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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
ANTI-NIPPLE PROTRUSION GARMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/178372
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Fabrics and garments, and methods for producing these fabrics and garments having a thin polymer layer which reduces degree of nipple protrusion are provided.

Inventors:
FARMER DOUGLAS K (US)
GOODGE KATARINA (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2021/020412
Publication Date:
September 10, 2021
Filing Date:
March 02, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
THE LYCRA COMPANY LLC (US)
International Classes:
D06M15/564; A41C3/00; A41D13/00; B32B5/24; D04B1/24; D06M15/643; D06M17/10; D06M23/16; D06N3/12; D06N3/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCIAMANNA, Bridget C. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A fabric with reduced nipple protrusion said fabric comprising a thin polymer layer applied to a selected portion of the fabric for use in a garment which is adjacent to the nipple.

2. The fabric of claim 1 wherein the polymer layer comprises silicone, polyurethane or a D58 aqueous dispersion.

3. The fabric of claim 1 wherein the polymer layer is printed onto a selected portion of the fabric.

4. A garment with a reduced degree of nipple protrusion, said garment comprising a thin polymer layer applied on a base fabric of the garment in an area of the garment adjacent to the nipple when worn.

5. The garment of claim 4 wherein the polymer layer comprises silicone, polyurethane or a D58 aqueous dispersion.

6. The garment of claim 4 wherein the polymer layer is printed onto a selected portion of the fabric.

7. The garment of claim 4 which is selected from bras, lingerie, swimwear, camisoles, blouses, dresses, women’s tops, men’s tops and active wear.

8. A method for minimizing nipple protrusion in a fabric or garment, said method comprising applying a thin polymer layer to a fabric or base fabric of a garment in an area of the fabric or garment with is adjacent to the nipple when worn.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the polymer layer comprises silicone, polyurethane or a D58 aqueous dispersion.

10. The method of claim 8 wherein the polymer layer is printed onto a selected portion of the fabric.

Description:
ANTI-NIPPLE PROTRUSION GARMENTS

FIELD

[0001] This disclosure relates to fabrics and garments and methods for producing these fabrics and garments with a reduced degree of nipple protrusion.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Previous attempts to mitigate nipple protrusion have focused on either building bulky containment systems from thick foam or other types of lining or laminating panels to locally restrict the fabric extensibility.

[0003] Two layer fabrics, addition of lining padding or foam, or both are currently used to minimize the appearance of an erect human breast nipple penetrating the surface of a bra cup.

[0004] U.S. Patent 8,419,502 discloses a bra or other garment pad for breast support having a top fabric layer, a top polyurethane foam layer adhered to the top fabric layer and a nipple concealing disk of shaved polyurethane foam adhered to or formed as part of the top foam layer.

[0005] ES8600898A1 describes a technique that uses a laminated second fabric to reduce the degree of nipple protrusion.

[0006] However, these techniques can add unwanted thickness and weight to a garment and create an unnatural appearance.

SUMMARY

[0007] An aspect of the present invention relates to a fabric with reduced nipple protrusion. The fabric comprises a thin polymer layer applied to a selected portion of a fabric for use in a garment which is adjacent to the nipple.

[0008] Another aspect of the present invention relates to garment with a reduced degree of nipple protrusion. The garment comprises a thin polymer layer applied to the base fabric of a garment in an area of the garment adjacent to the nipple when worn.

[0009] Another aspect of the present invention relates to a method for minimizing nipple protrusion in a fabric or garment. The method comprises applying a thin polymer layer on to a fabric or base fabric of a garment in an area of the fabric or garment with is adjacent to the nipple when worn. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

[00010] FIG. l is a graph comparing depth of penetration of an apparatus with a nipple like probe in fabrics of single layer, double layer, and printed with one or two thin polymer layers in accordance with this disclosure.

[00011] FIG. 2 is a photograph of the apparatus used to generate data in FIG. 1 with a fabric printed with one or two thin polymer layers in accordance with this disclosure.

DETATEED DESCRIPTION

[00012] Provided by this disclosure are fabrics and garments and methods for producing these fabrics and garments with a reduced degree of nipple protrusion. The fabrics and garments disclosed herein comprise a thin polymer layer applied to a selected portion of the fabric or garment which is adjacent to the nipple when worn.

[00013] By “reduced nipple protrusion” for purposes of this disclosure, it is meant that fabrics or garments with the thin polymer layer as disclosed herein exhibit decreased nipple protrusion as compared to a similar or garment without the thin polymer layer. In some nonlimiting embodiments, the fabric may exhibit reduced or equal nipple protrusion as compared to two layer fabrics or garments.

[00014] In one nonlimiting embodiment, the thin polymer layer applied to the fabric or garment comprises an aqueous polyurethane dispersion.

[00015] As used herein, the term "dispersion" refers to a system in which the disperse phase consists of finely divided particles, and the continuous phase can be a liquid, solid or gas.

[00016] As used herein, the term "aqueous polyurethane dispersion" refers to a composition containing at least a polyurethane or polyurethane urea polymer or prepolymer (such as the polyurethane prepolymer described herein) that has been dispersed in an aqueous medium, such as water, including de-ionized water.

[00017] In one nonlimiting embodiment, the aqueous polyurethane dispersion comprises a prepolymer comprising a glycol, an isocyanate and a diol compound, and optionally 1- hexanol. In one nonlimiting embodiment, the thin polymer layer comprises a D58 aqueous dispersion such as described in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 16/324,850 and PCT/US2018/058109, teachings of each which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties. [00018] In other nonlimiting embodiments, the thin polymer layer may comprise silicone, one or more polyurethanes, one or more acrylics or other resins.

[00019] The polymer layer can be applied to selected locations of a fabric or garment by methods such as, but not limited to, padding, coating, printing, painting, brushing, bonding, laminating and spraying and combinations thereof. In some nonlimiting embodiments, the polymer is cured or dried to the fabric following application.

[00020] In one nonlimiting embodiment, the polymer layer is printed onto the fabric or garment.

[00021] In one nonlimiting embodiment, the polymer layer is screen printed with a mesh screen and 1 or 2 strokes of printing with a durometer blade.

[00022] By “selected location” it is meant a part of the garment or fabric, when made into a garment, is adjacent to the nipple when worn.

[00023] The polymer layer can be applied in various patterns or motifs to the fabric or garment. In one nonlimiting embodiment, the polymer layer is applied in a solid pattern as a localized coating at a weight of up to 100 grams/meter2 equivalent or more, depending on screen and process conditions. As will be understood by the skilled artisan upon reading this disclosure, a heavier print will increase the modulus while simultaneously reducing the elongation and improving anti-nipple-protrusion. However, with heavier prints there may be tactile, visual, and cost tradeoffs.

[00024] As used herein, the term “fabric” refers to a knitted, woven or nonwoven material. The knitted fabric may be flat knit, circular knit, warp knit, narrow elastic, and/or lace. The woven fabric may be of any construction, for example sateen, twill, plain weave, oxford weave, basket weave, and/or narrow elastic. The nonwoven material may be meltblown, spun bonded, carded fiber-based staple webs, and the like.

[00025] As will be understood by the skilled artisan upon reading this disclosure, other types of garments, i.e. in addition to bras, could be enhanced with this technology to create new consumer value.

[00026] Thus, by “garment”, as used herein, it is meant to include any article of clothing which is worn adjacent to the nipple in for which minimization of nipple protrusion is desired. Nonlimiting examples include bras, lingerie, swimwear, camisoles, blouses, dresses and women’s tops, men’s tops and active wear.

[00027] A thin layer of a D58 aqueous dispersion was printed onto a tricot fabric in accordance with this disclosure. As shown in FIG. 1, when a deformable blunt probe constructed from a life-like nipple commercially sold with baby feeding bottles and simulating an erect human breast nipple was introduced perpendicularly into the plane of the fabric (see apparatus depicted in FIG. 2), the printed area exhibited a significant reduction of the degree of protrusion as compared to one or even two unprinted layers of tricot fabric. Further, as shown in FIG. 1, while increasing the coating weight helps reduce penetration, the significant and unexpected benefit of the present invention is achieved from the simple application of one print impression of the dispersion on a single layer of fabric. This finding herein will greatly simplify the construction of bras that are designed to address nipple protrusion, leading to garments that are lighter, thinner, and on-trend for consumer needs. Further, these results were reproducible across several fabrics and with successively increased applied weights.

[00028] Accordingly, as demonstrated herein application of a thin polymer layer to a base fabric of a garment such as a bra in accordance with this disclosure accomplishes the affect of diminished nipple protrusion without the need for a second fabric layer. Further, elimination of a requirement for a second fabric layer results in lighter, thinner garments which retain their elasticity and have more life-like bending/drape properties and natural aesthetics as compared with rigid adhesives or stiff lamination/bonding techniques in current use and improved consumer satisfaction.

[00029] The following example demonstrates the present disclosure and its capability for use in manufacturing fabrics with minimized nipple protrusion. The invention is capable of other and different embodiments, and its several details are capable of modification in various apparent respects, without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, the examples are to be regarded as illustrative and not as restrictive.

EXAMPLES

Example 1: Fabric Production

[00030] A thin D58 aqueous dispersion layer was applied to a selected portion of fabric via a conventional screen printing unit. Two strokes of printing with a 110 mesh screen, 70 durometer printing blade were applied.

Example 2: Testing

[00031] An apparatus was developed to introduce a nipple-like probe, perpendicularly, into the plane of various fabrics. (See FIG. 2). The probe was constructed from a life-like nipple commercially sold with baby feeding bottles under the name TOMMEE TIPPEE (Mayborn USA Inc., Stamford, CT). Using the weight of the nipple apparatus plus successively increased applied weights, reproducible results across several fabrics showed a printed layer of D58 aqueous dispersion was much better in restricting penetration than either one or two unprinted fabric layers. See results in FIG. 1