Where Are Dartboards Made?

Darts continues to be a popular indoor game played in many pubs around the world. Considered a competitive sport worldwide, the game involves barehanded players throwing sharp-pointed projectiles at a circular target called a dartboard.

But where are dartboards made? Well, they’re made in many places, but manufacturers are usually located in the United Kingdom, United States, Kenya, and China. Due to industrialization, sports equipment manufacturers also can mass produce dartboards for commercial use. However, the common fibrous material used in dartboards, Sisal fibers, is usually found in East Africa, Brazil, and China.

The different materials will be discussed more in the succeeding sections.

What is the History of Modern Dartboards?

The era of modern dartboards is generally attributed to the early 1910s, coinciding with the rise of pub games, including darts. An industrial chemist named Ted Legatt developed NODOR modeling clay in 1919 in the East End of London.

A few years later, in 1923, his group developed the first dartboard made from Nodor plasticine. It was not widely accepted as most players thought of it as too quiet. It lacked the satisfying “plunk” sound effect created by darts striking traditional dartboards.

In 1931, Frank Dabbs and Ted Legatt decided to try another novel material for dartboards. This time, they considered something derived from natural materials. They used Sisal, a stiff but very durable fibrous material derived from the Agave Sisalana plant.

Curiously and coincidentally, this plant is also used to make tequila which is also a staple in many pubs. Trivia aside, Sisal hemp fiber is used in many everyday objects such as rope, cloth, and paper before being a material for dartboards.

This Sisal dartboard was widely accepted due to its durability and low maintenance requirements. Legatt’s Nodor company commercialized these dartboards.

Many dartboards are still made by the Nodor company which goes by its modern name Winmau, a name they now use after taking over a rival company. They are by far the most reputable dartboard manufacturers.

Where Are Dartboards Made?

Here are some of the places with prominent dartboard manufacturing activities:


England is the birthplace of darting. It was in England where it grew and became a formal competitive sport with standardized rules. Other cultures may have historically devised a darts-like concept but remained widely undocumented.

One of the oldest and most well-known dartboard manufacturing companies in the world is Nodor. Their headquarters is currently based in Bridgend, United Kingdom. Nodor used to be revealed by Winmau. However, they acquired the company in 2002, and its headquarters is also in the same location as Nodor. 


Although Nodor is mainly based in the United Kingdom, this company has invested in Kenya’s factories where Sisal leaves are naturally abundant.

Both Nodor and Winmau made the decision to relocate most of their dartboard manufacturing to Kenya because of the abundance of the raw material needed for the production. The Kenyan plant processes 400 tons of Sisal leaves daily. Their manufacturing operation in Kenya currently employs over 400 locals.

Aside from the abundance of raw material present in Kenya, the cost of wages there is significantly lower than what the companies will pay if most of their manufacturing is done in the United Kingdom. However, so far, the quality of the dartboards from both Nodor and Winmau is still world-class despite the companies’ move to crosscut manufacturing expenses.


Brazil is another country with abundant Sisal fibers, so it’s a popular choice as a manufacturing location for dart companies. In fact, Sisals from Brazil are considered to only be second to African Sisals in terms of quality. Furthermore, most of the Sisal plants in Brazil are processed into fibers and exported to countries like China, which has industries focused on sports equipment, including dartboards.

Most of the dartboards from Brazil are marketed to be “self-healing” this is because the quality of their product is long-lasting and can withstand heavy usage. As a result, dartboards from brazil are a popular choice for televised competitions and professionals.


China also features several dartboard manufacturers. Although Sisal plants can be locally cultivated in China, compared to Sisal plants’ quality from Kenya and Brazil, it is quite inferior. This is why some of these companies are still importing Keyan or Brazilian Sisal plants to manufacture high-quality darts.

Despite the fact that some manufacturers in China have to import higher quality sisal plants, their dartboard is still significantly more affordable than those made in the United Kingdom. The biggest factor behind this is the lower cost of labor in their factories.

Aside from manufacturing darts made from Sisal plants, China is also known to be a haven for coiled or cork dartboards. These are less expensive boards, but they are inferior in terms of longevity and durability.

Final Words

There is no denying that one of the most important factors that determine the type of quality of a dartboard is its material. Thus, when it comes to its manufacturing, it’s not a surprise why most of the countries where it’s made have abundant Sisal plants, such as Kenya and Brazil.

However, there are still dartboards made in the UK, but they are significantly more expensive. The reason behind this is because the main raw material has to be imported and the wages of workers are also more expensive.

Not all dartboards are made from Sisal plants. Some of them are made from cork and other types of material. These are commonly manufactured in China and mostly less expensive. However, their quality is significantly far from the quality of dartboards made from the Sisal plant. By the end of the day, it is easy to say that dartboards manufactured from Kenya and Brazil are some of the best options out there in terms of quality. This is followed by those made in the UK. Dartboards made from China are also excellent, but you need to be extra careful in identifying where the raw material used in the production is from to ensure its quality.