Nain Rugs from Iran/Persia
Nain is a small town in central Iran, which neighbors other famous cities such as Isfahan. Before the start of the 20th Century, Nain was recognized for producing high-quality fabric, usually wool or silk. Although many high-quality fabrics were produced, their own varieties of rugs were not yet being created until the early-mid 1900's. In the mid-1930's Nain began constructing its own style of rugs/carpets. This development is contributed to Fathollah Habibian (4).
Habibian is considered today as 'The father of Persian Nain rugs' (4). He, alongside his brother, are responsible for designing and weaving some of the most elaborate and world renowned Nain's. Some of Habibian's first projects were made entirely of pure silk. Today, they still contain silk, but also include wool or cotton. Many, typically have a foundation made of cotton with an extremely delicate wool and silk pile. This can also be known in terms of the warp and weft; the warp is most commonly cotton and the weft is either silk or wool. There are countless collections of Persian rugs, but it is relatively easy to identify a Persian Nain rug from any other.
Persian Nain's have some unique characteristics of their own. These rugs concentrate around several colors, primarily shades of ivory, beiges, and blues; reds and greens are harder to find. The distinctive features of Nain's are their single ornament, placed upon a background, both in their primary colors (blue, beige, or ivory). The ornament usually contains arabesques, which are,"surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils or plain lines", and are often combined with floral motifs or other elements (2). Most of these rugs and carpets have these curve-linear patterns. They come in different sizes, but the greater majority of them are mid-size, 4 x 6 to 8 x 10 feet. You can also find large rugs up to 10 x 18 feet. All Persian Nain's are beautiful and elegant, but some are worth more than others, so measuring the quality is important.
There are two ways of measuring the quality of a Nain rug, knots per square inch (KPSI) and LAA (3). On average, there are between 300-800 knots per square inch in Nain rugs. LAA is a Farsi term, the most widely spoken language in Persia, referring to the number of threads that make up each fringe (1). Standard LAA usually can range between 3 and 9. Generally, the lower the LAA and the higher the knots per square inch, the greater quality and price. Any time the LAA number decreases and the KPSI increases, the quality and value are worth much more (3). True Persian Nain's are of the finest quality and paramount in the world. Their beautiful designs and high-end fabric and craftsmanship make them incomparable to other rugs/carpets. Due to their quality and high demand Nain rugs can run from $5-$40 or more per square foot.
Rugs from Nain are sought-out by many across the world, giving them an extraordinary reputation. Although high in price, they are worth the money. They not only are an attractive art form, but can last for centuries. It is nearly impossible to estimate how long a Nain rug will truly last, but quality pieces have been known to last for over 100 years. The fact that Nain rugs are completely hand-made and knotted means that the fabric should not shed as easily as say, rugs that are made by machine. Contingent upon, quality, treatment, and traffic, they can last for centuries, and usually do. The Persian Nain rug is a must-have.