Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rug Cleaning: The Old Style Way

There was a place 25 miles south of Tehran called Cheshmeh ALi (Ali Spring). A hill with a spring. In 1933-6 Cheshmeh Ali hill was excavated by archaeologists from the Boston Fine Arts Museum and the University Museum at the University of Pennsylvania headed by Dr. Erich Schmidt, which resulted in the discovery of 7,000-year-old artifacts. Some of the discovered objects are displayed at museums in Iran, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

The hill, which is now entirely leveled out and most artifacts unrecoverable due to real estate expansion in the 1980s and 1990s, was the home of Aryans about 6,000 years ago. The nearby city of Ray was used as a recreation center due to its beautiful attractions under the reign of the Qajar dynasty that ruled Iran between 1794 to 1925.

Cheshmeh Ali was also a place to clean rugs in a very old style. First the professional cleaners of those days would spread the rugs faced down in the sun for a day or so for the dust to dry. Then they would beat the rolled rugs with sticks to dust them. After that, they placed the rugs on a slop where they could pour water and regular detergent (usually Tide) to brush and clean the rugs. Then rinsing would follow and spreading the rugs in the sun face up to dry naturally. If it was summer, in a couple of days, the rugs were ready for delivery!

Khosrow Sobhe
Certified Rug Specialist
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