You need more than one gi. Yes, we do sell gi here at Fight Co, but, really, we’re not just showing our bias. And if you’ve been training any of the arts that require this suit for more than, say, two weeks, you already know that you need more than one. That said, their washing and treatment is an important part of owning them, so if you have just one or two, you need to protect your investment in that beautiful Tatami fightwear. These care tips apply to most types of cotton gi.
Before the tips, though, is the Command: Do not use bleach. Ever.
When you’re purchasing, follow the sizing for individual manufacturers, not just your measurements, and find out (from us or from the care label) the average shrinkage – some gi can shrink up to 5 percent. Out of the box, it will likely be big, but even if the sleeves are too long by inches, don’t go crazy trying to shrink it all at once. Do it in phases so that the suit doesn’t end up too small and to account for different types of weave, which shrink differently.
All coloured gi should be first soaked in a mixture of white vinegar and mineral water for about 20 minutes to prevent fading later on.
Do the first washing in cool water and hang to dry. If the pants or jacket are very big, you can put it in the dryer on a low setting for about 10 to 15 minutes and hang to air dry the rest of the way. Repeat these two steps to achieve a gradual shrinkage.
After you achieve the fit, you should always wash your gi in cool water. If you feel you must use warm or hot, but it’s already shrunk, you should pull the sleeves out when it’s still wet and do not put it in the dryer.
Coloured or white, wash your Tatami gi inside out to prevent fading on patches and stitching.
The gi should be hung to dry, but not in direct sunlight, which will degrade the fabric over time.
You will be tempted to use a little bleach sometimes – a gi can really start to smell after a while – and while you get the short-term benefit of a fresh smell and whiter white, you will do longer-term damage to both the fabric and the seams. Instead, soak in diluted white vinegar and baking soda from time to time, and do not leave the gi in the washing machine after the cycle is complete.