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LETTER xxin        LEATHER AND NAMADS                     151

and Frean's " biscuits among them. The display of fruit
just now is very fine, especially of grapes and melons. The
best peaches, which are large and of delicious flavour, as
well as the best pears, come from the beautiful orchards
of Jairud, not far from Kum. The saddlery and caravan
equipment bazars are singularly well supplied, as indeed
they should be, for Hamadan is famous for leather, and
caravans loaded with hides for its tanneries are met with
on every road. The bark and leaves of the pomegranate
are used for tanning. Besides highly ornamental leather
for book-bindings and women's shoes, the tanners prepare
the strong skins which, after being dyed red, are used
for saddles, coverings of trunks, and bindings for JcJmrjins.

Hamadan is also famous for namads or felts, which are
used as carpets and horsa-coverings, and as greatcoats by
the peasants as well as by the Lurs. A good carpet felt
of Hamadan manufacture is an inch thick, but some made
at Yezd reach two inches. For rich men's houses they
are made to order to fit rooms, and valuable rugs are laid
over them. The largest I have seen is in the palace of
the Minister of Justice at Tihran, which must be fully
a hundred and twenty feet by eighty feet, and formed
fourteen mule-loads; but sixty by forty feet is not an
uncommon size, and makes eight mule-loads. These
carpet namads, the most delicious of floor-coverings, are
usually a natural brown, with an outline design in coloured
threads or in a paler shade of brown beaten into the
fabric. Namads, owing to their bulk and weight, are
never exported. The best, made at Hamadan, are about
20s. the square yard. Chairs spoil them, and as it is
becoming fashionable among the rich men of the cities
to wear tight trousers, which bring chairs in their train,
the manufacture of these magnificent floor-coverings will
probably die.

The felt coats, which protect equally from rain and