Paper, like wood, has a grain. If a book is printed with the paper
grain parallel to the spine it will open more easily and lay
flat. Adhesive binding on paper with the
wrong grain direction can produce disastrous results. Here are some simple tests to determine
paper grain direction:
FOLDING TEST: When folding a small sheet
of paper you will notice that it folds more easily and
smoothly when the fold is parallel to the grain. If
folded against the grain, the small fiber particles break
and make an unsatisfactory fold.
MOISTURE TEST: If moisture is applied to
one side of a sheet of paper, it immediately starts to
curl in one direction. The expansion is on the
cross-grain edge, the curl indicating the paper grain
BENDING TEST: Thicker papers are best
tested by bending them in both directions. One direction
offers considerably more resistance than the other.
Parallel to the grain direction the resistance is far
less than against the grain.
TEARING TEST: A sheet is torn in
longitudinal and transverse directions. The tear pattern
will be straight when parallel to the grain and jagged
across the grain.
- CRAFTS BOOKBINDERS
GREGG ROAD, PICO RIVERA, CALIFORNIA 90660-2199
FAX: (562) 692-7920