ITALIAN TALENT — Pulivan, unique in carpet washing for thirty years


The story of this leading business from Lecce, in the south of Italy, is a combination of an industrial organization and an artisan vocation. Everything is run by a family, from the vehicle mats that Ivano Piano washes at his dad’s workshop to the business he manages with his wife and children. A growing number of successes due to the initial discovery of a market, later conquered thanks to the amazing synthesis of advanced technology and human intervention based on long and accurate cleaning processes


Who washes carpets, some of the most complex and greatest inventions of human brilliance in terms of materials, size and artistic weaving, knows that they should not stop in front of anything. Not even if they were delivered the legendary carpet, should the dreams come true, of the King of Persia, Cosroe II, who lived in the seventh century A.D. and who would sit on it in winter to console his melancholic soul while contemplating the marvels of spring. “At Pulivan, we are used to facing challenges, otherwise we would not have chosen carpet cleaning as our business activity. Carpets are known to be among the most difficult and delicate items to clean” confirms Ivano Piano, the owner of the business based in Melpignano, Lecce province. He adds: “Our vocation to face challenges and put some effort in solving any kind of a problem has become so well-known that, not by chance, not only clients from Puglia would turn to us but also clients from the entire centre-south of Italy. Many laundries rely on us as far as their clients’ carpets go knowing that we have been leaders in this field for thirty years now. Our business was founded in 1989”.

“We have reached this result thanks to the ability to treat any kind of a carpet, from the Persian ones to modern design pieces, through a cycle of dedicated work where the technology of excellent machines and human intervention interlace in the most functional possible way”.

On the other hand, industrial organization and artisan philosophy have always combined in the production of the best Made in Italy in terms of structure competitiveness and service exclusivity. Pulivan is a perfect example of such synthesis, and in order to better understand its origins, it is enough to focus on a typical family business story. “Everything started at my father’s, Giovanni Piano, workshop – says Ivano Piano – in the early’80s. I started working there, still as a boy, in the car wash sector. At that time, the interior and car seats would typically be made of textile so I decided to buy my first cleaning machine and a dryer for the car upholstery. From there, the passage to house furniture cleaning was easy.”

It was the classic spark from which a business is born. “It did not take much time to understand that the most forgotten domestic item was the carpet. At that time, most laundries and dry-cleaning shops would not treat it at all. Some would offer fortunate or random solutions and clients had to accept them as there was no alternative”.

“The beginnings were greatly challenging – reveals Ivano Piano – because in the’80s and ’90s, professional machines dedicated to carpet cleaning were very few and highly priced. I managed to identify a few businesses through a market research. They responded and met my requests. Consequently, I could start to develop my business. With time, the exclusively manual work was transformed into industrial-artisan work type.

Once technology entered the Pulivan, the business decided to move towards the idea of becoming a leading business of the sector in the entire south of Italy. The new washing system designed by Pulivan distinguishes itself by long washing cycles: items are treated by water for 30 minutes along with a process that includes beating, color fixing, surfactants treatment and sanitizing, the pressurized system DSP (patented by Pulivan), immersion in the washing tub and final treatments of neutralization, sanitizing and scenting.

These last processes carried out by a machine are combined with interventions by highly specialized personnel who work on the finishing of each item: the fixing of edges and fringes, knots dyeing, restoration interventions of any kind. What is more, the business carries out more specific carpets and rugs treatments such as discoloration, clipping, traction or antique effect finish. Our work organization follows industrial standards, logistics network composed of six vans and administrative offices working on withdrawals and the delivery of goods.

The core of the business is the family: Ivano Piano’s wife, Maria Teresa De Vito, a co-founder of Pulivan and a coordinator of work organization, their son, Giovanni who deals with management control, marketing and internal audit while Leonardo, the other son, is the reference point as far as the engineering aspects of production go. Thanks to such an organization, Pulivan serves any type of clients: laundries, carpets and furniture stores, hotels and private clients.


Detergo Magazine – November 2019

by Stefano Ferrio