A FiberArtsy.com Tutorial
Last year, I showed you how to make felted dryer balls using mostly wool roving. Since then, I’ve had many people ask me … what is roving and where do I get it? Well, unless you happen to be a spinner or have a fiber farm, you probably don’t have bags of roving around. So, I decided to show you an easier way to make felted dryer balls using just wool yarn, which is more readily available.
What exactly are Dryer Balls?
Basically, they are balls made of felt which you use in your clothes dryer instead of dryer sheets. They’re eco friendly, all natural, fluff your clothes, cut the drying time (saving you money) and help to eliminate static cling. Commercially made dryer sheets are made with toxic chemicals which you really don’t want on your clothes! Felted dryer balls are cheap, easy to make and will last for years. Bonus … they make a Great Gift.
Check out my DIY Foaming Soap recipe
Step 1: Supplies:
– 100% Wool Yarn s.a. Sheep or Alpaca. (appr. one skein per ball)
– One pair of cheap panty hose
– Twist ties (optional)
– Washing Machine
Step 2: Preparing the Yarn:
If your yarn is rolled in a ball, great! You’re ready to move to the next step. If it is in skein form (photo above), you will need to roll it up. Simply start by wrapping it around your fingers, then remove it from your fingers and continue wrapping it into a ball, roughly tennis ball size. Approximately one skein of yarn makes one dryer ball.
Step 3: Felting:
Cut the pants part off of your panty hose and place the yarn balls inside the leg. Tie a twist tie between each ball. If you don’t have twist ties, you can tie the hose in a knot. You want them to be fairly snug inside the hose so the yarn can’t unravel in the wash.
Place your dryer balls in the washing machine and wash with hot water and a bit of detergent. I washed mine through 3 regular washing cycles. If you can catch the machine before it drains, just reset it to the agitation cycle. The longer they agitate, the better.
Take the balls out of the hose and check for felting. If the yarn does not separate from the rest of the ball, they’re ready! To use, simply toss 4 or 5 dryer balls into the dryer with your laundry.
Step 4: To Use:
Simply toss 4 or 5 dryer balls into the dryer with your laundry.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will acrylic yarn work?
No. If you look at Wool fiber (animal fiber) under a microscope, you’ll see notches or scales along the shaft of the hair. Hot water, soap and agitation opens up these scales which then tangle together to make felt. Synthetic yarn s.a. acrylic or yarn made from plant fibers are slick and won’t felt.
How about superwash yarn?
Nope. Superwashing is a process of coating yarn with a type of plastic, making it non-felting. Great for socks, but not dryer balls.
If I use dyed yarn, will the color come off on my clothes?
They shouldn’t. Professionally dyed yarn has been heat set to make it colorfast. If there is leftover dye in your yarn, however, it’ll get washed out with the felting process.
Can I just use tennis balls?
Yes, you can. Keep in mind, though, that tennis balls are made with toxic chemicals which will be released the more you use them in the dryer.