Galen Leather undyed A5 folio

About a month ago I was offered a review copy of a Galen leather A5 folio and I jumped at the chance, because I really love Galen leather products. I have two traveler’s notebook covers, two notebook charms and a wallet insert from them, and they are all lovely.

When this folio was ready, it took only a day or so to get all the way from Turkey so shipping was a dream. After you order, making the products takes a couple of weeks, but Galen leather keeps you updated every step of the way. You receive an email when you order, and then they let you know production times and notify you when your item ships.

One of the things about a family leather business is that you get to know the family. This is the first Galen leather product I have received since beloved Zeynep passed away a few months ago. It was made by her brother Yusuf and so it was extra poignant to receive this as it feels as though the legacy and the company Zeynep worked so hard to build is living on through her brother, husband and father and all the thousands of Galen Leather fans throughout the world.

I love these boxes. The layout and design really tie into the traditional handcrafted ethic that is just so Galen Leather.
First look – the smell of leather is glorious and the natural markings of the natural leather is what makes me love undyed leather so much. It does show marks to start off with but the darkening and patina is a thing of beauty. It has always been my favourite leather because it not only lasts a lifetime but it ages with you and reflects your life – that drop of coffee or little streak of ink, a scratch from the cat or your nail, the oils from your hands and the darkening from the sun. 

The inside is very well designed with card slots, pen loops, a slip pocket, and an additional removable pen holder on the left. On the right hand side there is place for papers, a notebook and keys. The workmanship is outstanding and the zipper is a really strong metal one with a beautifully worked pull tag. I am not a multiple pen user so I like the fact that I can take this out and use the slot for the bits of paper I seem to attract wherever I go.  
You can slip a tablet under the big pocket, but also use it to hold papers, a small notebook or stickers

This is such a nice touch – a Haga Sophia postcard (which reminds me of the last Dan Brown novel I read), an evil eye (with the story of the evil eye on one side and the story of Galen leather on the other side), and a manufacturing card with information and care instructions, as well well as specifications and the details of who made it. In this case it was Yusuf, who is one of the Galen leather family.


I put the paper back on the wrong way round – sorry – but you can see the nice blind embossing of the name here.

    • Here is the story of Galen Leather, told by Zeynep. It is so hard to read this and not feel inspired by this amazing woman and sad at her loss. Galen leather will live on through her work though, and I am honoured to be a part of that.
    • Here is the Galen Leather website
    • Here is a link to the beautiful folios
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Galen is also famous for their glorious wooden writing boxes (find them here).


‘A real wood craftsman behind the writing boxes. Our Father. We are proud of him and every product we produce’

Author: Janet Carr

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

3 thoughts

  1. Aren’t they – and their products – wonderful?!! I have covers for two of my Hobonichi planners and they are venturing into inserts for the Traveler’s Notebook, too! The loss they sustained in their family was so sad – all the more reason to support them!

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