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· Registered
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I haven't been online for quite some time due to school, work, etc. etc.

I noticed that we didn't have a how to make a ghillie thread any more, and since I'm making a new ghillie I thought what the hell I'll make a ghillie making tutorial.

First of all, I'll probably say some things that other people said before me, like Ghillie Arnhem, the guys of the Art of Camouflage and lots of other people whose name I can't remember.

I want to thank them all for their info and don't get mad if I quote you.

some extra ghillie making info:

- building a ghillie takes a lot of time and effort. its usually not something you do in 1 afternoon.

- be sure to gather lots of info about constructing your ghillie before building one and don't forget where the info is stored, you'll need it as well when making the ghillie. you don't want to be starting all over with a new ghillie because the first one failed.

- Don't use any black! Black is not a natural color, you could instead use very dark brown or even very dark green.

- take jute for grassy areas, and burlap strips for leafy areas.

- when making your ghillie, either do it in the area you will play in, or take a pic so you know what colors to use.

Step I:

Buying the materials you need!

for my ghillie suit I used:

burlap (I destringed it after I had dyed it)
my BDU
a separate hood piece
netting on the backside of camo netting.
textile glue (I used Bison, but don't know if it's available outside the Netherlands)
dye (Dylon Dark brown, olive green, jungle green and pebble beige)
and last of all a comfy chair and a good movie.

Step II:

sewing or gluing the netting.

you can either sew or glue your netting on your BDU's or flight suit.

sewing takes a lot of time and you need thread which is very strong.
If you don't have very strong thread, you can use normal thread.
All you have to do with the normal thread is sew more on the same place every time so eventually you'll have the same strength of the strong thread.

What I did was glue my netting on my BDU's, this is less time consuming, but it can be less strong then sewing it on.

here are some pics of my hood and my jacket both with the netting on.

Step III:

cutting the burlap in smaller pieces so it's easy to handle when soaking it in the dye.

don't cut it in strips of 1" because you will loose half of the burlap you bought. it's best to make squares of about 50x50 cm so all the jute you get out is equally long.

Step IV:

dyeing the burlap

Just read the instructions on the package of the dye, don't do what it says and fill a bucket with warm water, add some salt(should taste like the sea or something similar) add some of the dye and stir.

now grab your burlap and soak it in the dye, depending how much dye and water you used, you should leave it in there until you get the desired color. What I did was fill one bucket with green dye and one bucket with brown dye, so I could soak it in one then get all the water out and soak it in the other one so you never get the same color twice.

When the desired color is obtained, you let your burlap dry, but before it's completely dry, you want to start and destring your burlap, since burlap is easier to destring when wet.

some of my burlap in different colors.

Burlap destringed (jute).

my jute's camo qualities

Step V:

destringing your burlap.

Destringing your burlap is, like everything else, time consuming.
this is how you do it :

1. grab a thread
2. hold the other end of the burlap, either place rocks on it or hold
it in place with your feet.
3. pull the thread away from the burlap and toward you.
(sometimes you can do 2 threads together)
4. place the jute so that the middle of every thread is on the same
5. when you have 3 threads left over, start pulling out the other
6. With the 3 left over threads, you will tie the bundle of jute
7. put the bundle away and start on the next piece of burlap.
8. repeat until you destringed all the burlap.


pic of all my jute:

Step VI

tying in the burlap.

tying the jute on the netting can be done on different ways.

you can loop it underneath the netting, pull both ends through the loop and pull it tightly.

here is how to loop the jute step by step:

you could also tie in the jute by making overhand knots, this is quite useful to do on top off the head piece, so it won't all fall down.


After a few months I've decided it was time to finish my ghillie and upload this tutorial.

I've tied in all the jute and made some burlap strips, which I tied in at random spots.
I did this because I thought it was too green, and it was all jute.
The burlap strips act as "leaves" and adds more brown to my ghillie.

I dyed the burlap in 3 different tones of brown, light, medium and a bit darker.
When they were dry, I sprayed glue on it so that the burlap stays the way it is. I then cut it in strips of about 1 inch and pulled some jute on one end of it so it's not that straight.
I cut the other end in the middle for about 3 inches so I could tie it in my netting.

Its almost done now, all I have to do is break it in but I wanted to take some pics so you could see the difference.

Here are some pics of it just lying in my backyard without any vegetation.

Some close-ups.

And some pics with it just lying around with vegetation.
Try and find it.(It's not that hard)

step VII, breaking in the ghillie

It's not me rolling around in the mud, I dragged it through the mud, dirt, grass and small rocks, but here it is in all it's dirty glory!

Ghillie all muddy and stuff.

Ghillie washed out.

I'm leaving it to dry now.
I guess it will take a while, it not that warm outside, but when it's not dripping water anymore I will take it inside so it can dry completly. As soon as it's dry I will take some more pics so we can all see the difference in color.

(update 12-1-11)

Ghillie is dry, sooner then I thought.
The colors are a bit faded and look better than before.
The jute doens't look that neat anymore and has started being a bit fluffy.

what else to say? ??? I think it's ready for a game

Here are some pics:

Ghillie lying around as usual.


Difference between not broken in ghillie and broken in ghillie.

I think it came out just perfect and can be used as allround ghillie.

All I need now is a pic of me actually wearing it, but I will post that in a different thread with all my other gear.

I hope this tutorial has helped you all a lot and if you see something that I didn't please let me know so I can change it :)

· Registered
89 Posts
the one thing that is missing here is the difference between jute and burlap. Use random strips of burlap in leafy areas and jute in grassy areas.

And No BLack if you buy a kit with black in it just throw it out. ( or let your cat have it)

· Registered
807 Posts
crazy glue, super glue or epoxy work too.

personally I didnt like the idea of super gluing netting on (or taking the time
) so I sewed my netting on with a machine and just did straight stitches randomly across the netting an hand stitched where necessary and it works great.

another technique that I may use when i have to make another one or re-work my current one is to take small guage wire and make tiny staples, punch them through from the inside and twist tie them at the junctions on the netting and cut off the ends when tight.

granted neither of these are real life practice on real ghillies, but i like to follow the L.A.W of K.I.S.S when I am able
and this is just for airsoft lol.

you can also buy jute in packs online instead of sitting in your back yard pulling apart burlap for a week (like I did for my first attempt
) and if you just get the natural color jute and dye it yourself its pretty cheap.

great thread though! especially for those just starting on one!

· Premium Member
3,434 Posts
I found shoe goo works really well.

I sew the netting down with some floss and then put shoe goo over top. This ensures the floss will not come apart and stays together tight. Also, the shoe goo acts like another line of defense for keeping the netting down to the bdu.

· Registered
3,788 Posts
I like your bottle rocket on your leg in that one picture ;)

I like to use ..... wait for it....... dental floss. Yup dental floss to attach my netting to the BDU's. Works great and is really cheap, and then cover in Shoe Goo to make sure it doesn't go anywhere. But I have used just the floss and it doesn't go anywhere.

· Registered
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the soon to be sticky!
I learned a lot on this forum and am glad I can do something back :)

It's only the first ghillie I made, I think some more will be made over the years, and I learned a great deal when making this one.

I am currently helping a friend (my spotter) making an almost exact copy of this one.
The only things different are the glue we used and probably the colors of the jute.

When I start working on a new one I will try out the dental floss, and a lot of other stuff I've seen around.



The jute is for in grassy areas, and the burlap is for in leafy areas.
I tried making this an allround ghillie, so I added the burlap to act as leaves (beside actual leaves) and to add more brown to my ghillie as I thought it was too green and I ran out of brown jute

· Registered
133 Posts
If you want more "leaves" without using extra burlap try this. I went to my local army/navy store and picked up some torn/used bdu's. Then I took them and cut them christmas tree style.

Sort of like that. Then I tied them randomly into the suit. It worked well to give more flat spots that are still camoish.
Just another idea.

· Registered
268 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I did not only add them burlap strips for acting as leaves, also to make my ghillie more brownish.

Your camo idea is pretty good, but I think it would stick out to much on my ghillie.
The burlap looks like the jute, so it doesn't really stick out. And I still have to break it in so the burlap will be a bit torn at the edges. I added spray glue so it would not completly loose it's form but stay like burlap.

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13 Posts

Where did you get the net that you put on your ghillie? I've been around in a myriad of different stores and havent found one single store that would sell nets. Tried fishing stores, hunting stores, our version of the home depot ... No luck whatsoever.

The camo netting we have available seems pricey and i might aswell buy a separate ghillie base for the price...
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