The city of Nain is located in the central Iranian province of Esfahan. Prior to the 1930s, men’s cloaks (abaas) were woven in this city; however, as cloaks went out of fashion, the rug industry replaced the cloak-industry. Nain rugs are woven with the asymmetrical (Persian) knot inside both workshops and homes, and are sold through the bazaars of the capital city of the province also named Esfahan. Although the majority of Nain rugs have either wool pile, or wool pile with silk highlights, all-silk Nain rugs are woven as well. The foundation of Nain rugs can be either cotton or silk.
Nain rugs are known worldwide for their fine weave and extremely detailed curvilinear designs. They are similar to Esfahan rugs in both design and construction. One main difference is that more animal motifs, especially birds, are used in the background of Nain rugs. One distinguishing trait that sets Nain rugs apart from other styles is the use of the islimi motif. The common designs consist of star medallions, shah abbasi and islimi medallion-and-corner, all-over shah abbasi, mina-khani, and paneled (often curved panels). It is common to see floral (mainly shah abbasi) and animal motifs (frequently birds) inside the panels and even inside the compartments of the mina-khani. The shah abbasi motif is the most common border motif.