One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A cotton fabric originally produced in India. Usually in plural Compare "lungi".
Early 17th century. From Persian fūta, fūṭa (apparently in an Indo-Persian form fota) rectangular piece of cloth used as napkin, towel, turban-cloth, loin-cloth, etc.; further etymology disputed. Arabic fūṭa is variously regarded as a borrowing of the Persian word or as its etymon; if the cloth is of Indian origin, both are perhaps ultimately from Hindi phūṭā broken, dispersed.
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