Pakistani Rugs: Art Resources

Pakistani Farahan by Art Resources
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.

3 Comments

  1. generic user icon
    Lydia Pulsipher May 17, 2013

    We just bought a dominantly blue wool short compact pile rug replete with animals and birds in various colors (greens, tans, yellows) and with two somewhat disguised sets of three helicopters in various colors. The helicopters – thick and beefy -resemble Russian copters used during their Afghan war, but they do not dominate the rug. In fact one doesn’t notice them at first. The border has birds. It is 8′ 6″ x 10’4″ and is clearly hand made, and elegantly done. It is what I would call “floppy” but lies flat. I will send a photo to the above email address.

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    Thom Joyce August 31, 2015

    With all due respect to Jack Simontob, Aging a naturally – dyed rug, would be like spray-painting a home-grown tomato red. We started w/ Hand- knotted rugs north of Boston in 1974 & believe me this is a new one.
    If you start with the right natural dyes to begin with there is no need to age at all. Thom Joyce of N. Boston , Dublin, & Whitefish Montana

  3. generic user icon
    Ala December 18, 2015

    brian2012/08/02 6:16:41 PMHi Uomo,If you have an iPhone (and soon on iPad) You can use Relax Melodies Oriental Premium. It has the ability to use our radio feautre.What is the Radio feautre? Well it’s a way for you to create a playlist of your favorite iTunes music to play on top of our looping sounds. Great isn’t it! It’s not on Relax Melodies Premium yet but it will come eventually in other versions.Thanks for using our app and for your great comments.

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