I never quite finished talking about Nylon. I will get back to it, I promise! My tangent today is "Mercerized," something coined by a Mr. Joseph Mercer. I see Mercerized thread and fabric and never really knew what it was. Someone asked, I checked around.
I have a dog named Bluto and whenever he chews something we say he Bluterized it. Well Mercerizing is kind of similar really, only in a chemical way. Mercer discovered in 1844 that if treat you cotton thread or fabric under tension with a caustic soda it will increase the luster and allow the fabric to more readily accept dye. Apparently Mercer loved dyes and later learned a lot of chemistry. Science and fashion do mix! At first it was quite a failure as Mercerizing causes the fabric to shrink and the chemicals were expensive. Once Mercerizing became mechanized (whew, that's a mouthful!) and improved the process, it was successfully patented and is still used today.
Maybe I can find a way to put Bluto to work on an invention after all. He is full of Blutonium. There is no other way to explain his behavior.