Today there is a huge number of different types of Gis and different kinds of weaves to choose from on the market. Thus, the material and the weave are important when making the decision to buy a Gi. In order to give you an overview, we not only stated the the most common types of weaves for you, but also give you some information on the used materials.
Almost all Gis are made out of 100% cotton. Price, durability and resilience of this material have payed of. Besides, the material absorbes sweat and is still very breathable. The thickness of Gi jackets and pants is usually referred to in ‘GSMs’ (Grams Per Square Meter) and therefore, this information plays an important role for the weight of the Gi. Usually, the material thickness varies between 300gsm and 1000gsm, depending on the function of the Gi.
The different fabrics
For most beginners, the so called single weave is probably the price-performance winner. With 300 – 500gsm it is part of the rather light weight weaves which can be very convenient on hot summer days and travelling. For the use in competitions, this kind of weave is not very appropriate. Because of the light weight, it is easier for the opponent to get tight grips. Additionally, jackets made of single weave are generally less durable.
For a double weave, the single weave simple gets processed twice (two layers). Thus, the material is more robust and durable and especially suitable for competitions. For the opponent, it is more difficult to grab. The higher weight of the Gi should be taken into account when signing up for competitions as you are often weighed-in wearing your Gi. During long training sessions, especially in the summer, a thick and heavy jacket can get very hot and can be quite exhausting to use.
This kind of weave is comparable with the single weave. The special thing about this kind of weave is that small pores make air circulation possible. This can be very valuable during training. Over time, pearl weave Gis became very popular in competitions, since they are not only comparatively light but also very durable.
Before the gold weave had been mostly replaced by the pearl weave, this type of weave was the standard for competitions. Due to its high resilience in combination with its relatively light weight, it has been very popular for a long time. Its strength often varies between 600 and 1000gsm.
Ripstop is nowadays one of the most popular types of weaves in the BJJ scene and is well established in the field of Gi pants. The almost ideal combination of light weight and resilience made it accepted in almost every kind of competition. Ripstop jackets are in general not allowed. A small disadvantage is that the material is rather thin and thus, easier to grab. It is also not very breathable but due to the reduced thickness, dries quite quickly after washing or use. However, while traveling, a Gi made out of Ripstop is a must-have because of its low weight, especially when you are travelling by plane or have to carry a backpack.
This kind of weave is very strong and still light weight. It is exclusively being used for pants. Nowadays, the Cotton Drill weave has been mostly replaced by the ripstop pants as ripstop is generally lighter, but it might be making a comeback in the future.
We hope that we could give you a valuable overview of the different kinds of weaves used in the production of Gis and that it will help you making your next buying decision.