Biased mulberry paper hinges?


PFG, Picture Framing God
Jan 1, 2001
Houston, Texas
Does anybody here know about mulberry hinges torn at a diagonal to the chain lines, rather than parallel to them? In the recertification class I took in May there was a mention of them in the class outline, but I can't for the life of me find them in the class materials.

I think the instructor said something in passing about them, but I think my brain had taken a brief vacation at that point.

I don't even remember what the benefit would be. Does this ring any bells for anyone?
I'm assuming that by "chain lines" you are refering to the marks made by the drying racks.
Never heard the term "chain" before, sorry.
When my mother and I made paper she would turn-out the moth onto the racks diagonally to the run of the paper so that when we rolled the paper later the rack rails would become smoothed out but were her trademark as a watermark.

the paper would tear until it hit a rail then run the rail. But only if we rolled the paper.
Those sheets that we layed on linen stack tore beautifully.

I would suppose the the "chain lines" are the same and would encourage the tearing to run along and therefore sever the hing.

I wouldn't know though, I'm only supposing. I only use smooth faced float layed kudsu that we buy from a local paper specialty house. I can also buy it in 4,6,& 8 pound weights for different sized art.

Hi Dave,

I've never heard of tearing or cutting Japanese paper on the bias. Theoretically, it would be stretchier and drape in a clinging fashion (thinking ladies slips and teddies here!).

It is easier to water cut and tear Japanese paper along the chain (the Japanese call them "su") lines. This is because most of the fibers run parallel to the lines. This is generally the way I do it, and it gives the strongest hinges.

When mending tears, some people like to cut perpendicular to the lines, so that most of the fibers in the paper strips are running horizontally. This mades for a stronger mend, as the fibers bridge the tear but, strips cut this way are harder to handle, as they break easily.

I don't see any advantage to cutting on the bias. If one wanted to alter the strength of the hinge it makes more sense just to use a different weight of tissue. Even so, if any one knows of of a bias cut advantage, I'd love to hear about it. Old dogs can learn new tricks too...

Baer, I bet you would like any of Dard Hunter's books on paper making - especially his History of Paper Making (Dover), which will explain laid lines and chain lines in great detail. He was a very interesting man.

If you are on a visit to Spain there is a wonderful paper museum in Banyeres De Mariola …about 50 Kilometres from Alicante… this web site is written in Castellono or Valencia version of Spanish…….but rest assured that the curator of the museum speaks very good English……..he opened the museum especially for us when we arrived in this Spanish village last year… was not a normal opening time for visiting the museum….you know siesta, festivals and all that stuff …….what wonderful hospitable and friendly people.....

BTW if you have kid it is a great place to go…..they allowed our two little ones to have a go at making some paper…….very child friendly….
Rebecca pretty much confirmed what I knew about the whole matter of hinges.

Of course I'll defer to Baer's obviously greater knowledge of papermaking. But as I understand it, the chain lines are an artefact of the reinforcing wires in the deckle. The paper slurry is rocked back and forth so that the fibers of the paper lie along those lines. Tearing the hinges parallel to the chain lines will result in a stronger hinge.

I get the impression that no one else has heard of tearing at a diagonal, so I'll file it away under unsolved and not worry too much about it.