Gi Washing Tips for Double Weaves

My washing machine started having problems this week, so we got a service guy to take a look at it. In doing so, we showed him one of the double weave gis that is frequently washed in our machine. Holding it in his hand, he said “Do you have any idea how heavy this thing would get when wet?” He then informed us that we should probably only be washing it in a commercial grade washing machine. Since we can’t afford a commercial grade washer, I got advice from appliance service guys as to how to lessen the impact of the double weave washings.

1. Buy the right washer. If you can’t afford a commercial grade washing machine, either buy an old school washing machine with all metal parts (no plastic) or a front loading washing machine. A new top loader is a bad choice because top loaders need to fill the drum with a ton of water. Add that to the weight of the double weave gis and it’s bad news for the washer. Old school ones with all metal parts will be better, but then they aren’t as energy efficient. Since front-loaders are all “new” they will have plastic parts, but because they use less water, it’s not as damaging on the machine.
2. Use the delicate cycle. When washing your double weave, use the delicate cycle with warm water. It only has a very short rotation/agitation cycle, using a long “soak” cycle to do most of the cleaning. If it’s still a bit damp at the end of the wash, throw it in for a standard final spin.
3. Hang dry before using dryer. Now, of course, hang drying won’t always get a double weave completely dry in time for your next class, so you may have to use the dryer to some degree. To save on electricity bills and to take less of a toll on your dryer, hang your gi to dry overnight then put it in the dryer on low heat.
The above tips will help extend the life of your washer and dryer if you wash double weave gis, however, the best bet is to wash it at a laundromat if you want to save the wear and tear on your washer and dryer. We ended up having to replace ours, so hopefully these tips will keep you from having to do so.
Comments (5)

5 thoughts on “Gi Washing Tips for Double Weaves

  1. I've found that hang-drying actually will completely dry my gi, as long as it's hung close to a hot-air vent. It just takes about a day and a half 🙂

    Good to know about the washing machine tho!


  2. Great article! I have a Mike Swain signature double weave competition Judo uniform that is super heavy as is and I have never thought of how heavy it must be in the washing machine. Thanks for the tips, I will definitely use them the next time I wash my judo gi.

  3. I don’t know a single person that owns their own “commercial grade” washer/dryer.

    What your saying doesn’t make any sense what so ever. Most washers today 4.5 cu ft or larger(top/front) can easily accommodate king size comforters and sheets in one load(or 6-7 towels). That combination weighs far more then even 2-3 double weave gi’s.

    To my knowledge, the only machines you should not be using to wash a kimono are ones with middle agitators in them due to the lapel potentially binding and stopping it from spinning.

    I wash 4-5 kimonos in my top load without issue all the time 🙂 Drying makes them soft and smile nice(at the cost of shortening the fabrics life) same as with any cotton product.

    1. It’s not about total weight but localized weight. The issue is that the double knit gi is so thick and dense that it absorbs all the water in one localized garment, rather than having it spread out evenly amongst all the clothing (the reason why it’s not an issue to wash several single knit gis at once). A single double knit causes an imbalance, which is particularly damaging during the spin cycle. Also, washing a double weave isn’t going to break it one go. We had 2 people in the house individually washing their double weaves once a week or once every other week. Over time, it was damaging, causing the machine to break down pre-maturely. I’m no washer mechanic, of course. I’m just cited what the expert told me.

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