A new fibre derived from wool but with different drape and handle properties is now being launched in the northern hemisphere where it is attracting interest from the top end of the clothing market. The new fibre, called Optim, has been developed by Woolmark and the CSIRO at a cost of more than $10 million and uses a patented process to modifies the internal structure of the wool fibre so that is three microns thinner than the original and with none of its trademark crimp.