Hemp/hemp-blend gi

Never_A_Reflection

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Hello everyone,

I was surfing another forum that is Judo-specific (I'm sure most of you already know which one, at this point) and found a topic about a hemp gi. Basically, it comes down to Earth-Gi (www.earth-gi.com) with hemp karate gi, Ground Force Kimonos (www.SSFGear.com) hemp BJJ gi/kimono, and the Datsusara (http://www.dsmma.com/html/gis.html) hemp-blend Judogi. I e-mailed Earth-Gi to see if they are going to start making a Judogi, but I haven't heard back yet (granted, I sent the e-mail this morning). How many of you would be willing to try out a hemp gi? Given that they are supposed to be four times stronger than cotton, anti-microbial, and lighter than cotton, I would be pretty interested in getting one myself. I've always used a single-weave Judogi because the double-weaves are just too rough and heavy to me, but if they came out with a hemp one that is lighter and softer, I could give myself an upgrade :p.
 

teekin

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If you can find a single weave that will stand up let me know what the price is. I find the doubles HOT! But I think the singles are gonna rip. The single Hemp sounds like a good find.
lori
 
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Never_A_Reflection

Never_A_Reflection

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So far, the one I bought on eBay for $40 has lasted nearly 2 years with no ripping--no seams are even showing wear! It's made in China, and not any name brand you would know--Sports GF. If you can find one, more power to you! My camera sucks, but I tried to take a picture of the label for you. It's a black label with a white cherry blossom outline with gold kanji in it that I don't recognize, and it says Sports (in script) below that and GF (in block) below that. The label on the inside of the gi says GF CO, LTD. But yeah, a hemp gi would pretty much rock if it's weight/strength ratio is as advertized. Hopefully the people at Earth-Gi get back to me and say "Oh yes! We can do that! And we'll send you one for free to try out and tell everyone you know!" :p
 

jarrod

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i'd buy one if they were affordable. i've been hearing that they're great.

jf
 
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Never_A_Reflection

Never_A_Reflection

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The guy at Earth-Gi e-mailed me back, and we have now been e-mailing back and forth a bit. He does not have any hemp fabric that is woven like modern judogi material, but I don't know how much that matters. He thinks that it shouldn't be too much different from a karate gi, and he asked me for my input on what a good judogi should have. I think I sent him a couple of pages, and those were just things that were modifications from a karate gi, not including anything about fitting them (I gave him a link to the IJF requirements for all that). He said it would cost the same as his karate gi which is $189, but we'll see what he says after he reads my comments, and that price isn't bad considering he tailors it to your measurements for no extra charge. He also said that it would be a single-thickness of a heavier hemp material (probably 16-17oz) than the karate gi, because double-thickness in hemp would be unnecessary since a single-weave done in hemp would still be 2x the strength of a double-weave. We shall see. He says that if it rips, tears, or is otherwise damaged in training in the 6 months after I get it, he'll repair it or give me my money back. Anyway, after reading all of my comments, he may decide that it is too big of an undertaking, or he may jack up the price, or he may say that it's just not feasable. I will let everybody know.


Oh yeah, and he's going to send me a sample of the fabric he will use, so I'll see if I can take a picture of it next to my current gi and put it up here for comparison.
 

teekin

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Did you ask how much this material will shrink in the wash and if it can go in the dryer?
lori
 
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Never_A_Reflection

Never_A_Reflection

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Apparently it shrinks so little that it's negligible, and from the way I understand it, shrinkage is factored in when you send him your measurements (which I would suggest doing, since it doesn't cost anything extra). I still don't know if he will do it though, since I haven't heard back from him since I sent him all of the things I think a good judogi needs. I told him all the places that should be padded and reinforced, and I think he is either determining if he can do it, or he was thrown into shock and can't even answer the e-mail :p
 

teekin

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Wow, no shrinkage! Now that would be nice. Well some people are not very good about answering e-mail, so wait and see. Keep me posted though please. Lets see what price he comes up with.
I picked up a few Vulcans in the mean time and Love them, so so comfy; and the pants don't fall off! The size 1A BJJ Gi fits loose enough to make it legal for Judo and gives me room to twist. ( told ya I was tiny, my coach keeps calling me Judo Smurf cause I wore the blue set once and thinks I am, God help me, cute in it.)
lori
 
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Never_A_Reflection

Never_A_Reflection

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Okay, so I finally received my fabric sample from Earth-Gi--a swatch of unbleached 100% hemp canvas. I did plenty of pulling and twisting, and the fabric is definitely tough, and it's definitely light. My problem, though, is that it is WAY too easy to grab--I pulled it tight and had my completely untrained girlfriend grab it from the middle, and she had no problem doing so. While it is certainly strong enough to be used for a judogi, it just isn't thick enough, in my opinion. Judogi of old, from what I have been able to find, were actually quilted, and so I can't help but wonder if perhaps two or three layers of this fabric could be quilted together to make a nice thick judogi? In any case, I'm really not sure if Tim at Earth-Gi would be too thrilled with that concept, and it would take at least twice the material to do that, so it probably wouldn't stay cheap. I would most likely be using the hemp judogi for day-to-day practice rather than for shiai, so it isn't imperative that it be difficult to grip, but it would be nice for randori. I suppose I could probably live with it the way it is, but I just feel like a nice thick-woven fabric made of hemp would be ideal. There's a picture of the sample against my cotton judogi up on my blog if you want to see a comparison, and there's a link to that in my signature.
 

teekin

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I've seen some of the thin older gi's around. They are alot easier to grip, keep hold of and twist. They set up chokes easier and I find I can do more more with Tori during the hangtime of a poorly executed throw. No thanks. I like the heavier BJJ gi's I can wear. I'll stay hot and keep the tactical advantage. They are just a pain to grip and twist. Thanks for the info though.
lori
 
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Never_A_Reflection

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Okay, so I have an update regarding hemp/hemp-blend judogi. I've been in contact with Chris, the president of Datsusara MMA, regarding his 55/45 hemp/organic cotton BJJ "combat gi". It's been reviewed by several BJJ people now, and they are all complaining about the baggy "Judo cut" and long skirt, so Chris asked if there were any Judo guys wanting to review it. Most of them said no, because his company's logo is between the shoulder blades and on the left shoulder, which are not legal places for a label to be under IJF regulations. I, on the other hand, will not be competing until sometime early next year, so I'm not overly concerned about that. One thing I did notice that may be a drawback to using it for Judo is that the skirt does not have the embroidered diamond pattern on it, so it will probably come out of my belt a bit too easily. In any case, he just shipped one off to me today for testing and review, so I plan on getting tossed around quite a bit in it and I'll report back here, on my blog, and probably on a couple other forums that I prowl around.
 

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