(i) TECHNICAL FIELD
This invention relates generally to garments. More particularly, the invention relates to the collars of shirts made of woven fabric. The present invention relates to the addition of a material strip within the neckband which alters the relative position between the elements comprising a traditionally constructed shirt collar and the wearer's neck.
Collars of woven shirts, especially when worn with a necktie, place abrasive seams on the wearer's neck, place unmitigated pressure on the wearer's neck, and are constructed with multiple abutting layers of fabric which retain an uncomfortable amount of body heat between the neckband and the wearer's neck.
(ii) BACKGROUND ART
- U.S. Pat. No. 5,274,853 “January 1994 (1/1994)” Millican
- U.S. Pat. No. 3,430,264 “March 1966 (3/1966)” Beukenkamp
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,937,884 “July 1990 (7/1990)” Sherman
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,996,723 “August 1961 (8/1961)” Ainslie
- U.S. Pat. No. 2,396,842 “March 1946 (3/1946)” Franklin
- U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,686 “April 2001 (4/2001)” Krause et al
- U.S. Pat. No. 4,847,919 “July 1989” (7/1989)” Hwang
- WO 2008/025043 “June 2008 (6/2008)” Sobhanian
- WO 2007/50290 A1 20070503 “March 2007 (3/2007)” Capital Mercury Apparel, LTD.
Many proposals have been made to make the collars of woven shirts, e.g., dress shirts, more comfortable and/or more easily maintained. In relation to the background art, the present invention differs by one or more of the following; ease of care, appearance, cost to produce, and relative positioning of traditional collar components.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,686 to Krause on “Apr. 10, 2001 (10/04/2001)” proposes to increase comfort by both utilizing stretch material for the collar bands and methods of stitching which allow the stretch material to function while attached to traditional woven fabric. However, this invention does not alter the relative position of the components comprising a traditionally constructed collar. Unlike the present invention, U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,686 to Krause does not reduce contact of abrasive stitched seams with the wearer or reduce stains caused by the wearer's neck rubbing against the collar flap. Furthermore, the invention does not allow localized response to points of pressure on the collar.
WO2008/025043 “June 2008 (6/2008)” to Sobhanian utilizes a material strip to allow adjustment of the circumference of a shirt collar or pant waistline. A material strip is added to allow for adjustment of the circumference of a shirt collar or pant waistband. The solution adds an abutting stiffening element in order to provide the prescribed benefit of providing a means for altering the effective inner circumference of a shirt collar or waistband. This stiffening element also eases insertion and retraction of the material strip. This functional requirement necessitates the strip be smooth and firm in order to allow insertion and removal and would prohibit the use of open cell foam, quilted material, a large degree of perforation or notching of the material strip. If the stiffening element were not perforated, the rate of evaporation on the material strip and inner neckband would be greatly reduced. To achieve at least one claimed benefit of this invention, the material strip must be removable. As a result, a means of holding the strip in place is required and must be accessible and visible. All of these additional elements add substantial costs to production, result in a more substantial change to appearance of the collar, and would alter the care requirements of the shirt.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,232 to Gains on “Sep. 4, 1990 (04/09/1990)” proposes a method for protecting shirt collars from stains caused by bodily oils and fluids. The invention alters the construction and appearance of the visible portion of the collar, is disposable, changes the care requirements of the shirt, and adds substantial cost to production.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,989,269 to Takasugi on “Feb. 5, 1991 (05/01/1991)” proposes a method for making a collar softer and more absorptive by adding removable external material panels. This prior art requires several additional pieces than a traditionally constructed shirt, is expensive to produce, alters the care requirements, and greatly alters the appearance of the shirt.
(iii) DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
The present invention places a compressible and resilient material, henceforth referred to as material (16), between inner neckband (14) and outer neckband (12). When applied to the construction of collars, this invention not only reduces contact between wearer's neck with upper neckband seam (20) and lower neckband seam (22), which are relatively abrasive compared to shirt fabric, but also reduces pressure points around the wearer's neck. Furthermore, the addition of material (16) distances portions of inner neckband (14) from outer neckband (12). By changing the proximity of the outer neckband (12) to the wearer's neck, less body heat is retained by outer neckband (12) and, if worn, a necktie. In addition, the change in relative position of collar (10) and the wearer's neck results in less bodily oils and fluids migrating from the wearer's neck to collar (10) where these stains are most visible during wear.
To overcome the problem of uncomfortable creasing or bunching of inner neckband (14) when curved around the wearer's neck, which would otherwise be prevalent as a result of the application of this invention, a two-way or four-way stretch fabric is the preferred material used in constructing inner neckband (14). Using such fabric, inner neckband (14) can be made shorter and thinner than outer neckband (12). As a result, when sewn to outer neckband (12), inner neckband (14) is stretched. The result is decreased bunching of inner neckband (14) when curved around wearer's neck and increased comfort to the wearer.
Material (16) used in any embodiment of this invention may be cut or made as a single strip or multiple strips. The material may be notched, have a straight edge, or have any size of perforations or slits. Perforations or notches enhance the inventions ability to reduce heat retention at the wearer's neck.
Material (16) may be comprised of foam.
Material (16) may be comprised of neoprene.
Material (16) may be comprised of quilted material.
Material (16) may be comprised of rubber.
Material (16) may be comprised of any material which is flexible.
(iv) BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 represents a perspective view of the collar as seen from above and slightly forward of the collar. This figure depicts the positioning of material (16) and support seam (18).
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the first embodiment which includes support seam (18).
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the second embodiment which does not include support seam (18).
(v) MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
To construct the preferred embodiment of the invention as depicted in FIG. 2, upper neckband seam (20) attaches collar (10) to outer neckband (12) and inner neckband (14). Material (16) is then placed adjacent to upper neckband seam (20). Support seam (18) is then stitched on the opposing side of material (16) from upper neckband seam (20) in order to dispose material (16) adjacent to upper neckband seam (20). Lower neckband seam (22) is then stitched to attach outer neckband (12) and inner neckband (14) to shirt body (26).
FIG. 3 illustrates the embodiment in which material (16) has a slightly smaller width than the immediate distance between upper neckband seam (20) and lower neckband seam (22). As a result, support seam (18) is not included as its function of keeping material (16) in position is accomplished by lower neckband seam (22).
(vi) INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY
The invention best applies to the manufacturing the collar of woven shirts. Material (16) should be put in place once either upper neckband seam (20) or lower neckband seam (22) has been sewn. Once material (16) is in place, shirt construction is completed as it would be without the present invention.