The Court Of Carpets: When Wimbledon Met Rural Rajasthan For A Game Of Tennis

The Court Of Carpets
The Court Of Carpets Jaipur Rugs

Tennis may be played on a grass lawn originally but for a new campaign by Jaipur Rugs, to celebrate their new London store, the brand created ‘The Court of Carpets’. To do so, they layered 93 exquisite rugs selected from the brand’s archive to match the pink and green tones of some surrounding bougainvillaea hedges. All of this, for a particularly unique match: a village team of weavers-turned-tennis players challenging none other than Rohan Bopanna, India's No.1 doubles player, who's about to compete at Wimbledon.

The campaign draws inspiration from Jaipur Rugs' previous work, a village cricket match played on a carpet pitch by an all-female artisan team. This time, the stakes are higher. Weeks of rigorous training in their weaving village of Manpura, north of Jaipur, have transformed four master artisans into formidable tennis stars. The film, a delightful creative collision of Wimbledon and rural Rajasthan, celebrates the shared value of excellence. The artisans, clad in elegant tennis saris – a unique fusion of classic whites and Rajasthani tradition – showcase their newfound skills against Bopanna. 

The campaign is a celebration of human potential and the transformative power of craft. The layered court features a hand-knotted net, a testament to the artisans' exceptional weaving skills. The neon yarn balls, a playful touch, add a pop of colour to the scene. Even the borders of the artisans' saris are not merely decorative; they're dyed a distinctive Jaipur pink - a subtle nod to their heritage. The scenography, from the carefully chosen antique Persian carpet at the center court to the Bakhtiar runners lining the sides, reflects the rich visual language of Jaipur Rugs. The alignment of white wool fringes marking the service lines is another clever detail that blends the essence of tennis with the artistry of rug-making.

The story of The Court of Carpets also speaks to the brand's commitment to empowering its artisans. Four of the players facing Rohan Bopanna are master artisans from the weaving village of Manpura, just north of Jaipur. After volunteering for this extraordinary challenge, they trained for months under the guidance of an in-house tennis pro, Anshul Pareek. With the same passion and precision they bring to their craft, Annu Kumari, Payal Kumari, Lalita Kumari, and Shrimati Poonam Devi transformed themselves into formidable competitors, mastering powerful serves and backhand volleys. As Annu Kumari herself reflects, "Humne sapne main bhi kabhi nahi socha tha ki hamaare kaam ke karan humein aise bhi mauka milega?” (Who knew our craft could open such doors?)

The campaign's success lies in its ability to weave together seemingly disparate elements: the sportsmanship of Wimbledon and the rug-making craft of rural Rajasthan. The attention to detail that powers the campaign represents the pursuit of excellence across whatever your craft may be. It is one of the strongest campaigns we've seen from a brand that nurtures craftsmanship, representation, inclusivity, and a perfect balance between tradition and modernity. 

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