Cotton pre-treatment

up to 200 cm fabric width

Mercerisation and more using the very latest technology


The chemical pre-treatment of fibrous materials is primarily used to remove any natural colourants and impurities from the fabric. In this way, it is possible to achieve a high degree of whiteness, good and even absorbency, and effective desizing in natural fibrous materials. Pre-treatment is subject to strict requirements and involves the use of special recipes, including some that depend on the type of fibre, layout and purpose.

When selecting a cotton pre-treatment, we distinguish between coloured fabrics and all-white fabrics. Sometimes, good absorbency and a low degree of bleaching, which is already achieved by boiling off and a short bleaching process, are sufficient. More intensive bleaching processes are used for very light and bright colours, as well as for all-white fabrics.

Ammoniac mercerisation

The typical mercerisation process using caustic soda gives the fabric a satin-like gloss, better dimensional stability and a higher degree of dye absorbency. However, it feels harder to the touch. Mercerisation using liquid ammoniac achieves the same long-lasting improved dimensional stability, while maintaining a softer feel. This results in improved comfort for the wearer and better elasticity, which helps the fabric to dry more smoothly. These properties are in high demand in the fashion industry, in particular. Caustic soda mercerisation only yields better results in terms of the fabric's dye absorbency and shine.


Mercerisation plant

The system used for the mercerisation process was recently upgraded to state-of-the-art technology. It performs the following basic functions, as well as providing its essential high-speed performance:

  • Processing fabric widths up to 200 cm
  • Outstanding relaxation of fabrics, as they are not moved along their width
  • Hot and cold mercerisation
  • Individual adjustment of the lye concentration
  • Equipping the entire machine with a heat recovery system
  • Repeated use of the lye is possible

Hot and cold mercerisation

Our mercerisation plant can perform both hot and cold mercerisation. While the cold impregnation process of cold mercerisation gives fibres a more intense shine, hot mercerisation offers particular advantages when it comes to improving productivity and creating a softer feel:

  • Significantly shorter mercerisation times thanks to the speed at which the lye, heated to 60 °C, penetrates the cellulose fibres
  • Short impregnation time thanks to increased running speed of the textile surface
  • 10–15% savings on lye, washing liquor and wetting agent
  • Improved dye absorption capacity, optimum tear resistance, outstanding shine, quicker and more even fibre swelling and therefore a smoother fabric appearance
  • No lye cooling system required

Bright white

By measuring colour using a range of systems, it is possible to determine the degree of whiteness of a fabric. The degree of whiteness according to Berger, to CIE and to Ganz and Griesser are just some ways to compare the measured values. AG Cilander is synonymous with top quality; as a result, degrees of whiteness up to 290 are no problem for us to handle. This enables us to offer textiles that are whiter than any standard. These are primarily used in the traditional clothing and shirt segments.


Well-founded expertise in all areas
of modern textile finishing