In the modern times, Ercol is considered as one of the most respected furniture manufacturing brands in UK. It was founded by Lucian Ercolani in the year 1920, who was instructed by the Board of Trade to make 100,000 Windsor chairs during World World II, as a part of the Utility Scheme by the Government. By then, the company of Lucian had managed to overcome the obstacles faced in manufacturing Windsor furniture commercially and inexpensively using machines. He planned to expand his business by creating a new family of Ercol furniture after war. Turned spindles were adopted into the collection as a theme, but the fabricated designs also comprised modern flavours such as organic forms and splayed legs.
One of the pioneering techniques of manufacture that Ercolani adopted was the customisation of existing woodworking equipment. He used boring machines to drill holes and lathes to turn spindles. These methods helped in speeding up the production of furniture. If a certain tool that Lucian and his workers wanted did not exist, they would invent that equipment. Besides being highly efficient, the newly invented machines were very precise. This explains the reason why numerous vintage pieces of Ercol furniture are in circulation even today. Those pieces were basically well-engineered and robust.
Ercol furniture pieces pack in the best of both pre or post war styles. Contemporary reissues and reproductions of these pieces are being manufactured now as per the authentic standards, generally using the typical distinctive mixture of elm and beech. Earlier, these were sourced locally but now, most of the timber comes from abroad due to practical reasons. Those in search of vintage pieces can find them in local antique centres and online megastores.
Some characteristic features of Ercol furniture include legs wedged through the seat, circular motif having a distinctive line through centre, finish of natural wax, etc. One can get to see these features easily on tabletops, armrests and chair seats – all these being manufactured by the existing company of Lucian.
There are many companies up and down in UK who provide Ercol restoration services for legendary pieces like the drop leaf table, pebble tables, drop leaf table with square top, Windsor chairs, studio couch, long extending dining table and others. Most of these firms have experienced technicians and furniture workers, who are well-versed with the techniques required for restoring vintage pieces manufactured by Ercol. While executing the restoration work, they also ensure that maximum care is exercised so that the piece can be reverted back to its former glory.