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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TUBULAR WEARABLE TEXTILE ARTICLE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/025238
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A wearable textile article (1) for the assistance of the muscle function, comprises a tubular element (2) made of a fabric on the inner side (20) thereof there is applied a plurality of bands (200) of polymeric material suitable to be in skin contact with the human body. Such bands (200) are arranged along paths (P) suitable to overlap the paths of muscle and/or subcutaneous nerve fibres of the human body when the textile article is worn, so as to create a decompression effect and a local stimulating effect of the muscle and/or nerve fibres.

Inventors:
LONGHI, Alberto (Via Camozzi 55, Brescia, I-25126, IT)
Application Number:
IB2017/054795
Publication Date:
February 08, 2018
Filing Date:
August 04, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
REVENGE S.R.L. (Via Camozzi 55, Brescia, I-25126, IT)
International Classes:
A41B11/00; A41B11/08; A41D13/00; A61F13/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012114209A12012-08-30
Foreign References:
US20130160189A12013-06-27
US20140082815A12014-03-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DE LORENZO, Danilo et al. (Piazza della Vittoria 11, Brescia, I-25122, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Wearable textile article (1) for the assistance of muscle function, comprising:

a tubular element (2) made of a fabric having an inner side (20) suitable for contact with a part of the human or animal body and an outer side (E) opposite the inner side, on said inner side (20) being applied a plurality of bands (200) of polymeric material suitable to be in contact with skin at a contact region of said part of the human or animal body, said bands (200) being arranged along paths (P) suitable to overlap the paths of muscle and/or subcutaneous nerve fibres of said part of the human body when the textile article is worn, so as to create a decompression effect of said body part and a stimulating effect of the muscle and/or nerve fibres in correspondence of the contact region.

2. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 1, wherein the bands (200) run along a curvilinear path having a preferential direction parallel to the direction of the generatrices of the tubular element.

3. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the polymeric material of the plurality of bands (200) is a silicone-based material, suitable to ensure the adhesion of the bands to the skin during movement of the body part of the individual.

4. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 3, wherein the bands (200) extend substantially along the entire height (H) of the tubular element.

5. Wearable textile article (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the bands extend for a given band length (L) from a lower region (22) of the tubular element to an upper region (23) of the tubular element in the direction of the height (H) of the tubular element and for a given transverse width (T) in the direction perpendicular to the length (L) , and wherein, in an intermediate region (24) between said lower region (22) and said upper region (23) said bands are tapered towards a median axis (X) incident on the transverse width (T) .

6. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the continuity of the bands

(200) is interrupted in an interrupted region (400), free from bands (200) and corresponding to the elbow region on the front side when the textile article is worn on an upper limb.

7. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 6, wherein the interrupted region (400) without bands (200) extends in the direction of the longitudinal axis of symmetry (Y) by a stretch of between 5% and 20% of the total length of the wearable article.

8. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein the bands (200) are arranged in a region of the tubular element intended to come into contact with a rear region of the leg of an individual, for example the calf.

9. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 8, wherein the elastic bands (200) are suitable to be arranged in contact only with the rear portion of the leg .

10. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bands (200) are interconnected so as to form a weave or a lattice.

11. Wearable textile article (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the bands (200) comprise a first group of bands (201, 201') comprising a first plurality of bands spaced apart and arranged along first parallel paths (203, 203') and a second group of bands (202, 202') comprising a second plurality of bands spaced apart and arranged along second parallel paths (204, 204'), said second parallel paths (204, 204') being arranged substantially in a specular manner with respect to the first parallel paths with respect to a longitudinal axis of symmetry (Y, Y' ) parallel to the generatrices of the tubular element.

12. Wearable textile article (1) according to claim 11, wherein the first (203, 203') and second parallel paths (204, 204') have a curvilinear shape and are intertwined so as to form an overall "X" shape.

13. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the fabric with which the tubular element is made comprises carbon fibres.

14. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the transverse thickness of the bands, measured as the maximum distance between the inner side (20) of the tubular element and the top of each band is comprised between 0.1 mm and 2 mm, preferably 0.4 mm.

15. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, said wearable textile article (1) being a calf compress.

16. Wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims, said wearable textile article (1) being a sleeve for an upper limb, such as an elbow compress .

17. Use of the wearable textile article (1) according to any one of the preceding claims as a calf compress.

18. Use of the wearable textile article (1) according to any one of claims 1 to 14 as a sleeve for an upper limb.

19. Method of manufacture of a wearable textile article according to any of claims 1 to 16, comprising the steps of: a) providing a tubular element made of fabric;

b) fitting the tubular element on a form where the inner side (20) is exposed towards the outside, said form being suitable to stretch the fabric of the tubular element; c) printing a desired pattern of bands made of a polymeric material by means of a silk-screen printing technique .

20. Method according to claim 19, wherein step c) comprises :

- positioning a shaped mask according to a negative of the desired pattern for the bands (200) ;

- spreading the polymeric material in liquid form on the mask, preferably by means of spatula;

- if necessary, removing the mask;

- positioning the wearable article in an oven at a temperature suitable for hardening the polymeric material .

Description:
DESCRIPTION

"Tubular wearable textile article"

[0001] The present invention relates to a wearable textile article, in particular a tubular wearable textile article to be worn during sports or, for example, in post-trauma rehabilitation activities.

[0002] It is known that during exercise, one might run into minor muscle injuries resulting in the need to support some body segments as they are weakened and/or sore.

[0003] To this end, in the field of wearable aids for sports or for rehabilitation, footwear and braces of elastic polyester (knee pads, calf compresses, wrist supports, etc.) are known, adapted to support or heat the muscle in performing physical activities.

[0004] However, these types of wearable aids are primarily intended to support the neuro-muscular apparatus, for example through local compression or in such a way as to restrict movements or otherwise so as to avoid worsening a neuro-muscular situation already compromised.

[0005] One of the objects of the present invention is to propose a wearable textile article able to improve support to the muscles, but also having an improvement function of the recovery time from trauma and also a preventive function.

[0006] Said object is achieved with a wearable textile article according to claim 1. The dependent claims describe preferred or advantageous embodiments of the textile article.

[0007] The features and the advantages of the textile article according to the invention shall be made readily apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments thereof, provided purely by way of a non limiting example, with reference to the accompanying figures, in which:

[0008] figure la shows an inner rear side of the textile article (i.e. the reverse of the textile article) intended to come into contact with the skin when worn by an individual, according to one embodiment of the invention;

[0009] figure lb shows an outer rear side of the wearable textile article corresponding and opposite to the inner rear side of figure la;

[0010] figure lc shows an embodiment of the textile article when worn on a leg, having a calf compress function, wherein the outer side of the wearable article has been intentionally removed in order to make the arrangement of the elastic bands around the calf visible;

[0011] figure 2a shows a plan view of the bands made of polymeric material according to a variant of the invention; [0012] figure 2b shows a plan view of the bands made of polymeric material according to another variant of the invention;

[0013] figure 3 shows an embodiment of the textile article when worn on an upper limb, such as a sleeve having an elbow compress function, where the outer side of the wearable article has been intentionally removed in order to make the arrangement of the elastic bands around the upper limb visible;

[0014] figure 4 shows a plan view of the bands made of polymeric material according to another variant of the invention, for example used for a sleeve for an upper limb .

[0015] With reference to the above figures, reference numeral 1 indicates a wearable textile article for the assistance of the muscle function, in particular in performing physical activities. Such a wearable textile article is preferably a sleeve worn on the limbs, such as a calf compress or a sleeve worn on one of the upper limbs (figure 3) , around the elbow, such as an elbow compress. The textile article 2 comprises a tubular element 20 made of fabric, having an inner side 20 suitable for coming into contact with a part of the human body and an outer side 21 opposite the inner side.

[0016] In one embodiment, the tubular element comprises an annular lower elastic strip 3 at the lower base 25 of the tubular element and an annular upper elastic strip 4 at the upper base 26 of the tubular element. In the case of a calf compress, the annular lower strip 3 is suitable for squeezing around the ankle and the upper elastic strip 4 is suitable for squeezing below the knee, when the textile article is worn. In the case of a sleeve worn around the upper limb, the annular lower strip 3 is suitable for squeezing around the forearm, preferably at about half the forearm and the upper elastic strip 4 is suitable for squeezing around the arm, above the elbow, preferably at about half the arm.

[0017] Preferably, moreover, the tubular element 2 interiorly comprises a lower tapered region having a smaller annular diameter D than an upper region 23. For example, the lower tapered region 22 extends in the vicinity of the lower elastic strip 3 by a height less than half the total height of the tubular element, for example by a height less than one third of the total height H of the tubular element.

[0018] On the inner side 20 of tubular element 20 is applied a plurality of bands 200 made of polymeric material, suitable to be in skin contact with a contact region of the part of the human body. Bands 200 are arranged along paths P suitable to overlap with the paths of the subcutaneous nerve and/or muscle fibres of the human body part in contact with such bands 200, when the textile article is worn. In other words, the paths mainly follow an extension direction of the muscle fibres at which the textile article is worn. For example, in the case of a calf compress, the paths develop mainly along a direction that proceeds from the ankle to the knee when the calf compress is worn. In the case of a sleeve for the upper limb, the paths develop mainly along a direction that proceeds from the forearm towards the arm, or in any case from the wrist to the shoulder, and are suitable to arrange themselves in the anterior and antero-internal region of the limb. In a particularly advantageous manner, paths P of the bands overlap to the paths of the medial and lateral gastrocnemius and/or soleus muscle fibres muscles in the case of the calf compress, or to the paths of the muscle fibres of the biceps and/or radial and ulnar flexor muscle in the case of a sleeve for the upper limb (for example, an elbow compress), preferably on the radial and ulnar flexor digitorum muscle.

[0019] Unlike the prior art aids, such an arrangement of bands 200 along said paths P allows creating an effect of decompression of the body part in contact with the bands and a simultaneous stimulating effect of the muscle and/or nervous fibres at such a contact region.

[0020] Preferably, the polymeric material of which bands 200 are made is a silicone-based material, suitable to ensure the adhesion of the bands to the skin during the movement of the body part in contact therewith. Even more preferably, the bands are made of a silicone elastomer having a shore hardness A of between 5 and 30, preferably about equal to 14. Moreover, preferably, the silicone elastomer is suitable to adhere with the fabric of the tubular element and is resistant to washing (also to dry cleaning) and leaves no residues on the skin.

[0021] Preferably, bands 200 extend at least along a curved path P having a preferred longitudinal direction, for example a direction parallel to the generatrices of the tubular element 2, or a direction parallel to a median axis X of the tubular element. In one embodiment of the invention, bands 200 extend substantially throughout height H of the tubular element, along the preferred longitudinal direction X.

[0022] In a further embodiment, bands 200 extend for a given band length L from the lower region 22 of the tubular element to the upper region 23 of the tubular element in the direction of height H of the tubular element and for a given transverse width T in the direction perpendicular to length L. In an intermediate region 24 between said lower region 22 and said upper region 23, bands 200 are tapered towards the median axis X incident on the transverse width T.

[0023] Preferably, the bands are arranged in a region of the tubular element intended to come into contact with a rear region of a limb of an individual, such as the calf in the case of a calf compress, or with a front region of the limb in the case of an upper limb (for example, in an elbow compress) . Preferably, the bands are arranged only on a part of the entire lateral surface of the tubular element, more in particular only on half of the lateral surface of the tubular element. In other words, when the tubular element is arranged collapsed on a support plane Q (such as shown in figure la) , it has an inner face LI on which bands 200 are arranged and an opposite inner face L2 (not visible in figure la as it is resting against the support plane) free from bands 200. The opposite face L2 is intended to come into contact with the human body part not intended for muscular support (such as the front of the leg opposite the calf) .

[0024] Preferably, on the outer surface of the tubular element (i.e. the surface not in contact with the body) there are no bands, so as not to compromise the general aesthetics of the article.

[0025] In this way, when the element is worn on the leg of an individual, the elastic bands 200 are in contact only with the back portion of the leg, that is, in the calf region, while in the front portion, on the side of the tibia, there are no elastic bands on the inner side or on the outer side of the tubular element 20. In the case of a sleeve for the upper limb, the elastic bands 200 are in contact only with the front portion of the limb, or in an embodiment variant, they are in contact with both the front area and the back area.

[0026] In a preferred embodiment variant, bands 200 are interconnected so as to form a weave or a lattice, preferably at the intermediate region 24.

[0027] In this variant, preferably, when the textile article is worn on the leg, the lattice of bands 200 is positioned in the lower region of the calf, to give more support to the muscle-tendon region. When the textile article is worn on the upper limb, the lattice of bands 200 is positioned in the region just below the elbow, to give more support to the muscle-tendon region of the joint.

[0028] Two preferred embodiments of bands 200 are shown in figures 2a and 2b, which show the bands seen in a planar projection of the lateral surface of the tubular element. A further embodiment of bands 200 is shown in figure 4.

[0029] Preferably, bands 200 comprise a first group of bands 201; 201' comprising a first plurality of bands spaced apart and arranged along first parallel paths 203; 203' and a second group of bands 202; 202' comprising a second plurality of bands spaced apart and arranged along second parallel paths 204; 204'. These second parallel paths 204; 204' are arranged substantially specular with respect to the first parallel paths 203; 203' with respect to a longitudinal axis of symmetry Y; Y' parallel to the generatrices of the tubular element. Such an axis of symmetry Y; Y' is preferably coincident with the median axis X. In other words, the axis of symmetry Y; Y' coincides with the median axis of the planar projection of the tubular element that shows face LI on which bands 200 are arranged.

[0030] Preferably, the first 203; 203' and the second 204; 204' parallel paths have a curved shape. Advantageously, the first 203; 203' and second 204; 204' parallel paths intertwine to form an overall "X" shape (e.g. as shown in figures 2a, 2b and 4) . As a result, a lattice of bands 241 is formed at the intermediate region 24, preferably having a rhomboid shape.

[0031] Preferably, the first 201; 201' and the second 202; 202' group of bands consist each of four spaced bands.

[0032] In one embodiment, for example shown in figure 2b and in figure 4, in the vicinity of the lower region 22, bands 200 extend in a direction perpendicular to the generatrices of the tubular element by a smaller transverse width Tl. In the vicinity of the upper region 23, bands 200 extend in a direction perpendicular to the generatrices of the tubular element by a larger transverse width T2 than the lower transverse width Tl. In other words, the outer envelope 210 of bands 200 tapers downwards toward the median axis X (i.e. the axis of symmetry Y') . By outer envelope it is meant the convex geometric figure obtained by joining the tangents to the outermost points of the plurality of bands 200. For example, in the case shown in figure 2b, the outer envelope has a square shape, more precisely it is an isosceles trapezoid in which the minor base is located in the vicinity of the lower base 25 of the tubular element and the major base is located in the vicinity of the upper base 26 of the tubular element 2.

[0033] In a preferred embodiment variant, the fabric of which the tubular element is made comprises carbon fibres, which improve the breathability of the textile article and at the same time ensures the maintenance of the body temperature.

[0034] Preferably, the thickness of bands 200, measured as the maximum distance between the inner side 20 of the tubular element and the top of each band on a transverse plane secant in a perpendicular manner the lateral surface of the tubular element, is of between 0.1 mm and 2 mm, preferably 0.4 mm; in this way, comfort is not affected when the article is worn and at the same time, the effectiveness of the function of the bands is ensured .

[0035] Preferably, the bands have a cross-section substantially shaped as a semicircle (or semicircle squashed on the apex) , in which the straight base of the semicircle is joined to the inner side 20, while the apex of semicircle projects from the inner side. Therefore, the transverse thickness of the bands corresponds to the distance between the base of the semicircle and the apex.

[0036] Preferably, the bands belonging to the first group of bands 201; 201' have upper end portions 2010 joined together and lower end portions 2011 not joined together. Likewise, the bands belonging to the second group of bands 202; 202' have upper end portions of second group 2020 joined together and lower end portions of second group 2021 not joined together.

[0037] At the upper end portions 2010, 2020, each group of bands 201, 202; 201', 202' is joined to a reinforcement band 230, 231; 230', 231' that mutually joins the bands of each group of band 201, 202.

[0038] In the embodiment variant shown in figure 2b, an outer band 211, 221 of the bands of each group of band 201', 202' extends along a path that has a shorter length than the other bands of the same group. More in particular, such an outer band has a band end 212, 222 joined to the upper end portions 2020', 2010' of the other bands of the same group of band and a lower band end 213, 223 ending by joining an intermediate portion of one of the remaining bands of the same group of band. Advantageously, this configuration allows obtaining the interiorly tapered shaped of the bands in a simpler manner and with a reduced use of material.

[0039] In the embodiment variant shown in figure 4, preferably more suitable for a sleeve for an upper limb, the continuity of bands 200 is interrupted in an interrupted region 400, free from bands, in which there are no bands 200 and corresponding to the elbow region on the front side when the textile article is worn. In this way, advantageously, the bending movement of the forearm on the arm is not prevented or bothered. Preferably, the interrupted region 400, without bands 200, extends in the direction of the longitudinal axis of symmetry Y by a stretch of between 5 and 20% of the total length of the wearable article, preferably by a stretch equal to 10% of the total length (e.g. by about 3 cm) .

[0040] Moreover, preferably, the intermediate region 400 free from bands is arranged just above the lattice of bands 241, in the direction that proceeds from the wrist to the shoulder.

[0041] It is clear that the wearable textile article described can also be implemented in the form of a sock or footwear and similar articles. In fact, a man skilled in the art can apply to the lower base of the tubular element the fabric portions necessary to achieve a sock shape to be worn on the foot of an individual.

[0042] Moreover, it is clear that the wearable article is not exclusively intended for human subjects, but may also be applied to animals, such as pets.

[0043] In addition, it should be noted that the thicknesses used and the consistency of the bands are specifically designed to not generate any constraint or pain during use and at the same time to exert a decompression on the underlying part, which causes an effect of improving circulation .

[0044] An advantageous production process for the implementation of the wearable article is described hereinafter .

[0045] One starts with a tubular element 2 woven in the desired yarn (for example a yarn comprising polyamide fibres, such as microfiber, carbon and elastane) .

[0046] The tubular element 2 is then fitted on a template with the inner side facing outwards (i.e. is fitted upside down) . The template is suitable for stretching the fabric of the tubular element so that a printing region of the lateral surface of the tubular element is essentially planar.

[0047] The desired pattern of the bands of polymeric material is then printed by a silk-screen printing technique on the printing region.

[0048] Preferably, the printing by a silk-screen printing technique involves positioning a shaped mask according to a negative of the desired pattern for bands 200.

Thereafter, the polymeric material in liquid form (such as a silicone material) is spread on the mask, preferably by means of a spatula. Finally, once the mask has been removed, the wearable article is positioned in an oven at a temperature suitable for hardening (or curing) the polymeric material.

[0049] Innovatively, the wearable textile article according to the present invention allows assisting the muscular function without limiting the movements thereof, activating the body's natural healing process and leveraging the elasticity of the band of polymeric material with respect to that of the skin. The muscles and joints of the area subject to contact with the bands of polymeric material are in tension. This increases the space in the subcutaneous region where the initial lymph vessels, the capillaries and the different afferent and efferent receptors are located. One of the main benefits is the analgesia and pressure reduction and improved circulation.

[0050] In addition, the textile article according to the present invention allows an improved drainage of the muscle group and a constant stimulus to micro circulation, ideal to reduce the recovery time for muscle oedema, bruises, inflammation.

[0051] Advantageously, moreover, the presence of carbon fibres in the fabric, combined with the internal printing of the bands of polymeric material allows combining the benefits of carbon (i.e. bacteriostasis , high breathability, and temperature-regulating action) with the beneficial effects of the decompression-effect bands in a synergistic manner. Both of these aspects in fact help to increase and amplify the process of reducing the local blood pressure, reducing inflammation and pain, and thus accelerating the healing process from accidents.

[0052] Advantageously, moreover, the particular morphology of the bands that are interwoven to form a lattice that mimics the morphology of the subcutaneous muscle tissues allows effectively supporting such tissues muscle and at the same time allows for a more effective stimulating action .

[0053] In particular, the action of the bands once placed on the skin tissue is to form waves acting on the musc1es .

[0054] Advantageously, moreover, the use of a silicone- based material to make the bands prevents the risk of problems due to the skin-polymeric material contact. Moreover, such a material contains no drugs or chemical ingredients, is waterproof, can be used for a long period of time and leaves no residues on the skin.

[0055] Advantageously, the present invention allows obtaining beneficial effects that tend to be similar to those obtained with neuromuscular taping using adhesive strips, but with the advantage of being easy to wear (even by a non rehabilitation professional) and not to leave residues on the skin.

[0056] A man skilled in the art may make several changes, adjustments and replacements of elements with other functionally equivalent ones to the embodiments according to the invention in order to meet incidental needs, without departing from the scope of the following claims. Each of the features described as belonging to a possible embodiment can be obtained independently of the other embodiments described.