How Janet Leather ages and patinas

This is Siena, Cristina C’s pocket sized Janet Leather custom Van Der Spek binder. She took delivery of it almost a year ago, on 26th February 2015. Below is a history in photographs of how it has aged, from February 2015 to mid-January 2016.

The first four photographs belong to Van Der Spek and the rest to Cristina.


In May 2015, a slight accident with a bottle of water led to Cristina treating it with Marula oil


Since then it has not been treated at all, apart from lots of handling and some sun



And it now has a really cute cat embossing, which Cristina did herself. Look at that gorgeous patina and how lovely it looks!





Author: Janet Carr

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

9 thoughts

  1. I love Christina’s planners. And her photographs! This one is absolutely lovely. Interestingly, I almost ordered a pocket size VdS around that same time last year, but then decided that it probably would not work.

  2. What a lovely planner. I recently became aware of Vanderspek and am wondering if I should invest in one? For those who have one, I’d love to hear some thoughts. Currently I am using a Filofax Malden personal size. And I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Why do people move from Filofax to Vanderspek?

      1. For me quality, customization and replaceable rings. If the rings get damaged you don’t have to give up on your binder. This alone will add years and years to the life of a binder.

      2. The rings in Vds are replacable….they use Kraus rings…the best there is. I would not mind a Filofax but after going through several with defective rings, you can understand why I changed. Rings, after all are the spine of the binder, you can have a gorgeous binder but cheap rings defeats the essence of the purpose of one.
        Also the customer service is impecable, I have a problematic binder but I am confident that I will receive the best service ever. The relationship does not end with the purchase of a binder, it begins….is how I see it.
        And it is a family business and not some corporate money-over-quality firm. Vds are like food chefs….the binders are made with love. That’s how I see it.😊

    1. Right now, my personal Malden is my favorite as well! But I’m planning on ordering a custom VdS soon, and what I hope to do is improve upon what I love about my Malden. I want slightly bigger rings and a usable pen loop. To me, those are the only 2 things that keep the Malden from being my perfect binder.

      I just have to decide between undyed and this brown Janet leather first! I have a friend with the JL and it is unbelievably gorgeous and soft.

    2. I made the jump from filofax toVDS for so many reasons – the amazing craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail; customization options; leather options; and incredible customer service like none other. Also can’t forget the amazing community of VDS-lovers… such a supportive and interactive group!

  3. Very interesting progression….

    If I’m interpreting photos correctly, binder has gone from a orangey color to more of a brownish color?

    Think the patina’d color looks much more handsome to my OL’ eyes….

    What really like to see a side-by-side comparison photo of your undyed binder in its current state next to an aged Janet binder similar to this one.


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