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[ EN ]

Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an improved device for the storage and/or display of hosiery, underwear and other articles of clothing.
Background of the Invention
The storage of hosiery, such as socks, stockings and pantihose, in drawers and cupboards often creates difficulties in that they tend to become entangled or separated from pairs, making it generally inconvenient to locate and remove the hosiery from the place of storage. This is a particular problem in relation to stockings and pantihose since the possibility of snagging on the edges of drawers and cupboards may create additional di ficulties. Summary of the Invention
It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved storage and/or display device for hosiery and other relatively small articles of clothing in which the above problems are at least ameliorated.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided a device for storing and/or displaying hosiery and other small articles of clothing comprising a body formed from deformable material and having at least one enlarged generally planar face, a multiplicity of pockets formed in said body and opening through said face, said pockets being dimensioned to gently grip said clothing in a generally compacted state.
It will be appreciated that the above defined device offers the advantage that each article of hosiery (or pair)is located in its own pocket and is therefore easily located and retrieved with less likelihood of damage to the hosiery. Since the pockets are arranged to gently grip each article of hosiery, the hosiery is not easily dislodged from the device and may therefore be stored by being hung from one edge on a hanging rail.
The body is preferably relatively shallow and may be rectangular, circular or any other desired shape. The depth of the body need only be so great as to accommodate the articles of hosiery being stored therein and accordingly the device may be easily stored in a drawer or cupboard. The pockets may be arranged in any desired pattern to hold any desired number of articles, limited only by the external dimensions of the body.
In one preferred form of the invention, the body is formed from flexible plastics material and is inflatable to define the pockets. In this arrangement, the air contained within the device makes the side walls of the pockets deformable so as to gently grip the hosiery stored in the device.
As an alternative to the above preferred embodiment, the device may be moulded from foamed plastics or rubber. However, the inflatable device is preferred since it may be deflated and folded into a small package prior to sale.
In each of the above embodiments, each pocket is preferably generally circular in shape, the cross-sectional configuration of each pocket preferably being generally tubular parabolic or egg cup-shaped.
Brief Description of the Drawings
A preferred embodiment will now be described
with refrence to the accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a plan view from above of the device embodying the invention, and
Figure 2 is a sectional elevation taken along the line 2-2 in Figure 1.
Description of Preferred Embodiment
The dev ice shown in the drawing s is rec tangul ar in shape and is formed from sheets of suitab le plastics film 1 and 2 heat seal ed to define a hol low inf latabl e interior 3. An inf l ation means I is heat seal ed in one end wa l l o f the de v i ce and may take any suitab l e f o rm known in the art , such as those used in inf latab le bal ls and other toys for use in the water.
A multiplicity of generally tubular or cylindrical pockets 4 are formed in any desired pattern in the device by heat sealing tubular walls 5 between the upper sheet 1 and the lower sheet 2 with access being allowed to the pockets 4 through openings in the upper sheet 1. In the embodiment shown, the side walls 5 of the pockets 4 are shown to flare outwardly towards the bottom sheet 2 but this is not essential and the pockets may be more or less cylindrical or even parabolic in shape with the bottom of the pocket preferably being attached to the lower sheet 2.
Each pocket 4 is dimensioned, in the present case, to receive a pair of pantihose H in a generally compacted or bunched-up state, with the walls 5 of each pocket gently gripping the hosiery H.
As has been mentioned above, the above described inflatable form of the invention is preferred because the device may be deflated and packaged into a small package for sale. However, the invention is equally applicable to any form in which pockets are formed in a deformable material and dimensioned so as to lightly grip the hosiery or the like to be stored therein.
Similarly, the shape of the device and the arrangement of the pockets is by no means essential.