A material model for drying paper is presented. Moisture-dependent material parameters, hygroscopic shrinkage, the elastic and the time-dependent responses of the material to load, and the effect of unloading at a higher stiffness than the load was applied at are modelled. The model is used to determine the effects of a varying moisture ratio through the paper during drying on free shrinkage development and stiffness development at free drying. Simulation results for the stress development during drying and the state of residual stress immediately after drying are also presented. The model predicts a variation of in-plane elastic moduli through the paper, a prediction that is studied by experiments.