1) We ship Worldwide and we are now offering Free Shipping:
BIG BKF Buenos Aires works with FedEx and DHL Express to bring all of our clients fast and reliable shipping. We guarentee our product to arrive within 5 business days from the time of purchase.
As soon as your order is ready to be shipped, we will email you the tracking number. All the packages are shipped from our workshop located in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2) We craft the original butterfly leather chair
You can check it from the book "Art of the Forties" published by MOMA Publisher
The Museum of Modern Art: Distributed by H.N. Abrams
3) Buy a butterfly chair from Argentina, the country where it was created by the 3 architects, Bonet Kurchan and Ferrari (BKF).
Created in 1938 by three young architects (one Catalan, Antonio Bonet Castellana, and two Argentines, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy) that arrived in Argentina after they met in the Parisian atelier of Swiss architect Le Corbusier. The 'BKF' style became widely known throughout the United States and Europe as a symbol of modern design.
4) Argentinian leather: What's the secret?
Leather is an icon of Argentina, like Maradona and Messi, beef, mate and the tango. It is globally known for its quality, however not many people know the origin of its prestige. You surely imagine it is related to the cattle ranching in the country, but what about it? Argentina is an ideal country to produce leather: large extensions of grasslands with mild weather, allowing for free-range farming and abundance. Moreover, the cattle do not require additional feed, a crucial point in this matter, and consequently, result in a fine grain, flexible, soft, durable and resistant product that is deliciously scented with woody and sweet notes.
5) Why from us?
Since 1999 BIG BKF Buenos Aires has constantly searched for harmony between innovation, creativity and practicality, ensuring that your furniture is a true object of desire in the service of comfort, able to preserve their value over time to become a real craft work of art. We offer a select variety of designer premium leather lounge chairs based on the original BKF (1938) butterfly chair design. We designed and registered our unique disassembled frame.
Premium Argentinian leather, from grass fed cows and vegetable tanned, is hand-selected and artisanally made. Frames are quickly assembled and disassembled into four pieces, optimal for easy transport and storage.
6) Do you have other color frames available besides the black original frame?
We are now crafting Big BKF 1938s design in black iron, chrome, gold, copper and stainless steel frame.
7) I need to buy 4 butterfly chairs. How long is the delivery time for these products? I need them for a special event in one month.
We guarantee our product to arrive within 5 business days from the time of purchase.
8) What is the most characteristic part of the way we craft, unique for this product?
9) What is the most difficult step while crafting the chair?
10) Where are the challenges by crafting it by hand instead of using machines?
11) Where do get the leather?
12) Is the leather treated or untreated? If I spill a glass of water, would it have water spots?
All our leather is treated and does not absorb water easily. If water or wine is spilled we would recommend blotting the liquid with a cotton fabric immediately and put the leather cover in the sun for at least 2 hours in order to dry faster.
13) Difference between Polo leather and Vaqueta leather.
Let us explain about the difference between Polo leather and Vaqueta leather. We named Polo the thickest leather, the most durable (you can pass on for generations) and Vaqueta our thinner leather, 3,2 mm of thickness VS 2 mm. Why Polo? Because its the same leather used to craft polo boots and saddles. Polo leather needs more time to mold and get the body shape. The more you use them, the softer the leather becomes.
When we affirm that our Polo leather covers will last a lifetime, most people can't imagine a product that lasts a lifetime and even improves with age. But, at least with quality leather chairs, this is definitely the case, a result of a combination between 2 main advantages from our Argentinian leather.
1) Grass fed production. Argentina it's one of the largest producers of natural beef and leather in the World. Most of our cattle production is in the Northwest of Buenos Aires, large extensions of flat grasslands and the mild weather enable free-range farming and abundance. Moreover, cows do not require feed balancing, a crucial point in this matter, and consequently, cows provide a fibrous and elastic material which, after being processed, becomes a fine grain, flexible, soft, durable and resistant product.
2) Vegetable tanned leather: we use vegetable tannins from trees located in the north of Argentina that make a deliciously scented product with woody and sweet notes.
Another difference are the borders and the stitches. When you see our Vaqueta leather cover is crafted making a rounded border and thin thread (but same strenght to support 160 kg). Polo leather cover is made with flat edges and thicker thread, same used for sewing saddles. When we craft the Polo leather cover we make a border of 4 meters long and 3 cm wide that it's stitched and makes the cover even stronger, the result is 6,4 mm edge thickness.
Vaqueta rounded border:
14) I have old frames at home and would like to buy only the leather covers. What dimensions do you need?
You probably have an old butterfly chair frame at home that you have inherited from your parents or grandparents. I remember that my grandfather used to have one of these master pieces of furniture in his home.
The BKF or the Butterfly 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 mass produced in different dimensions and many factories around the world during the 50's and one of them probably ended up in your parent’s or grandparent’s room as well.
There are 5 or 6 different frame dimensions around the World. If you have an old frame please check the frame dimensions and we can quickly craft a custom leather cover for your frame.
Just let us know which size do you have. You can order custom leather cover here in Polo leather (329 USD each) or Vaqueta leather (279 USD each).
15) Difference between Polo London and Polo Malbec color.
Both are dyed using the same brown vegetable tanning, but the Polo Malbec has a reddish touch (15% red tannin in the mix).
16) Big BKF leather butterfly chair dimensions:
Carrying box and tote bag (chair disassembled):
42 inches (106 cm) high
6 inches (16 cm) wide
6 inches (16 cm) depth
33 inches (84 cm) height
30,7 inches (78 cm) wide at top (from the middle of the curve)
26,7 inches (68 cm) wide at buttom (from the middle of the curve)
41,7 inches (106 cm) diagonal (from the middle of the curve)
30,7 inches (78 cm) depth side curves distance same side
Seat leather cover:
33 inches (84 cm) top wide
31,5 inches bottom wide (80 cm)
50 inches length diagonal (128 cm)
Weight of the chair + leather = 11 kg / 24 lbs.
17) Tripolina Wooden frame leather chair dimensions:
The Tripolina is narrower than our Big BKF butterfly chair.
35,4 inches (90 cm) height
26 inches (67 cm) wide
32 inches (81 cm) depth
Folded up and inside carrying tote bag = 42 inches high (106 cm)
Seat leather cover:
28 inches (72 cm) top wide
27 inches (69 cm) bottom wide
36,2 inches (92 cm) middle stitching length
49,6 inches (126 cm) diagonal
Weight of the chair + leather = 6.4 kg / 14 pounds
MEASUREMENTS: 35,4"H x 26"W x 32"D // 90 cm H x 67 W x 81 D
MATERIALS: Argentinian saddle leather + lenga fueguina wood + iron hinges
3 FRAME COLORS: Natural light wood, Oak wood and Wengue (black) wood.
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison during one of their famous camping trips. In this photo from 1921, they invited the US president at the time, Warren Harding, as well as the well known entrepreneur Harvey Firestone.
18) How we ship the chair?
• Recyclable: Since it is 100% polypropylene.
• Waterproof: Do not change their physical properties when immersed in water or other aqueous products.
• Resistant to chemicals: It is inert to most chemicals, organic and inorganic, including acids, bases and salts.
• Soft: It resembles, at low weights, the texture of a fabric.
• Porous: Air permeable and impermeable to small solid particles (dirt, dust, etc.) and liquids under certain conditions.
• Heat resistant: Does not begin to shrink to 110 º C and melts at 130 º c.
19) The leather will stretch?
With regards to the fit of the leather, after sitting in the chair for a week or so, it should mold and stretch to look like the chairs on our site- the more you use them, the softer the leather becomes.
20) How to care the leather?
We can wash them at home using neutral soap or white soap. It may also be detergent. You rinse well, and in the last rinse you add fabric softener. You extend with all the water and wait for it to dry. You can sprinkle moth spray, on the market are several brands. If the wool is very tangled, before hanging it to dry brush it with stiff bristle brush in the direction of the hair.
21) Online Purchasing
All of our orders can be placed online through our secure automated store managed by Shopify.
We accept all major credit cards for online payment.
22) Return Policy
We are a small Workshop located in Buenos Aires and every sale is a big investment for us, so we stand behind the quality of everything we sell. We make every effort to select and ship hand-made products of the highest-grade materials crafted by highly skilled artisans.
If there is a problem with your order, contact us within three (3) days of receipt via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org If you receive a damaged, defective, or incorrect item, we will work with you to make things right.
As we are in Argentina and the shipping costs are expensive, we do not accept returns but we are more than happy to send a replacement piece instead. Please only purchase our items if you are a serious buyer.
23) Advantages of vegetable tanning
Vegetable tanning is friendly to the environment, which means that a product that can be recycled.
Vegetable tanning is an ancient tradition in Argentina and also around the World, so most of the tanneries have very skilled craftsmen who produce leather
Due to the use of natural tannins, vegetable tanning products are unique and have their own life. They are not the same throughout his life, but constantly changing to better
The colors are vegetable tanning produces rich, warm tones that look completely natural
Vegetable tanned leathers are more valuable, and therefore sell at a higher price compared to chrome tanned leathers
Disadvantages of vegetable tanning
The average time of vegetable tanning process is similar to that of chromium, but can take up to 65 days to produce sheep skin leather.
Vegetable tanned products are more expensive. It requires more skill to tan the leather, which means they are better quality
The colors that can result from vegetable tanned are limited
Once we get the leather from the tanneries we re-select them again and we start cutting the edges and parts that are not useful at our Workshop.
26) Where are the first 2 original butterfly leather chairs?
In 1938, three architects (members of an association known as Grupo Austral, one officially Catalan, Antonio Bonet Castellana, and two Argentines, Juan Kurchan and Jorge Ferrari Hardoy) presented the chair at a Buenos Aires exhibition. The design so impressed Kaufmann, then an industrial-design curator for the Museum of Modern Art, that he promptly imported one for his parents’ new weekend house, the famous Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. He imported another for the museum too. After winning the award in 1943, the American Edgar Kaufman Jr., curator of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), bought two chairs for $25 each. One was for the museum's permanent collection, the other for his father's home, a collector of high design, as he had a house in Neutra, another in Mies, and the other third was the famous Falling Water house of Frank Lloyd Wright, which was where the BKF came to reside.
In 1944, BKF received the Acquisition of MOMA prize, and in 1945 was presented in the Pavilion "Jeu de Pomme" in Paris.
When Knoll acquired the U.S. production rights in 1947, a phenomenon was born. The chair’s metal base and sack seat represented a rejection of what MoMA's current design curator Juliet Kinchin calls “the hard-edged kind of machine aesthetic of modernism in the 1930s.” The Hardoy was also a rejection of good posture and formal clothing. “It’s an impossibly improper chair,” Hannah says. “Women have to have pants on to sit in it.” Young families bought it in droves. By Knoll’s estimate, more than five million copies were produced in the 1950s.
There the chair was seen by the director of the magazine Architecture d'Aujourd'hui, where he asked for it and began to produce them to sell to subscribers. He used the name “AA chair”, although this was not economically beneficial to the original designers when compared to the production in the U.S. Soon after, the company Hans Knoll started production of the armchairs. The son of a renowned furniture maker in Germany began to produce them under the name Butterfly for the company Knoll International beginning in 1947, until the war stopped production because of a steel shortage.
In a 1954 article, George Nelson introduced the Tripolina, the chair used by the Italian officers in North Africa, more or less a folding BKF, but with a wooden frame. Thus was established the connection between the BKF and Tripolina.
Difficult to know exactly where they are but please do not worry about that, we are crafting exactly the same model as the original, keeping the hand art work and high quality leather that was used when these 3 visionary guys launched the chair in 1938.
27) Why is it considered the Messi of the design?
The BKF is considered one of the pieces of the most prominent modernist industrial design from the last half century, and is without a doubt, the Argentine design product most known worldwide. Its impact, both in the design and pop culture, lies in its clear synthesis, achieving universal and timeless qualities. Its creators, architects Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari Hardoy never imagined the global impact that this chair would have, to the point of becoming a “cult object .
We labeled it the Messi of design.
28) Social impact: We are committed with our craft work and pass our know how generation to generation
We teach artisans and then we help them on how to make their own crafts and business. We are happy about people learning the way to craft and not loose our roots and old native ways of crafting.