نواحی و مناطق قالی بافی

Qum/Ghom Rugs and Carpets Persian Rug Guide

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a theocracy .meaning that the religious leader (currently Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei) oversees the government. So while Tehran is the center of the Government the Holy city of Qum is the center of the Shia Theocracy.

As the city gains in importance the quality of carpets improves as well.We can speculate about the cause and effect but the best of Qum rugs rivals the best of anywhere in Iran.

Workshops such as Mirmehdi of Qum are making some of the best rugs in Iran today.

Guide to Qum Rugs and Carpets

N.B. this is what I wrote just a few years ago but time and my visits to Iran have caused me to update my notes as you can see above.

Ghom is young as far as weaving centers go. Large scale commercial weaving only dates back to 1930s. As a weaving center it is not as technically sophisticated at Nain or Isfahan. Qum rugs and carpets can be beautiful but lack the sophistication of Kashan. The biggest difference at the top end of the Persian market is that Ghom lacks the large market for the best designers so the top layer is relatively thin. With the exception of a handful such as Rashtehzadeh Ghom borders will not be as well articulated, cartoons will be used for several different size rugs so that there are imperfections in scale. I do not want to seem harsh, most Ghom rugs are not nearly at the level of a Seirafian Isfahan or Habibian Nain, but then again neither are most Isfahan or Nain rugs.

A silk and metal-thread Ghom, lot 16

A silk and metal-thread Ghom, lot 16

Rashti Zadeh Koum Rug

Rashti Zadeh Koum Rug

  • Large Persian city 90 miles south of Isfahan. Qum has become a major rug producing area in the second half of the 20th century. Major production center for silk rugs. The Zil-i-Sultani pattern is very common as are designs derivative of Bahktiarri garden carpets and Isfahan carpets.
  • Important designers included Rashtehzadeh, Arsalani, and Ahmad Archang
Sotheby's Ghom silk rug, C.1950

Sotheby's Ghom silk rug, C.1950

Detail of Back Antiques Row Quality silk Ghom rug

Detail of Back Antiques Row Quality silk Ghom rug

Persian Knot, Depressed Warps

Structure: Asymmetrical knot open to the left. Knot counts can range from 120 to 900 or 1000

Persian Knot, Depressed Warps

Color: While Ghom rugs use a wide range of colors they tend to be brighter and more colorful than Isfahan or Nain rugs and not quite as rich as a Kashan.

Tariq Mirza of Mannam Carpets on Qum Rugs

In the late 50's and early 60's we were regularly buying in Qum, wool rugs with silk outlines, wool rugs with silk motifs, silk ground rugs with wool motifs and all silk rugs. So the use of silk in a big way seems to have started well before 1961. At that time I very rarely saw a Qum with 20x20 kpsi.
Today 26x26 is pretty common and many higher knot count pieces coming into Pakistan seem to be the handiwork of half baked weavers/designers. 900 kpsi used to be (occasionally) Uncle Habibian's and, of course, Aghai Seirafian's preserve, even his son Sadiq rarely attempted it. New Persian Carpets - Qum, Kum, Gum - 04/24/2000

Qum part silk prayer rug, C. 1930-40, W&W lot 153
W&W Qum part silk prayer rug, C. 1930-40, lot 153

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