Thursday, September 29, 2011

Felted Dryer Balls Tutorial


Want an eco-friendly way to dry your clothes? Hanging them on a clothesline is the best! But if you don't have 7 days of sunshine like we do here in California, these dryer balls will help you save money, use less chemical-y fabric softener, and save on energy.

These 100% felted wool dryer balls will speed your drying time and are just fun to make!

You will need:
Wool roving and/or 100% wool yarn
An old pair of tights or nylons



First, take your yarn or roving and create a small ball:


Next, take your roving and break into small strands.


Wrap the strands tightly around your yarn ball. Continue until it is the size you want your dryer ball. Mine are about 2 inches in diameter. I think 2-3 inches would make the most efficient size dryer balls.


Feel free to snazz them up a bit and add bits of decorative roving around in a design. Or, needle felt a design after you are finished.


Put the ball into your tights (or nylons) and knot between balls.


Wash in washer on the hottest cycle. It is okay to wash them with a load of clothes. I ran mine in two loads of wash and through two drying cycles.

Ta da, felted wool!


Enjoy shorter drying times. These are especially great if you have to go to a laundromat and use a timed dryer, they help get your clothes as dry as quickly as possible.

Happy felting!


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44 comments:

  1. oh, I've never heard of this before ~ thanks for sharing :)

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  2. I am so going to try this! never heard of this type of dryer ball before...

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  3. I have seen these for sale and knew it was probably easier to make my own...thanks for sharing! You can add essential oil as well for that fresh scent without any chemicals, I'll have to see if there's info on how to do this somewhere out there in internet land. Great tutorial!

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  4. Glad you all enjoy it! Great idea, Khristen, about adding your own essential oils for a clean scent, I think I'll definitely do that for my towels/sheets loads of laundry. :)

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  5. Yours are much cuter, and I don't know if they work in exactly the same way, but my mom uses tennis balls that are put into singleton tube socks in the dryer (3 at a time). They tumble the clothes better and shorten drying times.
    Again, yours are MUCH cuter!

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  6. Do you get fuzzies all over your clothes?

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  7. I haven't had any problems with fuzzies. :)

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  8. Great tutorial! i am replacing the one in my files with yours!

    having tried several methods to felt balls, this method is by far my favoritse so far and delivers a nice perfectly round and dense ball.

    Never thought they would be useful for drying clothing! i make crafty goodness with mine!

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  9. oh this is just great! Thanks- i have been using a tennis ball- these are much better!

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  10. Sorry..I'm new to this - what about static cling?

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  11. I haven't had any issues with static cling using the dryer balls in place of dryer sheets, but let me know if you find it to be an issue and I will see if I can find any remedies!

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  12. Roving is 100% wool fiber. You can usually find roving at a craft store like Michaels or JoAnns, however, I recommend buying it from a specialty yarn shop as usually they will carry larger quantities for a better value.

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  13. VERY cool...or maybe I should say HOT idea!!
    P

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  14. Oh, I bet these are no where as noisy as the dryer balls you can buy. I couldn't stand the noise so I stopped using them. Great idea.

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  15. My guess is they will last for a number of years, minimum 5. As long as the roving/yarn doesn't become unraveled (which it won't if it is felted properly), I don't see why these wouldn't last you forever really. They might get a little pilly after some time, but that won't affect drying times.

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  16. Ooh, I've never heard of this before. Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Oh my gosh, what an idea! I'm linking this on my blog,
    terrific post.
    Hugs,
    Susan

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  18. Interesting. Will have to give it a try...anything to save on electricity!
    *hugs*deb

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  19. Oh, I love this! I usually use my clothes line or drying rack so I don't buy fabric softener at all. These dryer balls will be the perfect solution for when I do use my clothes dryer.... and a great, natural match for my homemade laundry detergent, too. Thanks for sharing your idea!

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  20. Do the felted balls dry completely also or do they stay damp? I was just wondering if there was a problem with mildew?
    Thanks

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  21. The wool dryer balls will dry completely with the time it takes to thoroughly dry your clothes. I've never experienced a problem with mildew, or any sort of dampness after I use them. Hope this helps! :)

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  22. That is interesting, thanks for the tip.

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  23. We have alpacas and I was wondering if I could use thier fleece instead of the wool.
    Thanks!

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  24. I have a ton of roving leftover from making Christmas gifts this year so this is perfect! How many balls do you use per load of laundry?

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  25. I hear you can felt alpaca wool just as easily as sheeps' wool. I've never done it though...let me know if you give it a whirl! :)

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  26. Dharmama - I usually use 2 balls per load, sometimes 4. Really, I just throw in however many I can find when I'm about to do laundry. :)

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  27. Do you wash and dry them with the clothes, or just dry? thanks!

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  28. We've been using some expensive ones that I bought after my daughter was diagnosed with eczema, and they have helped tremendously. I am glad to discover how to make them - thanks.

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  29. I have had a bit of a problem with the wool felting right to the nylons - any suggestions?

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    1. It's not uncommon for this to happen, don't worry! Once you've removed them from the nylons, first try running them through the dryer (without any clothes). This usually will firm up all those fuzzies from the nylons. Good luck! :)

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  30. I am just really curious...does anyone know, WHY does this dry our clothes faster and fluff them as well? I am that inquiring mind that needs to know. It is a wonderful tute and idea. Thank you so much for sharing so much of your God-given talent with so many. God bless your hands as you create again and again. Thank you, Debi nicol at yahoo dot com

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    1. I believe the reasoning is that dryer balls "fluff" the clothes during the cycle, limiting clumping of the clothes which can take items longer to dry (ever had something ball up on itself and still be wet when everything else is dry? I have...haha). Plus, 100% wool absorbs 400 times it's weight so it helps draw out liquid from the clothes too!

      Thanks for your lovely comment! :)

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  31. I have heard about how great felted balls were. Now I'm going to try them. These should be great for infants and childrens clothes.

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  32. I found an on-line yarn shop I would like to order from but they sell by the ounce? How many ounces would it take to make say...5 balls? T.I.A!!

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  33. I made my dryer balls many years ago and am noticing that my black clothes have visible fibers after drying, do you think it means I need to reboil the balls?

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    1. You could give it a try. The balls sometime accumulate little fuzzies from your clothes over the years. I just pick mine off or use a sweater saver brush on them. Reboiling would probably work well too though. Let me know how it works!:)

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  34. I bought pack of six beautiful wool dryer balls a year ago and they still work great!

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  35. Do you think I could use an old wool sweater (it has a hole)for insides of the dryer balls? Thanks!

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    1. You could definitely give it a shot! I might suggest even unraveling the sweater just for the wool yarn. Then you could make the balls with that yarn. I'm not sure how it would turn out if you just cut pieces of the sweater out...the balls might turn out a bit lumpy. But give it a shot and let me know how it works! :)

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  36. How do you tie it off and keep it from unraveling?

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    1. Tuck the end of the yarn into the ball. When it's secure inside the pantyhose, it won't unravel and it will all felt together.

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  37. If you have trouble with the nylons sticking to the dryer ball try using a tube sock, they work just the same. Look at FB for raw wool for sale. As a shepherd I often sell (and use) the seconds from my fleece for dryer balls. If you don't mind washing the fiber you can sometimes get a whole fleece for the price of roving at a craft or local yarn store. I only use the "fancy" dyed roving for the outer layer

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