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Патент USA US3093925

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June 1'3, 1963
P. E. HIESTAND ETAL
3,093,916
STRETCHABLE FOOTWEAR
Filed June 20, 1955
INVENTORS
PRESTON E. HI ESTAND
EUGENE V. Mu_|_s
BY
ATTORNEYS
3,093,916
,.
United States Patent 0 " ICE
1
Patented June 18, 1963
2
ceeds in connection with the accompanying drawings,
3,093,916
wherein:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary view of a strip of knitted fabric
Preston E. Hiestand and Eugene V. Mills, Princeton, Wis.,
employed in making the article of footwear constituting
the present invention;
STRETCHABLE FOOTWEAR
assignors to Handcraft Company, Inc., Princeton, Wis,
a corporation of Wisconsin
Filed June 20, 1955, Ser. No. 516,576
1 Claim. (Cl. 36--9)
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of the fabric
of FIG. 1 folded along its longitudinal medial line;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the folded strip
of FIG. 2, showing the ?rst transverse seam sewed there
This invention relates to footwear, and more particu
larly to a stretchable slipper adapted to ?t a range of foot 10 across with the adjacent end portion severed from the
strip and the strip extending in a direction toward the
sizes.
left from the point of sewing;
In general, the invention resides in a slipper-type article
FIG. 4 is a view similar to ‘FIG. 3 but showing the
of footwear ‘formed of a unitary piece of stretchable
main ‘body portion of the strip extending toward the
‘fabric ‘formed to provide a foot covering having a foot
opening, but wherein the article is not preshaped to con 15 right of the point of sewing, and with the second trans
verse seam completed and the slipper member severed
form to the foot of the wearer. On the contrary, the
‘from the strip;
slipper is made ?at with both ends of substantially identi
FIG. 5 illustrates the folded strip extending toward the
cal shape and con?guration, but of such material and
left away from the point of sewing, with the third trans
construction that it may be placed on the foot with either
end at the toe or heel and readily conform to the foot 20 verse seam' completed and a generally hourglass-shaped
piece of waste material severed {from the strip;
with a neat, snug over-all ?t.
Brie?y, an elongated knitted strip of suitable stretch
able fabric is folded at one end along its medial line
and the folded strip is presented to a conventional com
FIG. 6 shows the slipper member of FIG. 4 after it
has been turned inside out;
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of the slipper member
bination stitching and cut-off machine to sew seams traus~ 25 of FIG. 6 after a border of elastic material has been
added around the foot opening;
versely of the fold line and to sever the strip at the seams
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view illustrating the means
into separate slipper members. .The seams are formed
and method employed in maintaining the foot opening
in a manner to bind the edges of the fabric and also to
permit stretching of the scam in the direction of its
stretched while applying ornamental devices to the slipper
length.
30 member of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary transverse sectional view taken
The foregoing folding, sewing and cutting operations
substantially along the line 9-9 of FIG. 8; and
'
are repeated until the entire strip has been sewn into
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the decorated slipper as it
i
appears on the foot of the wearer.
The sewn slipper members are then turned inside out
FIG. 1 illustrates a portion of an elongated, continu
so that the edges opposite the fold line form an opening 35
'ous strip 2 of knitted fabric employed in making the
through which the foot may be inserted. In order to
article of footwear of this invention. Preferably, the ma
assure satisfactory retention of the slipper on the foot
terial is knitted from 3 strands of 2-ply 100 denier (semi
when worn, it is preferred to provide a band of elastic
dull) conventional stretch-type nylon or other suitable
material around the foot opening, and in the embodiment
disclosed herein, a border of elastic material is crocheted 40 yarn so that the knitting yarn is of about 600 denier. The
knitting is done on a machine which produces a longi
to the edges of the ‘foot opening in a manner to contract
tudinally ribbed fabric of a thickness of the order of
the opening to less than its original size. The elastic ma
about one-eighth of an inch and characterized by a two
terial can be applied by hand-crocheting or by machine.
way stretch, i.e., being stretchable both transversely and
The slipper then assumes a generally “canoe-shaped” ap
pearance and may be placed upon the foot with either 45 longitudinally. The edges of the strip are parallel and
slipper members.
end at the toe or heel. The stretch of the material, com
bined with the stretchable seams and the elastic member
at the edges of the foot opening, assures that the slipper
will conform snugly to the shape of the foot of the
wearer without causing any discomfort.
The slipper may be embellished by attaching thereto
various ornamental items, such as small seashells, spam
gles, beads, etc.
substantially straight, but the edges and ribbing may be
given a slight wavy appearance, depending upon the
“shogging” action which the knitting machine may be
adjusted to produce. The edges of the strip are de?ned
by a non-raveling selvage.
The preferred yarn is 600* denier, although other ag
gregate deniers may be used. For example, in a child’s
slipper, 2 strands of Z-ply 100 denier yarn may be used
to provide a fabric [that is somewhat lighter. Aggregate
In general, the ornamental items are spaced around
the foot opening and below the elastic edging material 55 deniers above 600 tend to make the ?nished article too
and secured to the article while in a stretched condition
stiff.
by a concealed, substantially inelastic ?lament such ‘as a
The strip 2 is preferably knitted to a width of about
strong nylon thread.
6 inches on a 6-cut machine (6 needles to the inch) but
The principal object of this invention is to provide a
it could be knitted on a S-cut or 7-cut machine. As
practical article of footwear that will ?t any foot within
stated, the material is knitted to a width of about 6 inches
a substantial range of foot sizes.
and of any desired length compatible with convenient
Another object is to provide an article of footwear
handling during subsequent ?nishing operations. After
which is attractive in appearance, of simple construction,
knitting, the fabric strip‘ 2 is ?nished by conventional
and extremely easy and economical to produce.
scouring, dying and drying operations. A softener is
65
A further object is to provide an article of footwear
preferably applied to the material during the dying
characterized by being wearable with either end at the
process, as is also conventional. During the scouring,
toe or heel of the foot.
dying and drying of the fabric strip 2, it shrinks in
A still further object is to provide an article of foot
width about 25% and about 33% in length. Thus, the
wear that occupies little space and is readily washable
70 width of the strip material 2 employed for making the
when soiled.
present article is only about 41/2 inches. This width is
Still further objects and advantages will become ap
preferred since it is suitable for making footwear that
parent to those skilled in the art as the description pro~
3,093,916
will ?t most foot sizes, but it may be varied more or
4
foot opening de?ned by the edges 6, as shown in FIG. 7.
The crocheted border 14 may be applied manually or
by machine and is preferably formed of a continuous
less, if desired.
To form the stretchable article of footwear contem
-'plated‘ by this invention from the ‘strip =2, "a portion of
strand of elastic material which may be covered with any
one end of the latter is folded along its longitudinal
suitable decorative ?lm or Wrapping. An elastic “gold”
medial line to ‘form‘a folded strip portion de?ned by
wrapped gimp has been found to be very satisfactory
superimposed side panels joined integrally along a bot
from both a functional and ornamental View. In
tom fold line 4 and having adjacent free edges 6. The
crocheting the gimp border 14 to the free edges 6 of the
‘end of the'thus folded strip portion is presented to the
slipper member, the material is secured to the edges 6
needle (not shown) of a conventional sewing and cut 10 at spaced positions 16 by being passed through the fabric
‘off machine with the strip extending avway from the
and in the crocheting step that portion of the gimp be
needle toward the left and is ?rst stitched transversely,
‘tween the spaced positions 16 is looped upon itself in a
"as shown at 8‘ in FIG. 3, and the extreme end portion 9
*of the‘ strip is simultaneously severed closely adjacent
well-known manner to form an attractive edging around
the'foot opening. During the crocheting step, the gimp
the seam 8_by a conventional cutter attachment (not 15 material contracts the foot opening de?ned by the free
shown). Preferably, the seam 8 ‘is formed by an over
edges 6 of the fabric. Thus, the foot opening in the
‘cast Zr-ply-or 3~ply chain-stitch, which binds the edge and,
article, after crocheting the border thereon, is somewhat
‘smaller than the original opening in the article shown
of its ‘length. The machine operator guides the'material
in FIG. 6. Also, the fold line~4 and the edges 6 of the
through the machine by freehand manipulation, since 20 article assume a slightly upwardly curved shape, best
also provides a seam that is stretchable in the direction
the exactshape or curvature of the seam 8 is not'critical.
After'the'seam 8 is formed, as described, the operator
turns the seamed end of the folded strip so that themain
vshown in FIG. 7 so that the slipper then assumes a
generally “canoe-shaped” appearance and may be placed
upon the foot with either end at the toe or heel.
By
portion of the strip extends in the opposite direction
this means, the free edge is given more “body” and in
(right). The seamed end is placed in registration with 25 sures sung embrace of the foot of the wearer when applied
one end of a gauge board convenient-to the needle, and
‘the operator determines from the board where the second
seam should ‘be located by placing a ?nger at the ap
proximate point as .the guide, and then presents the strip
‘to'the ‘needle to ‘sew a second seam 8' (FIG. 4) across
the folded strip.
'During the formation of the seam '8', the material
is again severed from the folded strip outwardly of the
‘seam‘S' to form ‘a separate slipper member 12. After
the member ‘12 has been cut from the strip, the operator
‘again reverses the strip, folding it carefully so that its
edges 6 are even and its ‘free end extends to the left.
and vsews a ‘third seam 8" closely adjacent ‘the end of
the ‘strip from which'the member .12 was severed (FIG.
'5). During this ‘step the scrap end 10 is cut from vthe
strip 2 close to‘seamb", as was end‘9 of FIG. 3, thus
reducing ‘Waste‘to a ‘minimum. The ‘step described in
gconnection'with FIG. 4 ‘is then repeated to form a‘second
slipper member, and ‘so on. Thus, the operator ‘need
only continuev to fold the strip ‘as it is being used up»,
and sequentially reverse the ‘direction of the main por
tion of the ‘strip relative to the needle and pass the strip
transversely through the sewing-cutting machine to pro
duce successive slipper members 12 until the whole strip
‘has been converted into slipper members. It will be
‘observed from the drawings that the seams 8, 8' and‘=8”
“are all of substantially the same length.
While an overcast chain-stitch is preferred, ‘such is
‘not absolutely essential since a suitable lock-stitch may
be used to sew the seams.
thereto as shown in FIG. 10', even though the fabric
material 2, is stretched substantially ‘throughout its entire
area.
Following the crocheting of the border 14 about the
opening of the ‘article, ‘a rigid ‘body such as a board 18
(FIG. 8) of predetermined length, is inserted in the slip
‘per opening to stretch the same to substantially the size
of the opening before application of the gimp ‘border.
The board 18 thereby holds the opening and the ‘free edges.
‘ of the fabric stretched the desired amount and during
this time ornamental items 20' are secured to the'slipper
'at spaced positions around the foot opening. The orna
mental devices, which may be shells, spangles, or other
elements, are secured to the fabric of the slipper by a
‘strong thread 22 of substantially inelastic nylon or the
like. ‘Preferably, the thread 22 is manually worked
through the body of the fabric '2 by an ordinary needle
‘between the positions at which the ornaments 20 are se
cured, so that the thread 22 is concealed within the body
of the fabric 2 and extends between those positions in sub
stantially taut but untensioned condition. After the orna
ments 20 have all been secured in place, the board 18
is removed, whereupon the gimp border 14‘ causes the
"foot ‘opening to contract to the size of FIG. 7 and the
50 ornaments 20 assume positions somewhat closer together
than ‘shown in FIG. 8. In this condition the thread 21
is quite loose between those positions.
The fabric 2 may be white ‘or dyed any desired color 7
‘and the ornamental items may be of any desired nature
‘It is preferable, however, 55 and/or'cont-rasting color, or may be omitted entirely if
that a'form of stitching be used which permits‘the trans
desired. The article thus described may obviously be pro
verse seams to stretch in [the direction of ‘their length.
duced from a long strip of fabric at low cost and, due
Preferably the scams 8, ‘8’, etc., are bowed ‘or curved
to its simple construction, may be produced in quantity
outwardly away from each other and are so con?gured
at relatively high speeds.
that the fold line 4 and ‘the free edges 6 are of about the 60
While a single speci?c embodiment of the invention and
same length. In any event, it is contempl'ated'that the
method have been shown and described herein, it is to be
seams be of about the same shape, neither of them de
understood that many modi?cations in types of material
?ning speci?cally ra'toe or heel-shaped portion.
‘used and procedural steps may be resorted to within the
The longitudinal spacing between the seams 8‘ and 8'
scope of the appended claim.
is determined by the desired size of the ?nished article. 65
We claim:
For a size of slipper to'?t a foot of 9 to 11 hose size, for
As a new article of footwear a strecthable slipper to
example, the ?at article of FIG. 3 should be about 81/2
be worn in lieu of a shoe, comprising: a pair of substan
inches over-all in length
tially ?at elongated panels of longitudinally and trans
'After severance of the slipper member .12 from the
versely stretchable fabric having ‘outwardly curved ex
folded strip of material, it ‘is turned inside out'through 70 tremities and being of uniform width between said ex
the foot opening de?ned by the‘ free edges 6 to thus
tremities and disposed in ‘confronting relation, means
place the seams 8 and 8' on the inside of the article
joining said panels together along at least one of their
as shown in FIG. 6.
longitudinal edges, the opposite longitudinal edges being
The next step in the production of the stretchable slip
free to de?ne a foot opening, and stretchable seams of
per is the crocheting of a resilient border 14 around the 75 substantially similar con?guration and length extending
3,093,916
6
transversely of said panels and interconnecting the same
adjacent their extremities ‘from the ends of the joined
edges to the ends of the free edges, said fabric being suffi
ciently stretchable to enable said article of footwear to ?t
a range of foot sizes, with either of said extremities con
forming to the toe end of a font, a plurality of ornamental
elements secured to said panels adjacent said free edges
at positions spaced therealo-ng and around the foot open
ing, said ornamental elements being secured to said panels
by a substantially inelastic continuous threads concealed
within the body of the stretchable fabric, the length of
said thread between said portions being greater than the
distance between said positions when said article is relaxed
(2,467,237
2,469,708
‘2,603,891
2,641,004
Sherman et a1. ________ __ Apr. 12,
Alexander ____________ __ May 10,
Cohn ________________ __ July 22,
Whiting et a1 ___________ __ June 9,
1949
1949
1952
1953
2,679,117
2,688,810
2,848,885
2,896,339
Reed ________________ __ May 25,
Baumann ____________ __ Sept. I14,
Goodman ____________ __ Aug. 26,
Rabinowitz __________ __ July 28,
1954
1954
11958
1959
FOREIGN PATENTS
10
341,126
605,825
Italy ________________ __ June 112, 1936
Germany ____________ _._ Nov. 19, 1934
OTHER REFERENCES
so that said foot opening can be stretched in placing said
American Cotton Handbook, by Gilbert R. Merrill and
article on a foot without breaking said inelastic thread.
15 Alfred R. Macormac, at pages 83 and 84; published by
Textile Book Publishers, Inc., New York, copy 1949.
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
(Copy available in Division 211.)
UNITED STATES PATENTS
Textile IFibers, by Mauersberger, published by John
Wiley and Sons, New York, ‘1947 at pages 251 and 7111.
‘1,841,518
Bellak _______________ __ Jan. 19, 1932
2,001,293
2,252,315
Wilson ______________ -_ May 14, 1935
Doree ______________ __ Aug. ‘12, 1941
2,274,085
2,335,210
2,400,692
Mitulski _____________ __ Feb. 24, 1942
Guinzburg __________ __ Nov. 23, 1943
Herbert ______________ __ May 211, 1946
20
(Copy available in Division 211.)
‘Federal Standard Stock Catalogue, section IV (part 5),
Federal Speci?cation for Stitches; Seams; and Stitching,
‘No. DDD—s-75 1; March 4, 1930, pages '70 and 71.
(Available in Division 24.)
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