What the heck are Felted Dryer Balls?
Dryer Balls are literally balls made of felted wool. Why do you need them? Do you use dryer sheets? Did you know that commercial dryer sheets are nothing but chemicals, some of them toxic? That spring fresh scent…not so fresh. Dryer sheets permeate your laundry with chemicals which you then end up wearing! The alternative is all natural wool dryer balls. They help to fluff your laundry, cutting down on static and wrinkles. Plus, they last for years and cost next to nothing!
Did you see my other Felting Tutorials?
Part 1 Basic Felting
Step 1: Supplies Needed:
Here’s what you need to make your own:
Wool Roving – Any kind (sheep, alpaca, etc), appr. 1 1/2 oz per ball Nylon Hose Washer & Dryer Optional: If you don’t want to use up all of your good roving, you can put something else in the center such as leftover felt scraps, yarn or pieces of an old wool sweater
Step 2: Wrap the Roving
If you’re using all roving, start wrapping it around itself roughly in a ball shape, until it’s about the size of a tennis ball. If you’re using something else for the core, wad up that material, tucking in the ends and then begin wrapping the roving around it. In the first photo, I used scraps from an unsuccessful felting project, second photo has old yarn for the core.
Step 3: Pop Em in the Hose
Once your balls (go ahead and laugh :) are about the size of a tennis ball, put them in the leg of a panty hose, pull it tight and tie a knot between each one.
Step 4: Wash & Dry
Put your tied up wool balls in the washing machine and wash with detergent and hot water. You can add clothes if you want, just be aware that if your roving is dyed, it may bleed. Once the wash cycle is done, pop em in the dryer. As you’ll see in the next pic, two of mine were fairly well embedded in the hose so you may want to untie them and loosen the hose after the wash cycle and BEFORE putting them in the dryer. But, it’s really not a big deal if you don’t.
All that’s left now is to remove the hose. I had to cut off the hose from two of them but the middle one came out just fine. As I said before, it’s really not a problem. Just cut off the hose. The balls should be well felted by now so it won’t hurt anything.
I use about 3 or 4 dryer balls per load of laundry. They just live in the dryer and will last for years. I have heard that you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give your laundry a pretty scent. Have not tried that myself, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
Now go and get rid of those toxic dryer sheets!