Manufacturing a Barcelona chair

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Ever wondered how the Barcelona chair is put together? Your wait is over. This section details the many processes involved in creating this design classic.

The supremely elegant Barcelona chair is consists of two sweeping lines that cross each other. Buttoned leather cushions are supported by straps attached to horizontal bars which unite the two sides. Below are the elements which make up this design classic:

  • Two cushions
  • The stainless steel frame
  • Leather straps
  • The leather type used
  • Buckles and fasteners

The Barcelona chair cushions

One of the key reasons why customers often come back to us for more Barcelona pieces (ottomans, sofas, daybeds) is the comfort. The foam used for our chairs offers excellent comfort. In our experience Barcelona chairs at the cheaper end of the market use a much harder foam. As you can imagine this reduces the comfort considerably. It is a shame because many potential customers are put off by the Barcelona chair because at some time they have sat in one of these inferior models, not realising this is nothing to do with the design but purely a way to save costs on the chair as a whole.

To create the distinctive quilt-like effect cushions there are 16 layers of leather to sew through at each junction point. These panels and buttons are crafted from a single hide (read more about the leather types used for our Barcelona chair). Therefore, seaming the button-tufted intersecting welts that crisscross each cushion requires patience and precision. Individual leather panels are cut, hand-welted and hand-tufted.

The steel frame of the Barcelona chair

Our chair frames use 12mm Grade 304 steel. It should be noted that lower priced Barcelona chairs cut corners by using lower grades and a reduced thickness. We have sampled these chairs and we wouldn't recommend them. If you have any friends on the large side I wouldn't suggest them sitting in one of these chairs. The 304 grade steel, thickness of 12mm ensures the frame is very sturdy and reassuringly weighty.

The leather used on our Barcelona chair

The leather used in our Barcelona chairs is either full aniline or semi-aniline. Because aniline dyed leathers are the most natural they are favored by leather lovers and purists the world over. The aniline leathers we use are highly prized both for their luxurious softness and rich colour.

The leather is used on all faces of the cushions. Cost savings can be made by using PU on the rear side of the cushions or fabric on the bottom side. With our Barcelona chairs we feel the only way to cover these cushions is to have our high quality leather on every side.

Lower priced Barcelona chairs use inferior leather to save costs. Generally these lower priced chairs will use corrected leather. Such leather has been stamped to apply an even texture, simulating a leather grain. This unfortunately is without the naturally uneven markings of uncorrected leathers. This method allows leathers with too many markings to be corrected, making them more saleable. Corrected leathers are generally of a lower price to their natural top grain counterparts.

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