What’s the Difference Between a PU, TPU and PVC Football (Soccer)?

Football casings are mostly made of either PU, TPU, or PVC. This plays the largest role in what use the ball is recommended for.

PU Football – Real Match / Club Training

Premium level balls are usually made from a PU material for the outer. PU (polyurethane) is a thermosetting plastic that has excellent performance, such as wear resistance, tear resistance, good elasticity and low-temperature resistance. It gives soccer players a true feel and touch, and retain their shape better during play. PU soccer ball is normally made with thermally bonded or hand-stitched. The thermally bonded football is currently widely used in the World Cup and most other major tournaments and leagues as the match and training ball. 3.5mm PU football in thermally-bonded construction is the latest and most popular high-level ball.

TPU Football – Training / Junior & Amateur Match

TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) is a group of thermoplastic elastomers that exhibits a high-level of elasticity and are incredibly resistant to stresses such as abrasion and stains. TPU leather is mostly used for machine-stitched ball, which is more durable and more environmentally friendly than PVC, and will not be hardened like PVC in cold weather. The combination of TPU leather and foam layer makes the soccer ball softer which helps players control better over the ball, especially when having header training. 4.5mm TPU machine sewing football is excellent for training and junior football match.

PVC Football – Promotion / Recreation

Generally known for its hardness, PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) is a common thermoplastic used in the outer layer of the cheaper and lower quality footballs. PVC ball performs better in warm weather than in cold weather as the ball will harden during cold weather with inferior performance. According to the thickness of PVC cover, there are two primary specifications of PVC ball: 1.6mm and 2.7mm. 1.6mm PVC ball is perfect for giveaways, promotions, and gifts. 2.7mm sponge PVC ball is softer and more durable, primarily used for recreational entertainment.


PU, TPU, and PVC leather are generally used when making the outer of a ball. PU balls are designed for the highest level of playing, or professional matches, softer to the touch and more responsive than other balls. TPU balls are premium training balls without the premium price but not as quality as PU balls. PVC balls are usually cheaper, harder on the outside, which are ideal for budget conscious programs or teams, you’ll get cost-effective footballs without breaking the bank.

Victeam Sports is a manufacturer and supplier specializing in high-quality footballs and has established long-term relationships with many well-known sports brands. If you need to know more about football (soccer) or have purchasing requirements, please contact us freely by email.