I saw a question in the Van Der Spek Facebook group a few weeks ago regarding undyed leather. Van Der Spek introduced undyed leather to their range in 2014. This was a smooth leather, which I tested in a ring binder between 2014 and 2016. This leather is no longer used by VDS. Below you can see the originally colour which was almost shell-pink on the left. On the right is the binder after two years. The patina is glorious, and there is not a stitch out of place, even after years of heavy use.
Van Der Spek now has undyed Janet Leather, which has grain and pebbles. As always, you can request smooth or grainy leather. I have two items in this leather. One is an A5 Nomad (for traveler’s notebooks) and the first item VDS ever made with JL undyed leather. The other is a standard size Codex (for a Hobonichi Mega Weeks), which I received this week. The Codex has stripes rather than pebbles, and I love it. I cannot wait to watch it patina. I am planning to use it the whole of 2022, and use the accompanying leather sample to compare the colour change.
Here is a comparison of the old undyed leather and the new JL undyed leather. If you buy from the Van Der Spek Sales Group on Facebook, it is good to know the difference, as the original undyed leather is often misidentified as Janet Leather. You can clearly see texture on the Janet Leather on the right, whereas the plain undyed leather is very smooth.
This leather is not for anyone who worries over marks, scuffs and stains on leather. It marks easily and that first one is always hard. But as it gets older and more used, the oils from your hands moisturise it and the stains blend into the patina.