Baseball stitching: How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made?

Baseball is one of the favorite sports in the United States and is practiced by thousands of individuals around the world. If you want to know how to make a cloth baseball to serve as decoration, we invite you to continue reading. Here’s how baseball stitching is done.

When the glue is half dry, it will be at the moment that we will add the two pieces of fabric in the shape of an eight. We are going to make a small hem and we are going to proceed to sew the seams. When we have completed the hems, we will sew the canvas using 2 needles to achieve the V-shaped seam so characteristic of these balls. When we finish sewing both pieces of fabric we will have finished the fabric baseball.

Baseball stitching

Anyone has seen a baseball on the outside, but have you ever wondered what one of these balls looks like on the inside or what it’s made of? Whether you are a sports fan or not, it never hurts to know this fun baseball fact.

The first balls were invented in 1850. As at that time there were still no restrictions on their development, the teams developed them seeing their advantages and needs. However, it was not until 1854 that these “traps” came to an end. It was in 1860 that specific characteristics for its development were introduced. Now they must have weighed between 5 and 5.25 ounces and a circumference between 9 and 9 1/4 inches.

What are king diamonds made of? 

Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made
Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made

Today, official baseballs are made in factories and, unlike other sports, are not hollow or filled with air. The ball is made up of three different sections: the center or core. the filling and the exterior; in addition to its sewing.

The core is made up of a small rubber ball. This has a total circumference of 10.5 centimeters, which would be almost half the size of the ball itself. Even within this sphere there is another small sphere of cork. Before the balls did not have this cork, because it was added to the regulations after 1910.

The next section is the filling. Here four layers are rolled over the center, which can be made of yarn or yarn. The layers have different thicknesses making the first the second thicker to provide volume. The second one is even thicker to be able to roll it up, the third thinner and the fourth one the thinnest and made of cotton to be able to leave the surface smooth in the last section.

This part is the one that everyone really knows. The ball is covered at the end with two sheets of synthetic leather or skin, which form an eight that before being placed go through a process of moistening and 108 perforations. This layer is the one that protects the ball and allows its durability.

At the end it goes through a succession of stitching in which 88 inches of red thread, either nylon or polyester, is used to join the two sheets of leather. In it 216 stitches are made to fix them.

The MLB, to prevent teams from making modified balls, decided to choose an official manufacturer. The Spalding Company was its official supplier until 1977, when the Rawlings factory came to replace it.

Baseball glove Stitching

Curiosities in the manufacture of a baseball or softball glove

Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made
Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made

Except for small plastic reinforcements at the base of the little finger and thumb, and some nylon thread, a glove is made primarily of leather, usually cowhide. However, the Texas-based Nocona Glove Company uses a lot of kangaroo leather from Australia in addition to cowhide as cited above. Kangaroo leather is somewhat softer than cowhide or oxhide, and the glove can be worn after a shorter period than usual.

Generally, cowhides are the predominant material in use today, as in the past. Cattle hides (from two to one steer) are processed by a tannery, and the finest hides, those without marks, nicks, or other blemishes, are sent to glove factories. Tanning is a chemical treatment of hides to give them the required characteristics, such as flexibility and durability. If the leather was not tanned, it would dry out and flake in a very short time. Some glove companies compete for quality leather with manufacturers of other fine leather products. Wilson, Rawlings, Louisville, and Mizuno, are undoubtedly the leading brands.

Each cowhide provides the leather for three or four gloves. Due to issues of sustainability, and respect for the environment and animals, there are more and more players and consumer public, even for recreational use, who demand gloves that do not have an animal origin. This obviously puts pressure on brands to change their manufacturing patterns, advancing technologically. to offer synthetic gloves, and it must be said that they are getting better results every time, but there is still a long way to go and to match the performance, durability and flexibility of conventional “lifelong” gloves Various synthetic materials have been tested for baseball gloves, but so far none have demonstrated the resilience, elasticity and feel that leather has.

Manufacturing process

When the hides arrive at the factory, they have already been cured (salted or dried to kill bacteria) and tanned (chemically treated to prevent rot), all of which prepare the hides for making into gloves. Once at the factory, the cowhides are classified according to color and are tested in a laboratory to determine their resistance.

The process of making baseball gloves is quite simple: the various parts of the glove are cut and then sewn together with a long stitch of rawhide. Here is a more detailed explanation:

Cutting the parts of the glove:

  1. The parts of the leather to be used for the gloves are die-cut (ie automatically cut with a machine that simulates a cookie cutter) into four parts: the cover, the lining, the padding, and the band.
  2. At the beginning of the process, sometimes even before the leather is cut, letters, usually aluminum tape, identify the maker with the bronze die stamped into the leather.
  3. The shell or shell of the glove is sewn inside out. It is then turned to the right and its lining is inserted. Before being inverted, the shell is reflective (moistened or steamed for flexibility) so it won’t crack or break when turned.
  4. The rotated casing is placed in a device known as a hot hand, which is a metal shape shaped like a hand; Its heat helps the shell to form to its correct size. At this point, the warm hand also ensures that all the openings for the fingers (finger stops) are open correctly.

Insert the pad, the plastic and the reinforcements of the glove:

  • – A pad is inserted into the heel of a glove. The best gloves have two-part pads that make it easier for the glove to flex in the right direction when squeezed. The padding in a glove is made of two layers of leather, sewn together by hand. Requiring a thicker palm than other mitts, catchers’ mitts are made with five layers of leather padding.
  • – At this same point, plastic reinforcements are inserted into the thumb and thumb (little finger) sections of the glove. These devices provide additional support for the glove and protect the player’s fingers from accidentally bending backward.

Basket

  • – Before tying all the parts of the glove, the fabric is made from several pieces of leather. The web can consist of two to six pieces of leather, depending on the type of fabric desired.

Laces and seams

  • – The lacing around the edges of a glove is generally a piece of rawhide that can be 80 to 90 inches (203 to 288 centimeters) in length. The lacing starts at the thumb or little finger and holds the entire glove together. The final lacing operation is in the web section. Some non-leather stitching is needed for the individual parts; the spider web, for example, is usually held together with nylon thread.
  • – The strap on the back of the hand of a glove used to be lined with sheepskin (sheepskin); Now a synthetic material is used.
  • – Catchers 1O First Base Mitts and Gloves are hand assembled and sewn from four parts: palm, pad, back, and band. The palm and back are attached first and then attached to the other pieces with rawhide laces.
  • – The final step is called a layoff operation; the glove is repositioned on a warm hand to adjust for any shaping issues and to ensure that the finger openings (contact points) remain open throughout the manufacturing process.
Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made
Baseball stitching How Baseballs & Gloves Are Made

Quality Control

Quality control begins when the hides arrive at the factory, where they are classified according to color and tested in a laboratory to determine their resistance. Because making a glove requires close attention and personnel at each step, there is little need for a manufacturer to maintain a full-fledged quality control department. Each artisan involved in the process functions as their own quality control person, and if a defect manifests itself in a glove, the person working on the glove is expected to see the glove removed from production.

As is the case in many areas where a product has undergone almost continuous design changes for years and years, there are those who believe that older methods and products are better than new ones. There’s even a market for refurbished gloves.

Professional gloves

Although professional gloves can be examined with a more critical eye before use, and may be the choicest samples, they are the same gloves, without autographs, that anyone can buy in a store. In exchange for autograph endorsements, professionals receive free gloves from the manufacturers.

It is unusual for a professional ballplayer to experiment with different glove styles or request an unusual design. When a player has used a glove that suits him well, it will be very difficult for him to change brands or models throughout his career. Ballplayers tend to be “stick-with-what-works” conservatives. By the time a ballplayer is a pro, he has found the right glove for him and continues to wear it. Most pros wear the same or similar glove pattern they wore in college, high school, or even in Little League.

The future

As with many of the older products, where refinement is the primary goal of manufacturers, baseball glove design is not changing as rapidly as it has in the past. Previous developments included things like lacing up the fingers of the glove, changes to the pocket and heel design of the glove, and redesigning the catcher’s mitt so that a catcher can handle a ball with one hand, like other outfielders.

Large glove manufacturers have seen different designs come and go, and some of their most famous models have been withdrawn from production.

The current changes have focused on how the glove is used in relation to other players. Catching gloves, for example, now have a glowing, fluorescent border to make better targeting for a pitcher.