When artificial grass first found its way into the market in the 1960s, it was used mostly in sporting fields and stadiums. Today, artificial grass is being used in many applications, both indoor and outdoor. The truth is that it doesn’t end there, and that is because people are always finding new ways to put this very versatile product to use.
Finding new and creative uses for artificial grass hasn’t been the only thing that has changed over the years. The look of synthetic grass has drastically changed and in most cases, and, unless you take a closer look, it’s quite difficult to tell apart fake grass from the real grass.
The first synthetic grass had an overly shiny and glossy appearance and the colour was a little too bright. Everything about the turf screamed fake and you could easily spot this turf from miles away. Over the years, thanks to innovation and the dedicated effort of artificial grass product designers and manufacturers, the artificial grass that is being produced into the market closely mimics the look of natural grass.
Ever wondered what it is about today’s synthetic turf that makes it look so realistic? Here is a simple breakdown of the various factors that contribute to this
1. Blade design and variation
From the shape, to the thickness and the length, the blades in today’s artificial grass are carefully designed to help attain a more natural look.
The shape will affect how light reflects off of the grass blade, which affects its overall appearance. Older generation grass types had a flat shape that reflected light in a uni-directional way, creating a very shiny surface. Today’s grass comes in different shapes, which reflect light in a different direction, contributing to a more natural look.
When it comes to the blade length, there are products featuring a slight yet distinct variation in the length of the grass blades. These look even more real because it is a well-known fact that natural grass in a lawn does not grow at the same rate. If you are going for a lawn that looks freshly cut, then there are just as many products with a consistent blade length. Either way, the pile height in today’s grass is very realistic, neither too short, nor too long.
The same goes for blade thickness variation. Varying the thickness of the blades gives the turf a softer texture, not to mention that it looks more real. In reality, natural grass blades are always of different thicknesses and mimicking that in the design of artificial grass makes the latter look more realistic.
2. The use of infill material
Back in the day, crumb rubber was the only available option when it came to infill material. While it didn’t stick out too much, a closer look was all it took to see the infill. It didn’t help matters that the rubber made the synthetic grass to get too hot in the summer.
Today, there are several sand-based infills as well as newer organic infills. These stay well underneath the grass, quietly serving the purpose they are designed for. Part of this purpose is to help the artificial grass to bounce back after it has been subjected to foot traffic, much like natural grass, instead of matting down.
3. Use of thatch
In natural grass, there is a layer of organic matter composed of decomposing grass and other debris. The thatch is brown in colour and serves to support the blades of grass and keeps it standing. Property owners with natural lawns are careful to check on how much thatch there is in the grass because too much of it will cause the surrounding grass to slowly rot away.
To break the green in artificial grass, product designers have also come up with an artificial grass thatch layer that adds some brown to the turf. Instead of a consistently green turf that looks very unrealistic, you have some brown from the thatch to make it look a lot like natural grass.
4. UV-stable materials
Earlier generations of artificial grass would look very shiny and green when first installed, but once exposed to direct sunlight, the turf would gradually fade. Today, with the use of better materials and product technology, the artificial grass in the market is highly resistant to fading caused by UV radiation. The grass retains its lush green colour over a long time and even if you were to come across an artificial grass lawn that is 10 years old, you wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s fake, or that it’s that old.
5. Diverse colour options
There are several variants of the colour green. Part of the reason why it’s quite difficult to point out synthetic grass is because of the careful selection of the grass colour. Choosing faux grass with just the right colour as the natural grass native to your area will ensure that the grass blends right in. If, on the other hand, you decide to go with something that’s completely different from what is around, then rest assured that it will stick out as a dead giveaway.
6. The Installation Process
You may have bought the best quality of artificial grass that there is in the market, with all the right specifications in terms of blade size and shape, the right tone of green and much more, but still get a disappointment because it doesn’t look so real. What could have possibly gone wrong? It must be the installation.
A sub-standard installation may make your artificial grass look very unreal. An expert and professional installer, such as Sydney Artificial Grass understands how every step of the installation process will affect the overall look, and will take great care during the installation and ensure that it is all done right the very first time. A quality installation on the other hand may cost you a little more, but rest assured that it will all be well worth it.
Ever seen a bowl of fake fruit? The kind that is used for nothing more than just decoration? You can always tell that it is artificial fruit because no one will dare touch the arrangement. The same goes with artificial grass. If you never use your artificial lawn, and it just sits there like a large piece of landscaping art, then people will more than likely pick on the fact that it is indeed fake.
It is important to remember that synthetic grass is designed for use in pretty much every way that natural grass can be used. So don’t be afraid to let the kids run around and play in the yard. Let your pets out and even create a special spot for them. If you are using as you would a real grass lawn, it makes it a little difficult for anyone to imagine that it is anything but real.
Gone are the days when people could quickly make a distinction between real and artificial lawns. Today’s artificial grass looks more realistic than ever, and because product development is always on-going, it’s only a matter of time before you can expect to see grass varieties that look and feel even more realistic than the best of what is currently in the market.
Don’t be left out
At Sydney Artificial Grass Installation, we carry different varieties of the most natural-looking grass that you can find. Need help with choosing the type of grass that is not only right for your intended application, but which will blend with the native grass in your area? Our team will gladly help you with that. Our technical team guarantees a professional installation service that will make your lawn the envy of your neighbours because it will look and feel as good as natural grass, with all the many benefits of artificial grass.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us at Sydney Artificial Grass.