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History of Astro Turf

Many customers ask us for astroturf, few know what it actually is. In simple terms Astro Turf is just a brand of Artificial Grass. Much like many people refer to a vacuum cleaner as a hoover because hoover were the first to bring that product to the mass market then it is the same for Astroturf.

The company were the first to bring artificial grass to the market so many people still refer to fake grass as astroturf even though nowadays there are thousands of artificial grass manufacturers all over the world.

Astroturf was invented in 1965 and was initially marketed as chemgrass before its name was changed.

The Houston Astrodome was the first major sports arena to use chemgrass. Because of the venue “Astrodome” & the product “Chemgrass” then it just became known as “Astroturf” and this phrase was then formally coined by John A Wortmann.

This original version of astro turf was very short pile and largely used within sports arena’s rather than in gardens and the company had a massive portion of the domestic and international fake grass market. The market share began to diminish around 1987 after a company merger and the rise of competitors.

The Astroturf brand would go through several hands in the 1990’s including Balsam AG & SRI. SRI itself was purchased by the American Sports Product Group (ASPG) in 1996 however by 2004 SRI filed for bankruptcy and the brand was purchased by Textile Management Associates who nowadays have developed different strands to the brand in association with their marketing partner General Sports Venue (GSV).

Part of the reason why SRI went bankrupt was that by the year 2000 the production of artificial grass had moved on with many variations available. Variations including different backings, different densities, varying stitch rates as well as differing lengths of pile and also the introduction of shorter brown thatch stitched within the grass. Fieldturf were one of the major beneficiaries of the increased domestic market and initially dominated that area of the market although this was prominently in the USA.

To this day Astro Turf, now owned by Sportsgroup Holding, still dominates the sports surfaces market and is a recognised brand all over the world.