Patent application title: CLOTHING FOR GRIPPING
Murray Brown (Bal Harbour, FL, US)
IPC8 Class: AA41D1900FI
Class name: Apparel hand or arm coverings gloves
Publication date: 2012-09-13
Patent application number: 20120227155
A glove having a palm covering for covering the palm of a hand. The palm
covering is formed with an opening for receiving the fingers and a hand.
A plurality of finger coverings communicate with the palm covering an end
of the palm covering opposite the opening. A first member is disposed on
the palm portion and extends substantially across the palm portion. A
second member disposed on the palm portion extends substantially across
the palm covering, forming a channel along the palm covering between the
first member and second member for gripping an item held by a user with
1. A glove comprising: a palm covering for covering the palm of a hand
formed with an opening for receiving the fingers and a hand of a user; a
first member disposed on the palm covering and extending substantially
across the palm covering; and a second member disposed on the palm
portion extending substantially across the palm covering forming a
channel along the palm covering between the first member and second
member for gripping an item held by a user with the glove.
2. The glove of claim 1, wherein the first member and second member are formed of an elastic material.
3. The glove of claim 1, wherein the first member has a surface facing the channel, the surface forming an angle of about 90.degree. or greater with a surface of the palm covering.
4. The glove of claim 3, wherein the second member has a surface facing the channel, the second surface forming an angle of about 90.degree. or greater with a surface of the palm covering.
5. The glove of claim 1, further comprising a flexible sheet disposed on the palm covering, the first member and second member being disposed on the flexible sheet.
6. The glove of claim 1, wherein an axis is formed extending through the opening and along the palm covering, the channel forming an angle with the axis, the angle not being equal to 90.degree..
7. The glove of claim 1 wherein the first member and second member are formed of an elastic material; the first member has a surface facing the channel, the surface forming an angle of about 90.degree. or greater with a surface of the palm covering; and the second member has a surface facing the channel; the surface of the second member forming an angle of about 90.degree. greater with the surface of the palm covering.
8. The glove of claim 1, wherein at least one the first member and second member is formed as a strip of material.
9. The glove of claim 1, wherein the channel has a depth of between about one quarter inch to about one half inch.
10. The glove of claim 1, wherein at least one of the first member and second member is a pad.
11. The glove of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of finger coverings communicating with the palm covering at a first end of the palm covering opposite the opening.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION(S)
 This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 13/042,939, filed Mar. 8, 2011 entitled Knee Pad, which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 This invention is directed to clothing for assistance in gripping, and in particular, a knee pad or glove for stabilizing a worker in position, or an object in position within a grip, for safe and comfortable performance of a task.
 Knee pads are well known in the art to provide protection, stability, and comfort. The prior art knee pad includes a sleeve adapted to receive the leg of the user at the knee. In the most common knee pad, a pad is disposed on the outer surface of the sleeve, and when worn, positioned adjacent the knee cap. Such a knee pad is well known in sports for providing protection to the knee, such as in soccer or football, comfort to the knee as when kneeling as in wrestling, cushioning the knee when the knee hits the ground as in football, soccer or wrestling, and lastly, internal stability at the knee as a function of the tightness of the sleeve.
 More specialized knee pads have been developed, which include pads on a rear surface of the sleeve, across a gap of the sleeve from the knee pad to provide support when the user is in a crouched position; such as a baseball catcher's knee pad.
 Specialized knee pads have also been developed for industry. Rubber knee pads have been developed for masons who spend a significant amount of time on their knees laying stone.
 Other professionals who must spend time on their knees utilized knee pads, such as inspectors, roofers, carpenters, flooring installers, and inspection engineers. The issue becomes particularly acute for occupations like roofers, who often must kneel on a truss in an unfinished roof for stability while handling tools and roof components. This is also true of attic insulators or air conditioning repairmen who must work in low cramped spaces, forcing crouching or kneeling, on a surface without a floor in unfinished attics.
 Often, these repairmen, roofers and inspectors, use knee pads to kneel on the joist or truss, but either must hook the edge of the knee pad to the truss avoiding the cushioning effect of the knee pad, or the cloth surface of the knee pad slides across the joist or truss causing the wearer to fall. They must support themselves on the joist where slipping could lead to falling through the ceiling or roof of the house in which they are working. The conventional knee pad does not allow for safe or comfortable travel along the support surface while kneeling. Accordingly, a knee pad which overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art is desired.
 Similarly, a grip is quite important when grasping tools, or when utilizing dangerous implements such as fire arms, or even when trying to grasp sporting equipment, such as a racquet, a paddle, or a fishing rod. Improper positioning of the hands relative to the instrument can lead to misuse which may result in harm.
 Furthermore, over time when utilizing a tool grips, can fatigue, even when utilizing gloves.
 It is known to use protective gloves when handling tools, fire arms, or even recreational equipment. The use of gloves protects the hands from painful wear resulting in calluses, blisters, and raw skin. It also improves grip by preventing the slippage within the glove. However, prior art gloves still allow for improper gripping of a tool or instrument. Accordingly, a glove which overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art is desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 A glove includes a palm portion for covering the palm of a hand and is formed with a first opening for receiving the fingers and a hand. The plurality of finger coverings communicate with the palm portion at a first end of the palm portion which is opposite the first opening. A first strip of elastic material is disposed on the palm portion and extends substantially across the palm portion. A second strip of elastic material is disposed on the palm portion and extends substantially across the palm portion to form a channel along the palm covering between the first strip and second strip to grip an item held by a user with the glove.
 In a preferred embodiment, the surfaces of each strip facing the channel form an angle of about 90° or greater with a surface of the palm covering. A flexible sheet of material may be formed on the palm covering, and each strip of elastic material may be formed on the flexible sheet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The invention will now be described by a way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, where like numerals are used to note like elements and in which;
 FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a knee pad constructed in accordance with the invention;
 FIG. 2 is a front plan view of a knee pad constructed in accordance with the invention;
 FIG. 3 is a rear plan view of the knee pad constructed in accordance with the invention in a wrapped orientation;
 FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a knee pad taken along line 4-4;
 FIG. 5 is a side view of an insert constructed in accordance with the invention;
 FIG. 6 is a side view of an insert constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 7 is a front plan view of a glove constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention in an open orientation;
 FIG. 8 is a side perspective view of the glove constructed in accordance with the invention;
 FIG. 9 is a side perspective view of the glove constructed in accordance with the invention in a slightly closed orientation;
 FIG. 10 is an enlarged sectional view of a palm covering constructed in accordance with the invention;
 FIG. 11 is a side perspective view of a glove constructed in accordance with yet another embodiment of the invention;
 FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of the glove constructed in accordance with the yet another embodiment of the invention in a closed orientation; and
 FIG. 13 is a front perspective view of the glove constructed in accordance with the yet another embodiment of the invention with an open orientation.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
 Reference is made to FIGS. 1-4 in which a knee pad, generally indicated as 10, constructed in accordance with the invention is provided. A sleeve includes a base substrate 14. Extending from opposed edges of substrate 14 are respective pairs of legs 19a, 19b. Respective leg pair 19a includes first leg 20a and second leg 20b separated across a gap. Similarly, leg pair 19b includes a first leg 18a separated across a gap from a second leg 18b. Each of legs 18a, 18b supports a respective fastener 16a, 16b adapted to come in contact with and selectively engage a respective leg 20a, 20b.
 Sleeve 12 may be made from any flexible material capable of withstanding repeated bending such as cotton or neoprene by way of non limiting example. In a preferred embodiment sleeve 12 is made from an elastic material. Fastener 16a, 16b may be, by way of example, snaps, hooks, buttons, and in a most preferred embodiment, one mating surface of a hook and fiber fastener such as a Velcro® fastener. It follows that each of legs 20a, 20b has a complimentary fastening structure 17a, 17b to cooperate with a respective fastener 16a, 16b in order to secure the sleeve 12 about a leg of a user.
 As seen in FIG. 3, a sleeve is formed by the overlap and engagement of a first arm 18a over second arm 20a and a third arm 18b over a fourth arm 20b. It should be understood, that this structure provides the ability to adjust to a variety of circumferences of users. However, it is also contemplated as is known in the art to make a sleeve from a unitary material capable of stretching to accommodate the various sizes of knees and legs and provide a tension/friction fit between sleeve 12 and the leg of the user.
 A pad 24 is disposed on substrate 14 of sleeve 12 and has an area substantially greater than or equal to the area of a knee cap of the user. Pad 24 is made from a flexible compressible material having restorative properties. In other words, it forms a cushion which may be compressed when a force is applied to the padding but substantially returns to its original shape when the force is released. The cushion may be made out of a foam, a soft rubber, a gel pad, or even air filled bladder, i.e., that is capable of some flexibility and compression when the user flexes their knee or kneels, while still providing some protection to the underlying knee cap of the user.
 Padding 24 is preferably fixably attached to sleeve 12 at substrate 14. It maybe attached by glue, stitching 22, Velcro® or may be sealed within a compartment formed on substrate 12 by affixing a material to substrate 14 by stitching 22 with pad 24 disposed there between. In a preferred embodiment, material stitching 22 does not extend all of the way about the material to form a pocket. In this way, pad 24 may be removed or changed to meet the needs of the user.
 A knee cap 30 is disposed on sleeve 12 so that padding 24 is disposed between substrate 14 and knee cap 30. Knee cap 30 includes a first channel 34 extending along an upper surface (a surface facing away from substrate 14) of knee cap 30. In a preferred embodiment, substrate channel 34 extends substantially the entire length of knee cap 30. Additionally, the width of channel 34 is sufficient to receive at least an edge of a joist or a truss. For reasons that would become apparent below, channel 34 is sized and dimensioned, such that when a user is in at least a kneeling position, channel 34 is adapted to receive a sufficient portion of a truss or joist to stabilize a user utilizing the truss or joist.
 A second channel 32 is formed substantially along the width of knee cap 30. In a preferred, but non-limiting embodiment, channels 32 and 34 intersect each other, substantially at a center knee cap 30. Like channel 34, channel 32 is sized and dimensioned so as to be adapted to receive at least a portion of a joist or truss sufficient to stabilize the user when the user is kneeling upon the joist or truss. It should be noted that because cap 30 becomes bent during use, the edges of the cap will not always come in contact with the joist or truss so the channels need not extend the entire length of the cap in order for cap 30 to function.
 It should be noted, that it is well within the scope of the invention for either channels 32 or 34 to be shifted relative to knee cap 30 so that an intersection of the channels does not occur substantially at the center without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Furthermore, it is well within the scope of the invention to provide knee cap 30 with only one of channels 32 or 34.
 During use, a user would apply knee pad 10 by positioning substrate 12 to align padding 24 above the knee cap of a user. Leg pairs, 19a, 19b, forming straps, would be pulled along the rear of the leg of the user. Legs 20a, 20b would overlap legs 18a, 18b, so that fasteners 16a, 16b engage fasteners 20a, 20b, securing knee pad 10 above the leg in a tension fit.
 Sleeve 12 is made from a sufficiently flexible material, so that when a user bends their leg, sleeve 12, padding 24, and knee cap 30, all flex in unison with bending of the knee. When kneeling, upon a joist or a truss, or other type of support the user positions knee cap 30 to either receive the entire joist or truss within the respective channel 32, 34 or to catch an edge of a joist or truss therein. In this way, when kneeling, the user is now stabilized by the structure to prevent inadvertent falling or slipping while performing a task.
 Reference is now made to FIG. 5, in which another feature of the invention is described. In some instances, it is preferable to provide both the secure and stabilizing features of knee pad 10 as discussed above, as well as a complete knee pad which aesthetically and functionally resembles those found in the prior art, either for aesthetic reasons or to provide additional cushioning when stabilizing is no longer needed. As a result, in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention, fastening structure 40 may be disposed within at least one of channel 32 or 34.
 An insert 50 is dimensioned, shaped and sized to be received within channels 32, 34 so as to fill channels 30 and 34. By way of example, insert 50 shown in FIGS. 1 and 5 has a substantially cross shape to meet with and fill the spaces formed by channels 32 and 34. However, insert 50 may be formed as segments which fill parts of channel 30 and/or 34. For the purpose of this application, fill shall mean to be received within the open space of the respective channel and to occupy the space formed by the channel sufficiently to be substantially coplanar with the remaining structures of knee cap 30 and with substantially no gap between insert 50 and the remaining structures of knee cap 30, other than to provide clearance for fastener 40. In a preferred embodiment, fastener 40 includes four sections, 42, 44, 46, and 48 which are disposed in and affixed to corners of the upstanding remaining structures 36 on knee cap 30. However, fastener 40 may be disposed along the floor and/or side walls of any one of respective channels 32, 34.
 In a preferred embodiment, fastener 40 may be a hook and fabric type fastener, such as Velcro® fastener so that the insert is easily selectively attached and removed. It follows, that in a preferred embodiment, insert 50 is made of a flexible yet sufficiently rigid material to flex with the knee and as knee cap 30 is flexed and bends, but provide protection and cushioning for the knee cap of the user. In a preferred embodiment, insert 50 and knee cap 30 are formed of the same material.
 Cap 30 is the element of knee pad 10 which engages the surface upon which a user kneels and therefore the upper surfaces 36 of cap 34 must be sufficiently rigid to catch and hold an object within channels 32, 34 and sufficiently durable to prevent wear and tear. In a preferred non limiting example, a rubber having properties such as that used in a sneaker or deck shoe sole is used. It is also well understood in the art, that the padding 24 and the knee cap 30 may be constructed with a unitary structure. In such an embodiment, in effect channels 32, 34 are formed within an overly thick pad 24. It is also contemplated that the material may have a varying degree of rigidity along its height so that it may be formed as a rubber which is different (more rigid) at its top (the surface facing away from the sleeve) than at its bottom (the surface adjacent the sleeve).
 It is also contemplated, that the structures to which the knee cap is to stabilize the user do not come in a one size fits all environment. Accordingly, channels 32, 34 may not accommodate all trusses, joists or other structures such as stairs or a ladder to which a kneeling worker may wish to be anchored during performing a process. Furthermore, a user may consider it an inconvenience to switch out insert 50 during the day as a task being performed; switch between a knee brace to be stabilized and a knee brace for more protection of the user's knee cap. Therefore, in accordance with yet another embodiment, an insert 150 is provided having a channel formed therein and adapted to cooperate with a structure having an edge to anchor a kneeling user to the structure. In a preferred, non-limiting embodiment, the channel has a substantially V shape.
 Specifically, an insert 150 is sized, shaped and dimensioned to fill the channels 32 and/or 34 as discussed above in connection with insert 50. However, an upper surface 154 is formed with a groove 152 having an angle therein so as to be adapted to catching an edge of a surface when a user is in the kneeling position.
 Reference is now made FIGS. 7-9 in which an embodiment of clothing designed to grip an object, namely, having a gripping channel provided in a glove is shown. A glove generally indicated as 200 includes a palm covering 212 for covering and protecting the palm of the user. Palm covering 212 is provided with an opening 236 for receiving the hand of the user. Opening 236 extends below the wrist of the user's hand. Each of the user's fingers is enclosed in respective pinky covering 214, ring finger cover 216, middle finger covering 218, index finger covering 220 and thumb covering 222 respectively. Each finger covering 214-222 communicates with palm covering 212 as known in the art to allow the hand of a user to slide through opening 236, palm covering 212 and respective finger coverings 214-222 in the same continuous motion. It is well understood within the art that palm covering 212 includes a hand and front surface 212a and hand rear surface 212b (FIG. 9). Palm covering 212 is anchored to the hand of the user through the use of a band 234 at opening 236. Band 234 when not formed as elastic band is an adjustable closable band which may be secured by snaps, Velcro® fasteners or the like as known in the art.
 It is also well known in the art to make gloves with no finger coverings, or half finger coverings. They would also be within the scope of the invention with the above palm construction.
 Reference is now also made to FIG. 10 which is a partial side sectional view of the palm region of glove 200. A first material 240 formed as a strip is disposed on palm covering 212 and substantially extends across the front surface 212a of palm covering 212. A second strip of material 242 extends across palm 212 and is spaced from first strip of material 240 and substantially parallel therewith to form a channel 244. Strips of material 240, 242 extend out from palm area 212 to provide a channel 244 having a depth sufficient to position an item therein so as to be captured when the item is gripped. In a preferred, but non-limiting embodiment, the height to which each strip 240, 242 extends above palm area 212 is substantially equal to about one-half inch or less. In a preferred embodiment, the height of strips 240, 242 extending above the palm is between about a quarter of an inch and a half inch.
 Furthermore, a surface 240a of first strip 240 forms an angle with palm surface 212a. In a preferred embodiment, this angle is preferably an obtuse angle, i.e., greater than about 90°, although an angle of about 90° would be within the scope of the invention. Similarly, strip of material 242 has a surface 242a facing channel 244 and forms an angle of 90° or greater with surface 212a of palm covering 212. As readily seen, channel 244 is formed at an angle other than 90° relative to the axis of the glove, i.e., the axis A along which a wrist extending into glove 200 would extend from opening 236 through palm covering 212 (see FIG. 7).
 Furthermore, in a preferred but non-limiting embodiment, each of strips 240, 242 is formed of a compressible elastic material, i.e., a material which is deformed by the application of force, but returns to its original shape upon the removal of such force. The elastic properties of strips 240, 242 working with the angle of orientation across the palm surface 212a and the angle of surfaces 240a, 242a, act together to enable the glove to grip a variety of different sized and shaped tools, or accommodate the differences in gripping positions from user to user as they seek their most comfortable and effective grip position. In other words, the structure allows two people to hold the same item in different ways.
 It should be noted in a preferred embodiment, palm covering surface 212a is formed of a sheet of wear-resistant material, such as a rubber. To provide further cushioning, the sheet of palm covering surface 212a may be formed as an elastic material such as a foam. In a preferred embodiment, the surface 212a may be formed as a rubber. Strips 240, 242 may be formed as a closed cell foam, a nylon foam, neoprene, europrene, leather, or polyester. In a preferred non-limiting embodiment, the sheets forming palm surface 212a may have a hardness of about 20 to 75 Sure 00. The strips 240, 242 may have a hardness between 20 and 75 Sure 00. But the components, when made out of foam may have a foam firmness as measured by compression force (% deflection) of 5 to 9 PSI. In one preferred non-limiting embodiment, strips 240, 242 and surface 212a are formed as a unitary member.
 It is also well within the embodiment of the invention to provide pads 250 along any one or all of the fingers 216-222 to provide both protection and enhanced gripping. Because these pads 250 are disposed on either side of the finger joints, pads 250 do not need to deflect, so they may be made of a harder, more durable material if desired. The gloves and each component thereof may also be made of leather in one non-limiting embodiment. Kevlar or other protective materials may be utilized within the strips to provide puncture protection in another non-limiting embodiment of the invention.
 Strips are used as a non-limiting example of shape, and any spaced forms which form the channel, can be used as the spaced elastic members. As discussed above, because of the angled side walls 240a, 242a, the center bottom of channel 244 is substantially narrower than the top of the channel to create a V-shape that cradles an item being gripped. When used in combination with an elastic material, the structure allows for tools or other objects at varying range of sizes and shapes to fit within the channel 244 of glove 200. Furthermore, the channel improves grip and reduces stress on the hand by aiding the user in holding on tightly to an object such as a tennis racquet, a paint brush, or fire arm. Less pressure is required to maintain a good grip due to the affect of the channel surrounding and gripping the item when the palm grip is curved about the handle of the item enclosed. Furthermore, the depth of the channel provides more contact surface between the item being gripped and the glove 200. This in turn increases the grip and again reduces the amount of tension needed to hold onto an object. Merely bending the fingers about the item causes the grip to tighten as a function of closing strips 240, 242 and channel 244 about the item, acting almost as a vice to clamp the item being held.
 Reference is now made to FIGS. 11-13 in which a glove constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention is provided. Like numerals are utilized to indicate like structure, the primary difference being that the strips are formed as pads substantially covering the palm area 212a, not exposed as channel 244.
 Again, a glove 300 includes a palm covering 212. Fingers 214, 216, 218, 220 and 222 extend from palm covering 212 to form an enclosure therewith which is accessed by opening 236. Again, palm covering 212 includes structures forming channel 244. In this elastic case, sheets 340, 342 are disposed on either side of channel 240 having inner facing walls (towards channel 244) which are substantially oriented as shown in FIG. 10 forming faces 240a, 242a. Again, sheets 349, 342 and palm covering 212 may be formed as a unitary member.
 By utilizing pads 340, 342 a greater gripping area is provided for surrounding the item being gripped and anchoring the item within channel 244. It also provides additional padding for the glove.
 It is understood that modifications, variations and changes in shapes, sizes, angle, and material which allow a channel based gripping to accomplish a range of tasks for specialized functions can be made to the described preferred embodiments of the invention by those skilled in the art. Therefore, it is intended that all matters in the foregoing description and shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrated and not in a limiting sense. Thus, the scope of the invention is determined by the appended claims.
Patent applications in class Gloves
Patent applications in all subclasses Gloves