27 February 2015

Free For All Friday No 328 by Laurie

In a recent Facebook conversation, several of us were discussing whether or not it bothers us when our binders start to show wear. The main topic was of color rubbing off colored binders, which I think bothers just about everyone (including myself).

Marks and scratches are a normal result of daily use, but I don't always like them. I have some Filofax binders (like my chic ivory Deco) that I think look best in pristine condition. Others, like my rugged oiled-leather Kendal, look great with some wear.

I recently was fortunate enough to be able to buy a never-used new-condition Sherwood Filofax made in the early 1990's (post coming soon). When I bought it my intention was for it to acquire character in the form of the inevitable marks and scratches it will get from daily use.

But when it arrived, I was suddenly anxious about using it. Having a never-used vintage Filofax felt like a big responsibility. Should I actually use it every day? Should I really shove it into my bag, open the snap clasp a dozen times per day, and push my pen into the pen loop? Maybe I should sell it to a collector instead.

Then I thought, this Filofax was made to be used, not to be a museum piece. Its intention was to be used as a daily object of usefulness. Its beauty and aesthetic appeal add to the joy of its daily use.

Even the card that came with it gives me permission to use it every day: It came with a card stating it is "Made from fine Scottish Leather" by the National Chrome Tanning company, and the back of the card states:

Like wood, leather is one of the few materials that grows more beautiful with use, the grain acquiring a natural patina.

I also get a lot of inspiration from this wonderful post on The Sewing Sloth about the appeal of worn binders showing the evidence of their exciting lives. 

I'm keeping all these things in mind as I use my beautiful Sherwood. But, I'm sure when those first few marks appear on its surface, I'll feel a little pain.

How do you feel when your binder starts to show wear?

And as always on Fridays, feel free to ask and/ or discuss anything binder related!

16 comments:

  1. All three of my binders have 'dings' and scratches, and it doesn't bother me at all. Leather is a material which looks better the more you use it, and my Filofaxes get a pretty hard time. I consider the scratches and signs of wear to be a sign that I don't keep them in a glass case on a shelf, but use them as tools for living well.

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  2. I don't mind signs of wear BUT I cannot stand worn-off colour! I regularly apply leather care in the appropriate colour - nothing looks nicer than a binder / any piece of leather that is being taken care of...

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  3. Laurie, I know exactly what you mean as I've realised that whilst I prefer vintage binders these days, I don't think I'd really like to get an unused one. I think wear just adds a bit of character & I can't see myself buying a new Filofax any time soon. I do agree with Franz though & have used shoe polish/cream on several ones to help restore the colour. My Winchester is 24 years old & has picked up very little wear & tear.

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    1. Yes - the calf leather of your Winchester is very durable Anita. Using a vintage model is a good way to avoid the problems of displeasing wear or damage.

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  4. I have a pocket Tuscan which I've used off and on since 2002. It still looks good. Recently I bought a blue Buckingham. It came in a box that said 2005. (Were Buckinghams out in the late eighties as well as ten years ago?) Anyhow, it is unused but I plan to use it and if it gets dinged so be it.

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    1. The name Buckingham has been used for different designs Albert.

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  5. Anyone laser printing on the Davinci/Tomoe River paper that is available in personal and pocket (almost) FF size? If so any tips to get this very thin paper to run through the printer mechanism without folding up or jamming inside the machine?

    My method, developed after a fair bit of trial and error is as follows (I’m using a Brother HL-2270DW printer but I expect it would work on other printers:

    1 The paper tray doesn’t accommodate this small size and just manual feeding the paper doesn’t work: paper tends to fold over and jam after the toner drum and before the fuser. The front edge of the paper seems to need to push on some mechanisms inside there and it isn’t stiff enough to do so without folding.

    2 The paper comes in a plastic pack with a thin cardboard piece exactly the same size as part of the packaging. If you manual feed the paper in registered to the card piece it will feed through without folding. I open the rear door of the printer to provide a more straight-through path so the stiff card doesn’t have to bend much to get through. Surprisingly (to me) the paper stays registered to the card throughout (static seems to hold the two pieces together). Occasionally both pieces will rotate slightly and the print will be crooked, especially with the pocket size.

    3 Because of the extra thickness/weight the toner will not fuse properly unless you set the paper type to “thick” or “thicker” in the printer setup, if you do that it is fine.
    The TR paper laser prints as nicely as it takes fountain pen ink, I have printed down to 4 pt letters with no problem.

    Hope this helps someone out there!

    Dave

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    1. Thanks, Dave, this is very helpful info....I bought a nice Brother printer a few months ago, so this is very relevant....

      Mark

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  6. I don't mind dings and scratches as I use a patent - super cheap and so easily replaced. Saying that, my bunny nibbled the corners and I almost cried xD

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  7. Agree with all the comments, that having a bit of wear signs and patina on the binders is OK....adds some character....

    Mark

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  8. I like things that age gracefully. What riles me is where something degrades in a way that just shows it wasn't very well made in the first place, or was not actually intended to last.

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  9. My filofax is over 10 years old and is rather 'scuffy'.
    I bought a leather one because I wanted it to last.
    How do I take care of a leather binder?

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  10. Hey! I found the answer to my own question on this site!
    Shoe polish! of course!
    http://philofaxy.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/restoring-leather-filofax.html

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  11. Who needs leather binders, when 4 Clipbook binders an an Identity A5 work for me an my various projects / hobbies? It was great to set each one up (some have custom inserts), and feels even better knowing that I don't have to worry about scuffs, scratches, mug rings or replacing an expensive binder because it has faded slightly......there's far more important things in life to worry about. Use them.....don't hoard them!

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  12. The leather of my pocket binder does not scratch easily. I think that binders and wallets that show wear look good. On another note, I made some final changes to my week on two pages insert. I also am awaiting specific paper for it. I bought some replacement blades for my paper trimmer which cut the pages so cleanly.

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  13. I'm enjoying seeing how my Van der Spek Custom copes with day-to-day life. I don't baby it - it gets shoved in my backpack every day - and I actually like the scratches, creases, and so on that are developing. I fully expect it to last for years and years.

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