Friday, 2 October 2015

The aging process of a Malden personal binder.

The picture above was take 5th of August this year. I just had picked the parcel and opened it outside, in direct sunshine. The binder was bought second hand but it was most evident that it was, as the seller listed, never been used. Leather was gorgeous, yet very dry. Binder´s condition left nothing to moan about. The parcel was superbly packaged and I left praising thank yous in his message box. Of the six rings inside one was perfect which is one more than the usual Filofax standard these days is so Lady Luck was apparently feeling quite frisky those days.  

The picture above shows the same binder, opened but the sun was covered with clouds. It still was very bright and hot like in a hot summer´s day would be, just without direct sunlight. 
As shown, the binder came with its original diary pages, dating from 2011. Alongside there was older pages as well, so there is no way telling (apart from contacting Filofax requesting the time estimate of the code in the strap but I somehow manage to make do without that bit of knowledge) the binders age in years. It did not lay flat. Contrary to other Maldens I have, this one had something... crinkly inside. It doesn´t crinkle anymore. It also is properly greased like a well oiled machine, that I intended the beast to be. Said in its literal meaning.

Above is a picture also taken outside. The binder is now almost a month old (counted in active using time). By this time I had oiled this conservatively every now and then. A lot of scratches came and went as I rubbed them off. I did not want to oil this too heavily at first, I wanted the parchment- like dry and thirsty leather to suck up the oil and hand creme from my hands first. I knew it would and had I wanted to prevent this, I would have soaked this beauty in a closed plastic bag in olive oil, in the very beginning. When leather is saturated with natural oils, any additional oils and fats can be easily wiped off. If leather is dry however, it will act like a rescued puppy and get evvverything it can from anybody and everybody, just to hold on to dear life. The fats the leather first soaks will stay, and can stain leather unevenly, lest the fats and oils are spread and rubbed in evenly. First is the magic word here in terms of talking about dry leather. I knew this and I wanted to use it to "age" the binder visually faster than it would have done so.

Here above is another picture taken near window (South, light is harsh) and now the binder is wee over a month old- using vise. One can see how the driest bits close to upper and lower edges have started to pigment darker, also there is a distinct hand print in the works on the spine area. It is not easily seen here, since the window is lighting the spine, but it was easily seen with one´s eyes. 

Picture above is taken this morning, The binder has been in active use for two months (shy of just three days). Lighting is cold now, as is the weather and glove- season is upon us. This is how I carry my planner everywhere. Everywhere and I am not joking. The back pocket holds my phone usually (not now as I used it to take these pictures.) I am ready to take calls and jot down appointments at a moment´s notice even when I take Feisty McWigglebottom to his walks. The binder has been subjected to winds, several rains, it has been scratched, it has been slept upon (McWiggly). It has had coffee spills, it has been wiped with kitchen towels after been submerged in flour and it has also experienced the excitement when spills happen during making one´s cleaning products. To put it in short, it has not been babied. It is a hard working binder, and will get treated accordingly- in good and in bad. To make it as resistible to life as humanely possible, I have now oiled it several times. I use avocado oil, sunflower oil, olive oil. I have dropped EO´s to the carrier oils every now and then to give it a nice scent. I have rubbed it with my hand cremes as I rub them into my hands. I make most of my own cremes, so usually it is a random mix of cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, carrot oil, EO´s, rose water etc. This leather has probably seen every fat there is in the house and we have a lot of fats. During the summer months it also was subjected to WD-40 as I oiled my son´s bike´s bits and that gunk was all over my hands. I just happened to have placed the binder as a weight to the rags, to keep them from flying off with the heavy winds. As mentioned, this thing gets no special treatment. Living with us gets you messy at times but hey, at least life never gets boring around here.
As a result, it has become soft, so soft and pliable, I can not even describe it in detail. I can not see myself ever parting from this beauty. I know we´ve only been in each other´s lives for two months, but it seems like so much longer period of time, do you know what I mean? 
*crickets sing*

Above another picture from this morning. Now the deeper colouration around spine area is more visible, even from low quality pictures like these, naturally seen with the naked eye it all becomes more enhanced. I placed a sweet inside the back pocket to show just how soft the binder has become. One can almost spell the brand of said sweet through leather.

Then the scratch test. A Malden leather can recover from terrible things, you know? I wanted to demonstrate a deep scratch ( I pressed hard on the leather with these talons) I made on the darker bit. I wish the picture would better show contrast between scratch and deeper coloured leather better but alas, the light is bound to reflect from that surface. Let it be said, it was very clear and very deep.

After rubbing it less than ten seconds, can you see the scratch? 
Key words- well oiled leather. 

Weekend is upon us. If only time allows, during these following two days I will post the basic oiling process I do to the binder, how it will look during oiling and after oiling. 
I know I haven´t been most active at around this corner of the world, but there are those times when a lot of life flows in fast pace and the only sane thing is to jump along. 
But oiling, this weekend, I´ll make a note of it in my planner and see that it gets done!

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