5 things you need to know before you buy a butterfly chair cover | Cuero Design
White Mariposa Sheepskin Butterfly Chair Cover

5 things you need to know before you buy a butterfly chair cover

You need to read this before you buy a butterfly chair cover

Imagine a perfect butterfly chair in your home. By the time you finish reading this article, you will be in a better position to make that dream become a reality.

If you are not already the owner of an old butterfly chair, this article is not suitable for you. Instead, you will want to click on the button below to find a new butterfly chair.

Find a New Butterfly Chair

There are many things to consider regarding the classical masterpiece that you probably didn’t know. If you are planning to buy new upholstery for your old butterfly chair frame, keep reading.

The obvious reason why everybody looks for a butterfly chair cover

You probably have an old butterfly chair frame at home that you have inherited from your parents. I remember that my grandmother used to have one of these fantastic pieces of furniture in her home.

The Butterfly Chair, BKF or Hardoy Chair is one of the most famous chair designs of the 20th Century. Designed originally in 1938 by three architects that gave it its name, the chair quickly became considered a masterpiece. It was later mass produced in many factories around the world during the 50s. It was the ultimate armchair for young, long haired, rebellious kids that wanted to sit in a different way. Millions of armchairs found their way to teenagers’ rooms across the globe. One of them probably ended up in your parent’s or grandparent’s room as well. It is most likely this chair that has brought you to this article.

As time went by, the upholstery began to lose its luster. The frame that was made of solid steel is still intact even today because it was made of solid steel. The upholstery was made of materials ranging from plastic to leather however. These materials began to crumble in one way or another and most of them are in fact useless today. So what do you do when you have inherited an old butterfly chair frame? You obviously look for a new butterfly chair cover.

Before you do however, there are a few things you have to consider. Here are five things you need to know before you make your purchase.

5 things you need to know before you buy a BKF seat

  1. It probably won´t fit your structure; a risk you don´t want to take

    As mentioned earlier, countless manufacturers made versions of this chair with different materials. Different versions also meant different sizes. If you have an old structure and are thinking of buying a matching cover, chances are it won’t fit. It will probably be either too small or too big. Whichever the case, it will not be the same thing as the armchair in its old glory days. In the worst case, it might even turn out to be ugly or impossible to sit in.

  2. Unfortunately your piece is not an original

    You might be looking for new upholstery because you think the structure is an original. Old as your butterfly chair frame is, it might be worth a lot of money if only polished and matched with an appropriate seat, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t.

    As mentioned in our previous article about the BKF, your piece is unfortunately not an original butterfly chair. If you are looking for a new upholstery because you think your frame is original, you are probably up for a disappointment.

  3. Don´t fool yourself thinking you will save money by only buying leather

    I often get questions from customers that want to buy our vegetable tanned leather to save money on a whole BKF. They have fallen in love with our materials and they think that the structure is the most expensive part of the furniture. If so, restoring an old Hardoy chair would be very cheap, wouldn’t it? The problem is that it’s not a correct assumption. In fact, the frame is quite inexpensive in comparison with the seat. This is at least true for any cover made of a premium quality material. If you don’t care so much about the quality of the seat, it shouldn’t be impossible for you to find a cheap solution for fixing your old BKF.

  4. They are not all comfortable (Watch the video below)

    Which one do you think looks the most comfortabe?

    As a good design blogger once told me, a BKF is a lounge chair. You are in other words supposed to lounge in it. For hours and hours preferably. To do this you need to have a BKF that is comfortable. The problem with many old versions of the piece of furniture is that they are not. Most of them are way too small for a modern human being to sit in. I don’t know why the old Hardoys are so small. Perhaps the chairs were smaller because the average height was somewhat shorter than today, or maybe they were just smaller because they were bought for young teenagers’ rooms.

    Whatever the reason, I do not think it is a very good idea to lose your hair in search of a matching butterfly chair cover to your old frame. Not when you can buy a new, comfortable BKF instead.

    Do not cross the river to fetch water, as my father always says.

    Watch the video below and you will know what I mean with comfortable butterfly chair.

  5. What you need is reliable quality

    If you are considering to buy a BKF seat from a manufacturer, you should make sure that the quality is made to last. If you are considering leather for example, make sure the is good enough. Is it vegetable tanned? Or chrome tanned? If it’s the latter, chances are that your furniture will not be strong enough. Read this article about why Italian leather is still the best if you want good information about leather.

So what should you do?

At this point, you are probably thinking that this article states very useful information. But still, your cover issue hasn’t been solved. What should you do with your old butterfly chair frame?

I am really happy to tell you that your old structure is not an issue. Actually, it’s a treasure. Thanks to your old BKF, you have discovered a masterpiece. A superstar that has had fans for 70 years.

If you are reading this article, no matter what you do with you old chair, you are a Hardoy fan. Keep reading for three things you can do with your old structure.

3 Ideas on what to do with your old butterfly chair frame

  1. You can make your own cover

    If you are an experimenter, you should try to make your own cover. There are many great and free DIY guides and patterns on google on how to make your own butterfly chair cover. This can turn out to be quite fun and exciting.

  2. Find someone that can tailor make a seat that fits your structure

    Some people have become emotionally attached to their old structure. If you are one of those, it doesn’t matter what I say about comfort, quality or originality. Your frame is your frame and there is not a chance in the world that I will convince you to change it for a new one. If you are in love with your old structure, you should try to go out there and find the seat that fits it. There are some companies that can tailor make your seat for you.

  3. Buy a new BKF and recycle the old structure

    White leather butterfly chair and vitra rocking chair
    Picture taken from the fantastic Finnish blog Valkoisen Vouri

You should consider the idea of recycling your old structure and buying a new one instead. After all, as I have explained in this article, an old structure is after all only an old structure. It was not manufactured with special care for you. You do not need to think that your old frame will be a waste. As I said earlier, it is thanks to your old structure that you have discovered one of the most beloved chairs of the 20th century. Undoubtedly, there is a deep level of connectivity between your old BKF and your new one.

This design has outlasted every major design trend since it saw its first light. It has been in the trendy homes of the world for 70 years. If you love the design, you should buy a new model that has been made to last 70 more years. To do so, look for a high quality leather butterfly chair.

Do you have an old BKF?

If you have an old BKF structure, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to help you with whatever you need to know. I would also just be very happy to know about all the Hardoy enthusiasts out there.

Perhaps you have had a successful experience in replacing your own cover or even making your own? In that case, please share your stories in the comments. Links to pictures would be much admired.

Share this with anyone you know who has a BKF

If you know somebody who has a butterfly chair frame or a seat, do not miss to share this article with them. They will probably appreciate your gesture a lot.

2 BKF chairs lambskin & leather

Written by Waterfall Words


    • Hi David,
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We are very happy that you like our articles 🙂
      Best regards,

  • I have a butterfly chair that the frame is in immaculate condition. The cover – not so. But I still have it and am trying to find someone in Adelaide (including surrounding suburbs) that could use it as a template to make me a new one. I have been to a couple of reupholstered who weren’t even interested! Cheers, Scott.

    • Hello Scott,

      What type of material does your butterfly chair have? If it’s leather, you can contact a local saddle maker close to Adelaide. Perhaps they will be interested in helping you. Otherwise, please write to me through our contact page and I will put you in touch with our Australian retailers who I am sure will be more than happy to help you replace your chair with a new one.

      Kind regards,

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5 things you need to know before you buy a butterfly chair cover

by Cuero Design time to read: 6 min