Martial arts performance wear
Grant Scott (Co-founder/Director of Gimono) in a white gi made from the new Gimono fabric; his opponent is wearing a traditional cotton gi.
Dunedin-based company Gimono called on AgResearch’s textile science team to work with it to develop a new high performance fabric alternative for martial arts uniforms.
The traditional gi (uniform) is made from a double-woven cotton cloth. While this withstands the repeated stress of grabbing and throwing, it is heavy, stiff and uncomfortable to wear, absorbs moisture to become wet against the skin and is slow to dry.
Over three years of research and development, Dr Surinder Tandon led a team in esting fabric options for mechanical strength (burst and tear strength), dimensional stability n use and washing (stretch and recovery, shrinkage), surface friction (to allow grabbing) and moisture management.
The result was ‘Fortitude’, a lightweight wool/polyester knit fabric, with a wool layer next to the skin that offers softness, thermal regulation as well as breathability for moisture management, and an outer layer strong enough to take the strains of martial arts activities.
Lavinia Calvert, co-founder of Gimono, spoke at the 2010 AgResearch Media Conference to launch four new fabrics and described as ‘world-class’ the experience her company had working with AgResearch to develop a radical new martial arts performance textile.
Lavinia Calvert (far left) and Grant Scott (far right), founders of Gimono, with designer Alexandra Owen (second from right) and model Brooke Anderson wearing garments made from Fortitude.
“We have been fortunate to experience firsthand what it means to work with worldclass scientists who pursue their work with discipline and passion. Their commitment, expertise and connections were vital during technology and specification development, quality control auditing and they introduced us to a world-class manufacturer capable of meeting our very stringent requirements.”
“I would like to thank our colleagues at AgResearch, in particular Dr Surinder Tandon, who led the team we worked with to develop our Fortitude fabric. Our four year collaboration with AgResearch has resulted in us developing a world-first performance textile that is everything we wanted it to be, and more.”
The Fortitude fabric featured in the AgResearch Runway Show at New Zealand Fashion Week in September 2010.