What is a Gi, or also known as a Kimono?
A Gi is a uniform that we wear in BJJ “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu,” and some may also call the Gi a Kimono. The term kimono is a traditional Japanese garment. The word “kimono” actually means “a thing to wear,” and the term also describes straight-lined robes. The Gi Jacket we wear closes just like the straight-lined robes. But when you are talking to a Jiu-Jitsuest, you can use both terms and most will know what you are talking about when you use these terms.
What are Gi’s / Kimono’s made of?
Cotton is a soft white fibrous substance that is grown in fields grown for their lint bolls and used as textile fiber and thread for sewing. This plant is commercially grown for cotton products and has been harvested for over 5,000 years. Cotton is mostly grown when the soil is warm enough for the cotton seed to germinate. Cotton takes about 120-200 days of frost-free weather, with moderate rainfall and the bolls burst open being exposed to plenty of sunshine before it is ready to be harvested. After being collected the cotton is compressed into large modules that can contain up to 20,000 pounds of cotton, they stand 8 feet tall and 8 feet wide and are 32 feet long. Now its ready to be transported to the Cotton Gin “inventor Eli Whitney.” A Cotton gin is a machine that quickly and easily separates the seeds from the cotton fibers. The cotton must be separated and cleaned since it came from a field and may contain dirt, plant stalks, and leaves then it can be bundled “each bundle weighs about 500 pounds” in the gin press and sold to textile companies to be spun and woven into sheets of fabric.
- Cotton fabrics have the following characteristics.
- soft feel and comfortable
- Cotton Fabrics can be washed in washing machines
- Can be dry cleaned
- Retains colors
- Cotton is easy to cut and sew into various types of garments
- Cotton can be easily be dyed because it’s naturally white
Hemp fabric or hemp textiles are made from cannabis sativa fiber or also known as industrial hemp. The plant that produces this eco-friendly fabric is a distinct variety of the cannabis plant, due to the similar leaf shape hemp is frequently confused with marijuana. Although both plants are “Cannabis,” hemp contains 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol also known as “THC” the active ingredient in marijuana. Hemp is an annual herbaceous plant of the species cannabis sativa, meaning ‘useful hemp.’ It is a high yield commercial fiber crop which flourishes in areas with temperate climates. Hemp grows successfully at a density of up to 150 plants per square meter and reaches a height of two to five meters in a three-month growing season. The cannabis sativa species only contains 0.3% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol also known as “THC” when harvested. The fibers are extracted from the industrial hemp stems and used to make rope and yarn, stout fabrics, fiberboard, and paper. Hemp clothing is naturally anti-microbial and is resistant to mold and mildew. Hemp fabric gets softer as time goes on, the more it’s washed and worn the softer it gets. Click Here For More
Bamboo is a giant woody grass that grows chiefly in the tropics, where it is widely cultivated. Bamboo fabrics are a natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass. Bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable plants because it grows so fast. Clothing made of bamboo typically lasts a very long time. Bamboo also has many antibacterial qualities, which bamboo fabric can retain, even through multiple washes. Bamboo exhibits up to a 99.8% antibacterial rate. This helps to reduce bacteria that thrive in clothing and cause unpleasant odors. For more Click Here
The first method is a mechanical process where the bamboo’s wood portion is crushed into a pulp and broken down using enzymes that allow the resulting material to be combed and spun into yarn. This method is expensive and produces the fabric that is similar to linen, with a scratchy texture.
The second and preferred method by many who work with bamboo is the chemical method. Bamboo is crushed and soaked in sodium hydroxide, a chemical that is not harmful to the environment or workers when used responsibly, does not leave a harmful residue and can be neutralized into harmless sulfate salt if necessary. This soaking process produces a substance called cellulose fiber, which is then made into viscose from bamboo to create textiles. The resulting fiber provides a soft and highly absorbent fabric. For More Click Here
Ripstop fabric is woven Fabrics, often made of Nylon, using a unique reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. During weaving, (thick) reinforcement threads that are interwoven at regular intervals in a crosshatch pattern. The ranges are typically 5 to 8 millimeters. For more Click Here
Kevlar is not like cotton—it’s not something anyone can make from the right raw materials. It’s a proprietary material made only by the DuPont chemical company, and it comes in two main varieties called Kevlar 29 and Kevlar 49 (other variations are made for specialized applications). In its chemical structure, it’s very similar to another versatile protective material called Nomex. Kevlar and Nomex are examples of chemicals called synthetic aromatic polyamides or aramids for short. Calling Kevlar a synthetic aromatic polyamide polymer makes it sound unnecessarily complicated. Click Here For More
What Are The Different Types Of Weaves?
Single Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” is a great Gi for anyone just starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu “BJJ.” They are lighter and cheaper than other types of weaves. Single Weave Gi’s are cheaper because they don’t use as much material, and this is also the reason that they are lighter “less material.” The Single Weave Gi’s use less fabric, so they tend to break in quicker than other weaves. And are more accessible to put patches on as well. Since single weave gi’s are on the lighter side, this makes them great for making weight at competitions.
Double Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” are two single weave fabrics combined to make one; this makes them more durable and stronger than the individual weave. The Double Weave fabrics are increased in thickness and weight due to using twice the amount of material; this also means that they will retain more heat than the single weave fabric. On the upside, the thicker fabric is harder to grip and hold on too. They do have some extra weight to them, but they will last a long time, and the tightness of the double weave makes shrinkage minimal.
Gold Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” is a cross between a Single Weave fabric and a Double Weave fabric, guess you could call it a “hybrid” in a sense. The Gold Weave is more durable and thicker than the Single Weave but not as heavy as a Double Weave. The Gold Weave is a very popular in competition because of its ability to maintain its strength and for having the comfort qualities of the Single Weave. The Gold Weave is very durable and will last for years; it is also a looser weave which makes it soft but will shrink from about 5 – 10%.
Pearl Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” have the strength and durability of a double weave and is lighter than the Gold Weave. The pattern of the Pearl Weave looks just like it sounds; this weave tends to look like little pearls lined up across the fabric. The Pearl Weave has the lightness of a Single Weave and maintains strength like the Gold Weave. The Pearl Weave fabric is breathable, and you can expect minimal shrinkage about 0 – 5%. The Pearl Weave is excellent for keeping the weight down especially when you are close to the max weight in your weight class, which makes the Pearl Weave another superb choice for competitions.
Crystal Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” is mostly known for how soft they can be and their light construction this is because the Crystal Weave is a loose Weave. This makes them very easy on your skin but also very comfortable for griping. The Crystal Weave Gi’s are not the most common choice due too the fact that they tend to shrink more than other types of Weaves.
“I have a Crystal Weave Gi’s, and I love it. I wear an A2, so I got an A3 and shrunk it and have been wearing it for years.”
Honey Comb Weave
Honeycomb Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” is another lightweight constructed weave that tends to be soft and thin. Since the Honeycomb Weave is so thin, it tends to breathe very well and dries out quicker than thicker and bulker weaves. This type of weave gets its name from how it mimics a series of honeycombs on the fabric of the Gi’s
Platinum Weave Gi’s “Kimonos” are supposed to be the best on the market, but everyone has their own opinion on the matter. Platinum Weaves Gi’s tend to be Soft, durable and last a long time. The Platinum Weave fabric is supposed to be 100% pre-shrunk, this may be, but I have seen claims of minimal shrinkage.
The Chess Weave brings a new look onto the mats. The Chess Weave is fabric exclusively available from CTRL Industries. The two-tone version is Thier latest iteration of this new groundbreaking fabric. The Chess Weave weights in at 450 GSM which is about average.
The Twill Family
Cotton twill pants were the most popular pants material back in the day until ripstop came along and changed things up just a little. The cotton twill weave is flat and thin weave with multiple heavy ribs that run diagonally which strengthens the fabric. This type of weave is normally used in the Gi pants and not the Gi jackets. The cotton twill weave will last a long time, but once they get a fray or small hole things tend to expand rapidly depending on how hard you are training at the time. If your cotton twill pants start to fray and get worn down you can always sew them up or have them sewn back by a professional.
Hemp Twill is made the same way as any twill weave is, the difference is the material used in the process. As we stated before twill weave is flat and thin weave with multiple heavy ribs that run diagonally which strengthens the fabric. This type of weave is normally used in the Gi pants and not the Gi jackets. The only difference here is that the material is hemp which Hemp clothing is naturally anti-microbial and is resistant to mold and mildew. Hemp fabric gets softer as time goes on, the more it’s washed and worn the softer it gets. The Hemp Twill pants will last years on end and are very comfortable. “I have a Hemp Gi and Pants and I love them, truly one of the softest materials I have ever worn.”
Hemp Twill is made the same way as any twill weave is, the difference is the material used in the process “bamboo”. As we stated before twill weave is flat and thin weave with multiple heavy ribs that run diagonally which strengthens the fabric. This type of weave is normally used in the Gi pants and not the Gi jackets. The only difference here is that the material is of Bamboo which has many antibacterial qualities. Bamboo fabric can retain its antibacterial qualities, even through multiple washes. Bamboo exhibits up to a 99.8% antibacterial rate which is a plus for any hardcore Jiu-Jitsuest.
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