Types of Gi Weave and Material

What are the different Gi Weaves

So your looking at buying a new Gi or you’ve just started and are looking to purchase that all important first Gi. For some people a Gi is just something they train in and have to wash after a sweaty session, for others it’s a statement of there personality or an opportunity to gain an edge over an opponent. Below we will look at the pros and cons of the most popular Gi Weaves so you can make an informed decision.


Before we look at the different types of weave available today its worth considering what GSM means. If you’ve ever shopped for a Gi you will more than likely have come across this three-letter acronym which stands for grams per square meter.

Essentially this is a reference to the weight of the Gi, put simply the higher the GSM the more the Gi will weigh. A higher GSM is typically associated with the thicker more durable Gi’s while a lighter Gi will have a lower GSM.

Typically, a GI will have a GSM somewhere in the region of 400 to 900 GSM. There is no minimum or maximum GSM for a Gi to fall into any of the categories below, so the GSM will vary between companies even if the GI is listed as being the same weave.

Single Weave

Pros: This is essentially the entry level Gi a lot of newbies chose to purchase a single weave Gi as they are the most affordable option available. Beyond there relatively modest price they are a great option for training in hot weather as the lighter material helps you keep cool for longer. This is also the Gi of choice for the competitor who is very close to the weight limit in their competition category.

Cons: The lighter weight material makes these Gi’s easier for an opponent to get a good grip so your going to have to work extra hard when grip fighting. Another downside to theses Gi is the potential for them to get ripped or damaged more frequently than their thicker counterparts.

Double Weave

Pros: As the name may suggest this type of weave is essentially doubling down on the single weave as it is the single weave done twice. As a result, you get twice as much material per square meter making for a much higher GMS and a heavier Gi overall. This type of Gi is thick and robust meaning that your opponents will have a harder time getting a strong grip on your GI. If you buy a good quality double weave Gi you can expect it to last a lot longer than its single weave counterpart and anything else on this list.

Cons: As this Gi is much thicker than the single weave it can make for a real sweaty experience if you are training in high temperatures. They tend to cost more than a single weave to purchase and the material can be a little bit abrasive on the skin, but this can be mitigated with a decent rash guard.

Gold Weave 

Pros: For a time, this material really was the gold standard when it came to Gi weaves. It is essentially a combination of the lightness of the single weave with the strength and durability of the double weave. Gold weave was and remains a popular choice of weave for both competitors and hobbyists alike. A gold weave Gi bought from a reputable company will last for years to come and is definitely worth thinking about if you plan on training for long into the future.

Cons: The material will become soft over time so opponents will be able to get a good grip of the Gi. They aren’t necessarily the cheapest to buy.

Pearl Weave

Pros: I will rap this all up by mentioning one final type of weave, the pearl weave. This is the lightest type of weave that is competition legal. It has become an increasing popular choice as it combines light weight with good durability making it a longer lasting option than the single weave. Most pearl weave Gi’s come pre-shrunk.

Cons: This is a really popular choice for good reason as there aren’t many cons! Its worth mentioning the material can sometimes be a little abrasive and there tends to be a bit more fluctuation in GSM between brands.

Other weaves

Depending on where you go to buy your GI you may encounter some other weaves as manufacturers try and stand out from the crowd, however none of them have been gaining enough traction to be worth mentioning here. Most of these other weaves will fit in somewhere between the single weave and double weave.

Final thought

Always check before you buy as you don’t want to be the guy or girl who turns up to class sporting a nice new Karate Gi having made the wrong purchase online.

If your thinking about purchasing a new Gi besure to head over to the Gi Tips section of the website where you can find all the latest information on some of the best low priced Gi’s on the market and lots of information to help you find the best new Gi for you.