Shimono Kimonos Hemp Gi
Shimono Kimonos is a name that most of you probably haven’t heard of, I honestly hadn’t heard of it until I was contacted by the owner Ben Shimono. We originally started talking shop through emails and messages and what not, then he offered to send me a shirt/keychain. A few weeks after I got the shirt/keychain I found another package in my mailbox and low and behold he surprised me with one of his Hemp Gis. Sneaky sneaky
First lets start off by saying it’s not totally hemp…it’s a 70/30 blend of more Hemp than cotton. So it is a hemp gi just not 100%. There are very few 100% hemp gi’s and it’s for a reason.
Without further adue, here it is…the Shimono Kimono Hemp Gi
- 450 GSM, 70/30 Blend of Hemp & Cotton Fabric
- Pearl Weave
- White with Green contrast
- EVA Foam Collar
- Custom Ribbon Taping
- One Piece, No back seam
The Shimono Kimonos Hemp Gi is constructed extremely well. The jacket is so soft and fluffy I want to nap in it. Seriously. Our new puppy loved it so much shes asleep on it as I’m typing this.
It is white 450 GSM pearl weave hemp blend with green contrast stitching and side split taping. It has three places of embroidery; one on each shoulder and one below the neck on the back of the jacket.
It features your standard reinforcements in the armpit, side split, and neck yoke area. All of the seams are perfect, especially on the collar where your usual stitching is a little bit off.
The only flaws with this gi are the seam taping, which at first was incredibly annoying but has gotten softer over the time I’ve been using this gi, and how the seam tape was sewn on in the inside of the right sleeve. There was a hiccup in the the stitching and I have shown it in the pictures.
The collar is of decent thickness, a trend I’ve been noticing here lately in the kimonos I’ve been using, and is wrapped in the same type of material the pants feature which is a slick and soft material.
The embroidery of the Shimono Kimonos on the sleeves is of great quality. No missed stitching or loose threads.
We weren’t sure of what the kanji on the back of the kimono read so we asked Ben and here is his reply;
It reads my last name. An old Japanese woman drew it for me at the Buddhist temple in Hawaii where my great uncle’s ashes are kept. I had it tripled checked so it didn’t actually say something perverted or bad lol
The kanji itself is almost perfectly embroidered. There are some blank spots you can see in the stitching.
- 10 oz cotton
- White with green contrast
- 6 belt loop system
- White drawstring chord
- Custom ribbon taping
These pants…soft. They remind me of the SYR x A&P pants that we reviewed here. That’s a pretty big compliment in my opinion.
They’re constructed of 10 oz white cotton with green contrast stitching, side split seam taping, and six belt loops. The actual drawstring though is white. We asked Ben Shimono and here is his response;
I was playing around with different color contrasts. Sometimes the belt takes a lot of focus off the rest of the pants on white gis. On blue and black gis the color doesn’t stand out as much Imo
The material on these pants are extremely soft and feel incredibly light. A lot lighter than normal 10 oz pants.The only marking on the pants is one logo/size tag on the right side hip area. very small, maybe 2.5 x 2.5.
The knee pads are doubled up material and sewn on in a tri pillar fashion. Most of the stitching is done very straight on the pants with a slight overlay on two small sections of the stitches on the knee pad.
One again though, the only problem I have with the pants is the seam tape. Very irritating at first but it has softened up.
Fit & Rolling Performance
Originally when Ben and I first started talking, he asked what my height, weight, and what size of gi I normally wear. I didn’t think anything of it really but he was fielding to see if I would fit his A1T size. Usually I’m an A2 and I have to shrink it, or an A1 and I can’t shrink it that much. His A1T fits perfectly. After the amount of time I’ve been using this gi, I can’t remember how long now but it’s been a few months it’s shrank normally and this is how it fits!!!
The kimono weighs a little under 4 and a half pounds. It’s about average for a normal kimono. It’s not ultra light and it’s not heavy either.
When rolling the first few times, my neck was scratched to all hell and back from the taping. I kept washing and kept using it though and now I there is no more scratching or annoyance. To me, the kimono feels lightweight and breathes very well. The jacket doesn’t stretch at all but the pants do stretch about two inches after about an hour of rolling.
When it soaks up sweat after a lot of rolling it doesn’t feel like it gets heavier. The skirt is long enough that it takes a minute to come out but the top does open easier if that makes sense to you? Exposes your chest more so it’s more cool.
The Shimono Kimonos Hemp Gi is sitting at a below average price of $139. This kimono to me is worth every penny you’ll spend. If you have sensitive skin and really want this kimono then I would suggest taking a seam ripper to the taping around the collar as it will take a week or two of washing and fabric softener to get it at a bearable level. The rest of the gi though is soft as a warm blanket in the middle of winter. Ben has said though he knows about the taping issue and will no longer have that taping on future kimonos.
They’re a smaller company and Ben Shimono is always around to answer your emails very quickly. Any question I’ve had he’s answered fast and professionally no matter how silly it was or what day it was. I wake up early in the morning (4am to be exact) and he’s answered me at 430 in the morning before when I had a question. That’s some customer service there.
If you’re looking at getting a hemp gi, look no further. This gi in my opinion, is built to last and until the follow up review is what my opinion will be. I’ll see you grapplers in a few months time to see how it’s holding up!!!!