Friday, 11 April 2014

Review of Midori Dainel notebook

The Journal Shop did a 20% off everything offer. Despite all the urges to the contrary, I managed to restrain myself and only bought three notebooks: 1x Midori Dainel A5 (blue cover) and 2x Moleskine soft cover in black (19 x 25 cm – who knows what size that relates to??).

I realise I have never actually reviewed the first Midori Dainel that I bought (purple cover), so let me waste no more time before doing so.

The notebook is a collaboration between Midori and someone in France who makes the cover (who?? Anyone know?) The name ‘Dainel’ means ‘suede’ in French and refers to the cover, which is both coloured and textured like suede. The paper is thread-stitched so that the book will lie flat (with a bit of help); the paper is by Midori. There are 91 pages (presumably it was 92, but it counts 91 because they have ‘stamped’ on one of them).

The cover is card, though it is printed to give it a suede-effect look. There is a plastic cover on the outside (removable) with information printed on the back inside cover:

Covers (Still in plastic)
Information panel on inside back cover

I took the plastic covers off and took another picture:

Without covers

Hmm. I’m not convinced I like the feel of the book with or without the plastic cover! Without is a bit better (it feels like the board in Fuzzy Felt if anyone else is old enough to remember that!). The colours are lovely though.

The bottom left of the front cover (right next to the spine) has 'Dainel' embossed in it. Very discreet!

There is a ‘stamp’ printed on the first sheet:

Reverse of the 'stamped' page

The paper has lines that don’t go quite to the edges of the page and the ‘lines’ are in fact very closely spaced dots. Line spacing is 6mm. Colour is cream.

Ink test:
Given that the ‘stamp’ from the front page bleeds through so much, I had some trepidation over the ink tests. I did the ink tests on the ‘stamped’ page and turned the book upside down as there was no major reason to indicate that it was ‘the wrong way up’ (the top and bottom margins are the same). I also didn’t want to waste a page doing ink tests when one was already wasted with the ‘stamp’!
Generally, there was no feathering at all. Ink took a while to dry (depending on brand) and there was some bleed-through (though pretty acceptable). The paper is quite thin, though this might be still the same weight as other papers, just rolled/compressed more to make it thinner. I currently have fewer pens inked up than normal, hence the reduced test.

Ink test
Ink test - reverse

Nice, slimline notebooks. I’m not sure what to use them for as they aren’t quite thick enough for book-plotting, but no doubt it will find a use eventually!


  1. It is a bummer that fountain pens bleed through. This notebook sounded splendid...suede cover...beautiful lines that are close together...but thin pages...*sigh*. Thank you for the review!


    1. They don't bleed too badly... in all honesty, the 'stamp' they put in the front bled much more than my pens! I would find it an acceptable level of bleed-through for most of my pens.