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    How It’s Made

    Artificial Turf

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How Artificial Turf is MadeManufacturing Process Turns Plastic to Grass

Ever wondered how artificial turf is made? How can stuff like nylon and polypropylene turn into the soft, attractive lawn that Watersavers Turf brings to your door, and how can there be so many different kinds?

Each step of how artificial turf is made impacts the style, look, and final feel of the product. There are four key parts of our turf: Blades (Straight Yarn); Thatch (Curled Yarn); Primary Backing: Cloth to hold the Yarns; Secondary Backing to secure everything together nicely.

Read on for a peek behind the scenes of how artificial turf is made. It will help you understand what you’re buying, and how to choose the right product for your project.

The Creation of Artificial Turf—Not All Faux Lawns Start Alike

The final feel of the grass is already being set from the very first moment of the creation of artificial turf. The choices start with the base, primary and secondary backing, of the synthetic material. This is made from a blend of flexible polyester (polypropylene cloth) and harder plastic (polyurethane or latex). The creation of artificial turf for faux lawn styles with the most realistic feel and highest price point will often have a lot of polyester in the backing.

The Advantages of Polyurethane Backing

Most of the Watersavers Turf products have two layers of this polypropylene cloth. In theory, more layers provide a stronger base and are less reactive to hot and cold temperature changes. The secondary backing is most often polyurethane (poly), the more advanced option. Although latex is less affected by temperature changes, poly does not react to moisture.

Each secondary backing material that we use has its advantages, and are comparable in quality and cost. Economy lawns, which need to be durable and affordable above all else, typically have less poly in their blend. The backing blend is part of why some faux lawns look and feel right for a luxury home landscape while other kinds of faux lawn are more suited for a mini golf course.

How Artificial Lawn is Made from Simple Fibers

Artificial lawn is composed of layers of yarn. The straight yarns represent the blades of grass, whereas the curled yarns are multi-functional. The curled yarn, or thatch, is a bed of densely curled fibers and helps the product stand tall. Thatch also resembles the look of dead grass for a more realistic presentation. The actual plastic grass blades and thatch are made of fibers like nylon or polypropylene.

Generally, turfs are composed of two colors of blades (Olive, Emerald, Field, Spring, etc.) and two colors of thatch (tan, dark brown, green). This plastic material is modestly priced, soft and durable. It is also nonporous so that it cleans up easily, making it the ideal choice. These blades are produced by the sheet and then cut thinly into strips. To make each sheet, the fibers are mixed with dyes for color.  They are also mixed with specific chemicals, such as “Anti-UV”, “Delustering”, and “Hardeners”, that make them weather resistant, to last. All these materials are blended into a thick soup of fibers.

From Sheets of Plastic to Realistic Fake Grass Blades

The blend of fibers then enters an extruder. The extruder squeezes it flat. This creates a thin sheet of material from which the actual blades will be shaped. The next stop is the carding machine. It pulls each sheet apart into long strands of loose rope.

The rope is heated and shaped, then woven around a spool. At last, a tufting machine does the final cuts. It slices the material thousands of times. This turns each sheet into fine blades of artificial grass. The blades may be shaped for different purposes, such as to retain moisture, so they stay cool in hot weather, or to absorb sunlight for a natural matte look.

There are two basic types of blades: engineered and standard. Engineered blades are more advanced. They are designed to with a specific solution in mind. Whereas standard ones are simpler to produce. This makes them more affordable.

What Holds a Real Grass Substitute Together?

When the base and the yarns are done, it’s time to bring it all together. Often, several colors are laid out side by side. This gives the lawn a natural spectrum of greens. Top-quality threads go through the blades, the backing, and the thatch. This stitches the full lawn together for durable wear and tear. This process smoothly joins all the pieces to help them hold fast even when they bend and move. A heat lamp dries and bonds the whole carpet. Then, the blades of grass are trimmed at the top, to create a perfectly uniform length. With many pieces fully joined and shaped, the grass is ready to install!

All of our artificial turf goes through this complex process, to give you a product that lasts. That’s just one of the reasons why we offer an 18-year residential warranty (10-year commercial). To find out more about what color blend and materials are right for your needs, visit one of our store locations. You can also view our online catalogue, or contact us for a guiding hand through the shopping process.