How are Soccer Balls Made

Within a soccer ball is something known as bladder that holds air. The bladders are either made from latex or butyl, depending on the soccer ball quality. The balls that have the highest quality have butyl bladders that are the most expensive compared to latex but can hold air longer. In order for the bladder to be made, latex or butyl is heated carefully, and then poured into mold. When cooled, the round, flat bladder will be taken out and set aside.

The soccer ball’s bladder is bordered by lining layers. Such layers are comprised of polyester or laminated cotton sheets. There could be up to four layers in a soccer ball. If there are more layers, the ball will bounce higher. The most expensive balls have four layers at least. The lining layers are affixed to the outer ball cover.

The outside of the soccer balls or the outer cover are made from synthetic leather or rubber. Professional balls are usually made with synthetic leather while the practice balls are typically made of rubber. Some of the indoor balls have covers that are made from material consisting of various thin layers of felt that is laminated.

The material of the cover is stitched into the layers and the entire thing will be sent into a machine that cuts out each panel along with the convenient holes from the stitch. If the ball has graphics, the machine will add those into the sheets of fabric before cutting it. Then the panels are finally glued or sewn together. Balls that are of the highest grade are hand-stitched with special cord that consists of five polyester lines that are all twisted together. The medium grade ones are stitched together with machines while those that are most inexpensive are glued together.

The panels are then sewn together turning the ball inside out, the round bladder taken out of the mold and cooled off is sewn together as well into sphere and inflated partially. When the panels are almost complete, the ball will be turned right side out and the bladder will be stuffed inside the ball. The rest of the panels are then sewn closed around its inflating spot and then the bladder will be inflated. The final steps are done all by hand.


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