Also called paper grain. A term used to describe the directional character of paper defined by the direction it travels on the rollers when being created. The grain is the primary direction of the fibers which make the paper. With the grain refers to folding paper parallel to the grain. Paper folds more easily and tears straighter with the grain than against the grain. A rectangular piece of paper (such as letter sized sheet) is referred to as either short-grain (meaning the grain travels in the direction of the shorter dimension—8.5″) or long-grain (the grain travels in the direction of the longer dimension—11″). This is important to know when binding, as the grain must be parallel to the spine of the publication so that the papers turn smoothly.

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