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    How It’s Made

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How Artificial Turf is MadeManufacturing Process Turns Plastic to Grass

Have you ever wondered how artificial turf is made? How can nylon and polypropylene turn into the soft, attractive lawn that Watersavers Turf brings to your door? Or how are there different kinds of turf? 

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. You will understand what you are buying and will 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 set from the first moment of creation. The choice starts with the base, primary and secondary backing, of the synthetic material. A blend of flexible polyester (polypropylene cloth) and harder plastic (polyurethane or latex) makes up this base. Synthetic 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 Watersavers Turf products have two layers of polypropylene cloth. In theory, more layers provide a stronger base that is 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 is comparable in quality and cost. Economy lawns primarily need to be durable and affordable. They typically have less poly in their blend. The backing blend is part of why some artificial lawns look and feel right for a luxury home landscape. While in contrast, other kinds of synthetic 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 stand for the blades of grass, while the curled yarns are multi-functional. Curled yarn, or thatch, is a bed of densely curled fibers that helps the product stand tall. Also, thatch resembles the look of dead grass for a more realistic presentation. Fibers like nylon and polypropylene make up the actual plastic grass blades and thatch.  

Generally, turf is 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 and cleans up easily, making it the ideal choice. These blades are produced by the sheet and then cut thinly into strips. Dyes of color mix with the fibers to make each sheet. They are also mixed with specific chemicals, such as “Anti-UV”, “Delustering”, and “Hardeners”, which make them long lasting and weather resistant. A thick soup of fibers forms from all these materials. 

How Artificial Turf is Made From Sheets of Plastic to Realistic Fake Grass Blades

Next, the blend of fibers enters an extruder. The extruder squeezes it flat. It creates a thin sheet of material that shapes the actual blades. The next stop is the carding machine. It pulls each sheet apart into long strands of loose rope. The machine heats and shapes the rope and then weaves it around a spool.  

At last, a tufting machine does the final cuts. It slices the material thousands of times and turns each sheet into fine blades of artificial grass. The shapes of the blades serve different purposes (i.e., retain moisture to stay cool in hot weather or absorb sunlight for a neutral matte look).  

There are two basic types of blades: engineered and standard. Engineered blades are more advanced and designed with a specific solution in mind. On the other hand, standard ones are simpler to produce which makes them more affordable. 

What Holds a Real Grass Substitute Together?

Upon completion of the base and yarns, it is time to bring all the components together. Laying several colors out side by side gives the lawn a natural spectrum of greens. Top-quality threads go through the blades, the backing, and the thatch which stitches the full lawn together for durable wear and tear. This process smoothly joins all the pieces and holds everything in place. A heat lamp dries and bonds the whole carpet. The last step of how artificial turf is made involves trimming the blades of grass at the top to create a perfectly uniform length. With many pieces fully joined and shaped, the grass is ready to install!  

All our artificial turf goes through this complex process to give you a product that lasts. It is 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 catalog, or contact us for a guiding hand through the shopping process.