Harris Tweed is not the first material that comes to mind when you think about stationery accessories and particularly pen sleeves. So, I was fascinated when I started looking around the Esplanade London store on Etsy, the range of colours alone was quite eye opening; for me I’ve always thought of tweed mostly in terms of greens and browns. The actual range of colours is quite stunning there are purples, pinks, oranges, yellows, blues; in short think of a colour and you’ll probably find it.
Harris Tweed, itself, is a material produced in the Outer Hebrides and its production is governed by an Act of Parliament and the Orb that is pressed into every length of cloth and appears on the label affixed to Harris Tweed items is your guarantee that what you have is the real thing.
Esplanade London make a wide range of products and I would recommend a visit to the Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/EsplanadeLondon). Laura whose store this is is very helpful so when I wanted a bespoke pen sleeve to fit my TWSBI Vac 700R’s this was not problem and Laura quickly told me what measurements she needed and that was that. I should point out that there were no additional charges for a bespoke order which is highly commendable.
I placed my order with custom measurements and about a week later it arrived wrapped in brown craft paper. The sleeve itself is comprised of an outer layer of Harris Tweed and is lined with cotton and stitched half the length to separate the pens. I opted for black Tweed which contrasts very well with the burgundy lining which you can see in the flap at the top of the sleeve. This flap stays as it is and on reflection, I think I should have asked Laura to add a strap that would allow me to tuck the flap in and create a pouch.
Bespoke sizing was spot on, and the Vac 700R is a snug fit; the pictures show Wing Sung 3008 pens which are very similar in size and I have added a Vac 700R for comparative purposes.
The only thing I was unhappy about was the central seam because it is only half the length of the pouch instead of full length; when I asked if this could be altered Laura said no problem, but the seam would then cut through the label. My only suggestion would be for pen sleeves to have a full-length seam and attach the label to the flap and I’m sure if you asked Laura to do this it would be no problem.
Overall, it’s a very nice double pen sleeve and if you are looking for something less run of the mill and more distinctive and want the option to have it made to your specifications then Esplanade London needs to be on your list.
Is it worth your pennies?
At an initial glance you might think not but what you have to consider is that when I ordered I had a choice of seventy two colours to choose from; I ordered a size that was larger than that advertised on the site and it didn’t cost me a single penny more and add to this the fact that the customer service is excellent and suddenly the price you might have thought twice about shrinks into perspective.
So all things being equal I do think it is worth your pennies whether, like me, you buy a pen sleeve or you opt for a notebook cover you can buy something unique and that is something we all want.
Disclaimer:The pen sleeve was purchased with my own funds at retail price. The opinions expressed in this review are my own; and I am not connected with either the retailers or manufacturers in any way.