Even the most exuberant pieces produced by Postalco carry a quiet elegance, and much of this pertains to the brand’s use of top-tier materials. For years now, founder Mike Abelson has experimented with premium leathers, pressed cottons and Japanese papers. Along the way, Abelson and his brand have collected devout followers seeking out notebooks, bags, wallets and more. A refined aesthetic—not quite minimal as there are many nuances—defines the apparel and accessories. And the impact of Japanese culture, art and design is evident throughout. This season, Abelson has introduced a new product, hewn from a curious new material to his roster, which he calls Farmer’s Felt. And it’s not what you think it is.
Farmer’s Felt is an all-natural weave of plant fibers that’s thicker than what one expects of—what is more or less—paper. In fact, it’s as thick as leather and equally as durable, though weighs substantially less. The process is a historic one—based on 2000 years of knowledge. Abelson fell in love with its creation while visiting the Fujimori family-owned Awagami paper factory in Tokushima, Japan, where he sources the material. There, Kozo (a renewable resource, also known as paper mulberry) branch bark is soaked, cut, layered and boiled. It’s then shaped and heated and shaped again before pressing and ultimately a polishing with a fresh tsubaki leaf. The layers ultimately create something more akin to felt than paper, thus the name. The entire process is done by hand, and the washi paper-like result is acid-free and archival.
Postalco then folds, shapes and presses the Farmer’s Felt, adding a cotton lining and an original cut brass snap closure. There’s a natural oil to the principle material that lends it a subdued sheen and, over time, Farmer’s Felt products will develop a unique patina. Further, much like leather, its shape will lightly shift depending on the contents within. Most important, however, this is a beautiful source material that also happens to be quite rare—especially in products used Stateside.
Right now, only the Postalco Double Case (in four colorways) features Farmer’s Felt, but more products will be rolling out in the coming months.
Images courtesy of Postalco