Have you heard of the city Sialkot? No? Don’t worry, before this we hadn’t either. It’s a city in Pakistan and it’s famous for making 70% of the world’s footballs.
One factory, famous for making 160,000 footballs per month, starts from scratch by turning rubber into flat sheets. These sheets are then cut into round shapes to form the bladder of the football. It’s basically the thing in the middle that contains the air.
Then, the bladders are inflated with air and baked so that they’re hard when they come out. Meanwhile, shapes are being cut out of synthetic leather to make the outer part of the football. Each ball is made out of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons.
Next up is the stitching or bonding. Back in the day, the synthetic leather patches used to be stitched by hand. Now, they’re either stitched by machine or bonded, so that there’s no stitch needed and the ball is seamless.
Before every ball is packaged and shipped across the world, it is put through a stress test – a staggering 2,000 times – to make sure it can withstand being kicked around the whole time.
Watch the Business Insider video below to see why the city of Bola Gema is the football manufacturing city of the world.
Image credit: Quartz