What Are Footballs Made Out Of?


Quick Answer

Most footballs are made from cowhide, despite the fact that their nickname is "pigskin." The Wilson Football Factory has produced every football used by the National Football League since 1941 and uses 100 percent cowhide.

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Full Answer

The Wilson Football Factory produces all NFL footballs, as of 2015, including those used in the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl. The company also manufactures the footballs for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), nearly 30 high school associations and the American Youth Football league, among other leagues.

The Wilson Football Factory obtains cowhides from feedlots in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. According to the Wilson Football Factory, young and lean steers are preferred over dairy cows because leather produced from steers is less likely to stretch. Once obtained, the cowhides are treated, tanned and stamped with the Wilson Football Factory logo.

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