Today, most laid papers are imitations, which does not refer to quality but the manufacturing process only. The closely "lined appearance" in the finish of writing and printing papers created during machine- produced paper manufacturing, usually by a dandy roll, is what a modern paper mill referrs to as laid paper. Generally machine-produced (immitation) laid paper is preferable due to the superior consitentcy only obtained by a fully mechanized paper mill.
Laid paper has a prominent pattern of ribbed lines in the finished sheet. It is customary for the laid lines to run across the width and the chain lines to runhead to foot. The mould used to make laid paper has
numerous narrowly spaced laid wires that are woven together by very thin wires or threads called chain lines.The pattern results from the pulp resting against wires on the mold screen as the paper is made. "Chain" lines are farther apart and run parallel with the grain direction of the sheet, while "laid" lines are closely spaced and perpendicular to the grain. Wove papers exhibit a more gridded pattern, like that seen in most weaving and generally appear smooth as compared to the prominant marks created in laid paper.
Most maps before about 1800 are printed on laid paper. The distinct markings of laid paper can most easily be seen
when the paper is held up to a light.
Laid paper can be manufactured in any color. Cream laid paper referres its color - cream.
See: Fine Laid Paper
See also the archaic term "Antique Laid Paper