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What is "Mercerization" - Definition & Explanation

A treatment for cotton fabric or threads that involves a brief soaking in lye, under tension. This process increases luster, strength, absorbency, and dying capability, but reduces chemical resistance to acids and oxidizers.
A finishing process of treating a cotton yarn or fabric, in which the fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution (sodium hydroxide) and later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, resulting in an increased luster on the surface of the fabric, an increased affinity for dyes, and increased strength.
A process of treating a cotton yarn or fabric, in which the fabric or yarn is immersed in a caustic soda solution and later neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, resulting in an increased luster on the surface of the fabric, an increased affinity for dyes, and increased strength.
A treatment of cotton yarn or fabric to increase its luster. Its affinity for dyes is also enhanced. In the process, the material is immersed under tension in a sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) solution. This later is neutralized in acid. The process causes a permanent swelling of the fiber, thus increasing its luster.
a) The treatment of cellulosic textiles, in yarn or fabric form, with a concentrated solution of a caustic alkali whereby the fibres are swollen, their strength and dye affinity is increased and their handle (q.v.) is modified.

NOTE:

Stretching the swollen materials while wet with caustic alkali and then washing the alkali has the additional effect of enhancing the lustre (q.v.)

b) The process of steeping cellulose in a concentrated caustic soda solution.

This is a process in which the yarn is immersed in caustic soda solution and later neutralized in acid, which causes a permanents welling of the fiber resulting in an increased luster, affinity for dyes and strength.
Mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread mostly employed to give cotton a lustrous appearance. The series of processes was devised by John Mercer in the middle of 19th century.

Some other terms

Some more terms:

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