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Leather & Football

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  • Leather & Football

    Dear All,

    Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to thank WATRB's for accepting our request to be a sponsor and be part of this forum. At Colourlock (www.colourlock.com), we are specialists in Leather care, repair and restoration based near Twickenham.

    Going forward, we intend to make our posts as closely related to football as possible. Today, we have put together some information on the types of leather used to make footballs. We hope you find it interesting.
    The outer cover is the outermost part of a soccer ball, which protects it from wear and gives the ball its appearance.

    With the new season due to start within the next few weeks we thought we could share some information on how football balls are made and a bit of history about them. Knowing the materials used to make a football will help you choose the right one. There are different materials for the outer cover (A), inner lining (B), bladder (C), stitch (D), and valve (E).
    Traditionally, the material for the outer cover is made of pure leather. But leather has poor water resistance and gets heavy in wet playing conditions. In the 1970s, soccer ball manufacturers began coating leather with polyurethane, a synthetic material, to protect the ball from damages like scuffs and scratches. It also made the ball playable even on wet weather.

    The outer cover of modern soccer balls are made of synthetic leather for enhanced water resistance. Synthetic leather (coated with polyurethane) is the material for soccer balls used at professional and top-flight level because it has the best feel for the ball.
    PVC is another material used for outer cover. This plastic-like material is highly durable but offers less feel for the ball. PVC covers are also hard, which do not make them ideal for playing.

    Stitches hold the panels of a football together.

    The panels on a professional football ball are mostly stitched with polyester, a durable, non-absorbent material. Kevlar thread can be also used for enhanced durability and water-resistance.

    Some football balls these days are no longer stitched. Instead, the panels are glued together using thermal heating. These balls are now the norms in international competitions such as the 2010 FIFA World Cup because the absence of stitches makes the ball smoother and more accurate.

    We hope you find this interesting and would love to hear some feedback and comments. Until then...enjoy the sunshine!!