Thread: Gi shrinkage
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:15 PM   #4
Location: St. Louis, MO
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 179
Re: Gi shrinkage

Yes, gi shrinkage is one of those "caveat emptor" clauses of the martial arts that no one really tells you about when you begin training. It's best to order a full size bigger than what would normally fit. Sometimes a size and a half. There really is no quality control in the martial arts uniform business, so the quality of the material and craftsmanship, as well as the fit & finish differ a great deal between manufacturers...sometimes dramatically. Prince is not necessarily the standard of quality...but it offers some indication of the quality.

If you want to avoid shrinkage totally, get one made with synthetic materials (polyester or poly/cotton). Be forewarned that they're paper-thin and not designed for the tugging/pulling of Aikido or Judo. It'll rip right off your body like in the scenes from the Incredible Hulk! I've seen it happen!

Everybody has their own tricks to reduce shrinkage. However most would agree to the following:
-ALWAYS wash in cold water, unless you're trying to shrink it (when you order a size or so larger).
-Tumble dry on lowest setting for a short while, just enough to get it from being wet to damp. Don't tumble dry for the whole cycle, or to completely dry. The dryer can also shrink it, even at low setting.
-While still a bit damp, hang it in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Combining a little machine drying with natural drying helps keep shrinkage down, reduces drying time, and helps prevent mildewing. This is especially a good option if you only have one or two gis.

Hope this helps!
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