Qum

Qum enjoys notable advantages which are denied to many of its sister towns. It is situated on an important river, which for half the year at least is something more than a dry river bed, and which helps to irrigate a large area. It is a road and rail junction of growing importance and above all it possesses one of the most notable shrine in Iran, which is visited by many thousand of Pilgrims every year. Imam Reza’s (Shia’s eighth Imam) sister is buried here and as well as four more less important personages, the Sefavi monarchs Safi, Abbas II and Suleiman, and Fath Ali Shah, Qajar.

Qum did not begin to weave until the middle thirties. Some merchants from Kashan started the industry there.

In Qum all looms were in the houses. Generally there were two looms to a house. Qum did not produce much wool and most of what was used came from Sabsevar and was finely and evenly spun in Qum itself. In addition, a certain amount of spun yarn was imported from Tabriz.

In 1949 there were about 1000 looms in Qum, which was 500 less that after the war.

Qum in 1949 was producing interesting rugs and carpets, which possessed a character of their own and which differed from anything else produced in Iran. In knot count it was very similar to Kashan. Dyes were mainly vegetable because the ground colours were mainly cream.

When the industry was started some fifteen years ago it was fortunate in securing the services of a few designers who were devotees of the small repeating patterns, which the Persians love. Some of them were traditional, others were invented, and most of them were good. Qum at a bound established a style of its own.

Since 1980 There has been a revival of very fine silk weaving in Qum that has seen more varied designs and colour combinations.