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Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. 
The plant is a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa, and India. The greatest diversity of wild cotton species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia and Africa. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds.

The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. The use of cotton for fabric is known to date to prehistoric times; fragments of cotton fabric dated from 5000 BC have been excavated in Mexico and the Indus Valley Civilization in Indian subcontinent between 6000 BC and 5000 BC. Although cultivated since antiquity, it was the invention of the cotton gin that lowered the cost of production that led to its widespread use, and it is the most widely used natural fiber cloth in clothing today.

Scholten & Baijings - "Woven Willow"
Tablecloths designed by Scholten and Baijings, part of the woven willow: tablecloths titled 'Tuna story' and 'Milk can' made out of 100% cotton.

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