Splittertarnmuster was first printed on the newly designed and issued triangular tent/poncho called the dreiecks zeltbahn (triangle tarpaulin), just as the Italian 1929 telo mimetico began as a tent pattern. Known in German as Buntfarbenaufdruck 31 (colourful print 31), for its year of introduction, splittertarn was later issued to practically all regular military (Wehrmacht) units. The pattern consists of a disruptive, zig-zag pattern of hard-edged wood-brown and medium green polygons printed on a light field-grey or tan background. A random pattern of green dashes, called raindrops, was applied in places to improve the camouflage effect.
Proposed in 1931 and introduced in 1932, the four-colour camouflage patterns incorporated "splinters" on top of the 1918 colour pattern. The pattern included ochre, rust and brown overlaid on a green foundation, with sharp corners between coloured patches. This new pattern was printed on zeltbahn (triangular tent) material and could also be used as a camouflage rain poncho in the field. Both sides of the material showed the same pattern but the printing was brighter on one side.
A subdued grey-beige tint replaced the yellow-ochre colour. On top of this background, green and brown irregular patterns were screen-printed. A final innovation applied to this camouflage colour printing were the "splinters" irregularly printed on the fabric. Directional, dark-green dashed lines ("grass" or "rain") were printed in selected areas to help break up the silhouette. Many similar rain pattern designs inspired by splittermuster were made after the war by Warsaw Pact countries. During the war, cost-saving measures required textiles to be printed with changed colours and many of the lower-cost two-colour options were abandoned. These cost-saving measures caused significant deviations from the original colour patterns. In 1941 splitter pattern jump smocks were issued to German paratroops for the invasion of Crete.