Frequently asked questions
At ercol, we are committed to providing a service that truly meets your needs. That's why our Customer Service Team is on hand to answer your queries - just call us on 01844 271800. Alternatively, your retailer will be glad to help too. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions - please do not hesitate to ask us if we can be of further assistance.
Buying ercol Furniture
Can I buy furniture directly from ercol?
- At ercol we believe that we can provide you with the best all round service through a nationwide network of stockists. Accordingly, we do not sell furniture directly to the public. Instead please visit your local stockists.
- Replacement cushions and covers may be purchased through ercol stockists throughout the UK and may also be purchased on a direct basis from ercol. Call us on 01844 271800 or visit our reCover page.
- Ex-display items and seconds can be purchased through the ercol Factory Outlet.
Who is my nearest ercol furniture retailer?
Have a look at the stockist locator. This will enable you to find your nearest ercol stockists for any given ranges.
Where can I view and buy my chosen furniture range?
Use the ercol stockist locator to find the nearest stockist of any given range. If you are interested in seeing a specific piece then we suggest you call the retailer before making your journey. We also have a wide selection of our furniture on display at our Princes Risborough showroom.
Where is the ercol Showroom and how do I get there?
The ercol showroom is located in the market town of Princes Risborough in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire - a traditional furniture making area. A map and our opening times can be found on our showroom page. We have a wide selection of our furniture on display and large swatches of all our fabrics. Alternatively, why not visit your nearest ercol stockist.
Could you tell me the price of a certain item?
We can give you the recommended price, but this is only a guide, as your retailer may charge a different price. Please contact your retailer or ercol Customer Services for a price list.
When will my furniture be delivered?
As you know, every piece of ercol furniture is individually handmade and unique. That's why your order will generally take between 8-10 weeks from order to delivery. Your retailer will be able to give you an indication of our current lead times when you place your order. We are constantly working to keep lead times as short as possible whilst offering you the wide variety of choice that characterises ercol.
Whilst we endeavour to fulfil your order as promptly as possible we sometimes face delays from our suppliers - for example a particular fabric maybe out of stock. Where a significant delay is expected we will endeavour to notify your retailer.
Whilst we attempt to meet your order in a timely manner, unfortunately no compensation will be paid for late orders and we will not be responsible for any losses incurred by such late delivery.
Your retailer will be responsible for delivery to you and should be contacted in the first instance if you have a query in relation to your order. You may also call our customer services number on 01844 271800.
Where is ercol furniture made?
ercol is proud to be a British manufacturing brand which can bring its qualities of integrity, design and value at all levels to the widest possible audience. Our designers and production engineers work in a highly creative environment with our craftsmen and women in our modern factory in Princes Risborough, England. We are equally proud to work enthusiastically with our partners in manufacturing companies spread across the world from Europe to the Far East in making furniture to ercol designs and standards. They all contribute to the depth and breadth of ercol furniture.
ercol sources materials from around the globe, whether that be timber from North America and Europe or fabrics from the high quality mills of Belgium, Italy and other countries. Each brings its own strengths which we combine in making ercol furniture.
Why are certain fabrics not recommended for all furniture designs?
If you look on this website in our fabric guide you will see that certain fabrics are not recommended for certain sofa or chair designs. Generally these are patterns with straight stripes, which we do not recommend for upholstery with buttoned cushions - when we upholster a chair or sofa with this type of fabric, the buttoning pulls the stripes out of parallel and some customers don't like this look.
When selecting your fabrics please be aware that all fabrics have a pile and may show where they have been sat on unless smoothed over afterwards. Deep pile fabrics are particularly subject to this pile reversal but it is an inherent characteristic of fabric. We would not recommend a deep pile fabric for upholstering reversible cushions on webbing as the webs will leave an impression on the fabric.
Does ercol fabric have fire protection?
Yes, all our fabrics have passed the British government's flame retardant regulations and the test for abrasion BS2543.
Are ercol fabrics hard wearing?
All our fabrics have been selected for their durability as well as their attractive appearance. They have all passed the test for abrasion BS2543 and are appropriate for general domestic use. If you require upholstery for the contract market or you require a particularly abrasion resistant material, please contact customer services who will be able to help you. We can also provide specialist upholstery fabrics - for example we are sometimes asked for water resistant materials
See also our FAQ on pilling.
Can I have some fabric samples?
Yes, you can order up to five fabric samples on this website or by contacting Customer Services. Each sample is 10cm sq. Nothing though beats seeing the fabrics in our full swatch books at your local retailer or at our Princes Risborough showroom. To see the full range visit your local stockist or view our fabric brochures.
How are ercol fabrics sold?
Our fabrics are grouped into collections designed to go with particular furniture ranges. These collections are shown on the furniture product pages.
Where furniture is available in leather there will be a separate leather price. You can also buy fabrics from the ercol collection (only) by the metre. Contact your retailer or Customer Services for details.
Timber & Finishes
What kind of timber is used to make ercol furniture?
ercol work with solid wood and wood veneers. We use elm, beech, ash, oak and walnut. These hardwoods are mainly from North America, Europe and China where the forests are highly sustainable. Which timber we use depends on which best suits the particular design.
What finishes can I have on my furniture in?
All ercol furniture has a coat of lacquer to protect the furniture in normal use, whilst allowing the beauty of the timber to show through. On certain ranges, typically those made from ash or elm, we offer a variety of stain finishes ranging from clear and light modern finishes to darker traditional finishes, enabling you to get the appropriate style for you house. Our oak furniture is typically finished in a clear matt lacquer. You can see the finishes on the individual product pages within this website or on the range pages at the back of the ercol catalogue.
How does the use of natural timber affect my furniture?
The great beauty and unique quality of natural timber has always been in the infinite variety of its colour and its grain. The wood grain and the wood colour in every piece of ercol furniture that you buy will have its own wonderful character that is unique to that piece, giving you a piece of furniture that is one of a kind. Many natural features of the tree can give variations in the grain and colour which can also be affected by the particular cut of the timber. These natural features, such as sap, tiger stripes and medullary rays, are not defects but are part of the beauty of natural timber. Each species of timber also has its own characteristic grain patterns.
Knots and dots are one of the most common marks in wood furniture, these may vary in shape, size and colour as they are simply where branches or buds have grown out of the tree trunk. At ercol we use a mixture of straight and wild grain which are both completely natural and are dependant on the tree’s maturing process (how quickly or slowly the tree grows). Medullary rays are markings which are frequently found in oak and are where the nutrients have been carried to the surface of the tree trunk or branch. These natural markings all emphasise the uniqueness and quality of wooden furniture.
Over time natural timber will change it colour. You should avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight to minimise this. However, the timber will still naturally mellow over time, providing a beautiful tone. When you add pieces to your range please be aware that these younger pieces will take time to age and match the colour of your older pieces.
Can I have some timber samples?
Yes, you can order up to five samples on this website or by contacting Customer Services. However, nothing beats seeing the timber on a full piece of furniture, so we would recommend visiting your nearest ercol stockist or our Princes Risborough showroom. If you want to see a particular timber or finish we suggest you telephone to check it is available before making your journey.
I'm allergic to feathers - what should I do?
Certain models have feather, or feather and fibre interiors. This is a traditional, high quality material used in upmarket upholstery to provide a soft and luxurious feel. Details of the interiors are given on the individual product listings on this website and in the catalogue. Where interiors are feather and fibre, or purely feather, we can normally provide an alternative when we make your furniture if you would prefer - speak to Customer Services (01844 271800) or your retailer.
Can I have glass shelves instead of wood?
No, you can only have what is shown as we do not offer spare parts.
Maintenance & Repairs
My drawers or doors are sticking, what should I do?
Timber will naturally shrink and grow as the humidity of your room changes. We allow for a degree of shrinkage and growth in the design - for example by having expansion gaps designed in. However, large changes in humidity can cause the changes to be greater than the design allowances. We see problems with doors and drawers sticking most often in the Autumn where the damp increases prior to people turning on their central heating. Once the heating is turned on and the humidity reduces then the timber will shrink back.
On some of our ranges (our Artisan, Romana and Windsor ranges) you can also adjust the doors and drawers. To adjust the drawer, you will need to remove it from the runners. First take everything out of the drawer. Pull the drawer out. Feel underneath and you will find two finger grips, one each side of the base at the front. Squeeze these to release the drawer. Turn the drawer over and you will see that there are two turn knobs to adjust the alignment from left to right of the drawer. Once adjusted push the runners back in and then slot the drawer in. Push it back until it clicks shut. Try opening it to make sure it is securely fastened and stops when fully opened.
To adjust the door hinges, remove the cover from the hinge (the cover is on the part attached to the carcass rather than the door). This will reveal two screws. One will move the doors up and down, the other will move them left to right.
On our wardrobes, if the doors are rubbing you can adjust the hinges as above. However, first you should ensure that the wardrobe is properly aligned – ie that it is stood level and the carcass is not being twisted out of true. For example with a carpet the back feet will often be stood on the gripper rod and so you will need to use the wedges supplied under the front feet to level the wardrobe. You can try, carefully, pulling the corners of the robe to see if the doors free up when you do so – this indicates the carcass is twisted and you need to change the alignment.
How can I wash the covers?
Mop up any spills as soon as possible to minimise staining.
Cushion covers are detachable and should only be professionally Dry Cleaned in-situ.
My fabric is pilling - what should I do?
Pilling is the technical name given to the formation of small balls of fibres on the surface of a fabric. Certain fibres and weaves are more prone to pilling than others. Pilling is where loose fibres that are not locked into the fabric or yarn structure are rubbed together during use into small balls on the surface of the fabric. This does not reflect any fault with the fabric, nor is it a sign of wear. It is the same effect as may be observed with some jumpers and is similar to the loss of loose fibres you get with a new carpet. The pilling can be safely removed using a fabric shaver (a normal shaver should not be used). Pilling is generally observed with new fabrics and will decrease over time. Normally a couple of de-pillings are all that is needed.
Why is my fabric shading?
All fabrics have a pile and the shading you might be noticing is pile reversal, this is an inherent characteristic of fabric.
Where a person sits on a seat, the pressure and heat will push the pile in a different direction to the rest of the seat that is not under pressure. The pile that is reversed becomes visible to the eye because light reflects differently on the pile going in different directions. Where the pile cannot be brushed back in the original direction, this is normally referred to as pile set.
Where can I go to reupholster my ercol furniture and where can I get it fitted?
We have an extensive range of fabrics at ercol from which to choose. Just call or e-mail the Customer Service Team for a service pack (price list & product guide) for all replacement covers and interiors, or alternatively visit your local stockist. You can also visit our dedicated ercol reCover page.
How do I prevent my ercol furniture being damaged by everyday use?
Your ercol furniture is made to last and even after sustaining damage, it can be restored to its full, timeless beauty. Here are a few hints on how to ensure your chosen fabric also survives wear and tear.
You should try to keep your furniture out of direct sunlight and away from heat, as this over time will fade colours and weaken the fibres of the fabric. Leave a gap of 20-30cm between the furniture and a radiator.
Protective treatments will help protect against stains, but you should mop up spills as soon as possible to reduce the risk of the stain being permanent. Take care with sharp objects like belt buckles, keys and pet claws as these will snag even the toughest cloth.
Where possible, turn cushions regularly to distribute the wear evenly. Vacuum cleaning fabrics with the brush attachment will prolong their life as dust is abrasive and can dull colours and speed up wear and tear.
What kind of polish should I use on my ercol furniture?
Always use a good quality 100% beeswax polish, never use a polish with silicon in it as this can cause damage. We recommend you polish your ercol furniture no more than every 6 months.
Where can I find spare parts for my furniture?
Ercol does not offer spare parts. You would need to contact a reputable restorer in your local area.
Where can I find Assembly Instructions?
Assembly Instructions for our current collections can be downloaded from our website and are found under each individual pieces details.