Nain Rugs

Nain Rugs

Nain is a town 150km to the east of Isfahan in central Iran; it is relatively new to the rug world compared to ancient weaving centres such as Kashan, Isfahan and Yazd. Although it started out producing Isfahan rugs, in the mid 1930s Nain began developing its own style. Very fine and precise designs were created due to the high quality of the workshops in the area. Fathollah Habibian (1903-1995) ran one of the most famous Na’in workshops and is widely regarded as ‘the father of Nain Rugs’. Producing fine rugs with his brother Mohammed since his school days Fathollah Habibian is responsible for the design and weaving of some of the world’s finest Nains.

Nain Rug

Nain Rug

Nain Rugs are constructed using the Persian knot and typically have between 300 and 700 knots per inch. The pile is usually very high quality wool, clipped short, and silk is often used as highlighting for detail in the design. Some pieces are made entirely of silk. Nain Rugs are often made in the areas surrounding the town of Nain, not necessarily the town itself. Nains utilize the Shah Abbas design and make use of flowing design such as flowers and tendrils.

Nain is a small town in the centre of Iran, very close to the famous city of Esfahan. Before the start of the 20th Century, it was well known for producing high quality handmade woollen cloth. Because of a decline in that business, the town commissioned weavers from Esfahan to createhand knotted Rugs. This link remains obvious when looking at contemporary Nain Rugs, but contemporary Rugs do exhibit a style of their own, often using highlighting of blue on cream orivory backgrounds. Depending on the Rug‘s quality, the warp and weft will be either silk or cotton, though cotton is most commonly employed.

Nain Rugs usually have a cotton foundation with a very soft wool or wool & silk pile. The majority of Nain Rugs have at least some silk detail. Quality is measured not only in knots per square inch (KPSI) which averages about 300 but also in LAA. LAA is a Farsi term referring to the number of threads that make up each fringe. A Nain with a LAA of 9 is considered a good quality Rug (yet is the lowest quality of true Nains) while a LAA of 4 the best. LAA is related to KPSI as it allows tighter knotting.

The most famous and influential Nain masterweaver is Habibian, and Rugs produced from his workshop are among the finest and most sought-after rugs in the world. Another famous Rug and rug designers in Nain is Reza Jafari Naini. He has taught many trainers with this great and traditional art in his small workshop which is next to his home in Nain.

Nain as a weaving center only dates back to the 1920. At first it was one of the areas that produced Isfahan rugs. Then begining in the 1930s it developed it’s own identity for very fine precise workshop rugs on a cotton foundation. As much as anything it was a result of some extraordinary workshops.

Nain is a city in Iran in-between Isphahan and Yezd. It is the collection point for the Rugs called Nain which are actually made over a large area. The average from over 300 knots per square inch to more than double that. I understand that Habibian has made Rugs in the 900 kpsi range.

The best known workshop in Nain is Habibian. Many villages that produced fine Isfahan Rugs switched to producing Nain Rugs later in the 20th century. Many of the Nain type Rugs are also woven in Tabas. Tabas Rug






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