A pile fabric designed particularly for use as a cover of a tennis ball. The fabric has a base structure comprising knitted cotton yarns, preferably in two layers laid back-to-back. A pile surface is provided on one side of the base structure by a fleece preferably composed of a plurality of carded webs having synthetic components including polyester, acrylic, polypropylene fibers. The webs are integrated with one another and with the base structure by the fibrous components of the webs passing substantially perpendicular to the plane of the webs through the adjoining webs and the base structure. When the disclosed fabric is used as a tennis ball cover, it is cut into blanks of conventional configuration and applied to the core structure of the tennis ball by suitable adhesives. The integration of the webs and base structure into a unitary fabric is effected by a series of needling operations, selected ones of which provide full penetration of the assembled layers with fine needles, and others of which provide only partial penetration of the assembled layers by course needles.