The relationship between shrinkage and elongation of hand sheets was examined. The results show that the same dimensional contraction brought about by shrinkage can be strained out in tensile testing. However, percentage-wise the elongation is greater than the shrinkage due to different reference points, and the difference increases strongly at higher shrinkage levels. Elongation of paper can be explained mainly by two factors: The shrinkage and the net elongation of paper. Here shrinkage refers to all kinds of in-plane contraction of the fiber network (drying shrinkage, in-plane-compaction and creping). The novel concept 'net elongation' was proposed in order to separate the effect of shrinkage from the total elongation of paper. Net elongation is the elongation of corresponding unshrunken paper dried under restraint. Sheets with high elongation were prepared from bleached softwood kraft pulp and the effects of shrinkage on elongation, strength and stiffness of the paper were investigated. Mechanical treatment methods of pulp fibers and chemical strength additives were applied in order to maximize the strength and elongation. In-plane compaction and creping were used to further boost shrinkage of the high basis weight (100 g/m 2) sheets up to 160 percent. Experimental elongation data confirmed the proposed theoretical relationships.