A push-up bra has an envelope between the front panel and the rear
panel of the bra cups, that receives a flexible pouch containing
a mixture of water and a hygroscopic agent such as 70% glycerine-30%
water. The hygroscopic agent will draw moisture into the envelope
preventing the volume of liquid from decreasing.
What is claimed is:
1. A push-up pad for placement in a bra cup comprising an oval
shaped front fabric panel, an oval shaped rear fabric panel, the
edge of said panels being joined to form a pocket, a flexible, sealed
envelope formed of two edge-sealed films of tough puncture-resistant
synthetic resin received in the pocket and an odorless, organic
liquid containing 10 to 60 percent by weight of water being present
in the envelope.
2. A pad according to claim 1 in which the envelope is formed of
a heat sealable, flexible, tear-resistant film having a thickness
from 0.01 to 5 mm.
3. A pad according to claim 2 in which the inner surfaces of the
fabric layers contain a layer of cushioning material.
4. A push-up pad according to claim 3 in which the cushioning material
is flexible foam.
5. A push-pad according to claim 3 in which the fabric is woven
and is selected from polyamide or polyester.
6. A push-up pad for placement in a bra comprising an oval-shaped
front fabric panel, and oval-shaped rear fabric panel, said panels
being edge-stitched to form a pocket, a flexible, sealed envelope
formed after edge-sealed films of tough, puncture-resistant synthetic
resin received in the pocket an odorless, organic liquid being present
in the envelope, a strip of flexible, thermoplastic foam extending
across a top portion of the pocket and said front panel and said
rear panel being adhered to the strip to form a flattened, concave
7. A pushup pad according to claim 6 in which the strip comprises
no more than 45% of the height of the pad.
8. A push-up pad according to claim 7 in which the strip comprises
no more than 30-40% of the height of the pad.
9. A push-up pad according to claim 6 in which the upper edge of
the strip is stitched to the upper edges of the panels.
10. A push-up bra containing: two bra cups; means joining the cups;
a strap connecting the cups; said cups each containing a push-up
pad as defined in claim 9.
The present invention relates to an improved pad for a brassiere
and, more particularly to a flexible, liquid filled envelope incorporated
into a push-up bra or into a pad for placement in a conventional
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Brassieres are worn not only to provide support for women's breasts,
but also to enhance the shape of the breasts within the brassieres,
the portion of the breasts above the breasts and the cleavage between
Push-up bras are designed to shape and elevate the breasts. Push-up
bras usually contain a rubber pad received in a pocket in the lower
front panels of the bra cups. The pad is formed by molding into
a complex arcuate shape. Rubber pads are both stiff and uncomfortable.
Rubber pads also caused insecurity due to straying of the pads.
Other push-up bras used a more yielding silicone foam and some use
Nylon (polyamide) padding to shape and lift.
Push-up bras with liquid filled envelopes have recently appeared
on the market. Silicone oil liquids are very expensive and are hard
to seal. Hydrocarbon oils have also been utilized as the liquid
either alone or in a mixture with water. Hydrocarbons can attack
the envelope. The liquids in the envelope are heated to body temperature
of about 99.degree. F. At this temperature, evaporation is increased
and the hydrocarbon vapors can permeate through the wall of the
envelope, creating offensive, unpleasant odors. Furthermore, water
vapor is also able to permeate through the wall of the envelope
decreasing the liquid volume in the envelope. The envelope could
rupture on impact or when pierced by a sharp object causing embarrassment,
discomfort and destruction of the pad.
List of References Patentee Patent No. Block, et al. 3620222
Kirby, et al. 3845507 Lynch 3986123 Miller 5235974
STATEMENT OF THE PRIOR ART
Block, et al. discloses a foam, push-up brassiere pad. Kirby, et
al. discloses a breast prosthesis to be worn inside a brassiere
cup containing an inner bag. A gel-like liquid such as carboxymethyl
cellulose is sealed within an outer bag containing air. Miller discloses
an electrically heated bra for lactating mothers containing a fluid
impermeable chamber filled with water.
Lynch discloses a breast prosthesis filled with a low density silicone
gel. The gel used by Lynch is not malleable.
STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION
The improved push-up pad according to the invention contains a
flexible envelope filled with a mixture of water and an odorless,
organic hygroscopic agent in specified proportions providing no
unpleasant aroma and little evaporation of water through the film
of the envelope. The envelope is formed of a film of a tough synthetic
resin resistant to puncture, preferably a thermoplastic resin capable
of being heat-sealed. The film has low transmission rate for water
vapor. The hygroscopic agent is able to drive water vapor from outside
the envelope through the film into the envelope so that liquid volume
is maintained. Unlike a prosthesis which has a volume and shape
equal to a breast, the push-up pad of the invention has a volume
less than that of a breast, usually from 10% to 40% of the volume
of a breast.
The push-up pad of the invention when placed in a bra cup looks
and feels more natural. The bra pad eliminates discomfort and insecurity
caused by stiff, sharp edged or straying inner pads. The inner cup
lining adjacent the skin can be a soft fabric that wicks moisture
away from the skin.
The pads of the invention can also be used in outerwear such as
bathing suit tops and athletic tops.
These and many other features and attendant advantages of the invention
will become apparent as the invention becomes better understood
by reference to the following detailed description when considered
in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is front view in elevation illustrating the push-up bra
of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view in section taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view in elevation of a bra pad envelope;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a bra pad containing a liquid filled
FIG. 5 is a view in section taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a schematic view of an unsupported breast; and
FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing the profile of a breast when
the push-up pad is in place.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 a push-up bra 10 useful with the
liquid-filled pouch 38 of the invention is formed of two cups 12
14 a stretchable strap 15 connected to the outside periphery 16
18 of each cup 12 14 with releasable fastener, not shown, and optional
shoulder straps 16 18.
The cups 12 14 are formed of an outer layer 20 of fabric and an
inner layer 22 of fabric. The outer layer 20 of fabric can be covered
with a layer 25 of decorative material such as lace. The surface
24 of the inner layer 22 is preferably covered with a layer of a
soft material 27 which absorbs and wicks moisture such as woven
cotton or polypropylene cloth. A long narrow sleeve 26 can be formed
which follows the curved outline of the lower periphery 29 of the
bra cups 12 14. A curved metal stiffening rod 28 can be received
in the sleeve 20 and inner layers 22 of each cup 12 14.
The outer layers are stitched around their common peripheries 30
32 to form pockets 34 36 for receiving a flexible pouch 38 40
containing a liquid 42 as shown in FIG. 2. The pouches 38 40 have
the general exterior shape of a bra cup 12 14. The pouches 38
40 are formed of a front film 43 heat sealed to a rear panel 44
forming a lip 46. The pouches 38 40 are liquid tight and have a
low permeability for water. The pouches 38 40 are preferably anchored
to the outer layer 20 or inner layer 22 of fabric. The lip 46 could
be formed by adhering the outer peripheries of the two panels by
adhesive or stitching. However, stitching or adhesive could make
the lip 46 more susceptible to tear. It is preferred that the pouches
38 40 be provided with an extended tab 50 which before thermal
bonding serves as a filling spout. The pouches 38 40 are filled
with a body of liquid 42 which occupies no more than 80% of the
volume of the pouch, usually 40-60% of the volume.
The two layers 20 22 of the pouch are completely thermal sealed
within the tab 50 into a unitary film 52. Two thermally generated
beads 54 56 can be provided normal to the axis of the pouches to
reinforce the tab from tearing.
The tab 50 is sewn 60 into the edge of the outer layer of fabric
20 near the outside periphery of the pockets 34 36. The pouches
38 40 are then inserted into the pockets 34 36. The edge of the
inner layer 22 of fabric is then stitched to the edge of the outer
The skin of the pouch is a tough, puncture-resistant, liquid impermeable,
flexible film such as a 0.01 to 5 mm thick film, preferably a film
having a thickness from 0.05 to 0.5 mm. Suitable films are thermoplastic,
thermally bondable films such as polyethylene, vinyl, silicone resins
or polyurethane which can be in the form of a closed cell foam.
The surface of the pouch has good wetability for water, is resistant
to hydrolysis, has flame retardence and resistance to U.V. radiation.
It is stable to being agitated with hot soapy water in a washing
machine. The film can have a Shore A Hardness from 50 to 100 a
Specific Gravity of 1.1 to 1.3 an elongation of at least 300% and
a minimum tear strength of 200 Lb/in. The film should have a high
melting temperature above 180.degree. C. in order to be capable
of surviving temperatures encountered in washing and drying machines.
However, hand washing and air drying of the bra are preferred.
The pouches are filled with a mixture of water and a major amount
of an organic, hygroscopic material miscible with water. The mixture
of water and the hygroscopic material forms a clear, uniform liquid
having a viscosity similar to water. The organic hygroscopic materials
are polyhydric organic compounds containing a plurality of hydroxyl
group such as glycerine (glycerol) or liquid polyols. Glycerine
is preferred since it is a clear, colorless, odorless syrupy liquid
having hygroscopic properties. A USP grade having minimum purity
of 99.5% is preferred.
Analysis of a USP glycerine used in the push-up bra of the invention
TEST RESULT SPECIFICATION Glycerine Content % 99.68 99.5 min. Relative
Density 25/25 1.2609 1.2607 min. Color Apha 5 10 max. Ash <0.01
0.01 max. Chloride ppm <10 10 max. Sulphate ppm <20 20 max.
Arsenic ppm <1.5 1.5 max. Heavy Metal ppm <5 5 max. Chlorinated
Compounds ppm <30 30 max. Fatty Acid & Esters 0.7 1.0 max.
ml 0.5 NAOH
A prototype of the push-up bra of the invention was prepared by
filling about one-half of the volume of a polyurethane pouch with
a mixture of 30% water and 70% USP glycerine. The tab on the pouch
was heat sealed and then inserted into a pocket in a push-up bra.
The tab was sewn into the periphery of the pouch and the seam on
the inner layer of fabric was closed.
The film used to form the pouch was a closed cell polyurethane
having the following properties:
Properties Color APHA 5 Thickness 0.1 mm Hardness 87 Shore A Specific
Gravity 1.20 Tensile Strength 6525 psi Elongation 480% Tear Strength
400 lb/in Melting Temperature 180-190.degree. C.
The prototype was tested under normal wearing conditions. The mixture
of water and glycerine provided a natural cushion. The pouch did
not leak or ooze liquid. It was self sealing. There was no loss
of volume over a 3 month test period due to permeation of water
due to the glycerine humectant within the pouch. The bra was very
comfortable for a shaping bra and gave a natural lift for a fuller
look. Though the bra can be machine washed, there is less wear and
tear if the bra is hand washed and hung to dry.
The hygroscopic liquid containing pouch of the invention can also
be incorporated into an uplift bra pad 100 as shown in FIGS. 4-7.
The pad 100 has an oval-shaped front panel 102 and an oval shaped
rear panel 104. The panels 102 104 can be formed of woven or non-woven
fabrics, preferably a soft woven synthetic fabric such as Nylon
(linear polyamide) or polyester. The peripheral edges 106 108 of
the panels 102 104 are joined, suitably by stitching 110 to form
a cavity 118 for receiving a pouch 112 containing a body 114 of
The panels 102 104 may have a thin layer 105 of flexible foam
usually 1/16 to 1/4 inch thick attached to the inside surface, suitably
by adhesive and/or thermal lamination. An optional strip 116 of
flexible foam my extend across the upper portion of the cavity 118.
The strip 116 is usually from 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and occupies
no more than 45% of the height of a cavity 118 usually about 30-40%
of the cavity. The upper edge 120 of the strip 116 can be bound
by stitching to the peripheral edges of the pad 100. The strip 116
can taper toward the upper edge 131 of the pad 100 to form a smoothly
curved recess for receiving, supporting and covering part of the
uplifted breast tissue 141 as shown in FIGS. 6-7.
Another optional feature is to laminate the front panel 102 rear
panel 104 and flexible foam strip 116 together by heat or adhesive
to form a closed, flat upper portion 124 decreasing the size of
the cavity 118 to form a smaller cavity 126. The upper portion 124
is disposed behind the upper portion 128 of the convex front face
128. The rear face 130 of the upper portion of the film 104 is concave.
When the pouch 112 containing liquid 114 is inserted into the cavity
118 the lower portion 134 of the front film 102 and the lower portion
136 of the rear film 104 will both have a convex shape.
The pouch 112 has a tab 138 which can be placed between the outer
edges of the panels 102 104 and sewn to anchor the pouch 132 within
the smaller cavity 128.
As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 the unsupported breast 150 assumes a
downward distended configuration 151 below the nipple 152. However,
when the pad 100 is placed within a brassiere cup, not shown, the
incompressible body of liquid 114 within the pouch 112 will push-up
the portion 153 lifting the breast 150 to a higher elevation and
more attractive contour.
It is to be realized that only preferred embodiments of the invention
have been described and that numerous substitutions, modifications
and alterations are permissible without departing from the spirit
and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.