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How To Make Your Own Ghillie Suit

Updated on September 19, 2010

Main Materials Needed:

-Jute or Burlap 8lbs or more

-Light Weight Nylon Netting (inch by inch squares)

-Ghillie suit clothes (jacket, pants, overalls, flight suit, BDUs)

-Several Dye Colors depending on the envirorment (example:Forest green, Olive Green, Brown, Light green..)

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***Warning Jute or Burlap is extremely flamable please be careful***

Drink plenty of water when wearing the ghillie suit, as it gets extremely hot and death can result from dehydration.

First of all making your own ghillie suit is very time consuming! (mostly the sewing and knotting or tieing in strings of jute/burlap to the netting)

Whether you want a 1 piece or 2 piece ghillie suit is up to you. There are advantages and disadvantages of each option. The one piece ghillie suit will allow you to get in and out of it easier, and won’t get caught while your crawling, because there is no seem. If you just need to wear the top part of the ghillie suit, the two piece ghillie suit is its main advantage. Remember, to always buy one or two sizes larger than what you regularly wear.

Any type of strong netting will do. (just make sure its light weight) I usually recommend people use a black volleyball net, which works great for ghillie suits. Other netting options include fish netting – if you choose to use any other color net, don’t forget to dye it darker when you are dying your jute.

The meticulous work starts when you begin attaching your netting to your suit you can do this by sewing the netting onto the suit. Using regular thread doesn't work well, because its not strong enough. You’ll have to a stronger material like a waxed dental floss. If sewing is not your thing, some people just glue the netting on the suit using Shoe Goo, using Show Goo gives your fingers a break and saves labor hours. For best, long lasting results, experienced hunters do both. They sew the netting onto the suit, then Shoo Goo the corners to make sure the dental floss doesn’t come undone.

How you attach the netting whether its on the back online or on both sides, really depends on how your going to use the ghillie suit. If you will be using your ghillie suit to crawl or lay down most of the time, then you do not want netting and jute on the front of the suit. If you will be walking or crouching a lot, then netting and jute should cover the front of the suit. (most people put the netting on the back of the suit.)

You got your suit, you have the netting sewed or glued on. Now you can color or dye your jute/burlap. (If you have sacks of jute/burlap then i recommend you stringing, one string at a time taking apart the bag) or you can cup the jute into strips and sew them on.. Selecting the choice of colors is wholly dependent on your environment. A good starting off point would be tan, green, black, brown and dark green.

Other jute & synthetic threads are available in black, brown, dark green, gray, light olive, lime green, olive green, natural tan, and sage green. The colors you choose will be based on your environment – some general color themes include: Woodland, Mossy, Desert, Timber, Leafy & Winter White. You can always color the thread by using dye. Once you decide what colors you want, determine how much jute you need of each color (always buy a 1-2lbs extra, then what you think you need) and then cut it in those section, and dip them into dye. Please wear gloves and eye protection when dyeing, following included dye intructions.. It can be purchased at any major Big Box store like Wal-Mart, or your local fabric store.

To save time and avoid a mess, you can always purchase a Ghillie Suit Kit, which comes with pre-cut and dyed jute along with netting. The Ghillie Suit Kits are usually 5 lbs and 7 lbs in sizes.

If you decide on buying a Ghillie Suit Kit, you can get the basic Ghillie Suit Kit, or get specialized ones like a Paintball Tracker Kits, and the Paintball Ultra light Ghillie kit. Or get the basic Ghillie Suit Kit, but customized colors and amounts.

Ghillie Suit Top
Ghillie Suit Top

The next step, after your jute thread is dyed is to have the thread cut into different lengths and attach them to the netting. The jute should be cut into strands of 18 to 24 inches and then begin tying them to the netting. Start with your suit’s main color such as lime green. Take all the lime jute and tie one strand onto each netting square in the centre. Then begin to add on the other colors in a random pattern.

Once all the jute thread is attached, do a quick shake test to make sure everything is secure. Make any changes that need be, like if you feel the color pattern isn’t random enough or give it more color by simply giving the thread a light spray painting.

Then take a deep breath, step back and admire your creation. Finally, take it out the woods and show it off!

Advantages of a Homemade Ghillie Suit

Can be less expesive than Ready-Made Ghillie Suits

Depending on what materials you already have

Get exactly what you want

Disadvantages of a Ready-Made Ghillie Suit

Time consuming up to 100 hours Can actually cost more than just buy a ready-made ghillie suit Not all materials are fire retardent Not machine washable Depending on effort, quality may not be that good; making it a one time or a couple time use suit.


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