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When people complete gi reviews, you always have to wonder if they’ve washed the gi first or if it is fresh from the retailer.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll be covering a few different things people need to be aware of.
Before you start anything, make sure that you consult the washing guide on the manufacturer’s website. Lately, gi companies like DOM and X-Guard have included washing guides with their gis.
The first time that you wash a gi is the most important. It can really be a make or break time because it really sets the standard for how you’ll treat your gi in the future. If you take care of it from the start (by following this guide), then you can be sure that it will last you a long time.
As my martial arts experience is rooted in traditional martial arts (shotokan karate), I had never washed my belt before I trained BJJ.
Many people still argue that you shouldn’t, or don’t have to, wash your belt.
I take a firm stance that these people are wrong. And gross. The belt is cloth that holds bacteria and other nastiness just like your gi.
Thus, it should be washed in a similar manner.
Consistently washing and drying your gi on hot may weaken the material and/or cause the color to fade prematurely.
It is always advised that you order your gi based on each brands’ own sizing chart. If the uniform fits a tad too big out of the bag, a clothing dryer -properly used- may be used make the gi, “shrink to fit”.
Note: Different weaves and fabrics will shrink at a different rate. So what worked for one gi may be too much/too little for another.
A few readers have even speculated that if you wet down a certain part of your gi, it will shrink more rapidly than the rest of the gi.
So, if you only want to shorten the sleeves of your gi, experiment with wetting down only the sleeves before your dry it on hot for 5-10 minute intervals.
The directions from here will continue as if your gi fits your body exactly as you want it to.
Prior to the 1st wash, saturate the gi inside the a sink or tub with 2-3 glasses of of white vinegar as well as mineral water. Let it soak for 20-30 minutes, and then wash. This will help set the color in your gi and minimize its fading.
On future washes, use only a color safe detergent.There is a lot of debate about using vinegar to lock in the color because many people argue that they lock in the follow well enough when it’s still at the factory. I can only attest to my personal experience, but I have always used vinegar to lock in the follow and I have never had any color come off my gi and my gis remain vibrantly colored even after years of training in them.
Brendan is the Founder and mastermind behind Gireviews.net. He is currently a Purple belt training in both gi and no gi. By day he is a elementary school teacher, by night, a jedi gi reviewer!