Lowe, Horace Arthur (1869-1930)

Horace Arthur Lowe (1869-1930) was an English textile chemist from Heaton Moor, Lancashire (England), who played an important role in the development of mercerisation.

This process ‘killed’ cotton fibres by removing the cotton’s natural kinks and allowing them to swell, take dyes easily and to have a shiny surface.

Lowe continued the work of John Mercer, who invented the basic process in the 1850's. Lowe filed a British patent in 1889 (patent no. 20,314) and a second one in 1890 (patent no. 4,452). Lowe lived most of his life in Manchester and worked in the city’s famous cotton industry. He died on 26 December 1930 in France.


  • ANON (1931), 'Obituary of H.A. Lowe,' Chemical Age, vol. 24, p. 8.
  • KELVILLE DAVIS, G. (1931). 'Death of Mr. H. A. Lowe,' The Chemical Trade Journal and Chemical Engineer, vol. 88, p. 14.


Last modified on Thursday, 23 February 2017 18:43