Cartoon Fun
and

History of the Ghillie Suit
by
Brownielocks and The 3 Bears

  Ghillie Suit for Christmas? Cartoon
Camouflage Clothing Cartoon

The Name

Let's begin with how you pronounce that silly looking word. The name Ghillie comes from Scotland where the ghillies were gamekeepers. The word is pronounced like "gah-hee-lee" and some spell it like Ghilly also.

The Meaning Behind It

  I saw the word and humorously thought it represented "g'hills" or hilly ground.  I was wrong. The Gaelic word "ghillie" when translated in English means a male attendant or follower. The Scottish Gaelic word "gille" means boy or servant, from and a very similar Irish Gaelic word "gilla", from gildae. And, in modern social translation, the boy they are referring to was like a hunting servant or gamekeeper back then.  Some also believe it originates from a ghillie dhu, which is the name for a type of Gaelic fairy called a "brownie." The Scottish "Brownie" is pictured as wearing brown clothing (obviously), rather small, shaggy, and wild in his appearance and were known to be very sneaky and good at hiding among leaves and other vegetation, if they weren't hiding in dark corners in homes and haunting them that is.

The Suit's History

Some say that the ghillies were first shepherds who created this type of clothing to walk among the  herds and catch the wolves, who were fooled. It also worked to protect their herd from poachers.  I'm not sure if the shepherds made Ghillie suits that looked like sheep, or that blended in with the grassy hills. But, it worked!

And, because it was so successful, the "ghillies" were then promoted by the King and Queen to be their gamekeepers for hunting. Why?  Well, my guess is because the royalty had egos and when they went hunting well they wanted to get something. So, the ghillies, with their clever use of camouflage clothing, were much better hunting assistants. It is said that many times, the Ghillies would be the hunters. They'd hide and wait for their prey and then kill it by either using a bow and arrow, knife or in some cases just leap out and grab it with their bare hands. With some noblemen, the Ghillie would catch the animal then bring it back to the castle for the King to "officially" kill and claim the glory!  As I said...ego!!

  And if one had to write a sales promotion for the Ghillie suit besides "one size fits all" or "it hides stains" or "washes and wears well" it also hides any weight gain! Seriously, the key word is hide when it comes to a Ghillie. This is why the Ghillie suit is now the suit of choice for top military snipers, special forces missions, some SWAT police teams and also for some professional hunters.

Military Origin

The first time the Ghillie suit was used for military purposes is due to a Scottish Army Commander named Lord Lovat.  He took men who were from the Northern Scotish highlands (hunters or shepherds) and used their Ghillie talents, plus added some military training skills, to form two fighting reconnaissance groups. These men were then sent to fight in the South African Second Boer War around 1899. They became known as the Lovat scouts and later served in World War I and World War II. So, the British Army is  credited with being the first to use Ghillie suited snipers and surveillance tactics during warfare. 

  Beside military use and hunting, the Ghillie suit has now become popular for those who like to play with Paintball guns in the woods. The suits are made from burlap to nylon and can be a full-size jumpsuit style to simply a throw-over cape style. Wearing a suit can not only be a bit heavy, but also can be quite uncomfortably hot at times.   Although you can buy pre-made suits, the soldiers in special forces are suppose to each make their own suits. The more a suit blends into the environment it will be used in, the better. Therefore, some makers go to real extremes to achieve this. They will bleach and wash it several times, drag it in the mud, etc.  Others will also attach real vegetation on to the article.

Example of a Ghillie Suit

This page is not meant to promote violence, hunting, shooting etc. But I saw the Ghillie suit and had to laugh because well, I thought they were like fluffy blobby teddy bears.  Here is a photo below and really.. don't these guys look like Chewbacca from Star Wars or even Big Foot?

Camouflage Clothing

This page is also not going to make lightly killing during warfare. But it will give credit to those military men who were trained and skilled as snipers and who did their job well in order to serve and protect their country.  From what I read, the Viet Nam Conflict (remember it wasn't a declared war!) used more snipers than any other battle.  And, in order for a sniper to do his job well and also not get injured himself, he had to NOT be seen.

The key word is camouflage. And, that is my basic theme for this Ghillie page.  

How to Not Be Seen

This is a cute "Heathcliff" cartoon that is a good example of trying to blend to whatever the environment calls for in in order to fool your opponents.

Here are a couple from one of our favorite cartoonist, B.C. also with
a blending  into the environment issue.

(Love this little ghillie bush!)

 

 

For the men reading this page, you're going to laugh at my next statement. But the 3 basic methods of good camouflage are along the same lines as good make-up application:

1. Hide 
2. Blend
3. Deceive

In makeup you want to hide flaws, blend in those you can't hide and deceive people into thinking you're more gorgeous than you really are!  Well, that's the same motive for military soldiers and camouflage also.  They want to HIDE their bodies by lying behind some object or a bunch of thick vegetation; and/or BLEND in using colors and patterns to their surroundings and/or DECEIVING the enemy that what they see isn't what is reality.

How is all this done?  As I said earlier, by using either real or fake materials. Most Ghillie suits use both.  They are made with the standard basic khaki or camouflage material, burlap, canvas, etc. and then when out in the field the soldier (if possible) will add on some real material that goes with the natural terrain of the area such as branches, leaves, plants etc.  

I really don't know how snipers work in areas that are mostly snow or how they hide so well in open unwooded areas. But when you think about it, perhaps this is what makes them so good?  No one has figured out how they hide in the colder regions where there is more snow than forest, like say Siberia or the Arctic regions?

You will also notice that for fighting in the Middle East, the uniforms of the solders have become a lot lighter than previous camouflage patterns. This is to blend more with the desert rather than forest.

 

The Ghillie suit features vary for the purpose they are to be used for and per manufacturers.  But the basic suit should be strong enough to not fall apart when crawling on the ground.  With some Ghillies, if a previous style suit is used to make one (on the spot) such as an aviator's uniform, it is best to turn it inside out so that all pockets are on the inside, which helps for (I assume) holding bullets?  The suit's average weight is approximately 15 lbs. for military use, + all accessories needed by the soldier.

 How you can make your own Ghillie Suit 
(for spying on your girlfriend ?)
joking!

1. Buy a pair of coveralls (like mechanics use), a size or two bigger than you normally 
wear because you need to allow a flow in material to disguise as much of a human shape as possible.

2.  Get at least 10 yards of burlap at your fabric shop.

3.  Get some clothing dye in a couple shades of browns/beiges
and a couple of shades of greens.
  
4. Dye 1 or 2 yards per shades you buy.
5. When the burlap is dry, cut it into strips approximately
1 to 2 inches wide and various lengths from 6 to 18 inches.

6. Sew these strips all over your coveralls, allowing
some to overlap.

7.  You might even want to sew a few of the longer strips in
the same location so that you can later on braid in
real vines or tree branches (so they don't fall off).

8. If the area you are going to be in has a lot of shadows, then get some gray spray paint and squirt some gray splotches on your suit to blend in with the shadows of the land.

9. This leaves you with a few options on what to wear on your head. If you want to look like the guys in the photo above, then you'll have to custom make yourself (making sure eyes holes match up) a mask, using the same strip sewing technique that was for the body suit. 

10. If you don't want the fuss of all that on your head, then you have the options of a few different style ski hats or masks or camouflage makeup.

The saying a "Wolf in sheep's clothing" in a way speaks of the Ghillie suit.  And if you recall as a young child playing hide and seek with your parents and you hide under the blankets in a bed and added some pillows etc. to blend in with the lumps, in a way you were using your blanket as a Ghillie suit.

Camouflage is an art form that is not often spoken about or even given enough credit for.  

Hopefully, this page will give some praise to those who not only try to keep coming up with newer and better ways to hide our soldiers from danger, but also to those soldiers/snipers who risk their lives to protect.

       

These were created by Brownielocks for all patriotic occasions.

You can now buy our Ghillie Suit Teddy Bear Mug at our Zazzle store!
It's available in several cup styles. Just click the other Options button to check it out.
These are very strong, durable and well-made mugs.  I've purchased one with our Brownielocks logo on it.
We also offer mugs for all the service branches, as well as a Green Beret Teddy Bear mug.

 

We decided to make a Ghillie suit for our little Billy bear to give him more commando bravado. Click the link to the left to see photos as Brownielocks made this teddy bear Ghillie suit.
Also you'll see our bear in the suit hiding in two locations!

Some of you might enjoy our "Ballad of the Green Berets" pages. One is a Midi File only.
 One is a Wave file with the actual voice of Sgt. Barry Sadler. 

This page is  for historical insight and not meant to give information to cause harm to anyone!!!

 

 

Visit our MAIN PATRIOTIC PAGE. Or check out a few featured links below:

{4th of July Animation} {4th of July Cartoon & History} {Americana Trivia Quiz
{Armed Services All Branches} {BBQ History}  {1990 Gulf War Cartoons}  {Ghillie Suits History & Cartoon}
 {Grand Ol' Flag + History{Flag Rules} {Flag Trivia} {Pledge of Allegiance - John Wayne}
 {Why I Love America - John Wayne}{Pledge of Allegiance - Red Skelton}
{Memorial Day} {Morse Code Translator}
  {Navajo Code Talkers History} {Naval Signalman}  {History of Patriotic Symbols}
 {Patriotic Music Sing-Alongs} {Patriotic Trivia Quiz}  {Patriotic BINGO! }   {Rifle Spinning Animation }
 {September 11, 2001 Remembrance}   { 60's War Songs Sing-Along}  {USA Tough Trivia Quiz}
 {Unsung Hero Disabled Vet Poem} { Veteran's Day
{Yankee Doodle (Dandy?) Animation + Sing-Along

Like this background?
 Get one for your site!

 

All graphics on this site (still and animated) have our embedded watermark. They are not public domain!

All contents (Graphics and Text)  are covered by U.S. Copyright Laws. No reproduction of any kind, downloading, copy, paste, save, etc. is allowed.    All rights reserved!

digimarc icon


Like Brownielocks on Facebook Facebook logo

Thanks for Visiting. We love you!      Brownielocks store link image
 
Brownielocks' Holidays & Fun For Everyone!  1999-2017