US apparel and footwear giant VF Corp has formed a strategic partnership with nanofibre solutions company FibeRio Technology to develop performance apparel fabrics using nanotechnology.

The partnership centres on FibeRio’s Forcespinning technology platform, which the company says is able to produce unique nanofibre material in high volumes. VF will incorporate FibeRio’s capabilities and expertise across its three Global Innovation Centers, which focus on game-changing advancements in performance apparel, footwear and jeanswear.

"VF’s Global Innovation Center strategy is centred on the pursuit of disruptive design and materials that will meaningfully redefine the future of apparel and footwear for our consumers," said Dan Cherian, vice president of VF's Global Innovation Centers.

"Our partnership with FibeRio is a great step toward the co-development of proprietary, high-performance nanofibre materials that will help push the boundaries of performance and explore the creation of new apparel and footwear market categories."

The higher surface area and smaller pore size of nanofibres improves the characteristics of fibrous material, subsequently enhancing performance levels in applications using less material in the end product, which also allows for lighter weight and lower cost.

FibeRio’s Forcespinning technology is said to be the only technology platform capable of both commercial scale melt and solution spinning nanofibres. This provides a more sustainable method of production because melt spinning does not require solvents.

In addition, Forcespinning can be used to solution spin with significantly smaller amounts of solvents than traditional nanofibre production processes such as electrospinning.

FibeRio CEO Ellery Buchanan noted: "VF’s long history of brand strength and operational excellence along with our leading commercial scale nanofibre production expertise creates an excellent opportunity to proactively shape the competitive landscape."