Canvas Karate Gi's - Metric and Imperial Weights of Canvas
When buying a canvas karate uniform it's important to understand about thread count and fabric weight and how the fabric is measured. Thread count is easy to understand but when dealing with overseas manufacturers, the fabric weight is a whole different ball game.
Fabric weight can be measured either in grams per square meter (metric) - or ounces per square yard (imperial). Experiences with overseas factories show that it can be difficult to get the manufacturer to strictly stick to any of the measurements unless you are very specific in the details of your order.
For instance, if you decided to order a 16oz cotton canvas karate gi from a factory and the manufacturer assured he could deliver, you still need to confirm that the canvas used to manufacture the gi is 16 ounces per square yard.
It makes sense to pay attention at this point because the answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ here will depend on if the factory sales person actually understands the concept of these two measurements (yards and meters). You should make it clear exactly what you want here because by default most overseas factories will assume the metric system. Due to the fact that most of their orders are from the US, the fabric suppliers have learnt to use “ounces” as a guideline for weight. But, the fabrics are still being measured and sold in meters. Confusing isn't it!
If you think it's not really that important and you'll be happy with the gi anyway, who cares about how the fabric is measured, you might have a problem when it arrives. Let's look at the difference between the two sets of measurements. Suppose the supplier is saying the fabric weighs 16 ounces per square meter. Well, 1 meter equates roughly to 1.094 yards so 1 square meter is about equal to 1.094 x 1.094 = 1.197 square yards. This is approximately 1.2 square yards.
(1 square meter=1.1959906 square yards — although this precision does not typically apply to clothes.) So, if the supplier says the fabric is 16 ounces per square meter, we can work out the following: 16 ounces per square meter x (1 square meter / 1.2 square yards) = 13.3 ounces per square yard.
Here, you can clearly see the gaping difference between 13-ounce canvas and 16-ounce canvas. Imagine the disappointment when you receive your canvas karate gi and the fabric is equivalent to the 13oz canvas when your intention was to order a 16oz canvas karate gi. The supplier delivered the correct product but due to the misunderstanding about fabric weight you’ve ended up with a much lighter uniform than you expected.
So if you prefer to order your karate gi from overseas it really is worth taking the time to check every aspect of the order so you end up with the uniform you want.