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What is "Mercerized Cotton" - Definition & Explanation

Mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread mostly employed to give cotton a lustrous appearance.
A wet finishing process for cotton yarn or fabric, which results in a stronger and more lustrous yarn that takes dye better with brighter, deeper colors.
Mercerized cotton is cotton thread (or cotton-covered thread with a polyester core) that has been treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The thread is given a caustic soda bath that is then neutralized with an acid bath. This treatment increases strength, luster, affinity to dye and resistance to mildew, and also reduces lint. Long staple fibre lengths respond best to mercerization.
A treatment using heat and streatching to increase luster, strength and ability to dye. Usually the yarns are soaked in concentrated sodium.

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