• Yarn/Fiber

Understanding Mercerization in Yarn: Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Mercerization?

Mercerization is a textile/yarn finishing treatment for cellulose fabric and yarn, mainly cotton and flax, which improves dye uptake and tear strength, reduces fabric shrinkage, and imparts a silk-like luster.

For me, mercerizing is the image of applying a straight perm to cotton.

Advantages of Mercerization

  • The yarn has a silky luster.
  • Good color development is peculiar to cotton, but cotton dyeing tends to result in a brownish hue. You may perceive black as slightly less intense. Mercerizing aligns the cross-section of cotton fibers and enhances color development.
  • There is less fluff as a by-product of mercerizing, and its processing also helps to suppress fluff.

Disadvantages of Mercerization

The occurrence of the fastener phenomenon is likely.

This phenomenon is almost unlikely to happen with ordinary cotton, but the ‘fastener phenomenon’ (fabric sticking together) is particularly common with fine counts of mercerized yarn. It’s often confirmed that the main cause is static electricity, which increases the chargeability of knitted fabrics and products, making them more prone to sticking together.

There are ways to mitigate it.

  1. Create an uneven structure (such as ribs, Milan ribs, ridges, shavings, fine links, etc.) to reduce the contact area of the fabric.
  2. Add weight to the knitted fabric; gravity will prevent sticking. (Lighter and thinner fabrics are more prone to sticking.)

MONTELUCE Mercerized Yarn Collection


RIVIERA is a cotton cord yarn which is mercerized to give a luster. We have 3 typed of yarn count, Nm 5.600, Nm11.300, and Nm22.800.

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-LUCIA Cotton100%

LUCIA is a sumptuous material which is double-mercerized on the extra-long staple cotton GIZA. This double mercerization is usually used for jersey material. (First, mercerized on the yarn. Second, on the fabric) It is processed in a different way referring to its method, that is mercerized twice on the yarn. It enables to display more delicate and beautiful sheen compared with single mercerization.

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Joined the MONTELUCE team in 2017, working as an international yarn coordinator and specialist. Coordinating the oversea sales to help put MONTELUCE yarn world-wide while rewarding to make connections with customers and support their creations. A knitter myself, always enjoying to create innovative yarns and fabrics. In my spare time, I love reading books about hand crafts, spending time in nature and camping.