How are footballs made?

Find out with Sir Sidney McSprocket!

Sir Sidney McSprocket’s been in action capturing facts – all about manufacturing!

Today he’s finding out all about footballs!

Now, the footballs used in the Premier League may look fairly simple – after all they’re just a ball! But a lot of hard work goes in to making sure each one does its job perfectly – with no foul ups!

The material used to make a football is made of several layers. The top layer is a foam coated in polyurethane – this is a smooth material which stops the ball getting scuffed.

This layer is then glued to a fabric which provides the strength. Rollers are used to press these layers together so they won’t come apart.

You may have noticed that a football is made up of lots of many sided shapes…

20 hexagons and 12 pentagons will be punched out of the material and grouped together to be sent to the stitchers.

These shapes are then stitched by hand. It takes three hours to complete one ball – then it’s ready to have its valve added – that’s the little hole where you pump it up.

Once pumped up, the ball is thoroughly checked. They must be within 5mm of 64 centimetres in diameter and weigh between 425 and 445 grams.

They also undergo tests to make sure they can withstand heat, pressure, water – and of course a lot of kicking!

Only the balls which meet the tough standards will reach the pitch, meaning that if you don’t shoot that goal – well, you can’t blame the ball!

New technology is being developed to use fewer pieces and use glue instead of stitching, but it’s a manufacturing process that is taken very seriously – almost as seriously as the game itself!

Sidney McSprocket is Fun Kids’ resident inventor!

When he’s not in Edinburgh, tinkering with wacky contraptions in his workshop, he’s finding out all about manufacturing!

In the latest series, Sidney is finding out about a whole load of everyday objects from tin cans and toothbrushes to plastic bottles and Pyrex…

Sir Sidney McSprocket's Amazing Inventions

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Sidney McSprocket’s How’s it Made, with support from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851.

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