Pakistani Farahan oriental rug by Art Resources. Art Resources treats its wool with respect, never allowing it to be injured.
Art Resources creates great, old-looking oriental rugs in Pakistan, without distressing them with chemicals. Look for them to become one of the major oriental rug productions of our era.
Art Resources is one of my favorite producers. It is a Los Angeles business run by Iranian-born Jack Simantob. Equipped with an MBA from an American college and a good background in antique rugs, Mr. Simantob first imported rugs from Pakistan and then began to make them.
Jack’s vision was different from other rugmakers in one important respect. He wanted to create great, old-looking rugs, but he wanted to do it without distressing them with chemicals or other methods which compromise the quality of the wool. He ages his rugs ‘naturally’, as he says, and over a period of months. That approach is well-nigh heroic when you consider how expensive it must be to tie up scores of large rugs for months while they age. Still, the price to the end user is a bit less than most other ‘antiqued’ rugs, and I have to say that the wool pile in the Art Resources rugs feels much better than wool in rugs that have been aged overnight. I did not at first ask Mr. Simantob what his ‘natural aging’ consists of, assuming the answer is a professional secret, but at the risk of being rude, eventually I did inquire. I was right the first time: professional secret.
But we did discuss the aging process commonly used in Pakistan. By his account, the most frequent formulation is called Kachipaki, a mixture of half chemicals and half soap. The chemicals include a disinfectant that apparently has a distressing effect on wool (desirable if it is your intent to distress wool), plus a fabric softener that serves to open pores of the wool fibers, making them more receptive to other chemicals.
Jack Simantob flatly refuses to use these or any other chemicals; he strongly believes that nearly all of them hurt wool. His end product is a new rug with short pile and an old look, which yet has healthy wool. With about 230 looms at his command, he cannot meet the present demand for his rugs; they are all spoken for long before they come off the loom. But look for Art Resources to become one of the major manufacturers of our era.