Camouflage Patterns

The Oxford English Dictionary defines "camouflage" as "the disguising of military personnel and equipment by painting or covering them to make them blend in with their surroundings". This was not always the case in early warfare. Nineteenth century armies tended to use bright colours which were meant to daunt the enemy, attract recruits and allow easier identification in the fog of war.

In 1857, the British in India started to dye their red tunics more neutral tones, initially a muddy tan called khaki (from the Urdu word for 'dusty'). By the time of the Second Boer War in 1902, the entire British adopted this tone for their battledress. Other armies around the world soon followed suit.

Nowadays, all armies use some form of camouflage, but there are many versions in common use. Below we describe some of the more common versions in current or recent use. Many of these camouflage patterns are available on this site in various items of clothing. We also sell British DPM camouflage material by the metre.

DPM Woodland (UK)DPM Woodland (UK)
DPM Desert (UK)DPM Desert (UK)
Woodland (USA)Woodland (USA)
Desert Tri-color (USA)Desert Tri-color (USA)
Desert Choc Chip (aka 'Bird Sh*t'!) (USA)Desert Choc Chip (aka 'Bird Sh*t'!) (USA)
Flecktarn (Germany)Flecktarn (Germany)
Flecktarn Desert (Germany)Flecktarn Desert (Germany)
France / Central Europe (CE)France / Central Europe (CE)
Tiger Stripe (USA)Tiger Stripe (USA)
Midnight Blue (Night Urban)Midnight Blue (Night Urban)
Mossy Oak ('Tree Bark')Mossy Oak ('Tree Bark')
Marine Digital (USA)Marine Digital (USA)
ACU DigitalACU Digital
Night Desert (USA)Night Desert (USA)