Maybe I'm not frugal enough but I have purchased slipcovers from Surefit.com for my worn out furniture. The covers, depending upon the fabric, can last for years and are machine washable. They make stretch covers for recliners ranging in price from $60-$70 right now. I have also bought Surefit covers on eBay for less. I would repair the cracks with duct tape and then cover the chair with a slip cover. It looks great and costs considerably less than a new chair.
Otherwise the earlier suggestion for the leather/dash repair might work as well. Good luck!
You don't say what colors you have in your room but try this.
Duct (Duck) tape comes in a wide variety of colors and is relatively inexpensive.
Cut some cute shapes like flowers or geometrics, etc. and place these over your slits. You can make them multicolored by putting a circle of orange tape in the center of a white or yellow daisy shape for example.
You can either just cover the existing slits or put them randomly all over to make it look like a whole new couch.
I used the stuff you mend a car's dashboard with once on a kitchen chair and it worked.
Available at at Walmart or most other dept. stores.
If it were me, I would put packing tape on the slits to prevent more tearing and cover the seat with a nice big towel that matched your living room decor. Just fold the towel in half and tuck it in around the sides and back and it should stay put. Alot of people do this simply to protect the chair or couch and no one would even know your chair was torn.
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