How Lined Paper is Made?

Lined paper is one of the most ubiquitous office supplies you can find. However, many people don’t know how lined paper is made or where it comes from. In reality, lined paper isn’t simply white paper with lines drawn on it; rather, it’s made using a complicated process that includes dozens of different steps and requires the use of multiple machines and tools, as well as raw materials like wood pulp, chemicals, and more.


While the lined paper has been in use for many years, making carbonless lined paper is relatively new. This process was invented to help people with bad handwriting. Previously, carbon paper would create a stencil of the lines on the page, which would then be ironed onto the paper to create a light impression. Carbonless lined paper alleviates this process and makes it much easier for those with bad handwriting. 

The process starts by adding a white layer of toner (also known as white wax) onto a sheet of heavy-weight black cardstock that has been smoothed down with an acrylic coating.

The Pulping Process

The lining paper comprises two parts: the top sheet and the back sheet. The top sheet is typically a lightweight grade of paper, and the back sheet can be any type of paper stock. It’s important to note that some brands offer carbonless copies on both sides with printed lines. Carbonless copy paper doesn’t have lines printed on the back side but has a textured surface for printing carbon copies.

The Drying Process

A machine called a rotary dryer dries the paper. The paper, which has been wet by water and then fed through a series of processes to remove the wetness, enters the drier and tumbles as it goes around and around in a circle. As it tumbles, hot air from the dryer replaces the moisture in the paper. The air removes most of the remaining water by evaporation.

The Printing Process

The lined paper starts as a white, blank sheet of paper. The first step in the process is to create a pattern on the paper’s surface. This pattern helps form the lines on which students write. After this, a special coating is applied to ensure that ink doesn’t seep through to the opposite side of the page and make it difficult to read. Next, holes are punched into each side of the paper with a special machine, which allows staples or binder rings to be inserted and hold everything together. Finally, excess pieces of paper are cut away, and lined paper remains!

The Finishing Touches

After the paper has been dried and cut, it is given a coating of alum-rosin sizing. This sizing chemically bonds with the fibers of the paper to make it stiffer and add a degree of water resistance. The paper then goes through a machine calendering process where rollers compress and smooth the sheets into an even finish. Finally, the paper gets one last sizing agent applied to give it an ultra-smooth feel and then passes through heavy metal rollers that apply a decorative line pattern to each sheet.

What type of paper is lined paper?

Lined paper is a type of paper that includes one horizontal line on each page for noting the margins. It is made by cutting a stack of sheets into small squares and then folding one sheet in half (horizontally). The process continues until all pieces are folded, making sure to alternate the direction in which the fold occurs. Then, they are stacked together to alternate between being folded horizontally or vertically. This creates what we know as lined paper today!

Why does the lined paper have a red line?

There are many theories as to why lined paper has a red line. One theory is that it served as a way to help students keep their writing within the lines. Another theory was that it helped all of the marks on the paper look uniform when they were printed together. Finally, some people believe that the red line was used because it had a better chance of catching ink from pens or pencils and because it was cheaper to print than having an unbroken white background. However, no one knows why lined paper has this iconic red line!


Lined paper is made from a process called hydro pumping. In this process, trees are cut and peeled, chipped into small pieces, soaked in water for several days, and then bleached. The pulp has to be then spread out over large tables or mats in an even layer before it can be made into paper. At that point, the pulp is mashed with chemicals like sodium sulfide to create lignin – this causes the fibers in the pulp to bind together and turn into a sheet of paper.