Prepare the Jacket
Building the jacket will involve the following steps:
- Remove any unwanted patches
- Cut out the netting.
- Secure the netting to the jacket.
- Glue on the netting to the jacket.
Remove Bright Colored Patches
Most used BDUs will have patches on the shoulders. Remove any patches from the jacket that might stand out. Even through the jacket will be covered in thread, don't take a chance on any bright colors that could give away your position.
Cut Out the Netting
We first cut out a piece of netting for that covers the back of the jacket. The piece will extend over the shoulders and to the front pockets of the BDU. Separate pieces will be cut out for the sleeves later.
Stretch out the netting on a flat surface. Use heavy objects like paper weights to hold the netting in place. Lay the jacket on the netting facing upward. To allow netting to drape over the shoulders, make sure at least 5 squares of netting (5 inches) are above the shoulders. For the netting to wrap around to the front pockets, leave at least 4 squares (4 inches) on each side of the jacket.
Secure the Netting
The netting must be secured to the jacket before applying any glue. Flip over the jacket so it is facing downward and the attached netting is now on top. Start at the bottom of the jacket and apply safety pins every 5 or 6 squares around the entire perimeter. Keep the netting flat against the jacket canvas as you apply the pins. Stick the pins directly through the netting material. After securing the perimeter, apply pins or sew stitches of dental floss to the rest of the jacket.
After you finish applying the pins or floss, check for any slack in the netting. If you find areas with a lot of slack, adjust the pins until the netting lays flat against the jacket.
If you decided to use floss, 1 loop is enough since dental floss is extremely sturdy. Tie a double knot for each stitch. Be sure not to sew through both sides of the jacket.
Now we need cut and pin down the netting for it to wrap around to the front pockets. Lay the jacket on its back. Cut the netting 2 squares below the armpit area where the seams meet. Wrap the netting around the front of the jacket over the cargo pockets.
Secure the netting with safety pins or stitches of dental floss to the point where it reaches the cargo pockets. Cut off the remaining slack the covers the cargo pockets. Note the netting might not line up perfectly with the cargo pockets. Adjust it how you see fit. Any loose netting can be sewn or glued down.
Flip the collar inside out and then drape the netting over the shoulders. Make sure an equal number of squares are on each side of the collar. Then cut out the netting around the neck-line.
To secure the netting to each shoulder, apply the safety pins or sew dental floss up to the seam where the sleeve starts. Keep the netting flat against the BDU fabric. Now cut off any netting past the seam that extends into the sleeve area.
The sleeves are the only area left on the jacket that needs netting. Lay the jacket down facing upwards. Most of the front side of the sleeve will be covered in netting. Start the netting 1 inch from the bottom of the cuff. Extend the netting to the seam at the shoulder. Attach the netting to the jacket with safety pins or floss.
Flip the jacket over on its front and fold the netting over to cover the back part of the sleeve. Since we are going to reinforce the elbows with padding, a large part of the netting on this side must be cut out. As seen in the photo, this area starts at the cuff near the seam and curves downward to a point above the armpit area. Place a few safety pins or stitches along this line to hold the netting in place as you trim. Also, trim any netting that goes past the shoulder seam into the chest area.
For each knot, trim any excess strands of floss if you did any sewing. We will apply glue to each knot so they won't come loose.
Glue the Netting
Since the netting has been secured using safety pins or dental floss, we can begin gluing the netting to the jacket using Shoo GOO®. Be sure to open windows and turn on fans for proper ventilation and to prevent build up of vapors.
First dab a small amount of Shoo GOO® onto each knot of floss that was sewn. This ensures the knots will not come undone. Next, apply glue every 3 or 4 squares. Don't smear the glue onto the netting. Instead, just apply a blob over your target. The blob will cover the strand of netting in a few seconds. Apply glue to the back of the jacket first and let it dry for a few minutes. Then apply glue to the front of the jacket. Note that Shoo GOO® will partially cure after a few minutes, but you still need to handle your BDUs carefully. It could take 48 to 72 hours for a full bond.
Tying on the Ghillie Thread
We will tie the ghillie thread onto the jacket in Part 8 when the hood, pants, and rifle wrap is also ready. Tying the thread on to everything at the same time ensures a consistent pattern and that you won't run out of one color mid-way through the suit.