Patent Application - Multi-Slider Zipper And Wearable Garment With Multi-Slider Zipper > Description
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/414,626 filed on Nov. 17, 2010 which is incorporated herein by reference.
This invention relates to a multi-slider zipper and garments (such as a wearable blanket) incorporating multi-slider zippers.
Dressing and undressing infants is a challenge familiar to millions of their caregivers. Many factors, such as the delicate nature of infants, their inability to understand or obey caregiver instructions, and the relatively small spaces in infant clothing through which infants' often recalcitrant limbs must be passed, can all conspire to make the process of dressing and undressing infants a challenging, time-consuming and often frustrating experience.
A shortcoming of traditional infant clothing is that it does not allow a caregiver to selectively undress (i.e., access) discrete portions of the infant's body. This is a significant drawback, as it is desirable to minimize the time and extent to which an infant is unclothed because of the need to keep infants warm.
Another shortcoming of traditional infant clothing is that the difficulty associated with removing and replacing such clothing is incompatible with the frequency with which infants must be dressed and undressed, so as to permit the changing of the many diapers that infants soil each day. A particular concern when changing an infant's diaper is keeping clothing away from the infant's midsection and, in particular, away from a soiled diaper. In many cases, the only way to be assured of doing so is to completely remove the infant's lower garments, which requires the caregiver to undertake the time-consuming process of carefully and delicately placing the infant's legs back into the proper spaces of the lower garments at the conclusion of the diaper change. In many cases, the infant's upper garments must also either be removed, or pushed far enough toward the infant's head in order to avoid contact with the soiled diaper or the ointments, powders and the like that are routinely applied to an infant's midsection prior to putting on a new diaper.
Some efforts have been made in the prior art to address these issues, but that art has only mitigated some of the problems and inconveniences associated with dressing and undressing infants. One such effort is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 2,530,464 issued to Haman. This patent teaches a sleeping bag for infants, consisting of a front surface and a rear surface permanently joined together (as by sewing) along the bottom edge and most of the side edges of the sleeping bag. The infant is placed in, and removed from, the sleeping bag by way of a longitudinal slit in the front surface of the sleeping bag, which extends from the neck aperture to a distance of about three-fourths of the way to the bottom of the sleeping bag. The longitudinal slit is equipped with a suitable closure mechanism, such as a zipper. The sleeping bag also has an arcuate or u-shaped slit, again equipped with a closure mechanism, which defines a flap in the front surface of the sleeping bag that is located near, but above, the bottom of the front surface. The base of this arcuate or u-shaped slit is parallel to, but not as wide as, the bottom of the sleeping bag, and its upward projections extend only for a short distance in a direction parallel to the sides of the sleeping bag. Opening the flap allows access to the infant's lower legs, but because it does not extend all the way to the bottom of the sleeping bag, the flap still requires manipulation of the infant's legs and clothing to a greater extent than is desirable.
While the prior art does address some of the shortcomings of traditional infantile clothing, it remains a challenge to selectively access a discrete portion of the infant without removing substantially more of the infant's clothing than would otherwise be required to expose the desired portion of the infant.
Consequently, there is a need for a garment for infants that can be easily manipulated so as to provide quick access to a discrete area of an infant without having to undress the infant to a greater extent than is absolutely necessary.
In a similar manner adults using a wearable blanket may have a need to walk in such a blanket and therefore need easy access to allow their feet to extend in the blanket. In a similar fashion, when using a sleeping bag parts of a body, such as feet, can often get warm and the user may want to extend his or her feet from the sleeping bag without having to remove the sleeping bag by unzipping the sleeping bag which causes the comfort of being closed in the sleeping bag to be lost. Therefore, there is also a need for a wearable blanket or sleeping bag that can be easily manipulated to provide access outside of the blanket or sleeping bag from various parts of the blanket or sleeping bag.
As zippers provide one of the most complete and reliable closure devices for garments of the type described above as well as other garments, there is a need for a zipper that provides more flexibility to the wearer of zippered garments. In particular if a zipper could provide the multiple opening and closing options that are available to the wearer of a buttoned garment (who can simply unbutton one or more buttons for purposes of access or freedom), zippers would be used in even more applications.
A wearable garment includes a multi-slider zipper with a top stop at each end of the zipper. The multi-slider zipper extends around the periphery of the garment from one armpit to the second armpit to enable the top surface of the garment to be separated at least partially from the second portion of said garment. The unique zipper may include three or more sliders as well as a top stop at each end of the zipper. A sleeping bag also having a top and bottom fabric portion includes the multi-slider zipper having at least three sliders.
In accordance with the present invention, and referring now at
The top portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15 of wearable blanket 5 are equipped with cooperating fasteners 25, such as snap fasteners, with which front panel 10 and rear panel 15 may be detachably secured over the shoulders of the user of the blanket 5. In other embodiments, the cooperating fasteners could be eliminated. Front panel 10 and rear panel 15 are formed such that when they are secured together over the shoulders of the wearer, apertures 26 suitable for accommodating the arms of the wearer are formed at the upper side portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15, and an aperture 23 suitable for accommodating the neck of the wearer is formed at the top portions of front panel 10 and rear panel 15. The formation of front panel 10 and rear panel 15 allows wearable blanket 5 to offer a vest-like fit around the arms of the wearer when cooperating fasteners 25 are secured and closure mechanism 19 is fully closed. If desired, when used with an infant, the caregiver may tuck an infant's arms into wearable blanket 5, fully close closing mechanism 19 and secure the cooperating fasteners 25 to keep the infant's body, excepting the head and neck, fully covered by the wearable blanket 5.
Referring back to the embodiment shown in
Front panel 10 and rear panel 15 are formed at the top of each panel so as to provide an aperture suitable for accommodating the head and neck of the wearer. Attached to front panel 10 on one side of slit 27, near the top of front closure mechanism 30, is a tab of fabric 35. Tab 35 is also equipped with a cooperating fastener 40, such as a snap fastener, that can be detachably secured to its complementary component attached to front panel 10 on the opposite side of slit 27. When cooperating fastener 40 is secured, tab of fabric 35 covers the top portion of front closure mechanism 30 and thereby prevents the joining means, e.g., slider 30a of front closure mechanism 30, from scratching the infant, and further prevents the infant from inadvertently manipulating the joining means of front closure mechanism 30.
The zipper 20 provides the blankets 5 or 35 of the present invention with significant flexibility. The zipper is constructed with top stops 34 at each end of the zipper 20 so that the sliders 20a-20d can never separate from the zipper itself. This construction enables the zipper to remain child safe as there are no separate components that a baby could swallow. The four slider and three slider zippers also enable different portions of the wearable blanket to be open.
As shown in
It will be understood that many additional changes in the details, materials, steps and arrangements of parts, which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of the invention, may be made by those skilled in the art while remaining within the principles and scope of the present invention.