How Is Camo Printed On Fabric

Print different colors in your camouflage pattern.

Printed patterns generally begin with a black and white template of the design, including camouflage patterns. These prints, which are used in the military as well as the fashion industry, have several colors within the pattern. Although the print appears to have a continuous print throughout the camouflage, there is a specific point where the repeat begins which creates the pattern layout for the textile printing mill.


Although a print such as camouflage appears as a continuous pattern, it is a two-way print. This is a term used in manufacturing for textile prints in which garment production patterns are positioned and cut in both directions, resulting in less fabric waste. Designers often use the two-way print method when designing abstract patterns for the camouflage print.

Color Separation

Once the pattern is designed and created, the pattern print design is separated per color within the pattern. Printing factories will also require a set of pantone numbers per color. For example, a green-based camouflage can implement colors such as Cactus #18-0130, Peridot #17-0336, Bright Chartreuse #14-0445 and Garden Green #19-0230.

Print Cost

Designers use the textile mill’s printing guidelines, which quote a set price per color amount within the pattern. The guidelines are generally broken down into color amounts–such as two to four, four to six, and six to 10 colors–within a print. Camouflage is generally a four- to six-color print using different same color tone hues as well as contrasting colors. The more colors the print contains, the more expensive the pattern will be to print.

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Designers must supply the textile printing mill with artwork, which indicates the exact location of the repeat starting point. Dimensions of the specific section are established by measuring the width and length of the repeat starting point, such as a 10-inch by 12-inch repeat. Once the camouflage pattern is printed, it appears uniformly every subsequent yard.

Repeat Pattern Placement

Vertical, horizontal as well as horizontal shifts are terms used to describe how the repeat section will be positioned. Camouflage has abstract shapes as well as superimposed colors. Generally camouflage is an alternating horizontal shift which ensures that the shaped sections will fit into the next repeated shaped section.


Camouflage patterns are now printed on woven-piece goods, such as twill and canvas, as well as knit-piece goods, such as jersey and fleece. Although it is mainly associated with military gear, camouflage is used in men’s, women’s and children’s apparel. It is also printed for home décor items such as bedspreads and pillows, as well as backpacks and accessories.