The new theory of the load/elongation properties of paper, in essence, sums the loads developed in the fibres intersecting a line at right angles to the direction of straining. Fibre nonlinearity and the intermittent bond failure that occurs before the final gross rupture of the sheet are taken into account. The hypothesis is proposed that gross rupture is triggered by one of two mechanisms bond failure in sheets of strong fibres and fibre failure in sheets of weak fibres. The theory does not consider the phenomena occurring during gross rupture. Measured stress/strain curves of many handsheets of five pulps of springwood fibres were found to be in good agreement with calculated curves.