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Pease Bindery
111 Oakcreek Drive
Lincoln, NE 68528
Phone: (402) 476-1303
Fax: (402) 476-2978



Accounting for Paper Grain

Paper grain is an important factor in the overall appearance and quality of softcover and hardcover books. Products exhibiting cracking on the spine, waviness of the text pages along the spine or a wrinkled endsheet inside the hardcover case are the likely result of a layout not.

At Pease Bindery, we recognize the need to balance press efficiency with bindery requirements, and grain direction is a key factor for both. To help you properly account for paper grain, here are a few planning tips to consider:

Go with the Grain
The best way to overcome grain direction problems is to plan jobs to bind with the grain, meaning the paper grain is parallel to the binding edge. This is particularly important for adhesive binding projects. Cross-grain binding on text sheets can lead to several problems, most noticeably waving and wrinkling of the spine, poor page pull strength and reduced layflat capability.

Paper Grain
When moisture is introduced to paper, it expands perpendicular to the grain direction. Books produced with text pages grain-parallel to the spine (1) will bind neatly and resist tearing. Text pages with grain running across the binding edge (2) will be restricted from expansion. Though the pages can expand at the outer edges, the spine edges are locked in place and can create noticeable wrinkling during this natural expansion.

Many of these problems can be traced to the natural and unavoidable presence of moisture. Once books are bound, pages need room to expand and contract slightly as moisture is either introduced or removed from the paper. Books bound cross-grain will cause text and cover sheets to move in different directions, resulting in waviness and a weaker overall product.

For hardcover products, the grain direction of endsheets and paper cover wraps should also be carefully considered. These materials can distort as they absorb moisture from the adhesives used to marry them, compromising appearance and potentially compromising strength.

Need a Score?
Covers folded and bound cross-grain may result in cracking on the folds, especially on projects with heavy ink and coating coverage. If you must layout your covers to fold and bind cross-grain, scoring will most likely be required to ensure a crisp, accurate fold. Let us help you determine if scoring will be required on your projects before you begin printing.

The Pease Bindery Advantage
At Pease Bindery, we’re as quality-conscious about your books as you are. Our experienced planning and production experts ensure your books are bound to the highest standards. Contact Pease Bindery today to begin planning your next project.

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