Collection: Congo Brushstroke CAMO
"Brushstroke" camouflage is one of the earliest designs known, and is considered a foundational concept from which many other patterns later sprung. It was the British Ministry of Defense that formulated the initial idea of using large mop-like brushes to paint over a standard khaki colored heavy cotton smock to create an effective camouflage for issue to British Army paratroopers operating behind enemy lines. The term "brushstroke" refers to the painted strokes of these large brushes, which created wide swathes of color, usually with thinner trails leading off where the strokes were begun. It is theorized that the original Denison smocks were hand-painted using non-colorfast dyes, although the sheer volume of production and consistent detail to the pattern found on surviving items suggests a strong likelihood there was a more sophisticated process at work. The British continued to utilize brushstroke pattern camouflage for their paratrooper smocks into the 1970s, and during the war also developed a lightweight uniform printed in a pink or reddish-hued camouflage designed primarily for use by Infantry and Armored personnel in Europe towards the end of the war. Both patterns were subsequently copied by various countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, but were also influential in the development of derivative designs such as the French "lizard" and Vietnamese "tiger stripe" designs. Indeed, most striped or brush pattern camouflage designs trace their origins to the original British concept, which has probably been one of the most influential camouflage patterns ever created.