dynamometer was used to measure the effect of resistance pants 10 on leg movement. The movements tested were rotation about the hip joint, and rotation about the knee joint. Figures 9a and 9b show test results of hip peak torque and hip average power measured using the Biodex dynamometer. The bar labelled "Resistance" refers the measurements obtained while wearing the resistance pants 10 of Figure 8, and the bar labelled "Control" represents the results obtained while wearing a pair of conventional, non-compressive gym shorts. Figures 10a and 10b similarly show dynamometer test results of knee peak torque and knee average power measured while wearing the resistance pants of Figure 8, compared measurements obtained while wearing conventional gym shorts.

[0037] The results indicate that the resistance pants 10 with seamlessly integrated resistive zones 18 arranged in the "X" shaped configuration as shown in Figure 8 provides significantly greater resistance against rotation at the hip and knee, and required more torque and power for the measured movements, compared to conventional gym shorts.

[0038] Embodiments of the present invention provide resistance garments for humans and animals having integral seamless resistive zones that provide improved fit, fashion and function. The resistance garments with integral seamlessly formed resistive zones are precisely fitted to the body to produce a smoother, clean look. The resistance garments with integral seamlessly formed resistive zones conform smoothly to individual shapes of wearers and produce fewer visible lines. The lack of seams around the resistive zones provides for improved comfort as the body moves. The seamlessly integrated resistive zones are precisely positioned using virtual prototyping to optimise their functionality in resisting movement of one or more body portions of the wearer.

[0039] For the purpose of this specification, the word "comprising" means "including but not limited to,", and the word "comprises" has a corresponding meaning.

[0040] The above embodiments have been described by way of example only and modifications are possible within the scope of the claims that follow.