Qum rugs are manufactured in the city of Qum, which is located in central Iran about 100 kilometers away from the country’s capital city, Tehran.
The Qum Province is often referred to as a holy city and is as famous for its rich religious history and religious monuments as it is for its high quality, pure silk rugs. Some of the highest quality Persian rugs are produced in this religious city although the history of weaving in Qum is still fairly new as compared to some of the other rug weaving provinces.
Rug weaving in Qum started sometime in the 1930s when the rug merchants from the neighboring Kashan moved their looms along the historic trade route to the oasis of Qum.
Once they were settled, weaving flourished with the weavers incorporating a variety of styles into their creations. Most of the styles that are used in these rugs have been gathered from several different parts of Persia and the Caucasus, which is why you will see that the rugs from this region feature a combination of a wide variety of styles, ranging from ornate and elaborate medallion and corner designs to bolder hunting rugs as well as pictorial designs that depict scenes from everyday life.
Despite the fact that most patterns are copied from other styles, Qum rugs still manage to retain their distinctly recognizable characteristics. This is because of the construction of the rugs.
Qum master weavers used ultrafine silk fiber in their weaving. The smaller diameter of the silk fiber made it possible for the weavers to create minute hairline details like wrinkles, drapes and fine lines into their designs.
This gave the designs an added layer of complexity that you don’t see in many other types of rugs. Whether the rugs depict one person, animal or motif or several of them in a small area, the fine detailing is never compromised and this is what distinguishes Qum rugs from other rugs in the region. It has also earned the city the reputation as one of the best producers of high quality silk rugs in Persia.
Although you can find larger sized Qum rugs, most rugs that originate from this region are smaller in size. This is because of the extensive time, labor and materials that were needed to create them.
However what they lack in size, they more than make up for in quality. The knot count for these rugs is about 500 kpsi and that can go up to 700 kpsi for some of the better quality pieces. The fine wool and the dense knotting results in fabulous looking rugs that are extremely decorative and elegant.