Less weight – better properties
Mercerisation involves exposing cotton to sodium hydroxide. This causes the fibres to swell, and their cross-section changes from kidney-shaped to round. In this process the cotton loses up to 25% of its length. Mercerisation is therefore an expensive procedure.
However, this finishing process has numerous benefits. The changed structure gives the cotton a silky, wash-resistant shine. Colour fastness is significantly increased and the yarn is stronger.
We use mercerised cotton, ensuring better socks for you. Socks made from Fil d’Ecosse.
Who invented it?
For once, it wasn’t anyone Swiss. When filtering sodium hydroxide through a cotton cloth, Englishman John Mercer noticed that the cloth swelled and ultimately demonstrated different properties.
John Mercer was the son of a hand-loom weaver and began helping out at an early age. Although he never went to school, he learnt to read and then taught himself about chemistry through self-study. He then began to investigate textile dyes, and patented the procedure named after him in England and the USA in 1851.