This paper examines the effects of the natural ability of the fibres to bond and the introduction of moieties able to provide balanced ionic interactions, on the dry and wet mechanical properties of paper. Thus, the effects of the introduction of zwitterionic moieties (i.e. amino acids coupled with s-triazines) onto the surface of the fibers and their interaction are interpreted in the light of accepted theories of dry and wet paper strength and the topology of the location of the zwitterionic sites. The tensile strength and other mechanical properties of paper made with the zwitterionic fibers are reported. Paper made from zwitterionic fibers retain more than 35% of their dry strength after being immersed in water for weeks. The importance of these results is considerable when it is realized that no wet strength resins are being used. The benefits of zwitterionic bonding in papermaking are briefly discussed.