In 1920 a young designer called Lucian Ercolani started his own business in High Wycombe, the chairmaking capital of England. Here he perfected the technique of steam-bending wood in large quantities to form the famous Windsor Bow, and discovered how to 'tame' elm; a beautifully grained hardwood other furniture makers considered impossible to work with. Design and people were the cornerstones of his company. This remains true of the family owned private company that continues his beliefs in the 21st century. Our passion for innovation in design and manufacturing is as strong today as it was then. The Ercol factory combines the very latest technology with time-honoured craftsmanship to create a range of unique pieces.
Ercol furniture is a high quality product, designed to provide years of service before needing replacing, thus helping reduce waste. Our upholstery can be recovered, when you are in the mood for a change, or when the existing covers have worn out – see our reCover section, extending its life and minimising waste. Our solid wood furniture looks great even after the knocks and bangs of daily life, and can often be repaired in the event of more significant damage. See our sections on how to care for your product.
Our main material is timber. During its growth process, timber absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to reduce the greenhouse effect. Unlike some furniture companies, we source our timber solely from the forests of North America and Europe. We thus avoid using timber from the parts of the world where logging causes ecosystem damage and we avoid endangered timbers - we use only elm, beech, ash, oak and walnut. The vast majority of our furniture is manufactured in the UK, so the transport miles are minimised.
We supply our furniture in a number of colour finishes. These are all created using water based stains, rather than the more common use of solvents which can contribute to greenhouse warming and act as pollutants.
Ercol has invested heavily in UK manufacturing, opening an award winning new factory in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire in 2002. The environment played a key part in the factory design, be this from the use of wood waste to supply our hot water and heating, to the use of movement sensors to control the office lighting.
The Evergreen chair is the height of the Chairmaker's art. The back bow is a complex bend, made in three axes from a single piece of straight timber, hand bent by two craftsmen. This is then combined with the skills of windsor chair making to provide a beautiful frame which is then upholstered in supportive and comfortable cushions to provide the ercol Evergreen Easy Chair and Sofa.