- to treat (cotton yarns or fabric) with caustic alkali under tension, in order to increase strength, luster, and affinity for dye.
Also especially British, mer·cer·ise.
Origin of mercerize
1855–60; named after John Mercer (1791–1866), English calico printer, the patentee (1850) of the process; see -ize
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for mercerization
This was the beginning of the mercerization which to-day produces cotton fabrics almost as strong and handsome as if silk.Inventors at Work
The reactions and structural changes were investigated by J. Mercer, and are known generally as “mercerization.”
- (tr) to treat (cotton yarn) with an alkali to increase its strength and reception to dye and impart a lustrous silky appearance
C19: named after John Mercer (1791–1866), English maker of textiles