Horween Leather Corporation Basketballs and footballs for the NBA and NFL are both made entirely of Horween Leather Company leather. The leather used to make these balls is harvested from cattle that die of natural causes or because they were killed for their skin, which is then processed into leather products. There are several types of leather used to make sports equipment, with cowhide being the most common. Other types include python, lizard, alligator, and kangaroo.
Basketballs are manufactured from the skins of dead cows or buffalo. The leather is then dyed red-brown or black and treated with oil or wax to enhance its durability and keep it from drying out. The ball's surface is then stitched with cotton thread and sealed with a protective finish.
Cattle down in an undeveloped state was used as raw material for making leather. After killing a cow for meat, its skin would harden into leather. This is why a deer skin will not make a good basketball. Basketweavers wanted leather that was flexible but strong. They knew that only certain animals would provide them with this combination of qualities. Cowhide is by far the most popular type of leather used to make sports equipment.
Basketballs and footballs for the NBA and NFL are both made entirely of Horween Leather Company leather. The final hides for basketballs are then transferred to China for cutting and stitching. A basketball's interior is made out of a spherical "bladder" of vulcanized rubber that contains air. Brass or steel wires are used to tie the leather together at certain points around the ball, depending on how tightly you want it to bounce.
The term "basketball" was originally coined by Dr. James Naismith in 1891 as part of his original game design specifications for YMCA teams in Kansas City, Missouri. He called for a ball that was "large enough to make a sound when struck but not so large as to be inconvenient or expensive to ship." Although basketballs have undergone many changes over the years, they still are made primarily from leather or synthetic materials with some rubber components added for durability and bounce.
Balls used in college basketball are usually made of natural cowhide with the hair on the outside. This provides more weight and resistance to wear and tear. Footballs and soccer balls are made of natural or synthetic leather with various additives to improve color and flexibility.
Professional basketball players know exactly what kind of leather they are working with during games. Natural leather tends to be heavy and hard to move, while synthetic versions are much lighter and more flexible.
Almost all basketballs nowadays have a rubber inflating inner, followed by layers of fiber, and the outside of the ball is composed of leather, fake leather, or rubber. The NBA designated the Spalding leather ball as the official game ball in 1983. It was used for that season's championship playoffs and the following season began using the Dunlop Sports Marketing (DSM) 1000.
The first basketball was made from vulcanized animal intestines but today's balls are mostly made from synthetic materials because they are more durable and don't decompose as easily. Before the 1970s, basketballs were made from natural materials such as cotton or vulcanized animal guts but since then, they have mainly been made from synthetic materials.
Basketballs are mass-manufactured in factories where long strips of raw rubber are cut into short lengths, shaped, and wrapped with thread or wire to form the core of the ball. The cover is then applied to complete the ball. Generally, two types of rubber are used in manufacturing basketballs: natural rubber and synthetic rubber. Natural rubbers are extracted from the skins of harvested trees but most modern balls use synthetic rubbers which are much easier to work with during manufacturing.
There are several different methods used for inflate basketballs including air injection, compression molding, and blowing agents. Air injection involves inserting hollow needles into the ball that connect to an air pump.