FRAMER'S TIP: The hinge is very strong along along the direction of the grain and tears more easily if it is torn against the grain.
FRAMER'S TIP: The reason it is so important to determine the direction of the grain is that you want the fibers of the hinge running perpendicular or vertically to the artwork. This will ensure the hinge is stronger and will last longer.
Wet the paper. Taking a clean water color paint brush, dip it in water and make a stroke against the straight edge. Make sure you use sufficient water to soak the paper.
Tear the paper. Tearing hinges this way is creating ‘feathers’ on the long fiber of the paper which will make the edges of the hinge less noticeable behind the artwork. Now take your hand and gently tear the paper along the straight edge.