General picture of science equipment

Cellulose fibres

This very simple experiment demonstrates the long, snake-like fibres in newspaper.

Ingredients and equipment that you will need

A piece of newspaper

Method and further information

Try tearing newspaper downwards and then across.

It tears cleanly in only one direction because the cellulose fibres are long, thin and stretched out. Tear it in the other direction and you get a very ragged result because you are trying to tear across the fibres.

Be careful – you should ask an adult to help you with these experiments. Do your experiments in old yoghurt pots, jam jars or bottle tops. Don’t use cups or glasses in case someone thinks it’s a drink.