Nain rugs are fairly new additions to the Persian rug trade as they evolved around 1945. Prior to that time there were some ru g weaving going on, but for all purposes the Nain rugs did not come about until after the WWII.
Nain is a county located in the center of Iran next to the large city of Isfahan. There are several small towns that make up the county including Nain, but it is a very small town and very close to the much bigger city of Isfahan (~100 miles), and as a result most weavers are actually located in Isfahan. Isfahan is the main business and social center for that entire area, so over the years most of the Nain rug weavers moved closer to Isfahan.
Since Isfahan is also a very important rug weaving city, the Nain rugs are very heavily influenced by the design and style of the Isfahan rugs. They often share similar colors and designs, but are very different in qualities.
Nain rugs and carpets are perhaps some of the more recognizable weavings produced today. The coloring is very fresh and clean, as Nain is one of the few cities which uses white wool as a predominant color used in weaving. They are often easily identified by their heavy use of navy blue (often a field color), white (often a field color), cream, and some reds. While Nain “design” rugs are made in many different colors, most of the true Nains, or ones which are not from outlying cities, are consistently of a higher quality of 225 kpsi or greater. Interestingly enough, despite the higher quality, it’s very unusual for a Nain rug or carpet to feature more than 8 different colors total.
The majority of Nain rugs come in smaller sizes of 7’x10′ or less. More often than not, Nain rugs feature a center medallion, although may also be found with allover patterns less frequently. The wool used is often of a very high grade. Nains are often woven on cotton or silk foundation, usually very thinly sheered, and those of higher quality have a very dense hand.
Special thanks to “The Rug Rag” for the above information regarding these unique rugs.