What is the Mercerization
The mercerization is a chemical-physical treatment. Chemical because it occurs for exothermic chemical reaction in the cellulose chain through a caustic fluid (preferably sodium hydroxide, but it is also possible with lithium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and other caustic) this reaction causes a physical change in the structure of the polymer also permanent.
It is applied to cellulosic yarns and fabrics, the stage prior to dyeing, the treatment changes the structure of the fiber constituting the yarns.
If done according to the procedure experienced in 1844 by English chemist John Mercier in Great Harwood in Lancashire (1791 -1866), who " observed that cotton immersed in sodium lye is contracted, and often became more rigid and more easily dyed cotton town "is called mercerization without tension.
This process, patented by the same Mercier, in 1850, took the name of mercerization of cotton.
When applied according to the development perfected in England by Horace Arthur Lowe (1869-1930) from Heaton Moor in Lancaster, who in 1889 filed 2 patents, then resumed and developed by the Germans Thomas and Prevost in Krefeld (North Rhine -Westphalia). This type of finishing is designed to give the yarn and / or tissue of a higher gloss color with greater intensity of tone, as a result of this' orientation of the ordered crystalline areas, also gives a good dimensional stability and greater resistance Tear.
In both cases we obtain:
- coverage of the cotton fibers "dead" - the restriction of larger pores
- increase in the number of micro pores - the elimination of the irregularities in fiber
Following the above is also achieved savings of dye and dimensional stability to the subsequent washing. The artifacts
mercerized cotton, especially the yarn, take naturally features hypoallergenic, antibacterial and hygroscopic behavior, that absorb and scatter more in the air, the natural perspiration of the body. They have a better resistance to multiple washings keeping the colors bright and unchanged over time.
For the treatment of mercerization, are currently used caustic soda in the form of hydroxide and wetting agents which facilitate the penetration of caustic soda in the fiber which is the yarn.