Monday, March 22, 2021

Review: Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases

When we were younger, Tatay's (Father) work brought him to different places in the country. From his trips to the far south, he brought batik, marang, and curacha. From the north, he always buys our favorite sweet and spicy chichacorn and Mama's treasured inabel and binakol fabrics. That was a long time ago, but I still remember the colorful fabrics and their patterns. 

In January this year, two members of our local fountain pen group teamed up with a group of weavers in Ilocos Norte and came up with pen cases and pen wraps using traditional binakol fabrics. Calvin and Miko kindly sent samples of the Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases for review and I am so happy to see that the products are well-done and durable and that they highlight binakol's beauty. Seeing the products also brought back memories of the time when Tatay comes home from his trips full of pasalubongs for everyone in the family.

Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases are made by weavers from Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, Philippines.

The Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases are available in three-pen cases and eight-pen rolls. They are made in partnership with the weavers of Kolhabi from Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, and available in different patterns of binakol (or binakul) in five colors: green, orange, black/gray, red, and blue. Binakol, a variation of inabel, is a traditional textile pattern woven by hand using wooden looms in the Ilocos province in the Philippines. It is easily recognized by its geometric, interlocked colorful patterns. The dizzying pattern is said to ward off and distract evil spirits and protect the wearer. The Kolhabi pen cases and pen rolls are unique and exquisite as the weaving technique of binakol is an ancient tradition passed down to generations.

The Kolhabi three-pen case, a perfect EDC (everyday carry), measures 4 in x 6.25 in. The pen slots measure 1.5 in x 5 in, and the long flap allows standard-sized and longer pens to fit inside the pen case. The Kolhabi three-pen case is available in orange, blue, purple, and dark violet binakol fabric.

Kolhabi three-pen case in green. Perfect for our EDC.
The Kolhabi three-pen case's pen slots are sewn only to one side, so there is space for other stuff. A passport size notebook fits in, as well as a mobile phone.
The pen slots are wide enough to accommodate big pens. I placed my pens inside the three-pen case with their clips sideways so there's enough space for a passport size notebook and other bits of paper. 
The three-pen case with three pens, a notebook, and some folded paper inside. The strap holds the flap securely and helps adjust to the thickness of the pen case contents.

The second product from Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases is the Kolhabi pen roll which has slots for eight pens. Each slot measures 1.5 in x 4 in. The pen roll is 11.25 in wide and 11.75 in tall, which fits not only standard size pens, but also the longer ones because the flap or cover adjusts to the height of the pens inside. A thick elastic band secures the roll as it is fastened to the small button on the pen roll's cover. The Kolhabi eight-pen roll is available in orange, blue, purple, and dark violet binakol fabric.

Kolhabi eight-pen roll fits standard size and long pens as the flap adjusts to the height of the pens inside.
The Kolhabi eight-pen roll is very neatly made. The black lining and white muslin for the pen slots look great as they are sewn expertly.
The pen roll accommodates standard size pens as well as longer ones. I wish the pen slots were wider because bigger pens are quite tight inside the slots. 
The pen roll's flap adjusts to the height (or length) of the pens inside.
Folding the Kolhabi eight-pen roll: 1. fold the roll after the second pen slot; 2. fold again after the fifth pen slot; and 3. secure the roll by locking the elastic band on the button on top of the roll's cover. 
The Kolhabi three-pen case is the perfect companion to my Traveler's Notebook.
The eight-pen roll is also perfect to go with bigger notebooks such as my A5 Starbucks diary/planner.

The Kolhabi Inabel Pen Cases are nice-looking unique, sturdy, and well-done products that ensure our pens are protected while kept inside either for everyday carry or for storage. They are functional and beautiful and I am always reminded of the historical and cultural value of the binakol whenever I use them to carry my pens. 

I am happy and proud to see Filipino artisans making excellent, world-class products such as this pen cases using local handwoven fabric. They are well-done and designed carefully to be useful for a long period of time. Get both for your pens!

Rants of The Archer thanks Kolhabi Pen Cases and the weavers of Sarrat, Ilocos Norte for providing the pen cases in this review. For more details about their products, follow them on Instagram:


  1. Do they have a website? Ship internationally? Thanks!

    1. I have confirmed that they do ship internationally. Please send me an email on how they can contact you. Send it to