Canvas Karate Gi's
Thread count and fabric weight are two significant factors when it comes to fabric measurements. Thread count is typically easy to grasp 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 adhere to any of the measurements unless you are very specific in the details of your order.
For instance, if a person were to order a 16oz cotton canvas karate gi from a factory and the manufacturer assured he could deliver, the person ordering still needs to go on to confirm that the canvas used to manufacture the canvas karate 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 a habit to clarify your preference 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.
So a little arithmetic might help here, the supplier is saying the fabric weighs 16 ounces per square meter. Well, 1 meter is roughly equal to 1.094 yards so 1 square meter is roughly 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 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 take the time to check every aspect of the order so you end up with the uniform you want.