Nains are hand knotted on a vertical loom with a warp and weft of very fine cotton. The weft is often passed twice between the rows of knots thus giving this carpet durability. The pile is normally of wool and is always very closely cropped. Silk is often used in the pile, serving to heighten the effect of some parts of the decorations thus giving it a certain gleam. Some rare examples exist which are made entirely of silk. Nains incorporate a Persian knot with very high densities ranging from 300 to 600 knots per square inch. There are varying sizes but the medium and large-size carpets are most common.

The central Persian town of Nain was renowned as a weaving centre of high quality and costly woolen cloth. When this craft fell into decline around the turn of the century, rug-weavers were imported from Isfahan, and by mid-century the town had established itself as one of the foremost carpet-weaving centres in the world.

In appearance, quality and structure, Nains are very similar to Isfahans, but they tend to contain more bird and animal motifs in their infill decorations and the majority of their designs are outlined in silk. The field is decorated with an interlaced pattern of flowering branches or what is often referred to as Shah Abbas designs. The border is traditional, one of a wider central band flanked by two guards, which are sometimes framed by two narrow bands. All the bands are decorated with a floral motif, often enclosed in cartouches along the main one. The colour scheme is very light with a lot of blue, beige, azure, ivory, red and white.

Master workshop items are often made in much larger sizes than standard workshop items, but they usually employ a similar range of designs and, although wool or wool and silk carpets are most common, some items are made entirely of silk. A large proportion of Nains are for the home market where they are much prized by the Arab states. As such they are often hard to find outside of the Middle East.

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