Free karate tips

Karate Uniform Care: Washing Tips

The incredible shrinking Gi

Most Karate uniforms will shrink considerably when washed in hot water, especially those made from all cotton. Although the initial shrinking during the first wash/dry cycle is by far the greatest, it is in general recommended to wash your uniform in cold water as this greatly reduces the shrinking. Care must also be taken during the drying step. Tumble drying can cause uniforms to shrink to a point where it will no longer fit.

Bleaching of the Gi for the perfect white

Be careful with the use of any type of bleach when washing your uniform. Over time, bleaching can severely weaken the uniform material, causing it to rip easily. Repeated bleaching may even cause small holes to appear in your uniform. Bleaching will also adversely affect the usually colorful badge that indicates your style and dojo.

Gi tear

Tip: Use removable velcro-badges

If you do require to bleach your uniform from time to time, you should consider to use Velcro to attach any badges you have on your uniform. That way you can simply remove the badge when washing or bleaching your Gi and keep the badges looking brand new. When visiting or training at a school of a different style to your own, it is proper etiquette to remove any of your style’s badges. Velcro badges and patches come handy in this situation too!

many dojo badges

Ironing of the Gi

Most cotton and canvas uniforms, when washed in a washing machine on the drip-dry cycle, can be hung on the line without spin drying. This may in fact make ironing unnecessary. Just flatten the wet Gi with your hands once it’s on the clothes line to remove the largest folds and wrinkles and it will look very smooth when dry. If you still prefer to iron, it will iron much easier when it is still slightly wet.

95 comments about “Karate gi washing tips”

  1. Michelle Ingleton said:

    Need help! I have washed my boyfriends Gi and its gone all stiff! I rewashed it with extra softener but thats not worked, any advice??

  2. Simon West said:

    As Chuck Norris once said when referrring to over starched Gi’s. “Rigidity of the Gi is but an unfamiliar blessing. With time it shall soften, as shall your heart”.

  3. Chrystal said:

    Does anyone know how to get out the yellowing you get from sweat? I have had my gi for about 18 months and it is starting to yellow were I sweat the most. I have tried bleaching but it has not worked. Any ideas?

  4. Christine said:

    try vinegar or baking soda.

  5. Rijiya-san said:

    get a new gi if it really bothers you, if not try bleaching it to make the whole thing yellow. ( just tell your sensei you didn’t know that would happen, and that you don’t have enough money for a new gi, this way when you do buy another gi, just use that one for competitions, while your old gi for class)

  6. Araiso said:

    It’s a very good idea to hang dry your gi, especially if it is a heavy weight gi. If you want a smooth “ironed” look without shrinking the cotton, this is a great way to go. Also, hem your gi as soon as you get it. A rolled up rumpled gi looks terribly tacky.

  7. valid said:

    Cool site! Thank you!

  8. Kinerry said:

    Use a fabric steamer to avoid the iron, much easier on the fabric and much faster.

  9. Bill L said:

    Chrystal…try ammonia paste. It usually works greats for armpit sweat stains.

    It usually isn’t the sweat that causes the stain/crunchy arpits on clothes it’s the type of deodorant you use.

    A spray antiperspirant/deodorant works better and usually does cause the staining gels, rollon, or sticks cause.

  10. Catherine said:

    Great site! My grandson started Karate this year and I needed info on care of uniform, tying belt, terminology, etc. I’ll keep this site as one of my “favorite places.”

  11. Optimus Prime said:

    i cannot fit in the gi! please help me find a gi that suits my size. and what is kyokushinkai?

  12. Megatron said:

    try the taylors, they might help. otherwise switch to sumo. kyo kushin kai is a style of karate

  13. MamaSuz said:

    I custom made my own Gi in Ohio….I can make one for you…leave me an email address and I will send you a note…

  14. Jon Bloomingburg said:

    I saw the comment about you custom making gi’s . Please email me at so I can give you the measurements. Thanks

  15. Dani Jo said:

    To MamaSuz – I am interested in a custom made Gi. Please Email me at Thank You.



  17. Ambien said:

    Yep, I think its right.

  18. MamaSuz said:

    I can make hakamas, as well. Just drop me a line at

  19. levitra said:

    I try it

  20. john said:

    thank you for your help i live in utah and my gi can sometimes become vary dirty when practising out side johnespy 4th kyu orange belt

  21. dustin said:

    My waist ties keep ripping off during sparring practice, anyone have any tips on how to mend reinforce the waist ties?

  22. Dawn said:

    I need to have a gi made for me. I can not find one big enough.

  23. O Mancina said:

    looking for a heavy weight military green color ghi Uniform

  24. Ryan Watts said:

    Can you make a forest green Karate Gi with brown stitching and a Lion on the back?

  25. lon Doyle said:

    Hello. Im interested in a custom made karate uniform also, please email me. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Tim Parnell said:

    Hey, Question…. Race cars, race clothes, bass boats, some auto all have sponser’s. Can you make a sponser karate uniform?

  27. Brenda said:

    I was just informed by a friend of mine that Old Spice Deodorant doesn’t have the ingrediant in it that causes the yellowing.

  28. Tanvir said:

    hello we are manufacturer and exporter of Martial art Uniforms and Boxing eq. etc.Please contact us if you want to import/Buy Any product.
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  29. Drew Detrick said:

    MAMASUZ, I am interested in a custom gi. please e-mail me at so I can tell you more.

  30. Jeff said:

    Did you put it in the dryer, that softens my gi.if it is a new gi it will be quit stiff for a couple of months too :)

  31. Jeff said:

    Yea they all turn yellow, I take bleach and water mix it half and half, put in a spray bottle and just spray the coller, I had to do it today on a stain on my pants, and I have done my coller to, works well, it might take a couple of washes it is a deep stain to get out, keep it away from any colored crests, :)

  32. alex alvarez said:

    hello,if you may please contact me iam in need of a custom made karate gi and am willing to pay. i am a big fella and would to discuss with you an arrangement. thank you

  33. David Fishinghawk said:

    I’m interested in custom karate uniforms for my competition team. Thanks

  34. Alex said:

    I’m interested in having a custom-made heavy weight white gi. Please contact me.

    Thank You Very Much,


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    [...] – Karate gi washing tipsMay 19, 2011 … Most Karate uniforms will shrink considerably when washed in hot water, … Over time, bleaching can severely weaken the uniform material, … [...]

  36. Jad said:

    I scrubed the stains with brush and soap and left on an hour before washing. It removed the stains, but you have to be careful, I used quite a hard brush and it ripped bits of stiching. Maybe use a soft brush, like an old toothbrush.

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  47. Holly said:

    HELP!!! The some of the color from my belt has faded onto my Gi and I don’t know what is the best way to wash it without ruining the gi… What is the best way to wash it? how do i keep the belt from fading again???

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