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If I didn't recover a seat with it done that way I may never have known either. The other way is to epoxy on some wood strips that will accept the staples.Not sure why that didn't occur to me—I did drill holes and punched through the leather with an awl, and ran some tiny screws in just to hold the leather while the epoxy cured. Then I removed the screws. Since the holes are already there, and I think they're already conveniently sized at 1/8", I think I'll go ahead and add some pop rivets.
Thanks so much!