A natural water-repellent, dirt-repellent, anti-adhesive and self-cleaning textile finishing process has been acknowledged for its futuristic development and applications. 

Schoeller Textil AG's NanoSphere technology - which has been commercially available since the beginning of 2001 - was recognised in the 'Design Prize Switzerland 2001' for Textile Design.

NanoSphere was developed according to guidelines set down by Bluesign, the international standard for safe and sustainable textile production. It mimics natural surfaces such as plant leaves and insect wings by giving textiles a special three-dimensional structure that limits the contact surface available for dirt particles. The remaining particles are suspended in drops of water and are easily swept away as the water drops off.

"The microscopically small dimensions of nano-technology (1 nanometer = 1 billionth of a metre) permits significant surface changes and leads to completely new textile properties," said Hans-Jürgen Hübner, CEO at Schoeller.  "By coupling this new advance and the products resulting from the use of nano-technology, we are on the brink of a fascinating new era."

The Design Prize Switzerland, which takes place every two years, awards design ideas in industrial design, textile design, interaction design, and service design.  It is the third time that Schoeller has been honoured.