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2002/65/1 Carpet, handknotted, silk, woven by Haj Reza at the Zomorod Carpet workshop, Nain, Iran, 1990 - 1995. Click to enlarge.

Hand knotted silk carpet by Haj Reza

Contemporary Nain carpets are the inheritors of an ancient tradition. They are made, as the name suggests, in Nain, a small Iranian town on the rim of the Great Desert, northeast of Isfahan. Silk, from which this example is made, has been used for making the finest rugs and carpets for many centuries; today however, silk is used at only a few weaving centres such as Nain, Kashan and Isfahan.

Nain's carpet industry began in the late 1930s, and rapidly developed into the workshop production of …


Object No.


Object Statement

Carpet, handknotted, silk, woven by Haj Reza at the Zomorod Carpet workshop, Nain, Iran, 1990 - 1995

Physical Description

Large rectangular carpet, with silk wefts and asymmetrically knotted silk pile on a creamy white silk warp. The pile is finely and densely worked in the characteristic cream, blues and fawns of Nain carpets. The design features an overall repeat lattice pattern with alternating flower and bird motifs within each diamond. The carpet has a wide border of arched motifs, each containing flowers and birds, between narrow floral guard stripes. The ends are finished with knotted self fringes and there is a workshop signature cartouche at the top.



2000 mm


1230 mm


10 mm




Because carpet weaving began in Nain as recently as the late 1930s, the Nain weavers have no old traditional patterns of their own to draw on for their rug designs. Consequently, they tend to produce designs that resemble those of nearby Isfahan with curvilinear Safavid elements. Arguably the finest Persian carpets were produced during the reign of the Safavid kings of the 16th century.

The design of this carpet is simply structured with an overall curvilinear lattice design in the field, surrounded by a broad border between two guard stripes. Curvilinear designs are typical of town or factory woven rugs, whose weavers work from large-scale drawings, known as cartoons, of the required design. This type of design probably evolved around the end of the fifteenth century; prior to this, rugs were produced in a tribal context and their designs tended to be rectilinear.

The lattices of the field contain naturalistic flowers and birds, typical elements in Persian/Iranian carpet design. The pattern of the border, a conventional 'must' in Persian carpets, is formed by rows of mihrab (prayer niche) shaped arches, again containing flowers and birds. The guard stripes contain a small repeat design of more stylised flowers alternating with serrated boteh ('paisley' pattern) shaped leaves. The rug is worked in the characteristic Nain colour scheme of a range of blues and some tan and green on an ivory ground.

The carpet was made at the Zomorod Carpet workshop in Nain, a small Iranian town on the rim of the Great Desert, northeast of Isfahan. According to the donor, the weaver was Haj Reza, brother in law of the Ghanbari brothers of Zomorod Carpets. The workshop signature cartouche is worked in pile at one end of the rug.

The warp and weft are of fine, tightly spun silk. Silk has also been used for the pile, which is hand knotted using asymmetrical (Persian) knots. The knot density is approximately 900,000 knots per square metre, being ten knots and nine rows to the square centimetre.

This is a contemporary carpet, the product of the Zomorod Carpet workshop in Nain, Iran, in the mid 1990s.



The carpet is in mint condition, apparently unused.
The carpet was bought by the donor in Iran in the mid 1990s and has remained in his possession since that time.


Credit Line

Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Anthony and Jacqueline Sukari, on behalf of their daughters Danielle, Paulina and Louise, 2002

Acquisition Date

16 June 2002

Cite this Object


Hand knotted silk carpet by Haj Reza 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 28 July 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Hand knotted silk carpet by Haj Reza |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=28 July 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}