RoterFaden Taschenbegleiter Review

12:32:00 PM

Ok... yes this self labeled stationery addict is willing to admit she has done it again. Yes, I found the next new shinny piece that caught my attention that is the Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter. Roterfaden means red thread and is made in Germany. If you haven't noticed from the pinterest feed, I've been a bit obsessed with them as of late.

I saw it here and there for the past year and always thought the pin system in the spine was genius, but was always on the fence about the cover and interior. As many have reported the cover does feel a bit more like suede than leather and behaves some what similar, or so I hear, but I think the trick might be to get a darker color so I choose dark brown.

I almost ended up purchasing the lighter brown because of my love for the tan caramel color, but something was nagging at me. Would it be the rich tan brown that I was used to, or would it be a more yellowy in color, and how would it age? This question was answered for me by one who purchased the light brown. I was told it was much more yellow in person and the water stains and aging on it after a few months of use wasn't as pleasant as she hoped it was.

Package from Baum-Kuchen

But I digress... anyways I began to see these beauties a little more often especially since they were finally introduced to the states via Baum-Kuchen. Yes, the one and the same place where I got my leather carrier. By the way just wanted to show the packaging. Simple and lovely isn't it?

Although I considered custom ordering one from Germany as you have more cover, pin, strap and felt color choices and pocket configurations, the vat plus the shipping made it a little less attractive. That being said, as I stared for long periods of time at the different configurations people had, I really quite liked the quiet elegance of the color choices from Baum-Kuchen. The dark brown with the red accents and grey felt some how looked just right.

This is what it looks like on the inside. You have your standard pockets on the left for note pads, or of course space for stickers :) and on the right a pocket that will fit an ipad mini or a top opening notebook. But wait... back up, did you say felt? I'm sure your thinking... Yes, yes I did. The other reason why I was on the fence...felt? Rest assured though, it does seem to be fairly heavy duty. From my research, the ones I've seen on German based blogs and vlogs, it seems to age fairly well on the inside. The oldest I've seen online so far was about 2 yrs. old and the felt did not look much frayed at all. 

Now for those amazing little pins on the inside. I love them.  You basically lift up the pins on the top and the bottom, set a notebook down opened in the middle, then push the pins back down. I only wish the material between the pins had a little more space. Only cause I know my notebooks get fairly fatty haha.

I got a few of the actually notebooks that are sold from the Roterfaden company. I purchased the sketch paper and the dot paper. The sketch seems to have a little texture to it. I will play around with it more and post on a latter date. The dotted paper feels very smooth. Not unlike the feeling of the Midori paper.

In terms of the thickness, as you see here, it is very thin in comparison to this already thin A5 Orla Kiely notebook.

A friend of mine, Courtney from Little Raven, really wanted something to cover her hard covered Moleskine. I mentioned this journal system and she began to wonder if this would work as the Moleskin large is close to the A5 size. After a little digging she found a German blogger who showed how he fit a hard covered journal inside. However, in terms of fitting things with it, I think they would definitely have to be thinner notebooks.

So how it works is, you lift the pin and then fit it in the gap of the spin between the cover and the actually signatures. Brilliant I say. For the bottom one you just slide the pin down a bit so you have more give and do the same thing.

Here is what it looks like with the Roterfaden notebook and Orla Kiely.

This is a spine comparison of the three notebooks.

For me I prefer having a few thinner notebooks inside for now, so this is how my spine looks right now.

My current layout has :

1. Roterfaden plastic pocket
2. Three signatures from the Piccadilly Sketchbook (shown on the video review)
3. Roterfaden sketchbook inside a weekly Flow journal
4. Orla Kiely A5 notebook

What can work with the A5 Roterfaden:

1. Moleskine both hard and soft cover
2. A5 Hobonichi Techo
3. Midori Traveler's Notebook Regular Size
4. In general anything A5 or has the length of A5

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  1. HI, happy to have recently found your blog and videos and so on! Can you tell us how wide the spine of this binder is? I'm trying to tell that if I were to use it and NOT stuff it with a bunch of stuff, if it would be bulgy or loose. I found cover dimensions on the roterfaden site, but not spine width. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi @ Beth Trembley, Thanks! I got the three pin version for the A5 and that is roughly a 1.25 inch spine. I'm sure if you get the one for 4 pins it can give you a quarter of an inch more. The pins are easily taken out by the way.

  2. Hi, thank you for such an informative blog and video. I would like to know if the A5 Hobonichi Techo that you mentioned fits the A5 Roterfaden. Are you referring to the full sized Hobonichi Techo or the one that's split into 2 books? Would it be possible to post on the blog or send me a photo of a A5 Roterfaden with a A5 Hobonichi Techo inside?

    1. Hi @junee both will fit inside the A5 Roterfaden, but I personally like the Avec which is the one that is slip into two because it is thinner. That being said there are those who choose to put only one booklet inside and that is the Cousin. Hope that helps.