How Do I Unshrink A BJJ Gi

How Do I Unshrink A BJJ Gi

BJJ Gis come in all sizes and shapes. If one feels that the Gi-size is slightly loose, you can always shrink it or vice versa. During shrinking, the Gi contracts to a greater degree. To nullify the change, you can unshrink your Gi. There are some ways for you to unshrink your Gi.

1. Why Do You Need to Unshrink Your Gi?

BJJ Gis come in all sizes and colors. Sometimes, it happens that your Gi is a bit small. And as you have invested in it, you will probably not want to waste your money. In that case, the best solution for you is to unshrink your BJJ Gi, or in other words, expand it.

You can also unshrink your Gi if you have already shrunk it. Sometimes during the process, it shrinks to a greater degree than expected. In that case, you need to unshrink/expand it. It might be too tight and uncomfortable to wear, making it difficult to roll, spar, and drill. That is why, while training, a properly fitted Gi is essential for comfort, mobility, and performance.

A tight-fitted Gi may not look as neat and professional as a properly fitting Gi, which can be important in competitions. Gis can be expensive, so if a Gi has shrunk and cannot be worn, you can try to unshrink it through this trusted and tested process.

It is important to note that unshrinking a Gi is not always possible and may not completely restore the Gi to its original size. Prevention is the best method to avoid over-shrinkage, so always follow the care instructions on the label and use gentle washing and drying methods.

2. How to Wash Your Gi Without Shrinking It?

It is important to take care of your Gi as respecting your Gi means that you are respecting the gentle art. Washing your Gi is the most important step in keeping your Gi intact. Never wash your Gi in hot water or your Gi will shrink further. Cotton Gis are especially vulnerable to shrinking in the presence of hot water.

Wash your Gi in cold water and if you want to keep the Gi in its normal size then never ever use a dryer. Hang the Gi in shade or at room temperature to dry it.

3. Necessities to Unshrink A BJJ Gi

You do not need any expensive equipment to unshrink your BJJ Gi.

  • Room Temperature Water
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Borax Powder
  • Fabric Softener

4. Steps For Unshrinking Your BJJ Gi

Following are the steps to unshrink your BJJ Gi:

4.1. Add the Necessary Products in Water

In order to shrink your Gi, use room temperature water. The reason why room temperature water is used is that hot water will shrink the Gi and cold water won’t let it stretch. Add 3-4 tablespoons of any hair conditioner and borax powder, also called sodium tetraborate. Thoroughly unite the whole mixture.

4.2. Soak Gi in Room Temperature Water

Put your Gi in the mixture to unshrink it. Or you can also only soak the area which you want to unshrunk. Soak the Gi for 30 minutes.

4.3. Removing the Excess Mixture

After the exact 30 minutes, take out the Gi from the mixture. Squeeze the Gi so that the excess mixture is removed. Now pull the areas which you want to unshrink. Stretch the desired areas and your Gi will surely expand.

4.4. Wash Gi in Cold Water

After stretching the shrunk areas, wash your Gi in slightly cold water with Tide odor defense detergent as it won’t shrink your Gi and will also remove the stench if there’s any. You can use any fabric softener, as long as it is bleach free. The use of fabric softener is important as it will keep the fabric particles soft and intact after the stretching.

4.5. Pull the Specific Areas

After washing your Gi in slightly cold water, pull the shrunk areas a second time. At this point, the Gi will retain the change and hence, your Gi is back to the normal size.

4.6. Hang Dry the Gi

Dry your Gi at room temperature by hanging it in a straight position ensuring that it will not develop any wrinkles.

4.7. Never Use a Dryer

If your aim is to unshrink your BJJ Gi, you should never use a dryer. It is because most dryers have a heat-producing function to dry clothes. This heat can shrink your Gi so use dryers that do not have this function or do not use a dryer at all.

5. How Temperature Affects the Unshrinking Process?

Temperature can have a significant effect on unshrinking a Gi. When a Gi is exposed to high temperatures, it can cause the fibers in the fabric to shrink, which can make the Gi more smaller and tighter.

To unshrink a Gi, it is important to avoid exposing it to high temperatures. For example, if you are trying to unshrink a cotton Gi, you should avoid washing it at high temperatures. Instead, you can try soaking the Gi in cold water with a gentle fabric softener or conditioner to help loosen the fibers and make them more pliable.

It is important to note that while the temperature can affect unshrinking a Gi, it is not the only factor. The age and condition of the Gi, as well as the washing and drying methods used, can also impact the unshrinking process.

6. Effect of Vinegar on Gi Unshrinking

Vinegar is sometimes used to unshrink clothing, including for BJJ Gis because it can help to relax the fibers and restore their original shape. Here’s how you can use vinegar to unshrink your BJJ Gis:

  • Fill a bathtub or large basin with lukewarm water.
  • Add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the water and mix well.
  • Soak your Gi in the solution for 30 minutes to one hour, making sure that it is completely submerged.
  • Gently stretch and massage the fabric while it is soaking to help relax the fibers.
  • After soaking, drain the water and gently squeeze the excess water out of the Gi. Do not twist or wring the fabric, as this can damage the fibers.
  • Lay the Gi flat on a clean towel and roll it up to absorb any remaining moisture.
  • Hang the Gi to air dry, avoiding direct sunlight and heat sources.

While vinegar can be effective at unshrinking a BJJ Gi, it is important to note that this method may not work for all fabrics.

7. Role of Steam on Gi Unshrinking

Another method to unshrink a Gi is to use steam. Steam can help relax the fibers in the fabric and make them more elastic. You can hang your Gi in the bathroom while taking a hot shower or use a garment steamer to steam the fabric.

Here are the steps to unshrink your Gi with steam:

  • Fill a bathtub or a large basin with hot water.
  • Hang the Gi above the tub or basin and close the bathroom door to create a steamy environment.
  • Allow the steam to penetrate the fabric for 10-15 minutes, making sure that the Gi remains dry.
  • Gently stretch and massage the fabric while it is still warm to help relax the fibers.
  • Hang the Gi to air dry and avoid direct sunlight.

The steam will help to relax the fibers in the fabric, allowing it to stretch and return to its original size and shape. It is important to be gentle with the fabric during the stretching process, as excessive force could cause it to tear or become damaged.

It is important to note that with steam not all fabrics and shrinkage types can be unshrunk, and this method may not be as effective across the board.

8. Sweating - An Important Factor in Gi Unshrinking

Sweating does play a role in unshrinking a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) Gi. Unshrinking a Gi involves soaking the fabric in a solution of vinegar and water, and then gently stretching and massaging the fabric to help relax the fibers and restore their original shape. After soaking and stretching, the Gi is air-dried to complete the unshrinking process.

Sweating can actually cause a BJJ Gi to shrink further if it is not washed and dried properly. When the BJJ Gi becomes wet from sweat, it can cause the fabric fibers to contract and shrink. If the Gi is later dried using high heat, it can become even tighter and more uncomfortable to wear.

To prevent a BJJ Gi from shrinking due to sweat, it is important to wash and dry it properly after each use. The Gi should be washed in cold water and air-dried or tumble-dried on a low-heat setting to avoid shrinkage. To prevent Gi from shrinking, never leave your dirt and sweat-drenched Gi sit overnight in your BJJ bag. Even if you are tired, wash your Gi after the training session, to prolong its life span.

9. FAQs

9.1. Can I Unshrink a BJJ Gi by Just Using Water?

You can unshrink a Gi by using only water but the unshrinking will not be to a greater degree. To thoroughly expand the Gi, you need to follow the full process.

9.2. Will Unshrinking a Gi Affect its Durability?

Properly unshrinking a Gi will not affect its durability. Rather it will enhance its lifespan. But excessive soaking and stretching could cause the fabric to weaken over time.

9.3. Is Washing Machine Good for Unshrinking Gi?

Washing machines can further shrink your Gi. The agitation and heat can damage the fabric.

9.4. Is Hot Water Good For Unshrinking Gi?

Hot water is not good at all for unshrinking your Gi. It will rather further shrink your Gi. Use cold water for unshrinking purposes.

10. Conclusion

Often when you shrink your Gi, it shrinks to a greater degree and now it is too tight for you. There are many ways to unshrink that Gi. You can use hair conditioner and borax powder. Or you can go for vinegar and steam. Never use hot water to unshrink your Gi or it will shrink again. After soaking the Gi in cold water, stretch the areas which you wish to expand and then dry the Gi without using a dryer.

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