16 Jun 2014
Super comfortable, soft and well fitting rashguard featuring artwork by one of the icons of manga-style comic art, Terada.
Available to buy here - Gawakoto store
Price - £34.99
Made in - China
Made from - 92% polyester, 8% ammonia-inn (not sure what the 'inn' means)
I have had previous business (design collaborative) relations with Gawakoto, I am good friends with the owner, this review is based on my own personal opinions of the product.
There are few artists in the world right now who are more revered than Terada, or to give him his full name, Katsuya Terada.
Among his huge body of work, in the west, he is probably best known for his Monkey King depictions, though this, his dragon work is also fairly familiar among his fans. Gawakoto continues their Fine Art campaign to promote the work of prominent comic illustrators (the previous project was the excellent David Mack Kabuki kimo-noh gi).
The Dragon is a short sleeved rashguard composed of front and back main panels and a pair of slim side panels. The collar is a narrow strip of folded over material - quite a good deal thinner than most rashguards on the market.
The major talking point however with this product, in my opinion, is the very soft, almost pyjama soft texture of the rashguard fabric. The surface of the fabric is very non-shiny. By that, I mean some rashguards exhibit a noticeable sheen to the surface, but this rashguard does not. The dye-sublimated printing is superbly applied and the fabric itself is super stretchy.
In the photographs, I am wearing a size SMALL. I am 5'6 in height and weigh about 59Kg (135lbs). My only minor quibble is that the sleeves are slightly loose on me - but I am hyper skinny, so I guess I need to work some weights or something.
Terada's illustration here is pure black on white. Me personally, I love this more simpler expression of his work. His colour stuff is also phenomenal (just Google his work) but I'm a black and white ink fanboy so this suits my personal taste much better. Terada doesn't just draw, he brings life to his creations. Just so much talent!
The panels are put together nicely with flat-locked stitching. I rolled in this rashguard over several weeks during nogi class and also as a gi undergarment. It showed zero signs of wear and tear (admittedly several weeks is not really as long time).
I have no idea what ammonia-INN is as an ingredient. Whatever it is, it removes the sheen from the rashguard and contributes to its overall softness and comfort. It genuinely feels great to wear and given the epic design, I would happily wear this outside the gym too.
This is a fantastic rashguard. Kudos to Gawakoto for bringing in such a highly revered artist and featuring his work within the grappling/BJJ world. The item itself fits beautifully and the material is wonderfully soft. If you are a fan of prestige comic illustrative art, I can't recommend this rashguard highly enough!