GreenShield from GreenShield Finish uses a nano-textured, self-cleaning surface to dramatically reduce the amount of fluorochemicals needed to repel water- and oil-based stains.


  • Water, dirt, and oil repellent
  • Eco-friendly


  • Commercial and residential interiors
  • Automotive interiors
  • Marine applications
  • Outdoor gear

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 9: Industry Innovation & Infrastructure

The Challenge

Furniture and textiles are vulnerable to shorter lifetimes due to staining from liquids, including oil. To protect against these stains, products are coated with a continuous layer of polymer-based chemicals, often fluorochemicals. Fluorochemicals are bio-accumulative in living beings and persistent in the environment.

Innovation Details

GreenShield® fabric finishes are oil-repellent, water-repellant, and stain-repellent without the use of harmful fluorocarbons. It is made of amorphous silica nanoparticles (similar to those found in toothpaste and cosmetic creams) that permanently adhere to the fabric as a mesh network and prevent droplets from penetrating. Although this is slightly different from how lotus leaves repel water, the overall concept of preventing water droplets from forming (the ‘lotus effect’) is similar. The nanoparticles are listed as a GRAS material (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA.

Image: GreenShield Finish / Copyright © - All rights reserved

Fibers with Green Shield Finish contain silica nanoparticles that permanently adhere to the fabric as a mesh network, creating a repellent surface. Photo: GreenShield Finish.

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Biological Model

Lotus plants stay dirt-free, an obvious advantage for an aquatic plant living in typically muddy habitats. The surface of the lotus leaf contains microscopic bumps that prevent water molecules from adhering to the surface. Instead, the water rolls right off, and picks up any dirt or oil on the surface of the lotus leaf along the way.