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July 06, 2015

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Cf. "mercerize" (a way of processing cotton--some dry cleaners used to offer it) and "Fletcherize" (chewing food for a long time--"each mouthful 32 times" was one version--to reduce the size of particless to be swallowed.)

@John Burke: Mercerizing (or mercerising) was invented in 1844 by John Mercer of Lancashire, England. I haven't found any reference to its use by dry cleaners, but it's definitely still used in the production of cotton thread: it strengthens the fiber and increases its luster and affinity for dye.

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