Definition of mercerize in US English:



[with object]often as adjective mercerized
  • Treat (cotton fabric or thread) under tension with caustic alkali to increase its strength and give it a shiny, silky appearance.

    • ‘Albany is a lovely mercerised ribbon yarn from Jaeger.’
    • ‘Made of 60s 2-ply mercerized 100% cotton jersey with subtle variegated stripe pattern.’
    • ‘T-shirts have progressed a lot, for they're now knitted from 100 percent cotton and cotton blends, which are compacted and mercerised for real, cool softness.’
    • ‘For golf shirts, Weatherproof is adding a category of micro pima golf shirts to its 2003 offering of 60s two-ply double mercerized golf shirts.’
    • ‘Klouda says Page & Tuttle has introduced more in the way of luxury fabrics to the golf market lately - namely double mercerized cottons, pima cottons and expanded moisture-management options.’
    • ‘My polo selection was embroidered with a tape customized for the mercerized fabric and looked spectacular.’
    • ‘Pochampalli sarees in mercerised cotton, silk sarees in semi katan, pure katan and in warf and weft creations look elegant.’
    • ‘The company can produce any fabric, ranging from polynosic, dri-wick fabrics and silk to mercerized cotton and dye the fabric any color the client chooses.’
    • ‘From double mercerized golf shirts in elegant tonal patterns to luxurious Tencel/cotton twills, this collection allows those in sizes up to 6XL and 6XL TALL a chance to get a real selection in this higher-caliber product.’
    • ‘I'm hoping the yarn is good… it's a mercerized cotton from the Netherlands that can machine washed and dried.’
    • ‘‘The best place to make mercerized fabrics is still Italy, but they are very expensive,’ says Kwok.’
    • ‘For men there is a solid-color 100 percent cotton pique available in 19 colors, and a mercerized solid-color 100 percent cotton pique in four colors, both in sizes S through 3XL.’
    • ‘This company makes a high-end line of wovens, with an emphasis on dress shirts, as well as mercerized knits.’
    • ‘It's the new fabrics and finishes that will attract the buzz, like mercerized jacquards and pima cotton and pima blended knits, but the good old collar and placket knit polo will march on.’
    • ‘Our Arnold Palmer mercerized shirts are moderately priced.’
    • ‘Even the fabric used is the traditional mercerised cotton.’
    • ‘Examples of tablet-woven braids: including a tie-dyed woollen braid, left, two braids in No 8 mercerised cotton, and a double faced technique in very fine cotton.’
    • ‘Designed to be strikingly contemporary, and yet timeless, this collection of shirts is crafted from fine 100 per cent two-ply mercerised cotton, with multiple textures to create an enchanting mosaic effect.’
    • ‘A mercerised cotton that I bought from Binns in Darlington, on the recommendation of the knowledgeable Rowan consultant, Chris.’
    • ‘It was a superbly tailored shirt and looked ringspun and mercerized.’


Mid 19th century: from the name of John Mercer (died 1866), said to have invented the process, + -ize.