Cotton is a soft, staple fiber that grows in a form known as a boll around the seeds of the cotton plant, a shrub native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, India and Africa. The fiber most often is spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile, which is the most widely used natural-fiber cloth in clothing today. The English name derives from the Arabic (al) qutn ????? , which began to be used circa 1400. In addition to the textile industry, cotton is in fishnets, coffee filters, tents, gunpowder (see Nitrocellulose), cotton paper, and in bookbinding. The first Chinese paper was made of cotton fiber. Fire hoses were once made of cotton.