Polycotton vs Cotton Gi

Hot Lunch

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I'm doing some gi shopping, and I'm considering polycotton. I've only worn cotton up to this point. The two that are up for consideration are the Shureido New Wave 2 and the Arawaza Kata Deluxe Evo.

A couple of questions:
- On the advertisements for polycotton gis, the claim is that they dry faster that pure cotton. Right now, I have a two-gi rotation. Do they dry fast enough to wash everyday and only need one gi?
- I know that the Japanese cotton used for gis is vastly superior to that of non-Japanese made gis, as I've owned both. But with that said, is this a non-factor with polycotton blends?
- Is polycotton more or less breathable than regular cotton?
- Can you get away with more wears per wash with polycotton than regular cotton? Because with regular cotton, I currently do one wear per wash.
 

SahBumNimRush

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I'm doing some gi shopping, and I'm considering polycotton. I've only worn cotton up to this point. The two that are up for consideration are the Shureido New Wave 2 and the Arawaza Kata Deluxe Evo.

A couple of questions:
- On the advertisements for polycotton gis, the claim is that they dry faster that pure cotton. Right now, I have a two-gi rotation. Do they dry fast enough to wash everyday and only need one gi?
- I know that the Japanese cotton used for gis is vastly superior to that of non-Japanese made gis, as I've owned both. But with that said, is this a non-factor with polycotton blends?
- Is polycotton more or less breathable than regular cotton?
- Can you get away with more wears per wash with polycotton than regular cotton? Because with regular cotton, I currently do one wear per wash.
In my 2 uniform rotation I am currently using a Shureido New Wave 3 and a Hirota Takumi. Both are polycotton, I wash mine after each training session and air dry them. I've owned the New Wave 3 for 3 years now, and it is holding up very well, other than some yellowing around the collar and the pits. The Hirota Takumi is custom tailored, and I love it, but the New Wave 3 is less "stiff." I've owned the Takumi for over a year now, and it still looks new (no yellowing).

They do dry fast, but the sweat is still in the uniform, so I wash it so that it doesn't yellow.

Both of mine use the high quality Japanese cotton blended with polyester, so I'm not sure how other polycotton blends would compare.

I would say the polycotton feels more breathable.
 

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Just about everything dries faster than cotton. All mine are poly blends and I've had them for years and years and years. They still look and wear great.
 
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Hot Lunch

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In my 2 uniform rotation I am currently using a Shureido New Wave 3 and a Hirota Takumi. Both are polycotton, I wash mine after each training session and air dry them. I've owned the New Wave 3 for 3 years now, and it is holding up very well, other than some yellowing around the collar and the pits. The Hirota Takumi is custom tailored, and I love it, but the New Wave 3 is less "stiff." I've owned the Takumi for over a year now, and it still looks new (no yellowing).

They do dry fast, but the sweat is still in the uniform, so I wash it so that it doesn't yellow.

Both of mine use the high quality Japanese cotton blended with polyester, so I'm not sure how other polycotton blends would compare.

I would say the polycotton feels more breathable.
Could you maintain the same attendance with only one of them if you wanted to? Or do you need both?
 

Gyakuto

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I just looked up the properties of cotton and polycotton to confirm my experiences: cotton wicks perspiration away from the body better than polycotton because the polyester in polycotton does not absorb moisture. Cotton will thus feel more comfortable in warm weather than will polycotton. Polycotton will dry more quickly than the same mass of cotton because it has less cotton in it! With polycotton youre essentially wearing plastic!

I only wear pure cotton, have many keikogi and wash them after each wear.
 
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Hot Lunch

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I just looked up the properties of cotton and polycotton to confirm my experiences: cotton wicks perspiration away from the body better than polycotton because the polyester in polycotton does not absorb moisture.

This the part I'm wondering about. If the polycotton is absorbing less sweat, then does this mean it's less dirty after a training session than cotton?
 

Gyakuto

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The water part of ones perspiration will evaporate off, but the solutes of ones sweat (minerals, lipids, proteins etc) will thus concentrate and remain on the polycotton for bacteria to feast on and make a stink! With cotton, these solutes will be slightly more diluted as the water portion of ones perspiration will remain in the keikogi.

In hot weather is a linen shirt more comfortable than a synthetic fibre?
 

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This the part I'm wondering about. If the polycotton is absorbing less sweat, then does this mean it's less dirty after a training session than cotton?
Everything gets dirty when you wear it and perspire. I'm big into hiking and often do a lot of sweating and not near enough washing clothes and showering and every fabric gets funky rapidly if you sweat in it and don't wash it. About the only fabric that doesn't smell like *** after a day or two on the trail is merino wool. I love it but it's way too costly and delicate for use in the dojo.
 
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The water part of ones perspiration will evaporate off, but the solutes of ones sweat (minerals, lipids, proteins etc) will thus concentrate and remain on the polycotton for bacteria to feast on and make a stink! With cotton, these solutes will be slightly more diluted as the water portion of ones perspiration will remain in the keikogi.

In hot weather is a linen shirt more comfortable than a synthetic fibre?
Alright, so that answers the question of it being one wear per wash like cotton. However, even if I buy two, it looks like I'd still save money on water as I can wash both at once and still have a dry gi the next day, versus having to wash cotton one at a time.
 

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Of course, in the old days when Karate was real karate, they taught us how to suck our perspiration back off our skin and shut of sweat gland apertures It was part of our shodan grading and required before we did our community service.
 

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I'm doing some gi shopping, and I'm considering polycotton. I've only worn cotton up to this point. The two that are up for consideration are the Shureido New Wave 2 and the Arawaza Kata Deluxe Evo.

A couple of questions:
- On the advertisements for polycotton gis, the claim is that they dry faster that pure cotton. Right now, I have a two-gi rotation. Do they dry fast enough to wash everyday and only need one gi?
- I know that the Japanese cotton used for gis is vastly superior to that of non-Japanese made gis, as I've owned both. But with that said, is this a non-factor with polycotton blends?
- Is polycotton more or less breathable than regular cotton?
- Can you get away with more wears per wash with polycotton than regular cotton? Because with regular cotton, I currently do one wear per wash.
Why dont you try a polycotton keikogi and compare it with your current cotton version. Maybe what an hours hard training in one type, followed by a cool down and shower and one hours hard training in the other type, subjectively feels like. Take lots of notes and then share you experience. Although itd be qualitative data (n=1), I think others would value it and itd be really interesting to hear about your experience.
 
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Why dont you try a polycotton keikogi and compare it with your current cotton version. Maybe what an hours hard training in one type, followed by a cool down and shower and one hours hard training in the other type, subjectively feels like. Take lots of notes and then share you experience. Although itd be qualitative data (n=1), I think others would value it and itd be really interesting to hear about your experience.
I was talking with a fellow student last night who used to have a polycotton, and he compared it to training in a raincoat. Perfect for kata competition, but the wrong choice for everyday wear. Basically, what you were saying. Good looking out.
 
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Gyakuto

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I was talking with a fellow student last night who used to have a polycotton, and he compared it to training in a raincoat.
Oh that sounds awful!
Perfect for kata competition, but the wrong choice for everyday wear. Basically, what you were saying. Good looking out.
I know many sportswear manufactures develop special fibres that they claim are better than cotton for their wicking properties and keep their shape better too. But it doesnt make sense since they are polymers (plastic) and thus dont absorb moisture directly into the fibres themselves as is the case with cotton, but keeps the water amongst their fibres through capillary action. How can that be comfortable?

Astronauts wear potentially sweaty artificial fibres under their rubber pressure garments and work very hard, but their liquid cooling garment (basically long johns and vest with tubes sewn into them through which variable temperature water is piped) regulate their body temperature so well, they hardly sweat at all.

So youre going for pure cotton, Hot Lunch? Egyptian, Indian, South American or US? Its an important decision to make
 
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SahBumNimRush

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I only had 1 for a couple of years, and I managed just fine with proper maintenance (washing after training, and not letting it sit all sweaty in my bag overnight). I think of it like sneakers. If I rotate two pairs, each pair lasts longer.
 

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I used to care about gi materials and where they were made and so on. Not anymore. I wear a simple Tiger Claw in what I believe they call diamond weave. Very inexpensive, I get about five years out of them. Wash and throw into the dryer, it doesn't hurt them at all. But they don't have 'tournament pop' when I punch and kick. Oh well.
 

SahBumNimRush

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If we are talking fabric alone, cotton breathes better than a poly-cotton blend. However, the newer, high quality poly-cotton blend uniforms are designed to breath well. Looking at the uniforms used in the olympics last time, nearly all of the kumite dogis were a polycotton blend, as well as the kata dogis. I sweat a lot, and I don't get overly heated in them. I think it just boils down to preference.

I have had cotton (brushed and non-brushed) as well as these current two polycotton blends, and for me, the Shureido New Wave 3 is what I will likely be purchasing again next. The Hirota Takumi fits my body better, being custom tailored, but I like the material of the Shureido better.
 
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I used to care about gi materials and where they were made and so on. Not anymore. I wear a simple Tiger Claw in what I believe they call diamond weave. Very inexpensive, I get about five years out of them. Wash and throw into the dryer, it doesn't hurt them at all. But they don't have 'tournament pop' when I punch and kick. Oh well.
By "not caring," does that mean you find them both equally comfortable?
 
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I used to care about gi materials and where they were made and so on. Not anymore. I wear a simple Tiger Claw in what I believe they call diamond weave. Very inexpensive, I get about five years out of them. Wash and throw into the dryer, it doesn't hurt them at all. But they don't have 'tournament pop' when I punch and kick. Oh well.
Have you heard of Mugen? I bought my son two sets of Orange Label recently, after he outgrew his previous gi. So far, Mugen is by far the best "budget brand" I've seen. Orange Label is a 10 oz cotton canvas, and is only about $70 for the average sized adult (under $60 for my son), though you wouldn't be able to tell it was that inexpensive by looking at it.
 

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I used to care about gi materials and where they were made and so on. Not anymore. I wear a simple Tiger Claw in what I believe they call diamond weave. Very inexpensive, I get about five years out of them. Wash and throw into the dryer, it doesn't hurt them at all. But they don't have 'tournament pop' when I punch and kick. Oh well.
A lot of people who want that audible pop use heavy starch on their cuffs. Or buy the sleeves extra long and hem them so there's extra bulk in the cuff.
 
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