SOCCER Ball Construction

STITCHED

Stitching plays a key role in determining the quality of a soccer ball. The issue of whether to choose hand stitching or machine stitching for soccer balls can be resolved mostly by considering how the item will be used.

Hand-Stitched

  • Most high-end balls are hand-stitched
  • Tighter and stronger seams, more durable
  • Allows for deeper seams, protecting the stitching
  • Longer longevity and playability of the ball

Machine Stitched

  • Fast and inexpensive method more commonly used for mid-priced balls
  • Seams aren’t as deep as the hand -stitched, the stitching isn’t as durable
  • Exposed seam easily stretches and will potentially tear

Thermal Bonding / Glue

  • Lower-end, practice balls generally have the panels glued together onto the lining
  • These offer a harder feel and are generally less expensive than stitched balls

OUTER COVER MATERIAL

There are three main types of materials used to make soccer balls: PVC (Poly Vinyl Carbonate), PU (Polyurethane) and Leather.

  1. PU: more responsive to foot work; generally used for match balls
  2. PVC: more durable; used for training and indoor balls
  3. Leather: still used in some construction, but frowned upon due to its absorption of water

* Glossy coatings are often used to aid in reducing water absorption and scuffing on softer PU soccer balls.

 


INNER LININGS

  • Helps the ball retain the shape and bounce over the life of the ball
  • Material thickness plays a vital part in the quality of hand-sewn soccer balls
  • Multiple layers of lining are placed between the cover and the bladder
  • Layers are composed of polyester and/or cotton bonded together to give the ball strength, structure and bounce
  • Professional soccer balls usually have four or more layers of lining
  • Training balls are often constructed with less layers of lining

* Many soccer balls include a foam layer for added cushioning and ball control. 

 


BLADDER

  • The bladder in a soccer ball holds the air
  • Usually made from rubber, latex or butyl
Latex bladders 
  • Tend to provide better surface tension
  • Offer softer feel and response
  • Same angle re-bounce characteristics
Butyl bladders 
  • Offer the excellent combination of contact quality and air retention
  • Found in most middle to upper priced balls
    1.  Natural Latex Rubber bladders 
     
    • Offer the softest feel and response
    • Do not provide the best air retention
    • Micro pores slowly let air escape
    • Need to be re-inflated once a week
    2. Carbon-latex bladders

    • Help to close many of the micro pores
    • Keep latex soft response and bounce
    3. Rubber bladders
      
    • Offer an excellent combination of feel and air retention
    • Can be found in most recreational balls.

    VALVE

    • Most balls use butyl valves for air retention, with higher end balls using a silicone-treated valve for superior performance.
    • Silicone treated valves are used on some balls for smooth insertion of the inflating needle and added protection from air loss.


         

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