The mercerisation process for Merino wool is a chemical-based process normally applied to wool top or scoured loose wool which creates a ‘cashmere-like’ feel and a ‘silk-like’ appearance.
The mercerisation of wool involves the removal of the scale structure from the surface of the wool fibre which creates a smoother fibre surface, the effect of which is to increase the sheen. The second part of the process involves the application of a very fine layer of silicone polymer which is grafted permanently onto the fibres’ surface.
The application of the silicone polymer brings about significant improvement in the hand feel.
Although as a result of the treatment, the actual diameter (micron) of the fibre does not change, the perceived improvement in hand feel is the equivalent of using wool 2 - 3 microns finer.
For further information about Mercerised Merino Knitwear contact your local Woolmark Company office.