Among the finest carpets in the world, the Iranian word Nain is sometimes used as a synonym for ‘fine’. These stylish rugs are produced in and around the city of Nain, about 60 miles east of the enchanted city of Isfahan. A favorite of many collectors, nains are precise, delicate and can be stunningly beautiful. They are woven on cotton or silk of varying degrees of quality and are mostly beige and blue, with highlights of silk staggering. The blue can range from the deepest midnight to the palest sky, with royals and spectacular turquoises along way. The details include the typical curvilinear vines with forked leaves, flowers of Shah Abbas, birds and animals, and regal borders. Many are signed and a signed genuine Habibian can be incredibly valuable.
Visibility: NAIN rugs and carpets have curvilinear patterns. They are among the best in the world. The unique characteristic of NAIN rugs and carpets is their single medallion set in a blue or ivory background.
Quality: NAIN rugs and carpets vary. Newer ones are extremely good, although NAIN does not have long history in the carpet industry. Due to the considerable demand for NAIN rugs and carpets, there are many Indian and Pakistani imitations on the market. Unfortunately, some dealers are selling them as real NAIN. One of the most famous master weavers in NAIN is HABIBIAN. It is very hard to find real HABIBIAN carpets because of the high demand. Older NAIN rugs and carpets are also hard to find.
Size & Shapes: NAIN carpets come in different sizes, but the 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.
Color: Ivory and light and dark blue are the main colors. You can hardly find a NAIN rug or carpet with a red background.
Texture: Soft wool; thin, tight pile.
Foundation: Warp is mostly cotton; weft is either silk or wool.
Knots: Weavers in NAIN use Persian knots. Persian rug experts use a different measurement called LAA (Farsi word [Official language in IRAN]) exclusively to define the quality of NAIN rugs. LAA means layers and refers to the number of threads forming each fringe at the end of a NAIN rug. The LAA number is an indication of price:
as LAA numbers decrease, the price of NAIN rugs increases.
A good quality NAIN is 9 LAA, which means you can count 9 threads on each fringe at the end of the rug. The most expensive NAIN rugs have 4 LAA, which is superfine, very valuable, and difficult to find. The quality of the carpet also depends upon the number of knots, which varies, but averages from around 120 KPSI (30 RAJ) up to 842 KPSI (80 RAJ).