Qum Handmade Rugs

Qum (or Qom or Kum) rugs are made in the city of Qum, a religious center, a Shia Holy City that is a pilgrimage destination for millions. This city is located in Qum province south of Iran’s capital city Tehran and in Iran’s central desert area, and it became a rug weaving center only relatively recently in the past 100 years, yet its high quality wool and silk handmade Persian rugs are world renowned and among the most expensive.

Qum handmade rugs combine and offer a wide range of a variety of styles. The very fine silk used in these rugs makes them distinctive, allowing the weavers to create very refined and intricately detailed curvilinear designs with floral motifs around a medallion, whether in traditionally inspired or in modern and innovative designs. Qum handmade rugs also feature allover designs or pictorial images of landscapes, hunting and historical scenes.

An example of a modern, artistic interpretation of the tree of life on a Qom handmade silk Persian rug available at Beautiful Rugs (catalog number 361) shows a flowering  tree with a profusion of rich and intense yellow, white, red, and purple stylized flowers that fill the entire rug field and are arranged in a random, free flowing patterns. In contrast, the main border area has a more traditional, symmetrical arrangement of repeated floral designs in its corners and in the center of the vertical and horizontal areas of the rug’s border. This modern Qom silk rug can be compared to a more traditional presentation on a silk Qom rug available at Beautiful Rugs (catalog number 702) with is more clearly delineated floral patterns.

More time and attention needs to be devoted to weaving a Qom handmade rug, so they tend to be smaller in size and are often hung on walls. Some well-known 20th century Iranian rug weaver-designers are Ahmand Archang and Rashti Zadeh.