Tuesday, September 8, 2015

3 Takes on a Carta Fiorentina Notebook

This post is going to be picture heavy but I just had to take a lot of photos!

"Carta Fiorentina" is a range of traditional Italian paper patterns. They all have this cheerful but nostalgic vibe and I especially adore the floral patterns.
Also in my opinion they go really well with almost every shade of brown. To enhance their air of nostalgia I chose leather for spine and corners. They are approximately 21 x 13 cm - this is because the paper had an unusual format to begin with. They have about 140 pages.

I used two different leathers, natural tan calfskin dyed with ink (Diamine Chocolate Brown) and sealed with Fiebing's Acrylic Resolene and reddish brown sheepskin. Also I made some "fake nerves" for the spine.

Those two have hand sewn book blocks made of 110 gsqm grey-brown laid paper. It has nice deckled edges so I chose not to trim the edges. (Also I still don't have a good paper cutter so I'm having trouble getting straight and smooth cuts).

It was my first attempt at dying leather and if not for the Acrylic Resolene the color would bleed and rub off a lot. Since then I've tried another way to dye leather which worked out much better.

There are so many colors in the Carta Fiorentina pattern it's easy to pick one for endbands and ribbons.
The paper is a little on the rough side but it tolerates fountain pen ink pretty well.

The third take on Carta Fiorentina is somewhat different. I made a debossed design based on the floral vines and lined it with red book cloth.

It took me quite a while to finish the intricate details of the vine.

For the book block I used some Neusiedler Japan Post paper I had dyed and distressed using strong espresso. The paper is usually high white and now has a brownish tinge and some stains here and there.
The book is A5 size and has matching Carta Fiorentina endpapers. It has about 200 pages.

The bookcloth is red but with a layer of green underneath. You usually just see the red but near edges or when looking at the book from different angles you get a flash of the green from time to time.


  1. Wonderful to see you in full form

    1. Thank you! I'm shamefully behind on taking pictures of my most recent projects but I'm doing my best.

  2. It is great to see that you have such improvement on the binding.

  3. Excellent skill in the binding and nice touch with the paper. Am an Irish pen, book and binding enthusiast based in Wakefield in England. Will definitely follow you.
    Good luck with the biding, pens, ink and writing! :)