Leather- SUPER IMPORTANT Imagine the cow is killed and skinned. Imagine that... Now the thick hide goes to the tannery but it's so thick that the tannery splits it in half, the top from the bottom and now has two hides to sell. The top hide has all of the grain on it (Full Grain). All of the real tough and water resistant dense fibers. Grain is to a hide of leather what shingles are to a roof. Leather portfolios and padfolios made with this leather will last for a couple of generations at least. And we use a thick full grain leather. Thicker than boot leather.
The bottom half is a hide called Split or Genuine leather. It dries out quickly and stains easily because the protective layer of grain is gone. But low quality Leather Padfolio makers will stick some lipstick on that leather and sell you a nice and pretty leather portfolio tomorrow.
Lining- Even more important, we glue and sew pigskin lining to the back of that already tough full grain leather. And pigksin is stronger than the cowskin. This makes our leather portfolios twice as strong as a normal portfolio.
Thread- We sew our leather portfolio with an extremely strong German industrial marine grade polyester that just won't fall apart or wear away easily. They use this German thread for when it just has to last or someone could die. Like for parachutes and sails on ships. And our thread for the padfolio is the thick double ought version.
Saddle Rivets- We hammer our copper rivets into the spots that get the most tension and stress so the stitching never even gets the chance to start to come loose there.
Stitching- A sewing machine is actually a perforation machine and if the needle holes are too close together then the leather of the portfolio will tear like a perforated piece of paper. So, we sew at no more than 5 stitches per inch, which gets the holes further apart from eachother on the padfolio.
Versatile- The side that holds the paper is only sewn on the right and bottom sides of the portfolio. It's designed to slide in a typical 8 ½ x 11 letter size or European A4 notepad from above or a spiral notebook from the side since that flap is sewn only on two sides.
One Piece Body- This leather portfolio is built with just one solid piece of leather to reduce seams because seams are where, if there's going to be a problem, it will begin.
Simple- This Medium Leather Portfolio is simple, but a dozen prototypes and many more dozens of hours poured into the design to make it that way.
Smooth Lining- The pigskin lining of the padfolio has the smooth side showing for papers to slide in and out easily with a simple pen holder above that is designed to fit a wide range of pens securely.
We don't beleive there is a longer lasting leather portfolio on the market.
The History of this Leather Portfolio
I’ve always felt bad for people with EFD. I was blessed with the ability to creatively think, solve problems, design new things like this leather portfolio, come up with great world changing inventions and notice squirrels and shiny objects out of the corner of my eye, all while having a conversation with my wife. It’s an amazing gift. I think they call it ADD. It’s the way I am designed and wouldn't change a thing about it. People like me are made for leather portfolios, or maybe they were made for us to keep us organized and help us remember things.
But those born with EFD (Extreme Focus Disorder) don’t need a padfolio at all. They don’t need to take notes, set alarms, be reminded or be hounded to pay the bills. It’s sad. They are so focused on getting things done and their life is so routine that their minds just can’t think of cool designs or creative solutions. They don’t notice most of the simple visual pleasures all around them because they have EFD and don't get distracted to appreciate life. They have no need for portfolios.
In 1997, when I was a youth pastor, my staff and the kids of my youth group recognized my gifting and so all chipped in together to get me a portfolio to keep me organized. So I wouldn’t forget it in the car or at home, I transferred my wallet to it, which forced me to carry it everywhere. That faux leather portfolio changed my life.
In 1999, I quit my job as a youth pastor and moved to Mexico to teach English in Morelia, Michoacan Mexico right between Mexico City and Guadalajara. And that’s where I designed my first leather bag. If you haven’t read that story, read it here. Well, everywhere I went with that bag, I got a lot of compliments and it was affirmed by a lot of people that I did a good job designing it. I guess all of that positive reinforcement and finally owning something made of such high quality leather made me want to design a leather portfolio too since my "old" portfolio was falling apart.
So I started sketching out that padfolio for the maker of my leather satchel to make. I laid out every detail and, like my satchel, it also came out cooler than I had imagined. But because I carried it with me everyday, that leather portfolio got better looking everyday. And the more I carried it, the better looking it got and the more people complimented me on it. Of course, that made me want to carry the portfolio more. And then the more EFD I appeared.
I have since tried to recreate that exact leather padfolio without success, but in the attempt, I may have come up with a better one. How many leather portfolios have you ever heard of that have a story behind it that you can tell to your friends?