Introduction: Wool Dryer Balls
Wool dryer balls are a great took for shaking up your laundry routine and saving money. They’re cheaper to make than buying dryer sheets or fabric softener, they also lasts years long than one box or bottle of the stuff you buy. They’re 100% natural and can add a great smell to your clothes if you want to drop some essential oils on them. Wool dryer balls remove lint, reduces static, and can shave 15+ minutes off your regular drying time
Step 1: BoM
Prepared wool fiber (carded batt, top, etc)
100% wool yarn (Lion's brand Fishermans Wool is a great option)
Tulle (small piece)
Bubble wrap (small piece)
Soap (I generally stick with olive oil soap for felting)
Step 2: Yarn
The first thing you want to do is make a yarn ball. I’m using 100% wool that I spun into yarn myself. Wool dryer balls are an excellent use for yarn you’ve spun yourself that is basically unusable (because you’re a newbie spinner and the yarn you’ve made is all kids of inconsistent).
To make a yarn ball, wrap one end of the yarn around a couple fingers 5-10 times (collage picture 1). Slide the wrapped yarn off your hand and continue wrapping horizontally (collage picture 2). Next fold the ends of the yarn inwards to make a little ball and begin wrapping that a few times (collage picture 3). Every 3-6 wraps you will want to turn the wrapped and unwrapped yarn to create a ball. Keep wrapping all around the yarn until you have a sufficient sized ball. These don’t need to be huge, but the bigger they are the less you use in a load.
When you’re done wrapping, make sure to tuck the tail of your yarn under one of the wraps.
Step 3: Felt
Set up your workspace with a wash cloth under the bubble wrap. The tulle goes on top of the bubble wrap. Lay out a couple small pieces of wool and set your yarn ball in the center. What I do is pull the tulle up and wrap it around the wool and ball, then throw some hot water on it and if my hands are not already soapy, I rub the soap on ball. The tulle helps agitate the wool and makes it felt quicker. After a minute or so, I then put the ball (still wrapped in tulle) in one palm and roll it around in my hands for at least 5 minutes. You can stop to inspect your ball and see if there are any areas that need additional wool, if so, just wet the new piece of wool down a bit and add it to the ball.
If you don’t want to felt these by hand, you can wrap them in the tulle, tie off the top and throw them in the dish washer or the washing machine. Soap, hot water, and agitation are what causes wool to felt.
Step 4: Dry
Don’t worry if your wool seems too loose, as wool dries, it shrinks anywhere from 30-50%. When you feel confident that your ball is secure, set it aside to dry somewhere and continue making more balls.