16 September 2013

Cordwain Higgler organiser review

Following on from my previous introduction to the company, Cordwain Higgler (run by Guy and Pat) kindly loaned me both a pocket and a personal organiser to review. On opening the packaging, the first thing that I noticed was the wonderful smell which reminded me of horse riding tack. The organisers were nicely packaged in white tissue paper in a hand made velveteen pouch. These are made by Pat and can be either plain or with an embroidered flower sewn on.

Each organiser comes with a starter pack of papers (40 sheets printed on 100 gsm recycled paper) which includes address, name and number, to do, notes, lined and plain inserts.

Other specialist inserts are available to purchase separately for the gardener or wine taster and cost £4.00 each.

First up is the personal size organiser with a Napoleonic bee design in cordovan colour. The colour is a rich dark brown with burgundy and red in it as well.

The main body of the binder is made of one piece of 2 1/2 to 3mm leather, with no padding or cardboard, as you can see from the plain inside.

There are no pockets in the interior, but as the leather is quite substantial I think that they would probably add too much bulk. The finish inside is fairly smooth and this one had some slightly rougher areas, which I would guess come from the grain of the leather. The ring mechanism, pen holder and front loop are attached with brass rivets. The ring mechanism, made by Bensons, has a nice loud snap on closing with no gaps or misalignment. The personal ring size width is 22.5 mm.

The pen loop is again made from one piece of leather and has quite an interesting design.

The leather has a slot cut out of it and then it feeds through itself to loop round to allow a pen to be inserted. This means it's not fixed and can be adjusted in size, so that my chunky Lamy Safari will fit. The end of the strap feeds through the loop on the front and the nicely snug fit would do a good job at keeping the organiser closed. I think due to the size of the loop you'd probably need to use top tabs as it sits closer to the inserts.

I was also sent a pocket organiser with a dandelion design in the buckskin colour.

Out of two colours, this is definitely my favourite. It's a warm golden brown which is a little less orangey in real life. Again the pocket mechanism is perfect with 18mm ring size width. The leather on the pocket is less lined than on the personal.

I really like the rustic simplicity of these organisers, and it's possible to personalise your binder or pick another colour or design from their different items on the website. Due to the amount of interest they have been receiving, any organiser requiring personalisation will be made to order with a wait time of 4-5 days for shipping. Neither of the organisers lay flat out of the packaging and I asked the owners if they knew if they would over time. The answer was that the leather will soften over time, but unfortunately they couldn't give a definite answer on that. However, I like them so much that I think I'd be willing to find out.

Here are some other examples of their binders.

As a special offer valid until 31st December 2013, enter the promo code PR1 at the checkout to get 10% off your order (postage not included in discount).


  1. Wonderful organizers! I love the natural leather, and that pen loop is nothing short of ingenious.
    It´s possible to "train leather" without cracking it. Neutral leather creme/ mink oil(my favorite)/ lanolin/olive oil etc. applied to the leather and then once the natural fats have softened the leather, it´s possible to train leather to which ever position you wish. A leather this thick could easily be trained more supple by applying oils on it and then stacking books or whatnots atop of it when opened up (just add a sheet of clingfoil or other plastic between leather and books) over night or few. Also warm steam from iron atop the leather (absolutely under any circumstance do not go too close to the leather with the iron! Leather burns and hardens all too easily) wan make the leather more supple to the training. But warm steam is very risky unless you are accustomed to working with leather.

    1. ...*can* make the leather more supple to the training (in regards flattability)

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  2. Thank you for the review Anita... love the buckskin in personal with the dandelions... awesome... definitely ordering maybe a bit closer to my Birthday though..

  3. Great review! Adding to my "wish" list!

  4. Great review! Pat and Guy already shipped my CH pocket in blue with lunar moth, and I'm so looking forward to receiving it! I had it personalized with 9/13, the month and year I got it, something to remember by. :)

  5. On my wishlist... a personal in oxblood red with dandelion, napoleonic bee and my initials. When I get a job.

  6. I love this binder! And the price is very affordable. I'm thinking of getting one, too! I love the Celtic Triscal design.

  7. I found these little pieces of art on eBay ..after reading all the reviews ,just purchased bee design and a small flask for my perfume, they look absolutely stunning ..I really love items made by true artisans

  8. I found these lovely little treasures on eBay , after reading and reviewing I ordered a bee organiser and a small flask , it is not often that you come across a true artisan craft ,that has been made into your own personal piece of art , I am really looking forward to receiving items . All your reviews have been very helpful ,as have Pat and Guy .

  9. I received the green filo fax in a present,with my initials on unfortunately. I would rather have hat a smaller one with more natural colour of leather,is there anything I can do.

  10. Can I change an item that has initials on.