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Publication numberUS20050034213 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/948,860
Publication date17 Feb 2005
Filing date24 Sep 2004
Priority date28 Sep 2002
Publication number10948860, 948860, US 2005/0034213 A1, US 2005/034213 A1, US 20050034213 A1, US 20050034213A1, US 2005034213 A1, US 2005034213A1, US-A1-20050034213, US-A1-2005034213, US2005/0034213A1, US2005/034213A1, US20050034213 A1, US20050034213A1, US2005034213 A1, US2005034213A1
InventorsJeffrey Bamber
Original AssigneeBamber Jeffrey V.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sports glove
US 20050034213 A1
Abstract
A sports glove, such as a golf glove, baseball batting glove, or other type of glove is disclosed. In one non-limiting embodiment, the sports glove has a fastener made of a breathable material. In another embodiment, the sports glove has a fastener with apertures therein. In another embodiment, the sports glove has a container joined thereto that can be used for storing the glove after use. In another embodiment, the sports glove is provided with one or more regions comprising extensible material. In another embodiment, the sports glove is provided with an extensible fastener. In some embodiments, any portion of the glove, such as the fingers and/or the palm and back of the glove, may be provided in a pre-formed curved configuration.
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Claims(20)
1. A sports glove comprising a body and a fastening system, wherein at least a portion of said fastening system is breathable, said fastening system comprising:
a first component comprising loop material comprising substrate and a plurality of loops extending from said substrate, said substrate of said loop material being joined to a first underlying portion of the body of said glove; and
a second component comprising a complementary hook material engageable with said loop material, said hook material comprising a substrate and a plurality of hooks extending from said substrate, said substrate of said hook material being joined to a second underlying portion of the body of said glove; and
wherein at least a portion of at least one of: (a) the combination of the substrate of said loop material and the first underlying portion, and (b) the combination of the substrate of said hook material and said second underlying portion, is breathable therethrough.
2. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein said at least a portion of said fastening system that is breathable has a Frazier air permeability of greater than or equal to about 5 ft3/ft2/min.
3. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of both (a) and (b) is breathable.
4. The sports glove of claim 3 wherein when said fastening system is closed, said at least a portion of said first component and said at least a portion of said second component at least partially overlap to form overlapping portions, wherein at least a portion of said overlapping portions is breathable therethrough.
5. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of said at least one of (a) and (b) that is breathable therethrough is comprised of at least one breathable material.
6. The sports glove of claim 1 wherein at least a portion of said at least one of (a) and (b) that is breathable therethrough has apertures formed therein.
7. The sports glove of claim 6 wherein said at least one of (a) and (b) that is breathable therethrough has apertures formed therein, wherein at least some of said apertures pass through at least one of said first underlying portion and said second underlying portion of the body of said glove.
8. The sports glove of claim 6 wherein at least some of said apertures are microapertures.
9. The sports glove of claim 6 wherein at least some of said apertures are macroapertures.
10. The sports glove of claim 6 wherein at least some of said apertures are arranged in spaced apart rows of apertures wherein the apertures in at least some of said rows are staggered relative to the apertures in another row of apertures.
11. A golf glove according to claim 1.
12. A sports glove comprising:
a glove body having at least one opening formed therein, and
a piece of elastically extensible material having an equilibrium condition, wherein said elastically extensible material is stretched beyond its equilibrium condition to a stretched condition and joined to the glove body in a stretched condition so that it bridges at least a portion of the at least one opening.
13. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein at least portions of the body of said glove adjacent said opening define opposed edges of said opening, and said patch of extensible material will gather said portions of the body of said glove toward each other when said extensible material is in equilibrium.
14. The sports glove of claim 12 wherein said piece of extensible material is breathable.
15. A golf glove according to claim 12.
16. A sports glove comprising:
a body comprising a back portion that fits adjacent to the back of a wearer's hand, a front portion that fits adjacent a wearer's palm, four finger portions, and a thumb portion;
a primary fastening system comprising:
a first fastening component on the back portion of the body of the glove; and
a second fastening component disposed on an extension of the back of the glove that forms a flap, wherein said extension has a free end that has an extended length, and said flap at least partially overlaps the first fastening component on the back portion of the glove; and
a gathering system for adjusting said primary fastening system, said gathering system being disposed at least partially on at least one of: (a) the extension of the back of the glove that forms the flap; or (2) on the back portion of the body of the glove, wherein said gathering system is configured to shorten the extended length of the flap and tighten the closure of the primary fastening system when the gathering system is in a gathered configuration.
17. The sports glove of claim 16 wherein said gathering system comprises complementary fastener components that, when engaged, tighten the closure of the primary fastening system.
18. The sports glove of claim 17 wherein said complementary fastener components comprise hook and loop mechanical fasteners.
19. The sports glove of claim 18 wherein said first and second fastening components of said primary fastening system also comprise complementary hook and loop mechanical fasteners, and said first and second fastening components of said primary fastening system have a first resistance to peeling forces, and complementary fastener components of said gathering system have a second, higher resistance to peeling forces than the first resistance to peeling forces of the components of the primary fastening system.
20. A golf glove according to claim 16.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/672,138, filed on Sep. 26, 2003, which claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent application Ser. No. 60/414,715, filed on Sep. 28, 2002, both of which are incorporated by reference herein.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to a sports glove, such as a golf glove, football player's glove, baseball batting glove, soccer goalie's gloves, driving gloves, cross country skiing gloves, and other types of gloves.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Sports gloves, such as a golf gloves, football players' gloves, baseball batting gloves, soccer goalie's gloves, driving gloves, cross country skiing gloves, and other types of gloves are commonly made of leather, as well as some other materials. These types of gloves will frequently have a fastener made of VELCRO® material on the portion of the glove that covers the back of the wearer's hand.
  • [0004]
    There are several disadvantages associated with such gloves. One disadvantage is that the VELCRO material fastener, when fastened, will provide a structure that is two or more layers thick. The two or more layers may comprise the two layers of VELCRO® material that are fastened together, along with the layers of the glove to which they are attached. This can cause the glove to hold heat from the back of the wearer's hand, which is especially a problem on hot days. When a glove is worn on a hot day, it will tend to be soaked with sweat, particularly at a location on the back of the wearer's hand. After a glove has been soaked, it will often become stiff in the regions that were wet. A glove with stiff regions is less comfortable and does not fit as well as a glove that has been dry.
  • [0005]
    Another disadvantage of such gloves is that after a period of several uses, the glove becomes baggy and less closely-fitting, particularly at the region of the back of the wearer's knuckles. In addition, the portions of the glove that are elasticated (such as those portions worn adjacent to the wearer's wrist, and other portions that are typically positioned to be worn adjacent to the back of the wearer's hand) can suffer from the disadvantage that the elastic ceases to function as intended. In addition, the bagginess and loss of close fit can cause the VELCRO® fastening material to lose its ability to adjust when closing so that the glove becomes too loose even when the fastener is pulled closed as tightly as possible.
  • [0006]
    Thus, there is a need to provide sports gloves with improved features.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    The present invention relates to a sports glove, such as a golf glove, football player's glove, baseball batting glove, soccer goalie's gloves, driving gloves, cross country skiing gloves, and other types of gloves. Certain features of the sports glove described herein may also comprise inventions in their own right and can be used on articles other than sports gloves.
  • [0008]
    There are numerous, non-limiting embodiments of the invention. All embodiments, even if they are only described as being “embodiments” of the invention, are intended to be non-limiting (that is, there may be other embodiments in addition to these), unless they are expressly described as limiting the scope of the invention. Any of the embodiments described herein can also be combined with any other embodiments in any manner to form still other embodiments.
  • [0009]
    In one non-limiting embodiment, the sports glove has a fastener, at least a portion of which is made of a breathable material. In one version of such an embodiment, the fastener on the sports glove has apertures therein. In these embodiments, or in other embodiments, any other portion or portions of the sports glove (including, but not limited to the back portion, the palm portion, and the entire glove) can also be breathable. Such portion or portions can have any properties of the breathable fasteners described herein. In another embodiment, the sports glove has a container joined thereto that can be used for storing the glove when not in use. In another embodiment, the sports glove is provided with one or more regions comprising extensible material. The extensible material can be retractable. For instance, the extensible material can be elastically retractable by virtue of being attached to the body of the glove when the material is in a stretched condition. In another embodiment, the sports glove is provided with an extensible fastener. In other embodiments, the sports glove may be provided with one or more supplemental adjustment systems that can either adjust, or be adjusted, to tighten the closure of the primary fastening system of the glove.
  • [0010]
    In any of the embodiments in which the glove is provided with apertures, the apertures may be configured with a shape that is one-directional (e.g., funnel-shaped) to transport moisture away from the wearer's skin. In these or other embodiments, the glove may be provided with one or more vents in key places, or other desirable places. In these or other embodiments, the glove may be provided with a substance, or one or more elements, on the inner surface of the glove to space portions of the wearer's hand away from the glove material.
  • [0011]
    Any of the embodiments or features described herein can be combined in any manner with any of the other embodiments or features described herein to produce additional embodiments. Other embodiments are also contemplated.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0012]
    While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the invention, it is believed that the present invention will be better understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • [0013]
    FIG. 1 is a rear view of a sports glove having a fastener made of a breathable material.
  • [0014]
    FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the portions of a sports glove having a fastener thereon.
  • [0015]
    FIG. 3 is a rear view of a sports glove having a fastener with apertures therein.
  • [0016]
    FIG. 4 is a top view of the fastener of a sports glove and a portion of the glove to which it is attached.
  • [0017]
    FIG. 5 is a rear view of a sports glove having a container that can be used for storing the glove when not in use.
  • [0018]
    FIG. 6 is a rear view of a sports glove provided with several regions comprising extensible material.
  • [0019]
    FIG. 7 is a front view of a sports glove provided with several regions of extensibility on the front thereof.
  • [0020]
    FIG. 8 is a side view of a sports glove which is pre-formed into a curved configuration.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 9 is a rear view of a sports glove in which the fastener is extensible.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 10 is a rear view of a sports glove having a supplemental adjustment system that can be adjusted to tighten the primary fastening system on the glove.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the sports glove shown in FIG. 10, taken along line 11-11 of FIG. 10.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 12 is a partially cut-away cross-sectional view taken from an angle similar to FIG. 11, only showing the gathering system on the fastener in a folded and secured configuration.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 13 is a rear view of a sports glove having an additional adjustment mechanism.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 14 is a rear view of a sports glove that has at least one extensible region with an alternative configuration.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 15 is a side view of a fragmented portion of a sports glove that has apertures that have a shape that is one-directional (e.g., funnel-shaped).
  • [0028]
    FIG. 16 is a side view of a fragmented portion of a sports glove that is provided with protuberances or projections on the inner surface of the glove.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0029]
    The present invention relates to a sports glove, such as a golf glove, football player's glove, baseball batting glove, soccer goalie's gloves, driving gloves, cross country skiing gloves, and other types of gloves.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 1 shows one non-limiting embodiment of a sports glove 20. The sports glove 20 comprises a body portion 20A; a back portion 22 that fits adjacent the back of the wearer's hand; a front portion 24 that fits adjacent the wearer's palm; four finger portions 26, 28, 30, and 32; a thumb portion 34; and a V-shaped cut-out 36 in the back portion 22 that provides the ability to adjust a fastening system (or “fastener”) 38. In this embodiment, the fastener 38 comprises components that form a closure. In some embodiments, such as is shown in FIG. 1, the components of the fastening system may overlap, at least partially, to form such a closure.
  • [0031]
    The body portion 20A of the glove 20 can be of any suitable configuration and can be provided with any features. Various types of sports gloves that can comprise the body portion 20A of the sports glove 20, components thereof, and features therefore, include, but are not limited to, those that are described in the following U.S. patent publications: U.S. Des. 340,793; U.S. Des. 426,922; U.S. Des. 462,810; U.S. Des. 464,178; U.S. Des. 471,674; U.S. Pat. No. 4,701,963; U.S. Pat. No. 4,843,651; U.S. Pat. No. 5,184,353; U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,188; U.S. Pat. No. 5,390,372; Pat. No. 5,450,628; U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,773; U.S. Pat. No. 5,708,979; U.S. Pat. No. 5,855,022; U.S. Pat. No. 5,893,172; U.S. Pat. No. 6,154,885; U.S. Pat. No. 6,405,380 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,415,445 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,247 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,505,350 B2; U.S. Pat. No. 6,513,165 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,513,166 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,519,776 B1; U.S. Pat. No. 6,543,058 B2; U.S. Pat. No. 6,546,599 B2; U.S. Pat. No. 6,553,575 B1; U.S. 2003/0167553 A1; and Pat. No. 6,625,815 B2. However, it is not necessary that the sports glove have the patented features described in these publications.
  • [0032]
    The fastener 38 can comprise any suitable type of fastener, including but not limited to adhesive fasteners, mechanical fasteners, and other types of fasteners. Mechanical fasteners can include, but are not limited to any type of fastener suitable for the purpose of providing a closure. Suitable mechanical fasteners include, but are not limited to snap fasteners and hook and loop fasteners. In one embodiment, the fastener 38 comprises a hook and loop material, such as VELCRO® fastening material. VELCRO® fastening material typically comprises a substrate material that has a plurality of small hook elements joined thereto or extending therefrom, and a complementary material comprising a substrate having a plurality of small loops of material joined thereto or extending therefrom.
  • [0033]
    The term “joined”, as used herein, encompasses configurations in which an element is directly secured to another element by affixing the element directly to the other element; configurations in which the element is indirectly secured to the other element by affixing the element to intermediate member(s) which in turn are affixed to the other element; and configurations in which one element is integral with another element, i.e., one element is essentially part of the other element. The term “joined” includes both those configurations in which an element is temporarily joined to another element, or in which an element is permanently joined to another element.
  • [0034]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the loop material 40 is typically joined to a first underlying material, such as an extension 42 of the back 22 of the glove. The first underlying material may be referred to as “underlying” since such material will be underlying the loop material 40 when the loop material is facing upward, even though in the embodiment shown, it overlies the loop material 40 when the loop material 40 is facing downward. When the term “underlying” is used herein, it refers to this convention—that of a configuration in which the fastening material is facing upward. The loop material 40 mates with a complementary hook material 44. The hook material 44 is joined to a second underlying portion, such as a portion 46 on the back of the glove. Any suitable portion of the substrates, including the entire surfaces thereof, may be covered with the loop material and the hook material, respectively.
  • [0035]
    In other embodiments, if the components of the fastening system 38 are provided with sufficient integrity to withstand the forces of use, the loop material 40 and the hook material 44 may be joined to the desired portions of the glove without having portions of the glove completely underlie the same. In such embodiments, portions of the glove may underlie any suitable percentage of the surface area of the loop material 40 and/or the hook material 44. For instance, portions of the glove may underlie less than or equal to about 10%, 20%, 30%, . . . , etc., up to 100% of the surface area of the loop material 40 and/or the hook material 44. In other embodiments, the loop material 40 and/or the hook material 44 can be joined to the desired portions of the glove in regions adjacent to the edges of the loop material and hook material. The joined components in such an embodiment will form more of an abutting joint (or butt joint, rather than a structure that is more in the nature of a laminate. In other embodiments, loops and/or hooks can be formed directly on the desired portions of the glove. That is, portions of the glove can serve as a substrate for the loops and/or hooks.
  • [0036]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the sports glove 20 has a fastener 38 which is made from a breathable material. The term “breathable” refers to a material that is pervious to air and moisture (such as water vapor or perspiration). In other embodiments, the fastener 38 may only be pervious to air or moisture. The unnumbered arrows in FIG. 1 show that moisture can pass through the fastener 38, away from the back of the wearer's hand. In this embodiment, or in other embodiments, any other portion or portions of the sports glove (including, but not limited to the back portion, the palm portion, and the entire glove) can also be breathable. Such portion or portions can have any properties of the breathable fasteners described herein.
  • [0037]
    The fastener 38 may be, but need not be, breathable over its entire surface area. The fastener 38 may be breathable through all or any portion of the overall surface area of the fastener. For example, the breathable portion of the fastener 38 can comprise greater than or equal to about 5%, 10%, 15%, . . . , etc., up to less than about 100% of the surface area of the fastener 38.
  • [0038]
    The fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, can be provided with any suitable amount of breathability. In certain embodiments, the breathability of the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, can be expressed in terms of the Frazier air permeability of the fastener, or breathable portion thereof. Frazier air permeability is a well-known test for measuring the air permeability of materials, which utilizes a Frazier Air Permeometer available from Frazier Precision Instrument Co., Inc. of Hagerstown, Md., U.S.A. The test is designed to measure the air flow rate (unit volume of air per unit flow area per unit time) through the sample under a pressure differential driving force of ½ inch (1.25 cm) of water. The sample is conditioned at standard laboratory conditions, and the test is run under these conditions. The test should be run according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • [0039]
    The Frazier air permeability properties of various materials and structures formed therefrom are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,648,876 issued to Becker, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,277,104 B1 issued to Lasko, et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 6,369,292 B1 issued to Strack, et al. In certain embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have a Frazier air permeability in the range of microporous materials, or in the range of macroporous materials. In some embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have a Frazier air permeability of less than or equal to zero ft3/ft2/min (e.g., less than or equal to about 0.5, 0.1, 0.05, 0.01, . . . , etc. ft3/ft2/min). In some embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have a Frazier air permeability of less than or equal to about zero mm3/ft2/min, or less). In other embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have a Frazier air permeability of greater than zero ft3/ft2/min (e.g., greater than or equal to about 5, 10, 15, . . . , etc. up to greater than or equal to about 75 ft3/ft2/min, or more, e.g, 80, 85, 90, . . . , etc. ft3/ft2/min). In some embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have a Frazier air permeability in a range that falls within any two of the values specified above. In some embodiments, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may have different regions with any of the different Frazier air permeability values or ranges described herein.
  • [0040]
    When the breathability of the fastener, or breathable portion thereof, is discussed herein, it may be specified that this refers to the breathability of the entire fastener, or breathable portion thereof, when the components are in an overlapping condition, as they may be during use (if this is the way they are intended to function). Thus, the fastener 38, or breathable portion thereof, may be breathable through all of the following: any fastener components (such as hook and loop components); any portions of the body portion of the glove to which the fastener components are attached; and any materials (e.g., adhesive or stitching) used to affix the fastener components to portions of the body portion of the glove. In other cases, the breathability of any fastener components (such as hook and loop components); any portions of the body portion of the glove to which the fastener components are attached; and any materials (e.g., adhesive or stitching) used to affix the fastener components to portions of the body portion of the glove, may be specified separately, or in combination.
  • [0041]
    The fastener 38 can be provided with breathability in any suitable manner. In one embodiment, hook and loop fastener components can be made of a breathable material, such as VELCRO® Brand Loop 152 and VELCRO® Brand Hook 088 available from Velcro USA Inc., or the fastener described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,712 issued to Yamamoto, et al. Alternative types of hook and loop fasteners (to VELCRO brand fasteners) can be used. Alternative types of fasteners are described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,762,645 issued to Peck, et al., and the references cited on the first and second pages thereof and incorporated by reference therein. In other embodiments, the substrate for the hook and loop material can be made of a breathable material, which may include, but is not limited to GORTEX® material or COOLMAX® material available from DuPont. In some embodiments, the hook and/or loop fasteners may comprise a non-knit material, or a knit material with apertures other than rectangular or square apertures, formed therein. Alternatively, the hook and/or loop fasteners may comprise substantially closed knit materials that have apertures therein that are not formed by a knitting process. Alternatively, the hook and/or loop fasteners may comprise open knit materials having apertures, at least some of which do not correspond to openings in the knit materials.
  • [0042]
    In any of these embodiments, it may be desirable to attach one or more of the fastener components (such as the hook and loop fastener components) to the desired portions of the glove in a manner that does not completely negate the breathability of the fastener 38. In some embodiments, the hook and/or loop fastener component can be fastened to the desired portions of the glove exclusively by sewing (stitched threads), by adhesive applied in an intermittent (non-continuous) pattern, by a combination of stitched threads and adhesive applied in an intermittent pattern, or by some other suitable type of attachment. For example, in these or other embodiments, one or more of the fastener components can be at least partially attached to the desired portions of the glove using ultrasonic welds. The fastener component(s) can be ultrasonically welded in any suitable manner. For instance, it is possible to place an ultrasonically weldable material, such as a polymeric material on the other side of the portions of the glove to which the fastener components will be attached, and to weld through the glove. The polymeric material can be apertured, or it can be in the form of a nonwoven web, a scrim, strips of material, or any other suitable configuration. This would eliminate the need for sewing, and would provide a greater variety of possible bonding patterns, including bonding patterns that could at least partially encircle at least some of the apertures in the fastening component(s), or completely encircle all of the apertures to prevent portions of the fastener component(s) from peeling away from the portion of the glove to which they are attached, especially during opening of the fastener 38 on the glove.
  • [0043]
    FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of a sports glove 20 in which the fastener 38 is apertured. This can reduce the build-up of heat in the region of the back of the wearer's hand. The apertures 48 can be macroscopic, microscopic, or a combination thereof. There can be any number of apertures 48. The number of apertures 48 can be greater than or equal to: 1, 2, 3, . . . , etc. up to a virtually infinite number of apertures. The apertures 48 can be of any size and shape. It may be desirable for the apertures 48 to have a shape that provides for a passageway through all the layers of the fastener and the glove regardless of the degree to which the components of the fastener 38 are overlapped to close the same. It may, therefore, be desirable for some of the apertures 48 to be longer in one direction than in the other direction. The apertures 48 may, for example, be longer in the direction that the fastener 38 is peeled in order to open the same (direction of peeling). In other embodiments, the apertures 48 may be longer in any other direction. Such other directions include, but are not limited to in a direction perpendicular to the direction of peeling. In one non-limiting embodiment, as shown in FIG. 3, at least some of the apertures 48 may be oblong. The apertures 48 can have rounded portions, such as at the ends thereof such as is shown in FIG. 4, to resist tearing when the fastener 38 is opened and closed, or for any other purpose. In some embodiments, at least some of the apertures may be non-rectangular.
  • [0044]
    The apertures 48 can also be disposed in any suitable arrangement. FIG. 4 shows one non-limiting embodiment of how the portions of the glove and fastener 38 can be configured to provide apertures 48 that can align to provide a passageway through all the layers. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the apertures 48 are arranged in rows of spaced apart apertures, and the components of the fastener 38 (the hooks and loops) comprise material between adjacent apertures. The apertures 48 in some different rows, such as in adjacent rows, are staggered relative to each other. This pattern of distribution of apertures can be used to provide the fastener 38 with at least some breathability regardless of how the components thereof are overlapped. Numerous other patterns of distribution of the apertures 48 are possible. It is understood that all or any portion (that is, percentages of the surface area described above) of the fastener can comprise such apertures 38. In some embodiments, for example, the apertures 48 can be provided over substantially the entire surface area of the components of the fastener 38.
  • [0045]
    The apertures 48 can be formed or created in any suitable manner. Suitable manners for forming or creating apertures in the fastener 38, or the components thereof, include, but are not limited to by: punching, die cutting, and forming the materials for the components with pores or the like therein. Forming materials for the components with pores or the like therein includes, but is not limited to forming the components out of nonwoven materials, woven materials, and knit materials. Such materials will typically be formed out of fibers, yarns, or other structural members, and will be assembled such that there are pores or openings between the fibers, yarns, or the other structural members comprising the same. The apertures 48 can have edges that range from those that have relatively poorly-defined edges to those that have well-defined edges. An example of the former might be the pores in a nonwoven fastener component material. Nonwoven fastener component materials may have a first surface and a second surface, and a plurality of pores that are located between the first and second surfaces, but the pores often do not form a direct path between the first and second surfaces. Such pores may, for example, form a tortuous passageway between the first and second surfaces. An example of the latter might be apertures that are created by punching holes into a fastener component material. Fastener component materials having apertures created by punching holes into the same may have a first surface and a second surface, wherein the apertures form a direct path or passageway or “through holes” between the first and second surfaces. An example of knit material for a surface fastener which has vents therein is described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,373,712, Yamamoto, et al. Currently, certain sports gloves such as golf gloves have fastener components that are joined to a portion of the leather material that forms the body of the glove.
  • [0046]
    In some embodiments, one or more of the components of the fastener 38 may be comprised of a material that has apertures 48 that have both relatively poorly-defined edges and apertures 48 that form a direct path or passageway or “through holes” between the first and second surfaces of such a material. In such an embodiment, the through holes may or may not correspond in location and/or size to the other openings or pores in the material. If the through holes do not correspond in location of the openings or pores in such a material, the through holes may pass at least partially through at least some of the structural members of such a material. The same may apply if one of the components of the fastener 38 is comprised of more than one layer of material, and at least one of such layers has pores or openings therein that are of the non-“through hole” variety. The through holes in these embodiments may be the same size as the openings or pores in the material, or they may be smaller or larger than the openings or pores of such a material. In certain embodiments, the through holes may be of more than one size. For example, the material may have through holes that are of a size selected from the group consisting of through holes that are: smaller than; larger than; the same size as; or any combination of such sizes relative to the pores or other openings in the material.
  • [0047]
    In other embodiments, it is also possible for one portion of the fastener (such as the hook portion, or the loop portion) to be provided with breathability in one manner, and another portion of the fastener to be provided with breathability in another manner. For example, in one non-limiting embodiment, it may be desirable to aperture the hook component and make the loop component with a material having a breathable backing material, or vice versa.
  • [0048]
    FIG. 5 shows another embodiment of a sports glove 20 in which a container 50 for the glove is provided on the glove. The container 50 can be used for storing the glove after use. In some embodiments, the container 50 can be air permeable, moisture permeable, or both. In other embodiments, the container 50 can be impermeable to air, moisture, or both. For example, the container 50 can be a plastic bag that is joined to the glove, and if desired, folded such as along the fold lines 52 shown, to make it smaller in size. In one instance, after the glove 20 is used on a hot day and has perspiration on the same, the glove can be folded and inserted into the plastic bag 50. The bag 50 can be sealed so that after remaining in the bag, the glove remains soft. The bag can be sealed in any suitable manner. In one embodiment, the bag 50 can be provided with a ZIPLOCK® snap and seal closure, or other type of closure.
  • [0049]
    FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of a sports glove 20 in which the glove is provided with several regions 60 comprising extensible material. The regions of extensible material 60 can be located on any suitable portions of the glove, and are not limited in location to those regions shown in FIG. 6. The locations of the regions of extensible material 60 shown in FIG. 6, however, are believed to comprise some of the regions in which the glove 20 becomes baggy after use. Such regions include, but are not limited to, the portions on the back 22 of the glove that correspond to the wearer's knuckles. The glove 20 can be provided with one or more of the regions of extensible material, and is not limited to embodiments having all the regions of extensible material shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0050]
    The extensible regions 60 can be of any size and shape. The extensible regions 60 can be discrete regions that are not connected to each other, or they can comprise one or more continuous regions, at least two of which are connected together. Any two or more extensible regions 60 shown in FIG. 6 can be connected to form a single contiguous extensible region. The extensible material can be any suitable type of extensible material. In certain embodiments, it is desirable for the extensible regions 60 to comprise discrete pieces or patches of extensible material, rather than strips of elastic that are joined to a less extensible material, or generally inextensible material (or substantially less extensible material, such as leather) comprising the body 20A of the glove. In other words, the material comprising the extensible regions 60 may have an inherent extensibility. Such extensible material can comprise any suitable extensible material, including but not limited to SPANDEX® material and LYCRA® material.
  • [0051]
    The extensible regions 60 may, but need not be a structure formed by a combination of a less extensible material that is gathered by a more extensible material that is joined thereto, such as in the case of structures in which the less extensible material underlies the entirety of the more extensible material. The extensible material may only underlie a portion of the surface area of the extensible material. Alternatively, the extensible material may be joined to the body 20A of the glove in an abutting relationship so that the less extensible material does not underlie any of the extensible material, and is only joined to the body of the glove at the perimeter of an opening therein. Thus, the extensible material may span an opening in a less extensible material.
  • [0052]
    The pieces or patches of extensible material may also have dimensions that differ from those of elastic strips, which generally have a length that greatly exceeds their width. For instance, the pieces or patches of material can have widths that are greater than or equal to any of the following amounts, about: ⅛ inch; ¼ inch; ½ inch; and 1 inch, or one tenth or an inch or any multiple of one tenth of an inch, or their metric equivalents. Additionally, or alternatively, the dimensions of the pieces or patches of extensible material may be expressed in terms of ratios of one dimension to another. This may be referred to as the “aspect ratio” of the pieces or patches of extensible material. The aspect ratio may, for example, be expressed as that of the ratio of the width to the length (or vice versa) of the extensible material, or the ratio of one dimension to another dimension that is oriented perpendicular thereto (for example, in the case of circular, square, or other shapes of pieces or patches of material that do not have a well-defined length and width). The pieces or patches of extensible material may have any suitable aspect ratio. Suitable aspect ratios of the smallest dimension to the largest dimension of the pieces or patches of extensible material include, but are not limited to about: 1:1; 1:1.1; 1:1.2; 1:1.3, . . . etc. The aspect ratio may be expressed as being less than or equal to any of these ratios (above 1:1); greater than or equal to any of these ratios; and the same with respect to any ratio in a continuation of the progression of numbers set out in the preceding sentence. (Any other progressions of numbers provided herein will similarly include continuations of the same.)
  • [0053]
    It may be desirable for the extensible material to be elastically extensible so that it will tend to relax or contract back to a shortened condition after it has been extended. It may also be desirable for such an elastically extensible material to be joined to the body 20A of the glove in an at least partially extended condition so that the extensible material will tend to retract before, during, and after the glove is worn. In other words, the extensible material may be stretched beyond its equilibrium condition to a stretched condition and joined to the body of the glove in a stretched condition. It is believed that currently available gloves in which extensible pieces of material are joined to the body thereof, may have such pieces of material joined to the body of the glove in an equilibrium condition. The elastically extensible material can retract in any suitable amount, including but not limited to greater than or equal to about 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, . . . , etc. up to greater than or equal to about 50%, 55%, or 60%, or more, of its extended length when the forces associated with putting on the glove and wearing the glove are removed. If the extensible material is attached in an at least partially extended condition, the extensible material may cause the adjacent materials to which it is attached to gather at least slightly, especially when the glove is not worn. This may provide the glove with a closer fit over time, since it may retract to offset any stretching of the leather that leads to bagginess in certain areas of the glove.
  • [0054]
    The extensible material can be extensible in one direction, in more than one direction, or in all directions (for example, extensible material may be omni-directionally extensible in the plane of the same). If the extensible material is extensible in less than in all directions, the orientation of the direction of extensibility may be in any desired direction for any of the regions of extensibility 60. Such directions of extensibility include, but are not limited to directions generally parallel to a line drawn across the wearer's knuckles, generally perpendicular to such a line, or at any angle thereto. The regions of extensibility 60 may be extensible in the same direction or directions, or in different directions.
  • [0055]
    The region(s) of extensibility 60 may be provided with any suitable amount(s) of extensibility. The region(s) of extensibility 60 may, for example, be extensible in an amount that falls within a range of an additional extension of from greater than or equal to about 1%, 3%, 5%, 10%, 15%, . . . , etc. to greater than about 100% of its original unextended length (or dimension) under the forces associated with putting on and wearing the glove 20. The region(s) of extensibility 60 may be extensible in any amount that falls within the above range, including but not limited to an additional length or dimension that is within a range of from greater than or equal to about 3% to less than or equal to about 97%, or greater than or equal to about 5% to less than or equal to about 95% of its original unextended length or dimension under such forces. The region(s) of extensibility 60 may all have the same degree of extensibility (that is, they may be extensible in the same amount under a given force). In other embodiments, glove 20 may have different regions of extensibility that have differing degrees of extensibility under a given force.
  • [0056]
    The extensible material can be joined to the body 20A of the glove in any suitable manner, including but not limited to sewing. One way of joining material to a body of a glove is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,184,353 issued to Goldwitz. If desired, the extensible material may also be breathable and/or apertured as specified for the fastener.
  • [0057]
    FIG. 7 shows an embodiment of a glove 20 in which regions of extensibility 60 are provided on the front 24 of the glove. As in the case of the other embodiments described herein, the glove shown in this figure is for purposes of illustration. It is not necessary that the glove 20 have all of the features (e.g., regions of extensibility) shown. In some embodiments, it may be desirable to provide extensible regions with greater extensibility on the back portion 22 of the glove, and extensible and/or retractable regions with greater contractability on the front portion 24 of the glove so that the glove 20 will better adapt to the forces exerted on the same when it is worn and the user is clenching their hand to grip an article such as a golf club, baseball bat, etc.
  • [0058]
    FIG. 8 shows an embodiment in which the glove 20 is provided in a pre-formed curved configuration when viewed from the side. This may allow the glove to better fit the wearer's hand when the glove is in use such as when gripping sporting equipment, such as a golf club or baseball bat. This may also reduce the stresses acting on the sports glove so that the glove has a reduced tendency to become baggy and poor fitting after several uses. The portions of the glove 20 that can be provided in a curved configuration can comprise any suitable portion or portions of the glove, including, but not limited to the back portion 22, the front portion 24, and any of the finger portions. These portions of the glove 20 can be provided with such a curvature in any suitable manner. These portions of the glove can be provided with a curvature by cutting the pieces of material (such as leather and/or synthetic material) that are joined together, such as by sewing, or the like, to form the glove 20 in a manner such that the portions on the front portion of the glove are shortened relative to those that will form the back of the glove. Another way that the glove, or portions thereof, can be provided with curvature is by providing at least one extensible region on the back portion 22 of the glove 20 to make the back portion 22 more extensible than the front portion 24. Another manner of providing the glove 20 with a pre-formed curvature is to provide at least one region on the front portion 24 of the glove that contracts the front portion of the glove 20 relative to the back 22 of the glove. Numerous other methods for providing the glove with such curvature are possible.
  • [0059]
    FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of a glove in which the fastener 38 is extensible. The fastener 38 can comprise a hook and loop material, such as VELCRO® fastening material, but the substrate for the hook and loop material can be made of an extensible material. Alternatively, an extensible material can be joined to a portion of one or more of the components of the fastener 38. Such extensible material may include, but is not limited to, SPANDEX® material and LYCRA® material. The fastener 38, or any portion thereof, can be configured so that it comprises an elastically extensible material that can exert a retractive force and/or can retract during wear, or after it is worn. This may be used to form a tighter closure.
  • [0060]
    FIGS. 10-12 show another embodiment in which the fastener 38 or the glove 20 can be provided with a structure that can be extended and/or retracted (for example, gathered) to provide the fastener with additional adjustability. The fastening systems on sports gloves, particularly those having a body portion made of leather, will often lose their ability to be adjusted after an initial period of wear. This may be due to the tendency of the leather portions thereof to stretch slightly in a non-elastic manner over time. In addition, other portions of the gloves, such as in the areas of the knuckles on the back 22 of the glove 38, will become baggy. Such an embodiment can be used to provide greater adjustability to tighten the glove 20 if it becomes baggy. Other purposes for such an embodiment are also possible, including but not limited to provide a line of gloves where fewer sizes are needed to fit different hand sizes, or to provide a “one size fits all” glove.
  • [0061]
    In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10-12, the proximal portion 42A of the extension 42 on the back 22 of the glove 20 can be provided with an adjustment system, such as a gathering system 62. The gathering system 62 can provide the ability to further adjust the glove 20, particularly after the fastener 38 loses its ability to be adjusted. In the embodiment shown, the gathering system 62 comprises a fastening system comprised of complementary fastener components. The complementary fastener components can comprise any suitable fastener components including, but not limited to mechanical fasteners, adhesive fasteners, or other types of fasteners. The complementary fastener components can comprise a combination of male/female fastening components. If mechanical fasteners are used, they can comprise any suitable type of mechanical fasteners including, but not limited to snap fasteners, and hook and loop fasteners. As shown in FIGS. 10-12, the components of the fastening system, such as the extension 42 on the back of the glove forms a flap that has a free end that at least partially overlaps the hook material 44 that is joined to a portion 46 on the back of the glove. The gathering system 62 in the embodiment shown can be used to lengthen or, alternatively, to shorten (or “foreshorten”) the length of the flap formed by the extension 42 on the back of the glove. Thus, the adjustment system serves as a supplemental adjustment system, or as a fine “tuning” or “fine adjustment system” to the primary fastening system 38, which may be thought of as the “coarse adjustment system”.
  • [0062]
    In the embodiment shown, the gathering system 62 comprises a hook fastener material 64 and a complementary loop fastener material 66. In this embodiment, the hook fastener material 64 and the loop fastener material 66 are located on the back of the extension 42 of the glove 20. The gathering system 62 can further comprise fold lines, or creases, therein, such as fold lines 68 and 70 on the extension 42 of the glove 20. These can be used to assist the folding and gathering of the desired portions of the gathering system 62. FIG. 11 shows the gathering system 62 in a non-gathered configuration. FIG. 12 shows the gathering system 62 in a folded and secured configuration. As shown in FIG. 12, the extension or flap 42 of the fastener 38 is folded back onto itself to form a pleated structure that shortens the flap 42 in order to allow additional adjustment, especially to allow the fastener 38 to be further tightened.
  • [0063]
    In other embodiments, a gathering system 62 can be located on other portions of the glove, or components thereof. For example, in one non-limiting embodiment, such a gathering system 62 may be located on the body of the glove 20. For instance, the gathering system 62 may be located on a portion of the back 22 of the glove 20 that is between the position of the gathering system shown in FIGS. 10-12 (that is, on the extension 42 on the back of the glove) and the edge of the glove 20 that is worn adjacent to the outside of the wearer's pinkie finger.
  • [0064]
    The fastening components of the gathering system 62 can be provided with any suitable characteristics. The components of the gathering system 62 can be breathable, or have any of the other characteristics specified herein for the primary fastening system 38. In some embodiments, it may be desirable for the fastening components of the gathering system 62 to form a stronger bond with each other than the components of the primary fastener 38 on the glove so that the gathering system 62 will remain in a gathered or retracted configuration when the primary fastening system 38 is adjusted. Such a stronger bond could be provided by using more tenacious fastener components for the fastening components of the gathering system 62. That is, these components could comprise a material that has a second, higher resistance to peeling forces than (first) resistance to peeling forces of the components of the primary fastening system 38.
  • [0065]
    Numerous other types of modifications can be made to the fastener 38 to allow the fastener 38 to be adjusted in a similar manner to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10-12. For example, in other embodiments, the body of the glove, and any portion of the extension 42, including the proximal portion 42A (and/or the distal portion 42B) of the extension 42 on the back 22 of the glove 20 can be provided with an adjustment feature of the same type that is found on adjustable baseball caps. In other embodiments, any alternative type of adjustment system can be used.
  • [0066]
    FIG. 13 shows an embodiment in which the glove 20 is provided with a feature that allows the glove 20 to be adjusted in other regions and/or directions. Sports gloves are often only provided with a fastener 38 that forms an adjustable closure on the portion of the glove that is worn adjacent to the back of the wearer's hand. Such closures typically only provide adjustability in a direction that runs generally perpendicular to the fingers of the glove. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 13, the sports glove 20 is provided with an additional (or alternative) adjustment system 74 that provides the ability to adjust the fit of the glove 20 in a different direction. In this particular embodiment, the additional adjustment system provides the glove 20 with the ability to adjust the fit of the glove in a direction that is oriented generally in the same direction in which the fingers extend (such as parallel to the fingers of the glove).
  • [0067]
    The additional adjustment system 74 can be provided in any suitable form. It should be understood that although such an adjustment system may be described as the “additional adjustment system”, in some embodiments, such an adjustment system may comprise an alternative adjustment system to the primary adjustment system, fastener 38. Thus, instead of merely being in addition to the primary adjustment system, it may be configured to serve as the primary adjustment system. This additional adjustment system may be configured so that it provides the ability to adjust any portion of the glove in any direction, and at any angle relative to the finger portions of the glove 20 from 0° to 360°. In some cases, it may be desirable for the additional adjustment system to be configured and located so that it is capable of adjusting the glove in a direction that is different from that of the primary adjustment system. If desired, the additional adjustment system 74 can span regions of extensibility 60 to adjust the same.
  • [0068]
    In some embodiments, the additional adjustment system can be constructed similarly to the primary fastening system 38. For example, in one non-limiting embodiment, the additional adjustment system may be comprised of complementary fastening components. FIG. 13 shows that in one version of such an embodiment, the additional adjustment system 74 can comprise an optional opening, such as vent 76, which can function similarly to the V-shaped notch used in the primary fastening system 38. The additional adjustment system 74 can comprise an adjustment strap 78 to adjust the glove in the direction of the fingers of the glove. The adjustment strap 78 may have one component of a complementary fastening system located on its underside. The component on the underside of the adjustment strap 78 may releasably engage with a complementary fastening component 80 located on the opposite side of the vent 76 from the proximal or attached end 78A of the adjustment strap 78. This complementary fastening component 80 serves as a landing zone for the component on the underside of the adjustment strap 78.
  • [0069]
    FIG. 14 shows a sports glove 20 that has at least one extensible region 60 with an alternative configuration. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the sports glove 20 can be provided with one or more extensible regions on the back, sides, front of the fingers, or any combinations thereof. Two extensible regions 60 are shown for simplicity. It should be understood that additional extensible regions can be provided at any suitable location on any of the fingers of the glove. The extensible regions 60 can be extensible in any suitable direction(s), including, but not limited to: in the direction of either of the arrows shown; in the directions or both sets of arrows; in one or more other directions; or in multiple directions; or omni-directions. The extensible regions 60 can have a length, L, that is longer than the distance between the portions of the fingers of the glove that will be worn adjacent to the wearer's knuckles. The extensible regions 60 can have any suitable dimensions. In some non-limiting embodiments, for example, the length, L, of the extensible regions 60 can be greater than the width, W, of the extensible regions. In some cases, the length, L, of these extensible regions can be any number of times greater than the width, W, thereof, including, but not limited to: 1.1; 1.2; 1.3; . . . , etc. The extensible regions 60 can be formed in any of the manners described for the other embodiments discussed herein, including but not limited to by stretching and attaching extensible material to the body of the glove. The extensible regions 60 can be used to reduce or eliminate bagginess on the fingers and/or thumb portion of the glove, or for other purposes.
  • [0070]
    In any of the embodiments described herein, any of the regions the glove that are extensible can also be breathable. It may also be desirable to make other regions of the glove breathable, even if they are not extensible. For example, as shown in FIG. 6, it may be desirable to provide the thumb portion 34 of the glove 20 with breathability, especially in the area 72 where the other hand is placed on top thereof in the case of a golf glove. In any of the embodiments in which the glove is provided with apertures 84, the surrounding portions of the portion 86 of the glove may be configured such as is shown in FIG. 15 so that the apertures 84 have a shape that is one-directional (e.g., funnel-shaped) to transport moisture away from the wearer's skin. These apertures 84 can be provided with tapered side walls that are more narrow in locations that are disposed away from the side adjacent to the wearer's skin. This may reduce the chance that the moisture will come back through the glove. In these or other embodiments, the glove may be provided with one or more vents in key places, or other places. As shown in FIG. 16, the glove 20 may be provided with a substance, or protuberances or projections 88 on at least a portion 90 of the inner surface of the glove 20 to space portions of the wearer's hand away from the glove material. This latter embodiment can be used to reduce perspiration, if desired.
  • [0071]
    The disclosure of all patents, patent applications (and any patents which issue thereon, as well as any corresponding published foreign patent applications), and publications mentioned throughout this description are hereby incorporated by reference herein. It is expressly not admitted, however, that any of the documents incorporated by reference herein teach or disclose the present invention.
  • [0072]
    It should be understood that every maximum numerical limitation given throughout this specification includes every lower numerical limitation, as if such lower numerical limitations were expressly written herein. Every minimum numerical limitation given throughout this specification includes every higher numerical limitation, as if such higher numerical limitations were expressly written herein. Every numerical range given throughout this specification includes every narrower numerical range that falls within such broader numerical range, as if such narrower numerical ranges were all expressly written herein.
  • [0073]
    While particular embodiments of the subject invention have been described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications of the subject invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. In addition, while the present invention has been described in connection with certain specific embodiments thereof, it is to be understood that this is by way of illustration and not by way of limitation and the scope of the invention is defined solely by the appended claims which should be construed as broadly as the prior art will permit.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification2/161.1
International ClassificationA63B63/00, A63B69/36, A41F1/06, A63B71/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2102/18, A63B71/146, A63B2243/0025, A41F1/06, A63B71/141, A63B63/007, A63B69/3608, A63B2209/10
European ClassificationA63B63/00H, A63B71/14G, A41F1/06, A63B71/14G6, A63B69/36B