Although probably founded duing the Sasanid period or earlier, modern Nain is a typical Islamic city, with its architecture and general urban layout having been based on Muslim concepts and beliefs. The early history of Naill. is shrouded in mystery, but some sparse information about this town does exist. During the Sasan id period, Nain was a small, but important town on the crossroads of trade routes between the Fars province, Esfahan, and Kennan. After the emergence of Islam, it was a town ill the dependency of Yazd, which, ill its turn, was a large city in the Baba Abdullah Mosque, Imamzadeh Sultan Seyed Ali, and the minbar of the Congregational Mosque.
During the Safavid reign, Nain was part of the Esfahan province, and prospered greatly in the vicinity of the capital. The Pirnia House, a caravanserai, and a post station have remained from that time.
After the fall of the Safavids, Nain was threatened by the Afghans, but withstood the attack due to its strong fortifications. The town thrived throughout the Qajar rule, when it was returned to the dependency of Yazd, and the Khajeh Khezr Mosque inside the bazaar and some parts of the bazaar itself are the Qajar legacy of Nain. Nain again submitted to control by Esfahan during the Pahlavi period, and has remained part of the Esfahan province since then.
Nains economy is based on handicrafts. In the past, it had a developed ceramic industry, but that has declined. Until sixty years ago, Nain was principally famous for making abo (mantles); today most of them are exported to the Arab countries. As the ranians' taste of clothes changed, the demand for mantles slowed down and the people of Nain put all their effort on carpet-weaving. It seems that the first carpet was woven in the city about a hundred years ago. According to A. Cecil Edwards, there were 250 looms in Nain in 1942. Although the city cannot boast a long tradition of carpet-weaving, it more than compensates in quality and number of the carpets that have been woven here.
Nain design undoubtedly, is not a native local design. People took the design from Esfahan but used their own colors affected by the desert. Many of the rugs have backgrounds decorated with medallions or an interlaced pattern of flowers and branches. The color scheme is usually red, beige, ivory, or white, alongside light green and azure. These are the colors of life in the vicinity of the desert. The carpets are woven in Persian knot and come in different sizes.
Religious feelings have remained very strong in Nain. Rivalries between different districts - a classic feature of medieval Iran - persisted there until the beginning of the 20th century, causing serious riots from time to time.
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