What are the benefits of cotton? Cotton table linen is more absorbent which is often more desirable for napkins in particular; and can be finished to a crisp sheen giving a luxurious drape. What are the benefits of 100% polyester? 100% polyester table linen has a higher strength and lasts longer than cotton. Shrinkage is minimal. It also has increased stain release properties and has a faster drying time than 100% cotton. This is desirable from a laundry production perspective as production costs are reduced. Polyester constructions have been developed to give a softer, absorbent more cotton like feel. What is meant by Mercerised? Mercerising is a process by which cotton fibres by are swelled with treatment in concentrated Sodium Hydroxide. This gives the fibres a circular cross section which increases the lustre, improves shrinkage, strengthens the fabric and increases colour retention. Shrinkage All natural fibres shrink after being washed in water. The percentage of shrinkage varies from 3 to 10%. The amount of shrinkage depends on the fibre and on the washing temperature. The colder the wash water, the better it is for your household linen. Wool is particularly subject to shrinkage when washed.