Cellulose nanowhiskers (CNWs) are the crystalline portion of cellulose fibers which can be extracted through acid hydrolysis process from cotton. Phage display technique was used to screen for small peptide ligands that selectively bind to the CNWs from a library of approximately 1 billion different polypeptides. These peptides were selected on immobilized CNWs by bio-panning, by which a pool of randomized peptides were screened based on the binding affinity to the target CNWs. After three round of bio-panning, a consensus peptide sequence of "WHWTYYW" was found to efficiently bind to CNWs. The binding between the "WHWTYYW"-harboring phage and CNWs was confirmed by single phage bio-panning assay and the binding affinity was further characterized by Ultraviolet Difference Spectroscopy.