There are many different types of weave, and only a few of them are what can be called “standard”. The rest are proprietary weaves for a particular brand. With so many options out there and little literature explaining them, it can be hard to tell what you are buying.
When it comes down to selecting a Gi weave, there are two things you should be looking for. First is the actual weave which determines the durability of the gi. Second is the amount of material (or weight) used in the weave. Both attributes play into a gi’s thickness. They usually go hand-in-hand, but some weaves try to make thicker material without the weight.
Here is what you should consider when selecting a weave:
- Lighter gis are great for training in the summer or hot weather climates
- Thinner gis make it easy for your opponent to grab your gi and get a strong grip on it
- Thicker gis make it harder for your opponent to grab
- Thicker gis can be harder to maneuver in if it is not the right fit
- If you are near your weight limit in competition, lighter gi’s maybe preferable
- Thicker gis tend to be more durable.
With that said, here are the different Gi weaves explained:
The Single Weave Gi is the most basic weave. It is popular because it is light and cheap, due to the lesser amount of material used in the weave. Single weave gi’s are a good choice for those just starting Jiu Jitsu as you won’t need a big investment to get rolling (pun intended).
Take two single weaves and sew them together. Bam! You got yourself a double weave. Well, there is more to it than that, but double weaves essentially use twice the amount of material as their single weave counterparts. That gives you durability and thickness – thicker than any other gi weave out there. The downside is that they weigh a ton, and they cost a lot.
The lovechild of the single weave and double weave. The gold weave is intended to take the best of both worlds – the durability and thickness of a double weave with the weight of a single weave. This makes it an especially popular choice for competition. Probably the best kind of gi weave you can get, but it will cost you some money.
We’ve all heard of many other types of weaves – “pearl weave”, “honey comb weave”, “platinum weave”, “ripstop weave” etc. These are proprietary to the different manufacturers and it is hard to tell where they stack up against the above weaves. In my research, I have found that they land somewhere in between a single weave and a gold weave. Think about it – with gold weaves being the best choice out there, a manufacturer would call it out if their gi was a gold weave.
The true challenge when trying to choose a gi weave is that a majority of gis fall into the “everything else” category, which means it is very hard to compare because they are non-standard. If you are running into this problem, a good place to compare Gis is BJJSports.com’s Jiu Jitsu Gi Buying Guide. BJJ Sports uses their own classification by evaluating each gi and putting them into one of five categories. This makes it a little easier to compare one gi versus another.