A sniper’s position can be exposed without the aid of a ghillie suit.
Ghillie suits are still used today by military snipers for camouflage, and the suits are almost always made by hand while in the field. The components of a makeshift ghillie suit can be devised from many materials but usually include the shell—typically a lightweight camouflage jacket—and a thin rope netting which burlap and jute is then attached to. When placed on top of the suit, the burlap and jute help natural foliage to stay in place. Attaching burlap to the netting is a lengthy process and should be done with precision for the suit to be used effectively.
1. Cut the burlap or jute into 18-inch to 2-foot long strands. If using old burlap sacs, make the strands about a half-inch thick. If using jute, use single strands. You’ll need about 25 pounds of fabric for the suit.
2. Place fabric die into four plastic containers. Mix up powdered die or use liquid die; either one is fine. You’ll need light green, dark green, dark brown and black. These colors are standard with most forested regions. Let the environment dictate which color scheme you choose.
3. Bundle your burlap or jute into five equal portions. Set aside one portion that you won’t dye, and place the other four bundles into the buckets of dye and let them soak for about an hour, or the designated time specified by the dye instructions that you purchased.
4. Remove the bundles and allow them to dry in the sun for a few hours. Drape the strands across coat hangers and spread them out to make grabbing individual strands easier in the next step.
5. Tie the burlap or jute onto individual netting squares starting at the bottom of the suit. Work from right to left, then up to the next row of netting squares, eventually finishing at the hood. Tie a secure overhand knot in the burlap on the center of each netting square. Start with the plain burlap or jute first, then black, brown, dark green and light green at the top. Fill in the spaces as you work, until you are satisfied with your coverage.