I’m not sure which style of gi to purchase. How do they differ?
For gi jackets the main differences relate to cut, sleeve length, skirt length and whether the top half has an additional layer of reinforcement.
Judo and jiu jitsu gi have full length sleeves. The judo gi sleeve is straight. The jiu jitsu gi sleeve is more tapered at the wrist.
- Jiu jitsu gi are narrower in the torso than judo gi and have a slightly shorter skirt (lower half of the jacket).
- Grappling gi have 3/4 length sleeves.
- Judo, grappling and karate gi all have an additional layer of fabric to reinforce the chest, shoulder and back areas. The jiu jitsu gi is a single layer.
- The jiu jitsu gi has a center seam down the back of the jacket, which sits flat against the body and is taped to prevent irritation or ease of grabbing.
- Judo and grappling gi are one-piece constructions, so the entire top half of the jacket including the sleeves, is one piece of fabric with no seams.
- Karate gi jackets have reinforced waist ties. No other jacket style has waist ties.
- The lapel or collar on all gi jackets is 5cm (2in) wide, with 5 even rows of stitching.
All jackets have fully taped seams, taped hems (skirt and sleeve), and properly reinforced side vents. There are no under arm gussets.
Gi pants differ primarily in length and cut.
Jiu jitsu, judo and karate pants are full length. The jiu jitsu pant has side seams and is more tapered at the ankle. The judo and karate pants have a straight leg.
- Grappling pants are shorter in length (between mid shin and ankle), and tapered at the ankle.
All pant styles have full crutch gussets, drawstring waists with a single belt loop center front and reinforced side vents.
How does your sizing work?
Gimono gi come in four adult sizes: 3, 4, 5 and 5.5/6. Our sizing charts provide garment measurements, not body measurements.
Gimono gi have negligible shrinkage (less than 3%) so there is no need to purchase a size bigger to allow for shrinkage. Please select your size based on the measurement you need it to be now, not what you would typically expect it to become once it’s been washed a few times as unlike some other brands of gi, Gimono gi don’t shrink.
The best way to determine the right size of Gimono gi for you, is to take an existing gi that fits you well, lay it out flat and take these measurements:
1. Arm span from wrist to wrist
2. Length from shoulder to skirt hem
3. Sleeve width at the wrist
1. Waist circumference
2. Length from waistband to cuff
3. Leg width at the ankle
Check the Gimono size chart and determine which of the four sizes offered is closest to your existing gi.
If you don’t currently own a gi, then we suggest you have someone help you measure your arm span and shoulder-to-top of thigh length for the jacket, and your waist and leg length from waist to ankle for the pant.
If in doubt, you can always email us for assistance. Please include your height, weight and preferred style of gi.
Will you be offering children’s sizes?
We may do so in the future depending on demand. If you are interested in Gimono gi for kids, please get in touch.
Can I mix and match between sizes and styles?
Yes. All our jackets and pants are priced the same regardless of style, size or color so how you put your uniform together is entirely up to you.
You will note we have sorted our store by all Gimono, gi jackets only, pants only, and fightshorts.
If you want to buy a uniform (same style jacket and pant), go to all Gimono. If you want to mix and match, make your jacket and pant selections separately.
Is it possible to embroider a Gimono gi or to sew club/other patches on it without ruining the fabric?
Yes. Fortitude fabric embroiders well. We recommend you choose a good embroidery company to avoid a poor quality result. It’s preferable not to have to unpick something once it’s been sewn on the garment as this could compromise the integrity or appearance of the fabric.
I’m interested in your fightshorts. Are these made from the same fabric as your gi?
Yes. Our fightshorts are made from Fortitude and are designed for strength, comfort and durability. They’re ideal for no-gi training or can be worn as a cool alternative to full-length gi pants if you’re training in warmer climates/temperatures.
I’ve never heard of a gi fabric with wool in it before. Isn’t it hot, heavy or itchy to wear?
No. If you have never worn merino wool before, you are in for a pleasant surprise! Fortitude is a high tech textile that we designed specifically for use in high performance applications requiring superior breathability, strength, comfort and durability. It blends very fine merino wool with polyester to achieve this.
Merino wool, now widely used in both casual and technical apparel, is renown for its natural moisture and odor management properties. It’s also soft, non-itchy, and lightweight and when worn next-to-skin, its mechanical and performance characteristics offer the wearer a high level of breathability and comfort.
We wrote a blog post about the magic of merino which explains more about the qualities of this amazing natural fiber.
I’ve noticed your gi look at bit shiny compared to traditional cotton gi. Why is that?
The surface texture of Fortitude does have a sheen to it. This is due to the polyester component of the fabric which is on the outside layer for strength and durability (the merino layer of fabric is on the reverse side of the fabric and is worn next-to-skin for comfort).
Often when people see a Gimono gi for the first time they are surprised by its slightly shiny appearance when compared with traditional cotton gi, or gi made from other fabric constructions such as rip stop or hemp. Some like it. Some don’t. It all comes down to personal preference.
We liken the difference to that between old-style cotton rugby jerseys and the Lycra® or similar high-tech fabrics worn today. Most modern sportswear and performance apparel is constructed from technically advanced fabrications that deliver the wearer a wide range of benefits from enhanced breathability to UV protection, wind and water proofing. Nearly all have a similar high tech sheen to them. Think of Fortitude as Gimono’s equivalent to a Nike DriFit or Adidas ClimaCool – it's a technical textile designed to provide a specific range of performance benefits.
I’ve read a couple of reviews that commented on the collar (lapel) of the jiu jitsu gi being a bit thin. Are you going to change this in future?
For some, the thickness of the lapel on our gi hasn’t been an issue. For others (mainly those used to the thicker lapels found on many BJJ gi) it has been an issue.
We are continually working on design improvements, including thicker collars for some styles to address this feedback.
None of your pants have extra layers of reinforcement at the knee to prevent wear and tear. Are you planning on adding any to the range?
We've only been asked a couple of times if we could reinforce the knee, so at this stage we don’t have any immediate plans to offer pants with extra padding at the knee.
Despite being relatively thin and lightweight, Fortitude fabric is unbelievably durable. For most practitioners, a single layer of fabric in the pant is fine. However, if you are in that category of wearer that would prefer a pant style with padded knees, by all means get in touch. We're always open to your feedback and will definitely consider adding to our range if there is sufficient demand from the market.
How long can I expect my Gimono gi to last?
You can expect Gimono apparel to last for several years without significant degradation in quality or performance. We provide a 12 month product warranty but our expectation is that your gi will last considerably longer than that.
The main factor that will adversely impact the longevity of your Gimono gi is the way you launder it. If you wash it in laundry detergent that contains bleach or oxidising agents, for example, the fabric will deteriorate quite quickly because the chemicals in bleach-based products break down the fibers in the merino wool. Therefore please ensure you follow the care instructions provided.
Where are Gimono gi made?
All our garments are designed and made in New Zealand.
Gimono gi don’t have much in the way or branding or badges. Why is that?
It’s part of our brand aesthetic. We prefer a more minimalist approach and you will see this in virtually every aspect of our business. In keeping with this, our design philosophy has been built around a few strong principles: less is more, function over form, clean lines. The result is a range of gi that are quite plain in their appearance, but that are highly functional – by design. In effect we provide you with a clean canvas on which to embellish or personalize your gi as you please.
Is your judo gi IJF-approved?
The optimistic answer, is 'not yet, but we live in hope'. From a design perspective, Gimono judo gi conform to IJF requirements in terms of sleeve length and aperture, lapel construction, jacket overlap and skirt length. However, IJF specifications also stipulate that competition gi must be made from fabric containing at least 70% cotton. This prevents Gimono judo gi from being approved under the current rules.
Over time we would hope that the rules may be relaxed to allow different types of fabrications – especially as there is growing trend toward the use of fibers other than cotton. But we don’t expect international rule changes to happen overnight.
Is your jiu jitsu gi CBJJF or IBJJF-approved?
No. Our jiu jitsu gi doesn't conform to CBJJF and IBJJF uniform rules because it's made from a fabric that does not comprise at least 70% cotton.
As with IJF approval for our judo gi, we hope that over time the rules will be amended to accommodate fabric innovation in the category, but we don’t expect such changes to happen overnight.
I’ve ordered my gi. When am I likely to receive it?
Providing payment has been received, we aim to ship all orders within 24 hours. If you’re in New Zealand or Australia, you can expect to receive your gi within 2-3 working days. If you are elsewhere in the world, you can expect to receive your gi within 7-10 working days.
I usually soak my cotton gi in some type of bleach to keep it white or to remove odor. Can I do this with my Gimono gi?
No. Please don't. It's important to avoid all laundry detergents containing bleach, bleaching or oxidizing agents as these break down the fibers in the merino wool and will ruin your gi. As for odor, you won’t have an issue with this as Gimono gi are odor-resistant. If you want to test this claim out for yourself, wear your Gimono gi a few times without washing it!
Whenever I’ve bought a new cotton gi in the past I’ve had to wash it in hot water and then put it in a dryer to shrink it to size. Do I need to do this with my Gimono gi?
No. Gimono gi are shrink-resistant (<3%), whereas many old style cotton gi shrink quite a lot more than that (up to a size).
It’s preferable to wash your Gimono gi in cold water because it’s easier on the fabric, but washing it in hot water won't shrink it. Similarly, you can put your Gimono gi in a clothes dryer and it will dry pretty quickly. Best of all is to hang it in the shade or lie it flat away from direct sunlight and let it dry naturally. It should only take an hour or so, if that.
How is it that a Gimono gi can be cool to wear in hot temperatures and warm to wear in cold temperatures?
It's largely thanks to the fine layer of merino wool on the inside of your gi that you will experience this when wearing your Gimono gi in different climates. Merino has built-in thermal, moisture and vapor management properties that help regulate a wearer’s body temperature in response to the outside temperature, so you’ll genuinely feel and respond differently depending on whether you’re training in the heat or the cold.
I find it hard to believe that something so thin and light can be as strong as my thick cotton gi. You claim an ‘astounding strength-to-weight’ ratio but, what does that actually mean?
For years the thickness and weight of cotton gi (hence ‘double weave‘, ‘triple weave’ etc) was equated with strength. However, with advances in textile technologies and the use of fibers other than cotton, it’s possible to achieve the same or superior strength at lighter weights.
When we developed Fortitude we set out to design a fabric that would be as strong as the highest quality double weave cotton gi, but as light as possible. We benchmarked and tested different fabrics for burst strength and tear strength using international textile testing methodologies, and set our desired standards accordingly. In the final composition and construction of Fortitude we achieved a textile that is approximately a third of the weight and thickness of a double weave cotton but equally as strong. And due to its unique blend of yarns, it's way more durable than cotton.
I note you ship your gi in a free bag. What if I don’t want the bag? Can I get a discount?
If you prefer not to have your gi shipped in the bag, please note that in the special delivery instructions box at checkout. We don’t provide a discount if you don’t want the bag.
Is it possible to buy the Fortitude fabric for use in other products or applications?
The unique properties of Fortitude make it extremely versatile. It has been used in fashion, horse saddle cloths, sports caps, golf shirts and other high performance apparel.
We are happy to discuss commercial supply of Fortitude for other purposes. Please send us an email with details of how you'd like to use the fabric.
What is the relationship between Gimono Limited and Fortitude Textiles Limited?
Both are limited liability companies registered and incorporated in New Zealand. Both have common ownership.
Gimono Limited designs, manufactures, and markets performance fightwear made from Fortitude for use in all major martial arts disciplines including: aikido, judo, jiu jitsu, ninjutsu, karate, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts.
Fortitude Textiles Limited designs, markets and supplies high performance textiles, one of which is used exclusively by Gimono Limited in martial arts apparel.
How do I get Gimono to sponsor me?
Send us an email with your proposal.