Mercerized cotton is becoming more and more popular and in demand today. Blouses, shirts, socks, bedding, children's things and toys, ergonomic backpacks - all these are quite affordable things, but their cost is much higher than the cost of those things that are sewn from ordinary, more familiar to us "plain" cotton.
Why is mercerized cotton so expensive? It turns out that the whole point is in additional labor-intensive technological and expensive processing, due to which the material acquires completely different characteristics: smoothness, tenderness, strength. Mercerized cotton is virtually indestructible, easily dyed in any bright colors, without shedding or fading.
Moreover, the fabric is considered to be resistant to pollution, it wrinkles much less, it is easy to wash (and does not “shrink”), it is easy to iron with a regular iron (dry ironing) and looks like silk. Many inexperienced buyers, looking at mercerized cotton in stores, ask in surprise: “Is this silk?”The fabric is really very beautiful and has a noble sheen.
Things made from such cotton have initial rigidity, but when worn, they become softer and turn into a “pink dream” of kinesthetics.
The mercerization process is conditionally divided into three stages.
Threads of pure cotton are soaked in an alkaline solution, then wrung out and washed. This treatment greatly increases the strength and ease of dyeing cotton thread.
Cotton (mercerized) is wound into muffs and bleached (or dyed). At this stage, the pH (hydrogen alkaline index) is also neutralized. The thread can be hydrolyzed, active and direct dyeing. The color becomes even, bright and durable.
Further, the mercerized thread passes through the gas burner. Wound on a reel, it is unwound, fired in gas burners and rewound.
The final process allows you to get rid of hairiness, increase smoothness and add shine.
Knitting from cotton is usually not a problem: the yarn is usually "obedient", lying down quite easily.
But, judging by the reviews, the thread of mercerized cotton behaves more difficult in work: the product can “mow” and shrink a little after washing. The first problem is solved by choosing the thickness of the thread and knitting needles (usually from number 2 to number 4).
As for the reduction in the size of the product, this is only a temporary effect, since in the sock the thing acquires its formerdimensions.
Proper care is also very important. Delicate and hand wash only recommended. It is best to use mild detergents (such as baby shampoo) and conditioner.
It is advisable to remove metal elements before washing or try to immerse only knitted parts in the washing solution. Do not use a centrifuge. After the water has drained, lay the product on a suitable flat surface and, slightly stretching it, straighten all the details. This method of drying does not require additional ironing. If such a need nevertheless arises, iron with caution, especially if the product contains easily melting elements (plastic buttons, locks, beads, etc.)