Introduction: Combat Ghillie Hoodie - for Airsoft, Hunting or Apocalypse...
Having a lot of spare time, enjoying airsoft and making things, I wanted to create a Ghillie suit. However having a broken bolt action rife leaving me with just an automatic means that the game style I have to play involves running, ambushing and also wearing webbing. Not exactly what Ghillie suits are made for. So by making a Ghillie Hoodie (Like a bushrag) I can use webbing and run while having the suit not being too big to snag and not too small to be ineffective. I am very pleased with the result as it heavily camouflages you and breaks up your body well. I need to remember to never put it down in the woods. Or I will have wasted a large amount of work and time. Oh yea, thats another thing. If you want to make this. LARGE DEDICATION is required. Stripping burlap for hours on end it not as fun as it sounds...
Step 1: Burlap
Most people say that a Ghillie suit should be about 30% burlap and 70% natural vegetation. Since mine is a combat Ghillie as well as the fact that the burlap is really effective and the idea of shoving decaying, insect infected plant carcasses down my top repulses me. Maybe I am exaggerating but anyway; because of this I wanted the whole suit covered in burlap. No bald patches (apart from the right inner shoulder for the stock of my M4). I used roughly 14 30cm x 20cm pieces of burlap (And that was tight(As in there was almost not enough)). So I went on ebay and bought roughly 2m by 3m hessian burlap. You can save yourself about 5 hours of stripping by buying just jute. But it is normally expensive and thick. Anyway get stripping! I found that the best technique was to strip a cm on one side so that you can see all of the individual jute fibres sticking out the end, and then start stripping those. Don't do one side then the other as by just doing one side you can save yourself a lot of time as when you have finished one side, the other side will just fall out! Anyway at the end of this you will look like you hugged a really old extremely hairy dog, so get a hoover ready! And give your aching fingers a break for a while, you will have earned it!
READ THE NEXT STEP BEFORE YOU DO THIS! (You may want to switch the order around)
Step 2: Dying
Ok, so you are going to need to dye different pieces of burlap different colours. Take into account your environment that you wish to blend with, the season and that the colour you dye the burlap will merge with the default hessian tan. For example my bright "amazon green" gave me a really muddy grass-reed green that works really well! I play at a woodland skirmish and I live in miserable weather England so I went for a muddy woodland camo; two different greens (Forrest and Amazon which came out Dark and Muddy), woodland brown and a couple of normal jute tan as highlights. Bear in mind if you strip the burlap first, they get into knots and take ages to dry but it will all be dyed, but if you dye 30cm x 20cm bits of burlap (I did 5 for each colour) then it is a lot faster and easier but you get a few tan stripes. (Barely noticeable close up, and I could even say that it looks good!) I dried one batch in my old washing machine, one on the washing line and one on the boiler overnight. Anyway follow the instructions on your dye pack and move on to the next step!
Step 3: Sewing
We now need to get our netting onto our hoodie (we tie the burlap to this) (Nautical Fishing net is too expensive; I used pond net that stops fish jumping out and cats jumping in!)
Most tutorials online say to use "Shoegoo" but I thought that some extra tough nylon thread and a sewing machine would create a tougher bond. It worked well, just keep in mind that when you put your body in the hoodie it stretches out so if you sowed netting across it you won't be able to fit your arm in. It is difficult explain but I will try to explain it.
If I flatten the hood on the ground and tie netting from the top to bottom; when I put my head in the netting does not open out with the hood. So we get around this by allowing extra netting or sowing it while it is on someone of similar size to you. I covered the whole of the back and a bit of the front upper chest.
Anyway this should take a few hours so when you are done move onto the next step.
Step 4: Tying the Burlap
Taking a small strand of burlap go through one strand on netting over the entry strand loop over and go through the loop. An indescribably awful explanation but I think you can tie a simple knot. start at the bottom and work you way up systematically. Resist the temptation to skip upwards as by doing it row by row the strands hang down and cover the previous knots.
Fun, Fun, Fun! Not. Anyway, the work is truly rewarding now as you see your room covered in burlap and your suit coming to life! Integrate multiple colours and try sharp colour changes to break up your body. Try and build up your non dominant hand shoulder as it will also really break up your body. Try and remember to do things like this and really think about the area you are trying to blend with. Look for bald spots and fill them in.
Step 5: Done!
If you have made it this far then very well done!
Share a picture of yours in the comments!
I hope you liked my 'ible it's my first so it might not be the best, but everyone has to start somewhere.
And I know, I really am working on not waffling anymore!
What would you use yours for? (I don't have the guts to prank anyone... do you?)