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Re: [BKARTS] Paper grain lesson needed


>  This is so basic I'm moderately red faced asking the 
> question.

My chemistry teacher always said that there are no stupid questions, only
stupid answers.  Bokbinding, like all crafts, is as good as the foundation
of basic knowledge and techniques you bring to it.  Well done for looking to
your foundations!

Hewit's has a very good information sheet on paper grain here:

I test for grain by bending the paper in my hands with a light rolling
motion, first one way and then the other.  When you bend across the grain,
it takes a longer stretch of paper to get the two layers parallel than when
you bend with the grain.

The mental model I use, which I think I picked up here, is of a Venitain
blind, or a reed placemat, both of which bend more easily (!) when you fold
them with the grain.

Other techniques are:
Tear it a bit one way and then the other - your tear will be easier, and
straighter, when you tear with the grain.
Dampen it.  Paper swells cross-grained first, so the sheet will go U-shaped.
The cross-section of the U is perpendicular to the grain.

Hope this helps!

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