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Refillable full-grain vegetable-tanned leather notebook and journal covers built to last a lifetime—two if you count the cow's.
Refillable full-grain vegetable-tanned leather notebook and journal covers built to last a lifetime—two if you count the cow's.
326 backers pledged $34,783 to help bring this project to life.

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Few things are as daunting yet inviting as the empty page of a notebook. It represents potential of both the intimate and the infinite, a receptacle of our thoughts, feelings, passions, and possibilities. The resistance of pen on paper forces us to push past our present limits...to explore what’s inside ourselves, patiently waiting to be discovered. 

Whether it is a simple lined notebook or a planner system that comes with a three-day seminar, there is something liberating and powerful about having a pen and some paper with you when the need arises and plans need to be made, information recorded or inspiration nurtured.

Your leather notebook cover, along with the paper it holds, will become your loyal companion, achieving a beautiful patina as it quietly perseveres from one completed notebook to the next. Over time, the used pages within its worn leather cover will become the prize of a life well documented… and well lived.

There are a lot of planners and systems claiming to make your life better or make you more creative. I honestly don't know if any one system is better than another. But of one thing I am sure, the best system for you is the one you WANT to carry.

Introducing the Kendal & Hyde Co. leather notebook covers to carry your notebook or planner, in whatever form you choose (along with few pockets for cash, cards or other loose items you might need or collect during the day).

OUR LEATHER NOTEBOOK COVERS COME IN FOUR STANDARD SIZES.

Our covers are shells for you to fill—like the paper they hold, they are an open question for you to answer. For some, the few square inches of paper in a cahier notebook is perfect for when the need arises. For others, a journal or planner is a constant companion. Rather than tell you what you should use, we built covers for the four most common notebooks sizes and leave it to you to choose the size you want and fill it with the type of notebook or planner you need.

REWARDS

Shown in "whiskey" colored leather.
Shown in "whiskey" colored leather.

Passport, credit and travel rewards cards, and some cash—everything I need while I travel in one beautiful leather package, small enough to fit in my pocket. I travel frequently enough between home, the tannery and the factory that our passport cover has actually become my daily wallet. Made of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and double stitched with burnished edges.
Kickstarter Special $55 (regularly $65)

Shown in black colored leather.
Shown in black colored leather.

The Pocket Notebook Cover is the updated version of our Notebook Wallet. The difference is the addition of a pen holder, because what good is a notebook without a pen to write with? It holds a pocket notebook, such as Field Notes and Moleskine, and has three additional pockets for IDs, credit cards, cash and such. It makes a great wallet for those who carry theirs in a bag. Made of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and double stitched with burnished edges. 
Kickstarter Special $70 (regularly $80) Includes a FREE 3-pack of Moleskine Cahier Notebooks (MSRP $9.99)

Shown in "whiskey" colored leather.
Shown in "whiskey" colored leather.

Our Moleskine Cover is almost the same size as our Pocket Notebook Cover with all the same extra pockets, but with a little extra thickness for a traditional Moleskine notebook. Whether you choose a day planner insert or blank pages, the Moleskine Cover allows you to carry a lot of paper, a pen and other essentials in a tight little package. A slit in the back side allows you to use the Moleskine's built-in elastic to hold the cover closed. Made of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and double stitched with burnished edges.
Kickstarter Special $80 (regularly $90)
Includes FREE Moleskine Pocket Notebook (MSRP $13.99)

Shown in "mocha" colored leather.
Shown in "mocha" colored leather.

Our A5 Journal Cover holds a full A5 sized notebook. I have carried a notebook like this for almost 20 years. I've gone through many notebooks, but I'm still using the same thick leather cover I bought back in college (well, at least I was, until we made our own). Ours has added features my old cover lacked—a built-in pen holder and extra pockets for cards, receipts and other things I tend to collect throughout the day. Made of full-grain vegetable-tanned leather and double stitched with burnished edges.
Kickstarter Special $100 (regularly $110)
Includes FREE A5 Notebook (MSRP $19.99)

HOW TO PLEDGE FOR MORE THAN ONE REWARD

To receive more than one reward for your pledge, add the "early bird" reward value for the additional item(s) to your pledge. If you are pledging for the first time, you will do this by manually over writing the pledge amount in the checkout process to include the extra item(s). If you have already pledged and would like to add additional reward items, you can modify your pledge by clicking the "manage your pledge" link in the reward column (right) for the reward you are currently backing. No additional postage is needed regardless of how many items you add. 
ADDITIONAL ITEM PRICES
Passport Cover: $50
Notebook Cover with notebook 3-pack included: $65
Moleskine Cover with Moleskine pocket notebook included: $75
A5 Journal Cover with A5 notebook included: $95

BUILT TO LAST A LIFETIME

Once there was a time when every product you bought was made to last as long as possible. This sort of quality is increasingly rare nowadays; it seems like most things are made as cheaply as possible, or even intentionally to wear out and require replacing. At Kendal & Hyde, we build every product to last a lifetime. Our journal and notebook covers are no different. 

We aren't claiming our products are indestructible. We are saying we build them to last for decades of regular use, with regular care. If yours does wear out, we will be happy to repair it or replace it, provided you did not take it scuba diving or use it as a chew toy for your pet dingo—there is a difference between wearing out a product and ruining it. Be wise and we will cover the rest.

STITCHING

The stitching is the weakest part of any sewn leather product. We use only marine grade polyester because it's strong, and unlike the cheaper nylon most companies use, polyester does not become brittle in UV light.

We also double stitch the entire length of our covers instead of just the last two or three stitches (called back tacking). The way we stitch looks much nicer, and last I checked, two threads are twice as strong as one.

Our double stitching technique has no back tack and no knot.
Our double stitching technique has no back tack and no knot.

VEGETABLE TANNED LEATHER

I could go on about leather until, well, until the cows come home. This really is the most important part of any leather product and the part that really dictates the quality and price.

There are many ways manufacturers cut corners and misrepresent their products regarding leather. Thin leather won't last, so always look closely at how thick the leather is. Layering, lining and turning the edges are all ways to cheat and make thin leather appear thicker than it really is. "Bonded," "patent" and "genuine leather" are the particle boards of the leather world and often contain more plastic than leather. The less real leather manufacturers use, the more money they can save. You might initially pay less for a product made of cheap or thin leather, but you'll be replacing it sooner, so in the end, are you really saving anything?

At Kendal & Hyde we don't cut corners on the leather. All our journal and notebook covers are made from very thick 5-9oz. (2-3mm) full-grain vegetable-tanned leather. It is the best, strongest part of the hide. You could bury this leather in your backyard and it might still outlast you—no kidding. It's the same kind of leather used to make saddles and harnesses, places where cutting corners and using cheap leather could cost you your life. To my knowledge, cheap leather has never caused a note-taking or journaling fatality, but I'm not taking any chances and only using the good stuff—no, I'm using the best stuff.

What is full-grain leather? A cow's skin is about 1/4 inch thick. The tannery can split a hide as many as six times, but all splits are not equal. The "grain" is the top/skin side of the hide and is the best and strongest part of the hide. Full-grain leather is the very top most split that has not been sanded or resurfaced to hide or remove color variation, scars or blemishes. We don't do this. We like leather that looks like real leather. You will see the pores, color variation and, if you are lucky, maybe even a small scar. I say lucky because the hides we get our leather from come mostly from dairy cows that pastured on small farms in the Northern United States and Canada, where cows are not allowed to run with scissors or play with matches like their free-ranging cousins raised for beef. In all seriousness though, the way a cow is raised shows in the hide. The hides we choose are probably the top 2% of the hides made into leather.

Left to right: black, natural and mocha colored hides.
Left to right: black, natural and mocha colored hides.

Vegetable leather: What? Aren't cows made of meat?

There are two common ways leather is tanned: vegetable-tanning, which uses natural tannins from sources such as oak bark and takes about 40 days to process, and chrome/oil-tanning, which uses really nasty carcinogenic and earth-killing chemicals, but only takes one to two days to make. Over 90% of the leather produced in the world is chrome-tanned. Chrome-tanned leather is softer, weaker and a whole lot cheaper. Aside from wanting to leave an inhabitable planet for my children, I use only vegetable-tanned leather because of the way it looks and ages.

The full-grain vegetable-tanned leather we use to make our covers increases in beauty as it ages. Your cover will acquire a deep beautiful patina from the touch of your hands as it lives through one filled notebook after another. Cheaper painted and chrome-tanned leathers rarely look better as they age. The beautiful way vegetable-tanned leather ages is the main reason we use it. The patina is more dramatic in the lighter colors than in the darker ones, but all will antique to some degree. 

Left a new natural color wallet, right a natural colored wallet I have used and abused for nearly two years.
Left a new natural color wallet, right a natural colored wallet I have used and abused for nearly two years.

 COLORS

All sizes of our journal and notebook covers come your choice of four colors—the same colors as our bags, in case you are looking for a perfect match.

ADD A PEN TO YOUR REWARDS

Many of you have asked about the pen in our photography. It is a black wash titanium Ti2 Techniner designed and made by Mike Bond. I got mine through Kickstarter over a year ago. It is my favorite pen and in many ways inspired the penholder design of our covers. 

The Ti2 Techliner has a magnetic cap. The cap sticks inside the lower portion of our notebook covers so the pen is ready to use when you pull it out and snaps the pen back into place when you return it to the pen holder. It's really a cool pen that works perfectly with our covers.

If you would like a Ti2 Techliner added to your rewards, add the amount for the pen you want (prices listed below) to your pledge and we will confirm which pen to send you in the survey following the campaign. If you have already made your pledge, you can add a pen later by clicking the "manage" button at the top of this page. No additional postage is required. 

We are offering these three finishes:

Left to right: copper acid wash, tumbled titanium and titanium black wash.
Left to right: copper acid wash, tumbled titanium and titanium black wash.

Ti2 Techliner Copper Acid Wash $60 (regularly $70)
Ti2 Techliner Tumbled Titanium $70 (regularly $80)
Ti2 Techliner Black Wash Titanium $115 (regularly $130)

If you would like another color of Ti2 Techliner or another product from Ti2 Designs, you can use the coupon code "K&H" and get 10% off site wide through December 28th, 2015 at ti2design.com.

TIMELINE

JULY 2015: Design Completed
AUGUST–SEPTEMBER 2015: Prototyping Completed
OCTOBER 2015: Make dies Completed
NOVEMBER 2015: Pre-production approval samples Completed
NOVEMBER 25–DECEMBER 28, 2015: Kickstarter campaign
JANUARY 11: Receive funds from Kickstarter
JANUARY 13-28: Collect surveys
FEBRUARY 1: Begin production
LATE FEBRUARY–MARCH: Delivery

Risks and challenges

This is not our first campaign, but we are still a young company. With each product launch we learn a little more and get better and quicker, but problems can and usually do arise. The one that concerns us the most is leather. The leather we use is vegetable-tanned and quite thick. It is custom made to our specifications and takes two to three months just to make. If the tannery makes a mistake or something goes wrong in the process, it can take a long time to get replacement leather. This has happened to us before and has delayed production schedules on past projects by months. Because of such delays in the past, we have moved our business to a different tannery that has proven to be much more reliable. We have been developing our custom concept for leather with this new tannery for nearly six months and are now in full production with them, and have a steady supply of the most beautiful leather we have ever worked with from here on out.

All our other vendors and partners are organizations we have been working with for some time now. Yeah, problems still happen, shipments of hardware get lost or delayed, and there are always a few holidays, but these are minor bumps we can deal with.

The timelines we present are our true and projected timelines, not padded to give us more time than we need, or artificially shortened to get more backers. These timelines can get confounded, but we keep our backers informed of the progress, the expectations, the windfalls and the delays.

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Funding period

- (33 days)