Cotton is one of the best-known natural fabrics. The fibre grows around the seeds of the cotton plant and cotton has been used since about 3000 BC. Cotton is soft, strong, flame retardant, hypo-allergenic and easy to wash. It is the most popular natural fabric used in making clothing. It is also used to make home furniture, bags and medical products. Heavyweight cotton fabric can be used to make items such as shoes and tents.