May 1, 2013

1914 Gold Weave Gi Review

It is exactly 6 months from November 1st, happy May Day!  Time for something new and I have the perfect new gi for the grappler in your life.  I have ranted and raved about 1914 BJJ kimono's before (click here to read the pearl weave review) to the point they actually were kind enough to give me my first BJJ sponsorship, and now I want to offer my review of the Gold Weave 1914 gi! Though quite a bit has happened in the past year since the pearl weave review for me personally, I must say that 1914 has maintained there top notch customer service and craftsmanship. And checking in on that pearl weave over a year after first getting it finds that it is my go-to gi with a comfortable fit that takes abuse week in - week out.  

Headed by Blake Kerr, 1914 BJJ is a Oklahoma based company that has some of the most comfortable gi's on the market.  Named after the arrival date of Mitsuyo Maeda  in Brazil, ultimately leading to what would be considered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 1914 BJJ ushers in a solidly built kimono.

Triple stitched and reinforced seems abound, the gold weave has the same quality build as the pearl, but in what some may consider softer material.  On the website 1914 lists the gold weave being a full pound heavier and to be honest I find it a .5# heavier at best.  If weight is a concern I really think there is little discernible difference between the two.  I will say that gold weave seems to retain moisture and sweat more then the pearl, not sure if that is due to the weave, but the cotton is top grade that is breathable and shrinks minimally. 

I have been wearing the gold for months now and have had no structural collapse at all (IE. no rips, tears, or wears), and we have been training a lot of spider guard.  The kimono itself allows for maximum movement without burdening pivots and transitions.  The cuffs are not reinforced with ribbon stitching which can be itchy and annoying.  A single piece of cotton with minimal "bling" the 1914 kimono stands out in an industry rife with excessive, aggressive images, 1914 reminds us of our roots not only with the brand but also with the simple smooth embroidered logos on the arms and thigh in a contrasting color with the gi.  No snarling demons, nor pitbulls full of rage.  The fit is where its at though, and one must pay close attention to the size chart, but in the end this is one of the smoothest fitting gi's.

For instance in the past year or so I have lost a bit of weight and am now at about 195#'s.  I got the A4 which is my normal size, but being a bit lanky I feel I could probably fit into an A3.  The kimono I have dried down a bit so it has shrunk minimally in the wash.  The pants though... these little buggers are still a bit baggy for me, and to be honest Blake explained that this was one of the issues 1914 BJJ was correcting on the next batch of kimonos.  Design wise the crotch was a bit too roomy. 

The pants are reinforced at the knee, with a draw cord which I love, and offer four loops on the front.  The collar on the jacket is perfect being not too thick, not too thin.  I find the skirt stays in the belt fine until about two tugs on it. 

When sizing consider minimal shrinkage, and take into consideration  my comments above when looking at these pics.  My height to weight ratio puts me right in the middle but I still fit comfortably into the A4.  The pants must be cut better through the crotch though, and Blake reassured me via email just last week that the pants were the first consideration when the design team sits down to meet next.

Honestly I asked 1914 for sponsorship after wearing the pearl weave and falling in love with it!  The quality is top notch, coupled with excellent customer service at a moderate price range, making 1914 BJJ kimono's a best buy.  You will feel the same way when you slip into a 1914!  Click here to be redirected to 1914's website and let them know you heard about them via Jake at The Ground Never Misses!

All photo's courtesy of Terry Neil

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