A durable, waxed canvas that looks better with age
Like many stationery enthusiasts, I am always looking for the perfect daily carry setup; which includes bags, gear, and cases for my ever-growing collection of pens and pencils. I recently purchased a new waxed canvas pencil roll from Winter Session, whom I had never heard of before. While designed for pencils, I am using this as a carrying roll for fountain pens. I appreciate the durability and aesthetics of this roll, and the extra slots allow me to carry more and longer pens than I can fit into my current Pilot Pensemble pen roll.
Winter Session Pencil Roll Up
A local retailer, Nikaido, recently began carrying the Winter Session line and the owner showed it to me when he got it in. The pencil roll comes in a range of colours, but all feature the same basic design - 7 pen/pencil slots and one broader slot in the format of a traditional tool roll. The waxed canvas features a diagonally, descending pocket system with a corresponding fold-over flap at the top of the roll. The flap folds over the pencils and pens to protect the tops of the writing utensils when the roll is folded over. Because the flap folds at an angle, the pens do not touch when rolled up and is rolled tighter as the sewn fabric ends are staggered, creating a tighter roll.
The back of the pencil roll features a leather tab which slides into a leather strap on the opposite side of the roll. The friction fit is secure, but not tight, and allows for an infinite adjustment of the strap. I carry my pen roll in a Baron Fig backpack, and this strap mechanism is secure enough for my needs, but without a buckle, this may not be sufficient for carrying the roll on its own.
The pencil roll has dimensions of 7 3/4” high by 12 1/4” wide. It is proportioned for regular sized pens and pencils; I find it too short for full-length Blackwing pencils. As I wanted to use it for fountain pens, this wasn’t a concern, and the added length allows me to carry my full sized Franklin-Christoph Model 66 without damage, something that my previous Pilot Pensemble Pen Roll couldn’t do. In truth, this is probably a little tall for the average fountain pen, but the lovely waxed canvas and leather strap negate this concern for me. Keep in mind that the flap is 4” long at it’s longest point, giving this roll a desk footprint of almost a square foot!
The Winter Session pencil roll comes with a pencil enclosed. I believe this pencil is the long lost twin of the Field Notes pencil, except with different branding. I haven’t sharpened it yet, so can’t say what it writes like. I do suspect it will exactly the same as the Field Notes version.
One challenge I have with using this roll for fountain pens is the attachment points of the leather strap. These are brass rivets that extend through the canvas into the middle of one of the pencil pouches on the inside of the roll. I am concerned about an acrylic fountain pen getting scratched by these smooth, flat buttons, especially as the pens have some room to move vertically in the case and the slots aren’t really tight to hold the pen. I chose to keep a metal-bodied pen in that slot, but if I don’t have a metal pen in daily rotation, this could be more problematic.
Overall, I like this design of this pen roll. I really love the canvas and leather combination, and the extra height is fine for me. I like having two extra pen-slots compared to my last case, though I am still trying to find a useful application for the wider slot. The Winter Sessions Pencil Roll is not inexpensive but is a nice addition to my daily carry.