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Ever wondered how promotional cricket bats are made? Find out about the long process of making top of the range branded cricket equipment.
1. Growing the Wood
Cricket bats begin their journey with the planting of a White Willow seed in soil to blossom into the perfect material in 15-20 years’ time. The Willow tree genus is used by almost every manufacturer, with the White Willow in particular praised for its lightness, durability and shock resistance.
2. Cutting the Cleft
Blocks are carved out of the wood in ‘clefts’, however before being shaped down to the more traditional bat they each have their ends dipped in wax and left to air dry for up to a year.
3. Grading the Cleft
After the drying, a master craftsman will band the clefts into grades from 1 (looks top quality) to 4 (looks low quality) based on the straightness and width of the grain as well as any faults or blemishes in the wood. Though that grading doesn’t always mean that a 1 will play better than a 4.
4. Precision Shaping the Bat
They then slowly pass through a pressing machine that morphs the wood into shape with 5,500 lbs per square inch of pressure. The wood is then spliced to fit the handle; this creates the spring-like feel when batting. The true handwork begins after the shoulders are cut out by expert craftsmen who grade away weight where possible without removing the strength of the bat. The toe is rounded and unnecessary pieces are filed.
5. Finishing the Bat
Finally, the bat is polished with a bee’s wax compound which locks moisture out. The handle is bound in string to ensure it holds together and the shoulders of the blade don't split. After that the rubber grip is added for the comfort and control of the batsman. The promotional custom design can be reverse screenprinted on polycarbonate, this places the image behind the adhesive sheet and so adds a layer of protection during general use of the bat or surface printed on adhesive vinyl. The craftsmen who produced the bat then apply the decals by hand and make sure that there are no bubbles.
6. Package and Delivery
There it is, your promotional cricket bats are complete and ready. From an English Willow tree to a bespoke promotional cricket bat, each one is individually packed and stored before final delivery.
Ever wondered how other other sports equipment gets made? Check out our blog posts on promotional skateboards here and surfboards here