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 body of lubricous, malleable material such as lightly cross-linked
organo-polysiloxanes containing a dispersion of lightweight, finely-divided
filler such as silica. The malleable material can be molded into
a shape under and/or to either side of a breast to control the shape,
amount of lift and the cleft between breasts and the lubricity of
the siloxane resin prevents the filler from abrading the inner wall
of the pouch.
What is claimed is:
1. A push-up pad for a bra comprising a flexible, sealed envelope
containing a body of lubricious, malleable material, said material
having no elastic memory, being moldable into a plurality of shapes
and being formed of a lightly, cross-linked synthetic, self-lubricating
organo-polysiloxane resin containing 3-40% by weight of a finely
divided reinforcing filler having a density of less then 1.0 immobilized
within the cross-linked resin.
2. A pad according to claim 1 in which the organo-polysiloxane
material is formed from cross-linkable liquid organo-polysiloxane
3. A pad according to claim 2 in which the liquid resins contain
4. A pad according to claim 3 in which the groups are unsaturated
groups capable of addition reaction.
5. A pad according to claim 4 in which the groups are vinyl groups.
6. A pad according to claim 1 in which the envelope is formed of
a heat sealable, flexible, puncture-resistant, leak-resistant, film
having a thickness from 0.01 to 5 mm.
7. A pad according to claim 1 further comprising two outer fabric
layers joined at their peripheries forming a pocket which receives
8. A pad according to claim 7 in which the inner surfaces of the
fabric layers contain a layer of cushioning material.
9. A push-up bra cup comprising in combination;
a front panel in the shape of a bra cup and having a peripheral
a rear panel in the shape of a bra cup having a peripheral edge;
the peripheral edges being joined to form a cavity; and
a flexible pouch containing a body of lubricious, malleable material
received in the cavity, said material having no elastic memory,
being moldable into a plurality of shapes and being formed of a
lightly, cross-linked synthetic, self-lubricating organo-polysiloxane
resin containing 3-40% by weight of a finely divided reinforcing
filler having a density of less then 1.0 immobilized within the
10. A push-up bra containing:
two bra cups;
means joining the cups;
a strap connecting the cups;
said cups containing a flexible pouch containing a body of lubricous,
malleable material, said material having no elastic memory, being
moldable into a plurality of shapes and being formed of a lightly,
cross-linked synthetic, self-lubricating organo-polysiloxane resin
containing 3-40% by weight of a finely divided reinforcing filler
having a density of less then 1.0 immobilized within the cross-linked
11. A push-up bra according to claim 10 in which the push-up bra
forms the top of a bathing suit.
12. A bathing suit having a top portion including a pair of breast
receiving cups, a push-up pad containing a body of malleable material
having the consistency of breast tissue being present in each said
cup, said material having no elastic memory, being moldable into
a plurality of shapes and being formed of a lightly, cross-linked
synthetic, self-lubricating organo-polysiloxane resin containing
3-40% by weight of a finely divided reinforcing filler having a
density of less then 1.0 immobilized within the cross-linked resin.
13. A push-up bra pad for a bra comprising a flexible, sealed envelope
containing a body of lubricious, malleable material comprising a
cross-linked, self-lubricating, synthetic, organo-polysiloxane resin
comprising a mixture of a major amount of a first diakly alkyl vinyl
siloxane copolymer and a minor amount of a second alkyl vinyl dialkyl
alkyl hydrogen siloxane copolymer where each alkyl contains from
1 to 6 carbon atoms.
14. A pad according to claim 13 in which the material is cross-linked
to an extent of no more than 10%.
15. A pad according to claim 13 in which the first siloxane copolymer
is a mixture of dimethyl and methyl vinyl siloxane and the second
siloxane is a mixture of methyl vinyl and dimethyl methyl hydrogen
16. A push-up pad for a bra comprising a flexible, sealed envelope
containing a body of lubricious, malleable material formed of a
lubricious, vinyl substituted, liquid organo-polysiloxane resin
cross-linked by addition reaction containing from 3 to 40% of a
finely divided reinforcing filler having a density of less then
The present invention relates to an improved pad for a brassiere
and, more particularly to a pad comprising a flexible envelope containing
a body of malleable material that can be incorporated into a push-up
bra or into a pad for placement in a conventional bra.
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,
to enhance the shape of the portion and amount of the breasts above
the brassieres and to modify the cleavage between the breasts.
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
and do not exhibit the natural feel of breast tissue. Rubber pads
also cause 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. These pads more clearly emulate the consistency of
breast tissue. However, the liquids used to fill the envelopes are
not satisfactory. 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 U.S. Pat. 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.
The improved push-up pad described in copending application Ser.
No. 09/132572 filed Aug. 11 1998 the disclosure of which is
expressly incorporated herein by reference, 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.
This push-up bra looks and feels more natural and the bra eliminates
discomfort and insecurity caused by stiff, sharp edged or straying
inner pads. The inner cup lining adjacent the skin is soft and wicks
moisture away from the skin.
However, though the push-up pad does not stray, the liquid in the
pad, will distribute throughout the envelope depending on the compression
forces applied to the envelope during wearing the bra. Even if a
portion of the pad is positioned on the sides of a cup, most of
the liquid will tend to position at the bottom of the cup.
In an earlier experiment, a body of malleable material was synthesized
from water thickened with a small amount usually about 0.5% by weight
of a polyacrylamide thickener and containing about 20% by weight
of a filler such as silica microspheres. The material was malleable.
However, when placed in a thin film pouch for use in a bra pad,
the forces of the filler against the inner wall of the film abraded
the film of the bag until it failed.
STATEMENT OF THE INVENTION
In the present invention, a push-up bra pad contains a lubricous
body of malleable material. The pad can be placed in any position,
under or to the sides of the breast and molded into a desired shape.
The malleable material will retain the desired shape during normal
usage. The malleability of the material is similar to natural tissue.
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 bra cup.
The malleable material has no elastic memory. It does not flow
unless placed under pressure. The desired properties can be provided
by forming a partially cross-linked, self-lubricating polymer material.
Suitably, cross-linking less then 10% of the material is sufficient
to form a 3-dimensional matrix when cross-linked. The amount of
cross-linking is controlled by presence of cross-linkable groups
such as unsaturated groups, suitably vinyl groups. The curing reaction
can be accelerated by the presence of a curing catalyst. The size
of the molecules of cross-linked polymer material is too large to
permeate through the wall of the pouch containing a body of the
The push-up pad adds additional weight to be carried by the wearer
of the bra. The weight of the pad can be reduced and strength increased
by dispersing a reinforcing filler in the matrix of the material.
The reinforcing filler also contributes to the desired malleability.
Suitable materials are finely divided minerals such as fumed silica
or glass or polymeric microspheres suitably having a diameter from
10 to 500 microns and present in an amount from 3-40%, suitably
from 10-30% by weight of the material. As the polymer material cross-links
the particles of filler are immobilized within the cross-linked
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 with the malleable material in a lower central
position in a cup;
FIG. 2 is a view in section taken along line 2--2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a front view in elevation of a bra with the malleable
material molded to the outside of the cup;
FIG. 4 is a view in section of a bra pad taken along line 4--4
of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a front view in elevation of a push-up pad molded to
position the malleable material higher in the cup;
FIG. 6 is a view in section taken along line 6--6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a malleable bra pad according to
the invention; and
FIG. 8 is a view in section taken along line 8--8 of FIG. 7.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2 a push-up bra 10 useful with the
malleable material pouch 38 of the invention is formed of two cups
12 14 a stretchable strap, not shown, connected to the outside
periphery 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 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 following the curved
outline of the bra cup can be formed along the lower periphery 29
of the bra cups 12 14. A curved metal stiffening rod 28 can be
received in the sleeve 26.
The outer layers 20 are stitched around their common peripheries
30 32 to form pockets 34 36 for receiving flexible pouches 38
40 containing a body 42 of malleable material as shown in FIG. 2.
The pouches 38 40 can have the general exterior shape of a bra
cup 12 14. The pouches 38 40 are formed of a front film 43 heat
sealed at their common perimeters to a rear panel 44 forming a lip
46. 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, not shown, which before thermal bonding serves
as a filling spout. The two layers 20 22 of the pouch are completely
thermal sealed within the tab into a unitary film. Two thermally
generated beads, not shown, can be provided normal to the axis of
the pouches to reinforce the tab from tearing.
The tab can be sewn 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, leak resistant,
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 malleable material which is placed in the pouches is preferably
odorless and stable to the heat and forces encountered during use.
A preferred material is a lightly cross-linked organo-polysiloxane
optionally reinforced with finely divided silica or microspheres
of glass or epoxy resin. The cross-linking can be provided by unsaturated
sites on the starting materials. The malleable material is preferably
made from two cross-linkable liquids which can be of polymeric length
which are mixed together and reacted to form the cross-linked material.
The reinforcing agent is dispersed in one or both of the starting
liquids. Catalyst is added, such as an addition polymerization,
platinum metal and the mixed material reacted to form a cross-linked,
malleable material similar to a viscous paste.
Organo-polysiloxanes are preferred because of their known biocompatibility
with human tissue and excellent lubricating properties. Cross-linking
is provided by adding at least one vinyl group to the starting dialkyl
alkyl silicone materials. The major portion of the malleable material
can be formed of a dialkyl alkyl vinyl siloxane in which each alkyl
group contains 1-6 carbon atoms. A minor portion of the material
can be an alkyl vinyl, dialkyl alkyl hydrogen siloxane where the
alkyl groups contain 1-6 carbon atoms.
An example of practice follows:
100 parts by weight 50% Dimethyl and 50% Methyl vinyl siloxane
0.1 parts by weight 50% Methyl vinyl and 50% dimethyl methyl hydrogen
siloxanes liquid copolymer
The mixture of A and B contains 20% by weight of silica microspheres.
Physical Properties--Part A
Boiling point: >260.degree. C.
Specific Gravity (water=1): 0.7
Vapor Pressure at 25.degree. C.: >1 mm Hg--essentially non-volatile
Vapor Density (air=1): N/A--essentially non-volatile
Water Solubility: nil
Evaporation Rate (Ethyl Ether=1): nil
Appearance and Odor: Colorless, translucent, viscous, paste
Physical Properties--Part B
Boiling point: >260.degree. C.
Specific Gravity (water=1): 0.9
Vapor Pressure at 25.degree. C.: negligible--essentially non-volatile
Vapor Density (air=1): N/A--essentially non-volatile
Water Solubility: nil
Evaporation Rate (Ethyl Ether=1): N/A
Appearance and Odor: Colorless, translucent, fluid
Parts A and B were mixed with platinum catalyst and cross-linked
to form a malleable matrix material.
A prototype of the push-up bra of the invention was prepared by
filling an elastomeric polyurethane pouch.
The pouch was formed from a closed cell polyurethane film 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 malleable material containing pouch of the invention can also
be incorporated into an uplift bra pad 100 as shown in FIGS. 7-8.
The pad 100 has an oval-shaped front panel 102 and an oval shaped
rear panel 104. The panels 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 malleable material.
The panels may have a thin layer 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 lower edge 120 of the strip 116 can be bound by stitching to
the peripheral edges of the pad 100.
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
will have a convex front face 128 and a concave rear face 130. When
the pouch 132 is inserted into the cavity 126 the lower portion
134 of the front face and lower portion 136 of the rear face 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 126.
Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2 the pads 100 contain pouches
38 40 filled with a body 42 of malleable material. The body 42
of malleable material shown in dotted lines, can be formed into
a crescent shape and centrally positioned under a breast 150. The
breast 150 will be uniformly lifted above the top edge 152 of the
bra 154 to form a first cleavage 156. As shown in FIGS. 3-4 when
the body of malleable material 42 is molded into a thicker, shorter
body 158 placed toward the outside of each breast 150 the breasts
will be lifted up and pressed closer together to form a second longer
When the body 42 of the malleable material, as shown in FIGS. 5
and 6 is placed higher in the bra cup the cleavage 164 is still
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.