Today’s artificial grass look and feel like the real thing, and are far removed from its earliest incarnation in the 1960s. Thanks to technology, even experts can’t tell real and artificial grass apart, and because of this, synthetic grass continues to enjoy wide use in many spaces, both indoors and outdoors.
During the extreme drought in Texas a couple of years ago, synthetic grass helped Dallas homeowners maintain a well-manicured lawn. For Dallas and other drought-prone locales, maintaining a lawn is often an expensive and wasteful affair. As more people discover and realize the usefulness and convenience of artificial grass, it’s no wonder the product is experiencing significant growth in popularity and demand.
In early 2016, MarketResearch.com predicted that artificial grass will enjoy widespread prevalence in some areas of the country, particularly drought-stricken regions where water-use restrictions are in place. Such restrictions mean that homeowners will have to seek water-conscious landscaping options, and synthetic grass is easily one of the most affordable, sensible, and beautiful choices available.
Now that we know where the technology stands, it’s worth knowing where artificial grass came from. In this article, we take a look at how artificial grass as we know it came to be.
The sprouting of artificial grass
It all began in 1960 when David Chaney led a Research Triangle Park team to design a more cost-effective, easily manageable alternative to natural turf. Chaney and his team were able to design the first polyamide fiber grass, leading Sports Illustrated to declare Chaney as the man responsible for indoor major league baseball, as well as millions of welcome mats in homes. Thanks to the feat, Chaney later became the Dean of North Carolina State University College of Textiles.
Though artificial grass was invented in 1960, it wasn’t until 1965 that it gained prominence. At that time, the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the world’s first domed stadium, was covered in natural grass. To let sunlight through, the roof was initially made to be transparent. The problem was the glinting transparent material made it hard for players to see flyballs clearly. Painting over the roof made the players happy, unfortunately, it killed the grass.
The following season, stadium managers decided to introduce artificial grass, and a new age in landscaping was born.
Though the Astrodome’s artificial grasp permitted the stadium to look healthy and green, it kept the players from playing in their full potential. Complaints ranged from the odd bounce that players get from the synthetic turf to them becoming more prone to injury because of the unnatural hardness of the grass cover.
In 1970, European researchers thought to improve on the synthetic grass material, opting to replace polyamide with polypropylene. The latter material was softer than the former, which reduced the risk of injury among players considerably. It was also much cheaper to manufacture.
Due to the practicality of the technology, people eventually found other uses for it beyond the world of sports. In the 1980s, artificial grass boomed in popularity and found use in pool curbs, nurseries, shop windows, and more.
Artificial grass as we know it today
As the demand for artificial grass grew, so did people’s expectations of it. At that time, artificial grass could match the look of natural grass, but not its texture and comfort. It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s when researchers developed a softer and less resistant fiber made of polyethylene, which was able to more closely resemble natural grass in terms of touch and comfort.
Artificial grass in Dallas
For the best quality artificial grass in Dallas, contact Dallas Artificial Grass Experts. We offer effective lawn solutions to make your landscape sustainable, and most of all, beautiful.
A Brief History Of Artificial Turf, SBNation.com
27 Top Trends in the House and Home Industry, MarketResearch.com