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Pocket-sized limp back leather commonplace book (long-stitch + chain-stitch)


Aelfattrum
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I'd made a few commonplace books (/journals/writing books), but all so far with binding boards (or, well, makeshift binding boards), but I thought to make a nice small limp-back commonplace book that could easily be stuffed in a pocket.

 

So I made one (using Southworth 25% cotton paper), with five signatures (so it wouldn't get too thick), and a simple leather cord closure.

 

IMG_20210524_223143.thumb.jpg.69f3f23840713ad6fa8032c1b9e5a023.jpg

 

This is a relatively simple binding; the signatures are sewn directly to the leather binding.:

 

IMG_20210524_222843.thumb.jpg.fa6909b334a97787c5fdcc1c7b7fe246.jpg

 

And it does indeed fit nicely into a pocket:

 

IMG_20210526_223954.thumb.jpg.6a655ec109b025ceb04882fc9fe3687e.jpg

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  • amberleadavis

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Very nice!

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looks good. 

very useful 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

interesting material... I've never heard of Cork Leather... had to look it up

is it ACTUALLY as strong as "big cork" would have us believe? how does it REALLY compare to leather?

 

nice work btw. Is it designed so you can cut the strings and replace the signatures when its time? or is that just part of how its made, and it's meant to be one book, forever?

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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13 hours ago, IThinkIHaveAProblem said:

interesting material... I've never heard of Cork Leather... had to look it up

is it ACTUALLY as strong as "big cork" would have us believe? how does it REALLY compare to leather?

 

nice work btw. Is it designed so you can cut the strings and replace the signatures when its time? or is that just part of how its made, and it's meant to be one book, forever?

 

In theory for any of these 'non-adhesive' bindings (long stitch like this, or coptic stitch etc.), one could replace signatures (though the folding and sewing is 90% of the work of making one of these anyway). 

 

You joke about Big Cork, but a majority of cork comes from the Portuguese company Corticeira Amorim, now run by Paula Amorim, presumably the richest person in Portugal, or at least her father (who she took over the business from) was at time of his death.

 

So, I think cork seems perhaps more promising than other leather alternatives. A lot of leather alternatives seem to involve a lot of synthetics, even ones which are supposedly 'natural' (e.g. pineapple leather). And while there are interesting sounding (but hard to obtain & expensive) things like mushroom leather, at least the one variety of mushroom leather (MuSkin) looks like it has very little tensile strength, which doesn't make it very attractive (to me) as an alternative:

 

432051074_Screenshot2021-06-06at12-54-08ComparisonoftheTechnicalPerformanceofLeatherArtificialLeatherandTrendyAltern....png.abfd2eff7d6fcae48cffc3862ed9f5a0.png

[from https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6412/11/2/226/pdf]

 

I haven't seen a lot of studies for cork leather, though I think there are some experiments to use it in place of leather in shoes, which seems promising. In hand, it feels like it should have decent tensile strength, and the piece I have has a nice soft leathery-like feel to it. It seems a little bit more ready to to fold/crease than leather. I dunno. I'll have to play with it some more. It has some interesting properties and seems to be obtainable for about the price of cheap leather.

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cool!

 

a long term update (assuming you carry it around in a pocket or something regularly) would be awesome!

 

Thanks for the info!

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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Not directly relevant, but, FWIW...

 

I got some cork products last time I was in Portugal (obviously before the lockdown, maybe in 2017), and they all have turned out surprisingly well. I didn't expect cork to be that resilient. And I do still use them. Let me see... a pocket wallet, a cap and a couple of hard-bound notebooks (but I haven't worn these in a pocket, so they're not worn-out).

 

To me it was unexpected, I didn't know so many things could be made out of cork and still be flexible and resistant, for everyday use, but I reckon I've grown some serious respect for Portuguese products.

 

Plus, it is ecological, vegan, recyclable, since you do not cut the tree, infinitely renewable (and indeed harvesting is said to help the tree grow), reduces the Carbon footprint, is water- and (relatively) fire- resistant (yep, I was also surprised) and shares many other properties (when good quality is used) similar to leather.

 

Yeah, that trip to Portugal was an eye opener. :)

 

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@txomsyit certainly seems nice in hand, with a leather-ish feel. the ecological aspects of cork are attractive. (and in addition to being water- and somewhat fire-resistant, it supposedly has some antimicrobial properties as well, which I don't think leather typically does.) I imagine a cork leather bag/backpack/satchel etc. could be nice too, as it's pretty light.

 

I'm eager to experiment with it some more.

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