A hierarchy of recurring and predictable torn surface morphologies is developed when two wire belt plies are peeled apart in a direction following the lay of the peeling wires of the “pulled off” belt. This hierarchy is based on methods used for visual documentation. The finest level requires scanning electron microscopy. At this level the torn surface morphology is developed independently from the influence of rigid structural components such as steel wire cables. The opposite extreme, the coarsest level, requires only simple unaided visual examination for documentation. At this level twisted wire filaments from steel cable wires determine how morphology develops during the tearing process.