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Old 07-18-2007, 04:30 AM   #1
Drew Mailman
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Gi shrinkage

Is there such a thing as a gi (or brand) that doesn't shrink much? Or could I be doing something wrong when I wash my gi?

When I wash it, I sometimes use bleach, but usually just detergent with cold water. Then, I put it in the dryer on low heat. Should I be line drying it instead?
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Old 07-18-2007, 08:26 AM   #2
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

Keikogi are made from cotton which will shrink with washes. I always line dry my aikidogi. You can get "fancy" keikogi which are breathable and all that. Don't know if they are shink-resistant though.

I don't use bleach, just detergent. There really is no need to bleach it.

Peace and love

Jo
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Old 07-18-2007, 01:59 PM   #3
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
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Re: Gi shrinkage

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Keikogi are made from cotton which will shrink with washes. I always line dry my aikidogi. You can get "fancy" keikogi which are breathable and all that. Don't know if they are shink-resistant though.

I don't use bleach, just detergent. There really is no need to bleach it.

Peace and love

Jo
Unless it gets stained, or marked up.
Bleach makes a good anti-bacterial too (sweat residue)

Best
Lan

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:15 PM   #4
Dewey
Location: St. Louis, MO
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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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Old 07-18-2007, 10:31 PM   #5
Nafis Zahir
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

All Gi's shrink the first time you wash and dry it. After that, it shouldn't shrink anymore. Also, stay away from bleach. It will eat away at the material over time, and your Gi won't last as long. I did wash and machine dry mine the first time, because I like the pants and sleeves to be shorter. But now I hang dry all of my uniforms.

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Old 07-19-2007, 04:50 AM   #6
Drew Mailman
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Re: Gi shrinkage

Thanks for all of the advice. I've had my first gi for over two years now, and the pants have stayed fine, but the top has slowly shrunk down to the point where it kinda looks funny on my torso. Hopefully that will change when I slim back down. I bought a new gi recently, and I needed a few ideas on how to shrink it down to the size I want and keep it there.

Now I just need to get the top to shrink to where I want it, and try to get the starchy-ness out of it. Do gis just fit funny if you're a bigger guy or what?
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:33 AM   #7
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

Quote:
Lan Powers wrote: View Post
Unless it gets stained, or marked up.
Bleach makes a good anti-bacterial too (sweat residue)

Best
Lan
I've never had to use bleach for any kind of washing. Just not one of the things i consider using. To each his own i guess.

Keikogis looking weird on bigger guys? I think i look rather dashing.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #8
Bronson
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

I'm a bigger guy and I buy one full size larger than I need. I do this because I don't want to fiddle about with line drying and what not. I wash it, with a little bleach, then dry it just like I would any other piece of clothing. They don't last as long but the convenience is far more important to me.

I have found that Mizuno's single weave judo gi is softer and shrinks less than some others. However lately I've taken to wearing a kendogi as I like the tie in front and it seems to fit me better.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:35 PM   #9
Neal Earhart
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

Quote:
Nafis Zahir wrote: View Post
Also, stay away from bleach. It will eat away at the material over time, and your Gi won't last as long.
As long as you use bleach sparingly, like every 4-5 washes, your Gi's will last a long time. I wash my Gi's after every class. I have several that are >5 years old...they are in still in very good shape and look nice and white...thanks to the occasional bleach in the wash...

Last edited by Neal Earhart : 07-19-2007 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 07-21-2007, 08:05 PM   #10
Fred L
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Re: Gi shrinkage

I wear Toraki gi's. My son wears them too. They come with very specific instuctions regarding washing and sizing. Both of us have consistantly gotten perfect fits with no shrinkage after that.

Fred
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:28 AM   #11
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Gi shrinkage

OT: sorry for my odd associativity and misreading.

Each time I recognise this thread, I am wondering how the technique "shrinki-nage" could look like

Dirk
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