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Material Guide
  We try our best to provide our customers and general people essential information about sports and equipment. The soccer ball buyer’s guide is one effort to make soccer and sports ball buyers more informed in their decision.

This guide about the soccer ball parts, production process and material characteristics can be followed as an example for the most of other inflatable sports balls but exceptions exist. This section includes the following parts:


The four main components of a soccer ball are the cover, the lining, the stitching, and the bladder. Understanding these components and their options will help you in choosing the perfect ball to meet your playing and quality needs.

Elements of Soccer Balls and Materials used in Production
Surface, Casing or Cover  
Internal Linings (Polyester or Cotton)  
Bladder (Latex or Butyl)  
Ball Cover

The ball cover consists of synthetic or artificial leather or PU laminated splits. Various types of synthetic leather are used in the outer covering of ball for producing different qualities and this becomes a determining element in pricing. The cover material also determines the performance of sports balls in various playing conditions. The playing condition could affect the durability, flight and drive of ball during play.

The surface of soccer balls or coverings is made up from synthetic leather. Synthetic leather is typically made from PU (polyurethane) and PVC (poly vinyl chloride). There are many variations of synthetic leather used in the construction of soccer balls. They range from AI-2000, Japanese Teijin Cordley, Microfiber, English Porvair, Korean Ducksung, Leather Art Pakistan Synthetic Leather, and PVC (poly vinyl chloride). Therefore, special attention is given to use material which could withstand environment such as water, extreme heat, sun exposure, cold weather, rough surface, abrasion, etc.

The top quality soccer balls used in competition matches and by professionals are produced by using AI-2000, Cordley, Ducksung, Mircofiber or other types of PU synthetic leather, giving ball the balls superior feel and softness, durability, fine finish and maneuverability.

Promotional soccer balls or practice balls are usually constructed with Polyvinylchloride (PVC) or rubber stitched covers that give soft feel, durability, scuff and water resistant qualities.

Some indoor soccer ball covers are made with a felt material similar to what is used on a tennis ball.

The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often used for lower end price models and is therefore not long lasting. It is affordable and enjoyable for leisure time. PVC cover material is scuff and water resistant. It tends to be harder and heavier and thus offers less feel and softness.

The cover material may have a clear finish of enamel or gloss and matt on the materials.

The printing is done by penetrating the ink in the covering material of the ball. Any brand names, logos and graphics are printed on the panels at this stage. Printing is typically accomplished by silk-screening printing process. A special transparent top coating may be applied on surface of the designs and printing to protect and make them supportable.
  The process of placing multiple layers of polyester and/or cotton which is bonded (laminated) together is called lining or lamination of soccer balls cover material to produce a tough, smooth exterior. Material thickness plays a vital part in the quality of hand-sewn soccer balls as it endures the power of kick along with the bladder of ball. The lining gives the ball strength, structure, feel, control and helps the ball to retain its shape and bounce over the life of the ball.

The lamination or lining of synthetic leather shell with strongest cross laminated layers of fibre is carried out by using natural latex adhesives. The anti fungus ingredients are blended into condensed natural latex adhesive to make ball fungus-proof.

Professional soccer balls usually have four or more layers of lining. Mid-level balls generally are comprised of two or three layers of cotton and polyester layers of lining. Lower-priced balls generally are constructed of two layers of polyester. Promotional or practice balls are often constructed with less layers of lining. Many soccer balls include a foam layer for added cushioning and ball control.

The stitching is performed by turning the ball inside out, so none of the stitches show on the outside. Hand sewn balls have tighter and stronger seams. The highest quality balls are hand-stitched with polyester cord or similar thread. The nylon waxed twine is also used to prevent water intake. 5-ply twisted polyester cord is the material of choice in stitching together a soccer ball. Kevlar® reinforced polyester stitching is also used on some balls.
  The number of panels -- the different segments that make up the outside covering of the ball -- varies for each design.

A 32 panel ball is most common and other includes 26, 18 panels used in various professional leagues. Other variations may include 20 hexagonal, 12 pentagonal surfaces. Fewer panels generally mean the ball can be curved more when kicked because of less stability to the cover.

The bladder is the inside part of the ball that is filled with air. Generally two types of bladders are used in sports balls - latex bladder and butyl bladder.
  Latex Bladder  
The latex bladders offer the softest feel, response and surface tension but do not provide the best air retention. They generally require more frequent filling up with air.
  Butyl Bladder  
  The butyl bladders retain air for longer periods of time and offer the excellent combination of contact quality and can be found in most middle to upper priced balls.

Futsal ball bladders are filled with foam to limit the bouncing capability of the ball since they are used on hard flooring.


Bladder Variations

There are some variations in bladders which deals with the short comings in the above two types of bladders, especially the air retention quality.
    1. The latex bladder with butyl valves is used for longer air retention and to prevent the warping of balls.  
2. In the higher end balls, silicone-treated valve is used for superior performance. The silicone liquid is applied to     nourish and lubricate the valve for air control.  
Soccer balls come in the following official sizes:
Size 5 Ages 12 and up  
Size 4 Ages 8 and 12 years  
Size 3 Under 8 years  
Size 2 and 1 Promotional soccer balls  
  Many soccer leagues have different size requirements, so be sure to check with your coach or organization to find out which is the proper size for the age group that the ball will be used with.  
  Size 3:  
Size 3 balls are the smallest balls and are generally used for children under the age of 8  
These balls are generally 23-24 inches in circumference and weigh between 11-12 ounces
Size 4:
Size 4 balls are used for players between the ages of 8-12
Size 4 balls weigh between 12-13 ounces and have a circumference of 25-26 inches
Size 5:
This is the international standard match ball for all ages 12 and older, including all adult play
The size 5 ball weighs between 14-16 ounces with a circumference of 27-28 inches
  The soccer and sports balls are packed in strong cartons to withstand the stress of journey. The printing or marking, handling instructions on inner carton, if any, outer cartons and poly bags are neatly carried out.

There is variety of material available for packaging solution. The packing material approved by customers is used for packing of balls.


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