BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
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1. Technical Field
The new invention relates to a residual class for devices and methods used by persons in making their personal grooming and hygiene. The field includes closely related professional devices and methods for treating or grooming hair; which includes wig-making processes. The new invention also relates to devices on which the wearer's false hair is supported.
2. Background Art
The long existing wig is the most popular hair replacement device. It is very convenient, easy to acquire and can be very low cost. However over the many centuries and uncountable related prior art, a highly undetectable, easy to acquire, good self-retention, easy to manufacture and low cost hairpiece especially those made with human hair that does not damage the wearer's hair has still not been realized. Below are some explanations of how prior art failed to meet the objectives is this new invention:
First example of related prior art as disclosed in U.S. Patent Number 20040168696 issued to Mary J. Cox: A wig includes a foundation made from generally circular blank of stretchable netting formed into a bowl shape as worn on a wearer's head. The bowl shape is formed by radially folding over the blank upon itself at a plurality of pairs of fold lines to form a plurality of radially-spaced triangular pleats. An elastic band is looped and attached to an outer periphery of the blank at a stretchable seam to maintain the pleats and the bowl shape . . . . Hair wefts at a crown of the foundation are centered about the crown pointing radially outwardly from the crown.
While example 1 presents a lightweight stretchable fabric base hairpiece with a peripheral band that helps with needed structural support and retention, the prior art unfortunately has a narrow elastic peripheral. Elastic across the forehead will not produce natural looking hairline. The narrow elastic peripheral band also has no anti-skid support and will be apt to recline away from the wearer's hairline, the prior art also has several other shortcomings that this new invention will remedy.
Second example of related prior art as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,788,332 issued to Dominic C, Abbott and Godfrey Chen: The wig foundation of stretch material has a center panel extending from forehead back over the crown of the head and terminating in a depending nape portion. A side panel of semicircular-like shape is attached to each edge of the center panel and two offset elongated elastic members offset at their adjacent ends are attached to the bottom edge of the side panels and ear slots are formed at each side with stiffener members along the forward and rear edges of the ear slots. A weft of hair is attached underneath and on top of the forehead edge of the center panel. A weft is attached in a spiral manner in the crown area and down to the forehead end . . . .
Example 2 has a base that would most likely help to maximize flexibility of backward, forward, and downward side stretch. It has an opening at the ear section to allow the base to go below the ear level and cover the hairline especially at the front of the head. It also has elastic support at an open ear section to aid with size adjustment and retention. Unfortunately, mesh base prior arts with no peripheral band tend to have rigid heavy net bases and hard non-porous, stiff and rigid support structures. Hard and heavy elements that rest continuously on the head and scalp can cause friction on the head, fatigue from the weight, discomfort and hair loss. Example 2 also unfortunately also has several other shortcomings that this new invention will remedy.
Third example of related prior art as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,584,983 issued to Jerome Nicot and Nicole Denelle: A wig or hairpiece having a flexible antislip system which allows a user to non-adhesively and removably attach the wig or hairpiece to a user's head, comprising: a drawable fabric impregnated with a thin drawable film; the thin drawable film being arranged on a surface of the drawable fabric which contacts the skin on a user's head when the wig or hairpiece is positioned on a user's head
Example 3 acknowledges the need for an anti-slip element. Unfortunately, the anti-slip elements in example 3 are made from materials with special chemical ingredients and works best when placed directly to a hairless scalp. The head and scalp does not tolerate nonporous rubbery material pressed to it for extended periods without negative side effects. Example 3 also lacks several key elements that this new invention will remedy.
Fourth example of related prior art as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,949,7376 issued to Nakamura; Yukimichi: A wig having a shape retaining element for preventing turning-up, distortion and so on of a wig base. This shape retaining element is made of a shape memory alloy whose transformation temperature (Af point) is higher than the surrounding temperature at a location between a surface of a user's head and the wig base during a period for which the wig is worn on the head. The shape retaining element is arranged in position on the side of an inner surface or an outer surface of the wig base.
Example 4 has shape retention elements that helps prevent reclining of the wig base however the shape retention elements are made from special temperature regulated alloys. These special made elements would not be easily produced at a low cost and in any case, the head and scalp does not tolerate non breathable alloy material pressed to it for extended periods without negative side effects. Example 4 also lacks several key elements that the current invention will remedy.
Fifth example of related prior art as disclosed in U.S. Patent Number 20110023902 issued to CHO; Joo Sub: A hairpiece is disclosed having a front portion and a back portion, the back portion being sewn with hair as in a conventional wig, and the front portion being stitched with stands of hair, such that it looks as if the hair strands are rooted in the front portion in single strands. Preferably, the front portion is made of polyurethane and is translucent to allow the natural skin color of the wearer to show through.
Example 5 could prove very costly if made from human hair, it also has the potential to present a high degree of difficulty to maintain natural looking hairstyles that is less subject to be disturbed or rearranged with movement. Even though it presents a more natural looking alternative to the spiraled crown hair and (or) hair across the forehead. Example 5 has several inches of imitation scalp section with knotted hair. Knotting is the process for interconnecting strands of hair to the base of the hairpiece. Since human hair cannot be easily manipulated through machines, the knotting process is usually done manually and can be time consuming and costly. A human hair hairpiece of that type with several inches of the knotted hair section would take many hours to be completed hence making it very costly. Another issue with example 5 is that knotted strands flow in the direction they are oriented towards during the knotting process. With no pre-designed hair part, wearing the hair in a fashion that most simulate natural hairstyles; with a part at the front would be very difficult.
Sixth example of related prior art as disclosed at “http://snghair.com/StyleGuide2.aspx” a leading hair distributors: “Secure your hair under a weave or stocking cap. Begin applying ½ inches apart, ear to ear, from the bottom hairline working towards the top to the temple area.” This method is known as stocking cap weaving wherein a stretchable cap of stocking type fabric is placed on the head of the wearer. The hair is then bonded to the base. This method is the alternative used to make low cost custom fitted human hair extension hairpiece.
Example 6, the method known as stocking cap weaving is a manual process that can be time consuming. It has limited style capacity since it is done on the wearers head. The cap used is usually one-sized and can be very uncomfortable. This stocking base is very soft and has no support structure; therefore, it needs to be bonded usually with adhesives to the wearer head. Even when bonded, over time, the stocking cap usually retracts from the wearer's hairline damaging the natural hairline and becomes unattractive. This prior art also has health implications as people with adhesive bonded hair tend to avoid physical activities that causes the adhesive to become undone. Overtime built up moisture and lack of ventilation can cause mould to grow the wearers head
Seventh example of related prior art U.S. Patent No. 2090199861 issued to Joseph Paris teaches; a flexible wig having a skullcap made of stretchable mesh fabric that is wider at a front portion and stretches lengthwise; two side panels that stretches downward; a peripheral band made of stretchable mesh fabric; anti-skid reinforcement tabs connected to the peripheral band that allow the band to stretch; an opening in the peripheral band adapted to receive an ear and an elastic support.
Example 7 recites several similar description as the current invention, however such similarities are mainly theoretic. The preparation, construction, application and intended users have vast differences. Paris states (line 35-50) that the prosthesis is made of lace that has been cryogenically treated, and that this cryogenic process that takes five to seven hours; whereas the current invention is made from materials readily available strong enough to last the lifetime of the wig. Paris states (line 57) a silicone coating 32 is selectively applied to the base or foundation . . . (line 62) further stating that Silicone coating provides a smooth and comfortable touch for the wearer, yet allows the ready receipt of adhesive, such as two sided tape, that secures hair prosthesis to the wearer's head or scalp and prevents movement of base or foundation; whereas the current invention is designed to eliminate the need for adhesives. Example 7 also does not have a peripheral band that circumferences the cap base to aide with retention. In conclusion, Example 7 teaches a partially pre-constructed custom finish prosthesis that includes harvesting and incorporating the wearer's own hair in the prosthesis whereas the current invention teaches a ready-made article of manufacture that can be easily mass-produced for the retail market in keeping with the objective of this current invention.
Furthermore as stated in example 1, example 2 and many other prior arts, hair weft(s) are positioned across the forehead area generally called a bang and (or) arranged in a spiral position at the crown area. Spiraling positions the hair to fall over the face. It restricts the length and type of hair that can be used and hairstyles that can be created. Another issue with spiraling is that hair wefts are placed very closely together to hide the edges of the weft, thus restricting ventilation. Moreover since people with their own natural hair, generally style it with a hair part at the front that is either center or side oriented, prior arts that exclude a hair part element from their invention, will not meet the objective of providing a natural looking device to the extent that this new invention will.
In addition prior art devices have components that damage the wearers' hair. Some of these hair-damaging components are hard plastic or metal clips, hooks, wire retention components, non-breathable materials that block ventilation and stop hair growth, rigid stiff material that rests directly on the wearers hair or scalp and cause friction, sharp edges and ridges on stiff ribbons and still lace and the edge of the hair wefts, that cause friction and hair breakage, structures that pull the wearers hairline such as the popular stocking cap or wig cap and adhesives that peel strands of hair from the scalp when being removed.
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Brief Summary of the Invention
The new invention provides a device that addresses the shortcomings of prior art devices. The disclosure is a lightweight stretchable mesh foundation wig that is directed for women, particularly African-American women. The device covers the entire native hair while being worn but protects the wearer's own hair from being damaged by components that are common to other prior art devices as stated earlier. This invention can be used by African-American women whose hair is at any stage of growth or hair-loss. It does not require or depend on the length of the wearer's hair for functionality.
The new invention provides a wig that is made of lightweight stretchable mesh fabric with non-invasive, non adhesive, non-metal or plastic components with a ridge-less interior that fits securely and comfortably to the wearer's head.
This invention is a new and useful article of manufacture that will modernize a method known as stocking cap weaving. Stocking cap weaving is a method whereby a stretchable stocking skull-cap base is secured to the wearer's head. Hair wefts are then bonded to the base constructing the hairpiece on the wearer's head. The new device has the capacity to be affixed to the wearers own natural hair if they choose to do so, but has a self-retention capacity that other fabric base prior art lack.
OBJECTIVE OF THE INVENTION
The main objectives of the new invention are to provide a wig with the following:
A device that fits securely to the wearer's head without the use of adhesives clips, rigid sharp edged ribbons or other objects that can harm the native hair.
A device that is uncomplicated and suitable for mass production using regular materials and tools of the apparel industry.
A device to make readily available human hair wigs for purchase through relevant retail outlets with no need to buy available hair wefts then designing the product on the wearers head.
A device that is discreet and natural as possible that can be manufactured in as little time as possible. With components that take a fraction of the time it takes to produce prior art hairpieces of comparable appearance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
Description of drawings including description of some prior art for comparison:
FIG. 1 is a plan view with elevated forehead section illustrating the base of the preferred embodiment of the invention
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating the preferred hair arrangement of the new invention
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the base of an alternative embodiment with and indented ear section instead of open ear section
FIG. 4 is a plan view of an alternative base construction without the side panels.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a prior art depicting crown and forehead weft arrangement FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a prior art depicting crown and forehead weft arrangement FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a prior art with combination of wefts and knotted hair. Prior art depicts the large area that require knotting versus the micro section of the new invention.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a prior art with combination of wefts and knotted hair. Prior art depicts the large area that require knotting versus the micro section of the new invention.
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the new invention illustrating an alternative crown and forehead area arrangement.
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the preferred embodiment of the new invention illustrating the crown and forehead area with micro open permanent hair part.
EXPLANATION OF MARKS AND SYMBOLS
Illustrations as set forth in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2:
EXPLANATION OF MARKS AND SYMBOLS
Illustrations as set forth in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2:
10.1 Stretchable mesh fabric base for airflow
20.1 Center panel that is wider at the front and stretches lengthwise
30.1 Side panels that stretch downwards
40.1 Stretchable areas of the band
50.1 Antiskid reinforcement tabs
60.1 Front antiskid reinforcement tab
70.1 Scalp colored overlay fabric
80.1 Peripheral band of stretchable mesh fabric
90.1 Opening at the ear section of the peripheral band
100.1 Elastic support component
110.1 Preferred weft arrangement to create the micro ventilated closure
120.1 Uniformly narrow opening between the left rows and the right rows.
130.1 Stitch line that connect wefts to the base
140.1 Knotted area for the micro ventilated closure
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Best Mode of Carrying Out the Invention
The drawing in FIG. 1, illustrates the base of the current invention to which human or synthetic hair is attached. The best mode to carry out the new invention is a preferred embodiment with the following components and process:
The base is 10.1 a stretchable mesh fabric that is approximately 85% nylon and 15% spandex. The antiskid reinforcement tabs 50.1 is made of a stiff nylon netting fabric popularly known as crinoline or stiff tulle.
The center panel 20.1, which is wider at the front that stretches lengthwise and two side panels 30.1 stretch downwards to adapt to the shape and size of the wearer\'s head.
The peripheral is a band 80.1 made from the same stretchable mesh fabric as same as 20.1; the center and 30.1; the side panels. The band fabric is folded to form a smooth durable edge. The band is 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide. The circumference of the band is based on international hat sizes, for example hat-size 7½ measures 23.5 inches (59.7 cm) and is regarded as large. The large would be a popular size, but the scope to manufacture a variety of sizes is one of the advantages of this new invention as opposed to prior arts that is one-size-fits-all foundation.
The opening at the ear section of the peripheral band 90.1 is 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). The opening is reinforced with a ¾ inch (1.9 cm) elastic member. The remaining opening easily accommodates the ear. With the opening not being the entire width of the band it allows continuous tension that helps hold the soft structure of the base in place.
The ant-skid reinforcement tabs 50.1 are made from stiff nylon netting fabric popularly known as crinoline or stiff tulle. The stiff net is double folded lengthwise and stitched on the outside layer of the base below the attached hair. Placing the tabs on the outer layer of the base prevents the rough texture from coming in contact with the wearer\'s hair or scalp. The side and back reinforcement tabs are 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) long and ¾ inches (1.9 cm) wide. The front reinforcement tab 60.1 is 3″ (7.62 cm) wide, 4″ (10.16 cm) long. The tabs are placed in a longitude position along the peripheral band.
The front reinforcement tab 60.1 has a scalp colored fabric 70.1 The fabric stretchable fabric is the same as the other parts of the base. This scalp colored overlay forms the imitation scalp at the crown and forehead area of the base.
In FIG. 2, 130.1 illustrates the stitch-line whereby multiple rows of pre-made hair wefts are attached to the base.
Wefts at the forehead and crown are slanted towards the center of the forehead from both left and right direction 110.1. The slanted wefts are overlaid by another piece of weft positioned lengthwise 120.1 to form a smooth uniformly narrow opening. The narrow opening at the forehead and crown helps to form what is called a micro ventilated closure. This new micro ventilated closure method presents imitation scalp when hair is knotted or ventilated into the narrow opening 140.1. The open area for knotting is only ¼ inch (6 mm) wide and 3″ (7.62 cm) long but can vary in length. The narrow opening requires only two procession of ventilated hair in multiple strands along the edges of the exposed weft at the crown and forehead as illustrated in FIG. 2
The process for completing the micro ventilated closure is as follows; the edge of the exposed weft at the crown area is overlaid by a procession of multiple-strands hair implantations through a process known as knotting or ventilation. This first procession of hair is permanently secured by a zigzag stitch line the same color as the ventilated hair. The spikes in the zigzag stitch blends easily with hair strands enabling only another single procession of ventilated hair to overlay zigzag stitch-line and present a realistic natural looking hair-part. A very narrow opening in the center of the hair-part provides a tract that keeps the right oriented ventilated hair separate from the left oriented ventilated hair. The imitation scalp with hair growth presentation completes what is hereby called the micro ventilated closure. This method enables the frontal and crown hairs to be less prone to be disturbed with movement. It presents a most beneficial time and cost saving opportunity because of the size of the area requiring manual input. Most importantly the method allows better protection of the wearer\'s hair by allowing air to pass through the base at the crown area with the micro ventilated closure. The need to use adhesive to secure the ventilated hair to the base is also eliminated thus aiding better ventilation. It is also more beneficial than the method of hair spiraling used in other prior arts example U.S. Pat. No. 3,788,332 issued to Dominic C, Abbott and Godfrey Chen.
In FIG. 1 100.1 the elastic support across the width of the opening at the ear to help size adjustment. It helps support the base and helps eliminate the need for retention devices such as clips, comb clips, hooks and adhesives.
The narrow anti-skid reinforcement tabs along the peripheral band with alternate stretch space between each tab creates a flexible grip pattern of arrangement to allow a firm and secure but comfortable fit that also eliminate the need for retention devices such as clips, comb clips, hooks and adhesives.
The reinforcement tab 60.1 at the forehead area overlaid by a single piece of scalp colored fabric 70.1 forms a slight peak when the flexible areas on the sides retract. This helps to align the base to fit the curvature of the natural hairline.