The PenCott-Snowdrift camouflage pattern is now available, according to Hyde Definition. Snowdrift will join a widely well-regarded line that includes Greenzone, Badlands and Sandstorm.
They advise that the fabric is a "The current fabric is a lightweight, packable, quick-drying and water-resistant 100% polyester shell fabric. .." It will be the same fabric, finish and nIR spec as the USMC's current snow overwhites and will be printed by Duro Industries.
- Construction: 108 warp / 94 fill
- Weight: 4.40 linear yards per pound
- Fiber Content: 100% Polyester
- Features: water resistant, quick drying
- Finished Width: 62”
For more info, check out the Hyde Definition website at www.hydedefinition.com.
For some background on PenCott, read this following, from Military Morons (and if you're not already, subscribe to the Military Morons feed, it is outstanding).
The PenCott pattern is named after two influential WWII British camouflage experts; Sir Roland Penrose and Hugh B. Cott. Penrose was an artist who used art to trick the eye of the beholder using contrasting colours and disruptive shapes, whereas Cott was a zoologist and used a scientific, analytical process.
When developing their own pattern, Hyde Definition made a list of design goals, some of which were to:
- Conceal more effectively at those distances that conventional camouflage works best at - Conceal at a longer distance than most other camouflage - Conceal at a shorter distance than most other camouflage - Conceal in a broader range of environmental backgrounds than most other camouflage
The PenCott pattern is a result of studies done from artistic, scientific and historical perspectives, and the analysis of hundreds of patterns and thousands of natural tones. HD calls the PenCott pattern a 'hybrid digital' camo pattern, which incorporates micro, midi and macro patterns for disruption at different distances. From their press release, PenCott's effectiveness is attributed to:
- Naturalistic textured micro-pattern for close quarter concealment - Organic looking midi-pattern (mid range) to foil detection at mid-range - High contrast macro-pattern for long distance disruption - Natural palette synthesised from many real-world colours and tones - High-difference boundaries and hypoacuitive colour dithering that creates false edges and the illusion of 3D
- The smallest element of the PenCott pattern is basically a square 'pixel', or what looks like a little dot until you look closer an see that it's square, not round. They're much smaller than the pixel size used on MARPAT. The density of the pixels is varied to create the micro and midi patterns. Pixels are dithered in varying densities to create shapes of different sizes, and of different colours which are mixed into and set against one another, to give the illusion of several more colours (just as varying the concentration of black dots on a while sheet of paper creates all the shades of grey). The density of the dithering determines the 'concentration' of each particular colour. Some of the pixels are spread apart, and others are combined to make small, solid rectangular blocks. This creates a combination of blurred and sharp edges and shapes. In turn, the blocks are combined to make larger areas of colour. The dithered pixels are also combined with the blocks to create the illusion of 3D shapes. The illusion of depth is further created by the juxtaposition of high contrast shades with light tones (light and shadow). The shapes can be small, medium or large, which are then combined with 'empty' shapes of solid colour (with sparser dithering) to create the macro pattern. An extreme example of a 'macro' pattern would be to wear lighter coloured pants with a darker coloured jacket to break up the easily recognizable shape of the human figure in half.
- Rather than try to design a universal camouflage that works for different environments, HD stuck to the tried and true method of designing patterns and colours optimized for specific environments, to come up with their PenCott Multi-Environment Camouflage Pattern Family. The closest thing to a truly universal pattern is still Crye MultiCam (in my opinion), but Crye also concedes that if you have the luxury of an optimized pattern for a particular environment and don't expect a great change in terrain, that's hard to beat for concealment alone. While there is no truly universal camouflage that works well in all environments, there are still logistical and cost considerations to having patterns for each environment. This means that more uniforms and matching gear is needed.
The PenCott Multi-Environment Camouflage GreenZone (temperate/woodland) pattern has been available since February 2009, and this year, DH announced that their Desert and Transitional patterns went into production, called 'Sandstorm' and 'Badlands' respectively. 'Snowdrift', designed for snow-covered environments is in the works at the time of this writing.
The fabric is printed by Duro Industries, the same company that does all of Crye Precision's MultiCam fabrics, on Berry-compliant, mil-spec, NIR resistant 50-50 Nylon/Cotton ripstop fabric. 500D and 1000D Cordura nylon fabric, and commercial-grade 65/35 poly/cotton ripstop is also available. Check the HD website here for details and availability.
Each colourway consists of only four colours with no gradients, fading or blending of one colour into another. The pattern is also omni-directional, which means that it can be rotated 90° in any direction. The PenCott colourways all share the same base pattern, with the different colourways being achieved by changing the colours. This is illustrated below, where you can see the same geometric base pattern in the Badlands shirt and the Sandstorm shirt. When the area is overlaid, this shows how the base pattern remains the same while the colours have been changed.