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What is "Mercerising" - Definition & Explanation

Mercerisation alters the chemical structure of the cotton fibre. The structure of the fibre changes from alpha-cellulose to beta-cellulose. Mercerising results in the swelling of the cell wall which causes increases in the surface area and reflectance, and gives the fiber a softer feel and more lustrous appearance, increases strength, affinity to dye, resistance to mildew, but also increases affinity to lint. Cotton with long staple fibre lengths responds best to mercerisation.

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Some more terms:

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