This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Mercantile. A term pertaining to the traffic carried on by merchants; having to do with trade or commerce; trading; commercial. Mercantile applies only to the actual purchase and sale of goods, according to one's line of business. The mercantile class in a community comprises all such as are actually in the business of buying and selling. Commercial is a broader term, including the other, and covering the whole theory and practice of commerce, home or foreign.