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Luxury Accessories: The Leather Padfolio

When curating your closet, besides the obvious decisions to invest in bespoke or tailored suits and outfits for your body’s fit, accessorizing correctly makes all the difference in world and even allows for a bit of flair within a conservative wardrobe.  An understated yet important accessory is capable of elevating an individual’s sophisticated taste.

The epitome of an individual’s display of confidence is selecting the finest accessories to compliment their wardrobe:

  • A personalized fountain pen carried for signing documents or taking notes (certainly, never to lend) 
  • Carrying a gold or silver crested lighter even for a non smoker
  • An engraved custom made umbrella
  • An exceptional watch (good manners in subtly checking the time on your wrist as opposed to reaching for the cell phone)
  • A proper leather belt 
  • Distinctive dress socks 
  • An exquisite bracelet(s)
  • a pair of timeless earrings
  • And of course, a collection of luxury handbags.

Overall, for both men and women, the choice of carrying cases functional and well made, and in particular, a leather padfolio can be an attractive statement piece.


Defined as a portable case that opens out like a book to reveal a notepad along with other daily essentials.  It could be argued that this is a contemporary name created by the business accessory industry to distinguish from a portfolio.

There are actually pictures of early ‘padfolios’ dating back to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries:  the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture stores in its collection a Russian portfolio owned by Czar Nicholas II of Russia date 1893-1897 and a painted and gilded portfolio made by German Leather Designer George Hulbe in 1902 is housed at The Met.

Padfolios alternative designs include enclosed cases to protect a mac book or laptop, travel folio organizer for an IPad /Mini IPad or tablet, a smaller briefcase with handles, a ring binder, a legal pad folder, an A4 folio, or leather wrap for transporting documents.

So what’s the difference between a Padfolio and a Portfolio? 

A Padfolio

  • Is design to be carried by hand,  under the arm or in a bag
  • Fits small tablets
  • Can be Letter or legal size
  • Closes with a zipper, strap, or buckle
  • Usually does not have handles
  • Notepad is positioned for writing within the padfolio
  • Slim and lightweight


A Portfolio

  • Will have a handle or carrying strap
  • Similar in size to a briefcase
  • Fits laptops
  • Only zips closed
  • Contains file dividers
  • Best for travel
  • Includes more pockets and organization solutions

Design Elements of a Padfolio

Depending on the profession a padfolio’s design will accommodate certain items in addition to the notepad and writing utensils.  For example:

  • An artist may need a multi pocket folder (a bi-fold or tri-fold) to store a sketchbook, drawing pencils, a tablet, ID, credit cards, and lastly, sharpeners (i.e., manual brass sharpener, sandpaper sharpener, or x-acto knife depending on the type of drawing tool)
  • An attorney’s needs may include multiple pockets for transporting legal size documents for court, research information or other legal paperwork, writing pad along with a iPad or tablet and writing utensils, and business cards.
  • A business traveler may require a padfolio capable of organizing all things electronic including compatible accessories (plugs, charging cords and/or charger, USB drives, business cards, ID and credit cards and perhaps a pocket for a passport, a COVID vaccination card, and soon-to-be obsolete paper tickets.

A well-designed padfolio is streamlined.   The layout is organized so the owner’s items are neat and readily accessible.  The average weight should be rather light, keeping in mind that added contents will add weight.  It is the right carrier for conferences or meetings that don’t necessarily require carrying a bulky bag.

Most mass produced padfolios are made of genuine leather.  High-end leather padfolios will use premium leather made from buffalo or cow leathers which are more environmentally friendly than leather’s plastic counterparts – with care and maintenance, this leather will last for a lifetime.  This heirloom piece ages beautifully as the natural grain’s patina will deepen richly over years of handling.

The interior’s leather may match the exterior or have a contrasting leather texture for effect (such as suede or goat).

Zippered padfolios should be robust for constant use.   Pen holders will be sewn either in the portfolio’s spine (where it bends) or incorporated into the back or front panel.

Designing your personal luxury Beau Satchelle Padfolio


During our complimentary consultation, we will suggest considering a size that will fit your current (or future Beau Satchelle) briefcase for those occasions additional contents will need to be stowed and transported.


Compared to a number of our American peers, Beau Satchelle’s designs are European influenced by sewing products with the intricate saddle-stitching method and ensuring all cut leather edges are painted and burnished for a smooth finish  (as opposed to western or minimalist which may display raw edges).


Our padfolios will be slightly heavier than store bought, since we use premium leathers (including exotics) and quality hardware (Brass, Nickel plated, Gold Plated, Rose Gold or Gunmetal).  An owner’s essentials will initially fit quite snugly for some time, because stitching is tighter especially in terms of the initial  ‘give’ of pockets and sleeves.


Each and every Beau Satchelle padfolio is made one at a time, with a single large piece of leather, unless a client prefers a wider gusset (the sides panels) to enlarge the padfolio.

We offer exterior colors in the typical executive shades of black, brown or blue, however for our clients who work in more creative professions or possess a maverick style, we can certainly offer bolder colors.  A lot of our conservative clients do enjoy tiptoeing on the edge by selecting a bold interior color or contrasting thread.


Before the final sewing processes, the embossing takes place to add the client’s desired initials in addition to being stamped with the Beau Satchelle signature logo to validate authenticity.


Add-ons choices:

  • Left Handed Writing Placement
  • Handles or shoulder straps
  • Padding or thicker lining
  • Customized holder for your written planner
  • Snap pocket for cash receipts or coins
  • Slip pockets for phones
  • Letter size 8.5” x 11”  inches/A4 sized notepad/ legal pad
  • 11” x 18 “ padfolio with flap for engineers or designers
  • Closure choices range from zippers, straps, clasps, or snaps
  • Single or multiple pens
  • Exterior or interior pockets
  • Tablet Sleeves
  • Credit card and business card holders
  • ID See Through Holder
  • Electronics’ Cables storage
  • Pockets for storing loose papers, receipts and tickets

Once completed, we apply a natural conditioner rubbed with soft lamb’s wool, along with a water protection serum. 

At the moment of unboxing your padfolio, be rest assured that every step – the cutting, the punches, sewing and finishes are all done by hand.  Not one automated machine touches your luxury leather beauty.

Compared to our peers, Beau Satchelle’s designs are European influenced meaning all the leather edges are painted and burnished for a smooth finish  (as opposed to western or minimalistic which may display raw edges) 

Our signature prototypes or bespoke padfolios are elegant corporate or premium gifts, as well as gifts for Holidays, graduations, birthdays,or work anniversaries.  

As many of us return to  post-COVID work  lifestyles, wanting to replace or upgrade wardrobe accessories to match our  revamped style, investing in a customized padfolio can be a wonderful addition.   Buying off the shelf may not satisfy your needs and desires for the perfect padfolio.  This is where working with a leather artisan, such as Beau Satchelle Bespoke can design and build one that perfectly fits your style. 

                                – AJ

The Beau Satchelle Padfolio shown in the pictures above was a custom piece made with three different leathers:  the exterior is English bridle Leather in black, the interior  is lined with French Chèvre goat leather in electric blue, and the spine and closure is Wild American alligator in black.

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Thank you to the following sits for source content

Quality Logo Products – Difference between padfolio and portfolio

Thank you to the following photographers for their visual contributions

Dominic Hanson – glasses perched on leather journal  

Lifetime Leather – Saddle stitching leather

Wolfgang Hasselmann – Portfolio on bookshelf

Jeff Sheldon – Portfolio on Workbench

Visual Design – IPad leather cover

Rich Smith – Leather Bible Cover 

Payton  Tuttle – Leather Covered Writing Pad next to Laptop

Adolfo Félix – Leather Portfolio with small notepad

Mason Supply – Electronic portfolio

Ono Kosuki – Woman holding portfolio

Ono Kosuki – Man  writing in portfolio in tan jacket


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