Gauze is a thin, translucent fabric with a loose open weave.

Gauze was traditionally woven in the Gaza region. The English word is said to derive from the place name for Gaza, a center of weaving in the region. Despite a prohibition on trade with non-Christians from religious authorities in medieval Europe, a fine type of silk known as "gazzatum" was imported from Gaza as early as the 13th century. Though members of religious orders in Europe were forbidden to wear it, the fabric won a place for itself and emerged into modern life as gauze.

Gauze was originally made of silk and was used for clothing. It is now used for many different things, including gauze sponges for medical purposes. Modern gauze is also made of synthetic fibers, especially when used in clothing.

When used as a medical dressing, woven gauze is usually made of cotton. It is especially useful for dressing wounds where other fabrics might stick to the burn or laceration.

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