When I was a teenager in the mid and late 60's, I helped my dad in his carpet shop in Tehran. I remember one carpet cleaner with whom my father used to work. He had a chariot with two horses pulling the cart. He came to the store on odd days of Tuesday and Thursday to pick up and drop off rugs for cleaning. He took the rugs to a fountain in south east Tehran called Cheshmeh Ali for dusting (beating by sticks) and cleaning in the river. He did not use chemicals (Tide was introduced few years later) to wash the rugs with. Instead, he used a kind of soapy roof, amole, or the root of the soap plant.
After washing, rinsing and extracting water by hand squeezing they put the rugs on the rocks under the sun to dry out naturally. Everything was very simple but efficient. There was no dryer, no wringer, and no centrifuge machines, but the way they did it, worked pretty well. I miss those days. They passed so fast. Now our lives is full of chemicals and toxic materials. We cannot go to bed without checking our e-mails, text messages and visiting our facebook accounts. What a stress!!
Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)