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 How To make a ghille suit

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PostSubject: How To make a ghille suit   How To make a ghille suit EmptyThu Apr 12, 2012 12:27 pm

OP Syclops

The following information was supplied by Brock and Reaper:

All of the information contained below was pulled from "Brock's Tactical Corner" and I thought it should be pulled out seperately so as not to be lost in that thread. Thanks guys!!

History of the Ghillie Suit

The term "Ghillie" comes from the Gaelic word "gille", which means servant. Landlords in Scotland would hire wardens to stop poachers on their estates. They came to be known as "ghillies". One of the techniques the ghillies used to catch poachers was to make a suit of clothes consisting of frayed, dangling rags - which they wore while hiding in the bushes patiently waiting for poachers to appear. These suits became known as "ghillie suits".

Modern ghillie suits are practically synonymous with snipers and sniping, so a little history of sniping should be included with any history of the suits. It appears that sniping evolved around the end of the 18th century (1780-1810) as a method of picking off valuable members of an opposing army. Before this time, weapons did not have the range and accuracy to reliably hit a man-sized target at ranges much more than 100 meters. Keep in mind that this was a very dishonorable way of dealing with your enemies -- no honor in picking off an enemy who is not even aware of being engaged in combat. Therefore, it was typically guerillas and rebels that began to employ sniping.

It is believed that the term sniping derives from hunting the bird. Snipes are so wary that the only way to hunt them was to shoot them from long range. One had to be a good shot to hit such a small target -- especially with the rifles of the time. Hence, the hunters became known as "snipers", and their hunting as "sniping".

It soon became evident that the survivability of the sniper was enhanced if he was hidden when he engaged the enemy, and the use of ghillie techniques for camouflage was a natural addition to the sniper's repertoire.

The advent of rifled barrels in the early to mid 1800's rapidly increased the effective range of sharpshooters. The term "sharpshooter", in fact, refers not to the "sharpness" of the shooting but to the Sharps Rifle -- which the best shots seemed to use and prefer. During the American civil war, sharpshooters on both sides regularly were used to pick of high-value officers and NCOs on the other side. They, coupled with the rapid fire of the breech-loading rifle and, later, the Gatling gun, forced the change in infantry tactics from ordered, Napoleonic rigid-order frontal attack to indirect, flanking attacks and attack by infiltration.

An interesting bit of Marine Sniper history is that from early times marines were stationed in the rigging of ships-of-the-line as they closed for battle. From this position, they would attempt to pick off the officers of the opposing ship with their long guns. The dark blue color and red piping of the U.S. Marine dress uniform is said to descend from the method the Marines used to hide in the rigging at night -- they would take their red jacket and turn it inside out so that the dark inner-lining showed. The red seams showed through.

During World War One, modern snipers and Ghillie Suits were used on both sides and at all fronts. Pictures of WWI snipers show Ghillies that are differ little from many made and used today. Mainly, what has changed in the intervening time is the optics involved in finding and sighting in on the quarry; the weapon size and range; and the materials used in making the Ghillies

NEXT UP: Making a Ghille Suit.

How To make a ghille suit Brockanima1_zps54795975
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PostSubject: Re: How To make a ghille suit   How To make a ghille suit EmptyThu Apr 12, 2012 12:31 pm

Ghillie Suit (Materials Needed. )

Ok . enough of the history lesson. So how do you make this thing? Well, its not too hard but it take a hell of a lot of time to do it right. The suits I make are military style suits. This means the material on the front is not very think with burlap and such because you need to be able to crawl. The sniper crawl is a little different than the normal crawling you might think of. Its real slow and low. the sniper many times moves only inches at a time and its more dragging across the ground than anything else. Sure, not all the time but these suits are designed to allow you to do that and not get hung-up or tear the suit apart.

First things First ( material list)

1. Set BDU's or Jumpsuit, flight suit, coveralls, you get the picture.

You want these loose. You will probably have then over your other garments and you cant be restricted.

2. Burlap ( plain or colored)

This is feed sack stuff or camo material you buy

3.Boonie hat, helmet cover, or (what I use) the back out of another old BDU shirt.

4. Netting

Camo netting, volleyball netting, some sort of netting that is strong and has 1-2 inch holes. ( no, fishnet stockings won't work)

5. Strong sewing thread (dental floss) and heavy ( upholstery) needles.

I like the dental floss because it is darn near impossible to break and it doesn't get tangled coming out of the dispenser.

6. Shoe Goo (K-Mart)

This is the strongest glue you will ever find. Its just great and never comes off. ( be careful to ventilate the work area, I stumbled around for an hour after working with this stuff)

7. Spray paint ( standard camo colors except black)

You will use this to cove the knots and blend the colors on the suit.

8. Spray waterproofing

9. Spray on fire retardant ( real important)

Deciding what type of suit to make

Crawling, stalking, blanket, poncho, and more are all different types of ghillie suits that are out there. What are the differences and why chose one over the other?

Military Ghillie (crawlers)

The Military ghillie suit is made to certain specs that are both very durable as well as functional in many situations. Military ghillies do have one thing in common with each other and apart from many ghillie suits you have seen. Being how military snipers crawl more that stalk the suits are normally not covered completely with camo material in the front area. These areas , the chest, front of the legs and knees are padded with a thick canvas ( normally) to allow the sniper to crawl across the ground. The extra canvas protects the sniper as well as the suit from wear and tear.

Hunter suits ( stalkers)
How To make a ghille suit MVC-007F

These are generally more camouflaged in the front as the sniper has a tendency to walk almost upright. By doing this the sniper needs the front covered with material that blends like the rest of the suit. This suit , although it is used to crawl with, will be damaged with continued crawling( dragging really) across the ground. These suits are used more for hunting.

The blanket ghillie

This is little more than a section of material that is draped over the sniper position. Think of the camo nets the military uses to hide tents and large equipment. Well this is the same theory. The sniper settles into a good hide position and covers themselves with the blanket, and blend into the background ( hopefully).

[size150]The poncho[/size]

This is one of the easiest ghillie suits to make as its little more that a big square with a hole in the middle for the sniper's head. The poncho is camo-ed up and worn over the head. This tends to get caught on brush and can be noisy but it still works.


What color do you want? Use the basic colors of the area you are playing in. Remember the ghillie suit will not make you invisible. This is not some cloaking device from Star Trek (sorry)

How To make a ghille suit Brockanima1_zps54795975
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PostSubject: Re: How To make a ghille suit   How To make a ghille suit EmptyThu Apr 12, 2012 12:46 pm

How To make a ghille suit MVC-007F

Our sniper here is a little too dark! He will need to stay in the shadows and be careful of his surroundings.

A couple of misconceptions about colors. Have you ever seem anything in the fields that was REALLY black? It you are thinking too long about that one I'll help. The answer is NO. Dark brown, green, tan, sand, moss, grey, but no black.

Regardless to the type of suit you make. be it a crawler or a stalker. The process is the same/
Lets follow some basic steps. For this site I'm going to make a Military type ghillie suit. This means there are a couple extra thing we will need to do/

A warning ( this will take about 25 hours of solid work and it's never really done)

Step 1

Get your stuff together

Gather enough burlap and jute ( if you can get it) to build the suit. Then get about 50% more. Next you will need 2-3 tube of the shoe goo (glue). A couple dispensers of dental floss should do it and needles.

You need netting and a base to put all this stuff on. As a base I'm using a set of BDUs
How To make a ghille suit Net

This has about 1-2" squares. It was bought at the local sporting goods and was billed as a survival netting. you are suppose to tie this into a hammock or some other thing but it was about the right size and there was plenty for the suit shown on this site as well as lots left over.


I have two types here that I used. The first was an old sack that horse feed was in. The wrapping around tree roots works too and most garden centers will have burlap. This stuff you shred by just unraveling it. You end up with lots and lots of strings. Sitting in from of the tube and watch something entertaining. Let me recommend a film here. 84Charlie MOPIC. It's an old film set in Nam but if you can find it in the rental shop, it's worth it.How To make a ghille suit Pic2

This is the second type of burlap I used and I got it at K-Mart of all places. In comes in a long length so you can cut it into 18X1 inch strips as well as shred for strings. The nice part about this is that is colored several different shades. I was able to stay away from dyeing the burlap this way.

How To make a ghille suit Pic3

Here you can see where I've pulled a few threads off. Cut this burlap in 18" or so squares and then unravel it. That will give you good length strings to work with.

How To make a ghille suit 4

Step 2

Cutting the net

Cut the net so that it covers the back, the sides, the shoulders and the arms. cover all of the arm or simply cut it off a little bit before the end of it is up to you, Also, we want to have a little bit extra on the shoulder region so it will lays over on the tops of the shoulder. This is rough ( really rough) diagram of how to cut the net for the BDU shirt Use my picture as a guide only. The green is the netting the red is where you sew it and then put the Shoe Goo.

How To make a ghille suit 5

If you cut off a little too much don't worry. You can easily sew it back.

Step 3

Attaching the netting ( see above)

This is suppose to be done with the needles and the dental floss. You will be sewing the netting on the shirt and pants at the points around the edges of the net and then about every 4th or 5th cross of netting in the interior of that panel. You want the net to be loose enough to be able to stick things in it and for it not to take on the exact form of your cloths and therefore you body. BUT, you want it to stay on as it will get a lot of stress as you crawl and move through the brush. Did I say sew the netting on? Sew? !sn't that for wimps? Well I can remember many times when I was glad I could sew. The Army even has a small sewing kit that was always good to have around. Buttons, patches, rips in pants and the occasional deep cut when there was no one else to do it ( yep I've done that more than once) so sewing will serve you well. You will want to put a dab of the Shoe Goo on each place where you have sewn. This is some tough stuff and without it the ghillie suit will come apart. Word to the wise though, when you use the Shoe Goo, take that shirt outside. The fumes are really strong and you WILL feel like crap if you breath them too long. You know that morning headache after a couple bottles too much cheap wine? Well that's nothing compared to the headache you get from this stuff. Takes about 2 days for it to completely cure and stop giving off fumes.

NOTE( I am not covering the attachment of canvas pads to the front of the suit. In a military suit you would do this to help pad and toughen the suit for crawling but this is paintball so I'm skipping it.)

Step 4

Tying on the burlap

Start with with the burlap cut into 1X18" strips. This you will tie on the netting about every other square. There is really no pattern to it. In fact that is exactly what you want, No Pattern. After this start with the shredded ( string) burlap to fill in some and generally make the thing look good. Step back and look at the mess you now have. You will see holes all over it. Move the stuff around a bit to smooth the placement out. Then put the shirt on. Move your arms around and raise them up over your head. Make sure you can move freely. Look in the mirror and see what you think.

As you finish this up you will want to blend the ghillie some. This is easy with a couple cans of camo (flat) spray paint. Just spray it right on the burlap and shirt to cover that white dental floss that might show or to adjust the pattern you now have. You can clearly see the mix of strips and strings here.How To make a ghille suit 6

The pants are done the same way. Just repeat the process above , in a pants-esque pattern.

How To make a ghille suit MVC-002F

Last but not least.

Step 5

Waterproofing and FIRE RETARDANT!!

This suit will get heavy if it soaks up a bunch of water. You will want to spray it with a couple treatments of water repellant. The type used to waterproof tents. Then USE FIRE RETARDANT. Spray the suit several times and do this routinely. Why? Here, read this FIRE

Step 6

Shoot the hell out of the other team and make them wonder what the heck happened and where did that come from.

How To make a ghille suit Brockanima1_zps54795975
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PostSubject: Re: How To make a ghille suit   How To make a ghille suit EmptyThu Apr 12, 2012 12:53 pm

First of let me star off by saying this is a very good guide for a ghille if you plan on using it in the same area. (type of wooded area) I have been taught how to make ghillies from a few different snipers know. The pictures i am going to include are moded marine corps desert marpat cammies. with the canvas on the front and arms, ther is also a mesh netting on the back for air.

The first thing that noticed is what you did with the burlap, with the long wide strips of burlap. I was taught never to do that, instead cut out various sizes of burlap into the small individual strings. And when you put those on the ghille you bunch some together and then wrap around the netting. Its hard to explain but hopefully the pics will show alot more.

Oh and the purpose behind the string of burlap is not to just camo yourself, it is used to tie in brush, leaves, and natural camo. In the pics i also used 550 cord, or paracord of various sizes to also help tie in natural camo.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0283

This is the front of my ghille, and i have not added any burlap on the front yet. but when i do there will be a some but not to completey cover it.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0284

This is a beter view of the netting that is sewn on the cammies.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0285

This is the vent that is on the back of the cammie top, you will not be able to see it very well from the outside view.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0286

You can run the burlap down farther, if you plan on wearing pants with it. but with my job there is no need, and we just need to hit he key areas. to hide the human outline.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0287

My mix of burlap and 550 cord, there is no pattern. i just put thm on the first string i saw. and its just trial and error, put it on, have a buddy look at you and see if u missed any big spots.

My mix of burlap and 550 cord, there is no pattern. i just put thm on the first string i saw. and its just trial and error, put it on, have a buddy look at you and see if u missed any big spots.

How To make a ghille suit IMG_0288

The 550 cord, i used a variety of colors because i ran out of one color.
How To make a ghille suit IMG_0289

This is the group of burlap strings i was talking about, hopefully you can see how i attached them to the string. i'm too lazy to take another pic, and its hard to explain. eh im sure you'll figure it out.

Just figured i'd show everyone the type of ghille most used by the military, well the marine corps anyway. I wil add more to here later, but your doing an Awesome job bock, i'll post up occasionaly to give the "insider tip" instead of wiki leaks lol.

If you have any questions about any thing i posted, or need a better explaination. post a reply on here, and i will get back as soon as i can.

Ok your probably wondering why my ghille is tan, when im going to be in a green enviroment. And here is the answer: This ghille suit is meant to be used in a variety of places, basicly where ever they send me. And you want to use the lightest color as the base as possible, because of this. You can always make tan a darker color (get it muddy/dirty/that kinda stuff/NO SPRAY PAINT!), but then again with a green bottom you will not be able to make the suit lighter for those wooded area's that arent very dark. So that is why it is tan.

Second off, with this ghille it does not seem like it will give that ghille effect. Of course this is just the top, i did not inslude my ghille boonie cover. But you wear this out when the game first starts. simply plain. and once you get near the area you want to hide in/stalk through. that is when you add nature veg (vegitaion/grass/sticks/leaves,etc) So that the ghille will match the area that you are going through, if you are going to be in that area for along time remember to change out your veg, because it will die/change colors over time. and then your camo will be off and you can be easily spotted.

Using this suit takes pratice, and alot of patients on a field. I have yet to use this paintballing but i have used it in training missions in various locations around the world. Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, California. And in all those locations i was able to change the suit on the spot and adapt to the suroundings. However if you only play in a certain type of woods, etc. then i might reccomend the ghille that brock showed. that wil work in his type of area, but just remember that when you are making a ghille try to make it for the area you will be using. Or do what i did, and make one that is able to change easily.

Oh and i do not think adding water proofing or fire retardent spray is a good idea at all. Because it goes against the "rule of camo". When looking for hiding enemy's you look for anything that shine's, that human shape, and improper camo. I think that the water proofing spray could add that glare to the suit and possibly show a shine. And if your playing in the rain, it could stop the water from also providing natural camo. Because if the water acts different on the suit than the surrounding area, that could be a "target indicator" and you could be compromised.

Well im gona stop my little rant now, just thought i'd share some of my knowledge, and sorry for the military terms in there lol. But like i said in my prior post, if you want to know anything just pm me or post on here and i'll get back to you.

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