Air Covered Yarn (ACY): The Future of High-Performance Textiles

Introduction to Air Covered Yarn (ACY Yarn)

Air Covered Yarn (ACY) represents a significant innovation in the textile industry, offering superior qualities that meet the demands of modern fabric applications. This type of yarn is created through a unique process known as air covering, where air jets intertwine filaments of spandex and other fibers, producing a yarn that is both elastic and durable. ACY is increasingly popular in applications requiring high elasticity, such as sportswear, hosiery, and seamless garments.


Advantages of Air Covered Yarn

Enhanced Elasticity and Comfort

The primary advantage of ACY is its exceptional elasticity. By incorporating spandex fibers through the air covering process, ACY achieves superior stretchability compared to traditional covered yarns. This elasticity ensures better fit and comfort in garments, making it an ideal choice for products like activewear, socks, and intimate apparel.

Acy yarn comfort

Lightweight and Breathable

Another significant benefit of ACY is its lightweight nature. The air covering process creates a yarn that is less dense, resulting in lighter fabrics. Additionally, ACY fabrics tend to be more breathable, enhancing wearer comfort, especially in hot and humid conditions. This makes ACY particularly suitable for sportswear and summer clothing.

polyester remove water

Durability and Resilience

ACY is known for its durability and resilience. The intertwining of fibers through air jets provides a robust structure that resists wear and tear, even under frequent use and stretching. This durability extends the lifespan of garments made from ACY, offering better value for both manufacturers and consumers.

acy yarnLightweight

Application of air-covered yarn

Seamless nylon yoga wear

Sportswear and Activewear

         Air covered yarn (ACY) is an excellent choice for sportswear and activewear due to its exceptional elasticity and comfort. Fabrics made from ACY provide the necessary stretch and support for physical activities, ensuring that garments move with the body and maintain their shape during exercise.

       The core-sheath structure of ACY allows for a high degree of stretchability, making it ideal for form-fitting athletic apparel such as leggings, compression garments, and base layers. The covering yarn’s softness and moisture-wicking properties help keep the wearer cool and dry, enhancing overall comfort during intense workouts or outdoor activities.

        Additionally, ACY’s durability and resistance to abrasion make it suitable for high-performance sportswear that needs to withstand frequent wear and tear. Garments made from ACY can maintain their shape and elasticity even after multiple washes, ensuring long-lasting performance.

         Air covered yarn is extensively used in the production of hosiery due to its ability to provide a snug, comfortable fit without constriction. The stretchable nature of ACY ensures that hosiery garments, such as socks, tights, and stockings, conform to the body’s contours, offering a smooth and seamless appearance without unsightly seams or bulges.

        In hosiery applications, ACY’s elasticity allows for a perfect fit that stays in place without sagging or bunching. The soft and breathable covering yarn also contributes to the overall comfort of hosiery products, making them suitable for extended wear.

nylon socks


Seamless underwear

Seamless Garments

        Seamless garments, such as underwear, sportswear, and intimate apparel, benefit from ACY’s ability to create a smooth, second-skin feel. The absence of seams not only enhances comfort but also provides a sleek, streamlined appearance that is highly desirable in these types of garments.

        The stretchable nature of ACY ensures that seamless garments conform to the body’s curves, offering a snug and comfortable fit without constriction. The soft and breathable covering yarn also contributes to the overall comfort and moisture-wicking properties of these garments.

Technical Insights into Air Covered Yarn

ACY Yarn Production Process

The production of ACY yarn involves combining a core yarn, typically made of polyester or nylon filaments, with an elastomeric yarn like spandex or elastane. This is achieved through an air-jet wrapping technique:

poy yarn

A core yarn and elastomeric filaments are fed into an air covering machine.

air covering machine

Compressed air is used to wrap the elastomeric filaments around the core yarn in a helical pattern.

air covered yarn machine

This air-jet wrapping creates a uniform and smooth yarn surface while preserving the inherent softness of the materials.

Influence of Air Pressure

The air pressure used during the air covering process significantly impacts the properties of the resulting ACY yarn:

Higher air pressures increase the density of the elastomeric wrapping, creating a more compact and durable structure with enhanced abrasion resistance and strength. This is suitable for activewear and outdoor apparel.

Lower air pressures result in a more loosely wrapped structure, allowing for greater elasticity and stretch recovery. This is desirable for hosiery, lingerie, and form-fitting garments.

Acy from production to shipment

ACY Yarn Industrial Technologies

Advanced air covering machines air covering machine are used to produce high-quality ACY with consistent properties. These machines employ sophisticated air-jet systems and precise tension control mechanisms.
Air Covering Machines
Machines with individual spindle setups and single-driven feeders provide cost-efficiency and flexibility for producing small lots of ACY yarn.
Individual Spindle Setups
Automated doffing (removal of full yarn packages) systems auto-doffing system increase productivity in ACY manufacturing.
Auto-Doffing Systems
Accurate quality control is achieved through regulated pretension and winding tension systems, ensuring the highest yarn performance standards.
Quality Control Systems
Technology on machine enables the creation of unique fancy fabrics by combining ACY with other yarn types or effects.
Innovative Technologies
Advanced dyeing facilities and masterbatch production capabilities allow manufacturers to offer a wide range of shades and colors for ACY yarn.
Dyeing and Coloring Technologies
The air covering process offers superior efficiency compared to conventional covering methods, with production speeds typically 30 to 50 times higher, resulting in lower power consumption and production costs.
High-Speed Production
Some manufacturers offer recycled and GRS-certified (Global Recycled Standard) ACY yarns for general textiles and automotive applications, promoting sustainability.
Recycled and Sustainable Materials

          The air covering process and associated industrial technologies have made ACY yarn an economically attractive and high-quality solution for elastic yarn production across various industries, including apparel, hosiery, and technical textiles.

FAQs about Air Covered Yarn (ACY)

ACY differs from other covered yarns, such as mechanically covered yarn (SCY), in its production process. ACY uses compressed air to wrap the covering fiber around the core, while SCY involves mechanically twisting the covering fiber around the core. This results in different properties and applications for each type of yarn.

The benefits of using ACY in garments include:
– Superior elasticity and stretch recovery
– Enhanced comfort and fit
– Durability and resistance to abrasion
– Smooth and uniform appearance
– Versatility in design and application

Variations in air pressure during the air covering process can significantly impact the properties of ACY. Higher air pressures result in a more compact and durable yarn structure, while lower air pressures allow for greater elasticity and stretch recovery. Manufacturers can adjust air pressure to tailor the yarn’s characteristics to specific requirements.

Yes, ACY can be dyed and colored easily. The uniform coverage of the covering fiber allows for better dye penetration, resulting in vibrant and long-lasting colors. Advanced dyeing facilities and masterbatch production capabilities enable manufacturers to offer a wide range of shades and colors for ACY yarn.

Common fibers used as the covering material in ACY include polyester, nylon, and sometimes cotton or silk. These fibers provide strength, durability, and aesthetic properties to the yarn.

The production of ACY can be environmentally friendly, especially when using recycled materials and sustainable practices. Some manufacturers offer GRS-certified (Global Recycled Standard) ACY yarns, promoting sustainability in the textile industry..

ACY specifications are often denoted by two numbers, representing the denier of the spandex and the covering fiber. Common specifications include 20/70, 30/70, and 40/70, where the first number indicates the denier of the spandex and the second number indicates the denier of the covering fiber.

The air covering process is significantly more efficient than conventional covering methods. Production speeds for ACY are typically 30 to 50 times higher, resulting in lower power consumption and production costs. This makes ACY an economically attractive option for elastic yarn production.


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