EXPLORING THE WORLD OF WALLETS

Kamino wallet brings paper origami to a strong, functional offering

Made in Japan, the Kamino wallet brings hundreds of years of paper expertise to a front-pocket card sleeve capable of carrying cards, cash, coins or keys in a design with no glue or sewing.

Made in Japan, the Kamino wallet brings hundreds of years of paper expertise to a front-pocket card sleeve capable of carrying cards, cash, coins or keys in a design with no glue or sewing.

(if you want to see all the features and how many cards and cash it can hold, please watch the video)

Kamino is a wallet maker in Japan. The name Kamino means “made from paper” in Japanese. So yes, this wallet is made from paper. Took four months to get here from Japan. It’s tan in color, but also comes in a darker color. And you’re thinking, “Wow. That looks like a paper bag.” Well, it does have a wrinkle effect to it and that’s part of it, but it is far from being a simple paper product. Outside of the snap closure, there are no adhesives, mechanical fasteners or sewing of any kind used in this wallet. It’s made solely by folding and cutting the material. Called the card wallet, it has a separate piece that attaches to the exterior for an additional card slot. If you do not want it and prefer a slimmer wallet, you can remove it. On the interior, when we unsnap it we immediately have a card slot, with another internal card slot.

Right behind it is where you hold cash, folded twice, but yet there’s more. Accessing it from the snap flat side, it opens up to reveal a space where coins work.

The company recommends up to seven cards, plus cash and I imagine some coins and maybe a key in the back will work. It is designed and made in Japan. Japan has a long history of paper, called “washi”. Made of Cordoba paper, which is a latex laced, washable paper fabric. And in the case of this wallet, it has a natural wrinkle finish. If you’ve ever looked at the white label instruction inside of your jeans and wonder how it handles all the washing over and over and over again and why it’s so durable.

Washi (paper) was introduced to Japan more than 1,300 years ago. In the Chronicles of Japan, Nihon Shoki written in 720, they introduced a Chinese method for creating paper and ink that was introduced by Korean Buddhists in 610. And over time, the Japanese developed unique methods to increase the durability of paper in its application in so many things that it’s become an integral part of the Japanese culture.

Priced at $27, it’s very reasonable. And like other similar wallets, such as Moral Origin, the extremely compact nature of the material provides for a very tight wallet experience. Very tight, not a lot of looseness in the wallet. You’ll certainly not feel this in your front pocket, but with the ability to carry cards, cash, and coins, it’s just an awesome footprint. It measures 3.54 x 2.16 x .3” and it weighs 17 grams.

Kan Yamamoto is the designer and creator of this and several other wallets using Cordoba paper. I had a delightful email exchange with him and he’s more than happy to answer questions you might have about his wallets.

Now for the final score. For quality of 4, price a 3 features a 4, usability a 4, and perception a 4. That gives us a final score of 38 out of 50.

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