Saturday, August 31, 2013

The White Gi Blues

After wearing black gis for eight years for my USA Goju training, I've been wearing a white gi for Goju-ryu for the last five months or so. Where I liked training in a lighter-weight black gi (about 8.5 ounces), the light-weight white ones kinda suck, so the training gi I use now is about 12 ounces.  The one I compete in is even heavier - about 16 ounces - because I like the crisp, kinda stiff look and feel. That is until it comes out of the wash.

What is it about heavyweight white gis that make them ball up like a crumpled sheet of paper after washing? I've tried line drying, drying them totally flat and even tossing them into the regular dryer for a few minutes - only to have very wrinkled mess on my hands when they finally do dry, rendering them totally unwearable until ironing. My 16 oz competition black gi almost never needed ironing, so why do my white ones?

My household iron is barely a pound when it is filled to capacity with water. It is no match for my white gis, which seem to just laugh at my lame efforts. After sweating and straining with my trusty iron for 30 minutes or so, my gi still looks like I slept in it for a few hours (instead of all night, like it did before I ironed). Not cute at all.

A few weeks ago, I finally broke down and took it to my local dry cleaner just to have it pressed. The owner literally sighed when she felt the material. "Wow," she said. "So heavy!" I'm not kidding.

It looked great when she was done, but because it is usually sweat-soaked and stained (because some bit of dirt always, always, ALWAYS finds me when I have it on) after training, I cannot go more than one class without needing to have it washed, which necessitates a trip back to the cleaners, which is getting expensive. I swear, keeping my white gi cleaned and pressed is going to send me straight to the poor house.

Anyone have any ideas for keeping it at least a bit more wrinkle free after washing?