The wire is a woven plastic mesh conveyor belt which can be up to 35 metres long and as wide as the paper machine. The stock by now is milky in appearance where it has been diluted with water. The stock flows from a flow box onto the wire which distributes the fibres evenly over the whole width of the paper machine.
As the paper stock flows from the flow box onto the wire, the water drains away through the mesh leaving tiny fibres as a mat on top of the mesh.
By the time the stock has travelled half way down the wire, a high percentage of water has drained away. From this point the removal of water has to be assisted by suction from underneath the wire.
When the thin mat of fibres reaches the end of the wire, although it is still very moist and weak, it has become a sheet of paper.