Nain

Nain speaks of the architecture of the buildings and mosques of Iran. The intricate works on the carpets with its fine knots blue and white colors with silk highlights are the distinguishing style that stands apart from the rest of the city weaves. The designs have been imbedded in marble with its lovely hues for centuries and that tradition went from the dome onto a carpet, as if you were looking up on the ceiling on your floor.

Nain just above Isfahan to the east is amazingly crisp and clear like sapphire and diamonds of the carpet world. They are normally made on very fine cotton base with fine wool, natural dyes such as Indigo, Bark and natural lamb’s wool which forms the base of the white Nain. The blue based Nain’s have the most elegant blue that looks like sapphire and the combination with the silk highlights makes it look jewel like on the floor.

The importance of the knots in a Nain is much more evident of the clarity and crispness of the design as every flower, leave and vine is defined, the medallion in the centre is the focal point and the perfection of it being in the centre spoke of the expertise of the master Habibian being one of the foremost in this field. The lesser knots would not only make them look fuzzy, uneven lines as well as the thickness makes them look shoddy. A good quality Nain in general would have a minimum of at least 500 knots to begin with and can go up to a thousand plus as some of the best masters of Nain were renowned and only made carpets for the royal household and their distinguished guest. A known fact that the Shah of Iran used to send everyone home with one of these prized pieces. Nain is a city in Iran. They didn't start weaving until the 1930's, hence no antique Nains. They are woven on cotton foundations, with silk and wool pile. The designs are based on the Isfahan patterns, a city which is in close proximity. Most of the production of Nain comes from workshops, the most famous being Habibian.

Note--this isn't a "master weaver" signature, but the workshop name. There other workshops as well, Mohammedi being another high quality name. Nains are usually exported in three grades: Sharla, Shishla, and Nowhla, though lower grades are occasionally found. Sharla consist of 3-ply warps, each ply being very fine, with approx 675 KPSI; shishla is also 3-ply, but the plys are noticeably thicker, and KPSI is from 625-675; nowhla grade is 6-ply, with a KPSI around 575-625. With Nains, as in most city carpets, KPSI, along with quantity of colors, quantity of silk, and complexity of design, all contribute to the grade of the carpet.

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