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    The History

    Artificial Turf

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The History of Artificial Turf from Lab to Luxury

Artificial turf history shows a rapid rise for this modern waterless grass. First used in sports, it now adds green to A-list landscape designs for homes and businesses around the world. Faux grass’s biography is a tale of innovation. Watersavers is proud to be on the cutting edge of lawn design with the highest quality synthetic turf.

The Origin of Artificial LawnFrom the Lab to the Astrodome

In 1965, the new home of the Houston Astros was called a stadium of the future. In its bold design, the entire stadium including the field and seats was housed inside the roofed dome. The Astrodome quickly hit a problem. Since sunlight needed to reach the growing grass, the roof panels were built to reflect light all the way down to the ground. A good idea, in theory! In practice, it turned out that the glaring light from the roof affected the athletes during games. It distracted them, which was a problem during play! The first answer was to paint the dome white. This solved the glare problem, and the team could play well again. However, with less sunlight in the arena, now the field was wilting and dying. It couldn’t survive. On the verge of disaster, the Astrodome took a risk on a new idea. David Chaney, a North Carolina State University dean, had made a material that looked and felt a lot like a lawn but didn’t need light or water. This was the first synthetic turf. For their very next season in 1966, the Astros installed his real grass substitute on their home field. It worked great under the dome! Houston made headlines, and sports field replacement soon soared in professional sports.

Synthetic Sports Turf HistoryDominating the Field

Through the 1970s and 1980s, designers worked to improve synthetic lawn, using new materials and techniques. They created blends that were softer and looked more realistic. They developed new infill and padding that made the real grass replacement safer for heavy impact field sports. Along with use in baseball stadiums, this live grass substitute became popular in soccer, field hockey, and football.MLB teams in harsh climates led the charge, as the faux lawn gave a reliable surface for play in any weather. By 1982, ten out of the twenty-six MLB teams had an artificial home field. Football took notice fast. The Philadelphia Eagles and University of Pennsylvania played on this new synthetic material at Franklin Field as early as 1969. Most NFL stadiums have since gone synthetic. As of 2016, sixteen NFL home fields use artificial grass, versus fifteen that grow live blades.

Lawn Replacement in BackyardsA History of Residential Turf

While faux lawn was a quick hit in the sports sphere, it took until the 1990s to win its place at home. In the 1980s and 1990s, design advances in color, softness, and blade shape made it look and feel more appealing for home use. Production improvements brought the price point lower, too. Now, climate change, droughts, and rising water costs have drawn new notice for waterless lawns in recent years.High-quality synthetic lawn is now sought after for use in top-of-the-line celebrity yards, and landscape designers have won awards for and built careers on waterless grass.Across America, over 11,000 fields of live grass substitute add green to landscapes! These artificial lawns save millions of gallons of water a year. Artificial turf history shows how science can find new solutions that help the planet sustain, and help its residents thrive. Watersavers carries on that legacy by providing 60+ varieties, tailored to fit your specific needs. Visit one of our store locations, browse our online shop, or contact us directly to find the product that’s right for you.