The Care and Feeding of your new Gi
Congratulations on buying your (first) Gi! Like any other article of clothing, you must care for your Gi appropriately. These instructions and recommendations are suitable for virtually every Gi, regardless of weave, weight, or colour.
-Wash your Gi after purchasing before wearing for your first training session. This will ensure a clean Gi, free of any chemicals and odours from production and transport.
-Wash your Gi in cold water and hang it up to dry. If you don’t have an outdoor laundry line, hang it in your washroom on your towel rack or on your shower curtain rod. Leave the door open to promote air flow so the Gi dries more quickly.
-Never use bleach when washing your Gi. Bleach will ruin your Gi, and if you use it to remove blood, it will stain into the fibres.
-Before washing your coloured Gi for the first time, fill your washer with cold water. Add 2-3 cups of vinegar, and once the washer is full, submerge the Gi in the mixture. Let it soak for 20-30 minutes, and then start the cycle. Add detergent if you wish. This will help set the colour and reduce fading. NOTE: all colour fades with time and use.
-It is okay to wash your belt. A belt can become a breeding ground for nasty germs as it accumulates sweat and other unknowns off the mats. Wash your belt the same way you would your Gi, but keep similar colours together.
-Tie the drawstring in your pants and turn both top and bottom inside out. Tying the drawstring will prevent it from being wrapped around the agitator in your washer.
-If you must put your Gi in the dryer, wait as long as possible to let the Gi dry naturally. Put your dryer on the lowest heat setting possible and shortest time. Keep an eye on it. Dryer heat will reduce the lifespan of your Gi by weakening the fibres. It will also bake any missed blood stains into the fibres, making the stains next to impossible to remove.
Common sense tips:
-Remove your Gi from your bag and unfold it after every training session.
-Wash your Gi after every training session.
-Purchase more than one Gi to reduce the wear and tear on a single Gi.
-Ensure all patches are sewn on correctly. This may require a professional for a thicker Gi like a Judo or Jiu-Jitsu Gi. Patches sewn on incorrectly will rip off during training, washing, or competition, which can result in embarrassment at best, disqualification at worst.
Armed with these tips, you will enjoy a long and healthy relationship with your new Gi. Train hard, train smart, and train well!
–The Prototype’s Alter Ego.