In a previous post we were super excited about our new Barcelona chairs that we got a screaming deal on. Well, it turns out that sometimes you really do get what you pay for. The leather cushions actually appear to be good quality leather which is why we purchased them to begin with. We just didn't think to check out the support straps underneath. Over the last few months they began to snap one by one until the chairs were pretty much unsittable (yes, I just invented that word). When we took the cushions off to have a closer look we found that the straps were made of some sort of cheap bonded leather that we could actually rip with our hands.
Well, it seems that there wasn't a whole lot of info on the web about Barcelona chair repair, until about 6 months ago when Kate at Retro Ranch Revamp had a similar issue. She created a GREAT step-by-step guide which made the job SO easy (it can be found here). So armed with Kate's how-to guide, and about $200 worth of leather straps and tools, we ripped out the old support straps (literally) and went to work.
This is obviously a condensed version of the repair, but it's basically just 3 steps: cut the leather, punch the holes, and secure the straps with Chicago screws.
Our chairs are now better than new, and we no longer have to worry about guests falling through the seats.
Our only bit of advice on this project would be to spend the extra money for a good leather punch. The first one we got cost $7 on eBay and lasted through about 3 punches before falling apart. We upgraded to more heavy duty $14 model which held up well, but the punch didn't line up right with the anvil, so we had to punch each hole twice.