Rhodesian Brushstroke Pattern History

Rhodesian Brushstroke Arid: An example of a bolt of the original "Rhodesian Brushstroke, 1st Pattern (Arid)" as produced by David Whitehead Textiles in 1965.

Hover your mouse over the the images for a description of the variations of Rhodesian Brushstroke we used to reference our reproductions!

The history of the legendary Rhodesian Brushstroke pattern is something that Fireforce Ventures is proud to be a small part of with our various product offerings. We are particularly proud of our Rhodesian Brushstroke Battle Dress Uniforms, which were designed with original bolts of fabric from the Rhodesian Security Services being used as a reference. 

The only camoflauge patterns utilized in Rhodesia prior to the Unilaterial Declaration of Independence were the "brushstroke" patterns on the British Army Denison and "Windproof pattern" smocks that had been issued to members of "C" Squadron, Rhodesian Special Air Service. The "brushstroke" patterns were soon developed locally in Rhodesia, and later guided the development of an arid variant of Rhodesian Brushstroke which was fielded for testing between 1965-1969.

The arid variation never exactly caught on, and by 1970 a less arid, greener pattern, designated as "Rhodesian Brushstroke, 2nd Pattern" had been developed by Di Cameron, a print design with David Whitehead Textiles. The pattern she created was quickly adopted, and fielded throughout the Rhodesian Bush Wars. It became the standard pattern of the Army, and Rhodesian British South Africa Police (BSAP). It was an exceptionally effective pattern that outlived the Republic of Rhodesia, finding use in the South African Defence Force with various special forces units.

Top Left: Original bolt of "Rhodesian Brushstroke, 2nd Pattern" designed by Di Cameron of David Whitehead Textiles Ltd. in Salisbury, Rhodesia.

Top Right: Fireforce Ventures' very own Rhodesian Brushstroke Reproduction in a finished BDU Shirt, manufactured on a 1:1 scale

Bottom Left: Original bolt of Zimbabwe National Army produced Rhodesian Brushstroke. Notice the prominence of the light greens overlapping the browns.

Bottom Right: Civilian manufactured ADRO produced Rhodesian Brushstroke reproductions, manufactured shortly after the Rhodesian Bush War in South Africa. Notice the thicker "brushstrokes".

The Zimbabwean National Army maintained stocks of the original Rhodesian Army Brushstroke stocks until 1984, when it sought to come up with their own distinct pattern to remove any affiliation to the former Rhodesian Security Forces. By 1990s, they gave up the complex search for new pattern, and went back to the original Rhodesian Brushstroke pattern. In 2000, as the United States Marine Corps was testing for a new camouflage pattern, Rhodesian Brushstroke scored as one of the top three patterns available, alongside tigerstripe and CADPAT.

You too can own the legendary pattern now, as Fireforce Ventures carries a wide selection of Rhodesian Brushstroke cammies!


  1. Joseph Columbus Smith - US/Rhodesian Army Veteran and Journalist: http://www.josephcolumbussmith.com/rhodesian-cammo/
  2. Camopedia - Rhodesia: http://camopedia.org/index.php?title=Rhodesia
  3. Camopedia - Zimbabwe: http://camopedia.org/index.php?title=Zimbabwe