It's the new year! And what better time to post an update on something I've been meaning to do for a while. I don't know if I'm going to make any resolutions besides the usual (try new recipes, keep fewer pens inked up, stop letting the dog eat food off the floor, stop dropping food on the floor), but this year I am trying to put a good effort into keeping up with the blog a bit better. We've been carrying these MD Leather Goatskin Covers in A6, A5 and A4 for a while now, and I've been using them personally for about as long. They've been popping up on the Instagram every now any then, usually because they're what I have close at hand. One of the biggest concerns people have about the leather is its natural light colour, whitish pink when you first get it, and whether or not it will darken or warm up over time. Midori published this colour chart as a guideline when they released the leather covers back in 2015.
The guide is nice, but it's always nicer to see actual photos of real products, so you can get a better sense of what to expect. I thought I would share a few pictures of mine after around one year of use, compared to a new one out of the box.
Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery
The leather cover comes very simply, in a cardboard box with a black liner. With leather, like most natural products, I know it's a bit hard to tell how it will change over time just by looking at pictures of it brand new. For me, it's part of the charm of the quality of natural products, something that I really love about wood tables and leather bags. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery Introduction for use: I love how they embrace the idea of a simple finish, and that over time, minor scratches and blemishes will eventually fade into the natural texture of the leather. The difference between the brand new and my one-year old one is very distinct - almost startling. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery Front Covers, A5. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery The back covers of the A5 and A4 (not the A6) have the additional stitching down close to the spine. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery Inside cover of the old versus new. I use my A5 Cover with an A5 Stalogy notebook for my daily (or mostly daily) journaling. The great thing about these covers, and maybe about Japanese stationery in general, is that the cover fits a variety of Japanese A5 notebooks, such as the MD Notebooks from Midori, A5 Noble Notes from Life Stationery, A5 Stalogy notebooks and more. I find a lot of A5-ish notebooks from European paper companies, like Rhodia, Leuchtturm, Quo Vadis, are all slightly different in size, in addition to the variations due to the bulk of their covers they come with, so it's a bit harder to find a leather cover for them. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery A6 on top, A5 in middle, A4 on the bottom. Pilot Falcon on the very top. I use my A6 cover for my Hobonichi, which holds my gratitude journaling, and now for our daily ink swab. I have my A4 leather cover for an MD notebook that I tape in pictures of Caleb and occasionally scribble in a few funny memories or moments. I haven't been keeping up with that as much as I'd like, but I'm trying to get back into it, especially now that he's a bit older and doing funny things more regularly. Midori Skin of the Goat Leather Cover Wonder Pens Toronto Stationery I love how you can see the differences in texture between two different leather covers - the one on top is my A6 for my Hobonichi, which has a much rougher, coarser texture than the bottom, my A5, which also shows in the patterns of how the leather has darkened over time. I've been using these covers for around a year, and they're warming up beautifully. They sort of have a warm golden caramel colour, and I can't wait for them to get even darker over time. It's winter here, and the vitamin D seems a bit less accessible, but as summer comes around again, I may even consider letting them get a bit of a tan to darken even more, as the Midori colour guide shows. I'm not super set on that, as I also like the idea of these covers warming naturally based just on my hands and use. Each cover started out quite surprisingly uniform, but over time, oils from my hand have darkened some areas more than others, and it's a lovely thing to consider that these covers have held and will hold my physical journals and my writing and my thoughts for years. There are a few spots here and there, and on one of them is a drop of ink that I don't think is ever going to go away, but I love how scratches and marks appear and then slowly disappear or fade away as the cover makes its way through my hands.

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January 05, 2017 — wonderpens



Rosemary said:

I have one of these lovely covers but am having a terrible urge to clean it with saddle soap- but thinking I might end up staining it forever. There are some stains from who knows what — probably oils from my hands- and from just being around my desk, my kitchen table, my purse. But it looks kinda nasty in parts. I am hoping the stains age and blend but don’t have confidence they will. Any suggestions or experience for cleaning? Thanks!

My 2019 Analogue System - Wonder Pens - Life Behind a Stationery Shop

My 2019 Analogue System - Wonder Pens - Life Behind a Stationery Shop said:

[…] cover, I am hoping to do a comparison post between old covers and new covers soon. In the meantime, here is a comparison post after one year. It’s now been about three […]


ปั้มไลค์ said:

Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.


wonderpens said:

Sorry for the late reply!

Yes, it will – the MD leather cover is a “standard” A5 cover, and will fit any notebook that is A5 like Clairefontaine’s A5 My Essential Dot Grid, etc. It will not fit notebooks that are a bit loose on A5, like the Quo Vadis Habana, or some notebooks that have a hard cover already, like the Rhodia A5 Webnotebook.


Devon said:

Hi Mike!

I know it’s a year later, but I figure for anyone else reading…

I have the A5 cover and it doesn’t quite fit. It’s just a smidge too fat (the notebook). What I do is cut about a quarter of an inch off the front and back covers, and then it fits perfectly! Without doing this, the cover won’t quite close all the way. I’ve done this with a Writer and a Crossfield, and it’s worked beautifully.


Nadine said:

I have the A5 cover. It’s magnificent. The midori md notebook stays out and it fits perfectly. I will be getting a cover for my B6 slim soon.


wonderpens said:

I don’t find that there’s any problem with the book shifting with either the Midori MD Notebooks (that the cover is designed for), or the Stalogy A5 notebook I use. I think if the notebook is not a good fit, you might find some shifting – this leather covers takes a true A5 notebook with a paper cover quite well!


wonderpens said:

I’m not sure to be honest – maybe someone else here will be able to help!

Jeffrey Wortsman

Jeffrey Wortsman said:

will this work with Clairfontaine A5 My Essential Dot Grid?

Mike Bougie

Mike Bougie said:

Does anyone know if this will fit a Seven Seas Crossfield? A5, 210×148mm, 15mm thick.

Tanya Lam

Tanya Lam said:

So lovely! I may save up for one one day. How well does the book stay in the cover? I find my non Midori cover causes some shifting and bending of the cover pages. Makes me sad face.

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