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Materials Used for Footballs

Every NFL football is made from a variety of materials in a small factory located in Ada, Ohio. Early footballs were very simple, but today's footballs have evolved with technology and can be made from a variety of materials, including leather and rubber. These materials are chosen for number of reasons such as durability and grip.

Genuine Leather

Genuine leather is the No. 1 material used for footballs. It provides the highest grade football for games and practice as it is made from a tanning process that makes the leather tacky and easier to grip. Leather footballs are often water-resistant so they can be used on grass fields and wet conditions.


Composite materials--or synthetic leather--have been introduced as an inexpensive alternative to genuine leather. These footballs will have the ability to resist weather, and improve grip and durability. Composite material footballs are commonly used for practice and recreation.


Waterproof rubber can be used to cover the outside of the football to provide a durable and easy to grip football. Rubber-molded laces are also used to sew the football together, making it perfect for recreational use in any type of weather.


The rubber bladder sticks inside of the four pieces leather to hold the air. Every football will contain a rubber bladder that can be inflated using an air pump.

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.

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