Look!: Digital Camouflage

Look!: Digital Camouflage

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 17, 2007

Flying back through Shannon airport last weekend, we ran into a large contingent of very quiet marine and army soldiers who were being shipped BACK to Iraq for another tour of duty. Amongst other things, what struck us was the camouflage patterns on their uniforms. They were not as we remembered, but pixilated digital patterns, which seemed to work well despite being oddly matched for blending into the natural environment...

We thought that this was weirdly adventurous for the military and would be a great leaping off point for fabric or wallpaper patterns.

We also found this great site, Kamouflage.net, which gave us the full story of what we know now is called Marpat or Acupat depending on which exact design it is:

The creation of MARPAT™ camouflage began early in 2000, with a directive to develop a 'new-and-improved' camouflage uniform for the United States Marine Corps (abbrev. USMC).
The process started with a comparison study of more than 100 after-market camouflage patterns. A consultant from the USMC selected three patterns — Vietnam issue tiger stripe camouflage, a commercial tiger stripe pattern, and a Rhodesian variant of British Disruptive Pattern Material (abbrev. DPM) — from the available specimens, for further consideration and development.
These selected patterns were then forwarded to a company in Fall River, Massachusetts, which fabricates printing screens for textiles. There, they were scanned and digitally edited; and a modified version of the Rhodesian DPM camouflage early figured to be the favourite. There was, however, some feeling that the USMC deserved something more original and distinctive than a pre-existing pattern, suitably adapted....

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