Setup of VDS undyed leather binder

This one is a test project to see how the undyed leather wears. I will be using it for six months and recording the wear patterns on my blog so potential buyers can be informed before they buy.

I was allowed to design it myself so I chose lots of credit card pockets, secretarial pockets, 30mm rings, ring protectors and a flyleaf.

I am expecting it to show darkening first on the clasp and wear on the credit card pockets from using cards. The cover will also probably have scuffs from my handbag as I do not keep my binders in anything. Wear on this type of leather usually leads to gorgeous glowing patina and character but it is not for everyone, hence this project. I may also try to treat it with a leather care product on a small hidden part to see how it reacts. I don’t usually treat my leather but this may benefit from it.

This leather is not dyed or treated so it does show wear and goes darker depending on exposure to sunlight. The two samples which are shown in the middle of the photograph above are for comparison. I will keep them safe and dark and untouched, and put them next to the binder each week to show the difference.

Empty and ready to be filled. It has come through the manufacturing and shipping phase without a mark. I love the brown Van Der Spek tag!
Cards in.
These always go into my binder. A ladybug flyleaf by Courtney Brook, a pen holder/flyleaf/card holder from a Doodle Filofax and a page with my name on it by Maryanne Moll who trades as Paper Love Forever on Etsy.
My schedule goes on week on two pages vertical by Burde. I like these because each day has the times on it, unlike the Filofax ones. I need these for bookings because I can see my week overview at once. The days with squiggles are translating days and the ones with names on are meetings. I also put important things to remember at the top so for example the Monday of this week I had to send my work record in for invoicing and on the Friday I had my windows replaced, starting at 07.30.
Next things that go in are lined notepaper, two fold out maps (I use this to brief students for overseas trips which is why I have two), and a mini-atlas in a plastic sleeve. I have three other clear sleeves for extra pass cards to get into different offices, package inserts I want to read and various notes on scraps of paper.
Van Der Spek cards which are nice to give to people as they have the web shop address on them, and extra cards I don’t use much. This is a spare SIM, a stamp card for a restaurant and a jewellery club card which gives you an extra ten per cent off any sale items (very unusual in loyalty cards in Sweden)
Money going in. I don’t usually carry cash but tomorrow the local pet shop is delivering 30kg of cat sand and huge bags of cat food and they only take cash for home deliveries. The matching back secretarial pocket holds stamps, receipts, small articles and discount vouchers.
The flyleaf holds coins, tokens for supermarket trolleys (Susanne W gave me both of them at Filofax meets) and spare keys for my office (cat) and home (ladybug). The zip matches the leather – Petra contacted me and asked me if I would like this colour. It is small touches like this that make Van Der Spek so wonderful. The colour of the zip matches the colour of the Van Der Spek tag. 
I need to have my ID at hand every day. It fits easily in the top slot to the left but the zipper pull digs into it and I don’t want to damage my driver’s license. This is the same problem I have with Filofax zippered plastic envelopes. One solution would be to make the flyleaf wider than the inserts and put it at the back of the binder. Or, as most of them do, start the credit cards a little lower down. I have put discount vouchers in the top left pocket as it doesn’t matter if they have pressure on them. Did you know when you do your driving licence test in Sweden you have to get out of a skid on a so called skid pan (like an ice rink) and that it costs about £1000 to get your licence?
With my Cross pen from Nati in the loop, which is half-elasticated so holds pens of all sizes (within reason of course). I like ring protectors. I have them in some old Filofaxes as well as in my exotic Filofaxes like lizard and ostrich.
Top view!
Pen holder with two Gillio pens in. I think the colours of the pens go quite nicely with the leather.
Pen holder with two Gillio pens in. I think the colours of the pens go quite nicely with the leather.

Author: Janet Carr

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

10 thoughts

  1. I am eager to see how this works out. I wish they tried this out before the price increase expected for next year. This is the only leather that has interested me other than the no longer available gold croc. Keeping my fingers crossed. lol

  2. There are quite a few people saying tourists ought to take driving tests before being allowed to drive on New Zealand roads.

    I just think of countries like Sweden and Norway, where one REALLY has to know how to drive to get their licence, and cringe internally at the ignorant xenophobia. I’m pretty sure most most Swedes or Norwegians would be appallingly insulted after seeing just how pathetically easy our driving tests are. Not to mention every Kiwi on their OE would whinge and moan about having to take (and, no doubt, fail spectacularly) a real driving test in Stockholm or Oslo if the boot were on the other foot.

    1. Driving on snow and ice is not for the faint-hearted and even here in Stockholm we have it for up to 8 months of the year. Strangely, even though the driving conditions are so dangerous, there are relatively few accidents.

  3. That binder is absolutely lovely, Janet. I am eager to see how the leather will age and the hues of the patina it will get.
    I wish they did it in A6 as all my inserts are that size now (thank you Mulberry!).
    Please feed us regularly with lots of photos!

      1. That would be great if it went into production in A6, 25mm rings, no stiffeners and a full length back pocket (no flyleaf though).
        Am l demanding too much?? lol

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