Burning, Washing & Drying
The rug’s next destination is the washing center.
First the rug is burned on the back with a natural gas flame in order to effectively clean the back of wool fuzz.
The rug then goes for washing. The rug is drenched with water, washed with a bleach and water mixture, rinsed clean and then washed again. This time the rug is scrubbed by hand with regular bar soap until it is full of a thick lather of soap. Buckets of water are dumped on the rug as the rug is scrubbed with a very tough scrub brush.
The rug is rinsed clean and then with a squeegie-like tool called the poorah the water is shuffled from the rug. The artisan needs to be careful as the poorah is quite sharp and could easily cut the nearly completed rug. Such vigorous washing is necessary for the rug to achieve its final shine.
The rug is then hung from the side of a building and left to dry in the sunlight for up to a week. Sunlight helps the rug become more brilliant.