Indian textile major Raymond Limited, one the world's largest worsted suiting companies, has paid the record price of $250,000 for a bale of ultrafine Australian wool.

The 200-pound bale was sold at auction yesterday (26 June) and Raymond saw off rival bids from buyers in Asia and Europe.

The exceptionally high grade wool, described as the world's finest, was produced by Hillcreston Pinehill Partnership in southern New South Wales, and tested at a fibre width of 11.6 micron. One micron is one millionth of a metre.

The ultrafine wool will be used by Raymond to make as many as 50 suits.

"With this winning bid, Raymond is all set to redefine standard of luxury in worsted suiting by offering a limited edition of Super 240s suit lengths to the discerning global customer by the end of the calendar year 2008," the company said in a statement.

Chairman and managing director Mr Gautam Hari Singhania added: "In our endeavour to manufacture the world's finest range of suiting with the Super 240s, Raymond will be able to demonstrate India's manufacturing prowess to the entire world."