Sniper Tricks & Tips - How to Make a Ghillie suit

Discussion in 'Clothing / Gear' started by xc0n, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. xc0n

    xc0n New Member

    How to Make a Ghillie suit

    Ghillie suits are a very useful tool to a sniper. It can be the difference between being spotting and getting that kill. The big problem with ghillie suits is people can just log on to the internet and buy them. When people do this they don't understand the ghillie suit or have a respect for the suit. Building one takes time, but also build patients. Patients is a key attribute of a sniper, with out it your just a trigger happy person in a bush. So my advice is to go to your local army surplus store and get the supplies to make your own ghillie suit.

    Items your will need:
    1. Flight suit or Military BDUs/ACUs * if you have BDUs you will want a hat or hood of some kind. Make sure they are 1-2 sizes too big (to fit over clothes)

    2. Netting - You can get this from a military camo net used to hide equipment or you can find netting at most hardware stores. Also make sure the netting isn't stiff!

    3. Burlap/Burlap sacks - Some places sell burlap roles that are dyed different colors if not you need sacks/sheets. This will make the "Ghillie" also used as pads on the suit.

    4. Dye - Your want to get natural color dyes to dye the burlap. Make sure you get colors that match the environment you will be playing in.

    5. Fishing line (3lb-8lb)- this will be used for stitching the suit together. The reason for fishing line is it is more durable and doesn't rot with water.

    6. Sowing Needles - for sowing netting and patches.

    Flight suit: $30.00-$60.00
    Netting: $10.00 - $40.00
    Burlap: (per sack) $0.50 - $0.99/ (per yard) $1.00 - $3.00
    Dye: (per package bottle) $0.50 - $5.00
    Fishing line: $3.00 - $25.00
    Sowing Needles: $0.25 - $1.00

    Burlap Role

    Flight Suit

    Military Netting

    Fishing Line

    *Flight suit/ Netting/ Burlap are normally cheapest at a local army surplus*


    1. The first thing you want to do is prep your netting. Military netting (Preferred)
    with the military camo netting you will have to remove all the camo and metal rings. When cutting the rings make sure not to cut the netting. You will need a pair of wire cutters to cut these off.
    Once that is done you will need to lay the netting out over your suit to measure what you need to cut to make it match the size of the suit. Pin the net on the suit first and try it on and see if the netting fits the way you have it. When pinning the net make sure it isn't really tight against your suit and at the same time it can't be too loose. Also make sure it is covering everything it should be. Lastly move around, lift your legs, squat and make sure there is no pulling or tightness in any motion. If you get resistance when on the field you could ruin the suit by ripping it.

    2. Check your clothing
    Make sure that you don't have anything in the pockets of the ACUs/BDUs or Flight Suit because most of the pockets will be sown shut or covered.

    3. Cutting the Netting
    This is the make or break to the suit, You want to cut the net to match your clothing you are attaching it to. But you want to make sure it wraps a little more than half way around the torso and legs. The reason being is that you aren't flat so when you lay down on the ground the sides of the clothing will show. you want these to be covered. It might help to have someone measure it up when you are wearing the BDUs/ Flight Suit. Once this has been double checked from above you can cut the netting down to what you need. This is easy if you leave it pinned.

    4. Hat/Hood
    You are going to want to do the same thing for the measuring the net for the hat. The only difference is you dont want it to be an exact match.
    A. Hats - With a hat you want the net to drape behind the hat to cover your neck. Basically you are making the net look like a hood. Make it so it over laps a little on the shoulder area. Also the netting should come down to cover the side of your face and a little in the front. Not too much in the front cause the burlap will hang there once added to the suit.
    B. Hoods - you want to attach the hood to your suit before adding netting. DON'T fully attach the hood all the way around just the back part. The reason for this is that if you attach it all the way around it will create that head and shoulder outline that the ghillie suit is suppose to hide/distort. Once it is attached then you measure the netting. The netting should be about 1-2 inches further out than the hood (Past the brim of the hood).

    Notice how the hat reaches over the shoulder line. I know that guy is a little fat for sniping.

    5. Sow it begins (see what I did the ahha)
    Now you can sow the netting onto the suit. Now one last time before sowing your heart out make sure the netting isnt pulling in any spots. This just makes sure your measurements were correct and the suit has no tension. You can now begin sowing the perimeter of the netting to the suit leave the middle for now.
    Once the perimeter is done you can add stitching to the middle. When you stitch the middle you don't want it to be super tight, so you will tac sow points on the back of the suit. So leave sections that aren't attached to the suit. But at the same time you don't want the suit to be extremely baggy. So trust yourself and if it feels like there is too much hanging off the suit tac sow it , if it seems like it would be too tight if you sow an area it probaly is.

    6. Patches/Pads
    Next you want to add patches. Patches will be added to the knees/legs/elbows.

    Notice where the pads are. A note about the elbow pads area, the pads don't go exactly on the elbow. They are place slightly inside the arm so when you crawl they touch the ground. For example lie down and do a military low crawl. Your arms will be out infront of you and you are using the meatier part of the inside of your arm to crawl. This is where the pad will go.

    Chest Pad for ghillie suit.

    Leg pads for ghillie suit.

    7. Burlap ("Ghillie")
    The last step but yet the most tedious of the whole process: making the burlap ghillie.
    The first step you will need to do is mix your dye into hot water. Make sure you have enough dye because the colors sometimes come out lighter than you expect. Then put your burlap in and follow the direction of the dye you bought.
    Once you have finished dying your burlap take your it and start to unthread it. Yup thats right start pulling each individual thread out so you get separate thin threads. Take these threads and put them in clumps together to make ghillie-locks. Also make sure to keep the locks within the same color. You don't want a lock that has brown, green and tan all in it.

    8. Attach the burlap
    Now once you have all your burlap done take the clumps and start attaching them to the ghillie suit. Keep adding until there aren't any bald spots on the suit. To attach it just feed it through the netting loop about half way and then do a simple over hand knot.

    This is how the ghillie should be attached. Also note that those individual pieces are the "clumps" I referenced earlier. (They can be made thicker than shown in the image)

    Once these are attached you have a ghillie suit!
    All you have to do is break it in now. To do this just put it on and go for a swim or get hosed down. Warning do not go swimming in water above shoulder level, the added wait of the ghillie could cause you to sink. Also don't go in a pool either the chlorinated water will ruin the suit and give it a funny smell.
    Once the suit is wet roll around on the ground for a little. Then take it off and let it dry then added new burlap "ghillie" if needed.


    Ghillie suit care 101
    1. Avoid Fire - Burlap is very flammable and can make you into a human roast.

    2. Do not wash a ghillie with soap or in a washer - The soap and washer will both ruin the suit.

    3. Never store the suit when it is wet, dry it out first - this will prevent mold

    4. Do not put bug spray on the ghillie suit - the smell could give you away

    5. Do not smoke near or with the suit on - same reasons as #1 and #4

    6. Avoid cooking near it or leaving it in a kitchen - suit will retain the smell of the food

    7. Replace ghillie as needed - the burlap (Ghillie) will fall of that is normal, just make sure to replace it.

    8. Check your seems and sowing after every use - this will help you catch a potential rip/unthreading early.

    9. Never let someone else use your ghillie suit.

    10. Never dry suit in a dryer - hang dry/ sun dry

    11. Do not comb your ghillie suit - it will just eat your comb and or pull out ghillie.

    Hope this helps some people out there in building a ghillie suit. Good luck &
    Happy Hunting
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  2. 1badweasel

    1badweasel New Member

    Santa Rosa
    I've heard of snipers using rubber bands to add extra foliage to the ghillie around their enviroment. Any other ideas or opinions on this?

  3. Urbanprodigy

    Urbanprodigy New Member

    How do you make the clumps? Just stick them together or is there a special way?
  4. xc0n

    xc0n New Member

    No just literally lay the strands together in a pile all facing the same direction. A "clump" would look like:

    this isn't burlap but its the same idea. The piece behind the bag laying horizontally is the look you would be going for.
  5. Urbanprodigy

    Urbanprodigy New Member

    Alright thanks but also how do I tie the clumps into the net? Won't it be kind of difficult to tie 50 pieces at once. Maybe I'm just missing something
  6. xc0n

    xc0n New Member

    When it is in a clump like the above picture you put half of that clump through a loop in the netting. Once its through you tie an over hand knot.


    This might give you a better idea of the "clump" too. Actually I'm going to add this picture to the tutorial. The above image seems to be a string instead of burlap though. But its the same idea only burlap is thinner per strand.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
  7. Urbanprodigy

    Urbanprodigy New Member

    Ok that looks better especially since it looks more like the jute I use.
    Thank you I'm beginning the dyeing tonight for a helmet project and this was just in time.

    Edit: sticky anybody I vote for one
  8. xc0n

    xc0n New Member

    Sorry it was a little confusing, but glad I could help. If you have any other questions feel free to message me.
  9. Urbanprodigy

    Urbanprodigy New Member

    It was a very good guide and not confusing at all. The only thing was I was using jute so the burlap being a little different was hard to picture as jute