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From Rugs To Riches

Though a resident of Iran, expert rug restorer Ali Arabkari spends part of each year in Vero Beach.

Ali Arabkari approaches his restoration work as more than a job. It’s an opportunity to preserve the history of Persian rugs, he says

Ali Arabkari approaches his restoration work as more than a job. It’s an opportunity to preserve the history of Persian rugs, he says

“Iranian rugs are just like human beings,” says Ali Arabkari through an interpreter. “They may be similar, but no two are alike.”

With this in mind, Ali goes about his work repairing and restoring antique Persian rugs. “To have the most success, each one’s differences must be considered, and treated accordingly.”

Ali was born in Meyaneh, Iran, in the Azerbaijan region, where his extended family still resides. Ali and his wife, as well as his grown children, live in Tehran. He began restoring rugs when he was 13 years old.

“I had some help and instruction from others, but mostly I learned by doing it myself,” he says in his gentle way. “Sometimes you have to actually explore to find out ways of doing something. I am now 65 years old, and even after so many years I have to look at each rug very carefully to see what is the best way to repair it. After so many years, I still have something new to learn.”

Read the entire article in the November 2013 issue