Are you curious about what the best quality artificial grass is made from?
If you’re still comparing artificial grass to the plastic, short and jaggy synthetic sports turf of the past, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Artificial grass has come on in leaps and bounds over the years, and now it’s practically indistinguishable from real grass!
Now that artificial grass is becoming more popular for homeowners across the UK, people are a getting little more knowledgeable and letting go of a lot of old preconceptions. They still exist, though!
So, what is the best quality artificial grass made from, and how does it compare to the older generations?
Well, as an artificial grass specialist, I can tell you there’s quite a drastic difference. Let me explain more about the latest generation of artificial grass, and what it’s made from, below.
A little bit of background
Artificial grass has been manufactured since the early 1960s, and is produced using manufacturing processes similar to those used in the carpet industry. The product has been improved with new designs and better materials through the years.
When artificial grass first came around, it was made from polyamide (nylon). It was essentially a thick layer of carpeting, and apart from being green, it didn’t resemble real grass in the slightest.
In the 1980s, a new type of artificial grass for sports pitches was introduced, and made from polypropylene yarn. This is often the artificial grass many people think of when they hear the words ‘fake grass’ or ‘astroturf’.
Then, in the 1990s, polyethylene started being used for the artificial grass fibres, which is what we use at the moment. It’s a slightly softer raw material, and has better colour-fastness compared to the other materials. The fibres are also longer compared with the 12 – 24mm used in other materials.
As a result, they look much more natural and realistic.
What is artificial grass made from now?
The best quality artificial grass is now made from:
- Polyurethane (the PU backing), and;
- Polythylene (grass fibres, as mentioned above)
The polyurethane results in a much longer-lasting product than if it were latex-backed. The polyethylene is much more longer-lasting than previous incarnations of artificial grass, and is also a lot gentler on the skin. It’s a popular form of plastic, and is used to make the blades of grass.
The good news is that it’s not only completely child and pet-friendly, but it’s also non-toxic and doesn’t require any strong chemicals to clean.
Fake grass can also still be made from nylon – which is very robust and tends to be stiffer).
Essentially, artificial grass is now in its third generation. With 50 years of development, it has changed so much and is far more advanced than ever before.
How to pick the best quality artificial grass
Looking for advice on picking the best quality artificial grass for your garden? Although most artificial grass should be durable and come with a good guarantee, its durability can also depend a lot on how it’s installed.
Here are a few things to check to ensure you’re buying a quality, long-lasting product:
- Stitch rate – In other words, how many stitches there are in a square meter of grass. You should look for artificial grass with a high stitch rate.
- The gauge – This is the distance between the lines of stitching. If the distance is too wide, the grass does not look as good. The combination of the gauge and stitch rate is what gives the density of the grass; the higher the density, the better the quality.
- Strong backing – The backing of your artificial grass should consist of woven fabric. A good, strong backing is important for stability, as it needs to be resilient in all weather conditions.
- Sub-base – In terms of your installation, you should always ensure the correct sub-base is used (crushed rock aggregate base).
- Invisible joins – Check that your joins won’t be visible. Most good installers will join two pieces of grass using a strong durable joining tape, this will give a professional, seamless finish and ensure that your grass wont come apart.
Advice from an artificial grass specialist
Aside from the advice above, it’s always good to do your research on your chosen artificial grass installer or specialist. Check online reviews and testimonials, and also ensure your artificial grass will come with a manufacturer-backed guarantee to cover tensile strength and UV fading.
One of our elderly customers called us about an installation, but was worried the grass would be really short and resemble a sports pitch. This is because she’d seen bad examples of really short, bright green lawns. She was also concerned it’d be stiff, and sharp, and that her grandchildren would get burns if they fell on it.
We advised her that fake grass has come a long way, and the blades of grass are much softer and made from different materials nowadays. We also advised that the grass comes in different coloured strands through it to give a more realistic look, and the pile heights are on average much longer, at around 30 – 40mm compared with the 12 – 24mm they used to be.
We visited the customer and showed our grass samples. We also showed her some installations we’d previously carried out, and she couldn’t get over how great it looked. We installed it in her back garden and all the family love it, including the pets.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this has helped you decide on whether third-generation artificial grass may be right for you. Above, I’ve also provided some advice on finding the best quality artificial grass for your garden. Remember to check things like stitch rate and gauge.
Nasty, fake-looking artificial grass is a thing of the past. These days, it’s really hard to tell the difference, leading to a lovely-looking lawn all year round!
Do you want to know more about what artificial grass is made from? Just leave me a comment below, and I’ll be happy to answer!