How to make a Ghillie Suit
(and many other accessories)
Click to enlarge

     I have noticed that a lot of websites that have instructions of building ghillie suits, which give very little direction in making them. There are even those who will go so far as to pay for instructions on building one. I think that is the most stupid thing, because I right here am going to show you everything you need to make whatever kind of ghillie suit you would ever want, plus, helpful commentary and all of my opinions too.

     When I first started out making ghillie suits, I really had nowhere to turn. At the time, there we a couple of websites that showed a brief outline of the construction of the ghillie suit, mostly without pictures, giving the reader a vague picture in his mind on the procedure. I thought it was an almost impossible task; with all the hard and long work I put into this thing, I should at least know what I am doing, and not just leave everything up to figuring it out myself. But hey, what was I suppose to do? I went into a lot of chat rooms, and visited a lot of paintball places (I normaly go to paintball anyways) and talked to some of the veterans. I even contacted some USMC Sniper/Scouts over the Internet and asked them how they constructed their suits. I asked lots of questions. I was determined to find out everything there was to know about making ghillie suits. This is why I wrote this website for, so that other people don't have to do all of the work I did.

SPC Clifford R. Svob, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Reg. Photo taken at Grafenwhore Germany sniping competition.

     Whatever your reason: military, law enforcement, hunter, surveillance or paintball, building a ghillie suit has many uses. But I'm not going to lie to you, to make a good, quality one, it takes some money and a lot of patience and time. Let me first start off by saying that ghillie suits are just a tool, they are just camouflage. They do NOT make you invisible. Used correctly however, they are the most effective camouflage in the world. I have had people STEP on me while I was wearing a ghillie suit; it's that effective.


     Scottish gamekeepers were the first to create the "Ghillie suit". Their nicknames where "ghillie", hence force, "ghillie suit" (the pronunciation for ghillie is "Gee Lee", with a "g" sound, not a "j" sound). They figured out, if they attached strips of burlap to their clothing, and waited patiently enough, pouchers would never even see them. It has then evolved into military tool for snipers, adopted by the United States Army and Marine Core as an integral part of their camouflage and concealment.

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     Why and how does the ghillie suit work so well? When the United States was first considering regular issue printed camouflage for their soldiers, they thought of a plain color. After many years later, they saw the need for better camouflage in certain environments. They then added more colors and different types of blends and shapes for different environments, trying to match the colors and shapes in the inherent environment to the printed fabric. While the standard issue printed camouflage does a great job of blending in with its environment, it follows the human form to closely. This means, that while a person might not see you in the corner of his eye, he most certainly will looking strait at you, since his brain recognizes your human form. And while printed fabrics try to mimic its surrounding shapes as best they can, they can never make a 2D object look 3D. The printed fabric cannot create black shadows as dark as real shadows, "...the shadow is about 2 orders of magnitude darker than the darkest printed black fabric." (Taken from Randy Cox (, and his definition of a ghillie suit). The idea of a ghillie suit (and why it works so damn well) is that it can create the real shadows using 3D materials. Since your outline is broken up, the human brain cannot distinguish your human form. This only takes care of the "breaking up your human outline" problem. The real trick of the ghillie suit is the color blends and the addition of natural vegetation to it, which we will cover on later in this website.

     I have personally built many ghillie suits, and can say that they all have been very demanding. First, lets cover why ghillie suits cost so much. One word, LABOR. As I have said before, building a ghillie suit takes a long time. How long depends on how much effort you put into it, ranging from 8, to 30 or 40 hours (well, not all at once). Even at minimum wage, a 25-hour suit with labor alone is a little over $130, not counting the materials and lets face it, I wouldn't want minimum wage for such a labor-intensive project. Done properly however, a good ghillie suit with the right materials and the proper care can last a lifetime. Also, (regardless of what you may have heard from other places on the Internet) ghillie suit does not always have to be hot and heavy to be effective, and you won't colapse from heat exhaustion if you wear one (and stay hydrated, of course). It all depends on how you make the suit. And why would you want to make a suit, when you could pay for someone else to make it for you? Would you let someone else pack you parachute? Well, not as severe as that. Matter of fact, there are people out there that could probably do a better job of making a ghillie suit than you could **(well, at least they claim they can).

** Just a little commentary before we continue. The (very nice people, donít get me wrong) people at Custom Concealment Inc. ( have another thing coming towards them. While, their ghillie suits have been claimed to be very effective, and their website is very well put together and creative, they fall short on some of the things they claim on their website. They continually keep pounding in your head that you are not competent enough to make a ghillie suit by yourself. They insist that the method of dyeing and treating their burlap is unique and complicated, so that you the simpleton, could never understand the process, even if they gave you all of the machinery and instructions. They also insist that their seamstress is the best in the world, and therefore, you would be an idiot if you tried to make a ghillie suit by yourself. For those people out there who are a little more intelligent than that, you recognize right away that all it is is propaganda. They are trying to fool you into thinking that you canít make it yourself, while at the same time promoting their own, "superior" product. While there is some truth to their machinery and method, and seamstress and product, United States Military Snipers have been doing just fine before they came along. Again, let me say that I'm not telling you that they suck at making ghillie suits, I'm just personaly offended by which the way they present there product.

--- IMPORTANT!!!! ---

Please read the entire website before trying to construct your own ghillie suit.

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