Pure silk rugs have been made in Tabriz, Kashan and other cities in Iran, but the city of Qum also known as Qom, Quom or Ghom is the most notable producer of silk Persian rugs woven with the luminescent fiber. Weavers in Qum also use wool and cotton. However, the pure silk rugs of Qum are the city’s most famous exports.

The history of the Qum silk rug goes back to the 1930s when carpet merchants from Kashan moved their looms down the historic trade routes to the neighboring oasis of Qum, which is located roughly 90 miles south of Tehran. As a weaving center that emerged within the past one hundred years, the designs and traditions in Qum are gathered from various parts of Persia and the Caucasus.

Silk Persian rugs from Qum feature a tremendous variety of styles that include everything from elegant medallion and corner designs to fantastic hunting rugs and pictorial patterns that depict scenes from everyday life. While many carpets feature borrowed designs, pictorial silk rugs from Qum are among the most recognizable. By using ultra-fine silk fiber, the master weavers in Qum create hairline details like fingernails, wrinkles and drapes in clothing that are an unmistakable hallmark used by weavers in Qum as well as Kashan where many designs originated.

Qum is a religious center known for its important landmarks and holy sites. Although prayer rugs and Islamic-influenced designs are commonly made in Qum, the city has also produced a number of deeply symbolic Judaic silk rugs. Influenced by the pictorial carpets created in Kashan, Semitic weavers in Qum have made carpets that depict important religious stories using a pictorial narrative.

Whether a Qum Silk rug depicts one person or one dozen people, the precision and level of detail has earned the city the well-deserved reputation as one of the best producers of silk carpets in Persia. Due to the time and materials needed to make pure silk rugs, most Qum silk rugs are smaller pieces suitable for hanging but large carpets, round rugs and unusual shapes are also seen from time to time. The quality and construction of Qum silk rugs is impeccable but the true beauty of these rugs is the luminosity of the natural silk fiber that catches and reflects the natural light.

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