Step 2: Manufacturing

The making of a football is a 5 day process, starting with cutting four panels in the shape of a prolate spheroid. Using a hydraulically driven clicking machine, an operator cuts the panels. Each panel then goes through a machine in order to produce its predetermined thickness and weight. They are then stamped with a logo and the panels are punctured with eight lacing holes, each a half inch apart, and one air valve hole. The panel is sewn with a synthetic lining. The lining is composed of three layers of cross-laid fabric cemented together, which protects the panel from stretching or growing out of shape while in use. The ball is stitched on the inside and then must be manually turned inside out. Either a rubber bladder is placed inside the ball or a machine will fill the ball with polyurethane bladder. The ball is then hand laced with vinyl lacing strings and taken to be over-inflated to ensure the panels shape the ball properly. Finally, the balls are inflated with a pressure of 12.5 lb to 13.5 lb.

lacing

The lengthy process of manufacturing a football is split up into many steps. One of them is lacing the ball by hand.

 

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