Friday, June 18, 2010

My Soft, Smooth Gi

I really don't remember how I used to wash my karate uniform (called a gi) back in the 80s and 90s, but the ones we got from LaVallee's specifically said they should be washed in cold water and allowed to drip dry. That's largely what I've been doing, with the exception that I used warm water because it's my understanding from Chemistry class that detergent works better when the water's not too cold.

But on Wednesday of this week, I wasn't sure whether my family would need their gis that night or not. I'd forgotten that my wife had an implementation that evening for work. But I'd washed our uniforms the night before, and there's no way they'd be dry in time on their own if we needed them. So I tossed them into the dryer for just ten minutes on a low heat cycle. And oh, what a difference!

They were still damp when I took them out, of course, but they were so soft! Usually when I just hang them they get all stiff and rough, but after a short trip through the dryer they were like Egyptian cotton towels. I was amazed. Even more surprising, they were almost without a wrinkle. Again, usually when they go straight from the washer to the hanger, they're all wrinkly and they pretty well tend to stay that way. But that brief stay in the dryer seemed to fix a multitude of sins.

When my family tested for our yellow belts, I spent over an hour ironing everyone's gi so it would look good for our test, and I'm pretty sure they didn't look as good when I was done as they did when they came out of the dryer. I think I may be doing that from now on - it certainly didn't seem to shrink them at all.

That's it for today, I'm afraid. It's my kids' last full day of school and they have a full day of games and sports to get ready for, as do I. Also, my kids have done a less than stellar job of learning their Short One Kata, and they've been told they're going to knuckle down and work on it today. My wife and I will help them with that.


  1. I don't know about the whole dogi-ironing thing... Do you also iron your gym shorts?

  2. If they were wrinkly and I was about to wear them to take a test I'd prepared for for months, I suppose I would, sure.