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Title:
WATERPROOF MAGNETIC BUTTON, WHICH CAN BE USED ON ALL ITEMS IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY, FOR EXAMPLE GLOVES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/130155
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Magnetic button, consisting of a button with a magnet inside its head covered with a film of plastic or silicone to rend it waterproof, inserted into items and garments, for example gloves. A magnetic button, made up of an outer casing (1), inside of which lies a magnet covered with a protective film of plastic or silicone (3). The face of the button (2) is ideally flat to ensure a flush connection to similar buttons. It is visible on the outside of the garments or gloves. The magnetic button is inserted into the material via a mechanism underneath the button (4) consisting of two long prongs or multiple smaller prongs or a rivet protrusion or post which is/are secured on the interior of the material by either folding the two long prongs over, securing the small prongs, rivet protrusion or post with an eyelet, socket, rivet tack or cap. Alternatively, the button head is attached to the garment or glove using water-proof UV hardened adhesive or bondage resin. Each pair of magnetic buttons will contain a positive and negative charged magnet so as to attract each other on their face. Alternatively, only one button will contain a magnet and the other button will comprise a ferromagnetic material.

Inventors:
COLONNA DI STIGLIANO, Lucrezia (Piazza S. Trinita, n.1, Florence, 50123, IT)
Application Number:
IB2017/050451
Publication Date:
August 03, 2017
Filing Date:
January 27, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
COLONNA DI STIGLIANO, Lucrezia (Piazza S. Trinita, n.1, Florence, 50123, IT)
International Classes:
A44B1/10; A41B11/00; A44B1/02; A44B1/42; A44B1/44; A44B5/00; A44B6/00; A44B7/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2004066766A12004-08-12
Foreign References:
JP2000236917A2000-09-05
US20140143935A12014-05-29
US20150211174A12015-07-30
US5722126A1998-03-03
US6226842B12001-05-08
US20060032026A12006-02-16
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Claims:
A magnetic button for general use in the fashion industry comprising of: a customizable and decorative button whose head remains visible on the exterior of the item or garment; and

inside the button head therein lies a magnet with a protected coating entirely encased; and

the button head containing the magnet is inserted into the item or garment by way of two large prongs or multiple smaller prongs, a rivet protrusion or post and secured on the inner side of the material of the item or garment by either folding the large prongs over or by securing the multiple small prongs or rivet or post by a socket, cap or rivet tack;

and or the button head is attached to the item or garment by providing for the us of UV hardened adhesive or bonding resin to securely attach said button.

A magnetic button as claimed in claim 1,

where the magnet inside the decorative and customizable button head is covered with a film of plastic or silicone so as to render it waterproof inside the protective button head casing;

A magnetic button as claimed in claim 1 or 2,

where the magnetic force emanating from the button head allows the button to connect on its face with a similar button housing a magnet of opposite polarity creating a magnet connection between the faces of the button heads.

A magnetic button as claimed in claims 1 or 2,

where the magnetic force emanating from the button head allows the button to connect on its face with a similar button composed of ferromagnetic material creating a magnet connection between the faces of the button heads.

5. A magnetic button as described in previous claims inserted into gloves.

Description:
Waterproof magnetic button, which can be used on all items in the fashion industry, for example gloves. Field of the invention:

The present invention relates to magnetic buttons. In particular the present invention relates to a new type of magnetic button which has not been employed in the fashion, garment and accessory industry or manufactured by traditional button manufacturers and or specialised magnetic button manufacturers to date. Essentially the invention provides for the placing of a magnet, preferably covered with a film of plastic to render it waterproof, inside a button head which houses the magnet and which is then inserted into items of clothing and accessories such as gloves, using similar methods as used in snap buttons, with the result that the magnet is safely secured on the item, is washable and can be inserted with ease.

Background to the invention:

Magnets have long been used in the fashion industry to connect items together either to create a secure closure mechanism as with shirts, cufflinks and bag clasps, or to generally allow parts to be interchangeable according to the wearer's wishes for example changing items on clothing such as collars and accessories. Their use is particularly beneficial to those who have poor dexterity or motor and or hand eye coordination issues or suffer from arthritis to help them close shirts for example. Magnets have also been employed to keep items in place for example to keep scarves or neckties in a fixed position. Magnets have also been used as an anti-loss mechanism to keep pairs united together, such as keeping gloves or socks in pairs.

There are two widely available current methods of employing magnets in the fashion industry.

The first comprises of a plastic sealed edged pocket within which is placed a magnet in its centre. The outer sealed edges of the plastic pocket are used as the interface for sewing the plastic pouch containing the magnet onto the desired location of an item. As long as the central plastic pouch is not pierced, the magnet is waterproof and therefore can be washed together with the item. These plastic pouches containing magnets are usually sewn directly onto items used in the fashion industry however they are quite unsightly and can cause discomfort if in direct contact with the wearer's skin therefore they are usually hidden in between linings or, if sewn onto one layer of material will generally have a further material/fabric layer placed over them to cover their unsightly image and or to prevent the sharp edges providing discomfort to the wearer if in direct contact with skin. Alternatively, they are sewn into closed fabric pockets by folding the material over and sewing it shut as can be seen on shirt enclosures containing this type of magnet inside a plastic pocket. Magnets covered entirely in plastic/rubber/similar waterproof coating can be placed in these type of fabric pockets with the fabric pockets sewn tightly shut around the magnet which means they are also waterproof and cannot move.

It is important that magnets are securely fastened to items in the fashion industry as otherwise liability issues may arise if they are swallowed by children or adults due to their decomposition in the digestive system (if the magnet is covered in a waterproof material such as plastic this is less likely) or more importantly, in the scenario where further magnets/ferromagnetic material is swallowed, resulting in a magnetic connection in such a way as to cause an obstruction in the intestine or digestive tract, thereby necessitating surgery in order to remove the obstruction. It is for this reason that traditional adhesive is not an appropriate or correct method for attaching magnets to garments and accessories in the fashion industry as there is always the possibility of the magnet separating from the item, thereby causing a health and safety hazard especially for children.

It is for this reason that magnets are secured onto items in the fashion industry by sewing them on as described above.

However, various disadvantages are associated with sewing in magnets. For example specialised needles should be used in order to avoid the needle being attracted to the magnet during the sewing process. The process of sewing in the magnet is time- consuming/labour intensive, especially if multiple magnetic closures are needed, as in the case of shirt fasteners. If specialised needles are not used, extra care must be taken resulting in additional time loss. If during the sewing process a mistake is made and the plastic pouch containing the magnet is pierced, the magnet will no longer be waterproof. If the magnet or ferromagnetic material is subjected to prolonged water exposure or humidity, it will eventually start to rust as there is no protective coating used on magnets which can protect indefinitely against corrosion. The exact time for corrosion to commence will depend on the intensity and frequency of its exposure to the external elements.

Lastly, should a magnet have to be replaced, for example where corrosion has started and is staining the fabric, it is necessary to cut the stitching used to either sew in the magnet contained in the plastic pouch or the fabric pocket, in order to gain access to the magnet and replace it and then re-sew the area shut however, it is likely that the previous holes caused by the original needle stitches will not be exactly matched leaving an unsightly and messy presentation of the area.

The second most common method of employing magnets in the fashion industry is to use the well know and widely employed magnetic clasp, see US 5722126 A (REITER) which can typically be seen on the inside of most handbags, allowing the two sides of the handbag to be closed shut.

This type of magnetic clasp is composed of two parts: the first containing a magnet, typically covered by a closure with a hole in the middle (commonly referred to as the "female part") and the second part composed of ferromagnetic material, with a protrusion in its centre (commonly referred to as the "male part"). It is possible for the male part to contain a further magnet, whose polarity is opposite to the magnet found in the first part, and is likewise covered with the some covering as found in the female part, typically a nickel or non-magnetic alloy, with a protrusion in its centre. Both parts of these magnetic clasps usually benefit from a protective coating to prevent corrosion. Both parts are secured onto the leather/fabric by either sewing the clasp using holes around the edges of the clasps or alternatively are inserted using either two long prongs or multiple smaller prongs or a rivet protrusion or post emanating from the back of the parts which is/are then passed through the leather/fabric and secured on the opposite side by either folding the two long prongs over, securing the small prongs with an eyelet or socket or by securing the rivet protrusion or post with a rivet tack, eyelet, cap or socket.

These magnetic clasps are not waterproof and cannot be washed without exposing the magnet and or ferromagnetic material to an expedited process of corrosion. In addition, whether the items are washed or not, eventually the protective coating on the magnet and or ferromagnetic material will break down, the velocity of this process depending on external factors. Furthermore, the aesthetic features of these magnetic clasps are unsightly due to the hole in the female part of the clasp and the protrusion on the male part of the clasp, especially if visible on outer layers of garments.

Prior arts for magnetic buttons include similar mechanisms whereby the magnet is encased on its front and sides by a non-magnetic decorative housing and is backed by a magnetic sheet which is then covered with resin and hardened in order to make the magnet waterproof, see US 6226842 B l. This method of employing magnets does make them waterproof however, it can be time consuming given that the resin needs to harden and may potentially make the magnet quite heavy which means its application on certain thin fabrics is unsuitable. Furthermore, mechanisms used such as in US20060032026 Al whereby one magnet is housed in a casing is placed on a tie which is then attracted to another magnet of opposing polarity or ferromagnetic material which is placed on the underneath of the tie or under the shirt in order to keep the tie in place are unsuitable as a long-term fixed method of securing magnetic closures due to the fact that these are not permanently fixed onto the items and therefore create liability issues if swallowed and also are impractical and time consuming if multiple closures are needed as with shirt closures.

Accordingly, there exists the need for employing magnets in the fashion industry in a secure and fixed manner which obviates any need for sewing while at the same time ensuring their efficient and practical insertion onto items as well as ensuring their waterproof and therefore washable character. A method of employing magnets is needed which is not unsightly and or which does not causes discomfort to the skin and which provides the possibility of replacing them without leaving the end result looking messy. Ideally their weight should be light and customisable according to the needs of the material onto which they are to be affixed. They should ideally have a magnetic pull on one side with the opposite side far reduced in its magnetic pull in order to potentially facilitate their use for pacemaker wearers. Summary of the Invention:

According to the invention there is provided, as set out in the appended claims a magnetic button comprising:

A magnet preferably comprising of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB), also known as rare earth magnets but alternatively samarium cobalt (SmCo), alnico, ceramic or ferrite magnets, semi permanent magnets, temporary magnets and electromagnets may be used;

A plastic film, preferably thin so as not to cause weight issues, surrounding the magnet, thus rendering it waterproof; said plastic film may also be created where small quantities of magnets are needed and the manufacturer does not provide the possibility of wrapping them in a film of plastic by spraying the magnets with an aerosol silicon resin and letting them dry thus rendering them waterproof ;

A decorative casing within which the magnet is then placed which can be made up of plastic, rubber, enamel, polymer, stainless steel, nickel coated brass, metal, metal alloys, natural fibers or a combination of the above; It is advisable that this casing is thin on its upper exterior or face of the button so as not to impact too much on the magnetic field created by the internal magnet or ferromagnetic material and that the bottom or base part of the casing housing the magnet which contains the insertion mechanism to insert the button is sufficiently think so as to counteract the magnetic field of the internal magnet with the result meaning that it is safer to use for pacemaker wearers; An insertion mechanism located at the back of the casing made up of two long prongs or multiple smaller prongs or a rivet protrusion or post emanating from it which is/are then passed through the material onto which the magnetic button is to be attached and then secured on the opposite side of said material by either folding the two long prongs over, securing the small prongs with an eyelet or socket or by securing the rivet protrusion or post with a rivet tack, eyelet, cap or socket. Alternatively, the casing can be secured onto the material by employing a light activated acrylic bondic or UV dried adhesive to secure a safe, waterproof, connection to the material;

The button can be easily replaced by breaking the insertion mechanisms with a pliers and a new magnetic button inserted in the pre-existing hole. In one embodiment the internal magnet is coated in a plastic film covering the magnet entirely. This type of plastic film finish is most likely applied at the last production stages of the magnets en masse. Alternatively, where smaller quantities of a magnet are being produced, a protective spray of silicone resin placed generously on the magnets which is then let dry before placing them housing these magnets in their button head casing is sufficient to render them waterproof. In one embodiment, the face of the button, which for aesthetic reasons will most likely be decorative, remains visible on the exterior of the item and is where the magnetic button connects to other similar buttons. For this reason it is best for the face of the button to be flat.

In one embodiment the face of the button may provide for groves and raised parts in which case the opposing button face should be designed to connect seamlessly with it.

In one embodiment the magnets may be of all the same strength, however they may be varied according to the strength needed and weight of the item. In one embodiment the polarity of the magnets on the face of the buttons will alternate to ensure a flush and aligned magnetic attraction between the buttons. Alternatively the button can be composed of a magnet in one button and ferromagnetic material contained in its opposite number so as to form a magnet contact between the two. For example, a magnetic button fastened to a glove which connects to another similar button, whether containing a magnet of opposite polarity or ferromagnetic material, on the opposite glove so as to create a magnetic connection thereby holding the gloves together so one is not lost.

The advantages of the invention are that:

The button casing can be customised and be aesthetically pleasant;

The film of plastic surrounding the magnet makes it waterproof and therefore the magnetic button is washable;

The magnetic button can be easily inserted into items, such as gloves, in a far more time efficient and practical way without the need of sewing, specialised needles or covering the magnet with further fabric to avoid sharp edges causing discomfort against skin;

The magnetic button can be easily inserted in a far more time-efficient and practical manner for large-scale production by employing the use of hand presses or automatic press machines, thereby reducing the cost of employing magnets in the fashion industry;

The magnetic button can be easily inserted in a far more time-efficient and practical manner for large-scale production by employing industrial-use UV light emitters to allow the hardening of the waterproof UV adhesive and or bonding methods to secure the resin on multiple buttons and their interface simultaneously;

The magnetic button can be very light, as the film of plastic covering the magnet provides practically no difference in weight to the button and especially if thin NdFeB magnets are employed and the button head casing is made of very light material such as plastic, thus allowing for the invention to be used on any fabric;

The magnetic buttons are securely fixed to the items thereby preventing liability issues;

There is no need for specialised needles or sewing in general, thereby economising on costly labour intensive production;

The use of these magnetic buttons is more suitable for wearers of pacemakers, depending on the strength of the magnet, due to the back or bottom of the magnetic button having a lesser magnetic force due to its, preferably thick, base layer and due to the fact that there is a further layer of fabric behind it followed by a cap or socket most likely, thereby reducing its magnetic impact when properly worn, on pacemakers.

Brief description of the drawings:

The invention will be more clearly understood from the following description of an embodiment thereof, given by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a transparent magnetic button with the outer casing and magnet inside the button head evident; Figure 2 shows as an example a pair of gloves with the magnetic buttons inserted into/onto the gloves with the button heads exposed on the gloves' exterior. Description

Please note that the drawings are only for description purposes and are not necessarily indicative of how the button design should be made, which dependent on the size and aesthetic finish sought, may differ. Referring now to the drawings and initially to Figure 1, there is illustrated a diagrammatical drawing of the magnetic button. The casing (1) makes up the button head of the magnetic button and can be made of plastic, rubber, enamel, polymer, stainless steel, nickel coated brass, metal, metal alloys, natural fibers, wood or a combination of the above. The casing (1) should ideally be made to house neatly the internal magnet with plastic film covering (3) so as to avoid any vacuum of space between the magnet (3) and the outer casing forming the button head (1). The casing making up the button head protects the magnet from the external elements and corrosion but it is the plastic film / film of silicone sprayed on (3) which renders the magnet waterproof. The button head in Figure 1 shows a flat face on the button head (2) however, this is for indication purposes and the face of the button head may be made to provide for grooves, elevations or cavities to provide for a more secure connection between button heads, similar to those found on magnetic clasps in bags which provide for a small elevated protrusion on one button head and a small cavity on the other button head in order to allow for a more secure adhesion and prevent the buttons being opened accidentally from the side. The magnet located inside the button head (3) has preferably been treated with a protective coating and is wrapped in a durable film, preferably very thin, of plastic or similar waterproof material thus rendering the magnet washable and is encased in the button head. The magnet inside the button (3) is portrayed in the figure as being round although it could of course consist of a ring or any shape which is desired and wrapped in protective plastic film. The magnet inside the button head (3) should not be visible, unless the casing is made from a transparent material. The magnetic button is attached to items via the bottom or underneath of the button head (4) will have either two long prongs or multiple smaller prongs or a rivet protrusion or post emanating from it which is/are then passed through the material of the glove and then secured on the interior of the glove by either folding the two long prongs over, securing the small prongs with an eyelet or socket or by securing the rivet protrusion or post with an rivet tack, eyelet or socket. Alternatively the bottom or underneath of the button head (4) may be attached to items through washable UV light activated acrylic bondic or UV dried adhesive or bonding, where suitable.

Figure 2 shows an example of how the invention is used consisting of a pair of gloves with the magnetic buttons (1) visible on the exterior of the glove, as opposed to the traditional form of using magnets by sewing them on the inside of the material so that they are not seen and covering them with further fabric. In this invention the magnetic buttons are visible on the exterior of the items, in this case gloves (1) and the button head casing is made so as to ensure they are aesthetically pleasing. The place of the magnetic buttons is for indication purposes only and the location of the magnetic buttons may be changed according to the design requirements.

The present invention provides for a magnetic button to be securely placed on items in the fashion industry so that when connected to similar corresponding magnetic buttons, either containing a magnet of opposing polarity on its face or ferromagnetic material, a magnetic connection is created thereby providing for the joining of the items either to serve as a closure mechanism, as would be the case in shirts and coats or to keep items in place such as for attaching interchangeable accessories to items. The present invention can also be used as an anti-loss mechanism to keep pairs of items, such as gloves, securely united by the force of attraction from the magnetic buttons. The strength of the magnet can be chosen according to the magnetic flux required although grade N35 should be sufficient for most articles. Make up of the button:

The magnet is housed in the head of the button which forms an extra-protective casing for the magnet thereby preventing the magnet being exposed to the external elements and subject to corrosion. The magnet should have a film of plastic wrapped around it in order to ensure it is waterproof. The casing used to house the magnet and keep it protected from the external elements may be made of plastic, rubber, enamel, polymer, stainless steel, nickel coated brass, metal, metal alloys, wood and natural fibers or an amalgamation of these substances. It is this external casing which forms the button head and which remains visible on the gloves, "the button head" as can be seen on Figure 2.

The magnet is entirely housed in its casing consisting of the button head. If holes are placed on the casing for whatever reason, the film of plastic covering the internal magnet should be thicker and more robust to ensure its durability for retaining its waterproof status.

The face of the button head as seen on Figure 1 (2) is the top surface of the button head which remains visible on the exterior of the glove and is where the magnetic button connects to other similar buttons.

The bottom or underneath of the button should ideally, but not necessarily, be made of ferromagnetic material in order to secure the magnet to it and connected to it should be the snap button insertion mechanism which allows the button to be securely fixed into/onto the fabric of the item. This mechanism can be made up of a protrusion in the form of two or more long or short prongs or by a rivet protrusion/s or a post emanating from the bottom of the button head which are then passed through the fabric/material and are secured on the other side. This is done in the case of long prongs by either folding the prongs over themselves or in the case of short prongs by securing them with an eyelet or socket or in the case of a rivet protrusion/s or post by a rivet tack, eyelet, cap or socket.

Alternatively, the button head may be designed to have a hole in its centre, in which case an interior ring magnet covered with a film of plastic would be better suited, and an insertion mechanism composed of a stud entering from the face of the button, passing through the center of the button and secured at the back of the fabric by a corresponding eyelet, post or cap could be used. The button can be inserted into/onto the item with ease using manual tools, punch machines or electric machines such as those used to insert rivets, rivet snap buttons, flat press buttons/fasteners/studs/snaps, pronged snap fasteners, jeans buttons, jeans rivets and magnetic clasps. UV light machines can be used to secure the bondage of the washable UV adhesive or bonding resin where an attachment is being used and suitable.

The magnet used in the button can be made up of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB), samarium cobalt (SmCo), alnico, and ceramic or ferrite magnets or semi permanent magnets, temporary magnets and electromagnets. The strength of the magnet can be adjusted to the requirements of the item by changing the grade of the magnet used. Each button may contain a magnet so that each pair of connecting magnetic buttons are paired using opposite polarity of magnets. Alternatively, each pair of magnetic buttons may coincide so that only one button head need contain a magnet, the other connecting button head being composed of ferromagnetic material or contains a semi-magnet so as to form a magnet contact between the two.

This invention has the novelty of changing the method used to employ magnets in the fashion industry. Unlike previous methods where waterproof magnets were sewn-in, the current invention provides for the magnets to be housed in their button head casing and be rendered waterproof by providing for the placing of a magnet with a plastic film inside the button head thus rendering them washable. No sewing is needed calling for specialized needles for inserting these magnetic buttons onto items, instead a much more practical and easier insertion of the magnets into items such as gloves is used involving punch machines and electric machines similar to those used to install snap buttons and fashion rivets. This results in a far more practical and time-efficient way of employing magnets in the fashion industry and allows the magnetic buttons to be used on all types of items with ease as opposed to the traditional method of sewing magnets into lining or onto a layer of fabric and then needing to cover the opposite side with further fabric to hide the unsightly magnet and prevent any discomfort if placed beside skin. Moreover, this invention is ideal for industrial application given its practical advantages to insertion through machines instead of labor-intensive sewing and adaptability to all types of material weight and use.

This invention is not obvious to a skilled worker in this area of technology and has not been manufactured for the public market.

This invention is not limited to the embodiments hereinbefore described but may be varied in both construction and detail.