Saturday, November 5, 2011

Nain Rugs Carpets: How Authentic Is The Signature?

The city of Nain (splled Naeen, Naein) has an area of 35,000 square kilometer and is located in Isfahan province with almost 200 miles distance from Tehran to south east. It is located in the central plateau of Iran with hot and dry climate. Nain has many famous villages and wells.

Nain has old antiquity and is a relic of pre-Islamic era. The indigenous architecture and the life in this desert community is very unique and astonishing. Nain is famous in the world for its magnificent carpets. The history of fine woolen men's cloak and cloth making dates back to centuries, but carpet making is relatively new and little more than a century old.

Nain rugs have asymmetrical (Persian) knots, woven on vertical looms with fine wool pile and cotton warps. They are closely clipped for better and finer look. In some instances silk warps are used. In higher and finer knotted rugs, kork (baby lamb wool) is used for pile. Using touch of silk around the flowers and arabesques is also very common. It is not a surprise to see Nain rugs with more than 900 knots per square inch. Making very big Nain rugs especially for Arab customers is a common practice in Nain. Todeshk is the name of a very small town close to Nain that made very high quality densely knotted 4-La (4-ply) Nain rugs. There is no more weaver in Todeshk to weave rugs anymore.
Fatollah Hibibian in his home in Nain, Isfahan province, Iran

Master artist Fatollah Habibian a personal friend of mine who died few years ago at the age of 92 was one of the pioneers of Nain carpets. His Nain rugs had his signature (Iran, Nain, Habibian) and many producers and weavers now a days copy and forge his signature which is now a brand on their carpets and this has become a controversy over Nain carpets in the past several years. Of course, when you want to buy a Persian Nain rug, you should not be obsessed with the signature as the quality of the rug, the balance in the design, the consistency of the knots are few more important factors than the signature itself. The quality should match the signature if the rug is signed Iran, Nain Habibian.
Fake Habibian signature

Fake Habibian signature

Dr. Khosrow Sobhe (Dr. Kay)
Certified Rug Specialist (CRS)
Tel. 310-770-9085

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