How it’s Made: Promotional Rugby Balls
The promotional rugby ball, originally called a Quanco, has kept it’s distinct shape since the 19th century. The ball’s design of an oval is the optimum geometric for passing by hand. Premium manufacturers have stayed true to this while constantly updating materials to improve play from grass roots to the international stage. But how are promotional rugby balls made?
Since 1980 Rugby Union balls have been manufactured with synthetic weatherproof rubber. The original leather based balls were prone to waterlogging which effected play. The internal bladder is made of latex, however alterations to this material are regularly introduced with new research. Promotional rugby balls use the latest in 3D testing and professional feedback to create the perfect design.
Firstly, cotton and polyester sheets are bonded together with glue. The polyester provides a rigidity for the shape when stitched later. The rubber provides ample grip for the player. The pattern of dimples on the ball are long researched with empirical study by development departments at major manufacturers. A layer of rubber is coated over to create the laminates the panels are cut from. The custom designs for the final product are then printed directly onto the rubber through silk screening. Each screen passes through to colour the rugby ball for it’s unique presentation. The panels are cut using a specially designed knife. The knife cutting creates consistent facsimilies to ensure precision in the final ball. Cutting occurs using an hydraulic press with templates embedded.
Polyester threads coated in wax are double-lock stitched through 2 of the panels. The Stitcher rests on a “horse” which locks the ball in shape leaving space for stitching. These panels are stitched inside out to allow for insertion of the bladder. Once inserted, the ball is pulled the right way out with the final stitches being sewn from the outside. The skill required is of fantastic precision, as an easily misjudged thread could change how the ball plays massively. These loops are tightened like shoe-laces and knotted. The ball thread is pulled, pushing the knot inside. Inflating the bladder is the final step in getting the promotional rugby ball made.
Looking to advertise for your brand with promotional rugby balls?
Full customization of promotional rugby balls is available here.