As much as any stationery lover enjoys their pens, pencils, inks and desk tools, the receptacle for these prized items is important too. I recently bought myself the beautiful P.A.P Fiffi Pencase Folder in Norway for days when I want a minimal everyday carry.
P.A.P is a Swedish brand and the pen case itself was made in Gothenburg, Sweden (although I picked it up in neighbouring Norway) from Italian leather. All very European. I had a few hours to kill in Oslo recently, and spent some time in a wonderful stationery shop (which I will be telling you all about very soon). A small collection of P.A.P leather stationery really caught my eye. There were pen rolls, small zipped cases and notebook holders in black, brown and tanned leather. I spent half my time in the store returning to the P.A.P collection, turning the leather over in my hands, running over the stitching, buttoning and unbuttoning the fastenings.
The Fiffi Pencase Folder
I’m intrigued as to what “Fiffi” means. So far I think it’s just a name which probably sounds very nice when said in a Swedish accent. With space for 6 items, this pencase is geared towards a minimal everyday carry. You won’t be bringing any washi tapes or erasers with you, just six of your favourite pens or pencils. I chose the brown Pencase Folder. I’m drawn towards black leather generally, but I wanted to diversify and the brown is such a gorgeous, rich, chestnutty shade, just like a conker. It’s made of a fairly thin leather which suits regular handling and folding. The leather is about half as thick as a Midori’s Travelers Notebook for example.
It’s already becoming soft, slightly marked and it’s picked up a shine, which I love. The whole pencase is made out of two flaps of leather, one for the main body, with a fold and stitching to create the holes for the pens, and a second flap to fold under or over your pens to protect them. Inside, the leather is left raw and it has a very soft texture, more like suede.
The only detailing on it is a sturdy, raw brass button with “P A P” debossed in the brand’s signature font, and “MADE IN SWEDEN” in bright gold embossing on the internal leather flap.
That’s really it for the construction and design. It folds rather than rolls, and it’s quite a tight, cosy fold with a couple of fountain pens. Three pens are on each side of the fold when it’s closed. Inside, five of the pen holes are the same size and there is one slightly wider one on the edge, for your wider-bodied pens.
The pencase is almost a perfect height for the writing implements I use. Fountain pens, gel pens and pencils alike are well covered by the leather flap. One thing I will say is that each slot was very tight at first as the leather was fairly stiff. So much so that an eraser from a Camel HB pencil actually got stuck in one of the slots, requiring some problem-solving on my part to get out. Through repeatedly taking pens and pencils in and out, the slots have loosened up a bit and everything is now fitting snugly inside. My TWSBI 580 RB is the widest pen I have and it’s comfortable in the pencase now. That’s taken about 4 weeks of constant usage. I’m hoping the leather softens up a little more so that there’s a bit more wiggle room, but I can’t ever see things slipping out of the pencase.
One thing I’ve noted from using this for the last few weeks – I wouldn’t say that it is great for carrying pencils, as there is an obvious lack of sharpener storage. Perhaps in the wider slot you could store a small, sharp carving knife if you’re good at carving your points (I’m certainly not). For that reason I think it’s a better case for pens.
I really like the P.A.P Fiffi Pencase Folder. I like everything about it. It’s lovely aesthetically and performs its function very well. I really enjoy buying minimal pencil and pen cases, because it means I use my everyday carries properly and I consider my rotation more thoughtfully. I feel like I inevitably use one or two items when I have an endless supply everyday. I would say it’s geared more towards a pen lover rather than a pencil user – it does limit my pencil usage somewhat because I would need to carry a loose sharpener, but I’ve been managing with one on the go (and with my desk pencils at work). Overall, I find it to be beautifully crafted, sturdy, smart, and well-proportioned. Although leather isn’t for everyone, I find it makes for a very tactile and premium experience. It makes me happy whenever I see it on my desk.