Van Der Spek undyed binder update – heading for a year!


I have tried to take photos of the undyed in different places lately (as opposed to just on my desk) to show it in different lights and from different angles. It is actually darker than it looks in these photographs. A nice biscuit tan.

You can see in these pics the gorgeous patina that has developed – just from handling it. I don’t ever put any products on my leather. In the beginning I used a baby wipe once or twice to clean the surface but now that it has patina, I don’t do it anymore. The texture is now really soft and squishy. It makes you want to smooth it. There are marks from pens, scratches, scuffs and dents but they are not very noticeable as they blend into the surface of the leather these days.

I have now been in this binder longer than I have any other – ever. Almost a year. I love it – it is perfectly designed for me and every time I think of perhaps moving out of it I don’t want to, because it has formed itself around the contents and my life. It has its own personality now and has followed my days for a month short of a year. Every mark and scratch is like a diary, a record of things I have done and places I have been. I have also used the same inserts for a year which is unheard of. Because my pages are so intensively used I often replace pages that are too scribbled on or crossed out. This year they are all still in there.

Every stitch is still in place, every piece of hardware is still functioning perfectly. The only thing I have noticed is that the pocket where my favourite bank card is kept has loosened somewhat but I just put a second card in there to keep it night and tight.

I have received more compliments on this binder than any other one – ever!

I undertook to test this binder for 6 months for Van Der Spek, because they had never worked with undyed leather before and they were worried people would not be aware of how easily it would mark and scar. I promised to show the process for 6 months so that people knew what they were getting into. Eleven months later I am still in it!





Author: Janet Carr

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

8 thoughts

  1. Hi Janet, I really have enjoyed your posts on this planner. I am two weeks into my custom stand VDS and like yours, it is a workhorse, not decorated, and constantly referred too. I am looking forward to the personality it develops over time as I use it. The VDS is the fifth personal size I have used in the last seven years and I know it will become a most cherished book.

  2. For some reason l keep reading again and again your posts about that planner. I never get tired of your lovely pictures and watching how this baby grow older is like observing a toddler. It is an amazing experience and l am grateful you shared it with us, Janet.

    I hope you will keep using it and go on sharing your experience with us for a long time!

    1. It’s amazing how fond I am of this one. Last week I actually bought new inserts and was planning to move into an A6 size, but I just couldn’t. This one holds everything, has things just where I want them and feels so wonderful. That has never happened to me before! I undertook to use it for 6 months and at the time I thought ‘how am I ever going to get past three?’ because I often change every few weeks. But this one, after almost a year, is still ‘it’ for me.

      1. I feel the same with my organizers. If l feel well in one l stay in it for years. I’ve been in my black croco Mulberry for 4 years now and my job Congo has been in constant use since the mid 80s and l don’t plan to mouve out of them. Never change a winning team!

  3. I drool unbecomingly every time you post pix of your binder! And I’m having a bad attack of indecision. I was going to get an A5 Touch Me when the new colours turned up. But I keep wondering about a custom one with the smooth Italian red leather inside and the undyed outside! Waaaaaah! After I win the lottery jackpot tonight …!

    1. Do you already have a Touch Me? If not, that is your go-to this time I reckon. I think everyone should have one in their planner wardrobe! But the undyed and red sounds fantastic too. Choices, oh choices!

      1. I’ve got a standard black which, ironically, I haven’t quite warmed to. I love the layout, but it’s too floppy for me. Which is why I should probably wait and get a customised one with stiffener!

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