Van Der Spek Day: The Unusual Leathers

Photo by Steve Morton

There are just so many kinds of leather it makes your head spin. And the smell! When you walk in to the workshop all you can smell is leather. Many of these hides are not featured on the website because it would be an impossible task to list them all, and also there are sometimes only limited quantities of a colour.

The Van Der Speks were kind and generous enough to give me free rein to root around their leathers and binders. I took photographs of the more unusual ones and ones that caught my eye. I had an absolute ball.

Here I have chosen some of the leathers which can be used on binders, and a few that cannot. I have included the three that would not be able to be used on binders just so that you can see some of the things they have.

The green ostrich is a gorgeous mid-green and the quills are rather flat so if you are a little freaked out by the way the bumps feel on ostrich, this may be for you. They are bumpy though, but not as bumpy as the other colours.

The two reptile skins can be used inside and out. They are shiny but not too shiny and very very unusual. One is green and black and the other is a deep red and black. They are very soft.

The alligator cannot be used on binders as it turned out not to be durable but it is gorgeous. I had a Filofax Amazona in brown and the difference between that and this leather is night and day. These bumps are really bumps! Gorgeous! I loved it so much I asked if I could take some home with me seeing as they could not use it, and the customs chappie looking at my luggage (I only travelled with hand luggage) was sure it was alligator. Luckily I convinced him it wasn’t, though he must have wondered why I was carrying it.

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There is a beautiful hardwearing buffalo hide in black with heavy graining and it is glorious. If you have seen my Chloe Elvire bags (on my blog) this is the leather that Chloe used.

There is also an Aqua that is the same colour as an Aqua Malden. I have two Aqua Maldens so I know the colour well. It tends a little more to the aqua side and the Malden to the Jade side and it does not photograph well – it is best seen in person but if you loved the Aqua Malden and couldn’t get one – this is even better because you can design your own binder with very similar leather.

One colour that I fell in love with in the factory after seeing it being made into someone’s binder (I am not sure who you are but if you are reading this, my word your leather was gorgeous!). It is a gorgeous winter white/pale cream but according to Petra it is very very hard wearing and does not stain. It really is very striking when you see it and it is not a colour you see very often in organisers – the only one which springs to mind is the Filofax Panama Pearl.

If you you would like to order some of these leathers for your binder and cannot find them on the website, contact Petra and send her the link to this article so she knows which one you mean.





Virtually identical to Aqua Malden leather in both colour and texture


My binders and notebooks are made of this leather





The animal prints are not good on binders either but they are very pretty.







Not available for binders as it proved not to be durable but isn’t it gorgeous?



Black buffalo – gorgeous to the touch and extremely hardwearing




Photo by Steve Morton


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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