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Title:
UNDERWIRE FOR BRASSIERE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/165061
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An underwire for use in a brassiere, as well as the associated brassiere, including a generally arcuate base member having a length, a central portion, and opposed first and second end portions, and at least one support member having a length shorter than the length of the base member, the support member fixedly attached to the base member along the central portion of the base member and spaced from the opposed first and second end portions, where the opposed first and second end portions of the base member have a greater flexibility than a flexibility of the central portion of the base member having the at least one support member fixedly attached thereto.

Inventors:
FINK, Matthew (18 Washington Street, #33Canton, MA, 02021, US)
Application Number:
US2019/018940
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 21, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
S&S INDUSTRIES LIMITED (Room 1103, 11 Floor Yee Kuk Industrial Centre,555 Yee Kuk Street,Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Kong, CN)
FINK, Matthew (18 Washington Street, #33Canton, MA, 02021, US)
International Classes:
A41C3/12; A41C5/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SNOW, Jeffrey, L. (Pryor Cashman LLP, 7 Times Square 38th Floo, New York NY, 10036, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An underwire for use in a brassiere, comprising:

a generally arcuate base member having a length, a central portion, and opposed first and second end portions; and

at least one support member having a length shorter than the length of the base member, the support member fixedly attached to the base member along the central portion of the base member and spaced from the opposed first and second end portions;

wherein the opposed first and second end portions of the base member have a greater flexibility than a flexibility of the central portion of the base member having the at least one support member fixedly attached thereto .

2. The underwire of claim 1, wherein the base member comprises steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel.

3. The underwire of claim 1, wherein the at least one support member comprises steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel.

4. The underwire of claim 1, wherein the at least one support member is fixedly attached to the base member by a metallurgical joining process.

5. The underwire of claim 1, wherein the base member has opposing sides and the at least one support member consists of two support members disposed on the opposing sides of the base member.

6. The underwire of claim 1, wherein a tip is disposed on at least one of the opposing first and second end portions of the base member.

7. The underwire of claim 6, wherein the tip is formed of plastic or polymer.

8. The underwire of claim 1, further comprising a coating disposed on the base member and the at least one support member .

9. The underwire of claim 8, wherein the coating comprises nylon .

10. The underwire of claim 1, wherein the length of the at least one support member is approximately half the length of the base member.

11. A brassiere, comprising:

at least one underwire comprising:

a generally arcuate base member having a length, a central portion, and opposed first and second end portions; and

at least one support member having a length shorter than the length of the base member, the support member fixedly attached to the base member along the central portion of the base member and spaced from the opposed first and second end portions;

wherein the opposed first and second end portions of the base member have a greater flexibility than a flexibility of the central portion of the base member having the at least one support member fixedly attached thereto .

12. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein the base member comprises steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel.

13. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein the at least one support member comprises steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel.

14. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein the at least one support member is fixedly attached to the base member by a metallurgical joining process.

15. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein the base member has opposing sides and the at least one support member consists of two support members disposed on the opposing sides of the base member.

16. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein a tip is disposed on at least one of the opposing first and second end portions of the base member.

17. The brassiere of claim 16, wherein the tip is formed of plastic or polymer.

18. The brassiere of claim 11, further comprising a coating disposed on the base member and the at least one support member .

19. The brassiere of claim 18, wherein the coating comprises nylon .

20. The brassiere of claim 11, wherein the length of the at least one support member is approximately half the length of the base member.

Description:
PCT INTERNATIONAL APPLICATION

FOR

UNDERWIRE FOR BRASSIERE

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

The present application claims priority to U.S. non provisional application Serial No. 15/903,869, filed February 23, 2018, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to underwires, and particularly to underwires used in foundation garments such as brassieres .

Background of the Invention

Underwires are components used to provide shape and support to brassieres and similar foundation garments. Underwires are typically rigid and flat, formed of steel, and have an arcuate configuration. Alternatively, underwires may be formed of hard, molded, or extruded plastic. Metal, plastic, or polymeric tips are often provided at one or both ends of the underwires.

When a garment having an underwire is worn, certain movements of the wearer, including turning, twisting, and bending of the torso, can cause the underwire to press into the wearer's body and produce discomfort. There is a need for an improved underwire that provides the requisite level of shape and support, but also permits greater flexibility to lessen the pressing effects of the underwire. Summary of the Invention

In general, in one aspect, the invention features an underwire for use in a brassiere, including a generally arcuate base member having a length, a central portion, and opposed first and second end portions, and at least one support member having a length shorter than the length of the base member, the support member fixedly attached to the base member along the central portion of the base member and spaced from the opposed first and second end portions, where the opposed first and second end portions of the base member have a greater flexibility than a flexibility of the central portion of the base member having the at least one support member fixedly attached thereto.

Implementations of the invention may include one or more of the following features. The base member and/or the at least one support member may include steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel. The at least one support member may be fixedly attached to the base member by a metallurgical joining process. The base member may have opposing sides and the at least one support member may include two support members disposed on the opposing sides of the base member. A tip may be disposed on at least one of the opposing first and second end portions of the base member. The tip may be formed of plastic or polymer. A coating may be disposed on the base member and the at least one support member. The coating may include nylon. The length of the at least one support member may be approximately half the length of the base member .

In general, in another aspect, the invention features a brassiere including at least one underwire including a generally arcuate base member having a length, a central portion, and opposed first and second end portions, and at least one support member having a length shorter than the length of the base member, the support member fixedly attached to the base member along the central portion of the base member and spaced from the opposed first and second end portions, where the opposed first and second end portions of the base member have a greater flexibility than a flexibility of the central portion of the base member having the at least one support member fixedly attached thereto.

Implementations of the invention may include one or more of the following features. The base member and/or the at least one support member may include steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel. The at least one support member may be fixedly attached to the base member by a metallurgical joining process. The base member may have opposing sides and the at least one support member may include two support members disposed on the opposing sides of the base member. A tip may be disposed on at least one of the opposing first and second end portions of the base member. The tip may be formed of plastic or polymer. A coating may be disposed on the base member and the at least one support member. The coating may include nylon. The length of the at least one support member may be approximately half the length of the base member .

Brief Description of the Drawings

The above-mentioned and other aspects, features, and advantages can be more readily understood from the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein :

Fig. 1 shows a top view of an underwire according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

Fig. 2 shows a side view of the underwire of Fig. 1; and

Fig. 3 shows a side view of an underwire according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

Detailed Description of the Invention

The present invention provides an underwire for use in foundation garments including, but not limited to, brassieres. In a preferred embodiment, the underwire includes a generally planar base member and at least one support member fixedly attached to the base member. The base member may be curved so as to be generally arcuate. In particular, the support member may be curved to mirror the portion of the base member to which it is attached. The support member has a length shorter than a length of the base member, and is attached to a central portion of the base member. In this configuration, one or both end portions of the base member have greater flexibility as compared to the central portion of the base member having the attached support member. Notably, in this arrangement, the end portions of the base member are more flexible in a direction perpendicular to the plane in which the base member lies.

In the embodiment of Figs. 1-2, an underwire 1 includes a base member 10, a first support member 21, a first tip 31, and a second tip 32. Base member 10 is generally flat with a rounded edge or oval-shaped cross-section, and curved to generally have an arcuate shape. Base member 10 may be formed of a metal or metal alloy, such as steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel.

First support member 21 is also generally flat with a rounded edge or oval-shaped cross-section, and curved in the same or similar manner as base member 10 for the portion of base member 10 on which first support member 21 is disposed. In this embodiment, the length of first support member 21 is approximately half the length of base member 10. In alternative embodiments, the length of first support member 21 may vary so as to be shorter and disposed on a more central portion of base member 10, or be longer and extended further toward first tip 31 and second tip 32. First support member 21 may also be formed of a metal or metal alloy, such as steel, stainless steel, or alloy steel. In this embodiment, only one support member, first support member 21, is included in the underwire 1, and accordingly, a support member is disposed on only one side of base member 10. First support member 21 may be fixedly attached to base member 10 by a metallurgical joining process, such as welding . First tip 31 is disposed on a first end of base member 10, and second tip 32 is disposed on a second end of base member 10. First tip 31 and second tip 32 may have rounded outer edges and a thickness greater than base member 10. In alternative embodiments, underwire 1 may only include one or none of first tip 31 and second tip 32. One or both of first tip 31 and second tip 32 may be formed of a plastic or polymeric material.

In the embodiment of Fig. 3, an underwire 1 includes a base member 10, a first support member 21, a second support member 22, a first tip 31, and a second tip 32. Second support member 22 has the same or similar attributes as first support member 21. In this embodiment, two support members, first support member 21 and second support member 22, are included in the underwire 1, and accordingly, the support members are disposed on opposite sides of base member 10, with first support member 21 being disposed on a first side of base member 10 and second support member 22 being disposed on a second side of base member 10. Second support member 22 may also be fixedly attached to base member 10 by a metallurgical joining process, such as welding .

In the embodiments of the present invention, including those described in Figs. 1-3, the underwire may be encapsulated in or covered by a coating. The coating may be disposed on the base member-support member assembly to cover the assembly. The same or different coating may be disposed on the tips incorporated with the underwire to cover the incorporated tips. The selected coating may be any industry-accepted coating including, but not limited to, a nylon coating.

The embodiments and examples above are illustrative, and many variations can be introduced to them without departing from the spirit of the disclosure or from the scope of the appended claims. For example, elements and/or features of different illustrative and exemplary embodiments herein may be combined with each other and/or substituted with each other within the scope of this disclosure. The objects of the invention, along with various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part of this disclosure. For an understanding of the invention, its operating advances and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.