How to Choose a Leather Journal Cover You’ll Love

Leather journal cover you’ll love

There’s something classic and elegant about leather journal covers. 


They’re highly versatile, making them ideal for personal and business use. 


They also have a vintage but luxurious appeal that’s irresistible.


But with so many options on the market, how do you choose a leather journal cover that you’ll love? To make the process easier for you, I'm going to teach you:


  • What factors to consider when choosing a leather journal cover
  • The key benefits of a leather journal cover
  • How to distinguish real leather journal covers from fake leather journal covers

The right leather journal cover can significantly enhance your writing experience. It feels sophisticated and chic, making it more enjoyable to write in your journal.


So, whether you’re getting one for yourself or gifting a loved one, here’s how to choose the right leather journal cover.

Step 1 - Consider the Type of Leather You Prefer

The first step in getting a quality leather journal cover is to determine the type of leather you want.


There are 2 primary groups you can choose from: natural leather and synthetic leather. 


Natural leather is made from genuine animal hide. Synthetic leather, on the other hand, is manufactured. Its base is plastic, and it achieves the leather look through dyes and waxes.


I always use natural leather to make journal covers due to its high quality and timeless appeal


Natural leather is also highly durable, has a more comfortable fit, and is easy to clean.

Moleskine leather notebook cover
Moleskine Leather J​​ournal - Natural

Synthetic leather, on the other hand, doesn’t last long due to peeling and cracking, and loses its original finish after some months.

Step 2 - Choose the Quality of Leather You Want

Popov Leather’s black Moleskine leather journal cover
Moleskine Leather J​​ournal - Black

There are 4 different quality grades of leather to choose from:


  • Full-Grain Leather: This is the best quality leather, as it’s made from skins that haven’t been polished or sanded to remove surface flaws.

    Compared to other varieties of leather, full-grain leather is more durable, has a longer lifespan, and patinas beautifully with usage.

    I make all my leather journal covers using full-grain leather due to its premium nature.
     
  • Top-Grain Leather: This type of leather also ages beautifully with time and is very tough. However, since it’s made from hide that’s been sanded down, it has a relatively perfect appearance but is less durable than full-grain leather.
     
  • Corrected Grain Leather: This type of leather often has a fake grain on the surface. It’s low quality but has a smooth surface because all flaws are buffed or sanded down.
     
  • Synthetic Leather: Most synthetic leathers are made from polymers and leftover leather. They are very low quality and don’t last long as they are prone to peeling.

I recommend that you choose leather journal covers made from full-grain leather, as they’re the best quality and last longer.

they are elegant and timeless

Step 3 - Pick a Color and Embossment

There are multiple color options for leather journal covers that you can choose from.


For instance, brightly colored journal covers, such as my English Tan Leather Field Notes Cover, are a playful, understated way to convey personality. They’re perfect for jotting down ideas and informal meetings.


On the other hand, darker-colored journal covers, such as my Black Leather Moleskine Cover and Heritage Brown Leather Moleskine Cover, are elegant and timeless. This makes them perfect for business use.


Embellishment and embossing are a matter of personal taste, much like color.

Popov Leather’s heritage brown Moleskine journal cover
Moleskine Leather J​​ournal - Heritage Brown

An unembossed or lightly embossed leather journal cover has a beautiful modern appearance. It has fewer engravings and is simplistic in nature—for instance, it could only have your name and company details.


A richly decorated and embossed leather journal, on the other hand, has an alluring vintage look. It has more writing on the cover and includes drawings such as your company logo.

Step 4 - Cover Design and Size

Cover design is often one of the most overlooked aspects of choosing a leather journal cover, yet very important. You’ll want a design depending on your intended use. 


For instance, if you’re simply looking for a cover to use on your personal journal, you can go as wild as you like. You can get a cover engraved with your favorite image, slogan, or any embossment of personal significance to you.


If you need a leather journal cover for work purposes, the design should be simplistic and professional. This means limiting the engravings to important details, such as your name, company details, and professional role.

Popov Leather’s English tan leather journal cover
A6 Leather J​​ournal - English Tan

Depending on your needs, there are different leather journal cover sizes available. The most popular options are for B5, A5, and A6 sized-journals.  


With me, the available leather journal covers are:


genuine leather often comes with imperfections

How to Distinguish Real Leather Covers From Fake Leather Covers

In general, natural and synthetic leather covers often look similar. Here’s a table showing how to distinguish between the two.


Characteristic Real Leather Faux Leather
Texture Feels flexible and supple but also has a gritty texture Smooth, almost plastic-like texture
Smell Distinctive fragrance that's woody, sweet, and flowery Waxy, plastic-like smell
Water Absorption Absorbs water droplets Causes droplets to collect on the top of the surface

Genuine leather also has some elastic properties and often comes with imperfections. 


When burned, it chars and smells like burned hair. Synthetic leather smells like burned plastic when it catches fire.


I have a wide variety of leather journal covers at Popov Leather, all of which are made using genuine full-grain leather.


I also carefully hand-sew all my leather journal covers, so each product you buy is unique.

natural Moleskine leather journal cover
Moleskine​​ Leather Journal - Natural

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Popov Leather’s journal covers made?

I take pride in creating, producing, and transporting all leather journal covers from my studio in the stunning Canadian province of British Columbia. Popov Leather is based in Nelson, which is in the Selkirk Mountains' valley.


All my leather journal covers are hand-sewn and bound with a strong polyester braided thread known as Ritza 25 Tiger thread for extra durability. 

Here’s what one client had to say:

“I love the red stitching on the Heritage Brown cover. The pen loop ensures that I’m always ready when I need to write myself a reminder.”

Myrna. R, United States

Can I custom-engrave my leather journal cover?

Yes, you can get a leather journal cover with custom engraving. I often laser-engrave elements such as initials, dates, and names for my clients who are looking for customized leather journal covers.


The engraving is easy to read, crisp, permanent, and never fades.

Why should I get a leather journal cover?

Leather journal covers are durable and long-lasting, and can be used on other journals for many years with minimal damage. They also come in various designs and colors, allowing you to choose one that’s more your style.


As a plus, they look better with time since the more you use them, the softer the leather becomes. They also slightly change color, developing a beautiful, darker, and marble-like appearance referred to as a patina.


This not only gives the journal covers a vintage look but also protects the leather from getting damaged. What’s more, the patina is unique to high-quality leather, and it gives your journal more character. 


I pride myself at Popov Leather in making leather journal covers that help you tell your story. All my products have a classic but chic feel, which makes them ideal for both professional and less formal settings.

Written by Ryan Popoff


Ryan Popoff is the creative mind behind Popov Leather wallets, iPhone cases, belts, watch bands and journals since 2013. With a Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, my leatherworking journey began at home. I wanted to create a simple leather wallet that could fit into my front pocket and — to my delight — it was a hit with family and friends. Hopefully you love our honest, quality leather goods too! Reach out with questions.


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