The materials that we use to create our book covers came from something that used to be a living being. We take this very seriously and treat the leather with respect, working hard to minimize waste and put every piece to the best possible use.
We use premium European cowhides that have been tanned with plant-based compounds. Our leather is thick and substantial, starting out with a firm temper that will relax with regular use.
Some finished items may include pigskin, sheepskin, or other natural hides; this will be indicated in the product description. We never use vinyl or any other faux leathers; synthetic materials are not heirloom quality, as they break down over time rather than improving with age.
Leather is a natural material; even the best quality can vary in texture, temper, and markings, as well as ability to absorb dyes and finishes. Our craft is completed predominantly by human hands and thus, while we strive for consistency and excellence, no two items will ever be exactly alike. Please welcome these variations in materials and workmanship as features, not flaws.
Your leather book is no longer alive and cannot nourish itself, and the responsibility to keep it healthy and hydrated now lies with you.
The best way to keep your leather book cover in good condition is simply to use it regularly. Making sure the leather comes into contact with your own living skin and is flexed appropriately will go a long way toward keeping it supple.
Never bend the leather backward, as that can cause unsightly and permanent wrinkles. Prevent scratches and scarring by protecting the surface from sharp or abrasive surfaces.
Avoid exposing your leather goods to extreme temperatures, water, or liquid oils. Prolonged exposure to light may cause leather to darken; this "sunburn" effect will be most pronounced with undyed leather.
For protection, cleaning, and maintenance, you should condition your book cover yearly with a thick, high-quality leather balm. If you are in a very dry or especially cold or hot climate, your leather may need treatment more often to keep it from becoming dry and brittle. We recommend treating only the hair side (the finished top surface) of the leather, as some conditioners may discolor the flesh side.
Each item we create is completely customized from start to finish for its original owner. We operate at a pace that allows us to work carefully and get your order right. Standard lead time is about a month from when you place the order to when we put the finished item in the mail.
We will post announcements if the lead time changes significantly, usually based on seasonal demand. If you are ordering an item for a date-specific event such as a wedding, consider contacting us in advance to confirm that the timeline is appropriate.
We are unable to offer expedited production or shipping.
First we customize the cover layout to your specifications using an array of digital tools that allow precise placement of each design element.
Next, the design is transferred to the leather and engraved into the surface. Just like a cattle brand, it is burned into the leather permanently. Nothing about the engraving will ever rub off, peel up, wear away, or otherwise diminish over time.
Then your leather book cover is either oiled or dyed by hand, using a variety of application techniques and environmentally-friendly compounds to create the desired look.
The leather is coated with durable sealants to prevent dye transfer and to protect the surface. It's then conditioned to restore the balance of moisture and polished by hand to create a flawless exterior.
All stitching is done laboriously by hand with very strong hemp thread, and the book's edges are burnished to a smooth, shiny finish. Final components such as brass rivets are added, and the cover is conditioned and polished for a second time.
Your book cover is finally wrapped carefully, packaged in a gift box, and shipped to your address.
Yes! Top-quality paper is a high priority when creating heirloom goods.
Most of our journals and inserts are made from Tomoe River paper, a Japanese paper widely recognized as one of the best papers available for fountain pens. It's beautifully clean and smooth, and it's also thinner than standard paper so a book can hold more pages. Tomoe River paper is a great choice for journals that you want to stand the test of time.
Others of our paper goods are made from Orchid paper, suitable for drier fountain pen inks and some art journaling purposes. Orchid paper is thicker than Tomoe River, making it a good option for applications where a sturdy substrate is desired (such as for mixed-media art). It's also less expensive, lending itself to sketches and first-draft writings that don't require the highest quality paper available.
Regardless of your paper choice, we recommend using blotting paper to prevent potential smearing, especially with wet inks/nibs.
Yes! You can trust these photo albums to protect your photos and hold up well over time.
Our photo albums are Itoya Art Profolios, available in both 4x6 and 5x7 sizes. They feature non-glare, top-loading pocket sheets with thick gauge, black, acid-free European insert paper.
Yes. Expect to replace the elastic every year or so. Your leather book cover will ship with some extra elastic; contact us if you find that you need more.
Be sure to seal the cut edge of your elastic cord by passing it very briefly through a flame. This will melt the edges together, prevent fraying, and make it much easier to thread through the eyelets.
Bookmarks only: free shipping
Orders for paper goods only (no leather goods): $7
Leather goods up to $250: $12
Orders over $250 ship for free.
We ship all leather goods by Priority Mail through the United States Postal Service, and shipping fees include package tracking and insurance.
Paper goods and small non-leather items may occasionally be shipped through other types of USPS mail.
Priority Mail has a typical (but not guaranteed) transit time of about 3 days. We are unable to offer expedited production or shipping.
We ship to any valid United States postal address. For international destinations, please consider using a parcel forwarding service.
All packages include a tracking link, emailed when the shipping label is printed. Allow 24 hours for the link to become active.
USPS Priority Mail has a typical (though not guaranteed) transit time of about 3 days. Weather, seasonal demand, and other factors may increase this transit time.
Once the USPS has taken possession of your package, we are no longer able to make any changes, and you have access to the exact same tracking information that we do. If you have tracking questions or need to make special arrangements for the delivery, please contact your local post office with your tracking number.
If your package tracking link shows no movement in the mail stream for at least ten days, or you have other confirmation that it is likely lost in transit, please contact us to begin the replacement process.
Unfortunately, neither we or the USPS can be responsible for packages marked as delivered that are later stolen or damaged.
To prevent delays and loss, please check before finalizing your order that your shipping address is correct and complete. Always ship to a secure location, and use the tracking link emailed upon shipment to arrange to be present for the delivery. Consider having high-value packages delivered to your workplace or to a postal box rather than risking a package being left on your doorstep at the mercy of the weather (or worse).
Leather is a natural material; even the best quality can vary in texture and temper as well as ability to absorb dyes and finishes. Our craft is completed predominantly by hand and thus, while we strive for consistency and excellence, no two items will ever be exactly alike. Please welcome these variations in materials and workmanship as features, not flaws.
Each item we create is completely customized from start to finish for its original owner. As such, our ability to offer a blanket refund or exchange policy is limited; sales are final on all personalized items.
However, we are eager for you to be not merely satisfied but thoroughly pleased with your leather goods. If we have made a mistake in design or workmanship, we will gladly and swiftly find a solution. If you are unhappy with your purchase, please contact us with a clear description of the issue so that we can take action.
When used as expected, leather is nearly indestructible, and hand-peened brass rivets are one of the strongest connectors known to man. Both will develop a patina and grow more beautiful with time and use, and should be in good shape for your descendants to enjoy.
We use strong hemp thread for stitching by hand, and (in our travelers-style books) thick, high-quality elastic cord; these components are the only two that should ever wear out over time. Expect to replace elastic cord every year or so. The stitching is meant to hold up for decades. Should a thread ever break or come loose, contact us so that we can arrange to re-stitch your book.
Possibly! We'd love the opportunity to try. Do you want a wider spine, a custom size, additional engraved elements, or even a design entirely of your own making? Tell us your ideas and we'll see what we can do.
When planning your custom design, know that we will never knowingly infringe on another artist's copyright, nor will we accept commissions for work that includes profanity, obscenity, or anything else that we deem to be contrary to our brand. We reserve the right to decline any request without explanation and our decisions are final.
Our beautiful brand video was produced and directed by Steven Gunter of Pearlsnap Photography.
Featured in the video were Fer Rodriguez of The Photo Bus, Mikenzie Ryan of France Photographers, and Amy Dang of Amy Dang Photography.
Our product photography is the result of the talents of Simi Shonowo of Uche Photography and Mikenzie Ryan of France Photographers.
Owner portraits are courtesy of Nicole Sergent Photography and Harbuck & Co. Photography.