The Difference Between Air Covered Yarn and Mechanical Covered Yarn

Air covered yarn utilizes compressed air to wrap the covering material around a core yarn in a helical pattern. The air jet applies the covering filament or staple fiber gently and uniformly.

The Difference Between Air Covered Yarn and Mechanical Covered Yarn

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    Covering Methods Used in Air Covered Yarn and Mechanical Covered Yarn

    Air covered yarn utilizes compressed air to wrap the covering material around a core yarn in a helical pattern. The air jet applies the covering filament or staple fiber gently and uniformly. Mechanical covering uses physical components like rollers, rings or guides to mechanically wrap the sheath around the core. The covering fibers experience more pressure from the mechanical parts compared to air jets. The main advantage of air covering is the faster production speed enabled by the air jet system. However, mechanical covering allows for more variations in yarn texture and properties.

    Relative Flexibility and Softness of the Two Covering Methods

    Air covered yarns tend to have superior flexibility and softness versus mechanical covered yarns. The compressed air used in air covering enables a gentler application of the covering fibers. This results in less fiber damage and a softer feel. The air jet also allows the covering to be applied uniformly in a helical pattern, maximizing coverage while retaining flexibility. Mechanically covered yarns experience higher pressure and tension from the physical components manipulating the covering fibers. This can reduce the yarn's flexibility and natural softness. However, this may be desirable for certain end-use applications where a stiffer yarn is required. The choice depends on the softness and hand-feel specifications for the final product.

    Production Speed Comparison Between Air and Mechanical Covering Processes

    The air covering process is generally regarded as faster compared to mechanical covering systems. The high-pressure air jet can quickly and efficiently wrap the covering fibers around the core yarn in a continuous process. Air covering lines can operate at very high speeds to maximize productivity. In contrast, mechanical covering methods have some inherent speed limitations depending on the specific equipment. For example, roller or ring covering mechanisms may not match the production pace of air jet systems. However, modern mechanical covering machinery has improved significantly to enable higher speeds while maintaining control over yarn properties. When very high productivity is essential, air covering is the preferred choice.

    Video: Covered Yarn Factory

    Influence of Covering Method on Yarn Characteristics and Performance

    The covering method affects the yarn's properties and behavior. Air covered yarns are renowned for their lightweight, supple and comfort-driven attributes. The gentle air wrapping preserves the covering fibers' natural softness. Air covered yarns are ideal for hosiery, underwear and other skin-contact applications. Mechanically covered yarns display different aesthetics and textures driven by the higher forces involved. This allows mechanical covering to engineer yarns with unique performance traits suited for technical textiles, outdoor apparel and sturdy fabrics. Fiber damage is a concern with mechanical covering, but modern systems have minimized this. The covering approach can be tailored to the intended function of the yarn.

    Typical End-Use Applications of Air Covered and Mechanical Covered Yarns

    Air covered yarns dominate fiber-sensitive, comfort-focused end uses like hosiery, lingerie, underwear, bedding and other intimates. The ultra-soft feel and flexibility is highly valued. They are also popular for sheers and lightweight fabrics permitting air permeability. On the other hand, mechanically covered yarns are found in a diverse range of applications. The customization possible by mechanical covering enables yarns engineered for specific functions like high durability, warmth, moisture management and others. Common uses include activewear, outdoor gear, protective fabrics, home furnishings and automotive textiles.

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    FAQ About Air Covered Yarn vs. Mechanical Covered Yarn

    What are the key disadvantages of air covering?

    • Higher energy consumption for compressed air generation
    • Complex equipment and controls require technical expertise
    • Limited usefulness where stronger yarns are needed

    What are the limitations of mechanical yarn covering?

    • Can result in a harsher feel/hand
    • Production speeds may be restricted
    • Not suitable if softness is critical

    Which covering method is more expensive?

    Generally, air covering has higher operating costs due to the compressed air needs. Mechanical covering requires more sophisticated machinery. Overall, air covering is more costly at industrial scale.

    How do I choose the right covering method for my product?

    Analyze the fabric specifications - factors like softness, durability, elasticity and cost will dictate the ideal covering method.

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