neoseed / ECO-Friendly Durable Water-Repellent Agent


An Unwavering Dedication to Fluorine-Free Technology

For years, the textile industry has relied on fluorines for achieving water repellency for uses ranging from sportswear to fashion.

In 2000s, knowledge about the harmful nature of fluorines and their byproducts spread, with special effort going toward a move away from the highly persistent organic fluorine known as C8 toward compounds such as C6 and C4 which, while still fluorines, were shown to have less effect on people and the environment.

In 2011, apparel and sports goods brands from around the world entered into the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) agreement, with a goal of completely eliminating hazardous chemicals from production by the year 2020. As a whole, the industry began moving toward elimination of fluorines in water repellency applications entirely.

At NICCA, we began developing fluorine-free water repellency well before it became an industry goal. In part, this is because of our long-held dedication toward developing clean products, considering their effects on the people and the environment. The development of fluorine-free highly water-repellent materials is a mission we follow today, and will continue to pursue into tomorrow.

Air Layers: A Natural Tech Evolution

How can a high water repellent effect be achieved with hydrocarbons? In order to attain fluorine-like performance without fluorines, a new direction was necessary. As is so often the case, nature had a good idea long before we came along:

Lotus leaves.

Lotus leaves are known for having a remarkable water repellent effect. The water striking the leaves is repelled by the leaf surface, becoming spherical water droplets which roll off, leaving the leaves perfectly dry. We investigated, and found out what the leaves were using to repel water: air.

Air is the most water-repellent substance in nature. Lotus leaves create high water repellency by trapping a layer of air in the fine, uneven structure of the leaf surface.

We immediately began to develop textile products with a similar structure on their surface, with the same ability to repel water with the power of air. Our solution is a fluorine-free water repellent with high durability that does not negatively affect the texture: NEOSEED®.

Our work on a wide variety of textile processing chemicals positioned us uniquely to develop this, the natural evolution of technology. We continue to evolve every day.

A Conceptual Mechanism
of The Lotus Leaf Effect

A Layer of Air to Stop the Rain

A Layer of Air to Stop the Rain

Though the leaf of the lotus plant may seem smooth at a glance, look closer and you will find the surface is covered with microscopic projections. Air becomes trapped in the spaces between the projections, forming an air layer that functions to enhance the surface tension of water coming into contact with it. Like magic, the water forms into round droplets that roll smoothly off the leaf.

Fluorine-Free Water Repellent: To C6 and Beyond

We made our first fluorine-free water repellent in the 1970s, prior to the advent of organic fluorines. Again, in the 2000s, we renewed our push for fluorine-free materials. Since then, we have improved water repellency by creating an air layer trapped by a fine convex-concave structure on the fabric surface. The methods are promising already, and we’re only improving.

Initial pre-wash water repellency and durability after washing 20 times were evaluated according to AATCC standards. Successive iterations of NEOSEED® have gradually increased its performance to the point where the initial water repellency of the current, 3rd generation product is on par with the fluorine C6.

NEOSEED® Performance
improvement vs. C6

Post-Wash (HL=20:20 washes)
Initial Condition (HL=0:0 Wash)

Evaluation Method

AATCC spray method


Polyester: 20 denier woven 95g/m²
*No calendering, lamination, or coating

Recipe (% soln.)

  • ・Water repellent 8%
  • ・NK ASSIST NY-50 1% (Cross-linking agent)
  • ・TEXPORT BG-290 1% (Penetrant agent)
  • ・NICEPOLE FE-26 0.2% (Anti-statics agent)


Pickup 30%
-> Dry
130℃ (266℉) ×1min
-> Cure
70℃ (388℉)×30sec

NEOSEED® infuses your fabric with the
"lotus leaf effect" for durable water repellency.

NEOSEED® Highlights



NEOSEED® contains no fluorine (100% fluorine-free) and is biodegradable for a minimal impact on the environment.

High Water Repellency

High Water Repellency

While giving excellent water-repellent performance to fabric, NEOSEED® retains high breathability and a comfortable texture.

High Durability

High Durability

NEOSEED®, itself primarily made from water, brings excellent water repellent durability to fabric.

The Ingredient Branding hangtag

The Ingredient Branding hangtag is designed to provide
value-added information directly to consumers.