The 1 Rule of Binding

There is only one rule. The grain direction must go from head to tail. This is the secret to a good book that stays open. If you have the grain going the wrong way the paper will ripple, the fold will not be clean and the book will want to close itself.

How to Find the Grain

This is an important step. We must find the grain of the paper. There are 4 ways.

1. Feeling
2. Folding
3. Tearing
4. Wetting


This is the quickest and easiest way. Get the paper as thought your about to fold it and press down lightly, rotate the paper 90 degrees and repeat. The direction with least resistance is the direction the grain is heading. This technique is less effective when working with thinner papers.


In this method completely fold the paper both ways, the direction with the cleanest fold is the direction of the grain. It is noticable when its been folded the wrong way, there will be small crinkles and folding is harder.


Tear the paper in both directions quickly. The rip will be fairly clean and stay straight if it has been torn in the direction of the grain. If you tear paper against the grain the rip often curves to one side and is messy


If you wet the paper the paper will curl in the direction of the grain. Wetting just the corner is sometimes sufficient.