Nain (pronounced naw-yeen) hand knotted rugs are some of the most beautiful Persian carpets in the world. Their unique characteristic, within their curvilinear patterns, is a single medallion with arabesques and floral motifs set on a blue or ivory background.
The workmanship of these Persian carpets is top-notch. Their material consists of valuable highland wool, and in their finer knotted rugs, Kork (baby lambs wool) is used for pile, along with silk for contouring the flowers and arabesques. Some rugs are made of 100% silk.
The rugs are constructed using the Persian knot and the pile is closely clipped for a better look. Knots per square inch can vary from 300 to 700, and varying levels of ply are referred to as “Laa,” with lower numbers meaning finer quality.
Unlike other weaving centers that began in ancient times, Nain seems almost new to the carpet world, since they began creating rugs around the late 1920s.
Up until the 20th century, the claim to fame of this historical and picturesque part of central Iran was high quality, handmade wool for men’s cloaks and clothing. Nain’s economic downturn and the thriving economy of the nearby Esfahan, forced it to start creating hand knotted rugs.
In order to sell their rugs in nearby Esfahan — a main business and social center — Nain weavers only produced carpets that were heavily influenced by Esfahan’s designs and style. Soon though, Nain’s weavers became so proficient in their craft and their workmanship was so superior, that they began creating very fine rugs with a cotton foundation that had an identity exclusive to their area. It didn’t take long for these rugs to develop quite a following.
The Father of Nain Rugs
This title was bestowed upon master weaver, Fathollah Habibian (1903-1995), who oversaw one of the most famous Nain workshops responsible for the design and creation of some of the world’s finest rugs. He weaved his first rug when he was just a young student and sold it in Isfahan for what would amount to 13 pounds of silver in today’s market. He and his brother Mohammed started their factory in the late 1920s, producing many top quality Persian carpets.
On the cover of a 1995 issue of Ghereh Magazine is a photo of a rug woven by the hand of the master, Fathollah Habibian, in late 1950s.
It was acquired by the founder of revitaRUGS during a visit with Mr. Habibian in 1993. This rug remains in the founder’s collection as a testimony to the value of a Habibian Nain rug.
Today, because of the high demand, it is very hard to find an authentic Habibian carpet.
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