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Discover the differences between Mercerised and Un-Mercerised cotton. Mercerised cotton, introduced by John Mercer in the 19th century, offers superior sheen, strength, and colour absorption. Although pricier, it ensures vibrancy and durability. Explore premium Mercerised cotton options for projects seeking a high-class finish. Perfect for design and textile enthusiasts.
Mercerised cotton is a special kind of yarn that is more lustrous than conventional cotton.
Mercerised cotton is stronger, produces less lint and is more resistant to mildew. The process improves dye uptake, and tear strength, reduces fabric shrinkage and imparts a silk-like sheen.
John Mercer, an English calico printer discovered the effect of caustic soda on cotton in 1844 and received a patent for the process in 1850. Mercer treated cotton with solutions of sodium hydroxide followed by washing. He observed that the treatment shrunk the fabric, and increased its tensile strength and affinity for dyes.
Mercerised cottons absorb dyes better and therefore show more saturated colours. It also provides a sheen that tends to intensify colour whereas Un-Mercerised Cotton yarns are duller in colour and more matt in texture. It is less prone to pilling and stretching than Un-Mercerised Cotton, making it easier to care for and maintain.
Mercerised Cotton is formed by passing threads under tension through a cold solution of caustic soda. This causes swelling of the fibres and adds tensile strength when compared to the non-mercerised equivalent.
If your project requires a higher-class finish and the budget allows, then mercerised fabric should be your preferred choice.
Mercerised cotton is more expensive than un-mercerised cotton, due to the additional chemical processing required.
Can be machine washed no higher than 40 degrees. It also may not shrink or lose its shape as much as un-mercerised cotton.
Mercerised Cotton can be ironed with a medium heat and steam (you will notice a difference when ironing – the mercerisation process makes it much easier to iron out small creases).
This fabric is ideal for batik and tie-dyeing.
A beautiful cotton satin, ideal for structured garments.
A plain weave, medium-weight cotton, ideal for dyeing and/or printing.