Ever wondered exactly how an NFL-model football is manufactured?
That’s what crossed my mind today when, as I exited team headquarters at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., I saw a recently-shipped stack of Wilson NFL footballs sitting at the front door.
I found an interesting video about this process (see below), but was surprised to find out that the process of making an NFL football really isn’t too complicated.
A few facts, according to the video: The NFL footballs are made at the Wilson Football Factory in the small town of Ada, Ohio — and they’ve been made there for more than 40 years.
The leather Wilson uses to make the football is their own exclusive blend, too.
Here’s how the process breaks down:
- First you butcher the cow and cut the hide down the back.
- Then you cut the hide into four panels and stamp the leather, which presses the logo/wording into the ball in black and gold foil.
- Then the leather is split to get the proper weight.
- The football is then is sewn together, turned inside out manually to get the ends consistent, which is “one of the most stressful jobs in the factory.”
- After the ball is turned inside out, the carcass goes to be laced. The worker inserts the bladder and laces each football up by hand.
- The ball is then molded in 120 pounds of air pressure, which shapes the ball. After about a minute, the air is taken back down to 13 pounds and the mold is re-opened.
- After the ball is measured around both ends and weighed, it is ready to go to the NFL.
Here’s a video (via MediaCabin1) that shows this interesting process:
Tags: Ada, footballs, NFL, Ohio, pigskin, washington redskins, Wilson
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