We get a lot of questions about gi sizing at Sanabul, and we get why. A gi is expensive, and the last thing you want is one that doesn't fit. A baggy gi will snag on limbs, hands, or fingers. It'll also make it far easier for opponents to get those valuable grips on you.
But a gi that's too small may literally be unwearable, or get you disqualified from a tournament.
Luckily, we're in the apparel business, and lifelong practitioners of martial arts ourselves. Here's every trick we've learned about picking the right gi size, and what to do if you screw it up.
Always Check The Sizing Guide
You may have bought a gi at a certain size that felt great. So that's your size forever now, right?
Sanabul gi have their own unique sizing chart, because ours are pre-shrunk and you don't have to worry about buying a size up (more on that later). If you're buying Sanabul, you want to double check our sizing guide that we put on every product description.
If you're not buying Sanabul, different manufactures may have different height and weight ranges also. Save yourself potential hassle and double check the size chart, always.
Check If Your Gi is Preshrunk
Sanabul makes our gi preshruk, so you don't have to order a size up. However, if a gi doesn't specifically mention being preshrunk, many people will order larger sizes in anticipation of shrinkage.
Gi Will Shrink If Washed a Certain Way
Think of a washing machine as a necessary evil. You need it to keep your gi clean, but it's also very easy to unintentionally alter your gi size. Remember, it's easy to shrink your gi but very hard to make it bigger once you've done it. If you wash your gi with the rest of your clothes, it will probably shrink. Most companies, including Sanabul, recommend washing your gi in cold water and hang drying it. We won't go into the science of why fabric shrinks. Just know that BJJ fabric can actually shrink up to a full size and carelessly washing it with regular clothes is a bad idea.
But If You DO Want To Shrink It.
A hot water wash and a spin in the dryer (hot air), will bring a over sized gi down to size. In fact, you can even slightly shrink a Sanabul gi this way, although it won't shrink nearly as much as regular fabric.
What If You Need to UN-shrink it?
Ok, maybe you're reading this article desperate to fix a mistake you already made. We're not judging you. In fact, there are actually ways to shrink your gi. Check out this other article on the Sanabul blog.