Patent application title: Shape Holding Garments that Prevent Rolling and Methods of Making Same
Manette Mallon Scheininger (Westfield, NJ, US)
DELTA GALIL USA, INC.
IPC8 Class: AA41D2700FI
Class name: Body garments shirts undergarments
Publication date: 2011-09-15
Patent application number: 20110219514
A set of garment stays comprise a thin, plastic inner piece capable of
repeated bending, shaping and shape retention which is encased in a thin
and soft fabric layer. The composite may be coated with thin layer of
silicon. The stays are secured within a garment, specifically,
preferably, at the elastic waistband to prevent rolling of the waistband
and to maintain the shape and position of the garment while being worn.
Preferably, the inner piece is made of polyolefine and the outer casing
is a soft, fabric similar to that used in underwire bra supports.
Garments made with the inventive stays include control underwear and
camisoles. A method of making garments with elastic segments which tend
to resist rolling is disclosed, too.
1. A set of stays for a garment each comprising a plastic, shape bendable
and shape retaining piece, a thin fabric covering for said piece and a
silicone-like covering extending over said fabric covering.
2. A set of stays for a garment as claimed in claim 1 wherein said pieces are made from polyolefine.
3. A set of stays for a garment as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said pieces have a length, width and relative thickness with said length greater than said width and said width greater than said thickness.
4. A set of stays for a garment as claimed in claim 1 wherein said shape retaining pieces are about 4 to 6 mm in thickness.
5. A set of stays as claimed in claim 1 wherein said thin fabric coverings are tubular in shape and slightly larger in dimension to that of said pieces prior to being cut.
6. A set of stays as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fabric coverings are made of soft fabric material.
7. A set of stays as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fabric covering is tubular to encase said pieces on their sides and sewn across said pieces to completely encapsulate said piece.
8. A garment as claimed in claim 1 wherein said set of stays comprise 2, 3, 4 or 6 stays.
9. A garment as claimed in claim 8 wherein said set of stays are located on the inside in an up and down orientation to the belt-like or around the waist extension of an elastic waistband of said garment.
10. A garment as claimed in claim 9 wherein said stays are about the same length as the height of said elastic waistband.
11. A garment as claimed in claim 9 wherein said garment is a pair control underwear.
12. A garment as claimed in claim 8 wherein said garment is a camisole.
13. A stay for use in reducing the roll of an elastic segment of a garment comprising: a) a plastic, moldable inner piece and b) a soft fabric covering for encasing said piece.
14. A stay as claimed in claim 13 wherein said stay is provided with a thin layer of silicone.
15. A stay as claimed in claim 13 wherein said plastic, moldable inner piece is polyolefine.
16. A method of making a garment with an anti-roll characteristic at an elastic segment thereof comprising: a) providing a garment with a stay comprised of a plastic, moldable inner element; said inner element being encased in a soft, fabric layer; and b) securing said stay to the inside of the elastic segment of said garment.
17. A method as claimed in claim 16 further comprising providing said soft, fabric layer with a thin layer of silicone.
18. A method as claimed in claim 16 wherein said inner element is made of polyolefine.
19. A method as claimed in claim 16 wherein said garment is control underwear.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to garments, primarily for women but which can be used and designed for girls, men, and boys, too. A principal objective of the present invention is to prevent the waistband of control top underwear or similar garments from rolling down (and to prevent the bottom hem of camisoles or similar garments from rolling up). Indeed, the inventive garments are intended to be manufactured in the full variety of styles, fabrics, and shapes as current garment design, fabrics and manufacturing processes allow. Thus, the present invention can be used with conventional and new fabrics, using conventional and new garment manufacturing techniques and employing substantially ordinary and new styles and/or conventional and new sewing patterns. The sewing together or attachment of the various pieces of this new garment can be by conventional techniques including thread, adhesives, etc. and by use of new techniques, too.
 The invention is a stay and a set of stays used in a shape-holding garment and a method of making such a stay and garment which substantially prevents rolling of the edge of the garment during wearing. For example, when a conventional pair of control top pantyhose or control underwear is worn, during sitting and even ordinary movement, the elasticity of the control top, normally at the waistband, causes and results in the rolling down of the waistband. This is particularly annoying to the wearer and requires frequent and possibly embarrassing adjustment and readjustment. Women are often seen pulling on their underwear to readjust the same, all to the wearer's embarrassment. The present invention is intended to minimize if not eliminate the unintended rolling of fabric of a garment when worn, whether it is the roll down of the waistband of control underwear or the rolling up of the bottom hem of a camisole, for example, or some other undesirable rolling of fabric of a garment. The present invention keeps the garment substantially in place on the wearer's body.
 The present invention is intended to be integrated into substantially all conventional fabric patterns and garments and includes, without limitation, use in control underwear, camisoles, leggings, tights, leotards, skirts, dresses, shirts, blouses, pants, T-shirts, culottes, shorts, skorts, etc. (hereinafter collectively referred to as "a garment"). It is within the contemplation of the inventor and the claims set forth herein that the present invention extend to all garments, whether substantially of conventional design or of new and distinctly different design. The purpose of the present invention is the minimization of unintended rolling of fabric and the maintaining of a garment in location on the wearer's body.
 More specifically, the present invention is directed to the use of a permanently placed and thus non-removable set of stays which is integrated into the garment. In the case of a pair of women's control underwear, the set of stays is located at or near the top edge of the waistband, extending upwardly with the stays laterally spaced apart. The set of stays are preferably integrated into the top of or the waistband of the underwear and will tend to prevent (and likely fully prevent) the undesirable roll-down of the waistband as the wearer moves about. The set of stays are similar in some functionality to the removable, relatively longitudinally-shaped stay-like device that is used in a man's business-like collared shirt and, yet, the present invention is quite different in that it is intended to be permanently placed, non-removable, and is made from a new material not previously considered for this purpose. In any event, the location of the new set of stays, extending upwardly at the waistband (for control underwear) and laterally spaced apart as well as the construction of the new stays is unique. A set of such stays or bones when integrated into the garment is intended to reduce or eliminate rolling of the garment which often occurs because of the elasticity of the waistband or other area provided with elastic-like fibers. Hereinafter for ease of reading and understanding a single stay or bone is referred to as "the stay."
 While the preferred embodiment of the present invention is a plastic material, preferably polyolefine and made by Utax Co., Ltd. of Nishiwaki-City, Hyogo Pref., Japan, other materials can be used without departing from the present invention. Indeed, while polyolefine is preferred, any material or composition which has the functional characteristics described for the described stay is within the contemplation of the inventor and the claims so long as used in the manner described herein, i.e., integrated or used within a garment to prevent localized rolling and to keep the garment in place on the body. When the stays are inserted into or onto the garment the overall garment will be considered within the shapewear or girdle-like garment category. The garment will be kept up i.e., rolling will be reduced, and the garment will generally stay in place on the wearer's body. The stays, as described, will maintain the shape of the garment and the stays, as described, will tend to prevent the garment from rolling, whether rolling down as in the case of control underwear or rolling up, as in the case where the present invention is integrated into a camisole. In either garment type, the set of stays tend to prevent rolling of the fabric and relatedly maintain the garment on the wearer's body.
 As will be described, the stays or bones may be slightly bendable by the wearer, and this minor adjustment can be made either before the garment is donned, while being worn or not at all. The set of stays may be bendable and rebendable, repeatedly as desired by the wearer, and yet the stays will maintain their bent-into shape thereby substantially maintaining the shape of the garment, prevent rolling, and maintain the garment against and in the same relative position on the body.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART
 Shapewear or garments which are intended to maintain a shape for the wearer have been in use for years. Prior art stays and garments exist but those are not bendable nor therefore can they retain the shape into which they are bent. The present invention uses bendable stays which retain their shape. Women's girdles are among the most well-known types of garments employing such fabric and features. Control top panties, pantyhose and control underwear have been in use, too, and generally have been quite available to women for years. These generally comprise a somewhat elastic portion, at least at or near the waist and waistband. The elastic-like fabric is intended to compress the woman's body to provide a generally pleasing shape. Girdles of the past did not allow the buyer/wearer to individually shape the bone or stay elements to individually suit her body shape. While the rigidity of the girdle (some containing rigid bones) preserved the shape of the garment, there was no prevention of rolling of the garment and the rigidity of the girdle was counterproductive to comfort. Thus, more elastic and comfortable garments have developed and, yet, they tend to roll when worn and also tend not to hold their shape and position on the body.
 Thus, a new piece of shapewear, a garment, with more elasticity was developed. However, as mentioned, those garments tend to roll when worn and do not have the body engaging or maintaining capability to the extent desired. The present invention, a set of stays made of shapeable plastic, prevent roll down and maintain shape against the body, and, yet, are integrated into a simple piece of shapewear, i.e., an elastic garment, like control panties, pantyhose, or control underwear. The present invention has the ability to allow for individual shaping of the garment to more precisely conform to that desired by the shape of the consumer. Women, buying the new shapewear of the present invention with the set of stays, unlike the prior art girdles, will be able to individually shape the garment to follow their contour and shape, will be able to wear more comfortable elastic garments of the control top "genre" and, yet the garments will not roll and will maintain their shape against the body. The present invention is expected to be a very popular garment in that it comprises the ability to shape the stays at their position, the stays will prevent rolling, and the stays will maintain the shape of the garment. The stays integrated into the garments are designed to be comfortable to wear and, yet, will maintain its shape (thus reducing rolling) until and unless they are manually and forcibly bent by hand to a new shape. There is a degree of stiffness and rigidity of the stay such that they will hold their shape and, yet, there is a degree of flexibility and resilience allowing for the hand to bend and shape the stay and the stay will retain that new shape and bend until and unless the user/buyer/consumer reshapes or rebends the stay into a new shape. The prior art of shapewear garments have not had this level of flexibility of individual stays. The ability of a wearer to mold and shape any one or more stays of a garment, as desired, and to mold and shape the same around the profile of the wearer provides the buyer (and the garment designer, manufacturer and seller) with huge flexibility for providing new and creative, desirable garment designs. Most importantly, however, the set of stays reduces rolling of the garment, even if the stays are not shapeable by the consumer and the set of stays holds the garment in position on the body.
 The prior art of men's shirt collar stays teach the use of elongated, plastic, metal, or cardboard stays which slide into similarly shaped pockets in the tips of the collar. These stays are meant to be removable although some permanent shirt collar stays have been made and sold. Generally, however, shirt stays were substantially rigid and held their original shape, indeed, that was a purpose of a stay in a man's collar, to hold it in place and have the tips of the collar point precisely as the tip of the stay--straight, not droopy. However, men's collars and stays have also, in the past, been provided with stays which have some degree of flexibility of shaping so that a small curve could be provided to the stay and it would maintain that curve and thus the collar of the shirt would, when the stay is inserted into the stay's pocket (in the tip of the collar) the collar would follow the curvature of the bent stay. However, such a concept has never been considered for use with other garments and, in any event, the present invention, as described, is patentably distinct from an ordinary men's collar stay, even a selectively bendable one. The present invention a set of permanently sewn-in or otherwise attached, spaced stays, primarily relates to control underwear and prevents rolling of fabric (generally at the waistband) and of the garment, primarily in the vertical direction, and maintains the garment against the wearer's body.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to garments in the shapewear or control underwear category. The garment is provided with two or more permanently secured stays made from a plastic material which is like a plastic, shape-retaining bone. It is thin, soft, and flexible and moldable by hand and yet has shape retention or stability. The stays can be reshaped and molded to a different shape merely by the strength of one's hands and yet are rigid enough to hold that shape until rebent by hand. The stay will maintain the new shape to which it is molded until reshaped yet again. The use of the stay(s) in the garment keeps the garment up and prevents it from rolling. In the case of control underwear, the stays are located about the waistband and prevent the waistband from rolling down, preventing the garment from falling down, and thus keeping the garment in place on and against the body. The stays are bendable and retain and maintain their shape. The invention can be provided to and applied to all types of garments, whether they be, for example, control underwear, pantyhose with control tops, panties, tights, leggings, dresses, shirts, skirts, briefs, camisoles, tank tops, blouses, etc. The principal objective of the present invention is to prevent or minimize rolling of the garment at the location of the stays and to maintain the garment in position at and against the body.
 The present invention, in its currently best-understood embodiment, comprises two main components--one is an inner bone or stay material made preferably from a plastic material made, currently, by Utax Co. Ltd. of Nisahiwaki City of Japan. It is a shape retaining plastic of polyolefine. The stays are thin, lightweight, soft when encased as described, and flexible. The stays have shape stability. The plastic is preferably polyolefine. The individual stays can be made in any size or width but the current invention is preferably formed as stays of 4 mm to 6 mm widths.
 The second component of the present invention is an outer layer or casing for the inner bone or stay. This outer layer is soft on the outside for comfort to the wearer and is similar to the hollow casing used in connection with underwire support bras. That housing provides a comfortable casing for the metallic wire used under the cups of a bra. The casing is intended to hold the stay so that direct contact with the plastic material of the stay is eliminated but, rather, the plastic is encased by the hollow fabric and that fabric is in contact with the body of the wearer. This outer casing to the stay serves to present a cushion between the wearer's body and the stiff plastic of the stay.
 Preferably, in addition to the outer, soft material layer or casing for the stay, the present invention contemplates the use of a silicone coating. Silicone is preferably applied to the outer casing that sits against the wearer's body to aid in the stay put quality of the stay and the level of comfort. The silicone provides a somewhat "sticky" quality and is provided between the outer casing of the stay and the wearer's skin. It can aid in locating and maintaining the garment in proper position on the wearer. The silicone can also be an aid in the level of comfort to the wearer in that the silicone applied to the casing for the plastic stay can ease the relative movement of the set of stays in relation to the skin. The stays thus can comfortably glide slightly over the skin and do so without irritation, which is important when one considers that the stays are otherwise semi-rigid plastic (although encased in soft fabric).
 According to the inventor, the currently considered manner of applying the present invention to garments of various sizes, shapes and designs is by sewing, bonding or fusing but, of course, other manners of use and application of the invention will be and will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. The present inventive set of stays are intended to be permanently secured to the garment.
 According to the manner of making the present invention and integrating the same into a garment, a piece of plastic material which is currently made by Utax of Japan (polyolefine) is cut from a long strip of such plastic material. It has plastic shaping and moldability and, yet, has shape retention characteristics. The basic bone or stay of plastic is cut to the desired width and length appropriate for the end use in the garment. The shape, size and thickness of the plastic stay component are dictated by the garment designer and ultimate consumer. The plastic stay or bone is then inserted into a sheath of otherwise hollow comfortable fabric. This fabric is similar to that used to encase the wire of a bra provided with underwire support. The fabric is then cut to a length to encase the plastic stay and the fabric is sewn on its sides, if needed, and its ends, to close off the component, a plastic stay encased in fabric. That component is then sewn or otherwise secured in place into a garment. The side of the component which otherwise comes into contact with the wearer is then provided with a thin film or layer of silicone. So, in effect, a length of plastic with shape retention characteristic or features is enclosed in an outer fabric casing, similar to how the underwire section of a woman's bra is formed, and the outer casing is then (or after) supplied with a thin coating or layer of silicone. At least two of these components are placed into the women's garment by sewing, bonding or fusing. More than one set of stays may be needed in a single garment. Most likely, there will be 2 or 4 such stays (each encapsulated in a casing and each applied with a thin coating of silicone) per garment, depending upon the style and design sought and the silhouette desired for the woman's shape and garment.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a stay segment (the bottom portion of the drawing) shown inserted longitudinally into and thus partially encased by soft, fabric casing material, prior to the stay and casing being cut and then the casing sewn closed on its ends;
 FIG. 2 is a partial perspective and cross-sectional view of the present invention in a parallelpiped shape and showing the inner core of stay or plastic material (preferably polyolefine plastic made by Utax Co., Ltd. of Japan) surrounded with a casing or layer of soft cotton or other soft fabric material casing and then applied with a thin layer of silicone. The composite is then secured with other such stays into a garment. A garment equipped with these stays will exhibit reduced rolling and will maintain its shape even if the garment is of the control or shapewear type, i.e., made primarily of elastic fibers.
 FIG. 3 is a partial view of the inside and top or waistline of an undergarment, like a pair of tights for a woman or control underwear, showing three of the four (or six) stays in location in the garment. The stays (plastic encased in soft fabric, applied with silicon) extend substantially perpendicularly to the waistband and are spaced around the perimeter of the waistband. The garment is made of elastic fibers and the waistband is highly elastic, too. The stays of the present invention reduce roll down and maintain the garment in position on the wearer's body.
 FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the outside of the garment shown in FIG. 3 with the top and rear of the control underwear or tights being shown and provided with the stays of the present invention.
 FIG. 5 is a rear and inside out view of the garment shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and shows the top of the waistband provided with the stays of the invention.
 FIG. 6 is another view of the garment (showing the inside of the underwear/tights) similar to that shown in FIGS. 3 through 5.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS, THE INVENTION AND THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 As seen in the Figures of the Drawings, the present invention is a set of one or more, preferably 2, 3, 4 or 6 stays which are sewn or otherwise secured into a garment for providing shape retention and importantly anti-rolling of the waistband, when the garment is worn. The stays are individually bendable and when bent by simple mechanical and manual manipulation by the wearer will hold their shape and configuration as a consequence of the shape retention characteristics of the plastic material within the stays. They are easily molded, shaped and contoured to fit and shape the body of the wearer even when encased in the fabric covering.
 According to the embodiment shown in the Figures, there are often provided 4 or 6, see FIG. 6) stays which are located at spaced horizontal intervals around the waistband of the control underwear article of clothing. The stays generally are sewn into the garment so that they extend vertically i.e., the longitudinal axis of the stay is substantially perpendicular to the waistband of the garment.
 As seen in the Figures, a complete stay 10 is comprised of a length of inner plastic 12. As seen in the Figures, the length is longer than the stay's width and the thickness of the stay is smaller than the width. The relative dimensions are determined by the shape sought of the overall garment. Preferably, the plastic piece is polyolefine and can be obtained from Utax Co. Ltd of Japan. It exhibits excellent moldability and shape retention. The interior component of the stay, made from the indicated plastic provides a thin, soft and flexible material which has stability when bent and has good required fatigue characteristics, i.e., it can be repeatedly bent and rebent and, in each configuration it will hold that configuration or shape until a subsequent rebending without breaking for substantially the life of the garment.
 The stay 10 comprised of the plastic piece 12 is encased in a thin fabric-like covering 14. This fabric is similar to that used in underwire support bras for the wiring beneath the cups. The piece 12 is slid into the hollow covering and the sides are closed off, either because the casing is a tube or by sewing the sides shut. The plastic piece 12 and fabric casing or covering 14 are cut (with a scissor) and the ends then shut by sewing. The stay is then secured to the garment by fusing, adhering or otherwise fastening the same in position. Preferably a thin layer of silicone 22 is provided to the inside of the stay at the location between the fabric covering 14 and the wearer's skin. The plastic piece 12 is encased in the fabric covering 14 much in the same way that a length of wire is encased in an underwire support for a woman's bra. The fabric covering can first be closed off at its end, the piece 12 slid into the open end, the plastic piece 12 then cut to length, and then the other end of the covering 14 is closed off by sewing, fusing, or glue. The fully covered stay 10 can then be coated with a thin layer of silicone and then sewn or adhered or fused in place in the garment 20. The coating of silicone 22 is intended to provide comfort at the point of contact between the stays 10 and the skin of the wearer. The silicone is also intended to allow the stays to somewhat slide over the skin of the wearer.
 As seen in the Figures the stays 10 are preferably attached to the inside elastic waistband of a garment, like a pair of control underwear or women's tights, for example, at the inside and top of the waistband. Preferably the set of stays 10 are spaced apart around the inside of the waistband 30. The Figures show the stays 10 being vertically arranged, i.e., their longitudinal axis lies along the vertical axis of the wearer's body and the stays 10 are spaced apart and around the waist of the garment.
 In use the wearer will buy the garment 20 with the stays 10 sewn in place i.e., in the preferred embodiment extending around, at spaced locations, the waistband of the control underwear. Upon donning the garment 20, the wearer can adjust the bending of each of the stays 20 until the garment comfortably fits around the wearer. The stays may have adequate flexibility to conform to the body's shape upon mere donning the garment. In the example of the garment shown in the Figures, a pair of women's tights, four or six such stays are provided to the inside of the waistband 30 of the garment 20. As the wearer wears the garment throughout the day, she can, if she so desires, adjust and readjust each, a few or all (or none) of the stays. She will merely bend the piece, within the fabric covering, and the stay 10 will retain the new shape to mold or shape around the wearer's waist. As the wearer wears the garment 20 and as she changes position during the day or night, she can readjust the amount or degree of bend in the stay 10. However, the primary purpose of the stays is to maintain the garment, i.e., the control underwear in place on the body and to prevent or reduce waistband rolldown.
 Once the stays are adjusted by hand manipulation they will maintain their shape. The wearer can leave the stays 10 in one shape all day or readjust the stays for comfort and fit and positioning. The use of the stays in the garment will prevent the garment from rolling down. Of course, if the stays are provided to the bottom hem of a camisole, for example, the hem will be prevented from bottom roll up and the garment will again tend to remain in the position desired in that the stays tend to reduce movement of the garment about the body.
Patent applications in class Undergarments
Patent applications in all subclasses Undergarments