Definition of mercerize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈmərsərˌīz/


[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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • ‘The best place to make mercerized fabrics is still Italy, but they are very expensive,’ says Kwok.
  • Made of 60s 2-ply mercerized 100% cotton jersey with subtle variegated stripe pattern.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mer·cer·ize

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.