I have stack of nice paper, but it runs against the grain, when used for handbook binding. When binding, the paper grain needs to be parallel to the book binding edge. What happens if a book is bound against the grain? When all of the book: the cover, the boards, the endpapers, the inner book, etc. are diagonal to the edge of the book.

  • I expect backing to become harder or even impossible.
  • Will the book bend on the long term?
  • Are there other possible consequences?
  • The grain is created by the paper manufacturing process. Cut sheets are all either parallel or perpendicular to it. The only way to get diagonal grain would be to cut sheets diagonally from larger sheets (which would create triangular waste). This seems like a hypothetical "what would happen if..." question that people could speculate on, but the only way to judge the real effect would be to try it; the magnitude of any effect would depend heavily on the specific paper. What purpose would you be trying to achieve by creating and using diagonal grain paper?
    – fixer1234
    Dec 25, 2022 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


Going against the grain, 90 degree, will result in a book that will want to open a bit more than usual, but not so dramatic that you should not do it.

But you mention using the paper on the diagonal and going to the effort to have all items that can be made so to be made on the same diagonal. I feel that you run a big risk of the book going to bend and likely not all in the same degree, resulting in a book that looks very untidy.

If you have no choice but to use paper with the grain on the diagonal, at least even it out with all the other parts of the book in the best direction. That way you do stand a chance on a book that is acceptable in the end.

  • 1
    But if you are willing to put in the work, why not make that diagonal book and come back to post your results as an answer here?
    – Willeke
    Dec 25, 2022 at 12:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .