Mid Century Vintage Furniture

Ercol Suite

I recently revamped an Ercol Wychwood suite.  I have touched on the importance of the furniture frame before in my blog, but with this suite, as with many Ercol models, the frame is visible and showcases craftsmanship at its best. The British Elm wood grain is beautiful and the solid frame is so well made and well designed that this furniture is well worth the expense of  re-upholstering. A good upholsterer should be able to create the foam insert when the  foam eventually perishes. If the foam is in good condition and the cover only is worn, then replacement covers are also worthwhile investing in. Replacement buttons can be made providing you have spare fabric of course, and are very easy to attach using a long buttoning needle and forming a slip knot through the plastic button at the back, and then pulled to the required depth.

Bespoke furniture in the mid-century style can be made to compliment your originals as with small chair .. more examples of mid century style upholstered furniture coming soon....

Beautiful ball and claw and acanthus leaf carvings .. and by our own British craftsmen ...

Hand carved acanthus leaf and ball and claw legs which are standard in many of our fireside wing chairs  are created by an older generation of skilled British carvers. This is  British craftsmanship at its very best, and I hope not an art in decline in this country...  I enjoy staining and polishing these legs to highlight the detail of form and grain. After applying two or three coats of button polish, with a light sanding in between with fine wire wool, the legs are then waxed and buffed.   

How to Buy Good Quality Furniture...

Good Quality Furniture requires a Good Quality Hardwood Frame!

If you are intending to buy a good quality piece of furniture such as a  sofa or armchair that you want to use for more than a few years or might want re-covering in future, then it is crucial to ask that all important question "How is the frame made?" . Today much of the upholstery sold in Britain is imported from Far Eastern and Eastern European factories and a lot of this is cheaply made using chipboard and softwood and is held together by staples. I have even seen cardboard used as part of the main construction and this was a high street name, with a price tag to match! 

A good quality sofa or chair should have   :

  • a solid hardwood, (ideally beech), frame

  • screwed, glued and dowelled joints

  •  legs that are an integral part of the frame, not screw in

A good frame is crucial to the longevity of an item tested by the rigours of everyday life and needs to of sufficient strength to be re-upholstered or re-covered in future. Hence why upholsterers are still in great demand to reupholster Victorian chairs or old chairs from names such as Parker Knoll, where no expense is spared on the quality of their frame construction. Most British Framemakers who make furniture today  using the above methods will offer a mininum of a 10 year guarantee on the frame, as do I.

So ask the question ...

Our framemakers make beautiful chair, sofa and stool frames using solid beech, which are screwed, glued and dowelled with legs integral to the frame.