Wimbledon’s Famous Towels Made, and for Sale, in India – India Real Time – WSJ

It’s Wimbledon season, which means it’s Wimbledon towel season.

The colorful terry-cloth towels used by tennis players on court are the most-prized keepsake from the annual tournament at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in southwest London.

Even the sport’s biggest stars are not immune, pocketing around half of the 6,000 towels set aside for their use during the matches, and giving them away to friends and family. The towels are so popular that the tournament employed towel police to prevent thefts until 2012, when they stopped trying to prevent players from stuffing their bags full of towels.

Thousands of tennis fans will scramble to get one of the 100,000 towels made for this year’s tournament inside Wimbledon’s gates or online. The luckiest ones will be in India.

That’s because textile giant Welspun India Ltd. has produced the towels in Gujarat since buying the iconic British towel manufacturer Christy, in 2006.

There are two Wimbledon towels for players. The one given to male players is purple and green with tennis balls and letters in a color called “buttermilk.”

The women’s towel is done up in new colors each year, this year’s is described as “Apple Berry.”

While most people will be lining up to pay £30 (3,015 rupees) for this year’s towel on the sidelines of the hallowed courts, Indian fans can buy one online for 1,295 rupees, or 995 rupees for the women’s version.

“However,” said Dipali Goenka, head of Welspun, “the market for Wimbledon towels in India is very small currently.”

via Wimbledon’s Famous Towels Made, and for Sale, in India – India Real Time – WSJ.

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